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I came into this movie thinking that it would suck AND disliking Ben
Stiller very much. But I thought, hey, free tickets, Monday night, how
bad could it be? Well, it wasn't. It was much funnier and had a much
better script than I had anticipated. Stiller, famous for being *in*
funny situations and not making them, actually acted like a comic
character, something of a cross between Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler.
Usuaully he's a passive element, but here he propelled the comedy
further. Great job. Also, a fantastic group of supporting characters
like Gus, Mr. McPhee and Atilla the Hun. The only problem I really had
was the son, who was much too perfect and pacific to be of any
interest, and was, at most times, quite annoying.
So all of you nay-sayers who judge the film by its previews, tut-tut to you. It's funny, it's fast, and wastes no time with kicking it into high gear. Great special effects, especially the T-Rex. Also, with the poor previews, it leaves you to enjoy the many delightful small twists and turns that keep the movie fresh.
So take off that cloak of prejudice and enjoy, it won't disappoint.
I think it's really annoying when I read reviews on here of a kids
movie and someone tears it apart. Do these people expect to see Oscar
award winning performances and production? As for this film, I thought
it was really cute. It's perfect for a kid's imagination. I saw the
movie at a pre-screening and every kid afterwards was smiling and
excitedly talking about the movie. Sure there are some dumb jokes,
etc., but overall the movie was great. It was especially cool to see
Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney working together.
Take your kid to see this movie. Their imagination will go wild and they might even be curious to go to a history museum afterwards.
Don't go into this movie expecting a complex plot and deep insight into
the human condition. The story and plot are lightweight but that
doesn't matter too much. The characters are likable enough and the
situation is definitely full of possibilities.
The humor is silly and well-done slapstick without much in the way of vulgarity. I especially enjoyed the antics and heroics of the miniature Cowboys, Mayans and Romans. (Though my inner stickler was a tad annoyed with slight shifts in their scale.)
I recommend it for family viewing. My 8-year-old was in stitches AND asking me questions about history after the movie.
I got to see a showing of Night at the Museum last night. I was
impressed by the trailers and I got really pumped when I saw people
like Stiller, Wilson, Robins, Rudd and more famous comedian actors like
Gervais in it.
The movie starts out slow but picks up once Stiller's character enters the museum. Once he enters the chaos begins.
The movie has it's up's and downs. Sometimes it feels like it was trying too hard to be funny. Don't get me wrong this movie is filled with laughs such as the Stiller and the monkey slapping each others face which made me laugh my ass off. Night at the Museum felt like a pattern to me, no funny parts to little giggles and then the movie would make you laugh so hard.
All the famous faces really brought charm to the movie and I don't think it would have work well with anyone else.
Night at the Museum is a fun movie worth seeing but not a movie you will be looking back on in 10 years time.
What a cast! Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Dick VanDyke,
Mickey Roney, Bill Cobbs...
I'm not a Stiller fan, but in this one he was really great, he steps out of his usual shtick to really anchor this movie. For once he doesn't seem to be trying too hard and avoids overdoing it.
This is one of Robin Williams' better modern roles, he's toned down but still quintessentially Williams. It was nice to see him in a role that he can both take seriously *and* have some fun with it.
Owen Wilson is still awesome, basically reprising his Shanghai Noon character, but with a cute, rather unexpected twist.
Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs are classic, they haven't lost a step. Rooney is still the little bantam rooster with the attitude! Van Dyke clearly anchors the trio. Cobbs wasn't given much to work with for his character, but his quality shines through. These veteran comedic actors bring a bit of class and legitimacy to the film.
The movie is well paced, jumping almost directly into the action, with plenty of laughs. From Rexie's puppy-dog antics to the war between Old West Cowboys and Roman Centurians, there is something around every corner.
The only stinker in this film is the kid. He's totally under-utilized for the storyline, they could have improved the storyline by either leaving the kid out of the movie entirely, or by giving him something to do. The pseudo-love-interest, too, should have either been played up or left out.
This is an entirely enjoyable family film. My 87 year old grandmother-in-law loved it, as did my 9 year old daughter and my teenage sons! Truly something for everyone.
I saw it with a big group of friends (all in their early 20's) on opening night, and we all thought it was hilarious. It wasn't until a few days later that I heard reviews for it that were less than favorable. I thought the movie was funny and light-hearted. Yeah, some parts may not have seemed to make sense, but come on. It's a movie about exhibits in a museum coming to life - I don't think the creators were aiming for realism. I thought Ben Stiller did a great job, as did other supporting actors, especially the security guards. Everyone in the theater clapped when it was over, so they must have liked it too. I would definitely recommend it.
Excellent fun flick... and best movie Dinosaur in a long time ;-)
I promised my 8th grade nephew I'd take him to a movie this Christmas break - without his younger brothers and sisters. He originally wanted to see that dragon movie, but he found out it sucked, so I suggested this one.
With teens, there's the fine balance between too "kid" oriented and too dark, but he was laughing along the rest of the theater, and lost himself in the fun with the rest of us.
He wants to see it again, *I* want to see it again, and I recommend it for anyone with a sense of fun. It's also the first Ben Stiller movie in a while I can say that about. I hope you all reward the studio for putting out a true "family movie" for the holidays, so we'll see more in the future.
It was good to see Dick Van Dyke, Andy Rooney and Bill Cobbs in light, comic roles, and Robin Williams in a solid supporting role. They all lend the movie more "credibility."
GREAT FUN, easily worth 2 hours and $10.00, more than once over.
I had the pleasure of some pre-release tickets and took the whole
family along to see this movie with no idea of what to expect.
The movie started and got into the storyline of a divorced dad (played by Ben Stiller) who wants his son to be proud of him and his work but has been through a string of jobs without any success. His lad thinks he's wasting his life and begs him to just settle down and get a job.
So he goes and gets a job as night watchman at the museum of natural history and this is when we meet Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and a token black dude.
He takes the job only to find that the whole museum comes to life at night !! This is when the fun really starts and there's famous faces all over the place, including a great performance from Steve Coogan, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais and loads more playing such characters as Teddy Roosevelt, Attila The Hun etc It's a film that makes you laugh out loud in the cinema if you're a kid and I have to admit I did the same a few times.
The film goes on for about an hour and three quarters but is jam packed of fun and special effects It's a magical family film - so if you got kids go and see it definitely
Slightly overlong - and lacking the perhaps obligatory love interest -
this is as good a film as any parent will be able to excite their kids
with this holiday period - well certainly in the UK. The film has huge
plot holes and probably hundreds of continuity errors but rampaging
dinosaurs, goodish CGI and another athletic comic turn from Ben
Stiller, together with the gorgeous Carla Gugino make this near perfect
Xmas cinematic fair.
The Museum of Natural History is suffering a downturn in visitor numbers and has to make cutbacks by way of night security men. Step up Larry Daly (Stiller) in an attempt to retain his home and convince ex wife that he is a role model for their impressionable son. The film's premise that the various waxwork and skeleton inhabitants come to life at night due to the presence of a magical Egyptian golden tablet placed 50 years before is, of course, to suspend disbelief beyond anything else you'll be expected to this year - but anyone at a loss for an excuse to get the kids out of the house over the Christmas period could do a lot worse than spend just under a couple of hours at the multiplex to see what is a cross between Jumanji and the Indian in the Cupboard.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In Night At the Museum, Ben Stiller plays his usual role as a
good-hearted schlemiel thrust into a humiliating situation that he
ultimately emerges from with a small measure of heroic dignity. In this
instance, his character, Larry Daley, is an out of work weekend Dad who
is about to be evicted from his apartment once again and thus lose the
last shred of admiration his ten year old son has for him. To keep both
the apartment and the son's affections, he accepts a job as night
watchman at a New York City Natural History Museum, where an Egyptian
tablet has for some decades administered a powerful magic spell that
causes history literally to "come alive."
Each evening, the museum's wax and bone denizens, human and animal alike, become animate, leave their various encasements and displays, wander the museum's corridors, and raise havoc with museum property, each other, and, of course, Larry. The human cast of characters prominently includes Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Sacajawea ( Mizuo Peck), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher), a miniature cowboy (Owen Wilson), and an equally diminutive Octavius Caesar (Steve Coogan) while the animal crew is headed by a capuchin monkey, a tyrannosaurus skeleton, and a pride of lions. As we ultimately learn, Larry (Stiller) has been selected for the job because he seems like a perfect stooge/fall-guy for the nefarious plans of three outgoing night watchmen (Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs) he is ostensibly replacing. Night at the Museum is based on a clever farcical concept that - one might think - would serve as a perfect vehicle for Stiller's comic persona. Unfortunately, something damaging intervened in the concept's translation to an actual film, namely a screenplay that is short on laughs and long on predictability and sap.
Too many scenes in Night at the Museum fall humorlessly flat; for instance, Larry's confrontations with the museum's pompous but inarticulate curator. Others, like the Oprah style pop psychological healing of Attila the Hun's inner child, are almost embarrassingly bad. The scenes with diorama miniature cowboys (headed by Owen Wilson) and miniature Roman army (led by Steve Coogan's Octavius) are mildly amusing thanks to the efforts of the actors and neat special effects, but, again, suffer from an underwritten and unimaginative script. The scenes involving Sacajawea are completely pointless other than the riff on the pronunciation of the last syllables of her name (waya or weeya?) By the third repetition of the joke, it has been thoroughly emptied of the scant humor it contained on the first go round. And what can one say of Robin Williams' turn as Teddy Roosevelt other than that it made one fondly recall the much funnier Teddy that stole scenes in the classic Arsenic and Old Lace? Except for one brief scene where Williams is allowed to release his inventive comic genius into a parody of African "Click" language, he is kept completely in check (and thus wasted) exhorting the Stiller character to rise to the heroic occasion, repeating Shakespearean chestnuts about having "greatness" thrust upon one, and mooning after/stalking Sacajawea with unrequited love.
Yes, Night at the Museum does evoke a few chuckles - most examples of which were included in the film's ubiquitous trailers - but it contains surprisingly little physical humor and utterly lacks wit, unless one finds a scene between Stiller and the capuchin monkey concocted solely to justify the punch line "stop slapping the monkey" the height of cleverness. Most members of the audience I saw the film with didn't think so, or they were too young or too old to get the joke. Which raises another issue with the film - what was the intended age group of its principal audience? Codgers who might delight in the bit parts of Hollywood legends? Boppers who might identify with the museum docent who upon meeting Sacajawea, supposedly the subject of her 900 page doctoral dissertation, is reduced to pre-verbal ("you rock!') groupie talk. Kids needing a history lesson or amused by urine gags? No doubt the intent was "all of the above." Unfortunately, that aim - as with much of today's Hollywood fare - ends up reaching "none of the above" very satisfyingly.
Falling into the "Codgers" demographic myself, the chief pleasures of Night at the Museum for me were the brief opening scene played between Stiller and real-life mother, Anne Meara, and the amazingly energetic performances of octogenarian Dick Van Dyke and near nonagenarian Mickey Rooney, looking (and acting) better than he has in what? fifty years? I should also add some complimentary words for the film's visual delights, highlighted by some stunning displays of forced perspective as well as the imaginative animation of a puppyish tyrannosaurus skeleton that enjoys playing fetch with one of its own colossal bones. All in all, though, Night at the Museum was a major disappointment.
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