Angels & Demons: Two-Disc Extended Edition Ron Howard

Angels & Demons: Two-Disc Extended Edition Ron Howard
The Da Vinci Code (2006), Ron Howard and Tom Hanks's first attempt at adapting one of Dan Brown's hack-y thrillers, bullied its way to a $217 million domestic box office gross despite its soul-destroying levels of boredom. But box office receipts were down 40-percent for Angels & Demons, based on an earlier, equally hack-y Dan Brown tome, suggesting that the public's appetite for leaden action sequences, awkwardly factoid-laden dialogue and weird, greasy haircuts wasn't as insatiable as had once been assumed. Still, while America's love affair with paunchy, almost-mulletted, Harvard "symbologists" may have been short-lived, I find myself reluctantly agreeing with dependable quote whore Pete Hammond of Hollywood.com, who raves on the DVD case that Howard and company "have topped The Da Vinci Code in every conceivable way" with their second go-around. If any movie could be considered a serviceable piece of crap, it's Angels & Demons. This is a bad movie, but at least it's a smoothly paced bad movie, eschewing many of the cumbersome talky scenes and the awkward dialogue/cliff-hanger/resolution structure of the first film, as well as all of that laughable conspiracy nonsense that made The Da Vinci Code the favourite book of functional illiterates everywhere. Indeed, Angels & Demons is so relentlessly paced that one almost comes close to forgetting how contrived and ludicrous the plot is, from the howlingly silly climactic twists to Robert Langdon racing around the Vatican about as believably as Al Pacino in 88 Minutes. If Howard ever makes another Dan Brown film, I have three suggestions: 1) make Angels & Demons the last movie to use antimatter theft as its central plot pillar; 2) wring a more energetic performance out of Tom Hanks, and 3) spend some of that $150 million budget on a decent hairstylist, for Pete's sake. The two-disc DVD features an extended cut with eight minutes of footage added, including harsher violence and some inessential extra scenes. The "making of" documentaries are standard studio fluff, but I'm downright intrigued by a DVD-Rom extra advertised as "Create your own music score using the Hans Zimmer Music Studio." Watch out for Angels & Demons: The Tony Orlando Soundtrack Experience, hopefully coming soon to a theatre near you. (Sony)