Thursday, May 18, 2006

Da Vinci Code: More Critics Weigh In

It looks like the New York Post's Lou Lumenick, who calls The Da Vinci Code a "crackling, fast-moving thriller" isn't the only critic caught RWI (reviewing while intoxicated).

Roger Ebert calls the movie "preposterously entertaining" in his three-star review for the Chicago Sun-Times. Sadly, this is another sign of the decline of a once astute critic. In recent years, his reviews have been marked by all kinds of questionable judgments and even errors of fact.

Ebert, all thumbs, goes on to offer this praise: "The movie works; it's involving, intriguing and constantly seems on the edge of startling revelations." Huh? Did Ebert wander into the wrong theater, the one showing, say, Capote?

I like this lead from L.A. Weekly critic Greg Burk's review: "Action and ideas -- they get in each other's way, pal. And director Ron Howard didn't want to choose between 'em. Good impulse, not such a good result."

Reviews by 18 critics are now posted at, and only four of those writers -- Lumenick, Ebert, and reviewers for daily papers in Seattle and Dallas -- gave the movie a score higher than 63 (as determined by metacritic).

The overall score: 53.

That's called a failing grade, folks.

(My review for Las Vegas City Life will be available tomorrow, but you can see the substance of the piece in my post, below).


Scribblista said...

Hey Philip....

I think you're right on track with the Lou Lumineck of the Post... there are, I'm quite sure, lots of RWI incidents in his past.

Philip Booth said...

well, just so Lou knows, I was kind of joking about RWI. But it certainly seemed like something was clouding his judgment.

I've noticed that, in some cases, longtime critics kind of lose their edge, and turn into "nice guy" reviewers, basically deciding they don't have it in 'em to beat up on anyone anymore.

Plus, at a certain level, and in certain situations, I think critics enjoy being in good graces with the studio and the publicists, because of all the good things that tend to come their way because of those relationships.

Not saying that's true with Lumenick, or Ebert. But I'm not saying it's out of the question, either.

Thanks for reading, Scribblista.