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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Secrets of the Code
Secrets of the Code
Sony Pictures // Unrated // June 5, 2007
List Price: $24.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Kauffman | posted July 28, 2007 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:
I somehow managed to be way ahead of the curve on The DaVinci Code, having bought the book on a fluke the first day it was out (I liked the cover and jacket description), several weeks if not months before it became a worldwide phenomenon. I've had a lifelong interest in religious history and the occult, so it was a perfect read for me, though unlike some readers, I was able to accept it as a work of fiction and not some Satanic plot to overthrow Christianity.

In the years since, I picked up the occasional DaVinci and Early Christianity reference book, and have found them all utterly fascinating. Which is all to say, your mileage may vary when watching this elegantly produced and well-written documentary: if you have no interest in the subject matter, it's going to be a gigantic yawn. If Dan Brown's thesis at least intrigues you (even as a skeptic), you'll find much to enjoy here, especially as a "Cliff Notes" review of the major points of the book.

Narrated by Susan Sarandon (in a weirdly calm, "Cosmic Earth Mother" voice), and featuring excellent interviews by a host of both well-known scholars (Elaine Pagels) and, well, not so well-known fringe elements (various cultists, most from the U.K.), the film presents a good, basic background of many of the intricate facets of Brown's labyrinthine plot, while outright debunking the elements which are provably false. Overall an even-handed treatment (the film features interviews by both anti-Brown Catholic priests and the spokeswoman for Opus Dei, as well as pro-Brown "Goddess" researchers), the film only overreaches a few times, notably in its patently absurd, New Age gone completely bananas ending (featuring completely gratuitous images of nuclear holocaust and the World Trade Center being hit).

The DVD

Video:
The film is absolutely gorgeous to watch, a rarity in the documentary field. The sharp 1.85:1 image (enhanced for widescreen tv) shows excellent detail, especially nice in the several works of art and ancient structures which are shown throughout. Contrast and color are excellent.

Sound: A Dolby 2 track stereo soundtrack is the only option, and it suffices perfectly. All interviews are completely clear and Sarandon's voiceover is soothing.

Extras: No extras here, aside from a trailer gallery which may be of interest to some.

Final Thoughts:
This is a great disc for those of you who have read the book or seen the film and may still have some questions, or want to go back and "brush up" on the mountain of information the book especially contains. Because of the spectacular images in the documentary, replay value is actually higher than might be expected. Recommended for all Brown fans, or those interested in early Christian history, the Knights Templar or Leonardo DaVinci.

____________________________________________
"G-d made stars galore" & "Hey, what kind of a crappy fortune is this?" ZMK, modern prophet

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