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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Exploring the Da Vinci Code (2000)

Exploring the Da Vinci Code (2000)

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Released 24-Feb-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 122:21 (Case: 120)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Stomp Visual Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Exploring the Da Vinci Code is not a documentary detailing the religious symbolism, myth or background information on the best selling novel by Dan Brown, but is in fact a travelogue of sorts to an area of France which has a little to do with how Mr. Brown (apparently) got the idea for the book.

    The title, as it states on the case, is Exploring the Da Vinci Code with a subtitle of Henry Lincoln's Guide to Rennes Le Chateau.

    Dan Brown fans (and critics) will know that Henry Lincoln was one of the authors of an early eighties book called Holy Blood Holy Grail. The other two authors (Lincoln excused himself from the proceedings) have taken Dan Brown to court in the UK to sue that he has infringed upon their copyright by lifting their premise to use in his book.

    The back sleeve of the DVD cover specifically mentions The Da Vinci Code three times and poses five questions . The issue I have with this 'documentary' is that it doesn't even touch upon three of the five questions, vaguely references one question (but doesn't discuss it much less answer it) and only discusses one question with a few interesting ideas. The documentary does not really have anything to do with The Da Vinci Code and it is not even mentioned once in the entire 2 hour presentation. In fact it was filmed in 1999, a few years before The Da Vinci Code was even published.

    As someone who has read Brown's novel and accepted it for what it is (a novel, which is a work of fiction), I haven't got caught up in the hoopla surrounding it. That said, however, I was interested to view the presentation to perhaps get more information and an exploration into the book. Viewers with that expectation will be sorely disappointed.

    It seems Lincoln has taken Grail seekers on Rennes Le Chateau tours for decades, but is getting a bit old to do it now. Instead via DVD he takes viewers on more of a virtual tour than any in-depth exploration into The Da Vinci Code. Travel anecdotes, old photographs from his younger days and more questions left hanging. It's like viewers have to have a certain amount of Grail or Holy Blood assumed knowledge - newbies like me have no clue what's going on half the time. At no stage does he attempt to explain what the Priory of Sion was or even who Berenger Sauniere was.

     Holy Blood Holy Grail fans will no doubt find this an interesting video tour, but besides a bit of pretty French countryside there is not much here for casual Da Vinci Code fans or anyone else.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    This full frame PAL disc is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.29:1.

    The picture is not exactly sharp, but for a relatively low budget production the quality is quite reasonable.

    Shadow detail is quite decent - some of the shots are indoors and in quite dark settings but the details are always visible. In fact, the lighting in this is quite well done considering all the outdoor locations used.

    Colours for the most part look good, but some outdoor shots are a little washed out.

    There are no video artefacts to mention.

    There are no subtitle options.

    For a documentary the video quality is adequate.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The only audio option is an adequate English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) track.

    Lincoln, as the narrator, is always clearly audible.

    Music is used to good effect to add mood to the presentation.

    Outdoor effects (flowing water, birds and so on) are also heard in the background to good effect.

    There are no sync or drop out issues.

    Overall this is a rather ordinary track, with nothing of particular merit but certainly nothing to drag it down either.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Disappointingly there are no extras whatsoever.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 version seems to be identical.

    Buy on price!


    Overall, a bit of a disappointment to casual fans. Lincoln and Holy Grail stalwarts will love it though.

    The video is good enough for a documentary of this nature.

    The audio does the job.

    No special features is a bit disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

Other Reviews NONE