Arts

Critics pan The Da Vinci Code

{mosimage}CANNES, France - Toward the end of the movie The Da Vinci Code, the main character, Robert Langdon, tells his sleuthing partner, Sophie Neveu: "You are the last living descendent of Jesus Christ."

    DVD seeks answers from the cast of The Passion of the Christ

    {mosimage}It's not going to be the blockbuster that Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ became, but a spin-off documentary DVD is in a quiet way more interesting. The Big Question, released this month in Canada by independent Toronto filmmaker TH!NKFilm, is a gentle movie that asks very important questions.

      Terror on terror

      {mosimage}It is as unlikely that anyone will be able to parse the meaning of V for Vendetta by reviewing the political history of Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder conspiracy as it is that history will remember all those tortured, turgid, adolescent essays about the philosophy behind The Matrix trilogy. If the Wachowski brothers — the verbose screensmiths behind this movie and that previous black leather opus — have a political philosophy it is well hidden.

        Woody Allen's collateral damage

        {mosimage}The opening voiceover of Match Point, with its image of a tennis ball tipped at the net and hovering, about to fall on one side or the other, might lead some to quickly pigeonhole Woody Allen’s forthright blunder back into film making respectability. This movie is a story about luck, the role chance plays in determining our lives, it says.

          The Yes Men

          {mosimage}The telling moment in The Yes Men comes at the three-quarter mark when intrepid pranksters Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno engage in a wistful meditation on satire.

            Battlefield for the soul

            {mosimage}We ask God not to lead us into temptation because temptation is real. If Jesus had to face it in His 40 days in the desert, then there's no reason to believe any of us will be spared such a quintessentially human experience.

              Thrill-ride to redemption

              {mosimage}There's no reason to think a movie that moves so much you may need Gravol with your popcorn is necessarily a good thing, but The Bourne Supremacy is a much better wild ride than you might expect from an action movie sequel whose title seems aimed at 13-year-old wrestling fans.

              Underneath the juvenile title is a very adult film that uses the paranoid's paradise conceit of the international thriller genre to probe questions of identity, sin and redemption.

              Matt Damon again plays Jason Bourne, a young soldier brainwashed by an ultra secret arm of the CIA to be the American government's assassin. When we last saw him in The Bourne Identity, he had woken up with amnesia and the instincts of a very efficient killer.

                A western that parallels events today

                {mosimage}Contrary to rumours carried by the better class of newspaper, western movies are not dead and will not die. The west, the frontier, the endless sky, the open plain, the man on horseback, the pistol, the rifle, the Indian, the settler, the rancher and the farmer have a claim on the American imagination because they're there in American history.

                Or, never mind the history. Director Ron Howard's new movie demonstrates that the beautiful landscape of mountains and plains is still beautiful - still the best backdrop a movie could ever hope for.