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Debi Reviews Angels and Demons: The Movie

May 25, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

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Angels & Demons- The Movie starring Tom Hanks

Part 8- Angels & Demons: The Movie

Most know I’m a fan of Dan Brown ‘s best-selling books, which I mentioned at the beginning of my virtual Angels & Demons blog tour . Can’t wait to read his new release, The Lost Symbol, coming out September 15, 2009.

However, neither movie based on his novels, The DaVinci Code nor Angels & Demons, have captured the intrigue and suspense of the written word. Hmm, maybe that reinforces the need to read instead of being fed video?

I’m captivated with the way Brown drops in behind-the-scenes nuggets, factual details (for the most part) about artisans, art and religious history. Brown tells it like a great tour guide, providing insight with anecdotes that make a place come alive.

But, Director Ron Howard was unable to bring the profusion of historical data onto the big screen, at least not to the degree that Brown incorporates it into his storyline. And, who can blame Howard; he only has two and half hours?

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Movie Scene- The College of Cardinals walk to the Sistine Chapel

Suspense seems to be the quintessential element the movies aren’t replicating. Film should have the advantage by presenting the viewer a visual illusion, the actual scene. The camera can zoom in or fade out the focus. The novel writer has to rely on the reader’s imagination to create the picture.

Sound also helps build suspense, the muffled thump of heartbeats or gradual crescendo of spine-tingling music. Howard’s film, Apollo 13, had me on edge, even though I knew of the astronauts safe return. Angels & Demons fares better than the DaVinci Code, but still fails to capture the fervor generated by the book.

I’m also a devotee of talented actor Tom Hanks ; loved him in Big and was crazy about his performance in Castaway and Terminal. But, I think moviegoers can’t quite connect with his role as Professor Langdon. Viewers don’t identify with him because they don’t feel his emotions.

Non-reader moviegoers won’t understand Langdon’s depth of knowledge or the meaning of the symbolic clues. Trying to squeeze that information into a scene doesn’t work. Langdon comes off like an uptight British gent instead of an empathetic soul, thrown into a life and death situation. There’s no time to build his character, there’s too much story to tell.

Nonetheless, I still enjoyed watching Angels & Demons. Howard blessed us with a new ending; Brown’s version was a devil, a disappointment at the end of a good book. The movie offers an alluring tour of Rome. And, I thought the creation of the Vatican scenes were superb, considering filming was not permitted inside the holy confines.

Perhaps Hollywood should move on to Steve Berry books. I, for one, would love to see The Amber Room made into a movie. On second thought, I want to visit Russia’s Amber Room in person. But right now I’m looking forward to a trip to Paris, and can’t wait to follow the DaVinci Code Rose Line .

Photos Courtery of Sony Pictures

Mimi’s Virtual Angels and Demons Blog Tour

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on Mimi’s Virtual Angels and Demons Blog Tour 

Visit the locations from Dan Brown’s book:  Angels & Demons

Vatican Swiss Guards

Colorfully dressed Vatican Swiss Guards

Mimi must confess; she’s a fan of Dan Brown books. His fictional bestsellers, The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons sparked serious religious debate. When an author can raise such widespread public discussion, he has written a powerful book.  And, a very profitable one as well.

If a book morphs into a movie, the book and author’s bankroll soars. Such is the case with Angels & Demons. May 15, 2009 marks the premiere of the feature film, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks.

Mimi remains fascinated by the book, and took the official Angels & Demons tour back in 2005.  The attractions, scattered around Rome, provide a quick glimpse of major landmarks and other  sites that used to be off the beaten track.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

In 2008 Mimi returned to Rome and secured a ticket for the Vatican Scavi Tour. This time she ventured beneath the Papal Grottos, down into the Necropolis tombs.

She will share her Eternal City excitement and Illuminati intrigue through her upcoming blog posts, revisiting the following, one day at a time:

Santa Maria del Popolo and the Chigi Chapel

The piazza and fountains outside St Peter’s Basilica

The Sistine Chapel

Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria with the statue of St. Theresa in Ecstasy

Piazza Navona and the Fountain of Four Rivers

The Pantheon

Castle Sant’Angelo and bridge

Il Passetto

St Peter’s Basilica, interior and papal grottoes

The Necropolis under the Vatican- as viewed on the Scavi Tour

Please accept Thoroughly Modern Mimi’s invitation to follow the path of the Illuminati in this virtual tour of sites depicted in Dan Brown’s book, Angels & Demons.

Mimi  (AKA Debi Lander)  did not, nor is not currently, receiving any compensation from Dan Brown, Sony Pictures  or the Angels & Demons Tour company.  Mimi financed her own travels in Italy.

Statue of St. Peter

A visitor touches the feet of St Peter's statue in the Vatican

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