Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Da Vinci Bomb

The critics have spoken about the new film, The Da Vinci Code:

"Retarded, ridiculous, and crushingly dull." -- Devin Faraci, CHUD.

"[M]elodramatic, sometimes lifeless." -- Claudia Puig, USA Today.

"[D]uller than watching da Vinci's paint dry." -- Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.Net.

"An oppressively talky film." -- Todd McCarthy, Variety.

"[A] dreary, droning, dull-witted adaptation." -- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

"[O]verblown." -- JoBlo, JoBlo's Movie Emporium.

"[A] lifeless adapation that reveals the flaws of its source." -- Joe Utichi, FilmFocus.

"It's not very good." -- Richard Corliss, Time.

It seems The Da Vinci Code film is having the same trouble as the much-ballyhooed ABC series "Ellen" after Ms. DeGeneres announced her sexual orientation: the underlying show reeked, and no one wanted to watch it. No matter how much the left-wing media wanted to promote the causes they promoted ("alternate lifestyles" and slanders of Christianity), the nation tuned them out because the delivery vehicle (the "entertainment") didn't entertain. There was simply no audience for a show about the gay cause-of-the-week, so "Ellen" tanked. (I'm told her new talk show has avoided pounding the "I'm a lesbian" theme every segment of every show.)

As a brilliant commentator wrote about the rejection of another anti-religious program: "This is the latest in a long string of free market rebukes demonstrating the secular, religio-phobic Left is still unable to brainwash the American people, even with the services of all three networks, the prestige press, and all the Turner networks combined."

So, why hasn't Hollywood invested in more blockbuster epic films like The Passion of the Christ, which also happened to make its investors money? Because it's still more interested in trying.

(Additional caveat: We should not be complacent; the critics -- and perhaps the viewing public -- rejected these programs, not because of their offensive messages, but because they could not compete with other cultural bread-and-circus offerings. Others have, and will, succeed; after all, there wouldn't be a da Vinci movie without the bestselling book.)


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