The Da Vinci Code: 10th Anniversary - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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The Da Vinci Code: 10th Anniversary - Blu-ray Review


Title: The Da Vinci Code: 10th Anniversary Edition

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Audio:
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HTS Overall Score:84




Summary
I actually remember watching “The Da Vinci Code” 10 years ago when it hit theaters in 2006. Being a Christian I was honestly curious to see what Dan Brown’s highly controversial book (at least among religious circles) really was all about and always loved Ron Howard and Tom Hanks collaborations. I was also one of the few people who honestly wasn’t offended by the film. I’m a firm believer that fiction and reality are two separate things and didn’t have too much of a problem with the very anti catholic message contained within the movie. I was even entertained quite a bit and loved it as the trashy pulp mystery that it really was (despite it’s very obvious attempts at being deep and clever). The overly cheesy mystery about secret societies protecting the deep dark secret of the church was loads of fun and I had a blast with it. Fast forward 10 years (well, 7 years really, as I DID see the over bloated extended Blu-ray in 2009) and I am forced to come to the conclusion that the film hasn’t aged as well as I would have liked. It’s still entertaining, but rather ridiculous at the same time.

One symbologist named Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks, sporting a rather strange sounding speech pattern) is visiting France for a lecture when he is called in to help with the murder of curator of the Louvre. It seems that Langdon was meant to meet with the curator earlier that day, but the man never showed. Well it seems that he was murdered by an albino religious zealot named Silas (Paul Bettany), who is working on behest of the Catholic Church to uncover some great secret. Before he died the curator left a series of clues for Langdon. Clues that could contain deep and dark secrets that the Church is willing to kill for to gain.

Aided by the curator’s granddaughter, Sophie (Audrey Tautou), Langdon begins a mysterious journey to find the greatest secret of religious power ever created. The Holy Grail. It appears that the curator was the headmaster of a secret society tasked with keeping the greatest religious artifact ever created safe from the church proper. A church who want to keep this secret hidden at all cost so that their power on earth never disrupted. Hunting down Langdon and Sophie with every tool at their disposal, the power hungry clergy will kill, steal and do whatever it takes to make sure their earthly power is absolute. Even if it means giving up everything they hold dear to do so.

I never did end up reading Dan Brown’s controversial novel, so I really can’t say how faithfully the movie is adapted to screen, but I have to say that after this many years and time spent apart, the movie has not aged very well. Looking back I have to admit the cheese levels are ridiculously high and the logic is frightfully missing. The incredible little puzzle that the curator sends Langdon on seems overly laborious to figure out for no real reason. Instead of just being direct, the film makers created an overly complex mystery puzzle to send the symbologist on just for the same of making a mystery. Not to mention the fact that most of the leaps of logic and ending shockers are all figured out with leaps that are so amazingly large that you have to say “come on! No one would have put that together without thinking they were crazy!”.

Howard’s directing is still quite a bit of fun, and the inclusion of Ian McKellan as Sir Leigh Teabing is a blast, as McKellan just eats up the scenery as the pompous conspiracy nut. Hank’s worst feature in the film happens to be the awful hair piece that he’s sporting, which looks almost as bad as Steven Seagal’s hair plugs. I’m not sure whether that’s his REAL hair or a piece, but either way, it’s not something that’s very flattering. As much as I may groan over some of the cheese, I don’t find “The Da Vinci Code” as awful as some other reviews have made it out to be. Sure there are some serious logic leaps and the anti-religious message gets a little redundant, but conspiracy theory movies are always fun to watch if they don’t take themselves too seriously and Ron Howard does a solid balance between winking at the camera and making a serious drama. McKellan steals the show as Sir Teabing, and Hanks has fun mumbling through the script in a strange vocal pattern, but it’s an entertaining walk down memory lane for certain.





Rating:

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, some nudity, thematic material, brief drug references and sexual content






Video
This new 4K remastering for “The Da Vinci Code” is used for both the new 2 disc Blu-ray as well as the 4K combo pack (which includes both Blu-ray discs + the 4K disc as well). Comparing against my old extended edition Blu-ray I have to say the improvement is rather noticeable. Film grain is tighter and more consistent, and the dark and shadowy film shows more detail along with less banding and macroblocking. The 175 minute cut kind of stretched the encoding just a tad in terms of space, but the restoration of just the 149 minute theatrical cut frees up some bitrate to use for a cleaner looking image. The cool blue color grading is very light and allows for a fairly natural color spectrum, although I notice that the film is still a bit soft. Something which was evident in both the 4K and the Blu-ray (and of course the old Blu-ray). An oddity that I can only conclude is due to the dimly lit sequences and maybe an attempt to look Hanks look a tad younger.





Audio
Sadly the Dolby Atmos track that the 4K disc enjoys is left off of the 1080p Blu-ray. Something that has become a mild frustration in newer Sony titles. Instead of just replicating the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track that the original 2006 extended cut enjoyed, Sony decided to re-encode the mix to a 5.1 DTS-HD MA track (which is pretty standard for modern releases for the most part). It seems to be more work without any gain, but who am I to complain that someone does more work. The track is just as excellent as its predecessor and maintains a very lively and healthy sonic experience. The LFE channels vibrates with raw intensity during the opening sequence and the film balanced an exquisite tightrope walk between the front and rear channels. Dialog is perfectly replicated and there is a wonderfully rich dynamic range that switches between soft and dialog heavy to intense and frenetic at the drop of a hat. It isn’t the Amos experience, but it is still a great sounding Blu-ray mix.






Extras

• Audio Commentary
• Launching a Legacy with A First Look at Inferno
• Extended Cut Scenes
• Teaser Trailer
• Theatrical Trailer
Disc 2
• First Day on the Set with Ron Howard
• A Discussion with Dan Brown
• A Portrait of Langdon
• Who Is Sophie Neveu?
• Unusual Suspects
• Magical Places
• Close-Up on Mona Lisa
• The Filmmakers' Journey Part One
• The Filmmakers' Journey Part Two
• The Codes of The Da Vinci Code
• The Music of The Da Vinci Code
• Book to Screen
• The Da Vinci Props
• The Da Vinci Sets
• Re-Creating Works of Art
• The Visual Effects World of The Da Vinci Code
• Scoring The Da Vinci Code










Overall:

“The Da Vinci Code” is not the greatest fluffy piece of cinematic entertainment (the sequel is much better in my humble opinion), but it is still fun enough. This new addition brings back the much better and much more trimmed theatrical cut that was missing from the previous releases (and re-releases, and re-re-releases) of the movie over the last decade and a welcome addition for those of us who really enjoy the theatrical experience. Being that the 4K release has a VERY nice looking 4k encode and the addition of Dolby Atmos, it is gets my nod, but this 2 disc Blu-ray release is fantastic as well, and well worth the upgrade to the superior version of the film as well as a new 4K master that breathes new life into the experience. Recommended.



Additional Information:

Starring: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno, Ian McKellan
Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Akiva Goldsmith (Screenplay), Dan Brown (Novel)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English, Japanese, Portuguese: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, French Canadian, Spanish, Thai DD 5.1
Studio: Sony
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 149 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 11th 2016




Buy The Da Vinci Code: 10 Anniversary Edition On 4K UltraHD Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy The Da Vinci Code: 10 Anniversary Edition On Blu-ray at Amazon








Recommendation: Fun Rental



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