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One Of Our Spies Has Spent A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM!!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I don’t want to be overly negative, but this film sounds rancid. Awful. Brain-crushingly bad. Seriously. Check this guy’s review out.

Hi there, I had the chance to see the upcoming Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson/Robin Williams/Dick Van Dyke/Mickey Rooney Xmas event movie from Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures, Shawn Levy’s NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM at Fox's Little Theatre on the lot at 9 AM, yesterday, Saturday, Nov.11. The film gives us a rollicking what-if scenario with an entire museum of prehistoric artifacts and historical scene-makers coming to life at sundown. The movie, geared to X Gens and their fidgety kids, delivers a cinematic krazy-gluing of the typical 90's Stiller romantic comedy architecture with a typical Chris Columbus frying-pan-to-the face derivative of Home Alone. This time its Ben Alone as the lonely night watchman at the Big City museum! I wanted to like this movie, but it was cynical in the wrong places and ALL the characters were paper-thin. If you saw the trailer, the cinematography immerses you in the grand atrium of the National History Museum . And, yes, the first time the Neanderthals, Huns, T-Rex fossil, and taxidermied Serengeti fauna raise hell running the marble halls and galleries, you feel the intended ride so-wanted by the director. Unfortunately once ONE NIGHT becomes two and then three, the conceit of the film starts to wear. How has no one ever noticed this supernatural meltdown occurring on a nightly basis before? Ben even invites friends and family over to take a gander at his museum come to life. The Museum at Night concept is never fully exploited as it isn't played to be spooky beyond the set-up. It would have been nice if in the beginning the exhibits were coming to life in the dark, then one could question Stiller's sanity, and whether the living museum reality even existed. Instead all the action is played out under the lights for football playbook theatrics. Of course, Columbus adds the nefarious band of loser crooks out to have Stiller framed for an entire rip-off of museum treasures. And we get frenzied running-around and bonking-of -heads for nearly two hours. On the plus-side do however get a protracted slap-fest between Stiller and a capuchin monkey. And (SPOILER AHEAD) yes the monkey pees on him. So much for inspired hilarity. There’s no real pay-off on the romantic comedy side either. Owen Wilson is literally reduced in his role here. He plays a miniature cowboy in a Wild West diorama in pitched battle with a Roman warrior phalanx in an adjacent diorama. His appearance is so obviously blue-screen that there is barely any interaction scripted between Wilson and Stiller. Robin Williams is very good here but as Teddy Roosevelt he seems comically impaired by the weight of his moustache and cavalry uniform. I think I was the only person in the theater who cracked up when Teddy called Sacagawea "a handsome woman". The script has some funny/cute moments but no gutbusting laughs. The whole episode is endured by everyone here just so Stiller’s mopey kid of zero-dimension will think his dad is cool and look up to him instead of the bond trader that Stiller’s ex is currently engaged to. Yuck, right? Stomach turning? Wait til you see Ben surfing the Web to learn some badly needed history. I was cleverly hooked into attending because the cast also features Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney, who added together are about 300 if they are a day. Like a chump out of Bartenders College , I assumed that the inclusion of the ancient duo would bring me back to a funnier time when older actors were better exploited in Ben Stiller movies. No wheelchairs, no iron lungs, porn addictions, or other things remotely Farrelly. Mr. Van Dyke and Mr. Rooney strain for competency as the baddies and add to the disappointment. If you’re six years old you’ll make it through this misadventure okay but if you’re running around raving about what a hoot that Daniel Johnston documentary is, then you better avoid this one. R A V E N Los Angeles
Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 13, 2006, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Spoiler alert?

    by theBigE

    Not that I care, but didn't the reviewer give away a bit too much? Another film where divorced dads everywhere can take their kids with them on "Dad's Weekend" so they can see a single dad on screen show that life's not so bad. Call me cynical, but ... I'm cynical. This film will make a buttload of money.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 6:54 a.m. CST


    by Seph_J

    I still think this looks good. This reviewer wants the film to explain WHY these things come to life? Hmm.... Missing the point of escapism a little aren't you?

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 7:11 a.m. CST

    What about Ricky Gervais?

    by abiggerboat

    I thought he was in this? He didn't even get a mention...poor

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 7:22 a.m. CST

    so the old men are the thieves?

    by triplefive

    does DVD trip over an ottoman?

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 7:27 a.m. CST


    by arghhhhhhhh


  • Nov. 13, 2006, 7:54 a.m. CST

    One question

    by BizarroJerry

    Is Carla Gugino naked in it?

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 8:10 a.m. CST

    I gonna rent the DVD anyway.

    by DerLanghaarige

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 8:14 a.m. CST

    MCMLXXVI is a mug

    by themanlikedave

    Am I the only person who thinks that Stiller's movies are getting less funny with everyone he does?.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 8:37 a.m. CST

    I don't get it

    by The Dum Guy

    Why does a monkey pee on Stiller? Wouldn't it be more funny to see dung flung at Stiller. Sorry, but those kinda spoilers just ruin a movie.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Looked horrible

    by godzillasushi

    especially the crappy CGI dinosaur skeleton.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 9:11 a.m. CST


    by AndrewWanKenobi

    9 AM is a little early to see a kids movie, don't ya think? - - As far as I'm concerned, the trailer gave away so much that I don't feel the need to see it.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 9:28 a.m. CST


    by Hugh Jarse

    This looks absolutely terrible. Gervais appearence obviously as some sort of favour to stiller after the extras episode `come along, it`ll be fun`.....NO IT FUCKING WON`T

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 9:45 a.m. CST

    um, yeah..i don't buy dick van dyke as a villian..

    by jig98

    i've always known dick van dyke as that goofball dad on his own t.v show and that lovable chimney sweep burt from mary poppins. but i just can't see him playing a museum thief with good ol' mickey rooney. i can see robin williams as teddy roosevelt seeing is how some of this movie resembles jumanji and aladdin {look for an aladdin in-joke in this movie} but the rest is just nonsense.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Dick Van Dyke was a corrupt D.A. in Dick Tracy...

    by MrSandwich

    ...and was believable. After all, he's, um, an 'actor'.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 10:36 a.m. CST

    sad...looked like fun

    by Datascream

    maybe I'll still check it out. on DVD. honestly I'd rather go see Prestige for the THIRD time.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 10:35 a.m. CST


    by rost

    That's all.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST


    by godzillasushi

    youve seen it twice? Are you crazy man!

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Damn. I thought it looked fun.

    by Bungion Boy

    Of course I'm always wary of Shawn Levy, but I thought this premise could provide a lot of fun. Like a Disney movie from the 60's. As a New Yorker and a great lover of the Natural History Museum, one of my own fantasies has always been seeing the blue whale come to life. I'll still see it. Hope I can look past the monkey pee.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Damn. I thought it looked fun.

    by Bungion Boy

    Of course I'm always wary of Shawn Levy, but I thought this premise could provide a lot of fun. Like a Disney movie from the 60's. As a New Yorker and a great lover of the Natural History Museum, one of my own fantasies has always been seeing the blue whale come to life. I'll still see it. Hope I can look past the monkey pee.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    dick van dyke, just sounds villianous

    by maceodkat

    thats all i'm saying. that and this review made me weep, for i'm going to be force to go out on a saturday morning (cuz sunday is rsvp for nfl) with the fam (2 kids & 1 wifey) plop out an extra 20 bucks for the crap and be forced to sit through this dreck. the preview looked so funny, but the negatives sound very familiar. i liked meet the parents & zoolander, hell even a tiny bit of dodgeball, but dude is slipping. maybe he can team up with the old gang and put together another winner, like mystery men 2: revenge of the spleen.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 5:17 p.m. CST

    can we seriously ban MCMLXXVI please?

    by misnomer

    I grow tired of his subversive spamming. Disappointed to hear "Night" isn't all that hot. It sounded like the sort of thing spielberg wouldve done in the 80's...was pretty optimistic....

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 5:57 p.m. CST

    MCMLXXVI brings cheer to my life

    by DoctorEss

    On the really tough days, you know the ones where you just feel horrible. I know that going to AICN and checking virtually any TB and I will find MCMLXXVI lurking with a recent post that always brings a smile to my face. The joke gets funnier everytime. MCMLXXVI is a light in a dark night.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Dick Van Dyke = the porn's world's Dr. Doom.

    by Cletus Van Damme

    Dick Van Dyke = the porn's world's Dr. Doom.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 6:08 p.m. CST

    *PORN* world

    by Cletus Van Damme

    ...I'm an ass

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 7:36 p.m. CST

    not a single mention of Steve Coogan

    by JackLint

    Thats the only reason I would want to see this, I guess he doesn't have much to do. Oh well.

  • Nov. 13, 2006, 10:30 p.m. CST

    I will indeed see this movie...

    by Tin Snoman

    ...but only for Steve Coogan. When's he going to do an American movie that doesn't suck? I mean, apart from Coffee and Cigarettes, that is.