Saturday, May 20, 2006


Friday, May 19th was a big day for little ol' Opie Taylor. Yes, Ron Howard's cinematic opus opened nationwide amid considerable controversy. Accompanied by Mr. Jerry L. Nelson (whose Haiku Review can be found below), Needtovent made it a point to see THE DA VINCI CODE during its initial matinee screening in New Braunfels, Texas.

Upon ariving at the Marketplace Theater I suddenly realized that I had left my trusted Flash Gordon Decoder Ring at home. Needless to say, I was thus extremely concerned that I would be unable to make sense of the highly complex storyline, especially since I had not read the book. My concerns were unfounded.

Kudos to Ron Howard. He has brought to the screen a very enjoyable, highly polished motion picture that, despite its approximate two hour thirty minute running time, never becomes dull or boring. And while Tom Hanks was far from the first choice to play the lead (Bill Paxton was the initial choice, followed by several others, including George Clooney of all people), Tom's understated performance is among his finest in recent years. (I'll admit that I was skeptical, fearing something akin to Gump Goes Godly).

In fact, the entire cast was terrific. Special mention must be made on behalf of Audrey Tautou, who I first saw in LE FABULEUX DESTIN D' AMELIE POULAIN, aka AMELIE in the US. She is absolutely radiant. Likewise, both Ian McKellan and Jean Reno were perfect for their respective roles.

Simply put, THE DA VINCI CODE is a highly intriguing, suspenseful, entertaining and engaging motion picture. As Harvey Karten wrote, "At once cerebral and melodramatic, THE DA VINCI CODE should please those who think and those who feel." And if it doesn't please Opus Dei, then so be it. In fact, I suggest Opus Dei should simply go back to practicing their corporal mortification and keep their traps shut. Only complete idiots would not understand that THE DA VINCI CODE is simply a piece of fiction. Then again, from what I have read about Opus Dei, that appears to be exactly what they are...

(This concludes Part One of a three-part trilogy concerning THE DA VINCI CODE. Other points of view follow...)


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