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The Da Vinci Code (2006)
I thought it would be a good ride. At the very least, I thought I'd get some good real estate porn and a few sly thrills. At least it was a free screening.
It's truly terrible. In fact, it's one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
Paul Bettany is embarrassing in ways that are hard to fathom. Tom Hanks looks constipated. Audrey Tautou is okay. Not even Ian McKellen can save it. The script is god-awful and the direction is clumsy.
Now I know the novel is crap, too, but it's disposable like a good roller coaster ride. Robert Ludlum is no great literary artist but even his books can get made into crackerjack fun (the Bourne series).
In a nutshell, this movie is jejune!
Will curiosity still lure you in? I hope not.
Match Point (2005)
Return to PREDICTABLE form
Please--it's amazing how critics can dictate the public response to a movie. Seriously, how else to account for some of the wildly overrated praise this movie is getting? It's not awful, but it certainly isn't great either. There's little in this film that we haven't seen time and time again. And as for the Woody Allen, well, he did this material in a much stronger, more persuasive fashion with Crimes & Misdemeanors. As a friend of mine said, it's "real estate porn" and not much else. I will say the first 30-40 minutes are great but then it dovetails into stale territory (and the film is WAY too long). People may forgive him for the past decade's worth of work. I, however, am still waiting for that return to form (masterpiece? surely you jest).
War of the Worlds (2005)
Incredible Opening, Ridiculous Ending
The first 2/3 of the movie are quite good except for Dakota's incessant screaming and the absurdity of La Cruise and family being so lucky at every twist and turn. Still, the initial invasion and the challenges that follow are creepy and well-executed. Cinematography, editing and score are all solid. But then the script begins to suffer from myopia and the ending is absolutely laughable. There are aspects of the film that are classic and impossible to erase from memory. But one has to wonder how the decision makers thought the final ten minutes were the best they could provide to the audience. And what's up with so many critics lavishing praise on this film? Honestly, the way the story is wrapped up pretty much negates any of the tension that's been mounting and is far too soft a landing after some of the truly horrific set pieces that lead up to it. Ultimately, it's an enormous disappointment.