Saturday At The Movies

movie nightI haven’t been to the movies in a while – nothing of much interest to me out right now that I haven’t already seen!  Saturday brought a spark of interest to two movies that I didn’t think I would care that much about – UP and Night At The Museum – Battle of the Smithsonian.  So – which one did I end up going to see????  BOTH!!!

I really needed a weekend full of entertainment and fun that would help me escape from what can only be described as a bad week……Friday night’s production of Dames At Sea at the Temple Theatre started it all off with a bang.  Then, to keep the momentum going, I looked for a movie at the Saturday matinee!  Over the past week, I started to find myself curious about UP and the Night At The Museum sequel.  I had passed them both over as “not interested”.  

UP never made it to the “must see” list because the previews really don’t make it look very enticing.  Yes, it was a Pixar animation and they are almost always great, but there was nothing in the previews or write ups that gave me that “I gotta see this one” attitude!  But, this week I started seeing better write ups about it and hearing people talk about it and suddenly, I was thinking that this might be a good one to go see after all!

Night At The Museum wasn’t on the list because I never saw the first one and don’t particularly care for Ben Stiller’s comedy – he’s OK and I really liked him in Meet The Parents and Meet the Fockers, but for the most part, I’m not a fan!  But, I was flipping channels last week and came across the original Night At The Museum on cable and stopped to watch it — it was really funny and I saw why it was so popular when it was out!!!  Since I was hearing that the sequel was as good or better, I decided to consider giving it a shot!

So, Saturday morning, I sat down to decide which one I would spend my afternoon with…….the decision was UP!  But then, when that show ended and I started to leave, I thought “what the heck” and went back in to see Night At The Museum, too!!! 

Here are my reviews:

up_smallposter2I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!!!  Just get that out of the way right up front!!!  And there is a bonus – you get two movies in one – the show starts with an adorable little short film about how storks get the babies they deliver from clouds who create the little bundles!  It was sweet and very funny!  What a treat!!!

The feature presentation was, of course, UP.  It was very well done with great animation – the main character, Carl Fredricksen, looked and acted so much like Spencer Tracy that I totally forgot he was animated!  And the little wilderness kid, Russell, was adorable!  But it was more than that……it starts out with Carl as a young child in total awe of a famous explorer and full of dreams of becoming an explorer when he grows up.  He meets a young girl his age with the same dreams!  It quickly scans through their life together – their friendship and their life long love for each other as man and wife.  When his wife dies, Carl becomes a reclusive old man who is mad at the world and feels like life has passed him by.  He regrets that other priorities in life kept them from fulfilling their joint dream of becoming explorers!  A series of events ends with him turning his house into an air balloon and he heads out on an adventure with an 8 year old Junior Wilderness Explorer named Russell.  Their experiences remind him of the important things in life and that life didn’t pass him by – that the life he shared with his one true love was just a different kind of wonderful adventure!  UP is a great story – touching, funny, and very well done!  I highly recommend it for all ages – the kids will love it and the adults will, too!  I rate this one a big A++!

nightatthemuseum2_smallposterIn contrast, Night At The Museum was a huge disappointment!  I wish I had just gone ahead and went home when UP was over.  I am thinking that maybe it wouldn’t have been so disappointing if I hadn’t just seen the original for the first time and it was still so fresh in my mind!  I don’t know, but it definitely didn’t live up to the hype for me!  The only scenes I snickered at were the ones I saw in the previews and those weren’t that funny because I’ve seen them over and over in commercials – it was just nice to see them in context!  I found myself dozing off a couple of times and a loud noise in the film would jolt me awake.  I really enjoyed Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart – she stole the show and nailed the role!!!  But the rest of the characters left a lot to be desired.  I was sad that Robin Williams’ Theodore Roosevelt was such a small part this time – he was one of the best characters in the original.  Since my interest was sparked solely on catching and enjoying the original last week, I came home and went back to read the Yahoo User Reviews to see if it was just me or what…..both critics and Yahoo Users (sorted by most recent reviews) seem to agree with me, for the most part.  Kids will probably like it, but I’m thinking most adults will find it falls short of the original.  So — my recommendation here is to wait for it to come out on Netflix or, better yet, on cable so you don’t even have to pay the rental fee!  I rate this one a C+, which is generous only because of Amy Adams’ character – she rocked!!!

See you at the movies!

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