Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Night of the War at the Museum Worlds

I am nowhere near the movie-goer I was in the early '90s, pre-kids, so it is a big deal when I actually get to the movies. On New Year's Eve, the family and I helped make this movie the #1 film at the box office over the holiday weekend:

Not only did we see it, but we saw it on the IMAX screen at the Loews Lincoln Square.

A search of net can find you tons of reviews (i.e the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has 92 of them indexed here). Richard Roeper, from Ebert and Roeper, called it "dopey," four critics from the New York press (Times, Daily News, Post and Newsday) poo-poohed it, but I liked this blurb from Ruthie Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Like the institution it portrays, Night at the Museum comes alive after dark. It's a perfect movie to take the kids to. Who knows, it might even inspire them to want to visit an actual museum."

Film critics are supposed to be critical, and I can see why many found this movie unappealing. But every person I attended with, as well as everyone I know who attended, enjoyed the film. Yeah, I can put on my old snobby production hat and pick at this or that, but Night at the Museum doesn't strive to be anything it's not. It's very entertaining and it definitely held the attention of the audience. It's funny, good-natured, and a visual feast of special effects. Could it have been done better? Sure, I guess. I paid a huge chunk of change for the "IMAX experience" for four, in Manhattan, no less, and I didn't feel as if I'd been ripped off, shaken down, or bamboozled. I paid to be entertained and all four of us got what I paid for. And then some.

Time Warner Cable did one of its free movie channel deals, which we only discovered Monday. But we caught a blockbuster, or at least an aspiring-blockbuster, from last Summer (as in 2005). No Bowl Games for us, a good apocalypse wins in our household, hands down. At least, after the kids are asleep.

I have an informal pledge not to pay money to see any Tom Cruise movies ever again, but since this was free, I justified it. It is, of course, War of the Worlds, and this went over well. Again, it entertained. Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly stated "War of the Worlds is an attack-of-the-aliens disaster film crafted with sinister technological grandeur -- a true popcorn apocalypse."

Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise. It could have had Mickey Rourke in the lead and it would have been relatively the same film. Ok, maybe that's an overstatement. But I appreciated it for the effects, and the fact that it was directed by Steven Spielberg. It's always exciting for me to watch a great director flex his or her muscles, and the film did not disappoint. Not much more to say. Why populate the earth with another review? Especially for a film that is a year-and-a-half old?

I saw it. I liked it. But then again, I'm easy.

No comments: