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'Da Vinci Code' jeered and laughed at in Cannes premiere

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer Tue May 16, 6:52 PM ET

CANNES, France - "The Da Vinci Code" drew lukewarm praise, shrugs of indifference, some jeering laughter and a few derisive jabs Tuesday from arguably the world's toughest movie crowd: critics at the
Cannes Film Festival.

The year's most anticipated movie, "The Da Vinci Code" was a generally faithful adaptation of Dan Brown's monster best seller, spinning a murder thriller that stems from a cover-up of secrets about Christianity's roots.

While readers worldwide devoured the novel, reaction from Cannes critics ranged from mild endorsement of its potboiler suspense to groans of ridicule over its heavy melodrama.

"It's a movie about whether the greatest story ever told is true or not, and it's not the greatest movie ever screened, is it?" said Baz Bamigboye, a film columnist for London's Daily Mail. "As a thriller, well," he continued, shrugging.

"Maybe the next day I'll forget about it," said Igor Soukmanov of Unistar Radio in Belarus. "But today for two hours it was good entertainment. ... As a Hollywood movie, it's a very nice picture."

Critics got their first look at "The Da Vinci Code" a day before its world premiere at Cannes on Wednesday, when it also debuts at theaters in France and some other countries. The film opens worldwide over the following two days, including the United States on Friday.

Directed by Ron Howard, the movie stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou as strangers hurled together on a frantic quest for the Holy Grail after a series of murders is committed.

The filmmakers add some twists and variations here and there, but the general thrust of the novel remains intact, including its theory that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child, which has prompted denouncements from many Christians.

The Cannes audience clearly grew restless as the movie dragged on to two and a half hours and spun a long sequence of anticlimactic revelations.

"I kept thinking of the Energizer Bunny, because it kept going and going and going, and not in a good way," said James Rocchi, a film critic for CBS 5 television in San Francisco and the online outlet Cinematical. "Ron Howard makes handsome films. He doesn't make bad ones, but he doesn't make great ones."

One especially melodramatic line uttered by Hanks drew prolonged laughter and some catcalls, and the audience continued to titter for much of the film's remainder.

Some people walked out during the movie's closing minutes, though there were fewer departures than many Cannes movies provoke among harsh critics. When the credits rolled, there were a few whistles and hisses, and there was none of the scattered applause even bad movies sometimes receive at Cannes.

Critics singled out co-star
Ian McKellen, playing a wry Grail enthusiast who joins the search, as the movie's highlight, injecting hearty humor and delivering the most nuanced performance.
Paul Bettany added a seething mix of tragic pathos and destructive zealousness as a monk assassin who carries out the slayings.

Bamigboye said all the actors were solid, but enthusiastically added, "I've got to tell you, Ian McKellen steals it. He slices all the crap away."
 
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defazman

TRIBE Member
yeah, he should have stuck to narrating cancelled tv shows and showing up at happy days reunion conventions.
 

Temper Tantrum

TRIBE Member
I hated the book (though when i initally read it i adored it, it's just when i seperated the historical fiction that intrigued me vs. the actual quality of writing, well that's when my perspective shifted). That's all i have to offer.
 
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dr. claw

Member
Boss Hog said:
doesn't mean a mainstream audience won't eat it up.

look how well Titanic did.

I don't really think that James Cameron and Ron Howard are in the same class though. Even the cheesiest, most mainstream movie that James Cameron has made has been solid and watchable.
 
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gsnuff

TRIBE Promoter
dr. claw said:
I don't really think that James Cameron and Ron Howard are in the same class though. Even the cheesiest, most mainstream movie that James Cameron has made has been solid and watchable.

Cinderella Man is to Ron Howard as Aliens was to Cameron. I Love both pics and generally don't like both directors.. man though, they both have the capability to nail production design and cinematography on occasion.

,g
 

dr. claw

Member
gsnuff said:
Cinderella Man is to Ron Howard as Aliens was to Cameron. I Love both pics and generally don't like both directors.. man though, they both have the capability to nail production design and cinematography on occasion.

,g

I really like Cameron's stuff before he went off on his 90's crowd pleasing blockbuster tangent. It sucks how the theme of his movies which initially had such a strong liberal tone (Terminator, The Abyss, Aliens) abruptly veered into Team America fighting off evil arab terrorists in True Lies.

But yeah back to Ron Howard. I haven't seen Cinderella Man thus can't comment but of the movies I have seen the only one I liked was Cocoon.
 

PRIMAL

TRIBE Member
Of course Ian McKellen stole the show. Duh.

I haven't read the book and I wont see the film. Too much hype and not enough interest. Just like Jurrasic Park, which I have yet to see.
 
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marcinm

TRIBE Member
Temper Tantrum said:
I hated the book (though when i initally read it i adored it, it's just when i seperated the historical fiction that intrigued me vs. the actual quality of writing, well that's when my perspective shifted). That's all i have to offer.


same.. if you take out the whole intrigue (mostly anticlimatic in the end) of all the "grail lore" stuff.. you get a poorly written thriller.
 

VinylRach

TRIBE Promoter
PRIMAL said:
Of course Ian McKellen stole the show. Duh.
When i was in LA we got free tickets to go see the Carson Daily show being taped, so we went...and Ian McKellen was a guest...Carson was SO ANNOYING he kept making comments about jacking off and threesomes and stuff, and this guy is a SIR i mean he's KNIGHTED for gods sakes, and the poor guy is trying to talk about shakespeare and all this stuff and Carsons going on about dildo's....i was so embarrassed for Ian McKellen the poor old guy didn't know what to say.
 

PRIMAL

TRIBE Member
He's gay, I would think that HE would be able to discuss nastier things and embarass Carson. Carson is such a bland loser. period. Down with Carson Up with Ian.
 
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Beer babe

TRIBE Member
why the hell is everyone so bitter about this book & movie. fuck it was entertaining...it's not claiming to be a classic piece of literature.
 
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