The Da Vinci Code

The Lost Symbol is the third book in a series of them written by Dan Brown. Already the first two books in the series, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, have been made into big time film adaptations starring Tom Hanks, and the longtime plan has been for this third book to become a movie as well. But recent events have show that it’s going to be made by a different creative team than the people who were behind the first two.

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If you ever go to an airport, it becomes clear pretty quickly how much people love Dan Brown novels. Or at least, how much people love Dan Brown novels when they have to sit around in public for hours and there’s a convenient little newsstand across the way. So, even though he’s one of the biggest names in the business, it was a coup when Ron Howard got to direct the film adaptations of Brown’s Robert Langdon books. That first movie alone, The Da Vinci Code, has made $750 million worldwide. That’s a lot of cheese. But now that it’s time to start adapting the third book in the series, The Lost Symbol, it seems that Howard wants out. Why would someone want off of a proven cash cow like a Dan Brown adaptation? Deadline Duncan is reporting that Howard informed Sony producers that he didn’t want to keep doing the same kinds of stories with the same characters anymore, and that for The Lost Symbol, he wished to step back from the director’s chair and only produce. For someone who just spent a lot of time trying to get a Stephen King series adapted into three films and a television series, but ultimately got turned down by Universal, that kind of sounds like sour grapes. Is Howard upset at the studio system and punishing them by sabotaging a proven earner?

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“The Lost Symbol” has the best chance of being a great movie out of its already-adapted group of novels for several reasons. The most obvious is that it’s got far more action than Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code combined. The result of that action is a drastic reduction in exposition – the second most obvious positive trait the book has going for it. Now, Sony wants the author himself to play script doctor for The Lost Symbol film. It’s not a bad idea, but it’s a wild card. Brown is a great writer in the way that Louis L’Amour is a great writer. He’ll never go down in history as being deeper than a casket full of water, but he entertains far better than most. Whether his florid writing can translate to the tight-as-a-drum medium of screenplays is anybody’s guess, but his inclusion in the script process means the film either just lost or intensified its potential to be a threequel that far outshines its two predecessors. [THR]

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A Dan Brown novel adaptation just got a serious pedigree at the pen.

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With this weekend’s release of Angels & Demons, Culture Warrior looks at what types of books make good movies and why.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews this week’s new movies: Angels & Demons and Big Man Japan.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil and Kevin stumble into the Magical Studio in the Sky, completely unprepared for the show. But at least they have both seen this week’s movies, Angels & Demons and Big Man Japan.

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Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is back in inaction as the Harvard professor and expert of symbols, helping out the Vatican in what looks like an ancient threat from a powerful enemy finally taking root. After the Pope dies, The Illuminati rears its head – stealing anti-matter from the Hadron Collider and planning to use it to convert the center of the Holy Church into rubble.

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Kevin Carr vents his spleen about an unexpected consequence of the failure of last year’s bomb The Love Guru.

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That’s right friends, two weeks in a row here for the Blu-ray Report. I would like to tell you that I’ve turned over a new leaf in my duties as Blu-ray watchdog, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. The good news is that I am here this week and ready to spread some Blu-ray knowledge all over your minds. Also good news — we’ve got Jean-Claude Van Damme on Blu-ray this week. That friends, is a win. We’ve also got our good friend, Managing Editor Cole Abaius swooping in to review The Uninvited. And now on to our breakdown of this week’s Blu-ray releases, starting with those that I have nominated as the Creme of the Crop. As always, please support your local Reject Stimulus Fund by clicking on the titles of the movies and picking them up over at Amazon. Creme of the Crop Star Trek: The Original Series (Season 1) This is the gem of the week. With the release of J.J. Abrams’ awesome new Star Trek film hitting theaters at warp speed in a week and a half, it is time to revisit some of the glory days of Star Trek: TOS in glorious high definition. It is time to go back to those first episodes, when Spock was sometimes a little greener than normal and the set pieces were awful, but it all worked. But of course the most exciting thing about this Blu-ray release — save for the excuse to go back […]

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Angels and Demons

The official site for the new Ron Howard film, Angels and Demons, has premiered a new teaser and the most notable thing about it is the improvement in Tom Hanks’ hair style.

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The Vatican has banned Angels & Demons from filming in any church in the City of Rome on the charge that it is an “offense against God” and “wounds common religious feelings.” We wonder how God let them know He was offended.

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Angels & Demons moving along nicely after writers strike. Hanks and Howard return with more adventures of Dr. Robert Langdon: Harvard symbologist by day, terrorism fighter by night.

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Ewan McGregor Joins Angels and Demons Cast

Ewan McGregor is joining Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code prequel/sequel Angels and Demons. With a much better storyline, this Hanks/McGregor combo could prove to be better than the first flick.

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Bloodline the movie

In his new documentary Bloodline, director Bruce Burgess goes looking for trouble in the way of a Jesus-Mary Magdalene bloodline. In an adventure “worthy of Indiana Jones,” Burgess and team seek out the truth only to find that there are plenty of people who take notice when you start asking all the right questions.

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Bettany goes from Illuminati to Archangel.

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After the great commercial success of The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons announced to hit theaters in December of 2008. According to /Film, production is set to start in February of 2008.

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