Not Often I Side With The Church....
But I do hate that Tom Hanks. Did you see Terminal? Ugh! Puke!
Hollywood film director and former Fonz sidekick Ron Howard has accused the Vatican of a dark plot to knobble his latest blockbuster Dan Brown adaptation, Angels and Demons. Howard reckons the Pope and his helpers used "back channels" to scupper attempts to film around key landmarks in Rome. The production team had already …
I'm certainly no fan of organised religion, but I have to wonder why Ron Howard feels he has a (god-given?) right to film in any building he chooses.
If the director of Antitrust had demanded that it be filmed on the Microsoft campus, with Microsoft logos in full view, would it be considered a 'conspiracy' when Microsoft fail to grant them access?
Twisted religion is bad enough, but stoking the flames with ridiculous conspiracy theories isn't going to help anyone.
Maybe Richie should head to Arnold's for a quick cheeseburger and seek council from the Arthur Fonzerelli in the mens room like days gone by. I do remember the Fonz blessing himself from time to time so maybe he'll put in a kind word with the Pope... Oul Benny XIV is quare craic if you get him on a good day.
Mine is the one with the Rosary Beads, that double up as a garrotte, in the pocket...
"Of course, it may be that the organisation responsible for some of the greatest works of art and literature in Western civilisation simply thinks Brown's books and the films based on them are a bit crap"
They are incredibly formulaic as stories and very simply structured. The only thing exceptional about them apart is the sheer amount of real world details given in them, hiding how shallow it actually is, and giving them a credability that most other works of fiction don't have.
Let me get this straight, he takes a book which is rude towards the Vatican and then wonders why the church won't help him turn it into a film? Pesky churchmen standing in the way of God of Commerce! How dare they?!
@ac 13:39 - you'll get my bill for a new keyboard, though I suspect that film has already been made. I just don't dare google for it.
Lets see..... the filming in Rome wrapped up about a year ago, but Ronny makes the statement about the 'cover up' now. Could it be because it was really a problem, or becuase the film is being released this week...? Why didn't he make all this noise when it happened last year?
another example of using the 'press' to generate a fake 'controversy' to sell a crappy product.
I started reading Angels and Demons once, having never heard of Dan Brown at the time. I gave up after the first few chapters because it was like reading a 15-year-old's first Creative English assignment.
Being a sucker for punishment, I also watched the Da Vinci Code movie. I think if the Spanish Inquisition had turned up and burned my eyes out, I would probably have welcomed it.
I'm no cultural highbrow but Mr Brown truly is the Colonel Sanders of the literary world.
IanF: "I have to wonder why Ron Howard feels he has a (god-given?) right to film in any building he chooses."
I got the impression he felt he had the right because he'd previously been given permission, which was subsequently revoked due to Vatican influence. Making a feature film isn't like making a video for YouTube, you don't just roll up to a church with a crew of thirty and a few million euros worth of kit and ask "Mind if we shoot a couple of scenes here?" These things are generally planned several weeks (if not months) in advance, so to have your film permit revoked just days before you'd planned to film can throw a serious kink in your schedule. Not to mention the rewrites and replanning involved in shooting replacement scenes in places where you do have permission.
4 Ron Howard:
"When you come to film in Rome, the official statement to you is that the Vatican has no influence".
And when you come to New York you are probably told that the Mob has no influence.
And when you come to Hollywood you are probably told that the various luminaries of the silver screen have no influence.
The real problem would seem to be that when you come to Rome, the luminaries of Hollywood's Silver Screen have no influence. You should have networked more when you were in New York.
...and I can't tell why they're still mumping on about it after more than 2000 years.
Angels and Demons is undoubtedly worse. My flatmate managed to read the Da Vinci Code but it took her two attempts to get through Angels and Demons. She was pretty determined, 'cos she'd borrowed it from a friend who said it was one of the best books she'd ever written. Everything I've ever heard about it says that far from being any good, it's truly awful.
Wasn't 'Angels and Demons' written BEFORE 'The Da Vinci Code'? Which means Dan Brown was still developing his powers as an author, so it's unlikely we'll see the later novel's 'extraordinary' prose, 'astonishing' plot and 'thrilling' character development.
But I reckon it will still read like he had the wikipedia guide to Rome open in front of him.
At a wild guess:
'Langdon walked across St. Peter's Square, distinguished from the territory of Italy only by a white line along the limit of the square, where it touches Piazza Pio XII. St. Peter's Square is reached through the Via della Conciliazione which runs from the Tiber River to St. Peter's. This grand approach was constructed by Benito Mussolini after the conclusion of the Lateran Treaty.
'It was only then, as he perused the menu in a family-owned trattatoria that he saw the reflected image of the lesbian assassin nun wielding the cold fusion assault rifle.'*
Word to Ron Howard and Tom Hanks - you gave us 'Apollo 13' for crissakes - why are you making this shite???
* If anyone has a couple of million burning a hole in their pocket I am willing to write the rest of my screenplay - complete with the lesbian assassin nun, the cold fusion assault rifle, prominent placement of the product of your choice (Coca Cola, Pepsi, the Shroud of Turin you name it, I'll cram it in between the roof-top car chase and the CGI sidekick), Dolph Lundgren and/or Jean Claude van Damme in a dirty green vest as the mitteleuropean action hero who dies a gory death at the hands of the Provisional wing of the Salvation Army, and a huge, deeply satisfying climactic explosion which will have me venerated by hearing specialists for years to come. Think Michael Bay without the taste and restraint but with gothic chanting on the soundtrack.
I made the gross mistake of
(a) reading Digital Fortress (in my defence, I was on holiday, and it was the only book available after having exhausted my books and moved on to the girlfried's)
but worse (b) reading it after having just completed Neal Stephenson's masterpeice 'Cryptonomicon' - a book about cryptography from an author who knows what he's talking about. If any further proof of Dan Brown's ignorance of all matters relating to computers and cryptography, 'Cryptonomicon' is it.
Neal Stephenson = genius
Dan Brown = pratt (though rich pratt, which is possibly more annoying, making squillions of dollars from atrocious fiction)
This is Rome, the way to clear back channels is to lubricate the bureaucracy with a thick brown envelope. If you don't do that then of course these problems are going to come up and they will almost certainly be blamed on the unaccountable guest in the heart of the city.
Paris because she knows how lubricate everything, including bureaucracy.
I met a serious team of quietly spoken North Americans that many years ago came to the PS-AA (Proton Synchrotron - Antiproton Accumulator) at CERN and asked the antimatter bottle question.
They left happy. I don't recall Dan Brown being a member of the team!
Disclaimer: I read and enjoyed "Holy Blood (and the) Holy Grail" Corgi. ISBN 0-552-12138
I read it after a foray into the world of cryptography and the technical side of it is laughably bad. Still, there haven't been many books since the '70s where entire government complexes explode because a computer gets caught in a 'does not compute' loop.
Oops, did I give away the ending ?
"The Da Vinci Coeds", a ruthless and unscrupulous professor has his way with female undergraduates unable to distinguish the profound from the bogus. Opening in theatres worldwide July!"
Already been done http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1280507/
"Three sexy spies are tasked with tracking down a coed who can unlock the scandalous secret to a ring that holds the power to spark people's carnal desires in this adult adventure."
1. Anyone who thinks the Vatican has no influence on Rome is an idiot. ROMAN Catholic Church should have been the first clue.
2. Anyone who thought the Vatican (or Roman officials) would allow filming in their churches for this book is an idiot. They have every right to deny the filming. The timing seems questionable, but then we don't have all the information, either. I wouldn't trust either side (the Vatican or the filmmaker) to speak the entire truth.
3. "Angels and Demons" was Dan Brown's FIRST book, written BEFORE Da Vinci Code. If you're going to comment about them, at least get the chronology correct.
4. I personally like Dan Brown's books for the most part, but then I read them for their entertainment value with no preconceived notions or ideas. Different people, different tastes. I had a hell of a time getting through Neuromancer, having to give it two attempts because I found the writing style extremely difficult to read.
5. Anyone reading ANY fiction book, or watching ANY movie or television show expecting it to be technically accurate is an idiot. Yes, those of us in the computer industry know that CSI, 24, etc are completely ridiculous from an IT perspective. And I would venture a guess that it's the same for everything -- that medical shows are completely unrealistic in the medical work, that the cop and lawyer shows are completely unrealistic from a law standpoint, etc. Sit down and realize that they're written for ENTERTAINMENT, not to be graded on their technical accuracy. The writers do what they do to make the show/movie/book more interesting to the general public. Whenever you feel yourself getting all worked up because what the characters are saying or doing isn't technically accurate, remind yourself of one very important thing -- IT'S FICTION.
Having said that, I'll venture a guess and say that this movie, like most movies based on books or video games, will suck. Speaking of which, anyone who hasn't seen Max Payne (the movie) yet -- don't. What a pathetic waste of time.
Neal Stephenson's 'Cryptonomicon' is indeed a masterpiece. Unsurprising since Mr Stephenson is in fact a Unix hacker himself. (see 'In the beginning, there was the command line')
I think I remember briefly looking at a copy of Digital Fortress in a bookshop ... I quick glance through the first few pages was enough to see it slotted back on the shelf and forgotten.
I've never read any of his books but I hereby roundly condemn his writing as utter drivel based purely on the sheer volume of "non-readers" who have asked my opinion of it.
Top Tip! To really piss off reverent note-taking Dan Brown fan types at the movies: buy a ticket for the movie, making sure to take a book or some other form of personal entertainment for the duration. When the credits roll, stand up and yawn, then proclaim loudly: "well it was alright, but it's no Harry Potter."
In conclusion: spunkbubble.
Paris because mumble mumble, IQ in the shoe size range, something something, spat them out etc. etc.
.. I don't have a lot to add.
Except that a self-inflated factually dubious lie based on another self-inflated factually dubious lie, added to some appalling writing and epic fail science, will never ever ever result in a good piece of work.
I'm guessing the poop said NO, mainly because even he has limits when it comes to bad taste.
What about the solex agitator/ green-solar-leccy-initiative ????
Bet the vatican has finally been taken over by the illuminati: Now all we need is some orbiting solar mirrors, some very large piezo induction converters (say, about the size of a building.... maybe with a large ariel/cross on top) ...hmmmmm ...... and i also see robots ......i see BIG robots!!!!
I would have thought any criticism the Vatican gives a movie, the more money the movie is likely to make. Lets face it, who wants to see some dullfest movie approved of by conservative Christians? Surely the more they hate a movie, the better that movie has got to be?
And in any case most people realise that Dan Brown's books are actually works of fiction, not research papers. I believe he wrote them to tell stories and entertain, not to educate.
Most of the conclusions are leaps of faith and backed up by conjecture rather than real evidence. Sort of like the Bible but with less plot twists and not as much fantasy. The Bible is a great work of fiction, so it's authors shouldn't feel threatened by a passing fad.
Replace "The Vatican" with "Microsoft"
Microsoft has a bit of problem with the author's work, perceiving it as somewhat anti-Microsoft in its outlook. This has been put down to his tendency to portray elements of Microsoft embarking on murderous attempts to suppress what it sees as threats to its monopoly on truth.
is how many copies you can find in a charity shop in the first month after mass paperback release. dan brown scores almost as high as 'the third angel' by phillip(?) kerr.. and those potter books.
also, Holy Blood (and the) Holy Grail.. that was a laugh. and to have his wife use it as the basis for a secondary fiction and making sooo much wonga. bet that tickled him.. all the way to his Swisse bank account..
> I had to keep looking at the cover to check I hadn't picked up DaVinci Code instead.
Funny you should say that. Never read any of his books, but I take it from people much more expert than I that his books are utter tat:
and this one has more, along with a list of other related articles:
Ron is lucky that recently the Catholic Church retired the torturers of the Inquisition , and has also stopped burning at the stake, those who dare to say that the Earth is NOT the centre of the Universe.
Galileo Galilei had a close call when he used that devilsh instrument called the Telescope.
He observed things that could not be ,as it was against Christian doctrine.
They are apparently now behaving the way that they should according to the book that they use as a guide.
Something about thow shalt not kill, and all that.
Strange slant on this article. The Catholic Church was once the Greatest Show on Earth. But, as we progress as humans, they lose contributors daily, and anything that can get them back into the news is on the agenda. If anyone knows drama, staging, emotional connections, and anxiety and fear as the prime motivator, it is the Catholic Church. Where else can grown men not only get away with wearing hats like that, but - and at the same time - surround themselves with a cast of thousands as they offer up some of the world's most engaging drama. Howard trying to steal a bit of notice? He's just going along for the ride.
...quite possibly the second best novel I've ever read. Truly unputdownable, and it made me want to visit everywhere mentioned in the book.
(The best ever novel? 'The Sett' by Sir Ranulph Fiennes . In a novel about ruthlessness and revenge, our hero takes on Yardies, the IRA, badger baiters, the CIA and the President of Pakistan, to name a few. )
I quite enjoy DB books, not particularly well written but keep you occupied. Even Digital Fortress, once you could ignore the obvious nonsense, was enjoyable enough. There are certainly many worse authors out there (most of them posting above I imagine). Try reading some of the older SF books (e.g. anything from 50, 60's) - some of those are really bad.
It appears that the only book liked by those posting above, are those entirely factual ones, with perfect understanding of all areas of science and computing. Although I doubt those would come under the heading of fiction, which DB's do. Perhaps that's the mistake those above have made - thinking that DB wrote textbooks?
Even Lord of the Flies - a modern classic - has factual scientific errors, and yet I don't see that wrecking it's reputation.
I pretty much agree with everything you said. I enjoyed the books and it took me 2 attempts at Neuromancer, too.
It's fiction, people. It doesn't have to be realistic. If anything, I don't WANT it to be realistic. Even Digital Fortress (definately the worst of the books).... I don't want accurate, boring descriptions of a geek using Unix: "Mark cursed as he accidentally typed the wrong arguments into Vi.". Give me exploding super-computers any day!
Was that the one with the bomb which they could see on security camera but couldn't find because "the camera was wirelss and had been moved"? So no one at CERN is familiar with the concept of "radio direction finding"? I'm sure evn Skippy once triangulated a radio signal to find out which well that stupid kid had fallen down this week.
I read the Dan Brown novels in reverse chronological order - and if you think DaVinci Code was bad, you should be aware that it is a PHENOMENAL improvement in quaility over the early books. My eyes bleed when I even think of "Digital Fortress"... Seriously, he has improved so much as a writer that if the rate of improvement is constant the next book might actually be worth reading! NOW can you comprehend how dreadful "Deception Point" was?
Au contraire, I don't think the factual inaccuracies are anything to do with it. It's more that they are written so badly.
How about this sentence that caused me to lob "Deception Point" across the room and read no further:
-- "I see we have a newcomer," said an uncharacteristically tall Asian man, walking over to join them. --
It's not just that - the whole book is in this style (or at least, the bit I read). It's just clunky. Don't get me wrong, I don't sit round reading James Joyce all day, but I think Dan Brown could put some fucking effort into it for £6.99.
It was actually because I couldn't really believe how bad they were, and I had to keep reading because they just HAD to get better. I believed it was some sort of test, and that I would be rewarded with the intellectual equivalent of apple pie and ice cream at the end for my perseverence.
I wasn't. They were just shite*, whether you take into account the factual errors or not (hey, I'll forgive some, but to effectively make up your own laws of physics? Not without at least a plausible premise for doing so, I'm afraid..).
*and how he managed to get away with lifting entire paragraphs from Holy Blood Holy Grail to Da Vinci Code, I'm not sure. Changing one out of every fifty words for a synonym does not make it your own work, as thousands of teachers will tell you.
Digital Fortress, the only book I've almost managed to finish by Dan Brown, is bad, not because it's technically inaccurate, but simply because it's absurd, and written in an awful way. How many books out there are they with so many one-page chapters? Just to try to keep the reader into some kind of thrill.
But it's obvious that the almighty CIA killer, with a perfect record, no pity, and high tech stuff, won't ever be able to touch the handsome hero, however many times DB points out he's just a normal teacher. Though he's got something in him of Superman, because he's able to hear the sound of a pistol above the noise of two engines - a pistol we've been told has a silencer. Cheap gimmicks, one after the other, to make a boring and predictable chase sound interesting.
Or the head of the NSA, using his own personal cell phone to anonymously contact a Japanese company and illegally sell them a supersecret program. It's not technically inaccurate - but gosh, how can I believe that, for one second? The Japanese company calling him back, so he can deliver a smart-ass answer when he's busy trying to kill somebody? And it takes time, only because their phone doesn't have a LED display for caller ID? Please - this is not technically inaccurate in any way, only so stupid, the mind boggles.
How could one believe it for one second, from what has been painstakingly described, on hundreds of pages, as the most sensitive and secure-conscious agency ever?
I've read technically inaccurate books which I thorougly enjoyed, because they were credible, because they did have an internal logic, and their characters had some depth. And they didn't require not only to suspend disbelief with the Real World, but also with the book's previous assertions themselves.
Of course, if you have the attention-span of a common fly, you might be able to overcome those easily.
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