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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Fantasy > Night At The Museum – Battle Of The Smithsonian (2009/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD-Video & Digital Copy)

Night At The Museum – Battle Of The Smithsonian (2009/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD-Video & Digital Copy)


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



Sequels are rarely better than their originals, even marginally, but it is to my surprise that the Ben Stiller/Shawn Levy franchise Night At The Museum has managed just that with Night At The Museum – Battle Of The Smithsonian (2009), which has more energy and money in it, plus some new stars in new roles helping out.  This includes Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart.


Larry (Stiller) has a new job, but wacky circumstances find him back in the world of museums as an exhibit is about to be moved and others “improved” with new technology.  They are being sent for storage at The Smithsonian, but things are not going to stay quiet for long there and wackiness is about to break loose.  Though you do not get much in the way of a rich narrative, it has its moments and is ambitious for a sequel to a simple film.



The 1080p AVC @ 20 MBPS 2.35 X 1 image (shot in Super 35mm film with some RED 4K HD camerawork) has plenty of obvious digital video effects, but still looks good and better than expected, marginally even better than the impressive transfer on the first film’s Blu-ray, while the anamorphically enhanced DVD seems to struggle to show the same footage.  Its image is much softer and can be strained.  John Schwartzman, A.S.C., takes over as Director of Photography and delivers another Grade-A looking commercial film.


The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio (MA) lossless sound is better than the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix from the DVD, but the sound is limited here and is not as spectacular as I expected.  Despite being issued in IMAX, the sound is again only great when action scenes occur and part of it may be the makers’ strategy of being child-film quiet and “quiet, were sneaking around in a museum” quiet, but it could have been spectacular throughout when it was not.  Surrounds and bass are interesting when they kick in, though.


Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, audio commentary tracks, the trailer in HD, a trivia track, Gag Reel, 12 deleted scenes including an Alternate Ending, a game and eight making of featurettes.  That is plenty for a film that works better than you might expect.



For more on the first film, try our Blu-ray coverage:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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