Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Night at the Museum 2/ Angels & Demons (Mini Reviews)

I've always been a bit of a movie buff, so I'd missed not being able to catch a movie on the big screen since last year. I must say it was quite comforting to enjoy the familiar feeling of settling into my seat, popcorn and drink in hand, anxiously awaiting for the movie previews (the more the merrier). After a long movie-going absence, I've now seen two movies within the past couple of weeks, neither of which really satisfied my movie viewing craving. I took my two nephews to see A Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and I went with my friend to see Angels & Demons. So here goes. A brief mini-review of each.

In this sequel to the original Night at the Museum, Ben Stiller reprises his role as Larry Daley, the previous security guard at the Museum of Natural History, and current owner of a company that produces his inventions. Larry still visits his old friends, Jedediah (Owen Wilson) and Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) at the museum and its readily apparent during the visit that while he's successful, he's not happy. On one such visit he finds out that all of his friends will be shipped to the Federal Archives housed at the Smithsonian in DC in order to make room for newer interactive exhibits. Larry finds out from Teddy that he and a few others are staying behind, but since the miraculous tablet that brings them all to life will not be traveling to the Smithsonian, this means it will be the others last night alive. Later at home, Larry receives a frantic call from Jedediah, who's now at the Smithsonian, that they are under attack, and of course, Larry rushes to the rescue.

The movie was very cute, but in truth its the same old gimmick without the freshness of the first movie. I didn't find it all that hilarious either, except for a silly slap fight scene between Larry and Dexter the monkey which had me in stitches. The one redeeming feature of the movie was the performance of the always enchanting Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart. Whether she's a fairy tale princess (Enchanted), a pregnant young wife (Junebug), or in this case Amelia Earhart, Amy Adams always manages to make you fall in love with her character. Hank Azaria as the evil pharoah Kahmunrah was also pretty good. Overall, I'd say wait for the DVD, though if you have kids, waiting might not be an option.

Angels & Demons is supposed to serve as a sequel to the movie The Da Vinci Code, though in actuality Angels & Demons, the novel, was published before The Da Vinci Code. In the movie, Tom Hanks is back as Robert Langdon a brilliant symbologist who is asked by the Vatican to help them solve the mystery of a secret society known as the Illuminati who are claiming to have possession of four abducted cardinals who are the preferred (preferiti) candidates to replace the recently deceased Pope as the new Pontiff. Langdon, along with the help of Dr. Vittoria Vetra, not only have to save the preferiti, but also find a volatile material (anti-matter) stolen from a lab which could potentially obliterate the Vatican.

What can I say about this movie? If you've read the book, which I have, then the movie will fall short by comparison. In all honesty and fairness, I'll admit that I find most film adaptations of novels lacking. I will add that if you'd like to see some amazing views of Rome, then dish out the $10; and if you haven't read the book then dish out the $10 because overall the movie was entertaining, with alot of action and excitement, and Tom Hanks was very good as always.