Saturday, February 10, 2007

Surprised During a Nite at the Museum!

Greetings all!

First, my thanks to fellow 2GuysTalking TelevisionReview Blogger Christine Hallowell, for convincing me that I was in need of a nite off recently. After dropping off my daughter Jade at the local KidsPlay for an evening of pizza, fun and comradeship, Christine and I headed to a local restaurant for some tasty grub, and then to the theater to see "Night at the Museum", starring Ben Stiller, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and more.

I have to say I went in expecting the worst here. Only after leaving the theater did I get back home and realize that since it's release LAST YEAR, this film is still number 4 in the top 10 listings of films available for people to partake. That really does speak quite a bit to a movie that comes out nowadays. Few movies have the "staying" power that his one is showing and it's greatly missed in the entertainment circle.

First - The Good:

-- Ben Stiller: I have to tell you folks; I don't like Ben Stiller. I think Zoolander finally torpedoed him for me and so getting to this film was honestly, for me, more about seeing effects than much of anything else. While the effects were outstanding, I have to say that he was a bit up the endearing scale this time out. I didn't have much of an issue buying that he was a loser, unemployed, thrust-into-importance self-absorbed father figure.

-- The Effects: This is pretty much what I expect to see in the way of major motion picture special effects nowadays. Playful T-Rex Skeletons, walking-talking bronze Columbus Statues, and this film also offered the same sense of "real/practical effects" that many of Jon Favreau movies offer (Zathura, Elf, etc). They were very believable and with the exception of one or two of the mini-people scenes, I bought it all. It was very easy to put the veil of disbelief over my eyes.

-- The Old Talented Folks: It was great to see Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney (who looked absolutely RABID this time out) and a cast that helped to bridge some very significant generations of cinema with newer ones. While I'd never put someone like Ben Stiller in the same (even comedic) category as Van Dyke and Rooney, it really is a great honor to see them in action, especially in a movie where they get to "relive their youth" thanks to the curse of the tablet.

-- Carla Gugino: Yahlzah - For those that are curious, the offerings here are very much to the liking of CPTMIKE. The pictures over at IMDB don't do her justice. She's got probably 20 more pounds on in "Night at the Museum" and it is a welcome 20 pounds. There are just simply too many waif actresses these days, and her portrayal in "Night at the Museum" was (while a short character) one that I liked both in the head and elsewhere.

-- The Robin Williams Factor: He's next to invisible in this movie (fear not! That's good!), and I think it's because they gave him his ADD medication while filming. That or (looking back at the timeline) he was soused while filming this movie before heading into rehab. Who knows. The point is that THIS is the role that I like to see Robin Williams in - a supportive, almost common-sensical mentoresque wax figure of Teddy Roosevelt that I really liked a lot. Again, it's great to see him jump in with legends of the silver screen and add to a picture rather than having to be a monkey to garner attention to try and do it.

-- The Story: While it was a bit more cutsy than I like to see, I have to give this story some real credit. Who of us hasn't thought that the "things inside a museum" actually have a life that they live when everyone's away? And according to the box office returns and staying power of this movie, I would say it's a pretty wide swath of people that support that notion.

And then theres... - The Bad:

There's NOTHING in this movie that I can complain about! In fact it'll probably get bought at my house because I know my wife and my child will love this movie.

This movie is worth yours, your family's and the American populace's time, without question. I went in looking for some great effects, and found so much more. Very well done and please - no sequel.