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Paul Bettany

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST:

Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow

REVIEW:

Ron Howard’s film adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code was preceded by an extraordinary amount of controversy over certain of its plot points which seemed to take on a life of its own, raising the movie and the theological and historical questions it raised into something greater than the film itself. Continue reading

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

master-and-commanderDIRECTOR: Peter Weir

CAST: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D’Arcy, Robert Pugh, Richard McCabe, Lee Ingleby, Max Pirkis, Max Benitz

REVIEW:

An adaptation of the exploits of characters created by Patrick O’Brian, who wrote twenty novels in the Master and Commander series, The Far Side of the World (which takes its name from one of O’Brian’s books but includes plot elements from several) differs from lighter entertainment centered around high-seas derring-do such as the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy in the rigorous pains it takes to be technically and historically accurate. The specific adventure portrayed is not a true story, but it is set in the historical backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and the filmmakers did extensive research into warships of the time period. Australian director Peter Weir (Picnic At Hanging Rock, Witness, Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show) filmed an actual typhoon and blended the authentic footage into a scene in which the crew battles a storm at sea. What little special effects there are are blended into the real thing with indistinguishable versimilitude. Continue reading

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