National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

Viewed – 11 Jan 2008  Blu-ray

This being my first review of a Blu-ray title, forgive me for gushing.  Lets get the obvious stuff out of the way first – the picture and sound to this baby is first class, with every wrinkle on Nic Cage’s weathered face and every crease of fabric and crumble of a stone wall, represented in vivid detail.  I also noticed that the sound seemed much deeper and crisper than on a DVD.  I was very impressed.

This modern take on Indiana Jones archaeological adventuring is the follow up to the underwhelming but enjoyable NT #1 (duh!) and has a wise cracking, quite funny Nicholas Cage on fine form even though I feel this kind of audience pleasing pop corn entertainment is beneath an actor once wowing critics as a suicidal drunk in Leaving Las Vegas.  Joined by two other treasure hunters (gadget guy Justin Bartha and ex-squeeze Diane Kruger) as well as a scene stealing Jon Voight and Helen Mirren; after the revelation that a lost diary page could ruin the family name in the history books, a quest begins to discover the hidden city of gold and prove the family name’s innocence.  Ok it sounds rubbish, but with a kidnapping of the President (!), globe trotting to Buckingham Palace and sneaking around The White House, as well as car chases, caves, booby traps…and a sneering Ed Harris – its hard not to get caught up in the hokum, and if like me you’re a sucker for conspiracy theories, American history etc, then you’ll have a great time with this.

It does nothing new and borrows shamelessly from much better plotted films…but at the end of the day, has plenty of personality – and sometimes that just about makes all the silly stuff work.

Verdict:  3 /5

Blu-ray here I come!!!!!!!

Well it was bound to happen someday…a DVD and Cinema enthusiast and not all aboard the HD train? Well fear not loyal readers…The Movie Report is now fully Blu-ray compliant.

Feast your eyes:

I also purchased the following movies on Blu-ray:

Zodiac (Director’s Cut)


and also included free in the box:  National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

The player was very easy to set up as I already had a HDMI lead.  Strangely the box the player comes in only includes a Composite cable, which cannot be used for HD!  Very bizarre.  The player is connected to my Samsung 32″ LCD television in the main room of my house, as thats the newest and best TV I own next to the still good quality Philips LCD in my bedroom. 

Update  (11/01/2009):

Well I have had a good play around with my Panasonic Blu-ray player and have watched Cloverfield and taken a look at Nation Treasure 2 and Zodiac, and here are my findings:

All 3 films look excellent, and although Zodiac and Cloverfield use subdued colour palettes, little details and close ups did seem an improvement over regular DVD image quality.  However I didn’t feel blown-away by the improvement, and when watching some of my regular DVDs such as Transformers and Wall-E the difference seemed minimal (looking slightly soft-focus).  This is especially the case as the player also upscales the DVD quality to near-HD and improves what you are looking at anyway.  Transformers especially looked incredible. 

I am happy with my player and look forward to road testing some other Blu-ray titles in the future, and in a way I am also happy that the difference isn’t so much a leap as to render my existing DVD collection obsolete.  The interactivity and new menu features of Blu-ray are still to be fully explored by myself…but so far, colour me HAPPY.