Wednesday, June 07, 2006

666 Again...

.:Apparently, It Might Not Be 666 At All...:.

Satanists and heavy metal fans might be disappointed to discover this, but a recently deciphered New Testament fragment says that the number of the Beast isn't 666, but 616.

This development is a bit unsettling, considering how 616 doesn't have quite the oomph of 666, but there's more to it than just that...

In a comic book a few years ago, Marvel Comics assigned numbers to each universe. In the official Marvel continuity, the Marvel universe's number happened to be 616! *gasp*

So does that mean that Marvel sports the mark of the Beast?

But wait, there's even more!

There is a Marvel character named "Beast"!!! Hank McCoy, to be exact.

So could 616 indeed be his mark? Is Hank McCoy the Antichrist, then?

Oh, what a tangled web we weave...


Today, I'll be reviewing two films: The Da Vinci Code, and The Omen. Obviously, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

.:Film Review: The Da Vinci Code:.

Da Vinci Code
Doc Ock vs. Magneto? Oh, My...

So yeah, all that controversy over this movie. And you know what? The director must be laughing his way to the bank over all the controversy, as people watched this movie to find out what the fuss is about, and fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

Da Vinci Code follows the adventure of Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks.), and Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), as they go around the globe, trying to find out more about the unexpected revelation of a possible bloodline that trails all the way back to Jesus Christ.

I read the book, and liked the way it carried itself, and how the romance between Robert and Sophie slowly came to a boil. In the movie, this particular subplot was never taken up, and let's face it: seeing Forrest Gump attempt to solve mysteries really took some of the bite from the film away. I hate to admit it, but Tom Hank's acting was miserable here. He was bordering on wooden, and seemed less like the Robert Langdon I imagined: the one with a swagger befitting a close to middle-aged but extremely dedicated symbologist.

That being said, the high point of this movie just had to be Leigh Teabing, as portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen. He definitely got the character down to pat, and while I saw him as Magneto a mere few days before this film, he was less conspicuous to me than was Archbishop Aringarosa, who turned out to be Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2.

Anyways, typecasting aside, the movie was a decent enough romp, albeit a bit mired in exposition throughout some parts, and the fact that the director attempts to establish a counterpoint between Teabing and Langdon in that one completely damns the church and the other is almost apologetic for this behavior is a glaring attempt at pacifying naysayers. An attempt that would naturally fall on deaf ears as far as naysayers go, and would plainly annoy anyone else.

I know this sounds dumb, but I frankly enjoyed "National Treasure" much more than this. It was funny though that watching this movie with Kathy, Krisette, and Hrbs kinda spelled comedy gold, as I got suckered into treating Kathy to watch in an attempt to cheer her up... hopefully, she feels better now, despite having been robbed of about $100...

I really feel that the book was better. And that this whole thing has been demeaning to all the Albino monks out there. They deserve better, I tell you.

One last quip: did you know that there are no monks in Opus Dei? Tsk, tsk.

"Fun" Evaluation: B
"Critical" Evaluation: B-

.:Film Review: The Omen (2006):.

The Omen
If you didn't watch this for free, the devil has beguiled you out of your money.

So again, as we premiered this movie, I watched. And again, with Kathy and Krisette.

I watched the original version of this film before, so I pretty much had an idea what to expect, but what put me off was that this film relied on a few plot points that didn't age too well since the original, and worse, had a few horrible casting calls.

First off, Julia Stiles in a maternal role. Are you falling for that? I sure as Hades am not.

Secondly, Damien himself. Is he anywhere nearly as creepy as the original kid from the original Omen? I frankly don't think so, as I believe that the current kid actually looks cute from time to time, even when he pouts or tries to look malevolent. Still, you know the kid tried.

That being said, what was different in this movie? Quite a bit, and most glaring to me was the disappearance of the Baptism scene. Unless my memory fails me, the original Omen had a scene where Damien was being baptized, and that proved to be a very incredibly concocted sequence. That whole bit was nowhere to be found in this installment, and instead, we're treated to Damien turning five already.

Okay, so I guess the movie was so-so, and delivered a few cheap thrills here and there, which weren't present in the original. This only spelled out the need for this version to up the ante of shock value, since the director couldn't get a grasp on how it is to be ominous.

The original had GREAT music. The new version? Meh. Castrated is about the most apt word that comes to mind, compared to the rich Latin-infested vocals you'd find in the original.

And of course, the most glaring change of all: adding 9/11, Hurricane Katrina/the tidal wave, and other real world tragedies as plot points to emphasize the signs of the times. It bordered on being downright tasteless.

So we talked about changes they made from the original that were worse. Let's go to the flipside. What changes were made for the better?

The nanny from Hades, that's for sure. The nanny in the original was out and out evil, and would make you wonder why anyone would ever hire her. The new version was just so sickeningly sweet and affectionate that you can't help but be creeped out by her.

The priests in this film were pretty good improvements as well. Father Brenner and Bugenhagen (What a mouthful of a name, and this guy is played by Michael Gambon, aka Dumbledore v.2.) were great in their roles, and of course, as a special aside, the way Father Brenner and the photographer dude kicked the bucket are amazing to behold, in a gory kind of way.

Then, we get to the points that weren't changed, and made the movie worse because of it.

One comes to mind: the photographer.

Note that this had nothing to do with having a genuine professional photographer with me in the movie. More than that, the fact that he was still using film for his camera and the fact that Robert Thorn never once thought to utter "Photoshop" while looking at the pictures kinda made you realize that the script didn't age too well now that pictures are mainly digital.

So I don't know with you, but that was a very dated plot point, and it didn't come across too well.

So there. I guess all in all, this was a disappointment more than an improvement over the original. It didn't change things enough, and sadly, the things it chose to change were mostly things that should've stayed the same, and things that should've changed, like the photography bits, stayed the same.

What grated on me exceptionally as well was that in the end, when Damien's dad was about to kill him, the police burst in, yell at him to stop, then shoot him before anything else happens. Normally police don't just shoot on sight, especially not ambassadors who happen to be the godson of the president. Yeesh.

Mish-mash of a movie not worth seeing if you're going to the theatres, as the bite of the original is not in this film, especially with the missing baptism scene.

I wish I could say I liked this movie, but I think that this, more than Da Vinci Code, should've been banned. I liked the original. That being said, the only reason I'm favorable with this movie is that the original was good enough to give it something of a free pass. But if I had my way, I'd ban this and not Da Vinci Code.

Why? Not because of the Satanic undertones/overtones, which weren't as pronounced as they were in the original, which lends credence to why the hoopla to have this banned wasn't as strong.

But because it's plainly a crappy remake nobody should be hoodwinked into seeing when the original still exists.

"Fun" Rating: B+
"Critical" Rating: C-

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