Night at the Museum (2006)
(Release Date: December 22, 2006)

Three and a Half! What a Shock!!Three and a Half! What a Shock!!Three and a Half! What a Shock!!1/2

The Relics have Taken Over the Museum!
(But at least the Inmates haven't taken over the Asylum!)

J.C. Maçek III... 

Call me a Relic, call me what you will... Say I'm old Fashioned say I'm... actually, I'm none of that shit!!!
J.C. Maçek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

Hey, do you folks ever wonder what a Museum Exhibit based on would be like? Right in the middle of a huge, carved marble antechamber can't you just picture a big, gold Hall of Warriors statue of me? I see myself standing with Alan Smithee's head in one hand and a tribble in the other, my long, bronzed hair caught in the middle of a wind-blown flow, my sweater hanging casually, yet tight enough to show off my hard-won and incredible chest and abs, my Doc Martens placed slightly apart as if stepping forward, ready to spring into action. The walls would be stamped with every review I had ever written and there would be a special interactive section devoted to explaining the references I've made that have proven to be so obscure that even I can't remember why they were funny. Then, painted by my daughter, an enormous portrait of me sipping not a dry martini, but a salty margarita with a word balloon (YES I SAID "WORD BALLOON") rocketing forward in 3D that says "What the EFF YOU SEE KAY?" will hang from the wall over the information desk and every guided tour would begin and end with the tour guide exclaiming "HULLY GEE!" Every sonnet I wrote to my wife would be available for viewing in a gold-leaf volume under a bust of her with one of those big, frilly Collars like Shakespeare used to wear. An Audio Video theatre would detail "the Adventures of Michelle and J.C." using recordings, real testimonials from Security Guards, Waiters and Cops, reenactments and hidden camera footage. On the walls of the waiting room to the theatre would be the witty comments of Michelle herself etched into the glowing glass placed just inches from their alibaster surfaces. There will be a gilded wing known as "The Hall of Margi Newton"... I think you hear me knockin' and I think you know where I'm going with this: ANATOMICALLY APPROXIMATE ROBOTS! And as the people leave, satisfied, over-stimulated and maybe a little nauseous, they will pass under an arch adorned with the words "See you in the Next Reel!"
Is this Jumani? Yeah, there's Robin Williams!

The Office Sighting!

An old friend from The Office stopped by...

  • Ricky Gervais ("David Brent" from The Office plays Curator Dr. McPhee in Night at the Museum!
    He's the boss, man!

Part of
The 2006 Winter of Wit!

Does this look Old? Does it EVER!

Of course for anything even vaguely like that to happen, every other Critic in history and the future would have to not only die but have their memory erased from the collective consciousness of the entire planet. This goes double for every other writer, politician, actor, actress, public speaker, teacher, cartoon character, director, pet, inventor, newscaster, game show host, minor splash, Musician, Occupational Therapist, Nurse, Doctor, Minister, Nun, Alex Tribeck impersonator, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, Xenomorph, Anthropophagous Beast, baseball mascot, janitor, Junior League member, Pandroid (that being an Android Panda), 4H Coordinator, Cartoonist, Assistant Key Grip and Supervillain. I would also have to win the lottery and come across a magic lantern filled with a most generous Genie with a hell of a sense of humor and, if female, a fantastic body. That last part might have nothing to do with the rest but you gotta give me that!

So... I suppose that we'll stick with the coolness of Night at the Museum instead of planning my Commemorative Place of the Muse. It would have been pretty awesome, though, man, word is bond.

Oh, what... oh, somebody's still reading this? Well... I'll go on, then!

Those of you simply begging for a team up between Ben Stiller, the actor from Starsky & Hutch, Shawn Levy, the director of Cheaper by the Dozen, Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, two of the writers (and actors) behind Reno 911 and Tony Whiteside, the Key Grip from X3, need look no further because Night at the Museum is the very exhibition you've been waiting for, Pilgrims!

It's not without its flaws (believe you me), but it's also not without a frikkin (yes, I said "Frikkin") excellent cast. Smilin' Stiller plays Larry Daley, a dreaming (read: borderline deadbeat) dad whose fantasies of striking it rich have left him pert door! So, to keep from disappointing his already all-too-disappointed son Nick (Jake Cherry), his incredibly let-down ex-wife Erica (Kim Raver) and her new (possibly cocaine addicted, yet still defeated in expectation or hope) dude Don (Paul Rudd), he takes a job at the Museum of (Un)Natural History as a nighttime security guard (the lead guitar spot in Led Zepagain was taken).

Seriously, though, when he found out that his boss was going to be Ricky Gervais, he should have turned Khaki-clad tail and run screaming... I mean, didn't he watch The Office? Clearly he was distracted by two things... the fact that one of the museum employees is a WOWZER-hot grad student named Rebecca and played by Carla Gugino... and that the three dudes that hire him are comedy legends Mickey Rooney and Dick Van Dyke and the wicked-cool Bill Cobbs!

They tell him all he needs to know... that is, except for the fact that the Exhibits come to Life at night, courtesy if a weird-ass Egyptian Curse. Now, to be fair, there's an Egyptian Curse thing happenin' at my job as well, but at least they told me about it! Okay, I'm lying... I caused it.

Ol' Larry realizes something's amiss when the T-Rex Fossil comes to life and chases him. He starts to suspect there may be something worth looking into when the Wax Statue of Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) rides around giving him advice (that is, when he's not lusting after Mizuo Peck's Sacajawea). Things get downright weird when he finds himself playing Gulliver in the Lilliputian war between Owen Wilson's cowboy railroad-man Jedediah and Steve Coogan's Roman General Octavius.

And it gets weirder from there. From Dan Rizzuto's dense Neanderthal to Pierfrancesco Favino's non-English speaking Christopher Columbus to Rami Malek's ironically English speaking Ahkmenrah to Patrick Gallagher's Growling Attila the Hun, Milan Trenc's book comes to life on screen as if part of the Museum itself.

Yep, a thrill right up to the end. But... then you sort of recap the whole thing in your head-bone and you come up just a tad short. Oh, not Smurf short, not Mary-Lou Retton short... not even Webster or Frodo short... more like... Leland from LA Law short! And, really, Leland wasn't all THAT short!

For one thing, this movie cries out Jumanji at the top of its lungs, right on down to the appearance by ol' Mork from Ork himself. That's not to say there aren't original parts of this film, but there appear to be just as many borrowed elements from varied sources from town to town, up and down the dial. There is a certain lack of depth and explanation in more than a few parts, where Levy works to dazzle the audience with the special effects work (which is considerable) in the hopes that they will ignore the plot holes big enough to drive a Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton through. While Night at the Museum does have more than its share of legitimate laughs, there is also a whole porcelain bowl full of Potty Humor, just waiting to tickle the kiddies and cause Kneumsi's face to wrench up like a vegan in a sausage factory.

But hey, this is a right fun movie and where there are valleys in the overall topography of Night at the Museum, there are enough fun peaks to keep your interest piqued. It's another movie you won't (well, at least I didn't) feel bad about turning off your scoff reflex and just having fun with. Just like a fight with Lew Zealand in some Free Panda Laugh Bars, man alive, Night at the Museum gets Three and a Half Stars out of Five! And, if we're sure of nothing else in this universe, we can be sure that that last sentence proves I'll never have a Museum Exhibit devoted to moi. Sigh... oh, hang on, the San Diego Museum of Man is on the phone. Yeah, they'll do... ah, I can picture it now, I-

Oh, wait... damn... wrong number.

See you in the next reel antiquated one!

Antiquities... Natural History... Prehistoric Life...
The Copper Age... Footsteps Through Time...
Ancient Egypt... Mayan Civilization...
Sorry... can't help you...
But click here for my exhibit on MORE REVIEWS!

Night at the Museum (2006)
reviewed by J.C. Maçek III
The Curator of this Site Who Is
Thusly Responsible for all its attractions (and repulsions).
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