Angels and Demons (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=159023&d=1258981461
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13/Unrated
Feature running time: 138/146 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard, Pierfrancesco Favino, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Directed by: Ron Howard
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Written by: David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 24, 2009







"They have come for their revenge"



Film Synopsis:

In Ron Howard's thrilling follow-up to The Da Vinci Code, expert symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) follows ancient clues on a heart-racing hunt through Rome to find the four Cardinals kidnapped by the deadly secret society, the Illuminati. With the Cardinals' lives on the line, and the Camerlengo (Ewan McGregor) desperate for help, Langdon embarks on a nonstop, action-packed race through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, and the most secretive vault on Earth!



My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=159021&d=1258981342

After the currently seated Pope unexpectedly passes away, the four cardinals slated for consideration as his successors are kidnapped. The Illuminati, an ancient brotherhood, once at odds with the church, and out of existence for generations, is believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of the cardinals. An experimental antimatter power source capable of leveling a small city should it become unstable is stolen from CERN and hidden in the underground catacombs beneath the Vatican. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and Scientist Vittoria Vetra from CERN are summoned to Rome to assist the Swiss Guard and protectors of the Vatican by examining the messages left by the Illuminati in the hope of locating the missing cardinals and the potentially destructive antimatter. The problem is that time is of the essence. Beginning at 8:00 PM one cardinal will be killed every hour and after the last the Vatican will be destroyed in a burst of light. The burst of light symbolizing the cataclysmic explosion caused by the antimatter once the batteries powering the vial it is contained in run out. With the pope deceased the Camerlengo, a papal court official assumes temporary control of the Vatican. The convening of the College of Cardinals (papal conclave) in order to select a new pope has the Catholic Church in a state of disarray. With the clock ticking Robert, Vittoria and the Swiss Guard race to try and locate the proposed locations where each cardinal is to be murdered while working against the impending destruction of Vatican city.

I haven’t read Dan Brown’s novels but enjoyed 2006’s The DaVinci Code on home video. I thought that its story as translated to film was cohesive and engaging but was paced a bit too slow and dragged at times. I didn’t see Angels and demons during its theatrical run but the majority of feedback I got from those that did was positive. Both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film are included here which is welcomed. I watched the theatrical cut for this review and enjoyed it. Unlike The DaVinci Code I thought the pacing was smoother and appreciated the level of suspense, action and engaging performances by the cast. Tom Hanks gives another strong turn in the Robert Langdon role. Stellan Skarsgard is one of my favorite character actors and did a great job of elevating the distrust of Commander Richter. I have to admit that for me the final act kept this from being a better film. Convenient contrivances involving Robert’s intervention followed by several unrealistic scenarios left me occasionally raising one eyebrow however all things considered it didn’t prevent me from having a good time with Angels and demons.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for sequences of violence, disturbing images and thematic material.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699
attachment.php?attachmentid=159022&d=1258981342

Angels and demons comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 mbps lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate 3.2 mbps.

This is a excellent high definition video presentation from Sony. Image depth during the brighter sequences is appreciable from nearly every camera perspective. Objects within backgrounds have definable structure/texture which makes them appear very lifelike and three dimensional. The video is crisp with natural looking, well balanced colors that give it a transparent and lustrous quality. Shadow detail is strong which enhances depth during dark segments that contain limited light. Blacks are deep, dynamic and stable which adds punch to sequences containing both light and dark elements. Contrast is strong which delivers bright punchy whites and vivid eye popping primary colors. The exterior shots of Rome and the Vatican exhibit excellent delineation, and long range acuity. Fleshtones are warm, creamy and lifelike. Resolution during a few of the darkened sequences softens a bit but not to a point where I found it to be problematic. I thought that at times this video presentation looked stunning and exhibited quality that rivals the best releases I have seen on Blu-ray.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is a good one that makes excellent use of the entire system platform. It is lead by Hans Zimmer’s rousing music score that sounds fantastic as it sets the tone that drives the story’s elements. This is a fairly active and at times dynamic surround mix that employ’s the subwoofer and rear channels to stimulate the senses and draw you into the film. This creates a believable and enveloping sound field that replicates the film’s various interior/exterior environments as well as the feeling of riding in an elevator or the rear of an armored truck. Low frequency effects have substantial weight and presence that occasionally fill the room with deep, punctuated bass. The front and rear soundstages combine perfectly as sounds emanating from both during panning and dimensionally spaced sequences are seamless. Dialogue and sounds within the recording are highly detailed and clearly articulated throughout the course of the presentation. I think it sounds great.

* CIH users should note that the subtitles fall within both the picture and letterbox area*



Bonus Features:


  • Disc 1:


  • Theatrical & Extended versions of the film with Movie IQ option

  • Cinechat

  • BD Previews: Julie & Julia, The DaVinci code, Year one, Casino Royale, Close Encounters of the third kind, Whatever works, It might get loud

  • BD-Live enabled

  • Disc 2:


  • (HD) Path of illumination – Interactive map feature

  • (HD) Rome was not built in a day – 17 minute featurette

  • (HD) Writing Angels and demons – 10 minute featurette

  • (HD) Characters in search of the story – 17 minute featurette

  • (HD) CERN: Pushing the frontiers of knowledge – 15 minute featurette

  • (HD) Handling props – 11 minute featurette

  • (HD) Angels and demons: The full story – 9 minute featurette

  • (HD) This is ambigram – 4 minutes

  • Disc 3:


  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc
attachment.php?attachmentid=159024&d=1258981461



Final Thoughts:

While not a perfectly executed thriller, Angels and demons succeeds in providing a suspenseful and well orchestrated film experience thanks in large part to its strong cast and apt direction. I enjoyed its fan friendly bonus supplements (which include Blu-ray exclusive content), and appreciated the inclusion of both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film. Its high definition presentation from Sony is praiseworthy and enhances the film’s experience on Blu-ray Disc. Highly recommended for fans but suggested as a rental to first time viewers.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 08:38 AM
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Ralph, thanks for the review. I'll pick up a rental even though I saw it in a theater and thought it was okay. My wife liked it better than I did but then again she reads all of the Dan Brown books beforehand and knows more of the details not explained in the movie plot. Maybe I'll like it more the second time around.

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post #3 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 08:55 AM
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I can already see a combo pack coming in the future for this and Da Vincci Code. Should i wait? Probably not!

Saw this in the theatre and thought it was good movie. Kind of liked the ending because that's when everything pretty much gets revealed. Since i'm somewhat of a big fan i'd recommend this.

Great review Ralph!

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post #4 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 09:00 AM
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Ralph....once again.....a fine review.

You bring up an interesting point about the adaptations of Dan Brown's books to a movie. I've yet to see a novel to movie adaptation that surpassed what was on the printed page.

I'm a fan of Dan Brown's novels. While I thought "Da Vinci Code" was faithful to the novel, these are dense written works. "Angels and Demons", in many ways, was a more dense (and better) read than DaVinci Code, IMHO!

I applaud Ron Howard and Tom Hanks (they seem more collaborative than the typical director vs actor dynamic) for how they've captured the essence of DaVinci Code with subject matter that many felt was controversial. Again, sticking with my "books are always better than the movies" belief, as a stand alone entity, the movie adaptation was good.

I kept away from seeing Angels and Demons at the local multiplex, as these movies take repeated viewings to really extract all that they offer. Looking forward to seeing this on BD tomorrow when it hits my local BB to do just that.

Again, thanks!

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post #5 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 11:21 AM
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I enjoyed Davinci better, but video on this bluray is better. As far film i thought it was too hush hush.
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post #6 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoro View Post

I enjoyed Davinci better, but video on this bluray is better. As far film i thought it was too hush hush.

It's good to know that somebody actually stayed awake during the Davinci Code.

I thought Ron Howard and Tom Hanks were trying to produce a non prescription cure for insomnia with that one.

I'll pass on more of this religious conspiricacy around every corner nonsense.
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post #7 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 02:39 PM
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I watched this last night. The picture by no means had a lot of color to it. The picture was rather dark, but it held up nicely. Those red robes really popped out though. Although, they seemed a bit on the orange side to me rather than pure red. Maybe its just me though.
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post #8 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 03:55 PM
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I guess it was technically competent (audio and video). The movie, itself, was completely devoid of drama and intensity, so who cares? Glad this one was a freebie.

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post #9 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 05:16 PM
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Does it matter much if you didn't see the da vinci code in order to better fully understand the plot on this 1? Or can you go in cold turkey? Thanks.

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post #10 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Does it matter much if you didn't see the da vinci code in order to better fully understand the plot on this 1? Or can you go in cold turkey? Thanks.

Considering the fact that Brown wrote Angels & Demons prior to DaVinci Code, you will be fine in any order.
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post #11 of 30 Old 11-23-2009, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iove View Post

Considering the fact that Brown wrote Angels & Demons prior to DaVinci Code, you will be fine in any order.


Good to know! Thanks.

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post #12 of 30 Old 11-24-2009, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Forgot to include the subtitle info for those with constant image height setups.

Regards,

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post #13 of 30 Old 11-25-2009, 04:14 PM
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I saw, but didn't read[img]http://******************************************[/img], this and the da vinci code. I thought they were decent, but less interesting derivatives of Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco.
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post #14 of 30 Old 11-25-2009, 11:23 PM
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I like this film more than The Davinci's code.The picture quality was crisp and clear unlike the fussy former part.
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post #15 of 30 Old 11-25-2009, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Does it matter much if you didn't see the da vinci code in order to better fully understand the plot on this 1? Or can you go in cold turkey? Thanks.

It does not matter at all. However, I will say this. Angels and Demons is clearly a better film than DaVinci Code is. You might be disappointed if you see it first and then expect the other to be as good. It is not.

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post #16 of 30 Old 11-26-2009, 09:25 AM
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I like the theme in these stories but the story line and acting in both Da Vinci Code and A&D was a real sleeper. Sorry to those of you who are fans but I'm on my 4th watching today and hope to stay awake. If I fall asleep today, I can always blame it on the turkey. The technicals are OK but it's the lack luster, sometimes boring story that could have been good.
The DVC was an obvious title to Brown's story but A&D seemed a bit too sensational for the actual story.

Along these themes, I like Nicholas Cage in National Treasure series far better than Tom Hanks in these two. And, I'm normally a Tom Hanks fan.
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post #17 of 30 Old 11-28-2009, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post

Ralph....once again.....a fine review.

You bring up an interesting point about the adaptations of Dan Brown's books to a movie. I've yet to see a novel to movie adaptation that surpassed what was on the printed page.

I'm a fan of Dan Brown's novels. While I thought "Da Vinci Code" was faithful to the novel, these are dense written works. "Angels and Demons", in many ways, was a more dense (and better) read than DaVinci Code, IMHO!

I applaud Ron Howard and Tom Hanks (they seem more collaborative than the typical director vs actor dynamic) for how they've captured the essence of DaVinci Code with subject matter that many felt was controversial. Again, sticking with my "books are always better than the movies" belief, as a stand alone entity, the movie adaptation was good.

I kept away from seeing Angels and Demons at the local multiplex, as these movies take repeated viewings to really extract all that they offer. Looking forward to seeing this on BD tomorrow when it hits my local BB to do just that.

Again, thanks!

For me, there's only one movie that equalled or surpassed the novel it was based on. (The) Dead Zone! Even Stephen King agreed.
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post #18 of 30 Old 11-28-2009, 02:35 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. I agree with the 3.5 stars out of 5 for the film. It was a worthwhile film to watch, but nothing that left me thinking "that was great".

The video was very good, especially considering how much was filmed at night or in darkly lit areas. The audio was good for what the script had to offer. dialogue was clean and understandable.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

While I enjoyed the journey with this film (although I don't like the premise of these Dan Brown novels), once it was over I immediately thought of how many things HAD to go the way of Camerlengo to make this story work.
The ability to kidnap all four Cardinals at once
The ability to steal the antimatter in the first place
The ability to harness antimatter
The antimatter detonating at a time when Camerlengo was able to swipe it and save the day.
Killing the Pope.
The "assassin" having unbelievably good aim with his pistol.
Any one of these things going wrong would have totally detroyed the plans of Camerlengo. It just seemed to fall into place too easily.


Film 3.5 out of 5, PQ 4 out of 5, SQ 4 out of 5

Dan
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post #19 of 30 Old 11-28-2009, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomandan View Post

Thanks for the review Ralph. I agree with the 3.5 stars out of 5 for the film. It was a worthwhile film to watch, but nothing that left me thinking "that was great".

The video was very good, especially considering how much was filmed at night or in darkly lit areas. The audio was good for what the script had to offer. dialogue was clean and understandable.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

While I enjoyed the journey with this film (although I don't like the premise of these Dan Brown novels), once it was over I immediately thought of how many things HAD to go the way of Camerlengo to make this story work.
The ability to kidnap all four Cardinals at once
The ability to steal the antimatter in the first place
The ability to harness antimatter
The antimatter detonating at a time when Camerlengo was able to swipe it and save the day.
Killing the Pope.
The "assassin" having unbelievably good aim with his pistol.
Any one of these things going wrong would have totally detroyed the plans of Camerlengo. It just seemed to fall into place too easily.


Film 3.5 out of 5, PQ 4 out of 5, SQ 4 out of 5

Dan

Greetings,

Dan I absolutely agree with your comments.


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post #20 of 30 Old 11-29-2009, 06:44 AM
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I watched the movie last night and it is exactly what I remembered when I saw it at the theaters...
Some of the shots look soft and some breathtaking.
The audio is fantastic, the dialogue was crisp and clear, and its mix with the music score was great...

I did enjoyed this one... Its a nice popcorn movie...

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post #21 of 30 Old 11-30-2009, 08:20 PM
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Not a big fan of "The DaVinci Code, but I really enjoyed this one, had a few surprises, the shots of Rome were terrific. PQ and Audio were first rate.
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post #22 of 30 Old 11-30-2009, 08:37 PM
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Same ol christian bashing from the Howard/Hanks camp.......... no thanks

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post #23 of 30 Old 12-01-2009, 04:18 PM
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Same ol christian bashing from the Howard/Hanks camp.......... no thanks

Lighten up - remember they are just MOVIES. Anyone who would infer any actual religious conspiracies from this popular pulp fiction must be smoking crack.

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post #24 of 30 Old 12-02-2009, 04:03 AM
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in my opinion the precedent the davinci code is better
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post #25 of 30 Old 12-06-2009, 08:02 AM
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I enjoyed the film based on quality of audio and the crisp video; along with it's locations. My enjoyment stopped there, as I read the book. They made to many changes in the film, that did not need to be made. It changed the story too much. The ending of the book, and the scene in the Popes office at the end would have made the film better. Why did they take out Maximillian Kholer from the book? Is this an actual person?

I'm happy I rented the film.
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post #26 of 30 Old 12-06-2009, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by KauffD View Post

I enjoyed the film based on quality of audio and the crisp video; along with it's locations. My enjoyment stopped there, as I read the book. They made to many changes in the film, that did not need to be made. It changed the story too much. The ending of the book, and the scene in the Popes office at the end would have made the film better. Why did they take out Maximillian Kholer from the book? Is this an actual person?

I'm happy I rented the film.

indeed, audio video on A&D is a few notches up the Davinci code
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post #27 of 30 Old 05-03-2010, 05:00 AM
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Audio and videos were top notch, I just wish the plot had more to it. I am glad I only rented this title. Won't be purchasing.
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post #28 of 30 Old 05-04-2010, 05:34 AM
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Both of these titles were outstanding thrillers. The movies were disappointing with Tom Hanks miscast, IMO. The PQ of Angels and Demons was superb on my system..much better than DaVinci code.

Both would have been better as TV mini series where more of the book could have been included but I suppose that would not have made nearly as much money.

There is space in the Entertainment world for "longer, novel type" movies, but no one has found a way to exploit it yet. A real shame.

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post #29 of 30 Old 05-26-2010, 05:04 PM
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I thought Angels and Demons worked better as a movie than the DiVinci code. I was a bit sad that they altered a key relationship in the story, but that could have been for time restraints, which is understandable.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #30 of 30 Old 05-26-2010, 05:50 PM
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I thought Angels and Demons worked better as a movie than the DiVinci code. I was a bit sad that they altered a key relationship in the story, but that could have been for time restraints, which is understandable.

You are correct that Angels and Demons was a much better movie than was DaVinci code. Whether the reason was the inherent materials in the novels or the way the writers chose to translate material into the movies is uncertain. I certainly think DaVinci COULD have been a much better move than it was.

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