Tag Archives: Ron Howard

Inferno: Robert Langdon Is Back! (Yawn!)

Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones star in Columbia PIctures' "Inferno."
Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones star in Columbia PIctures’ “Inferno.”

Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s Inferno may be the one that kills the franchise.

Inferno is more of the same with a crazy weird puzzle that must be solved to prevent a dead biochemist’s plan to kill off half the world’s population (to save it) from coming to fruition. This must be done by a half-dead Robert Langdon who is recovering from a head trauma and the doctor who helps him.

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Interplanetary Trailers: National Geographic’s Mars!

Mars 1

National Geographic’s Mars tells the story of the first mission to Mars through a fictional drama intercut with interviews of experts who talk about what colonizing Mars could mean for humanity.

Mars – produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard – will premiere in November. Check out the new trailer after the break.

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In The Heart of the Sea: Thar She Blows!


Ron Howard’s epic retelling of the story that inspired Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick has one or two moments of inspiration but never quite convinces – despite considerable and agile CGI and a first-rate cast.

The problem is one that is shared by the adrift at sea stretch of Unbroken – sun, sea, no land; sun, sea, no land – it gets tedious. Even when the film alludes to certain abominations the survivors performed to stay alive.

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Tom Hanks Returns As Robert Langdon In Dan Brown’s Inferno!

Tom Hanks

It was only a matter of time, of course, before this happened, but Sony has officially announced that Dan Brown’s Inferno is being adapted as a movie by director Ron Howard and his producing  producer, Brian Grazer.

Tom Hanks will reprise his role as symbologist extraordinaire, Robert Langdon and will be joined by an all-star international cast that includes: Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi), Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of future Past, Jurassic World) and Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen).

For more, follow the jump.

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Movie News: Production Round-Up Week of 5.28.10


Hollywood is having the same financial ups and downs as the rest of business world.

On the down side, MGM , which is almost $4 billion in debt, said on Thursday that its lenders agreed to let it skip interest and principal payments until July 14. In a news release, the struggling studio said “The lenders took this action in support of the company’s ongoing efforts to evaluate long-term strategic alternatives to maximize value for its stakeholders.” While MGM is treading water to keep from sinking, the creditors are attempting to fend off a take over bid by Time Warner, whose offer they feel is way too low. The creditors are instead trying to figure out a way to restructure the company and keep it as a stand-alone studio.

On the upside, In the first major film financing deal to hit Hollywood since the economic downturn, Village Roadshow Pictures Group on Thursday closed on a $1 billion credit facility to finance its current and future slate of movies. Bruce Berman, chief executive of Village Roadshow Pictures had this statement to make about the lucrative deal.“This new financing enables us to expand upon the solid foundation we’ve established within the industry and grow our slate of tentpole and star-driven films.”

Village Roadshow, which was formed in 1997, has been one of the industry’s leading financiers and producers of studio released motion pictures. Sixty-one of their library of sixty-five movies have been released in partnership with Warner Brothers. This is the longest running partnership that the venerable studio has had with an independent production studio.

Outside of these ups and downs, a lot of new projects are in the works for the folks out in Hollywood land last week. Here is around up of the movies audiences can look forward to seeing.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Angels & Demons: When You Write Of Us – And You Will… Be Gentle

Unlike The Da Vinci Code, I found the Angels & Demons novel to be impenetrable… maybe it was just my mood, but I saw the movie without having read the book. That may have been a positive for the movie.

Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons has a number of things going for it: it’s less convoluted than The Da Vinci Code, which means it’s less clunky, less herky-jerky; Tom Hanks has vastly more chemistry with Ayelet Zurer than he did with Audrey Tautou; the lack of a campy eccentric performance a la Sir Ian McKellan in the The Da Vinci Code is made up by several moments of genuine humor [though, unfortunately, no more wit], and Professor Robert Langdon [Tom Hanks] has foregone his hideous, slicked-back do and gone for a center part that makes him look like a middle-aged Reggie [see: Archie Comics], while, while still odd, is a vast improvement.

The idea of the Catholic Church being under attack by the long underground Illuminati allows for the same kind of mix of fact and fiction that made The Da Vinci Code relatively compelling despite its clunkiness. Placing this attack during the period immediately following the death of the pope is good as it catches the church at its most vulnerable.

The nature of the attack is such that there had to be someone inside the Vatican to make it happen which gives us an intriguing array of possible infiltrators. Is it the Pope’s Camerlengo, Father Patrick McKenna [Ewan McGregor], a youthful priest with a curious tie to the late pontiff; could it be Commander Richter [Stellan Skarsgard] head of the Swiss Guard, who controls the security for the Pope; might it be Cardinal Strauss [Armin Mueller-Stahl], an older Cardinal with great influence – but not one of the four most likely candidates to replace the late pontiff?

Because the threat includes the kidnapping of the four most likely candidates – and the destruction of Vatican City via the releasing of anti-matter, Langdon is joined in his assignment to find the missing cardinals and prevent the explosions by beautiful physicist Vittoria Vetra [Zurer].

Ron Howard’s pacing is much better and his transitions smoother in Angel & Demons – he clearly recognized that The Da Vinci Code was not his best work. Unfortunately, even with all the improvements in this production, it’s still not more than a reasonably solid entertainment that doesn’t really bear repeat viewings. Still it looks much better than its predecessor [Rome being an incredibly beautiful place] and the basic storytelling is decent enough. Which is to say that, unless there’s an audio commentary, I certainly wouldn’t rush out to buy the DVD.

Final Grade: B-

MOVIE REVIEW: Angel and Demons, Not too Bad, Michelle’s Review!

Angels and Demons Movie Review

I’m not a fan of Tom Hanks or Ron Howard and I also hated The Da Vinci Code so to say I wasn’t enthused to see the sequel, Angels and Demons would be an understatement. It starts off a little slow but somehow I found myself getting sucked into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of 4 Cardinals on the night of electing a new Pope. This is where I put in the disclaimer that I’m not a religious person so most of this stuff went completely over my head.  But I found it sort of intriguing. The problem with a movie like this is that in the past writers like David Koepp (screenplay) and Akiva Goldsman (screenplay) would do a thriller where the bad guys would have very simple manageable plots that as an audience you can just go with. It’s going to be hard to do this review without spoiling the film.

These days the bad guy has to be a freaking genius to be able to explain all the various plan details. Look at everything that Tony Alameda on 24 would have to know way in advance in order for his Bad “Guyness” and master plot to make any semblance of sense?  The same thing occurs here where the bad guy would have to know well in advance that Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) the man the church hates would be called in and if not him, someone else – maybe one of the scientist who helped create it, Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer) would be able to put all the pieces together in time to stop an Antimatter bomb from destroying Vatican City. Yes, I said an Antimatter bomb.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Angels and Demons Holds Some Improvements and Thrills, But Only Some


Angels and Demons, set some time after Ron Howard’s previous adaptation The Da Vinci Code, finds Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon being summoned to The Vatican in order to help them with an impending crisis. As a new pope is set to be elected, a mysterious organization known as the Illuminati, an old villain to the Catholic Church, threatens to eradicate the holy city and everyone in it by using an unstable substance with bomb-like properties.

When speaking about this movie, I seem to always get the same basic opening question- is it better than The Da Vinci Code? The short answer is yes. Ron Howard has done a much better job on this venture of trimming the fat from the novel and leaving the audience with a far more engaging movie than the first film. Fans of the book should be rest assured that some of the more preposterous events have been wisely omitted. Hanks also fares better by showing much more confidence and comfort in his role as Langdon, which I’m sure is aided partly by a much deserved upgrade in his hairstyle.
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