Monday, November 29

America finds a 'National Treasure'

The original title for the article to which this is linked, penned by some headline writer at Reuters, was "'Alexander' Falls on Sword at Box Office." I think it's pretty dumb to devote the headline for the weekend box-office roundup to the number 6 film... but whatever. I apologize for the corny title I made up, but you can blame Focus on the Family for the idea.

My wife and I saw "National Treasure" this weekend, and we both really liked it. She isn't a big fan of Nicolas Cage, but for both of us the combination of action, intelligence, and "just-a-regular-guy" acting really made it worthwhile. I liked one particular scene where Cage hits a guy and brings him down, but then he stops to nurse his hurt hand before the action continues. This is what made the movie, in my opinion, even better than the classic "Indiana Jones" flicks: the hero is not a superhuman "action-hero" type of guy, he's just like any regular nerdy history nut. I'm reminded of Stanley Goodspeed (Cage's character in "The Rock," a great film which I rented and first saw over the past weekend), the self-described "chemical super-freak" who still finds it in himself to do what is needed to save the city of San Francisco. Another bit that makes it better than Indiana Jones is that it's set right in our own American backyard and deals with our own relatively recent American history instead of foreign places and ancient temples.

Diane Kruger (whose first big film was this summer's "Troy," in which she played Helen) was also great as Cage's female counterpart. I really enjoyed seeing an actual good-looking woman on the screen instead of the emaciated Hollywood-imposed "archetype of beauty" who looks like she needs a sandwich more than she needs to get the guy. It was also cool to see her actually play an integral part in the development of the intellectual part of the story. She did it believably, too... unlike Denise Richards' character in one of the recent Bond films, who basically came off as a pair of boobs with a bunch of lines she didn't really understand. While I'm on the subject, I hope that they don't try to give academic brains to one of the Bond girls ever again unless they get a real woman like Kruger to play her.

In any case, I heartily recommend "National Treasure." Go see it; it's worth your while, and even with a PG rating it's able to truly intrigue the intellect and entertain the masses.

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.