The Da Vinci Code (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)

The Da Vinci Code (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)

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Dan Brown's international bestseller comes alive in the film THE DA VINCI CODE, directed by Ron Howard with a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman. Join symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) in their heart-racing quest to solve a bizarre murder mystery that will take them from France to England - and behind the veil of a mysterious ancient society, where they discover a secret protected since the time of Christ.

Critics and controversy aside, is a verifiable blockbuster. Combine the film's huge worldwide box-office take with over 100 million copies of Dan Brown's book sold, and has clearly made the leap from pop-culture hit to a certifiable franchise. The leap for any story making the move from book to big screen, however, is always more perilous. In the case of , the plot is concocted of such a preposterous formula of elements that you wouldnÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌÄå_Ìâå«t envy screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, the man tasked with making this story filmable. The script follows as closely as possible while incorporating a few needed changes, including a better ending. And if youÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌÄå_Ìâå«re like most of the world, by now youÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌÄå_Ìâå«ve read the book and know how it goes: while lecturing in Paris, noted Harvard Professor of Symbology Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is summoned to the Louvre by French police to help decipher a bizarre series of clues left at the scene of the murder of the chief curator. Enter Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), gifted cryptologist. Neveu and Langdon team up to solve the mystery, and from there the story is propelled across Europe, ballooning into a modern-day mini-quest for the Holy Grail, where secret societies are discovered, codes are broken, and murderous albino monks are thwartedÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌāÕÌā_ÌāÕ_ oh, and alternative theories about the life of Christ and the beginnings of Christianity are presented too, of course. ItÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌÄå_Ìâå«s not the typical formula for a stock Hollywood thriller. In fact, taken solely as a mystery, the movie almost works--despite some gaping holes--mostly just because it keeps moving. BrownÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌÄå_Ìâå«s greatest trick was to have the entire story take place in one day, so the action is forced to keep moving, despite some necessary pauses for exposition. As a screen couple, Hanks and Tautou are just fine together but not exactly memorable; meanwhile Sir Ian McKellenÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌÄå_Ìâå«s scenery-chewing as pivotal character Sir Leigh Teabing is just what the film needed to keep it from taking itself too seriously. The whole thing is like a good roller-coaster ride: try not to think too much about it--just sit back and enjoy the trip.

On The DVD
The DVD extras on a film as popular as should be plentiful, and this version doesnÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌÄå_Ìâå«t skimp. With over 90 minutes of special features, including ten behind-the-scenes featurettes, thereÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌÄå_Ìâå«s a lot here to explore beyond the film itself. The question is, is there anything new here that we havenÌÄå_ÌâåÇÌÄå_Ìâå«t heard before, in all the hype, pseudo-documentaries, and controversy surrounding the movie, to make it worthwhile? For most viewers, the answer will be "yes." Essentially, if you like the movie, if you enjoyed the book, you will get a lot out of them.

Just as the movie is intended to make the book come to life, the DVD extras should make the film come to life by pointing the audience into the world of the filmmakers, connecting the dots between print and film, and for the most part they do just that. The extras here range from the typical look behind-the-scenes to more in-depth features on the supporting characters, the locations, and the herself. "First Day on the Set with Ron Howard" features the director gushing about the opportunity to film in the Louvre and work with Tom Hanks again (the t

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