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It was a slow television night last night, so had another rifle through the DVD cupboard and found "angels and demons" which have watched before but was time for a repeat viewing. I think one of our children bought it for my husband and can not recollect what it cost at the time, but you can buy it for £3.99 from Amazon or as a twin pack (with Da Vinci Code) for £5, both options include free delivery.
The film lasted 140 Minutes, directed by Ron Howard and was released in 2009.
Described on the front of the DVD as "The holiest event of our time. Perfect for their return". The DVD cover has a sepia type picture of Tom Hanks (as Robert Langdon) in front of an angel statue, with a background of the Vatican.
The cast includes
Tom Hanks - Robert Langdon
Ewan McGregor - Camerlengo Patrick McKenna
Ayelet Zurer -Vittoria Vetra
Stellan Skarsgård - Maximilian Richter
Pierfrancesco Favino - Ernesto Olivetti
Nikolaj Lie Kaas - Mr. Grey
This film follows Robert Langdon, who we first met in the Da Vinci Code. He is a professor from Harvard in religious symbols. He is summoned to the Vatican, due to his knowledge of the ancient Illumanati. This ancient and considered no longer active group are believed to have taken 4 cardinals who are potentially in line to be the new pope, due to the recent death of the previous one. Vittoria, scientist, becomes involved when her experimental "antimatter" (bomb) is stolen and is believed to be at the Vatican. Its a race against time as Robert tries to solve clues to save the cardinals and the Vatican.
Special features on my DVD include;
First day on set with Ron Howard
A conversation with Dan Brown
How Tom Hanks became Robert Langdon
Who are the illuminate?
Inside the vault.
This film is based on Dan Browns book of the same name. As is, the Da Vinci Code. I must say, having watched both and read both, the Da vinci code is much better followed than Angels and Demons. With major plot differences in this film. I enjoyed both books and the Da Vinci Code film but in opinion this film was not as good. It was average and the intricacy's of the story were not expressed as well.
The cast did a good job, the venue was interesting but unfortunately for me, the story failed to grip and I was disappointed with the amount of changes to the book. Therefore I'm scoring a 3 stars.
Another of Dan Brown's formulaic but entertaining books is adapted for the screen here in this Ron Howard directed film. I enjoyed it. The plot is as implausible as ever but the fast-paced action and the on-screen charisma of Tom Hanks keeps you hooked.
The story follows symbologist Robert Langdon as he races across Rome to find four Cardinals kidnapped by the Illuminati - a secret society - in time for one of them to be elected Pope. In addition to this our hero must help find a stolen vial of anti-matter taken from a research complex which, should it explode, will flatten Vatican City. The clock is ticking as Langdon searches for clues to 'The Path of Illumination' marked by ancient symbols which hold the key to solving the mystery.
If you've read the book then you know the film has made many alterations to both the plot and characters. To begin with it is worth noting that this is the first book in the series - but it is the second film. The film cuts out the slow-to-develop parts of the book and also some characters entirely. Many aspects of the plot are different and there is a slightly different ending. Generally this is no bad thing. The plot is tightened up and the focus on some of the main characters sharpened. However, in my opinion the female role of Vittoria Vetra looses emphasis. In the film she becomes an addendum - in the book she had a more defined presence. The book gave her a backstory which elaborated her character and with this diluted, her persona and the way she interacts with the hero Robert Langdon lacks chemistry in the film.
The script is crisp and the acting good. There are good performances in particular from Tom Hanks (Robert Langdon) and Ewan McGregor (The Camelengo). Unfortunately, the performance of Ayelet Zurer (Vittoria) failed to make much of an impact on me - but I think that was because she was given so little to work with in this film.
The film has plenty of action sequences and some scenes are certainly unsuitable for children. The film has a certificate 12 and there is a warning that it contains moderate violence and horror. There are scenes of dead bodies and the ending contains a scene which has me rushing behind the sofa.
I enjoyed this film a lot. I don't think it was quite as atmospheric or as thought provoking as The Da Vinci Code but it was still entertaining.
The DVD contains 2 hours 13 minutes of entertainment. The DVD also contains the special features: Handling props, This is an Ambigram and Writing Angels and Demons. If you don't take the film too seriously and enjoy the adventure this will be time well spent. Would recommend.
"Angels and Demons" is a 2009 Movie adaption of the Novel ( of the same name ) written by Dan Brown. The Movie is technically a sequel to the "Da Vinci Code" which was also a Dan Brown book, however Angels and Demons actually takes place before the Da Vinci Code in Dan Brown's literary universe, the movie stars Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor and is directed by Ron Howard.
The European Organisation for Nuclear Research ( CERN ) begins the Hadron Particle Collider and creates in three vials the largest amount of Anti-Matter ever created by Man, all this is performed under the watch of Father Silvano Bentivoglio, however not long after someone kills Father Silvano and steals a vial of Anti-Matter.
Meanwhile the Roman Catholic Church is currently mourning the death of the Pope and is preparing for a Papal Conclave wherein a new pope will be elected, Camerlenge Patrick Mckenna ( Ewan Mcgregor ) assumes temporary control of the Vatican and as such the Roman Catholic church while a new pope is being decided, however the "Illuminati" kidnap the four preferiti ( the candidates most likely to be selected to be the next pope ) and threaten to kill one every hour and destroy the Vatican in a burst of light at midnight ( by detonating the Anti-Matter )
As such symbologist Robert Langdon ( Tom Hanks ) and CERN scientist Vittoria Vetra ( Ayelet Zurer ) are summoned by the Vatican to help find the Cardinals and to recover the Vial of Anti-Matter, Langdon who has had his issues with the Catholic Church reluctantly agrees and finds himself in a deadly race against time, however with every turn the unexpected occurs and he finds himself dealing with a betrayal no-one would suspect !
So unlike the " Da Vinci Code" I went into Angels and Demons without having read the book beforehand and while I enjoyed the previous movie while still finding fault in its movie adaptation I find myself unable to do the same with this movie, I do hear that it doesn't exactly faithfully translate the material from the book to the screen but i'll have to remove that mindset from my review and simply keep the focus on the quality of the movie itself.
Much like the Da Vinci Code my biggest problem is with the selection of Tom Hanks himself to play Robert Langdon, in the books he's a young, smooth charmer, however you don't get that with Hanks portrayal, or even with Tom Hanks himself, he does a find job conveying the intelligence of the character, but I see little else about his portrayal that makes me think of Dan Brown's character.
The other supporting cast members do a fine job, Ewan McGregor is convincing as the northern irish Camerlengo and you truly think that McGregor could have been a priest, the other actors do their parts very well but no-one is going to win any oscars in this movie.
Of course the musical score is first class, mainly due to the work of my favourite Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, he does an excellent job of using the right mixture of classical overtones for the religious aspect of the movie, and fast paced action music for when the scenes dictate a need for it.
But the main problem with the movie ( and possibly with the book i suspect ) is the lack of believability about the whole thing, there are some sections of the movie where I truly found myself wondering if I was watching a science fiction movie, rather than a thriller, also the plot itself seems rushed along in places and while the chemistry between Langdon and Vetra is teased, it never amounts to anything and it seems like wasted motion !!
Overall not a bad movie, and it will certainly pass the time, however don't expect anything new or unique about the whole experience !!
I watched Angels and Demons yesterday on Sky Anytime so this is just a review of the film not the whole dvd,
The story is about a man called Robert Langdon (same character as in The Da Vinci Code), who is a famous scientologist. This time he is called to the Vatican after the Pope has died to help them investigate some goings on concerning an old enemy of the Catholic Church, The Illuminati. The four priests who are candidates to be the next Pope have been kidnapped by them and as Robert has written a book about them they want him to help find out what is going on.
When he gets there he meets up with scientist Vittoria Vetra who has prototyped anti matter in an experiment only to find it stolen that same day. The Vatican has heard that it is the Illumiati who stole the anti matter and they are threatening to kill all the priests, one and hour, and then the anti matter will explode to obliterate the Vatican. The race against time is on.
The story is really exciting, I have never read the book so watched this from scratch and found it easy to follow and it explained everything with the clues and everything. It was fast moving and lots going on all the time, no boring bits in other words. Some bits were a bit frightening like the bit in the archive library when the oxygen was failing, that bit was so claustrophobic, I was squirming in my seat watching it, very well done.
I thought the special effects were brilliant especially near the end although I wont tell you what happened as it will spoil the story if you haven't already seen it.
The scenery was spectacular and you could really feel you were in these old buildings with them.
There were twists to the story that you wouldn't have expected so kept you guessing right through the film.
All in all I thought this was an excellent film.
The main actors in the film were as follows
Tom Hanks - Robert Langdon
Ayelet Zurer - Vittoria Vetra
Ewan McGregor - Camerlengo Patrick McKenna
Stellan Skarsgård - Commander Richter
Pierfrancesco Favino - Inspector Olivetti
Nikolaj Lie Kaas - Assassin
Armin Mueller-Stahl - Cardinal Strauss
The film was directed by Ron Howard and it lasts for 138 minutes (146 minutes for the extended version), in the UK it is rated a 12 for the cut version and a 15 for the extended version.
Angels and Demonds is a follow up of Ron Howard's Da Vinci Code, where symbologist expert Robert Langdon played by Tom Hanks, has to follow ancient clues throughout Rome to find the four Cardinals that were kidnapped by the secret society known as the Illuminati.
Robert is contacted by a member of the Catholic police who asks him to fly to Rome to attempt to find the Cardinals. This is because of his previous work for the Catholic church and his continuous letters acting for permission to enter the Churches library.
To begin with police think Robert is the person who kidnapped the Cardinals because he says the same as the person on the tape. While following the clues, the police are sometimes reluctant to help him, but he says things like "fellows, you called me". This adds a little humour into what canbe seen as a down beat film.
The question is does Robert manage to save the Cardinals? Or does he know know enough to beat the kidnapper?
The films is rated a 12 because it does contain violence and death. It is action packed which needs to be watched a couple of times to make sure you havent missed any of the clues.
Angles and Demons came out last year in 2009. This is a sort of crime mystery thriller. The film stars Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor and Ayelet Zurer. The film was directed by Ron Howard and is based on the excellent book by Dan Brown. The film did very well at the box office as it was seen as a kind of sequel to the Da Vinci Code. The film was nominated for five awards.
The story tells of a symbolist named Robert Langdon who becomes involved in a conspiracy involving the Vatican and the Catholic Church. The deeper he digs the more scandal he starts raking up which of course some people don't like. Following the death of Pope Pius in Rome there Vatican are in mourning and its time to select a new Pope. Now Robert must unravel the mystery surrounding the events taking place and restore order to the Vatican.
I enjoy this film. I like films that take a bit of thinking and you find yourself trying to work out what is going on. This is really a film where you have to pay attention to be able to follow all the twists and turns. There are several bits of story that all merge together at the end as it all starts to make sense.
There is some good acting in the film, again Hanks showing he is capable of playing lots of different roles and also Ewan McGregor in a role we are not used to seeing him in. There is some good action in the film and it always keeps you on the edge of your seat. There are loads of twists and turns and then a big reveal at the end.
I think for some people this film may be a little to complicated as there is so much to follow. If you blink and miss a bit thinks won't really make sense. So its a good film to watch quietly!
The film runs for 138 minutes which for me is just a little bit to long. It does drag a little bit in places and it does get a little frustrating. Having said that there is plenty going on in the film that does keep you involved.
The film is rated as 12. There is some mild language and some what I would describe as adult content. However there is nothing to bad and unless you are easily offended you should be ok watching this.
I should mention this is a film only review. I have not had a chance to see the DVD so cannot comment on any extras there may or may not be.
Overall this is a very good film. Some people will not like it as its very deep and complicated and not easy to follow. But if thats the kind of film you enjoy there is no reason why you won't like this one. If you like the Da Vinci Code this is one I'm sure you will also enjoy. Go and get yourself a copy!
Working in a lab Father Silvano Bentivoglio and Dr Vittoria Vetra have managed to created and seal a large anti matter, but just after creating this the Father is killed and the anti matter is stolen.
At the Vatican news has been told to the world that the Pope has died, this leaves the Cardinals of Conclave with the task of finding a new pope, but before the vote can be made the Vatican gets news that 4 of the Cardinals have been kidnapped and one will be branded and killed every hour with the 5 hour the time when the Vatican will be destroyed. The Camerlengo who is temporarily in charge while there is no pope wants the Vatican to be evacuated but he is out voted and the Cardinals go away and start voting on the new pope.
Professor Robert Langdon is called upon to go to the Vatican to try and work out the clues to the hiding place of the 4 missing Cardinals, he is a Symbologist as so it is thought that he will be able to solve the mystery of the symbols which are the ones the Cardinals will be branded with. Roberts soon meets Dr. Vetra and when she explains about the anti matter being stolen they soon learnt hat this is what is going to be used to destroy the Vatican.
Robert Langdon and Dr Vitra must now work together with the Vatican's police force to solve the mystery of the clues and try to find the trail to the hiding place of the anti matter. Will they be able to find the Cardinals and the anti matter before it is too late and will the Cardinals ever decide on a new pope or is this the end of the Vatican?
I was in two minds about watching this film as the Di Vinci Code really did not have a massive impact on me and have not read the books but both me and hubby decided to give it a try and I have to say I am glad I did as I much preferred this on to the first. I found the storyline to this film was much easier to follow and I could understand all of what was happening without having to concentrate too much on what was going on.
Tom Hanks again played the part of Robert Langdon and I thought he did a super job. He was very convincing in his role and made the part easy to warm to and he seemed to know what he was talking about without making it sound to far fetched and unrealistic. He worked well with Ayelet Zurer who played the role of Dr Vetra and I liked how there was no romantic chemistry between them so nothing was taken away from the main story. Ewan McGregor was a nice addition to the cast playing the role of the Camerlengo and I really found he was a good yet complex character, he did suit the priest's costume which he wore and I liked how the Cardinals did not give him any credit or allowed him to make any decisions as this gave a little insight into how his mind worked and why he felt the way he did.
There are a lot of supporting actors in the film and they all did a great job in making their character come to life and despite this being based on religion they were not all religious people and we did have some tough police and security officers thrown in which gave a good mix to the cast.
The costumes and sets were all excellent and they all looked very real. There were no times during the film where I spotted any bad effects or badly added backdrops and at times the effects were quite graphic and made me cringe with pain as they looked that real. The costumes which the Cardinals and the Priests wore all looked very authentic and I think a lot of effort must have been put into making them look so good. The music throughout the film was very good and did help with the drama and the tensions for the scenes in which it was all used.
For me the ending to the film was great as I did not expect the twist which we had to happen. About half way through the film hubby said he knew who the bad man was who was planning to destroy the Vatican but when he told me I did not believe him and it took right to the last 15 minutes of the film for me to see that he was in fact right. For some reason I could not see it coming and did not expect it so the ending was a nice surprise for me.
I know this film is based on a book written by Dan Brown but as I have not read the book I am not able to make any comparisons as to the way it has been transferred to the big screen.
The DVD which I have does have some bonus features which include:-
This is an Ambigram
Writing Angels and Demons
As I am not a fan of bonus features I have not taken the time to watch these so I am unable to give comment on them.
The running time of the film is 2 hours and 13 minutes and I found this to be a great length and I did not loose interest at any point. The certificate is a 12 as it does contain moderate violence and horror and I do definitely agree with this. I paid £5 for this DVD in Asda and I felt this was a great price for such a well made film.
I indefinitely going to recommend this film and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. There were a few parts which had me cringing and looking away but overall it is definitely worth a watch and in both mine and hubby's opinions it is better that the first film.
Angels and Demons
Running: 146 minutes
Director: Ron Howard
Country: United States
Extras: yes trailers
Tom Hanks as Professor Robert Langdon
Ayelet Zurer as Vittoria Vetra
Ewan McGregor as Camerlengo Patrick McKenna
Stellan Skargard as Commender Maximilan Richter
The story is about Professor Robert Langdon, an expert on the area of symbols. He's been asked by the Vatican to help with a theft at the CERN in Switzerland. In this research facility antimatter has been created by scientist Leonardo Vetro. At one night he gets killed and the antimatter stolen. His daughter Vittoria, also a scientist, founds him. Leonardo is branded with the symbol of the Illuminati and the Vatican decides to contact Robert, because they received a treat that the antimatter is somewhere inside the Vatican. The antimatter can cause a big explosion that can destroy everything in a ratio of 800 meters and it's kept stable by this device but the battery is running out in 24 hours. They have to found the device soon, but they don't know where it is and who stole it. The timing is also very unlucky because they are just in the process of selecting a new Pope. But then it gets worse and the favourite four cardinals are getting kidnapped and the Vatican receives a treat that every hour one will be killed. Robert has to stop the killer and find the device before it's too late. He's using his knowledge of the Illuminati to stop them, but if he will be on time?
I enjoyed the acting, although I still believe Tom Hanks is not the right man for the part of Professor Robert Langdon. He's not convincing enough for this part and misses the personality. It just looks like he doesn't know what to do sometimes, although he's better then the first movie. An actor who makes a better impression is Avelet Zurer as Vittoria Vetra. She's the daughter of Leonardo Vetro and discovers the murder. I liked her acting and she came across natural and believable. You also got Ewan McGregor in this movie as Camerlengo Patrick McKenna. I always like his acting and thought he was very good in the movie the island and also in this movie he gives a good performance. This time he plays a more secretive character and I liked that on him. Nice performances, only Tom Hanks is ok.
There are no extras on the DVD, which I find strange. There are only a few trailers, but they got nothing to do with the movie.
I thought Angels and Demons was a very entertaining movie with some good scenes. Sometimes the movie felt a little bit slow, but most parts goes really quickly with some dramatic scenes. In the story Robert Langdom has to rush to stop the killing and the bomb, so no time to waste. Unfortunately Tom Hanks is back and sorry but I just don't like him in this role. He's not convincing and sometimes just annoying. He's not the Robert Langdom I imagine him to be. He makes the movie less interesting, but suppose the story and the way they filmed it, is interesting enough. It's a shame the movie is different from the movie on some points. For example in the book it's not the daughter who discovers her father dead and Cern is not aware of the antimatter. There are a few more differences but suppose if you haven't read the book, you wont even notice them. I did like the movie, but it could have been much better.
This is also on Ciao.co.uk under the name JL132.
"Great, we can all relax, the symbologist is here." Says the angry dude in charge of the Swiss guard (Stellan Skarsgård) when Tom Hanks with a boring man's hair struts into Vatican city, in his second donning of the role of Robert Langdon.
The Pope has died and the Vatican has called a conclave of the cardinals to decide who shall be the new pope. However, the four preferriti, the favourites for the new position have all gone missing and a piece of anti-matter (a highly explosive substance) has disappeared from the international science lab C.E.R.N. . A group styling itself as the Illuminatii have threatened to kill the four cardinals and brand them in retaliation for crimes committed against the group (which consisted of scientists and academics) many hundreds of years ago. Langdon's an expert in the whole Illuminatii business so he's who the Vatican security turn to to get some answers. He uses his encyclopaedic knowledge and general Americanism to try and rescue each of the cardinals and find the antimatter before it explodes and wipes out Vatican City. Aiding him is a hot scientist woman from C.E.R.N. (Ayelet Zurer) and Ewan McGregor as an Irish priest in charge of Vatican City, as Carmelengo, in the Pope's absence.
This film is a fast paced thriller emulating perfectly the pace of Brown's five or six page chapters. Very, very clean shiny cars and men in suits give it all the style of almost every other action film going of late and Ron Howard has given this film "edge" BUT I have to say I find this film boring on second viewing.
Tom Hanks is an actor that I usually find incredibly likable. I don't like some of his films but he always plays a role that's entertaining and/or endearing in some way. Here he bores the crap out of you. Dan Brown's book was full of semi-interesting facts about the supposed Illuminatii, Vatican art and history but it just doesn't fit neatly within a film. Langdon comes across as a smug, lecturing bore. When we first meet him he quickly assesses, whilst wearing tinted goggles, that a man has just come off a plane from Rome, using Sherlock Holmes style deduction taking in within seconds everything from the bags under his eyes to a little symbol on his briefcase and he's just showing off like a prat. He walks down a corridor in the Vatican and starts preaching about the statues and arrogantly lords his knowledge over the Swiss Guard who he jeers at for not even knowing their own history. The woman isn't much better. Unrealistically hot for a woman that smart (I'm sorry but it's largely - though not entirely - true that the smarter they are the uglier they get) she's also unrealistically smart. In charge of some major scientific discovery, surely she's not old enough. Does experience not count for anything? Not only that but she knows about everything. She seems to know a lot about the architecture and history in Rome filling in for or cutting Robert off, she also knows Latin and far too much stuff. The Swiss Guard captain was maybe a bit too pissed off all the time and really needed to do more than slouch and have a hoarse voice. He's the most obvious red-herring of all time. I also note that he seems to be American (or so Swedish Stellan Skarsgard's accent sounds), aren't the Swiss Guard only Swiss? Ewan McGregor undoubtedly gave the best performance as the Carmelengo. His young Obi-Wan style loyalty and composedness coupled with an excellent Irish accent (though fluctuating) spoken in a calm priesty way made him perfect for the role.
It's not a bad story even if it is not altogether original in comparison with the Da Vinci code. It largely follows the exact same format but with a different mystery. Only this mystery is a little less insidious when uncovered. It's almost pro-Catholic, portraying it as a Church struggling to be progressive and in tune with the modern world and science. Perhaps an apologetic for the Da Vinci code. The level of pro-Catholicism in the film can be attested to by the fact that this was actually my more-Catholic-than-the-pope aunt's DVD that I watched.
I honestly can't really remember very well the Da Vinci Code film or the books but from what I do remember it is quite faithful to the book. It is entertaining to an extent, especially if you don't already know the story but so much of the plot relies on that final twist that once you know it you don't really care.
Ron Howard's directing is rather typical of action films. Portraying a crisp clean world, Rome is postcard beautiful and everyone is neat, trim and over-dressed and must spend almost all of their time getting their cars that shiny. Throw in a few gadgets and fancy looking modern paraphernalia and it's your typical 2000s action style that's been in everything like Casio Royale and Taken etc. It's no real feat by Ron Howard and I think he shouldn't waste time on a Lost Key film if he wants to be a serious director rather than money grabbing trash spinner.
The dialogue let this film down a lot. There's a horrible scene when Langdon appeals to the Swiss guard Captain for help in protecting "his church". The captain gets pissed off (more so than he constantly is) and starts going on about how great his church is and how Langdon has no church. There's also this strange sub-plot where Langdon is being revealed to be some massive secret believer and the Carmelengor comments on him wearing a priests clothes,"Would you believe me if I said that suit suits you?". It made me cringe and it felt very set-up as did several pieces of clichéd or corny dialogue.
Hans Zimmer's soundtrack was faultless. That fast-paced percussion and choir mix that you hear in the trailers is genius - better than the film.
**Writing Angels and Demons**
Not about writing the actual book but about adapting the script. It gave some information about how they decided to make certain changes and apparently a lot of it was Dan Brown's own idea. There are interviews with that teenager from Happy Days, Ron Howard (he looks very sick now), Tom Hanks and Dan Brown and others you don't care about. An interesting 9 minutes of useless information and licking Dan Brown's posterior. Howard says that Angels and Demons is "flat out different" from the Da Vinci code. It really isn't.
10 minutes of crap about the props. No one really cares, I didn't anyway and only half-watch it.
**This is an Ambigram**
Drawn out, half-interesting video of how the guy made the ambigrams. Robert Langdon is named after John Langdon, the guy who created the ambigrams.
She's just too hot to be a master scientist. I'm sure it happens but the odds are against it. If this were real, Langdon would have had some old German scientist wheezing after him.
The cardinal with the sunglasses and the cigarette whilst on his mobile in this film looked kick-ass.
The Vatican's library looks like the inside of a space craft in this film. Surely it's not like that really? Was that meant to be Hitler's car in there? There's some sort of old Mercedes.
If the Illuminatii are so smart how come they seemed to hold to this idea of there being only 4 elements for so long?
They're constantly under pressure for time in this film but if Langdon would only shut his mouth and refrain from lecturing every few minutes I'd imagine they'd get a lot more done.
***Who I'd Punch***
Tom Hanks. Obviously for giving all those annoying little lectures in his smug way but also because of that hair. Seriously how can that not make you angry?
If you liked the Da Vinci code film then you'll like this I expect. They're not a million miles different. For those who liked the book, I'm sure they may like it as a faithful film adaptation with minor changes but which doesn't translate that well. As for those who were indifferent or hated the book don't bother with this. It brings nothing new and is a pretty poor film on its own feet. I wouldn't recommend anyone buy the DVD as it really doesn't stand up to repeat performances. I watched it the first time and was just a bit non-plussed afterwards, and then I unfortunately watched it again and started to hate it as it went on and on. Fast-paced is, yes but it's too preachy for 2hrs 12 minutes and when you know what's gonna happen there's no suspense and suspense value, Ewan McGregor and Hans Zimmer's music is all this film has to its credit.
Written by Phelim McC. Touch it, it's still warm. Don't steal it though.
To be fair, having read the Dan Brown blockbuster book, I knew there was a heck of a lot of plot to be crammed into the film version of 'Angels and Demons' (which is a sort of a prequel to the book / film of 'The Da Vinci Code' in that it takes place beforehand, and features the adventures of the same principal character - Robert Langdon, a American professor of symbology). I also knew that the film versions of both books had been thoroughly panned by the critics when they were released at the cinema - a bit unfairly in the case of 'The Da Vinci Code', I thought, because it was a very watchable adventure / mystery / thriller even if it was a bit far-fetched, but then if you're going to be complaining that a story, the central premise of which is the search for Jesus Christ himself's only surviving relatives, turns out 'a bit far-fetched' in either its book of film versions, then arguably you should be looking at something in a different genre altogether.
'Angels and Demons' was directed by Ron Howard (the actor who used to play Ritchie from 'Happy Days') and has a very strong cast - featuring Tom Hanks, once again in the title role as Robert Landgon, Stella Skarsgard as a Vatican head of security (who, despite his evident late middle age has suddenly sprung up from apparently nowhere and is currently in about two out of every three films released at the cinema), as head Cardinal that slightly creepy guy who often does Germanic accents in films and played Geoffrey Rush's dad in 'Shine', Ewan McGregor as wannabe-Pope, and some actress who's the spitting image of TV 'Domestic Goddess' Nigella Lawson (playing an Italian Biophysicist character) who gets absolutely zero to do throughout the film except stand about in the background - I mean, it's quite striking how little she gets to do, despite being present throughout all the background action, she barely even has any dialogue.
A careful reading of the previous paragraph, which makes several references to positions of responsibility in the Catholic Church gives clues to the plot of 'Angels and Demons', which is set in the Vatican, where a (presumably terrorist) plot to blow up the holy seat of the Roman Catholic Church using antimatter pinched from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland (hence the presence of the attractive young Italian expert in nuclear physics) runs alongside a resurgence of an ancient brethren called the....Illuminati.....who are out to.....well, basically murder a number of Catholic Cardinals in unnecessarily complex manners in public venues, with the added (and arguably, totally superfluous) use of ancient symbols (hence the presence of professional symbologist Robert Langdon, who is out to foil the Illuminati's nefarious plans).
The plot of the book, which is a lot of fun to read (in a macabre way even if it is a bit silly) SORT OF makes a kind of sense, in that all the diverse elements -
Selection of a new Pope
Attractive Italian female nuclear physicist
Murder plot involving kidnapped Catholic Cardinals
- do hang together in a tenuous kind of way. Unfortunately there's just too much information to fit into a single film, even if it is over two hours long ('Angels and Demons' has a running time of 133 minutes). One review of the film I read said that it mainly involved the Tom Hanks character standing around in rooms reading out great screeds of plot exposition for the benefit of the audience; but even with all this explanation, there still seemed a bit much packed into the film for the viewers to usefully absorb. Also, no doubt in the interests of cutting down the length of the film, several key elements were glossed over / missed out entirely, such as: who stole the antimatter from CERN in the first place? Was it the same person who rigged up the assassin's car-bomb? (And if not, who on earth did that, since the only possible suspect clearly had his hands full in the Vatican.) Why were the Cardinals murdered so elaborately in public, since there was no apparent reason given for this in the film? And lastly, what was the point of including the female side-kick character, when she was given effectively nothing to do throughout the film, and very little dialogue?
Still, the film passed a couple of hours quite enjoyably, even if it was a bit far-fetched throughout. We got ours for £7 at Tesco, but it's selling for a fiver on special offer on Amazon at the moment.
There's also a rather, prolonged nice crowd-scene shot as if from the balcony of the Vatican at the end of the film. I remember reading that the film-makers were not allowed access to the Holy City as it was considered that 'Angels and Demons' was a bit....anti-Catholic, but they clearly did a similar job with CGI in any case.
Angels and Demons is a film directed by Ron Howard based on the book of the same name by Dan Brown. It comes after The Da Vinci Code, although the book is actually a prequel to it.
The basic outline of the plot is that the pope is dead and a new pope must be elected at Vatican City. However an ancient group called the Illuminati have resurfaced to take revenge on the Catholic church and have kidnapped four of the candidates to be pope and stolen a canister of anti-matter. They plan to murder one cardinal per hour from 8pm and then at midnight the anti-matter will explode taking Vatican City with it. Symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and the scientist who created anti-matter Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer) race against time with the assistance (or obstuction) of the police and Swiss guards, tracking the Illuminati legend across Rome to try and stop this happening.
I found this to be an entertaining and enjoyable film with some good performances by the two leads and the other characters including Pierfrancesco Favino as Inspector Olivetti and Ewan MacGregor as the Camerlengo (assistant to the deceased pope). Tom Hanks brought some humour to the film although I did find his character a bit patronising at times which I didn't notice in the book, for example when he explained to the assembled group of Roman police and Vatican City guards that 'Prefereti' meant the cardinals most likely to succeed as pope, maybe its just easier to explain this in a book.
There is always a danger of disappointment when watching a film having read the book. I have read the book a number of times so am very familiar with the story and therefore really noticed where things had been missed out. The general plot and characters do follow the book fairly faithfully so I think if I'd only read the book once a while ago I wouldn't have noticed the differences as much, the main one being that the secondary story of Vittoria's research into anti-matter and her father's (and science partner) moral dilemma over the discovery was practically non-existant in the film, resulting in a simpler story which was slightly lacking in depth.
Despite this I did enjoy the film and would recommend it as a piece of light entertainment to anyone whether they've read the book of not. It is set around Rome so there are interesting shots of the buildings and city and this makes it particularly interesting if you've visited Rome.
Disclaimer: As with all my movie reviews, this is about the film itself rather than the DVD. I generally don't watch extra features or deleted scenes as they are usually removed for a reason and detract from the film as it was intended.
Key Stars: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Armin Mueller-Stahl
This is the second adaptation from book to film from the writer Dan Brown. This is a cinematic sequel to the Da Vinci Code but apparently the book was originally intended as a prequel. I can't confirm or deny this as I have yet to read either book. The movie details the main characters struggle against the Illuminati's Plot to utilise stolen anti-matter to construct and detonate a bomb at the Vatican.
The main positive aspect to this movie is the twist and turns in the storyline, especially towards the end of the film. Cinematically it is well shot and has decent and convincing acting. The effects are few and far between as you would expect in a movie of this type but what there was, was very well done and complimented the settings and environment of the movie, giving a compelling view of the inside of the Vatican walls.
Unfortunately even with the decent acting, decent overall storyline and cinematic prowess the scripting is poor and often jumps between scenes without explaining why they are there and what they are doing. Additionally the movie is also quite easy to predict and does not leave you feeling satisfied at the end of the film.
Overall this was a decent(ish) movie that has both its positive and negative aspects, unfortunately overall it just isn't very enjoyable as a final product and is made even worse by the sheer length of the film (145 minutes). This just seems to me one of those movies you want to see just because everyone else has, and has no cinematic achievements of its own to base that feeling on.
This week Lovefilm sent me a couple of films that I have had on my list for while and to be honest when I saw that one of them was going to be "Angels and Demons" I wasn't expecting anything great. I had read the 'Da Vinci Code' by Dan Brown and thought the film adaptation of that book was awful in comparison and even though I had not read 'Angels and Demons' I imagined the film to be as poor as its cinematic predecessor.
Thankfully my doubts were unfounded as I have to say I actually enjoyed this film and give or take a few niggles with a couple of things it was overall much better in my opinion than The Da Vinci Code.
The plot follows Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) as he is entrusted by the Vatican to help in the location of 4 of its senior Cardinals who have been kidnapped following the death of the Pope. As well as the missing Cardinals Langdon finds out that an Anti-Matter device that is going to be used as a bomb has fallen into the wrong hands and should it be allowed to detonate will wipe the Vatican out completely as well as most of Rome.
With the help of the scientist who helped create the Anti Matter (Vittoria Vetra played by Ayelet Zurer) they must crack the clues that have been left on a video by the kidnapper and find the four churches that the Cardinals are going to be sacrificed in each hour between 8pm and 11pm before the bomb is due to go off at midnight.
Will they succeed? You'll have to watch for yourself.
Tom Hanks is always a good bet for a leading man and plays the part of Robert Langdon with ease; he delivers a solid performance throughout the film and is well cast in the role. Thankfully this time there are no distracting love-interest scenes that seemed to litter The Da Vinci Code between Langdon and the leading lady (in this case Vittoria Vetra) and the film benefits from being a straight forward thriller that provides twists and turns through the course of the plot.
I did enjoy the scenes where Langdon was trying to work out where the churches were that the Cardinals were going to be killed in even though this was very reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code but found the explanation and back-story behind the "Illuminati" to be more of a plot device than anything else. Its inclusion and subsequent 'waggling the finger of suspicion' as to who may or not be part of this secret anti-church/ pro-science clan seemed a little far-fetched and an easier protagonist could surely have been created by Dan Brown. However the inclusion of these did bring plenty of attention to the book and film and widespread damnation by the Catholic Church so Brown did generate a lot of publicity for his work.
Although not particularly religious myself I was interested in seeing how the Church would be portrayed and I think the inclusion of Ewan McGregor in a prominent role within The Vatican proved to be a clever cast choice. I thought he acted his part with a quiet respect and even though seemed slightly miscast he did bring some balance to what could have been an all-out Church-bashing exercise.
I haven't really got any criticism at all with the actors or the direction of the film finding the latter to be well executed and beautifully shot. There are some scenes set inside The Vatican and St Peters Square which look authentic and the wide crowd shots are exceptional and very atmospheric.
The only let down for me was a couple of the twists at the end which seem to be par for the course with Dan Brown, Whilst I won't reveal any spoilers here I have to say that it was somewhat disappointing to find out the real nature of the 'illuminati' and I thought the explanation as to who was masterminding it was far too convenient and provided an unnecessarily massive shift in character.
Saying that though the preceding action and tension-building were good and I did enjoy the film overall. Strong acting performances, slick direction and good dialogue made for a great way of passing a couple of hours or so and I would definitely recommend the film to anyone. If, like me, you hadn't read the book before watching the film you will go into it with an open mind and no pre-conceived expectations which I think is the way to go with films of this type. The Da Vinci Code was a huge disappointment for me having read the book beforehand, whereas Angels and Demons was a great success.
From me, a Very Good 4/5 dooyoo stars only losing one for the ending as described earlier. The film is available to buy online from Amazon from as little as £5.98 for the single disc edition, or, if you have an online rental subscription add it to your list and it may exceed your expectations like it did for me.
Thanks for reading.
Based on the book written by Dan Brown this is the sequel to 'the DaVinci Code' which you don't really need to see before watching this one but you should as thats good too. It stars Tom Hanks bank in his Role as Robert Langstrum a symbologist / detective. I haven't read the book so this review is about the film not a comparason.
The story is based around the pope dying and his potential replacements are kidnapped by the illuminati (a radical group set on destroying christianity). Hanks is brought in to uncover the ancient clues to the kidnapess locations but is met at every turn with deception and other problems. Overall story is very compelling and if you haven't read the book then you will enjoy trying to beat Hanks to the clues.
The loactions are amazing because they're the type of place you never get to see in other films and really gives a great atmosphere. Hanks was great in this movie and other actors suck as Ewan McGreggor played there parts well. Most other actors were unknown to me but were very good and every one did a amazing job to give the film a real dark feeling.
To sum up I would recomend this film to almost anyone over 15, although the rating is 12 there are a few graphic scenes and the story really gets lost on anyone who isn't old enough to understand religion and current events. You don't need to know loads about the subject as it gets explained to you and you don't need to see the Da Vinci Code to understand this. I have watched this film a few times now and it gets more enjoyable the second time around because you can understand whats going on better, and I predict you will too. You might want to get this film on blu-ray if you are really into them but because the story is the mian focus DVD is fine.
I think that the reviews of this film are rather on the harsh side.
Is this a result of Brown fans being disappointed by the films?
Or is it the general mass having an aversion to the Da Vinci hype?
Or perhaps folk just don't like the film!
I have not read any of the Dan Brown books and only have a vague recollection of seeing the Da Vinci Code movie a couple of years ago.
Without rehashing the plot for you.......................
I will accept that the plot is a bit on the fantastical side, but arent most thrillers?
I will accept that the characters are not fully fleshed out - but it isn't really Ibsen is it?
Neither is the dialogue likely to form an A level study text.
On the plus side the movie evolves into a desperate chase around Rome for a few kidnapped cardinals. If you have ever visited the Eternal City its great to see the locations used in the film. Mrs Soames and myself were constantly arguing about whether we had been into one or other of the churches shown.
"it's the one where you dropped your ice cream darling"
So, not a great work of art, but it saved me from having to choose between Strictly and X Factor and you cant put a price on that can you. (Actually you can, it cost us £4 from Sainsburys.)
So in summary.
No Oscars were won for this film.
Tom Hanks will not be remembered for it.
Ewan Mcgregor will probably air brush it from his CV as well.
As an undemanding 2 hour entertainment it hit's the spot.
There are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep surprising you.
You get to see religious leaders die in interesting ways.
Rome looks superb.
Ben Jones of "Absolute Radio" rates this movie as the ;
"Must see film of the year"
Well done Ben for sticking out against the tide, but you really need to get out more.
Don't be put off by the arty types sneering at this film. Its ok, and when you strip away the hype its just a standard chase movie with a big star at the head of it. Ive seen dozens of these over the years and not been damaged by the experience.
NB - A prize for anyone who can point me to Absolute Radio. Does it really exist?