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4.5 out of 5 stars135
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 21 October 2009
it's pretty much common knowledge that when a books story is transferred onto screen that not all the original details go with it, this of course is for practical reasons due to film running times etc, and while it is the case here that all of the plot twists from the two books are included within the films and slight alterations to the stories have been made the essence of the two stories remains intact. In my opinion ron howard and tom hanks have made a valiant effort at recreating two amazing books for the screen which represent the books well and open up the stories to a wider audience. Fans of the books and people new to the stories alike should be throughly entertained by these two great films
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 September 2012
I don't need to tell anyone how wonderful the Dan Brown books are, they are genuine page turners of the highest order, although I have to admit that despite all the fuss about 'The Da Vinci Code' the book I have enjoyed most thus far is 'Deception Point', now THAT would make a fantastic film!

However, that is not why we're here!

I don't normally review an item on Amazon when there are already a number of existing reviews unless I feel I have something to offer, and although there are a number of excellent write-ups for this item I had difficulty ascertaining just what this double blu-ray set actually consisted of.

So for the benefit of those who, like me, have struggled to find out the specific details here goes!

The set consists of two seperate standard blu-ray cases surrounded by a cardboard sleeve, the sleeve isn't the best quality but I feel it does look better on the shelf than the two individual boxes.

The Da Vinci Code is the extended cut, running at 174 minutes it offers an additional 25 minutes of footage compared to the standard release and I feel it is definitely all the better for it; it is amazing how much 'good' material was cut from the cinema release.

The disc itself is pretty 'bare-bones' when it comes to extras, just commentary from director Ron Howard on a selection of scenes and a feature called 'Unlocking the Code', this is a picture-in-picture video that offers insight into the film and story.

The picture is presented in 1080p High Definition with a screen ratio of 2.40:1, audio is 5.1 but only available in English, and the subtitles available are:

1. English
2. English (Hard of Hearing)
3. Danish
4. Finnish
5. Hindi
6. Norwegion
7. Swedish

The disc is multi-region, compatible with regions A, B and C.

One slightly strange thing about this set is that the disc for The Da Vinci Code has 'Disc 1' printed on it; the Angels and Demons disc does not have 'Disc 2' printed on it, so I can only assume that the Da Vinci Code blu-rays were orignally produced for a two disc version?

The picture and sound are beautiful in the format, the film is visually stunning on standard definition as far as I am concerned so the improved detail and richness make the viewing experience all the more rewarding.

Ok, on to Angels and Demons..............

This disc features two versions of the film, the original theatrical version running at 133 minutes and a new extended cut that runs to 140 minutes; I know it doesn't sound much, but it is amazing just how much you can get into 7 minutes and these additional scenes definitely offer a more complete interpretation of the written material.

Once again the disc offers only limited extras, although more than on the first disc:

1. The path of Illumination (& tutorial video) - Follow Robert Langdon's journey through Romeand see if you can unlock the path of illumination.

2. Movie IQ - Real-time in-movie information about the cast, crew, music and production via BD Live.

3. 'Rome was not built in a day' - featurette

4. 'CERN: Pushing the Frontiers of Knowledge' - featurette

5. 'Angels & Demons: The Full Story' - featurette

The picture is once more presented in 1080p High Definition with a screen ratio of 2.40:1, this time the audio is available in 5.1 DTS HD and English Audio Description 5.1, but still only in English, and the subtitles available are:

1. English
2. English (Hard of Hearing)
3. Hindi

THIS TIME THE DISC IS NOT MULTI-REGION, IT IS REGION B, SO BUYERS BEWARE!!

The picture and audio quality are even more stunning than on the first film, perhaps because Angels and Demons is a more visceral experience, and this film simply has to be seen on this format to truly appreciate it.

Overall a very nice collection, and for me the extended footage in the films more than makes up for the relatively meagre extras, the quality on Blu Ray is stunning and if you can pick this up when it is reduced in price (I picked mine up direct from Amazon at an amazing £7.11!) you should not hesitate.
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The almost universally derided but hugely successful The DaVinci Code turns out to be surprisingly entertaining hokum. In many ways Ron Howard is the perfect director for it - he still can't create a decent suspense sequence in a thriller but, unashamedly populist and one of the directors least likely to overestimate his audience's intelligence, he keeps things fairly clear and surprisingly inoffensive: it's more likely to be the atheists looking for a flag to rally around who'll feel betrayed than the religious, with the film going to pains to emphasise that being mortal need not invalidate Jesus' message or the value of faith. Indeed, the villain turns out not to be a church figure but the kind of obsessive conspiracy nut who probably makes up the novel's target audience, albeit one ingeniously using the Church as his own personal hitman.

The film does a surprisingly imaginative job of illustrating the film's extensive exposition with everything from PowerPoint presentations and computer graphic representations of the thought process to some visually striking flashbacks that are also well invoked to imply memories, phobias and personal backstories, while the script has fun setting up various characters as the villain-in-chief only to pull the rug from under you. Even the constant puzzles that drive the story like some sudoko thriller are generally presented in a pleasingly cinematic manner. The film's big conspiracy - hardly a secret people will kill to cover up since it's been the subject of books for decades - doesn't hold water for a second, relying on finding connections and patterns where none exist, altering pictures to change their meaning and quoting apocryphal works and offering speculation as fact in such a way that the same method could probably also be used to prove that the secret child of Top Cat and Judy Jetson is the true heir to the throne of Great Britain, but at least the film's hero is allowed to puncture some of the more absurd elements as pure conjecture or disproven nonsense (provoking the inevitable "That's what they want you to think!" response) before finally seeing the light. There's also something rather naïve in the story's belief that if the big story is finally revealed, all war and sexual oppression will disappear overnight, something only underlined by the killer's over-the-top final moments.

It's generally well cast (even if Tom Hanks pronunciation is a little odd at times while actors like Jean-Pierre Marielle are wasted on nothing parts) and has a surprising amount of momentum and drive before things slow to a crawl for the lengthy epilogue, while Hans Zimmer throws in an effective score, making for a surprisingly entertaining cinematic scavenger hunt. Which makes it all the more surprising how weak the slightly better reviewed follow-up, Angels and Demons, turned out. The kind of film that manages to look at once expensive and cheap, it's a lot less effective than the first film - the casting is much poorer, the script considerably weaker (especially one big rallying speech) and the absence of flashback montages makes the exposition seem far more perfunctory than its predecessor, not least because Hanks seems so bored with it all for much of the movie. Even the literal ticking clock device that drives the plot fails to produce any tension despite the high stakes, the villain and his motivation fairly obvious through heavy-handed writing and a couple of strikingly unconvincingly acted scenes long before the absurd sequence involving an anti-matter bomb, a helicopter and a parachute... Everything is more run-of-the-mill here - even the internal Vatican politics play like the kind of TV miniseries that went out of fashion in the 70s, complete with a feelgood finale that sees its medieval conspiracy theory proved a blind and its atheist hero firmly back in God's good books to reassure the faithful that God is in his heaven and all's well with the Church. It's watchable but uninspired, feeling more like a film that was rushed into production to cash-in on its predecessor as quickly as possibly rather than something that took a few years to reach the screen.

The DVD set offers single-disc versions of both films in their theatrical versions with nothing of substance in the way of extra features while the Blu Ray set offers the single disc extended 174-minute cut of The Da Vinci Code with picture-in-picture featurettes and interviews and both the theatrical and extended cuts of Angels and Demons.
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on 5 June 2013
Fantastic price for 2 great movies on blu-ray.

Okay, so Angels and Demons looks amazing on blu-ray. It's everything it's supposed to be, being set in the beautiful city of Rome and exploring the vatican. The movie is great to watch even if you don't care about the story (which I really liked).

What lets this box set down is the fact that The Da Vinci Code doesn't have that same blu-ray impact. The picture is very soft, and while the colours are nice and everything, it's certainly not as vivid as I expected. I was hoping for really good picture, given the content, but it's just not sharp and pristine like most blu-rays. It's still very close to the dvd transfer. I have older movies on blu-ray that outshine The Da Vinci Code.

This set is 2 normal blu-ray cases held together with a cardboard sleeve. Just in case anyone wants to know.
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on 7 July 2013
These two films are a favourite of mine, even though they don't stick to the stories as much as people might think, which I think is a good thing. Creative liberty is something that all film makers should be allowed, especially someone like Ron Howard. Tom Hanks is the perfect fit for Robert Langdon in each of the movies and the supporting actors are also well cast. I think that the initial hype of The Da Vinci Code made the first film a smash, the second film isn't quite up to the task of maintaining the quality of story, which is probably more down to Dan Brown's writing and not the quality of film making or script writing.

Although these films sometimes lack that certain adventure factor, they maintain the quality from the outset and don't tend to slump into the realms of boringness or being on too long. They are a lesson for history as well as entertainment and if you like conspiracies, religion, art, architecture, fringe science and adventure, these will fit the bill.

The quality of the Blu Rays are amazing, they are shot beautifully and the quality of the discs help reflect that. They have some nice special features but nothing mind blowing. They add to the overall fun of the films and provide you with more insights into filming and also the questions raised in the films pertaining to the symbolism, conspiracy and mystery.
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on 12 February 2016
I now feel that I can review both of these films in a very honest way. I have never had a bad word to say about them and am not about to start now because they are both good. I am a fan of the Dan Brown books of The Da Vinci Code and Angels And Demons but NOT a fan of his other non Robert Langdon novels. It's strage because if I like an author I will go out of my way to seek out their other work and normally enjoy and can get on with them. Take Lee Childs Jack Reacher books, all of which I adore. And the Tom Cruise take on the character in the film Jack Reacher based on One Shot is brilliant. But the Dan Brown books, apart from the ones I mentioned or the Langdon based adventures, The Lost Symbol and Inferno are boring and silly. I suppose that I just take to a certain characters. I also get that people will say that the movies of The Da Vinci Code and Angels And Demons are silly but I say they are very interesting and a very entertaining watch.

Tom Hanks suits the role of Robert Langdon well and it's nice to see him take on a bit of an action type role even though he may, at first be slighty miscast. If you think like this then give it more of a chance and you will see Hanks slowly find his feet. What he does do well is bring an honest and intelligent element to the films which are fiction based on some religious facts which upset some folks. I myself can't say I'm in this band of people because I take religion with a very small pinch of salt and see the films as good stories with something to think about at the end. If it causes people to get wound up and start spouting off about the religious aspect of the stories then I say good! because the movies have provoked a reaction which is what movies are there for.

Now, the films themselves. Out of the two, I prefer Angels And Demons. There are a few reasons for this. One is because the subject matter is difficult to do which definately found it's feet with Angels and the casting which I mentioned. Angels is faster paced than Da Vinci and even feels a bit Indiana Jones in places. Da Vinci is more mellow and glides along but starts to loose it's way slightly bit then manages to pull itself back in check. But I think the story of Da Vinci is more interesting than Angels but I prefer the subject matter of Angels. Both are pretty tense and gruesome which they needs to be because of what the stories are portraying.

Both films are stunning to watch and hear, especially Da Vinci which in my opinion is one of the best set films I've seen. I also love the scores from Hans Zimmer because his music is flawless. I am a bit of a sucker for soundtracks and do own quite a few.

Both films individually are a very solid 3 stars each but as a set it a 4 star. Also, if you get the steel book Bluray of The Da Vinci Code it's missing on extras. I own it but also have the standard Bluray which is packed with special features. Both films are on limited edition Bluray steel books which very nice art work. I will be looking forward to Tom Hanks in Inferno in the not too distant future.
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on 24 November 2014
I read the books but never saw the films so decided to go for the twin pack on Amazon. I won't go in to the detail of the films but I can't see why each, and particularly The Da Vinci Code, got such a slating by critics as they are very watchable, if fairly linear in their presentation. Better than the Harry Potter book to film attempts.
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on 4 September 2013
Really good films with the perfect actor to play the role of Harvard Professor Robert Langdon. They follow the books close enough to warrant watching, more so Angels and Demons rather than Da Vinci Code, but I still feel the books are a lot better than the films.
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on 11 November 2013
The book is a true masterpiece. Fast paced, well researched, excellent story.
The film is very good for those who have not read the book. It is fast paced and well made, but it's as if the book has been cut in half. So much has been left out or changed.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the film (even though Ewan McGregor could have been replaced with a cardboard cut-out and no-one would know the difference).
My only disappointment was the casting for the Camerlengo (Ewan McGregor). He was totally bland and gave nothing to the role.
In the book, the Camerlengo is emotional about his convictions and at the end is quite mental.
The rest of the cast were well chosen and of course Tom Hanks portrays Robert Langdon to perfection.
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on 21 March 2013
Tom Hanks is fantastic in both these movies, a really good few hours worth of entertainment, highly recommended for all mystery/thriller enthusiasts
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