Blu-Ray Review: Catch Up With Dan Brown’s World in ‘The Da Vinci Code’

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HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – One of the biggest movies of the summer is sure to be Ron Howard’s “Angels & Demons,” the sequel to 2006’s massively successful “The Da Vinci Code,” a Tom Hanks film that left most critics cold but ended up making a stunning quarter-of-a-billion dollars worldwide by the time its theatrical run ended. Before you talk to the “Angels & Demons,” catch up on your mythology with “The Da Vinci Code: 2-Disc Extended Cut” on Blu-Ray.

“The Da Vinci Code” may have been one of the best-timed movies in the history of the form. I remember the months leading up to the film’s release and Dan Brown’s books were literally everywhere. You couldn’t ride a Chicago bus without seeing someone reading “Code” or the even-better earlier book, “Angels & Demons”. By the time the movie hit, it was a guaranteed blockbuster.

The Da Vinci Code was released on Blu-Ray on April 28th, 2009.
The Da Vinci Code was released on Blu-Ray on April 28th, 2009.
Photo credit: Sony

Does that mean it was any good? I think “Code” may have worked for people who hadn’t read the book, but for those of us who had, it felt surprisingly flat. I think Brown’s books are so dependent on the twists and turns of his historical mysteries that they don’t hold up on repeat telling and Howard’s films have always felt unemotional and predictable to me. Essentially, I’m bored by “The Da Vinci Code”.

But I recognize I’m in the minority. And so does Sony. The studio has given their mega-hit a Blu-Ray treatment with the fans in mind, complete with a gorgeous video/audio transfer and hours of special features. I don’t think the movie delivers, but the Blu-Ray certainly does for fans of the film.

The Da Vinci Code was released on Blu-Ray on April 28th, 2009.
The Da Vinci Code was released on Blu-Ray on April 28th, 2009.
Photo credit: Sony

The official synopsis: “In The Da Vinci Code, noted symbologist Professor Robert Langdon (Hanks) and police cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Tautou) go on a heart-racing quest to unearth the biggest cover-up in human history. Langdon is called to the Louvre Museum late one night where a curator has been murdered, leaving behind a mysterious trail of symbols and clues. With his own survival at stake, Langdon unveils a series of stunning secrets hidden in the artwork of Leonardo Da Vinci, all leading to a covert society dedicated to guarding an ancient secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years. The pair set off on a frantic quest through Paris, London and Scotland, collecting clues as they desperately attempt to crack the code and reveal secrets that will shake the very foundations of mankind.”

“The Da Vinci Code” includes the extended cut of the film along with hours of special features, including several exclusive to Blu-Ray. Through BD-Live, viewers can access “Cinechat,” a feature that allows you to create “virtual” viewing parties and chat with your friends through your internet-connected Blu-ray player, but that just scratches the surface.

The special features include $10 e-Movie Cash for Angels and Demons, accessed instantly via BD-Live (also available by mail for those without BD-Live), “Exclusive First Look at Angels & Demons, introduced by Ron Howard, featuring five minutes of footage from the film that can only be seen on The Da Vinci Code: Extended Cut Blu-ray Disc,” “Unlocking the Code,” “New Commentary on Selected Scenes with Ron Howard,” and an amazing 17 featurettes.

‘The Da Vinci Code’ is released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jurgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany, and Jean Reno. It was written by Akiva Goldsman and directed by Ron Howard. It was released on April 28th, 2009. It is not rated.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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