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Angels and Demons - Qualified Perceptions
firstfrost
firstfrost
Angels and Demons
Last night, mjperson declared the last minute plan of seeing Angels and Demons. I hadn't been planning to - I read the book and was... not impressed. (review here) And I've spent the years since occasionally using "Look at that rotational symmetry! Only the real Illuminati could have done that!" as a catchphrase for Stupid.

As it turns out, they took an awful lot of the Stupid out when they made the movie. They put in a little (most notably the special effects associated with the Large Hadron Collider, where for "photon" the CGI guys seemed to think "tinkerbell") and simplified the plot to something more like "Indiana Jones and the Conclave of Cardinals", but it was surprisingly more fun than I expected.

Current Mood: amused amused

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Comments
From: csbermack Date: May 23rd, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was sad they didn't show him bonking the dead pope on the head with the silver hammer. That's my favorite part of the popification rituals.
dpolicar From: dpolicar Date: May 23rd, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great. Now I have that song stuck in my head.
From: csbermack Date: May 23rd, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait, there's a song?
dpolicar From: dpolicar Date: May 23rd, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking of Maxwell's Silver Hammer. Which admittedly doesn't directly reference the Pope.
ironrat From: ironrat Date: May 23rd, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I liked Angels & Demons rather a lot more than Da Vinci Code. I haven't seen the movie yet, but enough people have liked it (and your review is particularly compelling) that I will probably see it.
mijven From: mijven Date: May 23rd, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is this another book that was desperately in need of a good editor, a job that movie-makers often end up having to do anyway?

Or is there some "going in with low expectations often yields an inexplicably higher enjoyment of the movie" effect going on?
kirisutogomen From: kirisutogomen Date: May 24th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Hot Babe: That canister contains an extremely combustible substance called "antimatter"! We need to locate it immediately, or evacuate Vatican City!

Old Dude: I'm quite familiar with incendiaries, Miss Hot Babe. I've never heard of antimatter being used as such.

Hot Babe: Well, it's never been generated in significant quantities before. It's a way of studying the origins of the universe, to try to isolate what some people call the "God particle". But there are implications for energy research --

Old Dude: The "God Particle"???

Hot Babe: What we call it isn't important. It's what gives all matter mass, the thing without which we could not exist.

Tom Hanks: You're talking about the moment of Creation.

Hot Babe: Yes, in a way I am. The antimatter is suspended there, in an airtight nanocomposite shell with electromagnets on each end. But if it were to fall out of suspensions and come in contact with matter say the bottom of the canister then the two opposing forces would annihilate one another violently!
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: May 24th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
The antimatter parts of the movie did preserve some of the stupid of the book. But even so, it bore... a strong resemblance to actual science, in a way that a lot of "tech the tech!" moments in action movies don't. ("Red matter"?) For all that that dialogue is all over the map, it sounds like the person writing it had, say, read the Wikipedia entry on the LHC.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: May 24th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
The book was desperately in need of a good editor, in fact. Some of the awful stupid in the book was excised entirely, and some of it was decently fixed.

Certainly, I admit my reaction is due to my thorough exasperation with the book, so I'm mostly saying "My God, the movie was so much less bad than the book!" So the expectations make a big difference.

But I did actually enjoy the movie. :)

1) Rome is gorgeous
2) The bad guy gets to be tactically clever for a while, which was nice to watch
3) Churches are gorgeous
4) There's the whole Vatican assassin game going on as the B plot, which I have a great fondness for
5) The Camerlengo has a great coat.
ironrat From: ironrat Date: May 25th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am thinking of seeing this today. I was convinced by the initial review, but then some of the comments made me leery, but then points 4 and 5 reconvinced me.
dcltdw From: dcltdw Date: May 25th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I saw this on a whim. It was amusing but felt lacking. "Indiana Jones and the Conclave of Cardinals -- minus Harrison Ford" would be a spot-on description, though. Hat tip to you for that description. :)
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