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Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2009

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"Angels & Demons" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by John Johnson

Angels & Demons

Synopsis

After the death of the Pope, four Cardinals who are in line to replace him are kidnapped by members of the Illuminati in Vatican City (in Rome), and are told that they will kill them. Religious history expert Robert Langdon (Hanks) is flown from the US to Rome to assist in finding the Cardinals before they are executed.

The problem is that the Illuminati have stolen some anti-matter from a research laboratory, and it is contained in a small cell that is kept magnetized at both ends by a battery. If the battery runs out of power, the anti-matter will cause an explosion equivalent to a 6 kiloton nuclear weapon. So, the team is working against time not only to save the Cardinals, but to save Vatican City itself, which would be demolished by the explosion.

Another issue is that Langdon does not believe in God, so his help is not so welcomed by religious officials at the Vatican, including Cardinal Strauss (Mueller-Stahl) and Camerlengo Patrick McKenna (McGregor), nor the local police.

Specifications

  • Sony Pictures
  • 2009, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 18 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd, Vittoria Vetra, Armin Mueller-Stahl
  • Directed by Ron Howard
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

The first movie in this series, The Da Vinci Code, was a disaster, because of weak direction and a seemingly bored Tom Hanks. Well, the directing is still weak, and Tom Hanks snores his way through this one just like in the first film. It is almost as if he is reading the script from a teleprompter. If he is bored with making movies, then he should retire. Especially in the case of having such milk toast direction. If there had been an enthusiastic star, the film might have been more exciting to watch.

At least you get an education about what the Catholic Church did during various centuries of its existence and why the Illuminati came into being. Nice tour of several churches too. Guess I don't need to go to Rome to see them in person.

Technical

The video quality is fabulous, and the surround sound is fully encompassing and appropriately eerie in all those dark, centuries-old chambers and corridors.

Extras

Through Cine-Chat On-Line, you can get further information about the cast, crew, music, and the production. You can also chat with others who happen to be watching the movie at the same time, although if you ping them, you will probably just wake them up and they will get mad at you.