Nicholas Cage is perfectly cast in this large budget, Jerry Bruckheimer extravaganza.
For a film with so many secrets and clues, one might have thought they would have put at least a few extras on this disc.
I really liked National Treasure as a home viewing experience and I was amazed to find that his multimillion dollar, fun fest translated so well to the small screen of my PSP. This tale of Nicolas Cage having to steal the Declaration of Independence and thus taking himself (and movie watchers) through a tour of US History, is a lot better than I think it was given credit for. Sure it made a lot of money at the box office, but it doesn't seem like the kind of film that History teachers are going to assign in their classes any time soon.
The big reason why this movie works for me is because of the performances of everyone in the cast. I think Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha and Jon Voight were all really great in there supporting roles. And this only names a few of the good actors in a deep cast that also includes Harvey Keitel and Christopher Plummer. All in all, National Treasure is one of those movies that melds great actors, with a big, interesting story in which we all can get something from the viewing experience.
No extras came with this UMD.
Widescreen. This movie filled up the screen of my PSP and I was at first surprised by how clear the picture was. It was so interesting to see this big movie on such a small screen, and yet still have it retain all the visual qualities that it had when I initially screened it on a larger TV. I didn't see this film in the theater, so I can only imagine what it must have looked like on that canvas, but I was very impressed with how this film came across on my player. I truly think the reason why there are no extras is probably because they wanted to give this film the best compression possible. As a result, they would have had to make the file bigger on the disc. Sacrificing quantity for quality seems to have been the right way to go.
Stereo. Listening to this movie with tiny headphones in my ears was really an experience. Even though everything is much smaller in this format, there is a richness with having the audio be so close and personal. There were times I even thought about hooking up extra speakers so that I could really see how the sound was powered, but I think keeping my viewing experience limited to the PSP and it's accessories really let me get the most from my system.
Nicolas Cage stands like Indiana Jones in the forefront of this cover. Below him are burning torches and behind that is the Declaration of Independence, as well some other clues from the movie. This cover really has an adventurous spirit and I think that translates to the viewer's expectations. The back features shots from the movie, a description of the film (that was sort of confusing) and some technical specs. This packaging highly resembles the movie's initial one-sheet, promotional materials and as such should immediately grab consumers attention.
I have heard National Treasure be called a great "popcorn movie", but I think that this is misleading. I chose to first experience the film at home and I think that that has had some big advantages. First and foremost is the degree of control one has over a movie of this size. It is so big that in a theater it might be overwhelming. Whereas at home, watching it on DVD and now UMD, I was able to exert a degree of control over the experience. As such, I felt like I was following the film as opposed to being engulfed by it.
National Treasure is a very well done movie that should really do well in the UMD format.
National Treasure was released November 19, 2004.