Apparently put out to satisfy fans between the release of "The Da Vinci Code" (now on DVD) and the follow-up film, "Angels and Demons", "Secrets of the Code" is another in a large crowd of documentaries that explores the story behind Dan Brown's popular book and the movie that followed it.
Narrated by Susan Sarandon and based upon the book, "Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind the Davinci Code" by Daniel Burstein (who also serves as a producer for the film), "Secrets of the Code" looks at elements of the story (Knights Templar, Opus Dei, etc.), aspects of various religions, controversy about the book and some thoughts about spirituality and humanity.
The documentary's attempts to discuss historical aspects (such as background of various religions and discovered religious artifacts) remained mildly engaging at times, but there are moments of the documentary that just seem rather absurd or have questionable ties to the Brown novel, such as one moment where an author excitedly walks out into the woods to find a huge stone that, according to him, looks (I wasn't seeing it) like particular a symbol of womanhood (he then finds more similar scratchings in rock in caves nearby.)
While I can see where he's going with the discussion of finding symbols in nature, the segment is so goofy (when he notes what kind of experience he thinks finding the rock is, I was taken out of the documentary completely) and amateurish that it's unintentionally funny. While there are other, similar segments during this documentary that could either have used some more refined presentation or should have been taken out completely (this often felt like a 60 minute TV special padded out to 90 minutes), this is probably the biggest example. The format of the documentary also leaves something to be desired, as it consists largely of fairly short interviews pieced pieced together, many of which jump from topic-to-topic, resulting in a lack of flow.
Overall, "Secrets of the Code" offers a few interesting perspectives on the religious and historical aspects behind "Code", but the documentary remains uneven, with several segments not adding much insight at all. For "Code" fans who've gone through all of the other specials and are still looking for more, they may want to check this one out as a rental.
VIDEO: "Secrets" is presented by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The documentary looks to have been shot with different cameras for different segments, so image quality does vary a little bit throughout the production, with some scenes looking crisper and clearer than others. Some minor shimmering and slight artifacting appeared at times, but didn't cause much distraction. Colors looked natural, with no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: The film's Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack essentially presented a "documentary style" audio presentation, focusing largely on the dialogue/narration.
EXTRAS: All we get here are previews for other titles from the studio, including "Da Vinci Code" and "Who Killed the Electric Car?"
Final Thoughts: For "Code" fans who've gone through all of the other specials and are still looking for more, this gets a light rental recommendation.