Tuesday, May 03, 2005

DVD Tuesday: Bean's 'Treasure' & JRD's 'Seas' - Xoanon @ 22:15 PST
National Treasure

Like a Hardy Boys mystery on steroids, National Treasure offers popcorn thrills and enough boyish charm to overcome its rampant silliness. Although it was roundly criticized as a poor man's rip-off of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Da Vinci Code, it's entertaining on its own ludicrous terms, and Nicolas Cage proves once again that one actor's infectious enthusiasm can compensate for a multitude of movie sins. The contrived plot involves Cage's present-day quest for the ancient treasure of the Knights Templar, kept secret through the ages by Freemasons past and present. Finding the treasure requires the theft of the Declaration of Independence (there are crucial treasure clues on the back, of course!), so you can add "caper comedy" to this Jerry Bruckheimer production's multi-genre appeal. Nobody will ever accuse director Jon Turtletaub of artistic ambition, but you've got to admit he serves up an enjoyable dose of PG-rated entertainment, full of musty clues, skeletons, deep tunnels, and harmless adventure in the old-school tradition. It's a load of hokum, but it's fun hokum, and that makes all the difference. [Order 'National Treasure (Full Screen Edition)' on Amazon.com Today!] [Order 'National Treasure (Widescreen Edition)' on Amazon.com Today!] [Order 'National Treasure (UMD Mini For PSP)' on Amazon.com Today!]

Chupacabra Terror

Criticising this film is like shooting fish in a barrel with a howitzer. It's cheesy, it's ridiculous, it's utterly unrealistic.
But it DOES have the first genuine, bona fide man-in-a-rubber-suit monster I've seen in ages. It wasn't long ago that almost any otherworldly creature seen on the screen was a stunt man in a stifling rubber suit. Whether it was a towering Godzilla or a dinky little Saucer Man, a Creature from the Black Lagoon or the Monster of Piedras Blancas, the phoney rubber monster suit ruled the screen. Here in the age of CGI, I didn't think we'd ever see another of these old-school horrors, so I admit I got a few chuckles out of this film. And if you have fond memories of those hokey, shambling rubberized monsters of yesteryear, maybe you'll smile, too. [Order Chupacabra Terror ' on Amazon.com Today!]