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An Encyclopedic Mind Under Pressure

  • May 22, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+3
As far as movies about revenge and retribution go, Angels and Demons is actually pretty clever. A story about the Illuminati seeking revenge against the Church could be a Michael Bay movie, should he ever attempt a academic-intellectual film. The result would just about be the same. With highly unstable anti-matter as our big bang device, this one could have had Bay's name written all over it.

I can hear the trailer now..."BAY. (wind sound effect) BROWN. (wind sound effect). present...(1/2 second pause)...

ANGELS...

and DEMONS. (soft winds).

Okay, back to reality. Like the DaVinci Code, this is a Ron Howard flick. And between Howard  as Director, and David Koepe and Akiva Goldsman as the co-writers, I think the trio made this movie is as good as it could be. I've read Dan Browns books, and while I enjoy them, I can see how his novels would present challenges when adapting to the screen.

Dan Brown has done an extraordinary amount of research, all of which is put to use as clues throughout the movie. The challenge is that the only way for the audience to ever know what the clues are and what they mean is for Robert Langdon, the symbologist main character, to tell us. None of the other characters are nearly as informed as Langdon, or they are but they're holding out. Consequently, the same guy seems to know a little too much about everything. Sure, he's an educated man who has written books and done lectures, but never once do we see Langdon go "shoot...what was that guys name," or "Sometime around the 16th century...I don't remember the exact date."

Langdon's encyclopedic mind under pressure eventually begins to feel like Dan Brown's mouth piece, with Ron Howard putting it all into PowerPoint.

Who can blame Brown for wanting to share all of this exciting research with his readers. But for the film, some of these fun facts need filtering so that we're watching a movies versus being lectured by one. Maybe Bay should have directed this movie. He would have chucked at least 2/3 of the academic exposition, and made use of all three cannisters of anti-matter instead of just one.

But then again, I doubt Bay would cast Tom Hanks. And Hanks is probably the only actor who can make a guy like Langdon watchable on the screen.




Angels and Demons, Tom Hanks

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October 03, 2009
I love the book but didn't like the movie that much. The movie seems very much lacking after the incredible book. Just felt the book is rich with emotions and mind works but I just couldn't feel it through the movie.
 
May 24, 2009
I wasn't that thrilled with CODE, it was okay, but I wouldn't pay to see it. I'll probably wait until I can see this for free on Demand. Nice review though. If I hadn't seen the first I'd be running out to see this right now based on your review.
May 24, 2009
You're wise. Angels and Demons is good but not great. It's worth seeing, but not right away. And if you weren't that thrilled with CODE, you'll have pretty much the same feeling about A&D.
 
May 22, 2009
Hey sniffcode, pretty interesting review. I'm very intrigued to go watch Angels & Demons, but I'm hesitant to think if I have to watch The Da Vinci Code first to avoid feeling lost in A&D. Either way, Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors, so I think I'm due for a trip to the movies.
May 22, 2009
Thanks for the comment! Actually, Angels & Demons was written before the DaVinci Code, but they decided to market the movie as if it were a sequel. However, both movies are stand alone. As long as you go into A&D knowing that Robert Langdon knows everything about everything – especially symbols, his fast thinking will make sense.
May 22, 2009
Yes and also know that he is never wrong. Never. Langdon says the earth is purple & yellow(Go Lakers) then its purple & yellow. No Questions asked
 
May 22, 2009
LMFAO @ "Langdon's encyclopedic mind under pressure ...." very very true. Maybe Micheal Bay needs to direct the next Langdon adventure
May 22, 2009
Now there's a Reality Show idea...have different directors make their version of the same script and then the audience votes. Man, somebody get NBC on the line! That might actually work. ;-)
May 24, 2009
I'm surprised somone hasn't come up with something similar, but then I doubt that Hollywood egos would allow themselves to be voted off the metaphorical island.
 
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More Angels & Demons (movie) reviews
review by . January 09, 2010
For those who hadn't read the book, this movie would be hard to understand.  In the book a lot is explained and the book flows at a good pace.  The movie crams a lot of information at you and you have Dr. Langdon off chasing clues to kidnapped Cardinals and it is difficult to follow what is going on.  The Da Vinci Code, which was an inferior book, played much better on the big screen.  There the audience was given sufficient explanation for everything and the pace was such the …
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
way better than the di vinchi code still not as good as the book though
Quick Tip by . August 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
As a student ofthe humanites, I loved the movie. I have to say that I love learning about symbology in works of art and its importance to people and groups throughout history. Dan Brown has really revived the study of iconography in all his books. Anyone wanting to explore the subject more should read: Irwin Panofsky's "Studies in Iconagraphy."
Quick Tip by . August 15, 2010
As a student ofthe humanites, I loved the movie. I have to say that I love learning about symbology in works of art and its importance to people and groups throughout history. Dan Brown has really revived the study of iconography in all his books. Anyone wanting to explore the subject more should read: Irwin Panofsky's "Studies in Iconagraphy."
review by . May 30, 2009
Is the world finally over the controversy that was brought up over "The Da Vinci Code" yet? I swear, for such a lousy movie it caused a lot more protests then I would have expected. Maybe those protests helped and maybe they didn't, but "The Da Vinci Code" went on to become one of the years highest grossing films two years back, and now Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are back for another go. This time they are tackling "Angels & Demons," which in book form was the prequel to ‘Da Vinci' but in movie …
review by . November 30, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I was shocked by the incredibly stupid and convoluted plot of Angels & Demons - even worse than the The Da Vinci Code. While I understand Dan Brown's stories are works of fiction, this just goes too far into the realm of unbelievability. It seems ass if one man was able to launch an entire conspiracy against the papal leadership, kill dozens of cops, and kidnap four cardinals with minimal help. Professor Robert Langdon, the protagonist, is able to draw connections between vague clues and never seems …
Quick Tip by . January 13, 2010
Great twist at the end!
review by . January 07, 2010
Following up on the box office success of The Da Vinci Code, Ron Howard's adaptation of Dan Brown's book is a great movie in a year of great movies. With Tom Hanks returning as Professor Langdon, the movie also features the beautiful Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer in probably her biggest role so far. This time around, our scientist hero, Dr. Langon, is running around Rome trying to find four kidnapped cardinals and a bomb before midnight. Not quite like the TV show "24", but close in its fast paced …
review by . December 31, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Here we have the sequel to the rather mediocre film The da Vinci Code. The source material for that film was pretty weak. Angels and Demons, thankfully, has stronger source material and is, also thankfully, a far better film.    The movie tells the story of a group of terrorists who get their hands on some anti-matter and hide it somewhere in the Vatican, promising to blow the place sky-high. They haven't any demands or anything like that. They just plan to blow it up as revenge …
review by . December 07, 2009
This movie is filled with suspense. I've always been a fan of secret societies and conspiracies so this film was right up my alley!
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Angels & Demons is a 2009 American film adaptation of Dan Brown's eponymous novel. It is the sequel to The Da Vinci Code, another Brown film adaptation, even though the novel Angels & Demons was published first and takes place before the novel The Da Vinci Code. Filming took place in Rome, Italy, and the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. Tom Hanks reprises the lead role of Robert Langdon, while director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer, and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman also return.

Budget US$150 million Gross revenue US$410,660,788[1] Preceded by The Da Vinci Code

 

Plot [Contains Spoilers]


Under the watchful eyes of Father Silvano Bentivoglio and Dr. Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) initiates the Large Hadron Collider and captures three vials of antimatter. Immediately afterward, someone kills Father Silvano, uses his retina to infiltrate the containment chamber, and steals one vial.

The Roman Catholic Church mourns the death of the Pope in Rome. Vatican City prepares for the College of Cardinals' papal conclave, which will select the next Pope. Until that time, Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (Ewan McGregor), a papal court official and former helicopter pilot, assumes temporary control of the Vatican. Reporters, nuns, priests, and other faithful members of the Church crowd into Saint Peter's Square, waiting for white smoke from the conclave. But the Illuminati, a 400-year ...

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Details

Director: Ron Howard
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 15, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: David Koepp
DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009
Runtime: 138 minutes
Studio: Columbia Pictures
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