While "RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK" is considered to be the best adventure film of all time, "NATIONAL TREASURE" ranks right up there with it. In fact, this reviewer found it far superior on many levels. After an intriguing opening sequence in which a young Benjamin Gates has revealed to him the history of his ancestors and the way in which they became initiated in the mystery of a hidden treasure, the film jumps to current day. Benjamin is now grown up(Nicolas Cage) and looking with investors for clues that will eventually lead them to a treasure of unsurpassed fortune. Their latest excursion on this search brings them to the Antarctic for another clue. He finds out that an invisible map exists on the back of the Declaration of Independence. When he tells a partner/investor he won't take part in stealing it, the partner tries to kill him and a race is on for Benjamin to steal it before the bad guy can get it.
There are plenty of history/pseudo-history facts thrown in along the race, and it's fascinating, even if all made up. The film blends action, drama and humor together in a fine tapestry that's always captivating. The acting and directing make the film feel incredibly well polished.
Cage is great, but then so is the entire cast, including a supporting role with Harvey Keitel. It's always hard to make an action film feel real, but "NATIONAL TREASURE" accomplishes this by weaving great chase scenes, redemption, comedy and love scenes in a uniquely magnetic fashion.
BUENA VISTA has preserved the film's 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. Although a pan&scan version also exists separately. The image is nearly flawless, with deep colors and rich hues throughout the film. There's great detail in dark scenes. Fleshtones appear natural.
BUENA VISTA has provided a terrific Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Surrounds are active throughout but never overshadow the important dialogue. The music is also engaging and well complimented through all speakers. There are numerous bass effects included to work out the sub-woofer.
Director Turtletaub offers optional commentary for a deleted and extended scene as well as for an optional ending. There are plenty of other extras as well.
A GREAT DVD FOR ANY AND EVERY COLLECTION!!!