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Mystery Movies - The Da Vinci Code

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The Da Vinci Code
Widescreen 2-Disc Special Edition
Tom Hanks, Audrey Tatou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno
Directed by Ron Howard
2 DVDs
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2006
149 minutes

The two-DVD set of The Da Vinci Code from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has everything fans of the movie will enjoy, and even though I hadn't read Dan Brown's book prior to viewing the movie, I'm sure it will appeal to the fans of the novel as the bonus features explain how this brilliant story was adapted from a novel to a movie script.

The first DVD of The Da Vinci Code Widescreen 2-Disc Special Edition gives you the original movie, brilliantly directed by Ron Howard, who knows how to create masterpieces out of most stories he gets his hands on. Helped by author Dan Brown and a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, he is able to bring this novel to life. A lot of novel to movie ports are often described by fans of the author as weak attempts to adapt a truly compelling story to a 2 hour film, therefore sacrificing a lot of the story's subtle points to make the plot easily digestible to the masses. In this particular case, I didn't feel it was happening. It also shows in the length of the movie, which is approximately 149 minutes. This tells me what had to be put in the movie was, and it stayed.

The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown himself is able to describe the situation better than I could in what he says in one of the bonus features, Filmmaker's Journey Part One, where he talks about the casting of the actors for this movie and how his story is treated. He says, "It was really a thrill to see so much talent with a single objective; how do we turn this book into a movie?"

To answer the author's question is to say why The Da Vinci Code deserves the success it got. Tom Hanks is totally believable in the character of Robert Langdon. Audrey Tautou is incredibly convincing in her role as Sophie Neveu, and the supporting actors could probably star in any Academy Award winning film. Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jean Reno, Jurgen Prochnov, and last but not least, Paul Bettany. The acting is award-worthy and it helps to immerse the viewer in the story.

To potential viewers of The Da Vinci Code all I can say is that after viewing the movie and the special DVD features, I wanted to see the movie again. I must say the extra DVD and its special features help the viewer to be even more curious about this story. The special feature about codes and symbols in the movie is worth the purchase price on its own. Finally, an intelligent movie with an intelligent bonus DVD; I'm quite pleased with the results here.

I've often felt like DVD bonus features were just an afterthought. For this movie they just complete the whole experience, and they are done in good taste, even if some viewers might find that Ron Howard is throwing himself just a few too many flowers for his effort, I still think most comments help us understand the creative process that went into the production of this gem. I you think this conspiracy theory story dating back to biblical times might be interesting to you, buy The Da Vinci Code 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. If you're not sure of your interest for the subject matter, do yourself a favour and at least rent the DVD to see for yourself. I'll bet you won't be disappointed by this thriller.

Vincent Lemire

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