Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

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For the requisite sequel, the locale shifts from N.Y. to D.C., which opens the door to some new characters and creatures (e.g., Albert Einstein bobblehead dolls, which, when brought to life, inconceivably contain Einstein’s actual brain), along with some old ones packed up at the Natural History Museum for storage at the Smithsonian, while the human hero, Ben Stiller, backtracks from a lucrative career as an infomercial huckster (the glow-in-the-dark flashlight) to reclaim his true niche as a night watchman. Of the new, Amy Adams as a dashing Amelia Earhart and Hank Azaria as a lisping nefarious pharaoh — or more accurately, animated wax figures of these — earn high marks for indefatigable professionalism in hopeless circumstances. With Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Robin Williams, Christopher Guest, Bill Hader; directed by Shawn Levy. (2009) — Duncan Shepherd

Rated PG | 1 hour, 45 minutes
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The sequel, with the longest movie title of the year "Night at the Museum Battle of the Smithsonian", is a winner. They've expanded the cast with additional name brand actors, and new historical characters. The most appealing being a perky and somewhat sexy Amelia Erhart, played by Amy Adams. Hank Azaria, hams it up as the most entertaining comic villian since Nicholson as the Joker in one of those Batman movies. It's clever escapist cinema, with dazzling special effects, and never a dull moment. And if you're a dad with kids in tow your not going to mind seeing Ms. Adams in her form fitting flight pants.

May 25, 2009

A humorous but pointless sequel to the humorous and pointless original. This movie had little substance and is basically a slapstick, unintelligent, comedy designed to satisfy the casual movie watcher and their kids. There were some worthwhile parts, particularly the one where Ben Stiller’s character is confronted by Jonas Hill about the perils of touching exhibits at the Smithsonian. Their lively banter only lasted a couple of minutes however and Hill was not seen again for the duration of the movie. Hank Azaria was amuzing as the pharaoh Kamunrah who for some reason had a British accent with a lisp. His performance was way over the top at times and was hard to take seriously which made his scenes look more like Saturday Night Live skits rather than a motion picture. Amy Adams was sexy as Amelia Earhart and was a nice addition to the cast of historical figures. The movie is OK as long as you don’t take it seriously but I would recommend waiting for the DVD or the countless repeat showings on HBO a year from now.

May 28, 2009

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