DVD Angels & Demons [DVD] [Canadian; French] (DVD 6259006),
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Angels & Demons [DVD] [Canadian; French]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Dan Browns novels are packed with fascinating historical tidbits which he ingeniously twists into plots that are so intricate and complex that there is a constant need to inform the reader with exposition, often leaving little room for character development. There is a bit of this stilted quality to ANGELS AND DEMONS, the second of Browns novels to be brought to the big screen by the tandem of Ron Howard and Tom Hanks, but more than enough intense action to keep the eyes of the audience as busy as their minds. The details of the plot are as diabolical as any in Hollywood history: after the popes death, a nefarious organization stashes an antimatter bomb somewhere in the Vatican, threatening to annihilate the conclave of cardinals who are meeting to elect the papal successor. To pass the time until the bomb will detonate, the enemy begins to torture and kill a few of the individual cardinals, but there is a pattern to the grotesque executions, involving hidden sculptural symbols and secret architectural clues. Unfortunately for the church, the man most capable of deciphering the code is the American "symbologist" Robert Langdon (Hanks), who happens to be an affirmed atheist. The script is filled with amazing details about the centuries-old conflict between the church and the Illuminati (whose members included Galileo, Michelangelo, and Bernini), which Hanks uncovers as he breathlessly races between various landmarks in Rome, always a step behind the sinister assassin. The secondary cast consists almost entirely of European actors, including Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgaard, and Armin Mueller-Stahl, who betray so little emotion that it is impossible to tell who is a part of the conspiracy until long after the explosive climax.
Tom Hanks, Thom Hanks, Ayelet July Zurer, Ayelet Zurer, Pierfrancesco Favino, Stellan Skarsgaard, Stellan Skarsgard, Ewan McGregor, Nicolaj Lie Kaas, Nicolaj Kaas, Armin Mueller-Stahl
"[A] thrilling, faster-paced walk in the park....The story line is brilliantly simplified into Langdon's search for the four cardinals....Hanks fits more comfortably into the role of Langdon here..."
"ANGELS & DEMONS barrels along with a confidence -- and, more fundamentally, a pulse....There's forward movement here, an energy focused by the necessity of managing two plotlines of equal urgency..."
3 stars out of 4 -- "[W]ith fabulous production values. The interiors of the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, churches, tombs and crypts are rendered dramatically..."
3 stars out of 5 -- "It's your basic ticking time bomb scenario and Howard jumps in with nimbleness....This is extremely well-mounted, runaway train filmmaking..."
3 stars out of 4 -- "Howard keeps this one moving at an accelerated pace and drops tons of interesting historical tidbits along the ride."
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Ayelet July Zurer
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