Night at the Museum (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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An irresistible concept meets computer-generated wonders in Night at the Museum, inspired by a 1993 children's book by Milan Trenc. Ben Stiller stars as Larry Daley, an underachieving inventor waiting for his ship to come in while getting evicted from one apartment after another for lack of funds. Larry's son needs some stability, so the well-meaning ne'er-do-well takes a job as night watchman at New York City's Museum of Natural History. What the soon-to-retire guards (Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs) don't tell him is that an ancient pharaoh's tablet in the museum causes everything on display to come to life at night. Thus, Larry meets representations of Teddy Roosevelt, Attila the Hun, fire-worshipping cavemen, and Roman Empire soldiers, and learns to cope with an excitable T-Rex and man-eating, ancient animals. The film might have left things at that, but an added story element gives Night at the Museum some extra urgency and excitement, especially for kids: Larry becomes responsible for keeping this nightly miracle going and preventing anything in the museum from dying due to exposure to sunrise. Computer effects, as well as wildly imaginative costumes and makeup, help make the film appeal to the 8-year-old in everyone. Director Shawn Levy (The Pink Panther) works with a hugely talented cast, including Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Carla Gugino, and Steve Coogan. --Tom Keogh
On the DVD
The delightful package of special features on Night at the Museum (Two-Disc Special Edition) logically focuses on the film's many effects and unique needs. Featurettes and little narratives on various niche aspects of Night's production abound. Among them is "Bringing the Museum to Life," an overview of star Ben Stiller and the rest of the cast's vivid imaginations while they reacted to conditions and characters that were not actually present at the time of shooting. Director Shawn Levy is very much the star in this clip, as it turns out the hands-on filmmaker was unabashed about standing in for such computer-generated creations as Rexy, the T-Rex skeleton that comes to puppyish life in the feature. Levy shines, too, in "Directing 101" (which has more footage of him running around like everything from a horse to a fierce friend of Genghis Khan) and "Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School," the latter a half-hour segment from the cable channels ongoing series in which film school students interview folks already in the business. (The Levy show is really a pleasure.) "Monkey Business" takes a look at the training of the little monkey whose character vexes Stillers overwhelmed hero to an extreme. A blooper reel is full of hilarious gaffes, the best of which finds Stiller and Ricky Gervais pretty much incapable of getting through a single scene without losing it. "Building the Museum" answers the question: Did they actually shoot that thing inside a real museum? (The answer: no, which makes the set even more impressive.) "Historical Threads" takes a look at costumes, while trailers, extended scenes, a commentary track by Levy, and a DVD-ROM game ("Reunite with Rexy") give a viewer lots to do here. --Tom Keogh
Night at the Museum Extras
Ben Stiller on Director Shawn Levy
Ricky Gervais on the size of his trailer and eating cheese.
Beyond Night at the Museum
See What DVDs Meant Special Effects to Amazon DVD Editors As Kids
More Adventure Films for Kids & Family
The Night at the Museum Paperback Book
Stills from Night at the Museum
Top Customer Reviews
Ben Stiller, as Larry, panics his way from exhibit to exhibit,as only he knows how. Briefly intiated by the original nightwatchmen, played by comedy, TV and film legends Dick Van Dyke,Bill Cobbs and Mickey Rooney.
The retiring watchmen are worth the price of admission (watch the closing credits as they reveal the ultimate fate of the three characters and Mr. Van Dyke shows that he can still chimney-sweep with the best of them.
Owen Wilson yet again teams-up with Stiller for a small part literally, he's a miniature from an historical diorama (see Starsky & Hutch, The Royal Tenenbaums, Meet the parents, Permanent Midnight, Zoolander for more super Stiller/Wilson team-ups). Actually the role is more than a cameo and is worthy of the story. The two play off each other superbly, like a modern-day Bing & Hope, only funny (I Kid, I Kid).
Another standout casting is Robin Williams lending Larry a hand as an animated-wax Teddy Roosevelt. Williams is able to savory his moments of insanity as a relatively static historical mentor while enfusing others with moving realism and soulfulness (seriously).
Loads of great visuals, especially at the IMAX engagements, like the animated dog-like T-Rex, Mammoths, stampedes and more. Definitely in the spirit of Jumanji, only with much more heart.
Ben Stiller stars as Larry Daley, an underachiever with a penchant for bouncing from job to job as he is constantly evicted from one apartment after another. Having had a divorce, Larry shares custody of his son with his ex-wife and her new husband. After finally being fed up with feeling inadequate in the eyes of his son, Larry takes a job as a night watchman at the Museum of Natural History in hopes that the semblance of stability will help earn back his ex-wife's and his son's respect. However, things are not always how they appear, as Larry soon discovers that at night, the museum comes to life...
The film has a bit of a slow start as the plot lays the ground work for Larry's desperate acceptance of the night watchman's position. I was left feeling anxious for the hilarity to ensue when the museum finally awakens from it's slumber. Fortunately, once the storyline finally gets to that point, the wacky hijinks commence, one right after the other, causing the film to become far more satisfying. If you overlook the fact that this is a Ben Stiller vehicle (as in, a comedic role that has a fairly cookie-cutter resemblence to most of Ben Stiller's previous roles) the movie turns out to be a wild ride of incredible special effects, and hilarious moments in the interaction between Larry and the newly life-like museum displays.
Robin Williams does an amazing job as a wax figure of Teddy Roosevelt, who becomes a sort of guide and mentor to Stiller's character of Larry as Larry struggles to come to terms with the unbelievable things he is witnessing.Read more ›
While Ben Stiller will probably never be considered a great actor, he certainly has pretty good judgement of which films to pick from that will make a great impression on the majority of film-goers these days. Will Smith is another who has an uncanny ability to pick (for the most part) great rolls that tend to further his career and keep us fans wanting to see what he'll do next. While I wouldn't put Ben in the category of Action Hero like Will, Ben certainly has a certain something about him that just makes him fun to watch.
Museum is an example of a good script actually turning into a great film. Who can't love seeing a film that features Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke AND Mickey Rooney? I consider that to be near genius casting, and it paid off Big Time. Ben's character is a nice enough fellow who just can't seem to catch a break. He moves from job to job and place to place and his stability is forcing some desperate possibilities in his relationship with his son. He takes a moment to apply for the Night Watchman at the Museum, and is hastily trained by Dick Van Dyke and left for the night much too quickly--especially for what ends up happening after the sun goes down. Part of the microscopic instructions he is left with is a collection of papers stapled together which gives him step-by-step instructions of what will happen, and what to do when it does.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie My wife for some reason wanted this more then anything for her birthday and it got there in plenty of time>Published 15 hours ago by dustin
We love the Night at the Museum series and have watched them many many times...always good for a laugh!Published 3 days ago by where4
Love this movie! So heartwarming and funny the only thing I would change would be the casting of the son. Read morePublished 20 days ago by violetlantern
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