My friend Season is back in the area. She lives in Florida and I haven’t seen her since Christmas. Before she left for the Sunshine State, we were movie buddies and would often go to this Chinese buffet in Mishawaka. Today I wanted to relive some of that so I took her out to Benton Harbor/St. Joe for lunch and the beach. –Yes there are beaches here. [cough]Sharon[/cough]. Afterwards we headed to Niles where we were planning to see Angels & Demons.
Wonderland (and the Ready 4 before it relocated) is a great local movie theater. The prices can’t be beat. It may have limited screens but it manages to get current and popular movies. Prices are $2.50 for matinees and $3.50 for evening shows. Compare that to other larger theaters which charge around $7.00. There was a notice that I saw today where they announced that their ticket prices were going up next month. $2.50 before noon, $4.50 noon to six, $5.50 in the evening. They had to succumb to pressure from the film distributors. Paramount and Warner Brothers threatened to delay or possibly withhold their films--the rotten assholes. Still, the prices are relatively cheap and the theater has taken some token steps to appease their customers such as expanding their free popcorn program.
So, on to Angels & Demons…
When The Da Vinci Code movie came out in theaters, I passed it up. But during my trip to San Diego, I saw it on TV. I became so engrossed in it I almost didn’t want to leave and grab some gelato. Luckily my hosts had a DVR and I was able to watch it when we got back.
Considering Star Trek, Terminator Salvation and this movie were coming out practically on top of each other, I didn’t think that I would get to this. I was interested in seeing it though. Season had a choice of either this or the Terminator film and she thought that she would like this more.
Most posters on PEX seemed to like Angels & Demons, saying that it was better than The Da Vinci Code. I disagree. Even the movie critics, in general, thought it was better. Comparing the two it seemed that Angels was more action oriented and simpler. Da Vinci happened to be a dull movie. I’m not sure if I should pat myself on the back because I found the first to be more compelling considering its more cerebral appeal. Although I will grant that one of my criticisms of The Da Vinci Code was that the lead character seemed to solving puzzles with ease, in comparison, first movie made this current one seem like a school yard scavenger hunt. I was even predicting movie events (I went into this movie blind, mind you), some of which I shared with Season.
I thought that the movie was toned down. The clues were dumbed down. The story movement was predictable--even the plot “twist.” The God vs. Science question was almost non-existent from this story which I was led to believe was what the movie was about. Instead, I saw it as a save-the-church-while-running-‘round-Rome film. In addition to the God vs. Science angle, I thought that a huge opportunity was lost in exploring the inner-politics between the cardinals as they decided on who would become the next pope.
Despite the story being simplified, I thought it was a decent movie. Unlike the first movie, I probably will not be…uh…obtaining a copy but it was worth watching at least once.