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I’ve been keeping a secret… I’ve never seen the National Treasure movies. I KNOW. I know. Every time I tell someone this, their eyes pop out of their heads! I have this massive hole in my film viewing history, but luckily Micah is here to fix it. The two of us sat down to marathon both Nic Cage classics and find out if they hold up, or if I should have watched as a kid to really appreciate them…

Plot (via Wiki):
In National Treasure, Benjamin Franklin Gates is an American historian, cryptographer, and treasure hunter. When Ben was young, his grandfather John told him that, in 1832, Charles Carroll passed on a secret to their ancestor of a fabled treasure hidden in America by the Knights Templar, Founding Fathers, and Freemasons. Carroll’s secret was a clue leading to the treasure: the phrase “the secret lies with Charlotte”. While Ben is convinced by the story, his skeptical father, Patrick, dismisses it as nonsense.

Thirty years later, Ben and his friend, computer expert Riley Poole, head an expedition financed by wealthy Ian Howe to find the Charlotte, revealed to be a ship lost in the Arctic. Within the ship, they find a meerschaum pipe, whose engravings reveal the next clue is on the Declaration of Independence. When Ian reveals himself to be a crime boss and suggests stealing the Declaration, a fight ensues, and the group splits. Ben and Riley report Ian’s plan to the FBI and Abigail Chase of the National Archives, but no one believes them. Ben decides to protect the Declaration by removing it from the Archives’ preservation room during a gala event. Obtaining Abigail’s fingerprints, he successfully obtains the Declaration, only to be spotted by Ian’s group just as they break in to steal it. Ben tries to leave via the gift shop but has to pay for the Declaration when the cashier mistakes it for a souvenir copy. Suspecting something amiss, Abigail confronts Ben and takes back the document. Ian promptly kidnaps her, but Ben and Riley rescue Abigail, tricking Ian by leaving behind a souvenir copy of the Declaration. FBI Agent Sadusky begins tracking Ben down.

In National Treasure: Book of Secrets, five days after the end of the Civil War, John Wilkes Booth and Michael O’Laughlen, both members of the KGC, approach Thomas Gates to decode a message copied into Booth’s diary. Thomas recognizes the message as a Playfair cipher, and translates it while Booth departs for Ford’s Theatre to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Thomas solves the puzzle, realizes Booth and O’Laughlen are trying to help the Confederacy, and rips the cipher’s pages from the diary to burn them. O’Laughlen shoots Thomas and flees with the one surviving page fragment, and a dying Thomas tells his son Charles the keyword for the cipher.

More than 140 years later, famed treasure-hunter Ben Gates tells Thomas’ story at a Civilian Heroes conference. Black market dealer Mitch Wilkinson produces the page fragment, with Thomas Gates’ name next to those of Mary Surratt and Dr. Samuel Mudd. The public believes Thomas helped kill Lincoln, and Ben and his father Patrick set out to disprove it.

This is an audio commentary ONLY. It is meant to be watched along with the movie so you can raise or lower the volume on the commentary or the movie itself as you wish.

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