gaming since 1997

National Treasure

Nicolas Cage is Ben Gates (no family to Bill though), a treasure hunter who’s been obsessed by an ancient treasure that was hidden by the Templars. Ever since one of the founding members of the United States gave a hint to his great great great grandfather on where the treasure was located, the Gates family has been looking for it and made themselves ridiculous towards the rest of the society as no-one believed their story.

However, Ben has found a man willing to fund his research, Ian Howe, and with this money, Ben actually manages to get to accomplishments. The bad news is that Ian is a criminal who is only interested in the money and when it becomes clear that a map leading to the treasure is located at the back of the declaration of independence, Ben doesn’t want to have anything to do with it anymore. Ian and Ben part ways, but Ben knows that Ian will go after the declaration and sees only one way to rescue it from Ian’s criminal hands: steal it himself…

Sound and Vision:
Bright colors, good contrast, sharp image, lots of detail, no print damage, … only some minor grain and a little compression error here and there are present. Good stuff from Buena Vista!

The soundtrack is even better than the image quality. The track is very dynamic with lots of active use of the surround speakers as well as the subwoofer. During all the action, the dialogues do remain very understandable which is perfect.

Extras:
– Trailers
– National Treasure on Location: interview fragments and location footage
– Deleted Scenes: 2 scenes that were removed, with director’s introduction
– Opening Scene Animatic: background info with director introduction on the animated opening of the movie
– Alternate Ending: again with director introduction
– Treasure Hunters Revealed: short documentary on real treasure hunters
– Ridley Poole’s Decode This!: short video on real codes and how they get decrypted
– The Templar Knights: 5 minute feature on the Templars

Conclusion:
There’s good news and there’s bad news.
The good: Buena Vista did an excellent job on transferring the movie to DVD. The image quality as well as the sound are almost impeccable and a feast to watch and hear. Also the extras (although not all as interesting) are decent and give some additional value to the disc.
The bad: Unless you’re one of those extreme US patriots you might find the movie boring as hell. It’s like a rollercoaster ride through the history of the foundation of the United States and it’s as interesting as seeing an ant walk over the ground.

The movie is set up as follows: Find clue – go to location – find new clue – go to new location – and so on with in between some chasing each other, semi-funny remarks, and lots of historic facts that no-one will remember five minutes after the movie has ended. So, if you’re interested in watching a tuned down version of Indiana Jones that’s half as funny, you may want to check this out. People looking for a no-brainer may want to rent it. All other people should stay away from this one

Our Score:
5.0

posted in: Disney, DVD, Reviews
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