Week Four: #48 – Night at the Museum

The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
 
“I’m made of wax.  What are you made of?” 
After the horror that was Armageddon, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed–maybe this idea, writing an average of 5,000 words a week every week for a year is too much.  (This blog only has a fifth of what I write up–more on that later)
Interesting that I got to watch a movie about a man deciding whether or not he’s going to stick to his guns.  Night At the Museum is an absolutely fabulous film that I had never seen before last Saturday.  I watched it through the first time just for enjoyment–and did the nitpicking Monday/Tuesday.  Triumph Over Adversity, Believing in Yourself and a side order of Don’t Give Up.  This was a movie worth watching twice in a week.  Sure, I found nits–but it was a joy to go looking!
 
-0:06:48            Amazing disappearing people!  At this moment the shot cuts from a wide shot of the lakeside, with people beside and behind our hero, to a closeup–and those people vanish.
-0:09:12       Larry explains to the Unemployment Agency lady how the invention of the Clapper stole some thunder from his invention, the Snapper.  This movie takes place in 2006.  (I know because Roosevelt says the tablet arrived in ’52, and that the pharaoh has been trying to get out of his case for 54 years.)  Larry is thirtysomething, yet the Clapper stole his thunder?  The Clapper has been around since, like, the dawn of time.
-0:21:36      Funny visual, but why is the all-bone t-rex getting a drink of water?  And where is that water going?  He’s certainly not swallowing it–but there isn’t any sound or evidence of a huge puddle on the floor
-0:26:26      Here’s a puzzler: why are Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea the only museum residents encased in glass?  The cavemen roam freely, as do the American Indians, Vikings, Huns, animals…  Why are Lewis and Clark and Sacky trapped?            
-0:26:47      According to Wikipedia, the ultimate source of all wisdom, it’s okay to spell her name Sacajawea, Sacagawea, and even Sakakawea, but not Sakagawea as it is on the museum’s display.  (The display also says she was born in 1787, but the actual year of her birth is supposedly unknown.)
-0:29:58      “Double check your belt.  The monkey probably stole your keys.”  It’s like the former security team knew Larry wouldn’t read the instructions through right away!  Otherwise it would read: “Careful going into the African section, Dexter likes stealing things!”
-0:35:25      I don’t care that the Romans are firing miniatures, they’re still flaming arrows.  Lucky that Larry doesn’t catch a couple in the eyes!  He shrugs off the flaming cannonballs pretty easily, too.
-0:41:24      It’s nice and accommodating of all these wax figures (animals included…heck, animals especially) to get back into position as the sun rises, and not just freeze wherever they happen to be in the museum.
-0:44:02      The museum director, Dr. McPhee, is very particular about his museum.  Very particular.  So particular that he walks through all four floors checking every exhibit every morning, and therefore discovers one teensy thing wrong with the Old West diorama.  It’s not like one of the wax figurines was on the wrong floor!
          -0:51:36      Larry gives the cavemen fire?  A–he obviously didn’t think much of Roosevelt’s talk of self-sufficiency, and 2–that’s like giving a ten year-old the keys to a sports car.  Just cause it’s what they want doesn’t mean they know how to handle it…
           -0:56:50    Larry encourages Roosevelt to talk to Sacajawea.  He walks away, and in front of the Lewis/Clark diorama are a bench and a bunch of creepy Civil War mannequins.  Cut to Roosevelt, all choked up with fear over talking to Sacky, then back to the diorama–gasp!  Bench, Civil War guys, cannon, everything’s gone!  Then once Roosevelt walks up and we cut to a shot of him from inside the glass, it’s all back again!  (Crazy museum magic!)
         -1:07:14     Here’s a puzzler: Dr. McPhee is (with due reason) upset about the foam all over the caveman exhibit, but he doesn’t seem to notice that one of the cavemen mannequins is missing.  (This is the guy who noticed one teeny detail out of place in the Old West yesterday morning!)
        -1:13:46     Larry brings little Nicky to work with him, show him the amazing magic.  Isn’t there a chance the kid could be pulled in half by a Hun, or eaten by a lion?  Child endangerment!
          -1:15:11            Somebody’s stolen the tablet.  Something is very wrong at the museum.  So Larry walks down to the loading dock where the suspicious activity is taking place, bringing his son with him.  Child endangerment!
         -1:18:34          It’s time for the Will Award.  Larry begs the Roosevelt statue for help, reminding him of the wonderful things Teddy did in his life.  Roosevelt: “I never did any of those things.  Teddy Roosevelt did.  I was made in a mannequin factory in Poughkeepsie.” 
          All along, this film’s rules have indicated that the magic Egyptian tablet brings everything to life–and these figures become what they represent.  That’s why Attila runs around screaming at people, Lewis and Clark argue over their map, and Teddy rides around saying “Bully!”  Now Roosevelt spills the beans–he knows he’s a mannequin. 
         This raises a number of questions.  Why does Copper Columbus know Italian?  Was he made in Italy?  Why does Teddy say “Bully”?  Yes, the actual Roosevelt was known for saying so, but who told the mannequin?  Who told Attila that the original Hun liked sorcery?  Who told the cavemen to go crazy over fire, and “ook, ook” all night long? 
         -1:25:48        “Jed and Octavius.  Their van’s parked out back.  Go take care of it.”  Because it makes any sense to send these teeny guys–even if all their teeny buddies come along–to disable a full size automobile. 
          -1:30:46            Roosevelt gets cut in half saving Sacajawea from the runaway stagecoach.  (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)  He looks down at himself–and somehow his top half is facing up, while his bottom half is facing down.
            -1:31:00         Larry’s RC truck is a truly amazing toy.  You can also control it from inside!  You know, in case you happen to be three inches tall!  The steering wheel and pedals work and everything! 
             -1:36:52         Larry introduces Rebecca to Sacajawea, telling Sacky, “I think she has a few questions for you.”  Rebecca was going to give up on her dissertation because she couldn’t learn anything more about Sacajawea.  What’s she going to learn now?  A lot about being a wax figure from Poughkeepsie?
              Come back next week, for our first superhero movie!  Strap on your repulsors and throw some fire-engine red in the mix–but watch that Bernoulli principle! 
              See you in seven…
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