Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
DVD, 105 minutes
Get it from Amazon >>
Several years ago, my husband and I watched the original Night at the Museum on DVD, because we’d missed it in theaters and thought it seemed entertaining. We were not wrong. Several weeks ago, we rented the sequel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian from our cable provider’s OnDemand system, and again had an enjoyable evening.
Ben Stiller was engaging as the night watchman, and Hank Azaria was great as the Egyptian prince come back to exact revenge (I’d love to see this character do infomercials or diet pill reviews, because the accent chosen was hilarious), but for me, the best part of the movie was Amy Adams as a brash, fun-loving Amelia Earhart. In fact, I so loved her performance that when we rented Amelia a few days later, Hillary Swank’s portrayal of the same person, while most likely more technically and historically accurate, seemed cold and uninteresting.
But of course, the main thrust of the movie was not to be a pop version of “The Amelia Earhart Story.” Instead, it was about protecting the same golden tablet that keeps the museum pieces coming to live after dark, without letting the Egyptian prince take over the world.
It was funny, engaging, and had enough adult humor to feel like it wasn’t completely mindless.
But I can’t get Amy Adams’ performance out of my head.
Up in the Air
DVD, 109 minutes
Get it from Amazon >>
My friend Deb doesn’t generally give me advice on diet aids, but she does recommend movies. When she, a road warrior herself, recommended the recent George Clooney movie Up in the AIr I had to see it. My husband and I rented it a week or two ago, and watched it together.
The story itself, that of a man who lives his live in the space between plane flights, who begins to question his existence only after corporate changes force him to settle in one place, and after a relationship with a woman who lives an (apparently) similar life. It’s also about his ersatz mentorship of a younger employee at his firm, the woman who instigates the change in his life. The casting, as the director plainly stated in the featurette, was a bid to make the lead character, a corporate hatchet man, still be likeable.
Clooney was a subdued version of himself in this film, but the downplaying worked, and he was, indeed, likeable. Female fans should not miss the special features, which include a deleted scene in which we see him scrubbing a toilet (Deb and I agree: it was worth the rental fee just for that.), and Anna Kendrick (of CAMP among other things) was fragile and tough at the same time as the protege. The female road warrior/lover, played by Vera Farmiga was beautiful and compelling, and Jason Bateman’s few scenes as Clooney’s boss were all immensely watchable.
Up in the Air works because of it’s subtlety and poignance, and I’d recommended it to most women, and some men.