What you believe in regards to religion is something that is not only taught, but also discovered. Many of us go through our schooling being taught some form of religion, but what’s really being implanted in our brain is a choice. It’s the choice of deciding whether to follow what we have been taught through lessons or veering down a different path and learning some other belief system. Perhaps we also come to the realization that any form of religion is not for us. That is the “discovery” portion of our educational trip through the world of religion letting us know what is out there and what there is to believe or not believe. But there’s so much more to it. So much more hidden beneath the scriptures, the artifacts, and the history that there will be new revelations or simply change everything we ever thought we knew.
Dan Brown is an author that many of you may already be very familiar with by now. His books include the Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) based The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, both of which have surely caused their share of turmoil. Brown writes about the problems in religious history and the severe misconceptions there may be in the written “Word.” He has raised the ire of numerous religious figures as well as millions around the world, but he’s also garnered a huge following from those that enjoy his work and don’t take it nearly as serious as everyone else. I am a believer in God although I’m not what one may consider a “holy roller.” My religious beliefs will never be thrown or forced upon anyone, but I know what my beliefs are and they will always be mine. Brown’s work often speaks out against my thoughts, but I still find his work extremely intriguing and delightfully interesting. So much to think about. So much to make the mind wander.
For centuries the Catholic Church has been a centerpiece in the world and has also long been the center of much controversy. Besides the normal problems the Church must go through; much evidence has been brought forward to doubt the very foundations that its history is built on. Is it true that groups known as the Illuminati have been around for centuries and in constant battle with the Church hoping to out its deceit and falsities? So many people can argue both sides so it is kind of hard to actually know what to believe, but I like being able to see every aspect of the argument and decipher them all. Think about it for a second…how cool is it that secret codes and ciphers may be hidden in written works, pieces of art, and architectural icons that have been around for so many years? The documentary shows examples of such and makes it truly seem as if all of this is capable and that just makes my mind almost explode with excitement.
Clips from Ron Howard’s film adaptation of Angels & Demons are interspersed throughout the documentary about some of the plots against the Catholic Church. The rest is filled with historical evidence, factual contradictions, and interviews that give different points of view from what may actually be the truth. It’s nice to get both sides here as scientists and historians give their thoughts while some religious backers and figures also speak on their own behalf. Tom Hanks and Ron Howard also interject at times to give their thoughts on the conspiracy at hand and what may or may not be true. One of the greatest parts of Angels & Demons Decoded is that no side is given more leeway then another. Both the religious believers as well as the doubters against the Church are honored here making all that view it make their own decision based on all the facts laid out before them.
The film is shown in Full Screen format and it looks good, but nothing special. It looks as if the transition from television to DVD is good but no changes were made to upgrade it at all.
The film is heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and for a mostly dialogue driven documentary, it’s more than enough. All can be heard clearly and loudly without any problems.
I found Howard’s Angels & Demons to be better than The Da Vinci Code in both the quality of the film as well as the plot. There is so much to understand from the film with the plots against the Church and the conspiracy theories that a special like this is necessary to help everyone understand a little more. Decoded breaks it all down, not that it can be totally understood because that will never happen, but just so that it can be a little easier to comprehend. No special features take away from the overall rating here, but for fewer than thirteen bucks in most places, it’s hard to pass it up. If you have any amount of extra interest in this then what you have seen on screen or read in the book then grab your own copy right away.
A&E Home Video presents Angels & Demons Decoded. Produced by: David Comtois & Kevin Burns. Starring: Jonathan Adams. Running time: 94 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: November 24, 2009. Available at Amazon.com