Sunday, May 21, 2006

“The Da Vinci Code”

“The Da Vinci Code,” directed by Ron Howard based on Dan Brown’s bestselling theological suspense thriller of the same name, falls dramatically short of its promise to take you on a lightening-paced, intelligent, intricately layered, and suspenseful international scavenger hunt to uncover a centuries old mystery. While the novel ingeniously mixed action with intrigue while exploring the intricate complexities of religious theory and history and made it accessible in the guise of a captivating chase story, the reported $125 million film adaptation fails to live up to its provocative source material. Although the film does succeed in raising some thought provoking questions about history versus the creation of history, its 2-1/2 hour running time and uneven pace turn it into an overly long, bloated, and disappointing melodrama – the antithesis of Brown’s exciting, tightly wound page-turner.

While in Paris delivering a talk and promoting his latest book, acclaimed Harvard symbologist Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) receives an urgent summons to the Louvre Museum where an elderly curator, Jacques Sauniere (Jean-Pierre Marielle), whom he was scheduled to meet earlier that day, has been brutally murdered. Once inside the museum, Langdon finds a baffling cipher near the body. He joins forces with gifted French police cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), and together they attempt to decode the enigma. Along the way, they discover a mysterious trail of symbols, bizarre riddles, and unexpected secrets hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci – clues that are visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter. Their dangerous quest leads to a covert society dedicated to guarding an ancient secret that has remained concealed for 2000 years.

The stakes are raised when Langdon uncovers a startling link: the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion – a secret society whose members included Da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton, among others. Langdon suspects they are on the hunt for a breathtaking historical secret, one that has proven through the centuries to be as enlightening as it is dangerous. The pair’s frantic race to solve the mystery before the secret falls into the wrong hands takes us on a whirlwind adventure through the cathedrals and castles of Europe from Paris to London to Scotland as they collect clues in a desperate attempt to crack the code. Along the way, they match wits with a mysterious powerbroker who appears to anticipate their every move. Unless they can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle, the Priory’s secret and an explosive ancient truth will be lost forever.

Akiva Goldsman’s dull-witted, plodding adaptation strives to remain faithful to the book’s major plot elements, but it inadvertently brings to light the obvious shortcomings of Brown’s entertaining bestseller which were well disguised by the novel’s clever structure and compelling premise. At first glance, the novel appears to be highly cinematic with its fast-paced action compressed into a 24-hour time frame. But appearances are deceiving. While Goldsman attempts to meet the daunting challenge of interpreting a complex, intricate piece of fiction and turning it into compelling cinematic narrative, the end result is stodgy, confusing and frequently too literal-minded. His script awkwardly blends intrigue and menace with mystery in a confusing and illogical tale of enigma, secrets and riddles layered clumsily one upon another. According to production notes, the script incorporates several things that Brown learned after writing the novel, making the movie in some ways an updated, annotated version of the original book. Director Howard also adds backstory to the film that was only referred to in the novel. Unfortunately, the digitized flashback sequences are cheesy, distracting and confusing. They disrupt the narrative flow rather than enhance and clarify the storyline, and they add unnecessarily to the film’s already considerable length. Indeed, the film seems to get lost in its own maze of puzzles and riddles and long-winded explanations that suck the life out of what was originally a very engaging and fun story, offering audiences instead something that is extremely laborious and solemn. Howard insists on telling us everything rather than showing us

In addition to Hanks and Tautou in the lead roles, the strong supporting cast includes Sir Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing, the story’s Holy Grail historian and deranged puppetmaster; Jean Reno as the relentless French police captain Bezu Fache; Alfred Molina as the manipulative Bishop Aringarosa; and Paul Bettany as Silas, the deadly albino monk. Hanks’s character is driven by curiosity and a wonderfully dry sense of humor. He’s smart, fascinated by the world around him, and convincing as a thinking man’s hero who is determined to unravel the mystery. And despite the off-screen jokes about it, his long, swept back hairdo seems appropriate for an unsuspecting university professor who is unexpectedly caught up in a mysterious and deadly conspiracy. That said, there are moments when the actor seems a little lost as though he’s trying to find a hook for his character and there is none. Hanks also lacks the dashing, charismatic qualities that would have made his character’s relationship with Tautou’s Neveu far more interesting. In the second English-language film of her career, alluring French actress Tautou brings impressive nuance to her work and creates a pivotal character that is enigmatic, intrepid, and ethereal, although occasionally her heavy accent makes her dialogue unintelligible. Unfortunately, the chemistry between Hanks and Tautou is sadly missing as is any romantic involvement between their characters.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


The sleepy town of Wheelsy could be any small town in America - somewhat quaint and gentle, peopled with friendly folks who mind their own business. But just beneath the surface charm, something unnamed and evil has arrived...and is growing. No one seems to notice as telephone poles become clogged with missing pet flyers, or when one of the town’s richest citizens, Grant (Michael Rooker), begins to act strangely.

But when farmers’ livestock turn up horribly mutilated and a young woman goes missing, Sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) and his team, aided by Grant’s wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks), uncover the dark force laying siege to their town...and come face-to-face with an older-than-time organism intent on absorbing and devouring all life on Earth.

Monday, May 15, 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand
Film ini merupakan klinaks dari trilogy "X-Men", sebuah 'penyembuhan' atas sejarah mutasi. Untuk pertama kalinya, para mutan mempunyai pilihan. yaitu mempertahankan keunikan mereka meskipun hal itu membuat mereka terisolasi atau melepaskan kekuatan mereka dan menjadi manusia normal. Bertentangan dengan tujuan dari pemimpin mutan Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), dan Magneto (Ian McKellen) yang percaya akan keselamatan para mutan - mereka memancing perang untuk mengakhiri perang lainnya. Film yang berdurasi 140 menit ini dibintangi oleh Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Romijn dan disutradarai oleh Brett Radner serta naskah skenarionya ditulis oleh Simon Kinberg/Zak Penn. Produksi oleh 20th Century Fox.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Yours, Mine, and Ours Dalam film komedi keluarga ini, orang tua tunggal Frank (Dennis Quaid) dan Helen (Rene Russo) berusaha untuk menyatu...namun dengan ke-18 anak-anak mereka yang mencoba mensabotase pernikahan tersebut, mereka mengetahui bahwa perkawinan -dan keluarga besar mereka- tidak dapat dibangun dalam sekejap. Seru, lucu dan mengharukan! Film ini disutradarai oleh Raja Gosnell dengan enulis skrip-nya adalah Ron Burchdavid Kidd serta diproduksi oleh Columbia Picture.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mission: Impossible III

Tak perlu takut bakalan kecewa menonton M:I III seperti halnya M:I I atau M:I II. Karena dalam Mission Imposible III ini, penonton akan disuguhi adegan-adegan laga yang hampir tiada henti. Dengan berbagai kecanggihan tekhnologi dan cara-cara khas Mission Imposible, ditanggung penonton nggak bakal kecewa dengan menonton film yang berdurasi 126 menit ini.
Film arahan JJ Abrams yang juga menyutradarai film TV "Lost" dan "Alias" ini berkisah mengenai Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) yang telah menikah dengan Julia (seorang perawat). Sebagai seorang agen rahasia, Ethan harus bisa menyembunyikan identitas aslinya. Namun, petualang seorang agen rahasia tak pernah benar-benar berhenti. Di acara pertunangannya, Ethan mendapat panggilan untuk menyelamatkan salah seorang anak didiknya, Lindsey, yang tertangkap oleh penjahat besar bernama Owen Davian. Sayang, misi ini gagal karena bom yang ditanam di kepala Lindsey meledak. Menerima kenyataan ini, Ethan sangat terpukul dan berusaha menangkap penjahat besar tersebut. Apalagi, setelah petinggi IMF menegurnya karena aksinya dianggap ilegal dan dapat merusak rencana IMF dalam menangkap Devian. Bersama tiga agen yang juga temannya, Ethan berusaha menangkap Devian. Di sinilah aksi-aksi mendebarkan itu akan memanjakan penonton. So, tonton sendiri film-nya biar bisa merasakan ketegangannya.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mission Imposible : III

Tom Cruise, the most exciting and successful star in the world, returns to one of his signature roles, Secret Agent Ethan Hunt, in "Mission: Impossible III." In this pulse-racing, mind-bending action thriller, Hunt confronts the toughest villain he's ever faced - Owen Davian (Academy Award® winner Philip Seymour Hoffman), an international weapons and information provider with no remorse and no conscience.

The film is co-written and directed by J.J. Abrams, who brings his unique blend of action, character, comedy, and drama to the franchise. The millions of loyal viewers of Abrams's landmark creations, the television series "Lost" and "Alias," know what to expect: an enthralling, intricate story with an unexpected and arresting payoff that satisfies on every level.

With "M:i:III," Abrams and Cruise turn the spy thriller on its ear as they hark back to the best aspects of the original TV series that inspired the films - a well-connected team of agents centered around a bold and heroic leader, the most exciting action stunts imaginable, and elaborate twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat. "M:i:III" is the action movie audiences have been waiting for.