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Ron Howard

Inferno (2016)

infernoDIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Omar Sy, Ben Foster, Ana Ularu

REVIEW:

If nothing else, Inferno might hammer the final nail in the coffin of Sony’s increasingly inexplicable determination to make Robert Langdon—the protagonist of Dan Brown’s pulpy book series—into a “franchise” headliner.  Dry, professorial Langdon isn’t exactly 007, and The Da Vinci Code was only a moderate box office success, while Angels & Demons didn’t do much business worth writing home about, but Sony insisted on forging ahead.  With Inferno already opening weak, it might be time to stop adapting Dan Brown books.  If you’re one of the seemingly relatively few people—including myself—who moderately enjoy these movies, Inferno offers up largely more of the same, but isn’t as good as the unevenly-paced but sporadically fascinating Da Vinci Code and doesn’t represent a compelling reason to rush to a theater near you. Continue reading

Angels & Demons (2009)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST:

Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard, Pierfrancesco Favino, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Thure Lindhardt

REVIEW:

While Dan Brown’s novel Angels & Demons chronologically took place before The Da Vinci Code, the movie is a sequel to the 2006 Ron Howard-Tom Hanks film.  In the wake of scathing reviews dissmissing the first as leaden and ploddingly-paced (which I did not, for the most part, agree with), Howard obviously took a few steps here to make Angels & Demons more conventionally cinematic, but despite a faster, somewhat more action-oriented pace, Angels & Demons is a close cousin to its predecessor, and whether that is a good thing or a bad thing will largely depend on your opinion of The Da Vinci Code. Continue reading

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

Ransom (1996)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST: Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise, Rene Russo, Delroy Lindo, Lili Taylor, Liev Schreiber, Donnie Wahlberg, Evan Handler, Brawley Nolte

REVIEW:

Ron Howard is on a roll, and for his latest venture, coming on the heels of last year’s docudrama Apollo 13, he’s turned to the thriller genre, with this loose remake of the 1956 Glenn Ford film of the same name.  Ransom isn’t flawless, but Howard’s taut direction, a twisty-turny script by Richard Price and Alexander Ignon, and a capable cast add up to a slick thriller that provides a mostly solid couple hours of diversion. Continue reading

Apollo 13 (1995)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan

For those old enough to have watched the April 1970 Apollo 13 crisis unfold live on television, Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 may bring back strong memories.  For those who did not experience it at the time, it may serve as a fascinating history lesson.  For everyone else, it’s a well-constructed docudrama, and a tribute to what one character refers to as NASA’s finest hour.   Continue reading

Far and Away (1992)

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard

CAST: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Thomas Gibson, Robert Prosky, Barbara Babcock, Colm Meaney

REVIEW:

For his latest venture, Ron Howard has chosen to tackle a romantic period epic, the lavishly-mounted, if narratively formulaic, Far and Away.  How much appreciation one gets out of the proceedings probably depends on how much it sweeps along one’s inner romantic, but for those who fall into that category, Far and Away is a sumptuous, sweeping romantic adventure. Continue reading

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