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National Treasure

December 21, 2007 | Kevin Crust, Times Staff Writer
WHEN a formulaic movie rakes in almost $350 million worldwide, why mess with success, eh? Executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turteltaub and screenwriters Cormac and Marianne Wibberley essentially clone the surprisingly lucrative 2004 action-adventure "National Treasure" to generate the sequel, "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."
December 5, 2007 | Kim Christensen, Times Staff Writer
Deep in the woods near Brushy Creek stands an old beech tree, its smooth bark etched with dozens of carvings, including biblical references, a heart and a legless horse. Bob Brewer was 10 when his great-uncle, W.D. "Grandpa" Ashcraft, pointed it out on a logging trip 57 years ago. "He said, 'Boy, you see that tree? That's a treasure tree,' " Brewer recalled on a recent visit to the site. " 'You see that writing? If you can figure out what that is, you'll find some gold.'
November 4, 2007 | Deborah Netburn
You could talk about: Jason Lee getting paid. Surely this former skateboarding champion's gig on "My Name Is Earl" is bringing in the big bucks, so why is he starring as Dave alongside three computer-animated rodents in this winter's "Alvin and the Chipmunks"? We don't think he looks anything like the Dave from our favorite Saturday morning cartoon. (Weirdly, we were Simon fans.) Now, Stephen Colbert, that would be a good choice. (Dec. 14) -- You might talk about: The dearth of fun movies.
November 4, 2007 | John Horn
"National Treasure: Book of Secrets" includes a lost city of gold -- but we're not at liberty to tell you where. The diaries of John Wilkes Booth figure prominently in the plot, yet we're sworn not to say how. And the sequel stars no fewer than three Oscar winners -- Nicolas Cage, Helen Mirren and Jon Voight -- which might be the biggest mystery of all.
March 30, 2007 | Sheigh Crabtree, Special to The Times
Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, the sexiest grande dame at this year's Academy Awards ceremony, is officially in on the secret. Mirren is joining leading man Nicolas Cage in "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," the sequel to Walt Disney Pictures' action-adventure directed by Jon Turteltaub and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. This mystery involves the assassination of President Lincoln, his assailant John Wilkes Booth -- and 18 pages missing from Booth's diary.
April 22, 2006
Re "Sealing up 'our nation's attic,' " Opinion, April 19 It is a great idea to make the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution more available to the public through television. However, viewership will be restricted to Showtime, where you have to be a subscriber to tune in. Why not do this partnership with the Discovery channel or the History channel or PBS? Many more people would have access to our national treasure. PAULA SCHNEIDERMAN Santa Monica
February 26, 2006
Anne Lamott's "dance" with words is truly in a "class" by itself ("Dance Class," Feb. 5). Waltzing through one delightful sentence after another, never quite letting on which way a phrase will turn or when she will unselfconsciously step on her own prose, Lamott's writing is as exhilarating as it is engaging. Thank you for sharing her latest work. Anne Lamott is truly a national treasure. Alitta Kullman Laguna Hills Lamott makes me laugh uproariously, sob uncontrollably and always reminds me of the lessons this messy thing called life has to teach us when we pay attention.
August 12, 2005 | DAVID GELERNTER
I'M ON THE COUNCIL of the National Endowment for the Arts, which means I get a privileged overview of the American arts scene. But the most exciting news in American art right now (in my opinion, not the NEA's) has to do with works that everyone can get a look at -- a series of black-and-white movies that are over 60 years old, the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films of the 1930s. Astaire made nine movies with Rogers during the '30s.
May 3, 2005 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
Just as Nicolas Cage solves puzzles and follows cryptic clues to find the treasure of the Knights Templar in the action-adventure "National Treasure," viewers must discover clues scattered throughout the DVD extras to access even more special features. These clever additions help make up for the lack of audio commentary from director Jon Turteltaub or Cage.
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