Over the weekend I relented and saw the film based on the book that everyone's talking about, The Da Vinci Code. Four weeks after its release, it's still one of the top movies at the Australian box office, and the novel is still at the top of the bestseller lists three years after it was originally released. Much has been written critiquing both Brown's book and exploring the reasons for its popularity, so there's little point in adding my opinions about these issues.
The film is almost a page for page adaptation of the book. While I don't think it's particularly well written, and must obviously take issue with its historical innacuracies and theological distortions, I found it worked well as a suspense thriller, even if some of the plot twists were predictable. Alfred Hitchcock's reputation as the master of suspense is safely intact.
I could have waited for the DVD, but the main reason why I wanted to see this film on the big screen was to see the teaser trailer for the new James Bond film, Casino Royale. This will be the first outing of the new Bond, British actor Daniel Craig. Based on the Ian Fleming novel of the same name, it will explore Bond's origins. We will see Bond as a raw recruit to MI6, earning his licence to kill and going on his first mission. After the bloated action spectaculars of the Pierce Brosnan era, director Martin Campbell is aiming to take the franchise back to its grittier, more realistic roots. All the usual Bond ingredients of Martinis, girls, and guns will still be intact, but this time in more subdued fashion. Hopefully this will mean more character development and exploration of the Bond psyche. Although I enjoy most of the Bond movies, most of the time he's portrayed as a cardboard cutout rather than a real human being. As a Bond fan I'm very much looking forward to seeing how it turns out, and seeing Craig's interpretation of the character. He's copped a pasting from some Bond fans for not being suitable for the part, most of whom have probably never seen any of his previous work. I'm hopeful that come December, when the film is released, we'll be pleasantly surprised by his efforts.