Da Vinci Is Da Joint

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It turns out that The Da Vinci Code is a true phenomenon and has put a fair number of asses in the seats while inspiring paranoia on main street. The craptacularly reviewed film beat the living bejezus out of all contenders at the weekend's box office, bringing in $77 million to Over the Hedge's $37 million (and OTH was in more theaters) and Mission: Impossible III's $11 million (to be fair, MI3 is in its third week of release).

Can Da Vinci hang on to the top slot in the face of the latest X-Men flick, which opens this Friday? Not da likely, even with God on its side, I figure, if only because we're all mutants now.

NEXT: Who Put This Brake Here?

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  1. From what I’ve read, The Da Vinci Code was expected to have a good opening due to the popularity of the book, but the bad reviews, negative word of mouth, and the release of the new X-Men movie should put some adamantium claws through its heart next weekend

  2. RottenTomatoes.com has it at 22% of 160 reviews. And while some of the negative reviews are ironically appealing (“The greatest threat that Dan Brown’s novel, and now Ron Howard’s film of the same, poses to spirituality is the same threat that any bad art presents the human soul.” ), most of the positive reviews are along the line of “it doesn’t really suck that much”. I have no interest in the book or the movie and if this thing bombs in the next few weeks I’ll be all the happier. This ‘cultural phenomenon’ is nothing but a nuisance to me, a reminder of how simple minded most people are by what passes for intellectual. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

  3. Went to see it on the weekend – It was OK, no big deal. I’m not sure why everyone’s getting their knickers in a twist over it.

    Spent most of the movie considering the size of Tom Hanks forehead.

  4. I just like to see bit budget hollywood movies of any sort fail. It is so much fun to watch Hollywood loose money. That said, any movie that allows you to gaze at Audrey Tautau for two and half hours can’t be all bad.

  5. Good point Mark, a whole ciniplex full of bad Europorn and gay cowboy movies would be pretty depressing.

  6. I agree w/ John/Mark.

  7. Me three!

    Actually, some movie marketing pholks have done a helluva job stoking this average screen treatment of an average novel into a “cultural phenomenon,” whatever the hell that is.

    I’d have never known there was any controversy over TDVC’s rather silly conspiracy, if the History Channel hadn’t devoted its entire existance to telling me about it 24/7, over and over and… Gad, I wish they’d go back to talking about Hitler.

    It’s not the first time THC has gone gaga on a particular subject just before a major movie release, and I’ve spent considerable time over the past two weeks trying to figure out who gets paid what, by whom, for cooking up all these faux documentaries.

  8. Well, I don’t agree at all.

  9. I saw it the night before last. Wasn’t impressed, though I hadn’t read the book either. The record sales should give some succor to Ron Howard, though, after all the critical panning.

  10. I rank movie critics with politicians on my list of completely worthless professions with little to no socially redeeming value. With respect to that, I tend to go see anything most of them seem to hate and try to give it a fair shake if I think I’ll be able to stand it at all.

    The Da Vinci Code even had protesters and that’s a good reason to check almost anything out.

    It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either.

  11. Don’t bank on Brett to blessedly blow away Vinci’s boffo BO, boyos. He’s no Bryant, barely even a Bay.

  12. I’m just not sure, you guys… I’ll believe it when I see it, ya know?

  13. Alliteration man needs his own movie.

    I’ve also spent a lot of time online contemplating Ron Howard’s forehead as well.

    Brett Ratner? It’s gonna suck.

    Then FOX will follow up the unwatchable FF with FF2, rumored to include the Silver Surfer’s intro. The Rock is rumored to be on the short list portray the Surfer.

    The Rock playing the brooding, philosophical sky-rider of the spaceways…kill me now.

  14. Thomas,

    Nice!

    The book was terrible, but it didn’t have Audrey Tautou in it, so I may just see the movie. Surely it’ll suck, though.

  15. Thomas,

    You’ll believe what when you see it? Jesus who?

  16. John DeWitt,

    I want my History Channel back. Bring back the Hitler Channel and that guy from Full Metal Jacket!!!

  17. Jesus? How do you spell that?

  18. One more time, I still can’t quite follow you…

  19. Heard it at a restaurant

    “No movie with an albino assassin can be any good.”

    My version

    “No movie with an albino assassin can be unwatchable”

    Of course, the idea of an albino assassin is weird. Starting that albinos do not have the best markmanship due to their eyesight problems, they are awfully easy to describe as suspects and pick out in a crowd.

    But they are visually striking…

  20. Re:The History Channel
    Hey they still run “Hooked: illegal drugs and how they got that way” once or twice a year. For that I can forgive them much.

    Re:Audrey Tautou
    I will never understand how the Auschwitz refugee look ever came to be considered ‘hot’.

    Re:Hollywood vs Art House
    Put me in the Art House column. I’ve had fewer disappointments at film festivals than at the cineplex. Course I tend to favor documentaries on beer, bowling and so forth. At least TDVC isn’t a remake.

  21. The thing that made such an impact when people started reading the book was that it told a story that, if true, would have fantastic implications. So, regardless of what one thinks of the crafting and skill of the book version, THE story was very intriguing and prompted a lot of commentary.

    By the time that the movie was released, the big twist in the story was already known to everyone before they saw the movie. The book being so popular and having been debated so publicly likely took some of the bite out of the movie. Perhaps if the story had gone straight to the screen much of the Da Vinci buzz would have been about the movie…

  22. As I see it, The Davinci Code is Harry Potter for adults. The Potter stuff is best described as diverting and enjoyable. I haven’t read Da Vinci, but I expect it is similarly light, fun reading. I was dragged along to the movie by my girlfriend (who also dragged me to the last Potter) and I was entertained, but not enthralled.

    Better than The Phantom Menace, not as good as The Empire Strikes Back. Make of that what you will.

  23. Audrey Tautou isn’t your pouty big-boobed bombshell, but she has a compelling screen presence. Count me as a big fan. I’ll probably watch the movie just to see how badly used she is in a Hollywood flick.

  24. My complaint with the movie is that they watered down the anti-Catholic and pagan message of the book.

  25. Whenever religious professionals protest a movie or a book or a work of art, it just points out to me how weak their faith must be, to be threatened by the representation of an idea.

  26. At least TDVC isn’t a remake.

    Very true Warren and its not based on a comic book, although the book is pretty close to being one, so its not all bad. Audrey Tautau is Venus incarnate!!!

    “As I see it, The Davinci Code is Harry Potter for adults”

    Great point except that most people think of Harry Potter as an adult book, sadly.

  27. I actually enjoyed the book in that fun, trashy sort of way. I haven’t seen the movie, I’ll just wait till it hits DVD. However, any movie that can cause Stan Kurtz to completely lose it like this* can’t be all that bad.

    *Warning for Warren, link jumps to NRO.

  28. “Whenever religious professionals protest a movie or a book or a work of art, it just points out to me how weak their faith must be, to be threatened by the representation of an idea.”

    So Islam must be very weak then?

  29. I saw it yesterday, and while it wasn’t a great film, it was no where near as bad as the critics would have you believe. I truly think that movie critics just didn’t understand what was going on. I guarantee at least 8 out of 10 critics have no idea what the Fibonacci sequence is and were scratching their heads and asking their neighbors during that part, and very few of them know enough history, both factual and the fictional premise, to understand what is going on.

    I haven’t read the book, but I don’t need to. I read it the first time around when it was called Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

  30. Nice link, Mo. If not for Stanley Kurtz, I’d have thought the movie was made because the book sold 40 million copies. Now I know that it’s just an attack on conservative values.

  31. “Whenever religious professionals protest a movie or a book or a work of art, it just points out to me how weak their faith must be, to be threatened by the representation of an idea.”

    So Islam must be very weak then?

    Not necessarily the religion itself — but the faith of the protesters in their religious seems to be.

    Strong people are secure.

  32. religious = religion

  33. Peter:

    I’m a liberal; I love and respect all women.

    I’m a liberal; I love and respect all women.

    I’m a liberal; I love and respect all women.

  34. The only thing I find disappointing or disturbing about the whole DVC phenomenon is that every person I have met who believes the crap in the book claims to be a Christian. The Christian faiths have no one but themselves to blame for this. If the mainline Protestant Churches would stop running down to Cuba to kiss Castro’s ass and ordaining gay bishops long enough to actually bother to “gasp” profess their religion and the evangelicals would stop reading the bible literally without any context and learn something about the history of the Faith and the Church and the Catholics would actually give a homily about something besides abortion, perhaps their followers would have known enough to know that the book is fiction and meant as such and not been so ready to believe that it was true.

  35. However, any movie that can cause Stan Kurtz to completely lose it like this* can’t be all that bad.

    It must be comforting to live in a world where everyone who disagrees with you and every setback you face is part of a massive conspiracy.

  36. Forget the Da Vinci Code. The real test of faith for even the most fervent Christian will be discovering that the one true messenger of God is Japanese: GOD-JESUS.

  37. Mrs TWC mentioned that there were a multitude of inappropriate snickers and guffaws by those in the annointed audience at Cannes. That, if true, cannot bode well for this film.

  38. LunchStealer, having read both the DaVinci Code and the Harry Potter books I can assure you that DaVinci Code is most certainly NOT Potter for adults. Potter is Potter for adults. DaVinci is a novel that starts out a bit Ludlum-esque and then procedes to fall apart like a cheap suit.

  39. “No movie with an albino assassin can be unwatchable”

    Of course, the idea of an albino assassin is weird. Starting that albinos do not have the best markmanship due to their eyesight problems, they are awfully easy to describe as suspects and pick out in a crowd.

    But they are visually striking…

    Comment by: Adriana at May 22, 2006 02:05 PM

    They also have their advantages. Remember Foul Play? If you tell the police you’re being stalked by an albino assassin, they’ll think you’re nuts. Particularly if he’s accompanied by a bewarable dwarf.

  40. Mo,
    Thank’s for the warning. I steeled myself with three shots of Wild Turkey before clicking. I still nearly had an aneurism. I might subscribe you your “if it sends Kurtz into epileptic fits it can’t be all bad”, but the movies that don’t clear that hurdle make a very short list.

  41. Forget the Da Vinci Code. The real test of faith for even the most fervent Christian will be discovering that the one true messenger of God is Japanese: GOD-JESUS.

    Harry rue ya!

  42. Hey, I just thought of a cool Christian Japanese toy!

    Three transforming robots: Spiritron (who turns into a jet fighter that can fly), Jesustron (who turns into an armed hovercraft that can skim over the water without touching the surface)and Jehovatron (who can fire Thunderbolt missiles).

    And they can combine into one huge giant robot, TRINITRON!

  43. Nevermind the Fibonacci sequence, what I want to know is, did Leonardo know about Nature’s Harmonic Simultaneous 4-Day Time Cube?

  44. And they can combine into one huge giant robot, TRINITRON!

    And then Robert Smigley can do a cartoon on SNL about the adventures of Jesus and Mary Magdelene, “The Apocryphally Fecund Duo” …

  45. How can the Da Vinci Code not be true? I mean, it was in a book.

  46. Um, did the filmmakers ever take a Western Civ class? There was some wacky shit in there about Emperor Constantine that was completely historically inaccurate. I liked the Council of Nicea flashback.

    For some reason all the flashbacks reminded me of a Space Ghost C2C episode:

    “Would you like to hear my story? It’s beginning now… The space wars had begun. Robots were building babies to replace babies… Everyone knows what happened next… The end. Directed by Space Ghost. Special effects by ILM… and Space Ghost. Space Ghost by Space Ghost.

  47. Um, did the filmmakers ever take a Western Civ class? There was some wacky shit in there about Emperor Constantine that was completely historically inaccurate. I liked the Council of Nicea flashback.

    For some reason all the flashbacks reminded me of a Space Ghost C2C episode:

    “Would you like to hear my story? It’s beginning now… The space wars had begun. Robots were building babies to replace other babies… Everyone knows what happened next… The end. Directed by Space Ghost. Special effects by ILM… and Space Ghost. Space Ghost by Space Ghost.

  48. You know, I just read the Space Ghost Coast to Coast wiki. I think Zorak highjacked the wiki, because Space Ghost comes off sounding pretty bad. That darned Wikipedia!

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