Night at the Museum

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Rating: PG

Starring:
Ben Stiller as Larry Daley
Carla Gugino as Rebecca
Dick Van Dyke as Cecil
Mickey Rooney as Gus
Bill Cobbs as Reginald
Jake Cherry as Nick Daley
Ricky Gervais as Dr. McPhee
Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt
Kim Raver as Erica Daley
Patrick Gallagher as Attila the Hun
Rami Malek as Ahkmenrah
Pierfrancesco Favino as Christopher Columbus
Steve Coogan as Octavius
Mizuo Peck as Sacajawea

Special Features:
Commentary by Director Shawn Levy
Commentary by Writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
Deleted and Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Shawn Levy
Featurettes: Bringing the Museum to Life, Directing 101, Monkey Business, Building the Museum, Historical Threads: The Costumes of “Night at the Museum,” Making “Night at the Museum”
Blooper reel
Comedy Central’s Reel Comedy: “Night at the Museum”
The Director’s Vision Comes Alive – Storyboard-to-Screen Comparison
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School
Reunite with Rexy Game (DVD-ROM)

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“Ben Stiller leads an all-star cast including Robin Williams and Dick Van Dyke in this hilarious blockbuster hit. When good-hearted dreamer Larry Daley (Stiller) is hired as night watchman at the Museum of Natural History, he soon discovers that an ancient curse brings all the exhibits to life after the sun sets. Suddenly, Larry finds himself face-to-face with a frisky T. rex skeleton, tiny armies of Romans and cowboys and a mischievous monkey who taunts him to the breaking point. But with the help of President Teddy Roosevelt (Williams), Larry may just figure out a way to control the chaos and become a hero in his son’s eyes. Boasting jaw-dropping special effects and laugh-out-loud moments, ‘Night at the Museum’ is your ticket to nonstop fun!”

“Night at the Museum” is rated PG for mild action, language and brief rude humor.

The Movie:
“Night at the Museum” is one of those films that has such a great, obvious concept that you wonder why someone didn’t think of it sooner. While the film doesn’t entirely live up to its potential, it does offer up a lot of laughs for both adults and children.

Ben Stiller provides most of the laughs with his improvisational style and slapstick comedy. His reaction as the museum exhibits come to life generate the vast majority of the funny moments in the film. Stiller is supported by a good lineup of secondary characters including Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt. Williams is quite reserved in this movie, but he is fun to see. Faring much better are Owen Wilson as the miniature cowboy Jedediah and Steve Coogan as Octavius. The two make a great comedy duo. And in a bit of a casting coup, Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney team as part of a trio of security guards. It’s fun to see them on the big screen again, but they don’t seem to be used to their full potential either.

Most of the special effects are only mediocre, but the T-Rex skeleton, Rexy, stands out. It’s not a technical leap compared to Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs, but the imagery of a skeleton running through halls and acting like a dog is certainly memorable.

The Extras:
Fox went all out on this two-disc set. Besides the spiffy lenticular cover, you have two discs of bonus features to dive into. Here are the highlights:

Commentaries: You’ll find two commentaries. One is by Director Shawn Levy while the second features writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. Too bad none of the cast joined in.

Deleted and Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director Shawn Levy – There are 8 deleted scenes. None of them are particularly noteworthy. Most of them feature Stiller before he takes the job at the museum. We see him dodging his landlord and trying to gain financing for a new restaurant. Fans of “The Office” will be amused to see Ed Helms, the violent Andy, in a cameo role.

Featurettes – There are a ton of featurettes to dig through. They’re spread throughout the menus on the Museum Tour. They cover the Museum set, the monkey, the costumes, Shawn Levy’s directing style, and more

Blooper reel – This is your standard blooper reel featuring flubbed lines and monkeys peeing on Robin Williams.

Comedy Central’s Reel Comedy: “Night at the Museum” – Patton Oswalt hosts this visit to the set of “Night at the Museum.” While much of the show is simply clips from the movie, there’s a fair amount of footage of Oswalt interviewing the cast and director.

The Director’s Vision Comes Alive – Storyboard-to-Screen Comparison – This one should be pretty self explanatory. It features an introduction by Director Shawn Levy.

Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene – This TV show features the scene of the T-Rex coming to life. It follows it from script through storyboards to CGI. In fact, this is the only discussion you’ll find on the CGI from the movie.

Rounding out the bonus features are another TV show from the Fox Movie Channel. It’s “Life After Film School.” Also included is a DVD-ROM game titled “Reunite with Rexy”

The Bottom Line:
“Night at the Museum” is fun for both children and adults. While it may not be edgy enough for adults, it will certainly make you think twice before your next museum visit.

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