Sunday, May 21, 2006

Movie Review

The Da Vinci Code
Running Time: 2hr 29min
Director: Ron Howard
Rating: PG-13 {disturbing images, violence, some nudity, thematic material, brief drug references and sexual content}
Status: In theaters now
Find it in a theater near you - Go here

Famed symbologist Professor Robert Langdon is called to the Louvre museum one night where a curator has been murdered, leaving behind a mysterious trail of symbols and clues. With his own survival at stake, Langdon, aided by the police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, unveils a series of stunning secrets hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, all leading to a covert society dedicated to guarding an ancient secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years. The pair set off on a thrilling quest through Paris, London and Scotland, collecting clues as they desperately attempt to crack the code and reveal secrets that will shake the very foundations of mankind.

Dan Brown's mega-selling novel might have made a great ten-hour miniseries: its elaborate riddles and clues could have been properly teased, the cliff-hangers savored, and the sudsy relationships given an appropriately vulgar treatment. Alas, this Ron Howard adaptation is like a speed-dating session, covering two millennia of religious and art history. A symbologist (Tom Hanks, stiff) and a cryptographer (Audrey Tautou, blank) careen across France and the UK trying to uncover the secrets behind a Louvre curator's murder, with a mad monk (Paul Bettany) and a fanatical cop (Jean Reno) in hot pursuit.
Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) pelts the viewer with so many factoids and allegations about the early Catholic church, goddess worship, the Crusades, painting, cartography, and code breaking that the movie's big revelation turns out to be neither grand nor shocking. - Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Predator by Patricia Cornwell
Predator, the new novel by Patricia Cornwell, is the new Kay Scarpetta thriller in a long list of mysteries by the acclaimed author. In this book, Scarpetta faces roadblocks in her long-term relationship with Benton Wesley; discovers a disturbing fact about her niece, Lucy; and brings down another heinous serial killer. If you have a sensitive stomach, this book is not for you. It is very disturbing to read about the insane criminal mind and the atrocities that it commits, but it is oddly fascinating as well. It's like staring into the abyss and seeing the worst of humanity. I liked Predator better than Cornwell's last few books because she spends less time on the relationships between her characters, and more time developing the plot. Reading Predator is like peeling an onion one layer at a time. I recommend it for fans of mysteries and thrillers.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Riverview Amusement Park Program Tuesday May 23, 7 pm

Ralph Lopez and the National Amusement Park Historical Association are back to present a program on the Riverview Amusement Park. They will present a small exhibit about the park as well the video "Laugh Your Troubles Away." After the video, they will answer questions about the park. To register, sign up at the reference desk.

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