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PCR #477 (Vol. 10, No. 20). This edition is for the week of May 11--17, 2009.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Angels and Demons"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Angels and Demons"  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer and Ewan McGregor
Directed by: Ron Howard
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 18 mins

A laboratory. With dozens of scientists scrambling, Dr. Vittoria Vettra (Zurer) and her assistant push a few buttons and miraculously conjure up anti-matter. Moments later, it’s stolen and the docs’ assistant is dead.

The Vatican. The pope has just died and a conclave is being scheduled to elect the next one. Until then, the Camerlengo (McGregor) the priest who assists the holy father, gets to make the decisions. Think “M*A*S*H” when Frank Burns took over after Henry Blake died.

Harvard. Swimming laps in the university pool, world renown symbologist Robert Langdon (Hanks) is visited by a member of the Vatican police and asked to accompany him back to Italy. And thus begins “Angels and Demons.”

A thriller that’s just a notch below its predecessor, “Angels and Demons” is a worthy follow up to 2006’s “The Da Vinci Code.” Here the story is set in motion with the disappearance of the anti-matter as well as the four cardinals thought most likely to be voted the next Pope. As Langdon investigates, the clues point to a group thought long gone in the history of the church: the Illuminati, a group that tried their best to push through their thoughts on science and have the holy church accept it. While looking for the missing clergy, the various investigations begin.

The film is well cast. Here, Langdon is much more “hands on” then he was in “The DaVinci Code,” so the audience gets to travel along with him on his various adventures. His interactions with Vatican authorities, who are not Langdon’s biggest fans thanks to his last adventure, are humorous without being cloying. Zurer gives strength to Vittoria, making her more than just another pretty face. McGregor is appropriately reverent while Armin Muehler-Stahl gives weight to the role of Cardinal Strauss, the head of the conclave set up to elect a new Pope. Behind the camera director Howard keeps the action moving, at the same time painting a glowing postcard of the sights of the Vatican. And keep an eye out for Ron’s pop, Rance, who’s making his thirteenth appearance in films directed by his son.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give “Angels and Demons”  

This week's movie review of "Angels and Demons" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2009, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.