Sean and I recently saw 3 major movies so I thought we could each give a review of them for your benefit, because we are really, really good movie critics.
JEN: First, The Davinci Code. I enjoy being taken for a ride, am pretty easy to please, and appreciate the fluffiness of life. Therefore, i enjoyed the book a lot and was anxiously anticipating the movie. I was aware of the difficulty the writers had of adapting the book and transforming it into something workable, sensical, and entertaining on the big screen. As for the cast, I, like many, was doubtful when I heard they cast Tom Hanks as the lead but when I saw the movie I remembered, 'oh yeah, it's Tom Hanks...' meaning, Tom Hanks the really good actor who's really good at portraying all kinds of people. So I quickly forgave him and thought he pulled off the already somewhat typical, borderline bland, "everyman" that Robert Langdon is. Sophie Neveu is played by Amelie's Audrey Tautou and I thought she was strong in her performance and was so cute with her French accent. As for the story, I could see where they changed some things and while that will probably always bother people who generally read the book first (myself included), I thought they did a pretty good job with the end result, considering the impossible task book-to-movie adaptation must be, and was still taken for a pretty good ride. I'd recommend it, but don't cling too hard to the book and all the many details therein.
SEAN: Well I agree that the book was a kick, and to the credit of the filmakers they managed to capture every detail of whatever spare visual descriptions were given in the book. More importantly, they managed to precisely match the frenzy and sort of friendly-dark tone of the book, an admirable accomplishment in an adaptation. I wasn't enthralled with the film, but if you are one of the 6 billion people who read the book in the past few years, you had better see it. Just for good measure. And because Dan needs the cash to buy gold helmets for his army of albino monks that are going to take over the world.
SEAN: Mission Impossible III, who knew? It's a third installment (and the second was a real waste of time), and Tom Cruise is so over-exposed right now that everyone hates him, but somehow this movie was a total rush. In a nutshell, Philip Seymour Hoffman scared me to death. The film is a blur, two hours drawn tightly together with (believe it or not) emotional force. Plenty of explosions, guns, gadgets, airplanes, rubber masks, and close calls, but its the boiling energy of Hoffman's villian that drives it. Even the goofiest lines work coming from this guy (though few of the other castmembers can pull them off... OK, Fishburne is good too... ). Very entertaining.
JEN: Philip Seymour Hoffman could have been dancing around in a tutu singing his lines and I'd have still had the bejeebees scared out of me. That's a guy who was made to be the villain. His character is so utterly devoid of anything humane, he acts as a black hole in man-form, sucking out from you everything but fear. I, too, was very (and surprisingly) entertained by this movie and I found myself forgiving Tom Cruise for being himself. He even had a few endearing lines, on top of the totally lame ones: (Note: Woman: how much ammo do you have left? Tom: Enough. Tom jumps out and shoots one bullet, killing the bad guy. Tom: Now I'm out. [ Ridiculous. It was like a token bad line, as if intentional.]) I also found the story and general plot to be interesting and not a total cliché like part 3 movies are destined to be. A surprising but enthusiastic thumbs up from me. Go see this movie for sure.
JEN: Lastly, X-Men 3: The Last Stand. Considering I can barely remember what happened in the 2nd movie as I only saw it once, I was basically starting anew with the storyline. Fortunately, all that I remembered was apparently sufficient and I was never confused or felt myself needing a recap. I thought the movie was pretty entertaining. True, I had a difficult time "seeing the whole picture" (literally) since we arrived late and had to sit close to the front and therefore could only focus on a quarter of the screen at a time, but I had a good time with this movie. The story was simple, which could have been a downfall of the movie, but I forgot about this when I quickly became distracted by all the cool new mutants and their crazy powers! Alas, I am a sucker for that stuff and found myself oohing and ahhing at each new display of mutation. I still thought the story, particularly the ending, was good and you can see how Wolverine is a pivotal character in the comics. in fact, I vaguely recall this fact from watching the cartoon way back when. I believe the special effects were especially designed to be a tasty treat and I fell for it, i admit. So if you're a thirteen-year-old boy at heart like me, and you're particularly a fan of the mutants, go see this movie.
SEAN: Unfortunately, I am not much of a sucker for crazy mutant powers... I am sorry to report that the Marvel kids didn't really do it for me this time. Granted, it takes a masterpiece to overcome the bad seats we had in the theater, but inane dialogue and a deadend plot are not best starting points. To be fair, let me list some highlights: Unexpected deaths (I don't like death in general, I just like being surprised), Famke Janssen is attractive at least some of the time, and Ian Mckellen has a great voice all of the time.