Apparently I’m one of the only few who have not read “The Da Vinci Code.” I have no desire to do so, regardless of how popular the book continues to be. I will see the movie, and of course I’ll ‘get it’ whether or not I’ve contributed to Dan Brown’s best-seller status. “The Da Vinci Code” is simply not my cup of tea, and I am amused by the silent stones of surprise and disapproval thrown my way because of my decision not to read it.


Most motion picture adaptations ruin original stories, but I look forward to this one as a suspenseful film with a good cast and director. There is so much hype about the movie that inevitably people who love the book will be disappointed by certain aspects of Ron Howard’s vision and interpretation of it. Although it was a brilliant move to cast the universally adored and controversy-free Tom Hanks with the famous French actress Audrey Tautou (Catherine Zeta Jones lite), as these two are about as safe and likable as you can get. The film will experience the same staunch criticism from particular religious organizations and scholars as the book has for years, which in turn will fuel and almost guarantee its box office success.  

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Most people prefer to watch a show or go to the movies without knowing much about what they’re going to see. It is safe to say that the viewing majority likes surprises. I, however, am drawn to Internet Spoilers like a car crash; I can’t help but slow down to look. Sites proudly boast about spilling the beans and spoiling plot points, sometimes months in advance of an actual airdate. And I bookmark these sites to keep in the loop and form my own theories. Believe it or not, this does not ruin the experience of watching my favorite shows. First of all, misinformation and errors are rampant and misleading (sometimes purposefully). Second, I enjoy trying to figure exactly how these Spoilers will unfold, and when.   


Spoilers tend to originate from extremely dedicated fans with connections in the media or industry, or from leaks directly (and stealthily) from network sources.


As for my part, as a Blogger and pop culture specialist, I promise not to post any Spoilers without an obnoxious and large disclaimer boldly announcing their arrival.

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Edward Norton is fantastic, one of the most gifted actors of his generation. No one saw it, but he directed and co-starred in the very funny Keeping the Faith (with Ben Stiller). He may have achieved cult status for his role in Fight Club, but my two favorites of his many stellar performances are in Primal Fear and American History X. Primal Fear was Norton’s first film, and his stunning debut was rewarded with a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination (Leonardo DiCaprio turned down this role, FYI). But he was robbed of the Best Actor Oscar for American History X by Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful in 1998. Norton was also great in Spike Lee’s 25th Hour and Woody Allen’s musical, Everyone Says I Love You. His talent outshines and overshadows Mark Wahlberg in The Italian Job, Robert DeNiro in The Score, and Matt Damon in Rounders. Ironically enough, Norton had auditioned for the lead that Damon won in The Rainmaker and also turned down the role of Private Ryan that Damon played in Saving Private Ryan. Norton seems to be selective and it pays off; he is one of the few actors whose movies inspire me to get my lazy ass to the theatre.

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When I look at my favorite movies of all time, there isn’t a specific genre that stands out or a common theme running throughout. Because I’m prone to making lists, I created a large one to compile and analyze statistics about my choices. I know, nerd alert.


A surprising fact arose from my silly research – Katie Holmes is in three of my top 40 films of all time. You have to remember that before she went on the Cruise, Holmes had memorable roles in several excellent yet underrated independent movies:


The Ice Storm (a highly intense family drama from Ang Lee)

Go (Doug Liman’s frenetic follow up to Swingers)

Wonder Boys (a clever, charming little film with a great cast)

The Gift (a thriller helmed by Sam Raimi & written by Billy Bob Thornton)

Pieces of April (Holmes’ first true leading role)

Thank You For Smoking (a very funny and scathing view of big tobacco, out in theatres now)   


Much to my chagrin, I must also admit to enjoying and owning several Tom Cruise movies. Thank goodness Spielberg directed Minority Report; it gives weight and value to my assertion that it’s a damn good sci-fi flick that just so happens to star a certain someone. And regardless of Cruise’s current popularity wane, I will continue to stick by my choice of Jerry Maguire as both one of his best and one of my favorites (Magnolia is a close second in my book).

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I have a very trivial complaint. There is an annoying pattern in the world of series television – actors jumping ship from one show to another, leaving in their dust a flood of devoted fans that had grown to love, hate and/or relate to the characters they played.  It was extremely frustrating to learn (right in the middle of Season 3) that one of the lead actresses on a show I have been watching for years had been cast on a new sitcom, on another network altogether. The entire rest of the season was ruined for me, knowing that my favorite character was going to now be killed off or suddenly leave town under asinine circumstances. And of course it’s never the actors you loathe that leave the shows; fan favorites inevitably move on to bigger pastures (i.e. films) due to their increased popularity and marketability. Consider me Bitter, Party of One.  

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