The second National Treasure movie is very much like the first: Benjamin Gates (Nicholas Cage) follows many clues leading to a ginormous treasure, Abigail Chase (Diane Krueger) follows him and harangues him, misbegotten Riley (Justin Bartha) comes along for tech support, and they drag Patrick Gates (Jon Voight) into the thick of things. Also, there’s a bad guy out to swipe the treasure out from under Ben’s nose, only this time it’s Ed Harris as a ruthless mercenary. Another difference is that Ben’s mom, Emily (Helen Mirren) puts in an appearance as an expert on obscure, pre-Columbian American cultures.
Book of Secrets is pretty much a rehash of the first movie, but I don’t mind at all. Both movies are fun and exciting and allow Nicholas Cage to loosen up a bit. In fact, the scene he causes at Buckingham Palace is the funniest I’ve seen him since Raising Arizona (which is a brilliant little movie, check it out if you get the chance). All of the other actors seem to be having a blast as well, especially Helen Mirren, who is awesome in everything.
I almost think of the National Treasures as one long movie, the second is such a natural continuation of the first. That is a rare thing indeed for a sequel. This isn’t a masterpiece, but it is definitely a fun diversion.
This picture is 4 (!) coats of Nubar’s Gold Feather, an orange-pink-brown/green duochrome. A very sheer formula, but also a very interesting color. ~K
I have always been a history buff, particularly American history. I’m pretty sure I can thank my parents for that, since my family spent several weeks of the summer before I turned 10 years old visiting several of the bigger Civil War battle sites. We then spent several weeks of the summer before I turned 15 roaming around New England and visiting several of the Revolutionary War battle sites. Not to mention, last September my father finally achieved his goal of visiting all of the Presidents’ graves when he made it to Grant’s Tomb in New York City. With parents like that, it was kind of a given that their kids would grow up to be history nuts.
This background is to give you a bit of an understanding of why I love the National Treasure movies so much. Not only do they have quite a bit of history in them (both real and fantastical), but I have been to many of the places they visit in the movies. They are also a whole lot of fun and full of amazing adventures, plus the cast all seem to be enjoying themselves. I particularly love Justin Bartha. He’s great in both, but particularly the first one.
Nicholas Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates, part of a family of historians who have spent their lives looking for a treasure hidden by the freemason founding fathers of America. He partners up with Ian (Sean Bean) and Riley (Justin Bartha), but when the next clue leads to the Declaration of Independence, Ian turns on Ben and Riley. In order to save the Declaration, Ben and Riley decide they have to steal it first, which doesn’t make Ian and his gang very happy. Dr. Abigail Chase, (Dianne Kruger) from the National Archives is eventually pulled into the craziness, as is Ben’s father, Patrick Henry Gates (Jon Voight). Eventually, Ian catches up with Ben and gang-presses him into helping to find the treasure.
I am super excited to debut my first Nubar polish, which is aptly called Treasure. It’s a very pretty purple holographic polish and I’m pretty sure I love it. The formula was lovely and it went on quite well. This picture is three coats and I skipped the top coat because K says it can ruin the holo effect. ~E
Mark Ruffalo, you are so adorable. Why can’t you do more romantic comedies, as a favor to me? Just Like Heaven is a romantic comedy with a twist, in that boy meets girl, girl walks through walls, boy hires exorcists to get rid of girl, etc. Mark Ruffalo plays David Abbott, a recent widower who moves into a furnished apartment that is haunted by the previous tenant, Elizabeth Masterson (Reese Witherspoon). David tries everything to get rid of her, and Elizabeth tries everything to make his existence as miserable as possible. Finally, they come to the realization that they can accomplish more if they work together, and discover that Elizabeth is not dead, but in a coma.
Reese is persnickety but endearing and Mark Ruffalo is positively adorable. Jon Heder (he of Napoleon Dynamite fame, or is it infamy?) makes a cameo as the owner of an occult bookstore who gives David supernatural advice. A bit of casting genius is Dina Waters (aka the director’s wife) as Elizabeth’s sister Abby (if I didn’t know any better, I would say she and Reese really were sisters…). Casting director’s never seem to take appearance into consideration when casting for siblings. (Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones as sisters in America’s Sweethearts? Puh-lease.)
This movie didn’t make much a of a blip when it originally came out, but I had read the book it was based on (Marc Levy’s If Only It Were True–a ho-hum read) so I was curious enough to see it in theaters. And I wasn’t disappointed. Better than the book and surprisingly funny.
Nubar’s Paradise is a very pretty pink-gold shimmer. This was a very sheer polish (3 coats in this picture and my nail line is still visible) but it was beautiful on my fingers. I think OPI’s Will You Mari-achi Me might be a very similar color, but I’d have to hold them next to each other to find out for sure (and I’m just too lazy to do it right now). ~K
I’m a sucker for maudlin love stories, just ask E. And What Dreams May Come is about as maudlin as a movie can get (and still have a happy ending). Robin Williams stars as Chris Nielsen, a doctor whose two children die in a car crash and Annabella Sciorra plays his emotionally fragile wife, Annie. When Chris also perishes in a car accident, he goes to a breathtaking, paint-filled heaven where he is shown the ropes by Albert (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), some sort of heavenly guide. Unfortunately, while Chris is getting the hang of the afterlife, Annie commits suicide and goes straight to Hell (do not pass GO, do not collect $200). The second half of the movie is Chris’ quest to find his lost soulmate and bring her back to Paradise.
The acting is pretty good here, especially from RW and AS. What makes this movie truly worth the watch is the amazing special effects that bring Heaven and Hell to life in a way never seen before (or since). The music is equally affecting and one of my all-time favorite scores (I find that Michael Kamen rarely lets me down). This probably isn’t the movie for you if you need cheering up (both E and I got a little misty-eyed by the end), but if you want a good sniffle…you know where to go.
Nubar’s Dreamer’s Island is a mauve polish with a shimmery, iridescent green flash. This picture is three coats and it’s still a little sheer. Aside from that, the formula is good and the color is gorgeous. This is a really neat polish, but maybe next time I’ll give it a petticoat color to really make the duochrome pop. ~K