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Da Vinci code


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#1 Lars.Erik

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 04:14 AM

Went to the premiere last night at the cinema. Disregarding all the critics who have slaughtered the film, I was looking forward to getting drawn into a world of mystique and great drama.

Sadly I was only drawn into looking at my watch, and thinking about how lovely it would feel when the end credits would come.

Why on God's green earth they chose Ron Howard to direct this is beyond me. Where is David Fincher? He, or at least someone with a hint of darkness in him should have directed this.

Badly directed, sadly no emotion from neither Mr. Hanks nor Miss Tatou. And the cinematography isn't that great either. It looks good, but I thinks it's solved in a dull way. Take the car chase in the beginning, almost just close-ups, show us the big frames and let's see how intense the action is. Thinking about Ronin and how great those car chases in Paris was. And the lighting is good quality, you just get a little tired of that dark moody look. It doesn't work very well for me. I know that they wanted a dark look, but to me it just seems under-exposed. This because I think I'm missing that "look at this" lighting. Maybe the lighting should have been more like the Alien films. I think that would have been better.

The only good thing in this movie is Alfred Molina and Sir Ian McKellen, at least they are trying to make this a good picture.

I don't mean to come off as a mr know-it-all. Because I'm far from that. The people who made this film are far, far better proffesionals than I am. I'm just so disapointed in this movie. It could, and should have been so much more.

LE

Edited by Lars.Erik, 20 May 2006 - 04:15 AM.

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#2 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 05:50 AM

couldnt agree more with you...

saw it yesterday and i was very disappointed. the story is intriguing but as you said they couldve done a better job, making it more gritty and photographically challenging. i liked the historycal flashbacks in 16 mill, i thought they were very interesting and well done.

was it all shot in hd? it looked very hdish to me but im not sure
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 10:09 AM

With how grainy a few scenes were, why would you think it was shot on HD? Did you see it digitally projected? The only possible HD-looking shots were the historial recreations, which were so manipulated that they could have been shot on anything.

It was shot in Super-35 using Cooke-S4 lenses, probably mostly on 5218. Some underexposed shots were clearly lifted-up when doing the D.I. (I saw the film print, not the digital release.) Often that's not due to the shot being accidentally underexposed by the DP, but underexposed for effect and then someone (studio? director?) changing their mind.

I liked the moody look myself.

I know they tested the Genesis in the Louvre, but decided to stick to Super-35. Don't know if a few Genesis shots ended up in the movie or not, but the grainier texture of the movie suggests not.
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 10:27 AM

With how grainy a few scenes were, why would you think it was shot on HD? Did you see it digitally projected? The only possible HD-looking shots were the historial recreations, which were so manipulated that they could have been shot on anything.

It was shot in Super-35 using Cooke-S4 lenses, probably mostly on 5218. Some underexposed shots were clearly lifted-up when doing the D.I. (I saw the film print, not the digital release.) Often that's not due to the shot being accidentally underexposed by the DP, but underexposed for effect and then someone (studio? director?) changing their mind.

I liked the moody look myself.

I know they tested the Genesis in the Louvre, but decided to stick to Super-35. Don't know if a few Genesis shots ended up in the movie or not, but the grainier texture of the movie suggests not.


Hi,

Just saw a film print, thought the DI was good (EFILM). I missed the anamorphic flares !

Stephen
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#5 fstop

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 10:43 AM

It looks good, but I thinks it's solved in a dull way. Take the car chase in the beginning, almost just close-ups, show us the big frames and let's see how intense the action is. Thinking about Ronin and how great those car chases in Paris was.


Well, most of that chase was shot in front of a greenscreen at Shepperton.

Last year I tried to get onto the film but it didn't work out. Salvatore Totino I think is an excellent cinematographer with a unique voice and it's been interesting folowing his career in AC magazine from music promo innovator to DP. His use of shadow particularly seems out of the norm by current Hollywood standards.

I prefer the smaller Howard films that veer towards ensemble performances, think SPLASH, COCOON and PARENTHOOD. The latter film has some really trite dialogue/plot devices, truly amateur level, but Howard and his A-calibre cast make it seem hilarious and witty. Unfortunately, Howard has never convinced me as a director of any other genre- He just comes off as a hack for hire in the Joel Schumacher vein.

I may check this one out if the weather doesn't pick up.
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#6 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 10:45 AM

[quote name='David Mullen ASC' date='May 20 2006, 03:09 PM' post='106401']
With how grainy a few scenes were, why would you think it was shot on HD? Did you see it digitally projected?

i was very dubious about that myself, i have been told it by a friend of mine but also i saw it being filmed at rosslin chapel and the camera was definitely a genesis. but then again maybe they were trying things out i dont know. yea it was digitally projected, maybe i got fooled from that. but alos i must say,to my unexperted eyes some of the low key louvre scenes had the same look of the hd scenes of silent hill, hence my final deduction
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#7 Dan Goulder

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 10:49 AM

Why on God's green earth they chose Ron Howard to direct this is beyond me.

I wonder if all this criticism of Ron Howard will wreck Opie's Dey?
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#8 Tim Tyler

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 11:00 AM

I've never seen a Ron Howard film that was anything more then slightly better then the norm. His movies are never controversial or edgy IMO. I expected the same vanilla for Da Vinci Code, and that's what I got.

I liked the photography for the most part. There were some scenes with Tatou that looked very smooth and fined grain. I liked the filtration they used on her, but sometimes it seemed to be a little obvious. I liked the sharp, higher contrast look of the wrap-up scene with Hanks and Tatou at the church exterior near the end of the movie. I wonder if that was due to the DI, stock, or both.

I think it was Tom Hanks' very American sounding 'accent' made me think of his 'Bosom Buddies' character though :) Maybe it was his hair or wardrobe...
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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 12:03 PM

I haven't seen the film yet, so I can't comment on it, but I have to say that I have always thought the book was highly overrated. If you strip away the admittedly interesting theological ideas, you are left with a very sub-standard thriller with dialogue that sounds like it was written by a 10 year old.

It's no surprise that the film is apparently a clunker as well.
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#10 georg lamshöft

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 12:05 PM

It sucked, that's true...
They had everything, the budget, great actors, interesting places...
And Ron Howard made a good job on "A Beautiful Mind" and especially on "Apollo 13"!
Is it the book? Is it the adaption of the book? Don't these people with so much experience in Hollywood notice when a script is bad?
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#11 Rod Otaviano

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 12:52 PM

Don't these people with so much experience in Hollywood notice when a script is bad?



I don't think the script is the first thing the big studios look at when green-lighting the production of whatever film because generally scripts don't have direct correlation with the box office revenues or with the potential the movie has to make money through DVD rentals, TV licensing, etc. I think the key word here is franchises or even better, young-oriented franchises. That's what the big studios are after and that's what's generating more money nowadays, unfortunately.

The book was a phenomenal success so ... I believe that's what drove them to make the movie. Cast some famous actors, spend truck-loads of money advertising it and there you go.

"Who needs a good script ?"
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#12 Andy O'Neil

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 11:07 AM

My Favorite Shot:

When the heroes are saved by a pigeon.
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#13 Chris Fernando

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 12:39 PM

My Favorite Shot:

When the heroes are saved by a pigeon.



Thanks. You guys just saved me $10!
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#14 Micah Fernandez

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 09:00 PM

My Favorite Shot:

When the heroes are saved by a pigeon.

Hahahaha. Definitely the culmination of the lame escapes.

"We're trapped!"
"Oh, we just so happen to have an escape plan."
"We're trapped again!"

...and so on....
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#15 Michael Collier

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 01:53 AM

I wonder if all this criticism of Ron Howard will wreck Opie's Dey?



I almost died laughing. Very witty. you can sell the spoof off that tag line (apparently they wont care theres no script or decent plot)
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#16 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:47 AM

While it was by no means a badly shot movie, the almost constant use of long lenses frustrated me, not only because I felt it detracted from the look, but because I feel that it could have been absolutely stunning if they just balanced out their lens selection a little better. It got a little monotonous after a while.
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#17 NathanCoombs

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 10:03 AM

I know they tested the Genesis in the Louvre, but decided to stick to Super-35. Don't know if a few Genesis shots ended up in the movie or not, but the grainier texture of the movie suggests not.


I find it odd when people talk about 'grainy 35mm' films. I have never seen a 35mm shot film in the cinema and noticed any grain at all.

Perhaps because the grain is so subtle it only subliminally adds to the effect, but this obsession with grain is driving everyone towards lifeless HD shooting.
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#18 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 01:47 PM

I find it odd when people talk about 'grainy 35mm' films. I have never seen a 35mm shot film in the cinema and noticed any grain at all.

Perhaps because the grain is so subtle it only subliminally adds to the effect, but this obsession with grain is driving everyone towards lifeless HD shooting.


---'Master and Commander' had a rather ugly yellow grain, which was cleaned up for DVD.
Yet 'Eyes wide shut' had a beautiful yellow grain which was cleaned up for DVD, unfortuneately.

I've noticed that S35 movies are usually soft and grainless or sharp and grainy.

Incidentally, I've been thinking Oliver Stone would have been the perfect director for this project.

---LV
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#19 Max Jacoby

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 05:35 PM

To me 'Eyes Wide Shut' is one of the best examples of how grain can add to the texture and look of a film. I thought it looked absolutely stunning and like Leo says, the dvd does not do the filmprint justice.

As far as getting rid of grain there is a tendency in a lot of American DIs to try to clean up the grain. Especially Technicolor DIs (Kill Bill, Seabuiscuit, etc...) suffer from this a lot. Whenever I read about a Dop (like Ellen Kuras on 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind) saying that they got rid of grain in the DI and then had the great idea to use sharpening to counteract the softness inherrent to grain reduction, I seriously question whether they have any clue of what they are doing.
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#20 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 10:12 PM

back to da vinci code, i am yet to see the movie since there is so much discussion about it - not just here but everywhere i look, peolpe seem to be dissapointed with the film, Mr Ron's direction and most of all Mr Hanks acting... so yeah, its a must see for that reason only. It makes me wonder if this general dissapointment is based on the fact that the film had such a heavy marketing behind it? If the film wasn't promoted as much, and you still went to see it, still thought it was crap, would you at least feel a bit less cheated? Perhaps one wouldn' slam it as much then... I don't know... Like i said, I am yet to see it myself.

I did however read the book and though it was predictable and poorly written. I do understand some may not agree since it was the best seller and it caused contraversy with the church plus all that nonsense with being sued by the writters of "Blood and Grail", but none the less... within the first 100pages you knew who was what and what will happen in the end.

Don Brown's earlier piece called "Angels and Demons" was a much better thriller for me... although that may have been only because i found science vs religion an interesting topic; turning that into a film would be rather difficult and very contraversial i am sure, shooting in Vatican, killing the Pope, etc etc...
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