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Title: The Da Vinci Code: 10th Anniversary Edition

Movie: :3stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :4.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:86

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.


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

Video :4.5stars:
“The Da Vinci Code” is one of the few 4K Blu-rays that is enjoying the benefits of coming from a full 4K digital intermediary, meaning absolutely no upscaling. Something which is especially rare for a catalog title coming to UHD. The uptick in quality is readily apparent with some great looking detail that almost feels like it “pops” off the screen in 3D like quality. The colors are even more richly saturated and show some incredible looking textures. Looks at the study of Sir Teabing. The wood grains of his desk seem so vivid and the artifacts surrounding him just feel more vibrantly colored. The light teal color grading is slightly enhanced, with a deeper and cooler feeling, and the grain structure is tighter and more visibly defined. Skin textures and hair seem to be the most pronounced feature of the 4K upgrade, with sharper clarity and more visible detail in the way they move. Shadows are deep and inky and I have no complaints with the transfer at all, besides the fact that the strange softness present in all the other presentations of the film is still there.

Audio :5stars:
Now we’re on to the good stuff. Sadly the Blu-ray of the 10 Anniversary disc doesn’t sport an Atmos track, but the 4K UltraHD disc most certainly does. The first thing you’ll notice from the Atmos track (or even the 7.1 Dolby TrueHD core) is the more expansive sound field. The sound stage has wider and more nuanced feel with sounds shifting around the place more actively. The overhead channels are used quite well, and there are several moments where it really stands out (one of them being that terrifying, at least for Langdon, ride in the elevator when he’s feeling and hearing the rattles going on around, above and below him). LFE is tight and pulsing, adding some serious power to the intense Hans Zimmer score. Dialog is crisp and cleanly locked up front and shows some great imaging during the opening lecture where it’s reverberating off the walls of the lecture hall.

Extras :4.5stars:

• 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: :4stars:

“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 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish DD 5.1, French Canadian, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguse, Russian, Turkish DD 2.0
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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