May 28, 2009
Night at the drive-in
The kids and I went to the drive-in this weekend. We go about once every summer, although with only one left in the area, I wonder if this might be the last year. I have mixed feelings about the loss of drive-ins. I have fond memories of going when I was a kid, but nostalgia is funny stuff. As an adult, I don't find the experience nearly as enjoyable. I forgot just how rude people can be in the open air, under the cover of night. To say nothing of the condition of the restrooms. But the kids enjoy going despite all that, so who am I to argue? The double bill this weekend consisted of NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN and X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE.
BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN is heavy on the slapstick, much like it's predecessor, but with less plot getting in the way. Some of the gags go too long, which seems to be a Ben Stiller hallmark. The only female character of note is Amelia Earhart. She's a sassy, adventure-loving woman of action. The Roaring Twenties slang gets old pretty fast, but it's hard not to like Amy Adams. Hank Azaria's lispy pharaoh, on the other hand, never found the right balance for me. It wasn't a great movie, but it might inspire more trips to the museum, which isn't all bad.
Final grade: C
WOLVERINE is a jumbled mess. It feels like a story written by committee. It's one thing to break with the comic book canon, but this movie doesn't even fall in line with the previous three X-Men movies. Not even special effects could save this flaming heap. Many of the action sequences inspire guffaws instead of awe. Liev Schreiber and Hugh Jackman do their best to inject some depth into their characters, but they are stuck playing in the shallow end of the pool.
Final grade: D
Click here for my guest review of Katie MacAlister's Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang at Katiebabs' blog.