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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (DVD Review)

23 Nov, 2009 By: John Latchem

Street 12/1/09
Box Office $177.2 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 two-DVD set, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG’ for mild action and brief language.
Stars Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Amy Adams, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Bill Hader, Ricky Gervais, Jonah Hill.

Night at the Museum was loaded with goofy charm, and Battle of the Smithsonian is pretty much more of the same, given a bit more scope due to having the whole of the National Mall of Washington, D.C., to play with.

This time around, museum guard Larry (Ben Stiller) has to battle an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh (Hank Azaria) for control of the gold tablet that brings life to the displays. If you enjoyed the first film, there’s no reason you wouldn’t enjoy the second.

The disc is loaded with extras as tongue-in-cheek as the movie. Highlights include “Curators of Comedy: Behind the Scenes,” in which some of the new cast members discuss their characters; “Phinding Pharaoh,” a showcase of Hank Azaria’s voice talents, and the different voices he tried for his character before settling on an homage to Boris Karloff; and “Jonas Brothers in Cherub Bootcamp,” a satirical look at stunt casting.

There are also two very good commentaries, one from director Shawn Levy, and another from co-writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon.

“Monkey Mischief” extras on the special-edition DVD and Blu-ray include three short yet fun featurettes about working with the primate performers in the two “Night at the Museum” films. The first focuses on Crystal playing Dexter in the first film. The second showcases Crystal playing both Dexter and Able in the sequel. The third reveals the pampered home life of Crystal and her understudy, Squirt.

The special Monkey disc also includes a DVD-ROM “Monkey Slap” game and “Able and Dexter’s Flights of Fancy,” which lets the kiddies design their own aircraft while learning about the history of flight.   

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