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Author Topic: Anyone here going to see The DaVinci Code?
Julia
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I personally felt like I was watching a stupid hollywood movie the whole time I was reading it. It was a movie on paper. It defeated the whole purpose of a book, and all the reasons I love books more than movies weren't there.

The saddest part is that it is my brother's new favorite book. I mean, here he was, a devout OSC fan, and now he openly thinks lower of me because I didn't like the book. He took more than a step backwards if you ask me.

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kwsni
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I want to know why they decided to make Paul Bettany's eyes BLUER. Crazies.

Ni!

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Ron Howard should get an award for this. The cinematography added the moral intensity that was lacking in the book. I didn't think that the book was provocative, and I only finished it because it was light. The movie, on the other hand, was a bit more provocative-- though it still ran long to me-- and definitely more urgent. I didn't like the book, but I liked the movie fine.
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TL
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I saw it tonight. And look, the movie's no great masterpiece -- it is what the book was: a potboiler with lots of ridiculous twists that manages to make you enjoy it, somehow, on a purely entertainment level. The old donut metaphor: it tastes good but does it actually nourish you? No. But it *tastes* good damn it.

The movie bored the crap out of me, frankly -- but I think just because I'd already read the book.

There were two interesting scenes, for me.

1) Teabing's little presentation on the Last Supper.

2) Langdon figuring out the real location of the Holy Grail at the end.

Somehow I found that uplifting in a way I can't explain. (Felt the same thing at the end of the novel, actually.)

I'd give the movie 2.3671 stars.

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Lyrhawn
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I thought it was pretty damned good. And though I said before that I have no intention of reading the book, I just might. I'm not in a rush to get it, but if someone lends me a copy I'll probably read it when I have the time.

I love these kinds of movies, the kooky "what if" movies that have something like 70% real history, 20% warped history and 10% absolute nonsense that just barely fits in. Say what you will about the writing, but it comes off very well in movie form, and takes just enough real history and examination of coincidence to make the whole crazy thing sound plausible. And that's all that matters to accept suspension of disbelief.

I liked this film a heck of a lot more than I thought I would. It was like National Treasure on, well not steroids, but it was a darker, much more gritty, I guess, thread of the same genre.

Also, to anyone who has seen it, (so I guess SPOILER WARNING):

I got Star Wars vibes from some of it. The whole execution of the Templar Knights who were gaining too much power all simultaneously through papal order from the Pope (Emperor) sounded a heck of a lot like killing off the Jedi with Order 66. Well, really that was the only Star Wars vibe I got, but it was pretty specific.
END SPOILER

I'm curious as to how much exactly, of the movie is based on fact. I know the whole Constantine, Council of Nicea thing is correct, and some of the background they did, and Templars, French and the Crusades, that was all right too. I'll have to email one of my history profs, he specializes in European Monastic history (a fairly broad topic as is), and might have seen the film (though he tends to dislike watching movies, especially history movies, except to rip them limb from limb).

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BaoQingTian
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Lyrhawn-

I had almost the opposite reaction as you did. I saw the movie last night and was quite bored for the first hour and 45 minutes. Of course, I had read the book twice, so I'm sure that influenced it. My wife, who hasn't read it, said she enjoyed it, although it was a little slow at parts.

What bugged me most was Tom Hanks. He just didn't seem to fit the role as Robert Langdon. It didn't help that the dialogue just didn't seem there. I also felt that there was an genuine lack of chemistry between Audrey and Tom. I thought the best performance the guy playing Fache.

My honest recommendation would be- if you've already read the book, don't waste $8 on the movie. But if you like the movie, read the book- it's got all the fun (though mostly nonsensical) tidbits that the movie was forced to cut.

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twinky
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I just got back from the movie. I hadn't read the book, and have no plans to do so (my reading queue is long enough as it is), but I went in with no expectations and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I don't know what all of the fuss or controversy or whatever was about.

It was good fun. [Smile]

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Lyrhawn
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I should add, that the only thing that bothered me about the movie was how easy it was to guess some of the big "shockers."

I guessed who the heir of christ and who the teacher was almost as soon as I knew they were characters that needed guessing. Or in the teacher's case, as soon as he actually made some screen time.

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katharina
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Anyone else think it is odd that a movie celebrating the divine feminine had exactly ONE female character who did nothing beyond being born?

I guessed who it was because there were no other choices. Among its myriad of issues, it's an almost exclusively masculine movie.

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TomDavidson
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You know, since I skimmed the book, I've been trying to figure out why being the heir of Christ would be something special. Does it get you discounts at Chick-Fil-A? It's not like it comes with superpowers.
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katharina
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The movie implies that it does - a few people are healed after she touches them.
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TomDavidson
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I wonder what the gene is for that, and whether it came from the mother or the father's side.
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katharina
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According to the movie, the movie girl's mother.

Another point on the list of ridiculous things from the movie:

It doesn't matter if a legion of DNA tests proved that she was related to the body in the coffin. They couldn't prove that the body in the coffin was Mary Magdelene, and it wasn't like they had the DNA of Christ, so it ultimately wouldn't prove anything.

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Glenn Arnold
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I didn't get the impression that the laying on of hands thing was anything more than a massage technique handed down through generations.

As for the proof that she was Mary Magdalene, I'd think that if you could prove a genetic link between a living person and one who was dead ~2000 years who was reputed to be Mary Magdalene, people would sit up and listen. Especially with the other "evidence" they described in the film. Maybe not proof, but it could put a pretty big dent in the churches armor.

I also enjoyed the film.

According to my wife (who read the book) Sophie played a much bigger role in solving the puzzles.

Also, is there some such rumor that the knights templar were killed ala order 66? That also occurred to me and my son, and we wonder if Lucas had heard of it from somewhere. Or if Brown stole the idea from Lucas?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Maybe not proof, but it could put a pretty big dent in the churches armor.
I'm not sure, honestly, why the Catholic church would care particularly. It's not like you automatically become Pope if you're descended from Jesus.
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Belle
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I'm not sure what dent it would put in anybody's armor either.

While the Bible doesn't suggest that Mary M. was married to Jesus, neither does it rule out that she may well have been married to someone else and had children so proving that you were related to someone that was reputedly Mary Magdelene doesn't prove you were descended from Jesus.

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katharina
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Slate debunks the fake history in the The Da Vinci Code in one quick column
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twinky
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Of course the history is fake. It's a novel/movie, not a paper/documentary. It's good entertainment and an enjoyable whodunit, even if you guess some or all of the twists before they arrive. Additionally, since the Slate article is unreferenced, the only reasons to take the author at his word are that he claims his article to be factual and that Slate published it. This claim, as far as I'm aware, is not made by the works of fiction he derides. When I watched The Da Vinci Code, I assumed that the presented "history" was at the very least bent to make it fit the plot. If Dan Brown claims that anything other than his descriptions of architecture, locations, and "secret rituals" is accurate, then he's an idiot.

When I read H. P. Lovecraft's fiction, for example, which is usually set about a century ago (plus or minus a decade or two) in the real world, I don't wonder to myself at night if the Necronomicon was a real book. Unless I'm alone in the dark when I'm reading, which I must admit has happened...

When I read the Slate article, I assumed from the author's tone that he had an axe to grind; like any other op-ed columnist who doesn't reference his or her articles, I took it with a grain of salt. If he were attempting to "debunk" anything other than a work of fiction, I'd be outright skeptical.

Anyway, the notion that Jesus wasn't divine is hardly new to the world's non-Christians. I'm not fully convinced that Jesus existed; if he did, I certainly don't think he was in any way divine. Of course, I'm an atheist.

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katharina
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There has been evidence of people here taking The Da Vinci Code's history very seriously. It's nice to have some corroboration that it's nonsense.
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twinky
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I see. It's too bad that such corroboration was necessary. :/
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kmbboots
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I loved the way our parish addressed the DVC controversy. The only mention was in the Prayer of the Faithful. Without "naming any names" we thanked God for art and imagination and the wisdom to recognize it.

Also, as I mentioned on the "Funny" thread, I have absolutely no problem with the idea of Jesus being married. In fact I rather hope He was.

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katharina
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I'm not sure what you're regretting.
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twinky
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It's fine to discuss a novel or movie in the hypothetical, but it's never a good idea to assume something is true just because someone wrote it down and published it -- especially if it's a fictional work. If "rebuttals" are necessary because people are taking this fictional stuff as factual without doing their own research, that's unfortunate.
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IanO
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I think she's regretting that anyone would need to have the laughably wrong 'historical' claims in the book debunked.

Unfortunately, human nature makes this necessity certain.

And that's without Dan Browns list of 'Facts' at the beginning of the book- like the existence of the Priory of Sion prior to 1950. With that list of supposed 'facts' that are behind the story, the book hints that what is presented is not only plausible but may have (or even probably did)happen.

The Discovery Channel is showing two documentaries on the book and/or the claims in the book (and in Holy Blood Holy Grail). The first one tracks down every single one of Browns 'facts' and shows them to be either wrong, false, or only half-true at best. The other takes the claims much more seriously and does not show the investigative digging that the other did. Instead, that one is more sensationalistic than scholarly, as opposed to the first one. Sorry don't have names. Can look them up if anyone wants them.

[ May 23, 2006, 12:35 PM: Message edited by: IanO ]

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dkw
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quote:
If Dan Brown claims that anything other than his descriptions of architecture, locations, and "secret rituals" is accurate, then he's an idiot.
Can't find the quotes right now, but if this is your definition of idiot, I'm pretty sure he qualifies.

He is either one in a string of people who can't back up their theories with enough support to publish them as peer reveiwed papers and thus write them as fiction but claim that they're true and only a vast conspiracy keeps them from being recognized as such in academia or he's pretending to believe them as a marketing strategy for his books.

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twinky
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What I meant (by implication) is that if Brown is claiming his "history" is accurate, then he's an idiot. If that's what he's been doing, then he's the Dr. Price or Intelligent Design of history, and deserves the criticism. Doubly so for ruining a fun whodunit (the movie, I haven't read the book) with needless controversy.
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dkw
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Yep. I understood what you meant.
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TL
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quote:
He is either one in a string of people who can't back up their theories with enough support to publish them as peer reveiwed papers and thus write them as fiction but claim that they're true and only a vast conspiracy keeps them from being recognized as such in academia or he's pretending to believe them as a marketing strategy for his books.
I see other, less dismissive possibilities.

Namely: He's a guy who did a tremendous amount of research in the form of reading a lot of alt history books. He formed theories, read between lines, and eventually came to believe that he'd solved one of the great mysteries. Whether this happened over the course of his life as being a guy tremendously interested in history, or if it happened while he was doing specific research for his book, it would be impossible to say.

And then he wrote a novel.

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dkw
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quote:
He's a guy who did a tremendous amount of research in the form of reading a lot of alt history books. He formed theories, read between lines, and eventually came to believe that he'd solved one of the great mysteries.
One does not do research by reading alternate history. One does research by reading the actual primary sources. If all he claimed to have done was write an alternate history novel, no one would have a problem with it.
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katharina
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Wait - Dan Brown believes his own story?
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OlavMah
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I don't see any evidence that Dan Brown did a *lot* of research. These theories aren't all that new, and there have been other books that have explored them. In 1997 I watched two journalists give a presentation on this idea that there might be people descended from Christ. I believe their book was called "The Blood and the Chalice".

The idea that Mary Magdalan was married to Christ has also been around for ages. It doesn't require a whole lot of reading between the lines to discover, and the usual "facts" used to support the idea would take little time to dig up with a Google search. Or an hour visit to the library.

My personal guess is that Dan Brown spends more time writing books than researching great mysteries. I don't mean that as an insult to the guy. The writing thing has clearly gone well for him. But, put him in a room with a bunch of scriptorians and theologians, and I think he'd choke.

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Robin Kaczmarczyk
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Watched it yesterday.

My take: it's irrelevant if the storytelling good or bad (not very good, I must admit, some of the action was just not smartly written) the guts of the story, the theories about Opus Dei, the Catholic Church in general, and the divinity of Jesus is sufficiently interesting in and of itself to make this experience, this 'journey' (catch phrase of the moment eh) wonderful.

I don't remember who says that if two or more people are in a room talking about God, he is with them. Well, this certainly qualifies. Spiritual filmmaking is spiritual filmmaking. And what best use of the wonderful resourses of film than to discuss seriously serious philosophy?

Do not miss this film. It's a sin.

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Baron Samedi
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One of the things I found most grating and least compelling about this book/film (and, as you can imagine, this is up against some pretty stiff competition) is the way it goes about trying to debunk Christianity. It's not just the fact that it tried to prove that Christianity is a stupid, made-up, arbitrary religion. It's that it tries to do this by supplanting it with an even stupider made-up, arbitrary religion. The whole "my imaginary friend can beat up your imaginary friend" element of this story took me to a whole new level of non-grippedness.
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pH
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MY imaginary friend is a secret agent who drives a Porsche!

-pH

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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Maybe not proof, but it could put a pretty big dent in the churches armor.
I'm not sure, honestly, why the Catholic church would care particularly. It's not like you automatically become Pope if you're descended from Jesus.
We've gotta keep our frame of reference straight. I'm talking about the movie. You know, the one where Opus Dei kills people rather than let the public know the "big secret."

As to the assertion that Dan Brown wrote the book as fiction because he wanted to write it as fact but couldn't get away with it. Sorry, I need some citations before I buy that. From all I've heard from media sources, it's a fictional novel. End of story. No fair putting thoughts in the guy's mind.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
We've gotta keep our frame of reference straight. I'm talking about the movie.
So am I. But even in the movie's reality, I can't figure out why the Catholic church would care enough to kill people to protect this "secret." At the end of the day, wouldn't they want people to believe that Jesus not only lived but produced offspring? The book -- and the movie -- seem to take for granted that the church would consider this a secret worth suppressing, and I don't understand why.
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Lyrhawn
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Prossibly because the Offspring of Christ would be the new ultimate divine authority on Earth? The church's power over Catholics would play second fiddle to Christ's descendent.

There's too many questions, too much shaken faith, and perhaps a loss of trust in the church. The Papacy hasn't had to go through that kind of crisis of faith in what? Three hundred years?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The church's power over Catholics would play second fiddle to Christ's descendent.
Why? It's not like decency is hereditary.
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Launchywiggin
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I thought the movie was horribly written and amateurly filmed(awful cinematography). The characters were uninteresting and the plot was muddled. The acting was often laughable, except in the case of Ian McKellan. I really didn't like it. I guess I'm just a critic.

I also don't see the controversy. A descendant of Christ would still just be human.

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Lyrhawn
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Would he? When was the conception made? Before or after he died? And even if the descendent of Christ was only human, so is the Pope.

People put an almost silly amount of importance on heredity when it comes to rulers and stuff like this. There's no way to know how people would react. But you don't think that even a large minority of Catholics would flock to the descendent of Christ?

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Theca
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Nope.
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Lyrhawn
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I think it's impossible to say. No one person can speak for what every Catholic would do in any given situation. And all Catholics aren't the same. For that matter, all Christians aren't the same.

There's no way to tell what would happen, which is exactly why the Papacy would want to ensure they'd never have to worry about it.

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Theca
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I would have to read the book to argue more with you. But my understanding is that the Jesus in this book is not the God that Catholics worship. He is not really represented as a God at all. I was also told today that it WAS indicated in the book that perhaps he did not die on the cross. That's not was I was told before so I don't know, but, if he didn't die, then Catholicism wouldn't exist. Because Jesus was noted to have risen from the dead, and to be a savior, and to be Divine from the very first writings. That is not consistent with some sort of church-guided cover-up scheme.

If the Apostles and the other close friends had all gotten together and decided right after the crucifiction to make up the whole story and lie about Mary Magdalene, then the "church," when organized, wouldn't know about it and wouldn't even believe it. There would be no need for a church coverup.

Oh--and here is another possiblity: let's say Jesus was Divine and did everything as he was supposed to do and that included marriage and having a child. And getting crucified... or not. If he convinced the Apostles that he is Divine, then they should be convinced of the rightness of his marriage and child. So why then why would they make up false stories? If they were truly his apostles they'd be telling the whole story from the very beginning. Again, no reason to cover up.

[ May 24, 2006, 03:51 AM: Message edited by: Theca ]

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andi330
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So for someone who is considering going, would you say that it is a DVD movie, a matinee move or a full price movie?
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OlavMah
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I'd say DVD or matinee. Matinee if you want to see it on the big screen (though like I said, this made me seasick so I would have preferred it on DVD, myself). You probably won't learn any new spoilers between now and when the DVD comes out.

Or, perhaps more relevant, whatever your friends and family want to go to. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole "going to see the DaVinci Code" outing because of the company I was with. Had a discussion in IHOP afterwards with witty, fun people that was worth far more than the price of a ticket on opening day.

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Omega M.
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I just saw this movie, and I really couldn't follow it. I got the basic Jesus premise, but I couldn't see how they were making the deductions they made or who was on what side. But on the plus side, it seemed to move quickly enough and be well-enough acted, in both cases more so than the reviews led me to think.
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Lyrhawn
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For all Boondock Saints fans....


Anyone else snicker when they saw that Tom Hanks' character wrote a book about "Symbology?"

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aspectre
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More mysterious hanky panky at Opus Dei.
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Theca
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What do you mean by more mysterious hanky panky at Opus Dei? The Da Vinci Code is fiction. [Wink]
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Gwen
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quote:
Periodically I enjoy a mindless read and when I read Da Vinci, it must have been at this time because I enjoyed it.
Ditto. And I read it fast enough to ignore the creative grammar and sentence structuring.

It made me feel smart, that I knew the crucial answers before they did almost every time.

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