Night at the Museum Review

Night at the Museum movie posterSynopsis
When Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) starts his new job as the night security guard at the Museum of Natural History, he learns that the museum holds an extraordinary secret: everything comes to life at night.

Review
Compared to some of Ben Stiller’s other films, Night at the Museum is pretty tame. I guess considering it is rated PG, it is aimed towards a younger audience. Regardless of the mildness of the action and fairly subdued humor, there is still plenty to enjoy. Stiller shows the range of his comedic chops. In something like Zoolander or Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, he is more eccentric and exaggerated, whereas here, he acted more like the straight man. He is given several people to play off of, such as Robin Williams and Owen Wilson, but the chemistry isn’t there to make any particular moment stand-out. One of the main focuses of the story was Larry Daley (Stiller) trying to connect better with his son, Nick (Jake Cherry), after his divorce. When the story focused on that aspect of the story, I found it flat and tedious. The story that interested me more was the museum exhibits coming alive. It has a Toy Story vibe, like “what would happen if these inanimate objects came to life?” As someone who likes to visit museums when I travel, this was exciting to me. Since it carries the PG rating, the action, like Stiller’s comedy, was fairly mild-mannered, at least for someone like myself who regularly watches action heroes get beat to hell and blow everything around them to smithereens, but I can see how the younger demographic could find it exciting.

I thought Night at the Museum was GOOD 🙂 While it offered nothing too notable, it is not completely forgettable either. Both the comedy and action feel mellow if you fall outside of the films target demographic. However, it still offers an enjoyable experience if you roll with the lightheartedness of it all.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Shawn Levy – Director
Robert Ben Garant – Writer
Thomas Lennon – Writer
Alan Silvestri – Composer

Ben Stiller – Larry Daley
Carla Gugino – Rebecca
Jake Cherry – Nick Daley
Kim Raver – Erica Daley
Dick Van Dyke – Cecil
Mickey Rooney – Gus
Bill Cobbs – Reginald
Robin Williams – Teddy Roosevelt
Owen Wilson – Jedediah
Steve Coogan – Octavious
Patrick Gallagher – Attila the Hun
Rami Malek – Ahkmenrah
Pierfrancesco Favino – Christopher Columbus
Mizuo Peck – Sacajawea
Easter Island Head – Brad Garrett (voice)
Ricky Gervais – Dr. McPhee
Paul Rudd – Don
Pat Kiernan – TV News Anchor

My Fave Five: Movies starring Robin Williams

Robin-Williams

I must have heard Monday’s news about Robin Williams just after the news broke.  I remember thinking this is another hoax about an actor’s death; Robin Williams can’t be dead.  Then slowly the news was everywhere and I knew it was true.  However, it didn’t really hit me until my drive home from work Tuesday.  One of the funniest actors of all time was gone.  It’s hard to believe someone who brought such joy to so many around the world could leave us in the manner he did.  I will never forget the laughs he gave me as the magical Genie in Aladdin, or as the savvy advertisement guru Simon Roberts in the short-lived sitcom The Crazy Ones, and everyone in between.  There have been many celebrity deaths over the last few years, but Williams has impacted me the most because he has always been there throughout my entire life as my experiences changed.  When I was younger, I enjoyed movies like Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire and Flubber.  As I grew older there were more mature movies like RV and The Final Cut.  When cursing seeped into my rhetoric, I found his stand-up to give me a hard laugh.  He can uniquely fit his humor for any audience of any age.  To commemorate Williams’s long and memorable movie career, here are my Fave Five movies starring Robin Williams.

Robin Williams in The Final Cut5) The Final Cut

I know The Final Cut isn’t one of Williams’ more popular movies, but I have always found this movie interesting.  For  one, this was the first serious movie I saw Williams act in.  I thought he did a great job showing the emotion of a man carrying a tragic memory throughout his entire life.  Also, the idea of splicing together footage of all the good memories of a person’s life to remember them positively, even the life of a less-than-noble person, I found fascinating.

4) Night at the MuseumRobin Williams in Night at the Museum

Williams was a perfect choice to play President Theodore Roosevelt in Night at the Museum because he was to Larry Daley as Roosevelt as Williams was to those around him in real life: a mentor.  He guided Larry through becoming the new security guard the same way he has guided so many over the years, whether it be in person or through his films.

Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire3) Mrs. Doubtfire

Come on, do I even need a reason to include Mrs. Doubtfire in this list?  Williams brings so much heart to the story about Daniel Hillard, a man who just wants to spend some time with his kids after his divorce.  It’s hard not to root for Hillard because Williams plays the character so well you can empathize with the character.  I watched this movie on TV so many times there was a point where I would just flip past it.  Shame on me.  Good thing that didn’t last long.

2) JumanjiRobin Williams in Jumanji

Jumanji is another one of Williams’ movies that is just so much fun.  As a man out of time, the only way I can think to describe Williams’ Alan Parrish is zany.  This was the same energy Williams brought to most of his comedy, in or out of film.  I like to watch behind the scenes and anything with Williams reminds me of his character in this movie.  Just non-stop off-the-wall animation, always making people laugh and making him so lovable.

Robin Williams in Aladdin1) Aladdin

There was no doubt in my mind Aladdin going to be anywhere but the top spot on my list of Williams’ top movies.  Remember the energy I said he brought to Jumanji? (You should, it is in the paragraph above) Well take that and multiply it by ten and you have Genie.  Williams displays how versatile he was with his voice with this single role.  Despite Aladdin being an animated movie, he also shows his range as an actor.  From comedy to drama, it’s all there.  Genie made this movie for me, and a big part of that was Williams.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams.  You will be greatly missed.