Da Vinci Code, The

Featured In Issue 141, July/August 2009

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Ron Howard
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code was number one on the best-seller's list for what-seemed-like forever. Now, finally making its way to Blu-ray™, comes the story of mystery, suspense, and the biggest cover-up of mankind. When the curator of the Louvre Museum is found murdered, Professor Robert Langdon (Hanks) is called to the scene of the crime. Suspicion is soon cast upon Langdon, who, with the aid of the dead man's granddaughter, police cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Tautou), goes on a desperate search while following symbols and clues, ultimately leading to the Holy Grail. (Tricia Spears)

Special features on Disc One include Unlocking The Code: an interactive picture-in-picture (I-PIP); 27 select-scenes commentary with Director Ron Howard; plus an entire sequence from Angels And Demons with introduction by Howard (HD 07:26); cinechat interactivity with friends while watching the film; and BD-Live functionality. Special features on Disc Two include 17 featurettes: First Day On The Set (HD 02:13), A Discussion With Author/Executive Producer Dan Brown (HD 04:52), A Portrait Of Langdon (HD 07:18), Who Is Sophie Neveu? (HD 06:58), Unusual Suspects (HD 17:58), Magical Places (HD 15:58), Close-Up On Mona Lisa (HD 06:37), The Filmmakers' Journey Part One and Part Two (HD 37:00), The Codes Of The Da Vinci Code (HD 05:33), The Music Of The Da Vinci Code (HD 02:54), Book To Screen (HD 11:06), The Da Vinci Props (HD 09:43), The Da Vinci Sets (HD 09:10), Re-Creating Works Of Art (HD 06:03), The Visual Effects World Of The Da Vinci Code (HD 15:03), and Scoring The Da Vinci Code (HD 09:44); and three trailers.

The 1080p AVC 2.42:1 picture quality betters that of the previously reviewed anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 DVD picture. Black levels are dramatically improved with a deep, solid quality. There is the slightest unnaturalness that remains, but shadow delineation is perfectly rendered. Fine details in textures are nicely resolved, and at times, during close-up facial features, are well defined. Colors are warmly saturated, and fleshtones look natural. While the image can show very good resolution, with sharp, delicate details, there are scenes that can look slightly smeared. Otherwise, the picture is pristine. (Gary Reber/Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack sounds more refined than the DVD's Dolby Digital rendering. The soundtrack can be very exciting, with effects and music incorporated nicely into the soundtrack to heighten moods. Fidelity is pristine, as should be expected, and when combined with the well-recorded dialogue and effects, it makes for a very realistic experience. Dialogue is often nicely integrated spatially. The orchestral music score is well recorded and reveals fine instrumental timbres. Deep bass is delivered through each of the full-range channels, as well as the .1 LFE channel, which adds to the suspense nicely. While the surrounds are incorporated very well in certain scenes, with an aggressive holosonic® presence, there are others where they are surprisingly underutilized. (Gray Reber/Danny Richelieu)