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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Fantasy > Night At The Museum (2006/Fox Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

Night At The Museum (2006/Fox Blu-ray + DVD-Video)


Picture: B+/B-     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: C/C-     Film: C



Ben Stiller has somehow endured despite personal and commercial bumps in the road, but Shawn Levy’s Night At The Museum (2006) has given him a new level of hit that is more than a final comeback, but a culmination of his endurance as a comic actor to a general audience.  No big fan here, the film is really just a pat and broad family comedy that is not horrible, but not anything we have not seen before.  However, it took advantage of a box office vacuum and casting of veteran actors did not hurt.


The story is about how Larry (Stiller) looks for a job and finds one at a museum as night watchman.  He gets told about what to expect from veteran Cecil (Dick Van Dyke) but there are a few details left out and that is when things will get interesting.  The museum is alive, or at least some of its inhabitants are.  From there, everything is a gag based on who will come alive or show up next.  Robin Williams, Mickey Rooney, Carla Gugino, Owen Wilson and some other interesting cameos make up the supporting cast when the digital is not in full swing.


The 2.35 X 1 image has plenty of obvious digital video effects and the 1080p MPEG-2 @ 19 MBPS digital High Definition image from the Blu-ray makes this even more obvious than the not-as-good DVD-Video’s anamorphically enhanced image.  Guillermo Navarro was previously Director of Photography for Desperado, Spawn, Jackie Brown, Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, so he knows better than most how to integrate film and digital video, which is one of the primary reasons this film was the hit it was.  Color is fair in both versions, but Video Black, depth and some better detail lifts the Blu-ray ahead of the DVD, despite its limits.


The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio (MA) lossless sound is better than the surprisingly limited DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes from the DVD.  Despite being issued in IMAX, the sound is more like Fantastic Four in the way there is a lack of bass and bass placement in the mix, even where the “skele-saur” is involved.  Why?  Who knows, but if this is being kid-friendly, forget it.  Alan Silvestri turns in another score that sounds like it is trapped in the 1980s.


Extras on both versions include two commentary tracks, with director Levy on one and writers Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon on the other.  The Blu-ray adds the trailer in HD and a trivia track, while the second DVD of the DVD set adds a blooper reel, deleted/extended scenes with optional Levy commentary, the Reel Comedy episode on the show from Comedy Central, two Fox Movie Channel promo pieces, DVD-ROM game, storyboard-to-screen piece and six featurettes.  The latter is far more than you will ever need to know about this film, so if you get the 25GB Blu-ray, you miss out but on only so much.


For more on the sequel, try this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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