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09 Jun

National Treasure 2, Thirteen Days, and Bruce Greenwood

My husband and I rented “National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets” last night. We had thought the first movie was passably entertaining despite it’s flaws, and thought we’d give the sequel a shot. It wasn’t long before I’d formed the opinion that Book of Secrets contained most of the same flaws, and maybe some new ones. The film was watchable and even made me chuckle here and there, but it was, as I often like to say, nothing special.

Small side characters like Harvey Keitel come and go like the wind, appearing when necessary to the plot (such as it is) and nothing more. Which is a bit disappointing since I like/admire many of the big names in the movie. I mean, Helen Mirren, Jon Voight, Ed Harris, for goodness sake - all largely wasted in this fluffy adventure film. The action is swift and frequent, but the plot and circumstances surrounding it only makes you shake your head. The “bad guy”, played by Ed Harris, doesn’t come off as scary or dangerous, for one thing - he’s just a little kooky and determined to be written about in history books. Poor Ed. Now, one doesn’t typically expect realism in this type of film - but characters are so thin that there’s no excitement, no emotional drama, to any of the action. Another big car chase, will our heroes get away, ho hum. Still, despite all this, Book of Secrets would satisfy those who liked the first film, and it’s watchable enough to pass the time on a Sunday evening with.

The best part of the movie is the segment dealing with the kidnapping of the President of the United States. The President is played by Bruce Greenwood, and some of the brief script exchanges between him and Nicholas Cage as they explore a hidden tunnel/rooms are priceless. Bruce Greenwood is a wonderful character actor, and watching him in Book of Secrets made me want to watch “Thirteen Days” again…where he plays another US President: JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Thirteen Days is an awesomely entertaining political drama/suspense movie…like most historical-drama films, it takes some liberties with history and characterizations, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic flick. Bruce Greenwood is (or was) an oft underrated actor who’s been in many films - one of those actors where you might recognize his face but not remember his name. In case you’re one of those who can’t place a face to the name, here’s a small picture:

bruce greenwood

He’s most excellent - if you haven’t seen Thirteen Days yet, go rent it. You’ll have to ignore Kevin Costner’s bad Boston accent, but other than that, it’s an A+ movie in my book, mostly because of Mr. Greenwood. So yeah, as you can tell, I think he’s awesome….and best of all, I hear he’s been slated to play Christopher Pike in the upcoming Star Trek movie. I haven’t been too eager over the prospect of a new ST film, since I think Paramount has just about bled that franchise to nothing, but now I have a reason to go see it.

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