So next thing, you know - I'm driving home from watching Showgirls and Repo and Steve comes up on the 21st Century car cellphone and suggests I join Julie and him to see the Angels and Demons movie at Bridgewater mall. Well, sure.
I just love movies, you know although my movie intake is off seriously from when I was younger when I really watched a lot of movies. I like to think I watched movies "uncritically, yet with a critical eye." You know, I analyzed every foot of film I saw but was still willing to suspend disbelief for practically anything, including endless streams of American International biker flicks.
But, whatever! So I met Steve and Julie at Bridgewater for a 9:30 p.m. Sunday screening of this new Tom Hanks blockbuster along with the preppy high school athletes ("you guys in training?") the young guy with his much older girlfriend, gays with gal-pals and an extremely mixed crowd numbering probably 50-75.
So, this is a thriller genre movie with a lot of Vatican protocol and highly-evolved Catholic Church mumbo-jumbo, labrynthine ecclesiastic bureaucratic mazework and debatable nuclear physics that actually works pretty well. Its sort of The Cardinal meets The Day of the Jackal meets The Name of the Rose meets National Treasure in the Eternal City. And, theres a lot of great "Wow! We're in Rome here!" shots of St Peter's, Piazza Navona, the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon and other astounding tourist destinations.
Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks, you know - a lot of reassuring fuddy-duddy quirk for your $10.00. He's kind of the postmodern Jimmy Stewart, I guess. He's okay in a generic Tom Hanks kind of way as the Harvard "Symbolist" (wuzzat?). The Italian actress playing the nuclear physicist who accompanies him on his quest to save the Vatican from itself is very un-nerdy for a nuclear physicist. She's kind of a generic Italian lady scientist in sensible clothing. When she lost her journals, I couldn't help but recall Elizabeth Barkley losing her suitcase in Showgirls, which I had just seen earlier. This is the danger of watching too many movies in one day.
The Vatican heavies, the super-baddy and the Italian cops are all beneath our American contempt - how dare they act this way? You can just feel your sense of democratic superiority rising in your Tom Sawyer cultural scaffold as they act predictably European Catholic and distrustful of us brilliant Yanks, like Hanks.
The best scenes for me were the ones in the Vatican Archives. I really wanted to get in there and see all of the rare manuscripts, but was unable when I went to the Vatican. What do I know, I figured they would have an open access rare book museum like the British Library, but it turns out they want you to pay extra and get reservations and all that. Ah, come on. I don't need to see Dante manuscripts that badly.
So anyway - I don't want to give away too much here, but creation really does look exactly as it was depicted on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, except with a Scottish guy (Ewan McGregor) dude in a parachute and none of those big, nude Italian Renaissance nude deities.
Pretty good movie although I would have liked the Vatican to explode. That would have racked up some extra points.