Movie Reviews


National Treasure Nicolas CageNational Treasure

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight and Harvey Keitel and Christopher Plummer.
directed by: Jon Turtletaub

Buy it - save 35%

Dvd Review:

The National Treasure dvd is absolutely amazing. It's filled with delightful extras and searches you can either explore on your own - or cheat and look at the key. I say "cheat" because the dvd is set up like a treasure hunt! How fun is that? But, if you're not into games of the mind you can just read the key, and partake in the deep trove of extras. Well, except for the truly higher level - which seems to only be accessible via hard hunting, and believe you me, I tried to get there for a day and a half.... The "treasure" you get from all the searching and access code placements, is additional featurettes and historical tidbits; each fun and informative. The regular features (the segments anyone can see), are themselves rewarding and plentiful. For example, "Riley's Decode This" brings your inner-Science Museum self into all kinds of mental glee. While the hieroglyphics used in the dvd's game are not real per say, it's still a golly good time decifering the messages. They have the behind the scenes making-of brouhaha we all love to spy - and when it's a Bruckheimer film, the explosions are REAL baby. The obligatory deleted scenes section is grand, which can be narrated by director Jon Turteltaub if you wish, once again show us common folks how a film is tweaked. They've even shown us a "alternative ending," which after audience testing (ala King Arthur) was changed. A small feature segment on real treasure hunters shows us how a real-life real Ben Gates works via Mel Fisher's family techniques and a Western American treasure hunter's obsession - delightful. I would have liked to see a high energy Red Carpet segment - by hey, that's just me...and 500,000 of my closest readers.

Film Review:

Bluntly speaking? National Treasure is a wildly inventive thinking person's Raiders of the Lost Ark-y-ish film. And, it's just as far fetched, action-packed and entertaining.

Story goes…Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) comes from a family of treasure-seeking misfits. For generations the Gates' have had a secret knowledge of a particularly odd slice of American history lore. His great grandfather was trusted with a secret held by America's founding fathers. And I mean founding fathers in the literal sense; Ben Franklin, and the boys of The Declaration of Independence. Apparently, not content with just starting a new country, the lot had a wordly treasure in their trust as well...

And the blokes, known as kind of "The Colonies' Pre-Mensa Club Patriots", hid their treasure and their "treasure map" ingeniously - as well as right in plain sight. The men knew the treasure, gathered from many countries (let's not nitpick at the legality of these artifacts' ownership for now…), was too immense for one man. So they stashed it away. To protect the loot, Franklin and his merry band of silent do-gooders hid the bounty deep in the catacombs of a fledgling city - somewhere.

Ben's obsessive deciphering of cryptic messages and clues strewn across the world finally brings him closer to discovery - and wealth beyond the imagination. But where there's all-empowering wealth you are also sure to find a corrupt seed.

And faster than you can say, " Oy! Hands off my gold doubloons mate," a quintessential bad-egg-gone-treasure-seeker, Ian Howe (Sean Bean), disrupts his plan.

Now Ben, and his trusted side-kick/techno-genius Riley (Justin Bartha), must save the treasure by finding the treasure before another "treasure" is lost.

And as if this were all not enough pressure, the FBI, lead by Agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel), are well aware of the crew's shenanigans.

Along the way to the reward the boys fall in with Dr. Chase (Diane Kruger), a beautiful historian who is intrigued but still not buying their conspiracy theory about lost invisible maps, treasure hiding congressional knights, and thievery for the good of man theories.

The trio whip around national monuments, and un-earth some pretty wild information as we careen towards the plot.

Nicolas Cage is his usual handsome lethargic self. He's kind of a national treasure himself - visually. Here, as Ben, he's a brilliant geek hell-bent on saving his family name...and getting filthy rich.

The film's historical clues are ingenious, the thefts impeccably executed, and American history buffs will have an extra giggle at the complex fore thoughts here. Let your inner nerd rejoice. National Treasure ricochets, intrigues and supplies ample chase, cheese, and explosion scenes one has come to expect from a proper Jerry Bruckheimer produced film. Enjoy.Buy it - save 35%

Snack recommendation: Quince and cherry preserves with Boston Brown Bread.

The Emilyism©



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