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'Angels & Demons': Why I'm keeping the faith

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Angelsanddemons_lDamn that Ron Howard — he did it to me again! He made me like one of his movies. I speak, of course, about Angels & Demons, the new-ish Tom Hanks sequel that opened to poor reviews and good-but-not-great box office returns last weekend…and has promptly lost whatever buzz it had going into the summer. Which sucks for me, because, well, I finally saw the film last night, and I thought it was pretty sweet!

Why is this a big deal? Here’s the two-pronged back story. Prong No. 1: Ever since the Dan Brown adaptation debuted in first place a week ago, I’ve been trying to get someone on our big, enthusiastic EW staff to write about it on this here blog, and there have been no takers. Not one. Seriously, not a single person on our staff felt strongly enough to write about this movie. Nuts. Prong No. 2 (and this explains what I was talking about in that first sentence): I really don’t like movies directed by Ron Howard. Like, I really don’t like them. I mean, I like old people, but Cocoon bored me. I like family dramas, but Parenthood is so overrated. I’m into space flicks, but Apollo 13 was awfully predictable. I love Westerns, but The Missing was one big cow pie. I have a real jones for exploitative films about the kidnapping and torture of children…okay, of course, I don’t, which is why I loathed Ransom.

All that being that, I gotta say, Howard has now directed three consecutive films that I totally dug — The Da Vinci Code, Frost/Nixon, and now Angels & Demons. I realize that saying so may come off as a backhanded compliment, but whatever. (I also realize that this admission has the potential to mark me like the time I gave Madonna’s Swept Away a positive review, but whatever, too.) I enjoyed seeing Angels & Demons! It’s breezy and fun, nothing more than a fast-paced thinky mystery movie, and nothing less. It sounds great and it looks great. (Hell, I’d hasten to say that it’s even better than Star Trek, but that may well cost me my livelihood, so I won’t. No, no. Star Trek is totally awesome. Yeah.) Anyway, that’s where I stand. What about you, PopWatchers? Do you hold a secret affection for this film that nobody else seems to appreciate or care about? Any interest in saving it from domestic box office oblivion this weekend? Please?

addCredit(“Zade Rosenthal”)