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Two Trailers. One Destiny. National Treasure: Book of Secrets and The Golden Compass

Written by: Tony Lazlo, CC2K Staff Writer

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Two major holiday releases have new trailers available in Quicktime: National Treasure 2: Not As Shitty As The DaVinci Code, and The Golden Compass: We're Going to Soft-Pedal The Anti-Religious Message.

In my review of Ron Howard's adaptation of The DaVinci Code, I bemoaned the movie's slate-gray color scheme, laggard pacing and muddled message. Dan Brown's two Robert Langdon adventures remain big guilty pleasures for me, and I'm already bummed at the prospect of the same creative team (including Tom Hanks) returning for the prequel, Angels and Demons.

More instances of the word "bemoan" after the jump!

Instead of a cozy, amber-toned, globe-trotting intellectual DaVinci Code, though, I got National Treasure. I read an old draft of the script for this one, which didn't rise far above its pitch ("There's a treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence"). It took the impending success of The DaVinci Code to spur a rewrite of National Treasure that turned it into an American version of Brown's cheesy mystery.

So now we have a trailer for part two, Book of Secrets, which continues with the same quaint premise that America is a much older country than it is, and that every national monument – from the Lincoln Memorial to Mount Rushmore – holds a secret.

Meanwhile, the first film adaptation of the His Dark Materials trilogy is coming: The Golden Compass. I haven't read it, but I'm intrigued because I've heard the novel delivers an openly anti-religious message. My feelings about religion are mixed, to be sure, but in any event, I like the idea of seeing more movies and books that don't automatically lionize religious faith.

Check out the trailers here:

National Treasure: Book of Secrets, release date Dec. 21.

The Golden Compass, release date Dec. 7.