Film Weekend

I saw three movies this weekend, ranging from mass-consumption thriller to ponderous drama. On Saturday I met up with my girl and one of her friends and saw The DaVinci Code. It was a great movie, but I enjoyed the experience of reading the book more. The book was a very good thriller that made you want to go research the subject matter afterwords. I love books that do that to you. The movie was a very good thriller but it glossed over a lot of the finer points of the book. And it left out the librarian, which is a travesty. Great use of special effects by Ron Howard.

There was one thing about the movie that didn’t work for me, but it wasn’t the fault of anyone involved in the production itself. It was the main character, Robert Langdon. There was one great scene where he and Sir Leigh Teabing and arguing about interpretations of history that was fantastic. It reminded me of hundreds of academic arguments that I’ve been in or been witness to. But other than that, Langdon is really a non-character. There’s just nothing in that character to get really interested in.

If you liked The DaVinci code, read Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. It’s a much better treatment of a lot of the same subject matter.

That night, we saw Good Night and Good Luck, the story of Edward R. Murrow’s duel with Senator Joe McCarthy. I’d been meaning to see it for a while. I knew a little bit about Senator McCarthy’s crusade to root out Communists, but I didn’t know much about Murrow’s role in the matter. Excellent movie, and very timely. It made the argument that those who govern or persuade through fear usually do so at the expense of the truth. And again, the movie made me want to research the historical period it was set in.

Finally, last night, I watched Capote. This was another movie that I’d been wanting to see for a while, and again I was only vaguely familiar with the subject matter. It’s the story of Truman Capote and his friends as he researches and writes his novel In Cold Blood. I’ve never read any Capote and I didn’t know much about him. The movie presents him as a genius narcissist. I kept waiting for Harper Lee to slap him. Throughout the movie, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Capote character manages to make every conversation he’s involved in about him. Whether he’s talking to a man who’s murdered a family of four or interviewing the teenage girl who found the victims, the conversation becomes about how painful and unfair Capote’s life was. It was really impressive to watch.

So, that was my movie-watching weekend. Not enough knitting to even mention here, and if I don’t chug some coffee and get my butt out the door I’m going to be late for work.

No Responses to “Film Weekend”

  1. Doctor What Says:

    I strongly recommend the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

    Ciao!

  2. Matt Says:

    If you enjoyed reading the Da Vinci Code, you really should read his other books…
    Angels & Demons was very similar but I think a better book overall. Digital Fortress was simply amazing (but then I’m a serious math geek)
    Deception point was a good book to read on a long flight…not great, but still pretty good.
    I haven’t had a chance to see the movie yet but it seemed like a good job in casting Audrey Tatou and Paul Bettany…

  3. Kaetchen Says:

    Please god say that you didn’t just compare Foucault’s Pendulum to The DaVinci Code. ‘Cause if you’re serious, I’ll have to fly out there and kick your ass. If I can see between the tears, that is.

    Umberto Eco is a genius, if one whose recent books (Baudolino, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loanna) need better editing. Dan Brown is a hack.

  4. Administrator Says:

    Kaetchen,

    Well, they do cover a lot of the same territory. In that sense, they’re absolutely comparable.

    But you’re right, Eco writes on a level that Brown doesn’t even attempt. Foucault’s Pendulum is right up there with Nabokov’s Pale Fire on my list of most fascinating literature ever written.

  5. KatherineOfItAll Says:

    The librarian should NEVER be left out, no matter the movie or book. Everyone is always in need of a good librarian.

  6. pippy Says:

    Haven’t seen the DaVinci Code or read the book, as anything with that much hype around it tends to make me want to avoid it. But gosh, I loved Capote!
    And am desperately in love with Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’s such a bear.
    Am torn over the DaVinci Code because I love Audrey Tautou sooo much. Did you see Amelie? She’s adorable.

  7. Aarlene Says:

    IF I see DaVinci Code it will be for Audrey Tautou, I too adore her. Amelie is great and so is A Very Long Engagement–sad & funny.
    I’m heartily sick of DaVinci Code…all the science & discovery shows that I usually watch are now all about the DaVinci Code. Today at the checkout at the Market Basket there was something touting the DaVinci Code Diet—WTF?!
    I saw In Cold Blood on late night tv when I was a kid and it creeped me out bad.

  8. michelle Says:

    Oh, David. No.

    http://www.newyorker.com/critics/cinema/?060529crci_cinema

  9. Kaetchen Says:

    Oh my word, that review is hysterical.

  10. Administrator Says:

    I’m going to have to look up some more of Anthony Lane’s writing – that’s one of the best literary bitchslaps I’ve seen in a while.

    But, as I said in an e-mail to Michelle, it’s a little unfair to criticize the novel’s wording when doing a review of the movie.

    Still —

    We get a flashback to the [Nicene Council], and I must say that, though I have recited the Nicene Creed throughout my adult life, I never realized that it was originally formulated in the middle of a Beastie Boys concert.

    Ouch.

  11. Kaetchen Says:

    To play fair, it must be said that Lane doesn’t care for many modern films. (Then again, neither do I.)