NOOOOvember 2014: MovieRob

da vinci code

Having a good week is important and all, but don’t you feel like you need at least a little disappointment to make the good stuff even better? Well, no worries–NOOOOvember‘s gotcha covered. Got another most excellent guest here today for you: Mr. MovieRob! The review-writing machine himself has a pretty good suggestions for a sub-category of film disappointments…but I won’t steal his thunder. Read all about it! 🙂

When Cara first asked me to partake in this series, I drew a complete blank as to what movies I had high hopes for and was ultimately disappointed with the onscreen results.

After raking my brain for a bit I finally realized that almost an entire genre fits the bill for that: movie adaptations of books.

As much as I love movies, there are only a small few IMHO that were able to take the words, descriptions and ideas of great authors and properly bring it all to life onscreen while also giving us a movie that equals the depth of what was written on those pages.

A few examples of adaptations that did it right are The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, The Green Mile (I know, Darabont did a great job with King’s work) and most recently The Fault in our Stars. I’ve been told that the Godfather was also adapted well but I must admit that I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t vouch for it. (Which other book adaptations do you all feel were done well enough?)

The problem with movie adaptations of books is the fact that it’s usually very difficult to get all of the exposition and thoughts done right and if you read the book, you usually feel that there is a lot left unexplained.

So When I read The Da Vinci Code in 2004, I couldn’t wait for them to make a screen adaptation and when I heard it was being helmed by Ron Howard, I couldn’t be happier..

Until I finally saw it that is.

Read on to see what I thought…

1 (1)

“What really matters is what you believe. ” – Robert Langdon

Number of Times Seen – 2  (21 Nov 2007 and  Nov 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A world renowned expert of symbols is summoned to a crime scene in the Louvre in order to try and explain why the curator was murdered.

My Take on it – The first time I saw this, I actually felt completely bored with it, and I even think that I might have dozed off a bit mid way through because they ran thru so many scenes with less explanation and exposition than the material deserved.

I was also completely distracted the whole time by the pompadour of Hanks.

I mean, what is that?????  It looked like he has a dead animal perched on the top of his head.

So much felt missing that I vowed never to watch it again and if I’d ever get the urge, I’d instead read the amazing book again….

But for Cara, I decided to break that vow and rewatch it after close to 7 years for this Noooovember series.

I happened to find a copy of the extended version (which to my dismay and to my pleasant surprise clocks in at 3 hours instead of the 2.5 of the theatrical cut.

When I popped it in, I hoped that the extra 30 or so minutes would help the plot move on at a better pace and not feel as if chunks are missing.

I must admit that this version is much better than the original (which is quite often with extended editions of movies i.e The LOTR extended cuts), but still wasn’t amazing.

The plot twists and turns are much better explained in the novel, but I have to be fair and agree that they did a pretty good job with this longer cut.

My major complaint about the extended version is once again the Hysterical Hanks Hair!

Bottom Line – The original 2.5 hour version is a disappointment, but the 3 hour extended cut makes the movie seem more complete and is closer to the vision of the book. Hanks needs to definitely do something about the hair, quite distracting. Recommended!

Rating (Original Version) – Bafta Worthy (5/10)

Rating (Extended Version) – Globe Worthy (8/10)

Y’know, an 8/10 isn’t too bad in regards to disappointment! But it’s always a letdown when a film doesn’t recapture the magic of the book, which I feel like many of us have experienced way, way too much. Good call, Rob, and an excellent write-up! Got another pair of movies to discuss tomorrow, but stay tuned for very special NOOOOvember post on Friday…

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16 thoughts on “NOOOOvember 2014: MovieRob

  1. I kind of liked this movie but I never read the book(s). Is this the one where he kneels down and starts praying at the end? That was kind of lame.

    Go, Friday! Go!

  2. I thought the pace of this movie dragged too, when the book was so engaging. The good thing about the sequel though (which is odd to call it that because Angels and Demons came before DaVinci Code) is that Tom Hank’s hair gets better, lol!

  3. I have to admit that I really didn’t like the Da Vinci Code as a novel either so for me the book and the film were both a bit crap.

  4. “by the pompadour of Hanks…”

    Mr. MovieRob, permission for me to use this as a reaction to certain comments both online and in-person from here on out? That’s just too good not to be used.

    In regards tot his movie though, I quite enjoyed the way Howard made this movie but I don’t have the experience of the book to balance my perspective out. I’m sure this was far more in line with ‘mainstream action flick’ than the book ever intended to be written as. . .

  5. Great work here Rob. This one was bad – but you are spot on there. Adapting books for screen are a nightmare. I thought The Hunger Games franchise has been doing a good job so far, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was also enjoyable (but you have to be into that sort of thing), as well as the Hannibal novels (like extremely well done, in my opinion).

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