2 out of 5 stars

Contestants hinder ‘Duel’

Weeknights at 8 p.m.

ABC

A week-long competition full of oddly pompous contestants? Who wouldn’t want to watch?

ABC’s new game show, “Duel,” has things we’ve seen before: a flashy set, a toothy host and an unbelievably large pile of money rewarded for fun-fact knowledge. What sets “Duel” apart from others are the contestants. From lawyers to ex-door-to-door vacuum salesmen, “Duel” has them all, complete with arrogance that’s immediately grating.

The rules of “Duel” are fairly simple: contestants are asked a question with four possible answers. Then they place chips over the answers they think are correct, losing chips that cover incorrect answers. They don’t necessarily have to know the answer, but they do have to watch their pile of chips; contestants lose the match if they run out or fail to pick the correct answer.

Watching game show contestants make fools of themselves on TV is getting tiresome, and it seems like there isn’t a game show valuing true knowledge anymore – “Jeopardy!” aside. So class it up “Duel,” and start asking questions you won’t find on the back of a cereal box.

John Daavettila

Same recipe is still a ‘Treasure’

3 out of 5 stars

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Did you like the first “National Treasure” movie? Not too shabby, right? Despite Nicolas Cage being involved, it turned out to be an unexpectedly good time. Well, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” is more of the same. Almost exactly the same.

Replace Thomas Jefferson with Abraham Lincoln and ancient Egyptian treasure with ancient Aztec treasure and you’ve got the framework for the second film. If you’re asking how Abe Lincoln could in any way be related to the lost city of gold, leave it to Ben Gates to explain it to you through a series of ciphers, puzzles and codes.

The “National Treasure” series (Who would’ve ever predicted this would become a series?) continues to be more interesting than, say, the monstrosity that is “The Da Vinci Code,” and it’s an unusual bit of live-action, family-friendly fun seldom seen of late. Don’t go expecting your kids to learn anything, though, because you might find them failing history when they write a report about how Paul Revere killed Hitler to steal his stash of African conflict diamonds.

Paul Tassi

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.