Overall a very entertaining and hilarious movie. My theater was crying with laughter. Everyone around me was laughing at some joke. Good for a laugh. If you're in the mood for laughter, see it. 8/10
In the previous movie, Idaho came off as strange land that was in its own way as exotic as something J.R.R. Tolkien might have created. With a Mexican monastery as a setting, Hess' imagination isn't as fertile.
A lowly friar named Ignacio (Black) has spent most of his life cooking for the orphans and the monks who live with him. Better known as Nacho (presumably for the fact that he both makes and eats a lot of nachos), he has never been able to get past his secret longing to become a luchador.
He forms a tag team with a skinny thief named Esqueleto (Héctor Jiménez), and the two secretly enter the ring for real. Despite some painful training, Nacho and Esqueleto lose most of their matches but earn enough money to prepare better meals for the orphans. The pay also helps make up for being clobbered by a pair of ferocious midgets.
Back at the monastery, however, his fellow friars would not look kindly on his new activities, and a pretty nun (Ana de la Reguera) that Nacho pines for thinks luchadors are doing the Devil's work.
Despite some over the top moments, "Nacho Libre" seems curiously listless. Black can earn a few chuckles simply from the fact that his bulky frame belies his volcanic energy. Big guys aren't supposed to be able to run around like he does.
Many of the gags that Hess, his wife Jerusha and "School of Rock" writer Mike White come up with fall as flatly as Nacho does during the middle of his matches. After a while, it becomes tiresome to watch Nacho and Esqueleto taking yet another beating.
In "Napoleon Dynamite," our nerdy hero gradually became more dignified as the movie progressed, making him progress from a butt of jokes to a genuinely sympathetic character. Nacho's transformation isn't as well conceived.
Napoleon Dynamite had well written character development. This one does not.
Both "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Nacho Libre" had loose story lines, but the former had so many moments quirky surprise, that the threadbare story didn't matter. It also helped that Hess avoided using a lot of flatulence gags and other overused crutches that have used to death in the first film. This time around Hess embraces bodily function humor but lacks Mel Brooks' or even the Farrelly Brothers' gift for making it amusing.
"Nacho Libre" would have been more enjoyable if Hess had found a way to present Mexico in the same oddly delightful way he depicted Idaho.
You remember your childhood fantasy that when the lights go off and the doors are locked at the museum, the stuffed animals, detailed dioramas and monster dinosaurs come to life.
With the help of some impressive CGI, the New York Museum of Natural History does come to amazing life in the new Christmas offering 'Night at the Museum' taken from Croatian illustrator Milan Trenc's kid's book. And all in service of a story that is pure Hollywood schlock but largely saved by ingratiating performances.
After churning out 5 wildly successful films last year, Ben Stiller has returned to the big screen. With all history coming to chaotic life around him, what the film needs is grounding in humanity and Stiller wisely downplays his usual brand of frenetic comedy. The man is an actor and there is a subtle, heartfelt quality to his work not often seen.
That doesn't mean there aren't a few scenes of vintage Stiller as when he gets into a slapping contest with a recalcitrant capuchin monkey named Dexter.
Stiller is Larry Daley, a loser who can't seem to get his life going. His marriage has dissolved and he is trying desperately to hold onto his son's affections. When his latest wacky invention fizzles he reluctantly takes a responsible job as the night guard at the museum.
The new guy is welcomed to the position by three old coots who are being retired. The trio are the smooth octogenarians Dick Van Dyke, and Mickey Rooney and long time character actor Bill Cobbs.
The three geriatric actors seem to be having a rare old time back on the big screen.
As the night falls, Van Dyke warns ominously before leaving, "Don't let anything in. Or out!" When the sun sets, the museum comes to life and our hapless hero is on the run. He is chased by the bones of a massive T-Rex, lions prowl, Huns pillage and he is attacked by tiny railroad builders and vast armies of Roman soldiers with large fiery catapults.
The railroaders are led by a tiny (and unbilled) Owen Wilson doing his Owen Wilson thing.
The two armies mount a battle as they want to conquer each other's territory with poor Larry in the middle.
An excellent Robin Williams is Teddy Roosevelt come to life to give Larry advice on how to make something of his life. Mostly by coping with the carnage around him.
The museum is run by a humorless stuffed shirt named Reginald played with dead pan hilarity by The Office's Ricky Gervais.
Director Shawn Levy ('The Pink Panther') fills his screen with action. While Larry is being terrorized, there is inevitably a mastodon or group of Neanderthals just wandering around in the background.
And the geezers return in the night with an agenda of their own.
'Night at the Museum' could easily have become a one-joke movie. After the first night what have you got? Well, writers Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant don't let their screen-lay stop at that. Larry is persuaded to come back for a second try this time prepared for the onslaught.
Hilariously, none of his planning works.
The writers make one big mistake in their fantasy. A relationship develops between Larry and a docent named Rebecca (Carla Gugino). She can't finish a paper she's writing on Lewis and Clark's great Shoshone guide Sacagawea (Mizuo Peck).
Larry introduces her to the museum's now animated wax character and, presumably, the two talk history. But at another point, when Larry needs Roosevelt's historical expertise, the character observes that he really knows nothing he's just a wax figure created by a factory in upstate New York.
You can't have it both ways guys.
A small detail I suspect and the kids who will make this one of the most popular films of the Christmas season won't notice.
"Night at the Museum' is not a flat-out comedy (though Stiller always has something droll happening) but that is not what its producers are after. Besides its spectacularly realized fantasy world, it wants to tell a story of a poor schmuck with good intentions who learns a few life lessons in self-reliance.
Fun and entertaining though it is, 'Night at the Museum' will not go on to become a season classic as Tom Hank's 'Polar Express.' No E.T here. But it takes a worthy place beside 'Jumanji' and 'Gremlins' and even this Christmas' 'Charlotte's Webb' as a fine fantasy family entertainment.
It will be scary for the little ones.
'Night at the Museum' is being released simultaneously in the big screen IMAX process. If you can, that is the way to see it. The digital effects are remarkably detailed and the huge IMAX screen really shows them off.
The theory goes that each penguin has its own individual "heartsong" which it needs to find a mate. Young Mumble (voiced by Daily when he's tickle and oh so cute, then Wood when he gets a bit older) is born with the worst singing voice in the penguin world, which can make for a pretty tough ride when your parents sound like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis. Compensation for this comes in the form of his love of dancing via his nonstop "happy feet". His mother (Kidman) is supportive but his dad (Jackman) is embarrassed by the whole affair ("It just ain't penguin son"). Marked as a disruptive influence by the elders (including Weaving doing a pretty damn good Scottish accent) and even blamed for the dwindling fish stocks, he's ostracised from the community and takes up with a group of Hispanic penguins on a quest to discover why the fish are disappearing.
There's nothing about Happy Feet that doesn't work, with every element just another layer of delicious icing on the cake. At its heart it's one of the most glorious celebrations of individuality, diversification and acceptance ever committed to film. But then it gets wrapped in a blanket of breathtaking visuals and a level of artistry that's almost photo-real in its beauty. The voice work is exemplary (Robin Williams does three different characters and doesn't annoy) and it will either have you laughing or on the verge of tears throughout. Then, just when you think it can't fit anything else in, we get a sharp eco-message. And if that's all a little too preachy and worthy for you, then just revel in the sight of tens of thousands of penguins bursting into pop and soul classics every five minutes. Sublime.
At the film's center, Jon Heder plays the droopy-eyed hero of the title. But he's no Jason Schwartzmann, and Jon Gries as Uncle Rico can't compete with Bill Murray. Perhaps this comparison isn't quite fair either--"Napoleon Dynamite" is much sillier than "Rushmore," and some of the jokes are gutbustingly funny. While it doesn't add anything new to the formula, it's a genuinely hilarious comedy.
I'm also disappointed that this film didn't remain a cult film. Cult film means "Not Mianstream acceptance." Winning Best Movie at The MTV Awards and being the most popular and famous teen movie in the whole world= Mainstream acceptance. Oh well.
When Nature Calls continues the tradition of the first film in terms of its level of humor (namely, aiming pretty low), but the main character is a little more proactive in trying to annoy the rest of the characters in the film, holding absolutely nothing sacred, save for his precious animals. The result is a fitfully funny comedy that does contain a few clever moments of fun, but your mileage will certainly vary when it comes to a very over-the-top assault on your funny bone in a very crude fashion. It's the kind of movie where once you start laughing, you might become too giddy to stop -- or if you find yourself not laughing, the film will only continue to press your buttons to the point of annoyance.
I think that younger viewers will tend to enjoy When Nature Calls more so than adults, as the gags are more slapstick-y and broad than they had been in the first effort. However, for those who liked the cameo appearances and detective storyline from the first film, there's less to identity with in this sequel save for the personality of the main character, whose famous catchphrases and one-dimensional delivery become redundant very quickly. Carrey is still a marvel, and Oedekerk often quite inventive, but in the end it just doesn't work out.
For Carrey Fans only and no one else.
The special effects are, for the most part, rather impressive, but they're as frequently guilty of overwhelming the star's performance as complimenting it. Nevertheless, if you think Carrey has an expressive face, wait 'til you see him with the mask on. Eyes pop out and jaws drop -- literally. ILM goes to work with their own version of live-action animation whenever anyone dons the mask. Good costumes and make-up serve only to enhance the computer-generated visuals.
And, even as the audience's attention is arrested by the work of the effects wizards, there's still room for a canine scene-stealer. Milo (whose real name is Max) is the perfect foil for Carrey's goofiness and -- yes -- there are occasions where his animal antics divert the spotlight away from his two-legged co-star.
Carrey, meanwhile, is playing a split role: mild-mannered Stanley Ipkiss and his superhuman alter-ego, the Mask. Stanley is a shy, unassuming man who works in a bank and lives with Milo in a small apartment. One day, following a terrible bout with Murphy's Law, Stanley finds a curious-looking mask floating amidst some debris in a river. Later, at home, when he finally gets around to trying the mask on, Stanley learns that this isn't some archaeological curiosity. It has power - the power to transform. From the moment the mask clings to his skin and his face turns green, Stanley's personality undergoes a radical shift. Insecurity is replaced by flamboyance. Physically, there seems to be little that he can't do, from twisting his body into a pretzel to taking a bullet in the chest or forming a tommy gun out of a balloon.
While wearing the mask, Stanley makes a comment about becoming a superhero, but he's really interested in one thing: Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz), a voluptuous nightclub singer who works for a local gangster (Peter Greene). Following a bank robbery (to finance his wooing), the Mask discovers that a cop, Lt. Mitch Kellaway (Peter Riegert), is hot on his trail. And it's not that difficult a trail to follow. After all, how many lime-faced bandits are there who move like the Warner Brothers cartoon Tasmanian Devil? Carrey plays Stanley with surprising restraint, giving his zaniness free reign only when the mask is on. In some ways, it's a Clark Kent/Superman thing. Stanley and the Mask might share the same body, but they're very different. One is a typical nice guy who finishes last. The other is Robin Williams' genie from Aladdin come to life (Carrey provides dozens of whirlwind impersonations).
As a comedy, The Mask is genial, but its recycled plot is far too thin for the film to succeed as either an adventure or a spoof. "Comic book" and "cartoon" are two terms that come to mind for describing this movie. Neither is intended to be pejorative, but each conjures certain apt images.
Carrey is only in The Mask for 25-30 mins. I wanted to see more. But it's good to see his serious stuff as well.
For me, Ace Ventura was too much concentrated Jim Carrey. In The Mask, the forceful personality is diluted. The star is mostly-subdued except during those off-the-wall bursts of energy that accompany the appearance of the Mask. The film is entertaining enough -- in a light, undemanding sort of way -- but more than the combined efforts of Carrey, ILM, and Max are demanded to camouflage the seams and holes still apparent in this production. No one else could have played the part better.
The only problem I had with this movie is that it never seemed to scare me. I found to be more disturbing and spooky than scary. All in all, a movie that is worth your money. If you like Horror or the original Texas Chainsaw movies I recommend you see this one. 9/10
I couldn't really relate to the family at all. Not one of them could make me laugh. Where as Robin Williams can make me laugh just with a movement of his face/voice. The script puts the family into some pretty funny situations, but hadn't it been for Robin Williams this movie would've been on the IMDb down bottom 100. I recommend this to any fans of Robin Williams. If not, I urge you to stay away. 7/10