Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Da Vinci Code: 10th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Sean Ferguson
The murder of a curator at the Louvre reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected since the days of Christ. Only the victim's granddaughter and Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a famed symbologist, can untangle the clues he left behind. The two become both suspects and detectives searching for not only the murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Based on the novel by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code  was directed by Ron Howard from a screenplay by Akiva Goldsman. Todd Hallowell and Dan Brown serve as executive producers, with Brian Grazer and John Calley as producers. Both films feature all-new interviews with Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Dan Brown and Brian Grazer, as well as a first look at the highly anticipated third installment of the franchise, Inferno. Additionally, both include a wide variety of insightful and compelling featurettes that delve into the creation of these thrilling adventure favorites, as well as deleted scenes.
Film (4 out of 5 stars)
The Da Vinci Code kicked off the start of a trilogy featuring the world's best known symbologist Robert Langdon, and it also served a departure of sorts for both director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks, neither of whom had really made an action adventure type of movie before this. Based on Dan Brown's bestseller of the same name, this film faithfully adapts the book and adds an extra level of fun thanks to the cast and visual flourishes provided by this medium, 

The film begins with the curator of the Louvre Jacques Saunière (Jean-Pierre Marielle) running for his life from an albino Catholic monk named Silas (Paul Bettany). Silas is after the location of something called the "keystone," so that he can destroy the Holy Grail. Saunière tries to throw Silas off track but is still shot by Silas. Before dying, Saunière manages to use his own body as a clue to bring in a colleague he was supposed to meet earlier named Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks). After investigating the body, and decoding a Fibonacci number that was only visible in blacklight, Langon quickly surmises that Saunière was a grand master of the Priory of Sion, a group devoted to protecting the Holy Grail. 

Together with Saunière's granddaughter Sophie (Audrey Tautou), Langdon escapes police captain Bezu Fache (Jean Reno) and uses more clues hidden in Leonardo Da Vinci's art to lead them to a Zurich bank where they obtain a cryptex cylinder from a safety deposit box. When the police arrive at the bank, Langdon and Sophie are forced to trust the bank manager Andre Vernet (Jurgen Prochnow) to smuggle them to safety. From that point on, it's a race against time as Silas is pursuing them on behalf of his religious order of Opus Dei which is led by Biship Aringarosa (Alfred Molina). Langdon and Sophie follow the clues and seek help from Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen) who has his own theories on what the Holy Grail actually is...

These kind of movies are hard to write about as they are full of twists and turns and I hate spoiling anything even if the movie is now celebrating it's tenth anniversary. Part of the joy of these kinds of movies is going along for the ride and I'm not going to ruin that for others. This film (like the book) was somewhat controversial when it came out due to the religious themes both contained. As for me, I enjoyed the various clues hidden in history and the implications they raised. Langdon is kind of Indiana Jones-lite as he solves plenty of historical riddles, but with a lot less action. Tom Hanks is great in the role and he brings his natural intelligence and humor to the part. The rest of the cast is also great with Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, Aldred Molina, Ian McKellen, in well written supporting roles. Even the small role of the bank manager is played by Jurgen Prochnow so you know that this is a good movie. Out of the three Langdon movies, this one is my favorite and director Ron Howard keeps the pace moving throughout.
Video (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
I have this movie on DVD and I must say that this new 4K Ultra HD version blows that one out of the water. The images are razor sharp and the colors are much brighter and more distinct. The detail on display is also much finer and you will notice little details that you may not have seen before. That doesn't mean that this has been scrubbed completely, which it hasn't as the film still has a very nice cinematic look to it that you can only get from film. The Blu-ray is also very good, but the UHD is the way to go.
Audio (5 out of 5 stars)
The Da Vinci Code's Dolby Atmos soundtrack is also very impressive and it's much better than the Blu-ray's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, although it's also very good. The Atmos track offers much more immersion and a wider range than the 1080p version. There's a ton of atmosphere delivered which adds a lot to the movie. Dialogue is clear, as are the sound effects and the great music by Hans Zimmer.
Extras (5 out of 5 stars)
Now this is where this tenth anniversary edition really shines. Not only do we get all of the previous extras ported over, we also get some new extras too. Honestly, I liked the previously released extras better than the new ones, but I'm always happy to get as much as I can get! Most of these extras are found on the second Blu-ray disc while disc three contains the movie and a small collection of extras.

Disc Two (Original Extras) 

  • First Day on the Set with Ron Howard
  • A Discussion with Dan Brown
  • A Portrait of Langdon
  • Who Is Sophie Neveu?
  • Unusual Suspects
  • Magical Places
  • Close-Up on Mona Lisa
  • The Filmmakers' Journey Part One
  • The Filmmakers' Journey Part Two
  • The Codes of The Da Vinci Code
  • The Music of The Da Vinci Code
  • Book to Screen
  • The Da Vinci Props
  • The Da Vinci Sets
  • Re-Creating Works of Art
  • The Visual Effects World of The Da Vinci Code
  • Scoring The Da Vinci Code

Movie Disc with Extras: 

  • Audio Commentary
  • Launching a Legacy with A First Look at Inferno - This is one of the new extras included in this set and it focuses on the just released Inferno which is the latest film in the series. The cast and crew talk about the movie and how the books are converted to movies. We hear from Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and  author Dan Brown, 
  • Extended Cut Scenes - We get over thirty five minutes of extended scenes which include: "How Well Did You Know the Curator," "Containment," "In the Air," "The Pentacle," "In the Bathroom," "They Didn't Send Her," "He Reached Out to You," "The Sacred Feminine," "I Will Destroy the Painting," "The Getaway," "Silas Flashback," "You Let Them Get Away," "Patrol," "Money," "Prayer," "Welcome Bishop," "Petty Cash," "The Teacher," "Quite a Performance," "Silas Sins Flashback," "I Chastise My Body," "You Don't Believe in God," "Sophie Was Trained," "At the Hospital," "Hot Tamale," "Looking Through the File," "He's Fantastic with Sauces," "The Holy Grail," "Mortal Man," "Opus Dei," "They Never Wanted You," "Tell Me Next Time," "To London," "Temple Church," "Glove Box," "Holy Land," "Listening Post," "He Forgot Everything," "Da Vinci," "She Was Here," "His Last Breath," and "Through the Streets."
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer 
  • Digital Copy of the Film
Summary (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Da Vinci Code is a lot of fun and it's filled with great actors. Ron Howard does a great job keeping the story moving and the various puzzles to be solved are really interesting. This tenth anniuversary edition is well worth the money (even to upgrade) as it offers a fantastic picture and excellent sound as well as some really good and in depth extras. This is an easy one to recommend!

Order your copy today!

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