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Okay I thought the book was entertaining and amusing, but the movie was better. I heart Ian McKellan. He is so much the man! Tom Hanks was actually bearable and didn't mug too much. Audrey Tautau was just there to be explained everything.

(Scott: I would like to point out that Tom Hanks is ALWAYS awesome.)

Seriously, the descendant of JC should be a little quicker on the uptake.

(Scott: It's also amusing to point out how many people in the theater didn't seem to read the book.)

Jean Reno was underused, though I like how the movie clarifies he was really a dupe to Opus Dei as opposed to just being a dick. Paul Bettany was suitably freaky and evil as the albino, though I gotta say, I would have rather had someone hotter than him to have nude scenes. (Addendum: Look, if I'm going to look at a man's ass that much, it should be a NICER ass than his!) Also, I think they totally messed up on the masochism thing--yeah it hurts, but he totally ENJOYS it (and that's why it's masochism), but maybe they just didn't want us to think Mel Gibson directed instead of Ron Howard.

(Scott: No definitely not. And he DIDN'T enjoy it. Cait: Did too. Scott: Did not.)

Speaking of Opie, he did a decent job directing. I got annoyed by the stupid grainy flashbacks that looked more like bad horror movie bits rather than memories and historical stuff. I also didn't like that he recycled Beautiful Mind effects to light up puzzles when the characters are SOLVING AGE OLD MYSTERIES IN FIVE MINUTES OR LESS. This comes off even sillier in the movie than the book.

They say they "softened" things up for the movie but they didn't really.

(Scott: Here's how they did. Robert Langdon was very pro-Catholicism in this one, much more so than in the book. He was always extremely quick to defend the Church.)

I think the added dialogue on the importance of dialogue and faith made the thing much better. I thought it was funny how they avoided nudity (seriously, putting a lantern-type thing between the legs of the corpse so you could tell it was Vitruvian Man without seeing naughty bits? Please!).

One thing that annoyed me in both movie and book: the grandfather in the Great Rite? Um, no. Old people don't do fertility rituals, it's WHY they are FERTILITY rituals.

I'm also unclear about a scene where they use someone's cell phone to go to "the library"--you see them using "Quicksilver.net" but I'm not sure if that was meant to be a search engine or a database. If a database, geeker joy, if they are saying the Internet is a Library, FUCK THEM.

Lastly, we saw it with the perfect audience. (It was a 6:45 showing in Chinatown.) No one talked, there was a lot of interaction with the movie (lots of "ohhhs!" at sneak attacks, etc), and when people who obviously hadn't read the book (Movie: "You're the descendant of Jesus!" Audience member: "GASP!") there was a good natured giggle from the audience.

So yeah, not really a gotta see, but a "if you wanna see it, do." There's worse things to spend $9 on.

(Thanks to guest-blogger Scott, who is just amusing in early morning debates.)

(Scott: Okay. Are you done yet?)

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