Thursday, November 29, 2007

No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men (2007)

Written and Directed by: Joel & Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy
Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly MacDonald, Woody Harrelson, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Beth Grant

Okay, so, new Coen Brothers movie. Yay! This one is about a man who comes across a heroin deal gone wrong and finds a suitcase full of money and does what anybody would do (what would you do?). Anyway, then he finds himself being tracked by this scary fucking guy who kills people with an air pressure gun. And then some other stuff happens. Tommy Lee Jones stands around in a cowboy hat and Kelly MacDonald does a southern accent (squee?).

So it's pretty gripping. I mean, edge of your seat thriller type thing. The woman sitting behind us in the movie theatre kept gasping and going 'oh no!' whenever anything happened, so I kept laughing which made things a little weird. It's not the kind of movie you should be laughing at.

Oh, yeah, there's funny stuff, the boff dialogue you would expect from a Coen Brothers movie. But generally the thing was gruesome and horrifying.

But hey, I like gruesome and horrifying. I like to be horrified every now and then (in this sense. There are other kinds of horrifying which are just horrifying).

I won't go so far as to say I liked the movie - you can't like something that horrifying. It made my toes curl in horror. But I enjoyed it, I guess. That isn't really a good term either.

Well, anyway. I liked Javier Bardem, even though he freaked the hell out of me. Scary, scary fuckin guy. I kept laughing at Josh Brolin, as I kept thinking of Planet Terror ("I'm going to eat your brain and gain your knowledge..."). I have trouble taking Tommy Lee Jones seriously. My friend has trouble taking Woody Harrelson seriously (but who doesn't, really?). Both of us had trouble accepting Kelly MacDonald's Southern accent. But I do like her. She's cute.

Moving on. My biggest problem with the movie is that it had no ending. This would have worked in a novel, I'm sure, but on screen it's brain-jarringly annoying. It's going along. I'm sitting there going "What's gonna happen?!?!?!". And then it ends. "What the fuck?" said I. "I demand satisfaction". Lot's of movies have open endings, but I feel satisfied at the end (lots of movies have open endings where I don't feel satisfied).

I realize that there is something else going on there, that it did, in fact, have an ending, and a very clever ending at that, but it's beyond my hick brain to comprehend.

Mind you, it's often necessary to see one of their movies twice in order to like it. I'm going to try this technique - I think it might clear things up a lot for me, so I should probably reserve official judgment until such time as I can view it a second time. I wonder if it's still playing? Why yes, it is. Incredible. Maybe I'll wait 'til it goes to Empire Dartmouth (they're prices are about three dollars lower than the other theatres. Tee hee!).


The Reaping

The Reaping (2007)

Directed by: Stephen Hopkins
Written by: Carey W. Hayes & Chad Hayes
Starring: Hilary Swank, AnnaSophia Robb, David Morrissey, Idris Elba, William Ragsdale, John McConnell, Andrea Frankle, Stephen Rea

Okay, so there's this chick, a former minister or priest or whatever (I don't know how the church works. I was a dirty little heathen child), who lost her faith when her child and husband were killed in Africa, and lives to debunk 'miracles'. Then she goes out to some little town in Louisiana where the ten plagues of Egypt seems to be doing their thing again, and it all has to do with an evil little heathen girl living out in the bushes. Or does it?

Whatever. I found The Ten Commandments much more interesting, but then, Jewish people are cooler. And Charlton Heston was hot. MOSES! Yeah!

Anyway, this feels sort of like a Baptist (ew) version of The Omen with elements of The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby and The Wicker Man thrown in there for extra points.

It just proves that nobody can make a religious horror movie like the Catholics (lapsed Catholics, even better). This movie just comes off as a lame-ass morality dealie. Don't kill your children and worship Satan and stuff or else God will do a thing. Or whatever.

Okay, so problem number one: the movie should have been more Catholic (I mean if you're going to have Stephen Rea... wait, is he Catholic? He was born in Belfast but he lives in Dublin... oh I'm so confused. Oh well, whatever, he's Irish. Even Protestants are more interesting when they're Irish). Or Jewish. Yeah, it could have been way more Jewish. You don't see that many Jewish horror flicks, but I bet they'd be good.

Problem number two: I fucking hate Hilary Swank. I mean, she's not even hot. She looks like a dude (to be fair, I look like a dude too, but... um... whatever). And she's really not that great. And I don't like the movies she's in. The only movie I've seen her in that I liked (well, I didn't like it, obviously) was Million Dollar Baby, and I didn't really like her in it.

Okay, 'fuckin hate' is a little on the strong side. I dislike Hilary Swank. But anyway. I did like that little girl, AnnaSophia Robb. She was... likable. I guess she was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And Bridge to Terebithia, which I en't seen yet.

Anyway, this movie was pretty lame, and kinda boring. My homies and I broke it up by shouting "the REAPING!" at frequent intervals (that's a surprisingly fun thing to shout. Go ahead, try it. Right now. I dare you). Another question: why the shit was it called The Reaping? There wasn't a hell of a lot of reaping in the movie, even the not so scary kind (you know, reaping the corn or whatever). It's just a scary word. And hey, if you take the 'e' out, it's The Raping, which is really much more fun.


Planet Terror

Planet Terror (2007)

Written and Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Marley Shelton, Josh Brolin, Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey, Naveen Andrews, Bruce Willis, Michael Parks, Rebel Rodriguez, Stacy 'Fergie' Ferguson, Tom Savini, Quentin Tarantino

Okay, so my novel's done, officially, I can get back into my daily routine, so to speak (I watched this movie, like, two weeks ago, so I might not remember all the details. Just bear with me).

Part two of Grindhouse, following Death Proof, involves a biological weapon getting released from the lab or whatever and turning the population of Texas into pus dripping, flesh eating, scab encrusted monsters (eek!) and it's up to a group of uninfected survivors, blah blah blah, girl with a gun for a leg.

She has a gun for a leg! That's the most retarded thing ever. I mean, how does she fire?

Okay, this probably isn't the most retarded movie I've ever seen (I'd really have to think hard about that one), but it's up there.

Unlike most of the other retarded movies I've seen, this one just didn't seem to care. It was supposed to be retarded. Which makes it the retarded action sci-fi zombie related horror movie of all time.

((Please excuse my enthusiasm. I seem to be in some sort of mood today.))

It's also a total gross-out bonanza. Think The Thing but more disgusting. It was enough to make me cringe, and I am relatively hardy (I guess - some people are probably laughing at my squeamishness right now, but compared to some of the people I know...). Has something sort of in common with Slither maybe, but way more over the top.

Anyway, I liked the grainy quality, except it annoyed the hell out of me whenever I saw a BlackBerry. The CGI stuff was very good (I watched the making of thing on the DVD, which was pretty cool). I dug that music...

Yeah, so it was just total mindless fun. A hell of a lot better than Death Proof which was probably the slowest damn thing I've ever sat through (again, this is an exaggeration - I did sit through Krakatoa: East of Java).

It's actually kind of like what From Dusk till Dawn should have been. It's the same kind of movie, but much, much better.


Saturday, November 10, 2007


Bandidas (2006)

Directed by: Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg
Written by: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Starring: Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Steve Zahn, Tyler Yoakam, Sam Shepard, Ismael 'East' Carlo, Carlos Cervantes, José María Negri

Two women, a busty peasant and a busty noblewoman, get together when their fathers are killed and a huge injustice is done to The People to rob banks and stuff. If only they would team up with Zorro, El Mariachi, Mrs. Zorro and Danny Trejo. Surely then all would be well in Mexico.

I really can't get over how disgustingly horrifying this movie was. And it wasn't even good (had it been good I might have made some excuses for it). It's really just an excuse to see lots of cleavage, Salma on Penélope wrestling, Salma and Penélope doing push-ups in a river (oh yeah) and some soft core porn.

Okay, okay, okay. Salma and Penélope are very hot. I get it. I'm not bitch enough to deny that. But surely they're smart enough to want to do something a little higher caliber than this?

Whatever pays the bills, though, right?

Anyway, it wasn't even that, it was the fact that it wasn't very original. It was another sexy western about Mexican freedom fighters, with some evil guy doing something with gold. Stealing it, I guess. Robin Hood kind of thing, only with really hot chicks instead of Kevin Costner and his butt double.

It was exactly the same as every other thing, with, like, CSI thrown in there for no apparent reason (I won't even go into that).

There were one or two good scenes (the one where the guy's tuning his banjo, remember?), but nothing that really improves the movie at all.

It was just sort of lame and sleazy and generally disgusting. I kept waiting for the Penélope on Salma sex scene but, alas, they didn't go there. Had it been some sort of lesbian porn movie... well, anyway.

So, yeah, it really sucked and made me feel bad for those girls. I do like them, I just think they should get better work (it isn't their fault they're in crap like this).

Ah well.


Evan Almighty

Evan Almighty (2007)

Directed by: Tom Shadyac
Written by: Steve Oedekerk, based on Noah's Ark, by God
Starring: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, Johnny Simmons, Graham Phillips, Jimmy Bennett, John Goodman, Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, Jonah Hill, Molly Shannon

Sequel to Bruce Almighty sort of goes in a more family friendly direction. Meaning no Jim Carey style antics (unfortunately. As much as those antics get on my nerves, they're a lot more entertaining than the nonexistant antics in this movie).

God comes down from his penthouse in the sky and tells Steve Carell to build an ark. Steve Carell says no. God makes him do it (he made me do it!) by holding his family hostage. Bruce Willis, reprising his role as John McLane (or McClane or however we're spelling that), must come in and, I don't know, stop somebody from doing something.

I'm joking, that would have been silly. He makes him do it by causing him to grow a beard. So Steve Carell builds an ark, which apparently is a great father-son bonding activity.

It's basically just an exact retelling of the Noah story, not even jazzed up that much. At least Bruce went for a sort of new story, and made fun of the whole God thing.

This movie was just so nice. Okay, there was some funny stuff in it. I won't deny that. And I sort of like Steve Carell, but... it wasn't very edgy.

And apparently the Noah thing has less to do with actually building the damn ark than wearing a robe and having a great big bushy beard.

Anyway, in the end, the flood doesn't really do a hell of a lot. It doesn't kill everybody (which it really should have) or anybody for that matter. Damn. There was a lot of property damage, but very few human casualties. Which makes me wonder. Why build the damn ark at all? All buddy had to do was stand on his roof and he would have been okay. Why fill the thing with animals?

It makes no sense to me. It's all about believing in God and crap like that, which bugs me a bit. If God told me to build an ark, I... probably wouldn't do it. If Morgan Freeman told me to, I probably would, though. I mean... he's Morgan Freeman. Come on.

And I love his comfy white God pajamas. I wish I had some of those (mind you, as I am not God despite my best efforts, I doubt I could pull it off. I'd just be really comfy).


30 Days of Night

30 Days of Night

Directed by: David Slade
Written by: Steve Niles, Stuart Beatty and Brian Nelson, based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Megan Franich, Mark Rendall, Manu Bennett, Amber Sainsbury, Mark Boone Junior, Joel Tobeck, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Peter Feeny, Min Windle

In this new age of latter day Van Helsings such as Buffy Summers and Eric Brooks (alias 'Blade'), where the hell is a vampire s'posed to go? New Jersey! Or Alaska. Whichever.

Set in the northernmost town in the United States (my friend insists that it should have been set in Alert, even farther north but not part of the United States), where the sun sometimes goes down for 30 days. The ultimate setting for a vampire movie. I mean, there's just that feeling of total hopelessness. What are you gonna do?

The movie has a sort of comic book feel to it, at least in the first half (it sort of lets itself get into the jerky, handheld, zombie/slasher movie technique later on), which, as opposed to many comic book adaptations, actually works. The art direction was gorgeous, and the whole thing was practically in black and white.

Everybody was disgustingly pale, which is nice. I like to see people looking pale and gross like that. I'm not crazy about Josh Hartnett, but I didn't mind him in this. It's a bit of a step down from some of the stuff he's been doing lately I guess, but let's remember his debut was Halloween 7.

And the vampires were pretty cool. Okay, I laughed at them a little bit (anybody who walks around with their mouth open hissing deserves to be made fun of at least a little), but they were weird. They sort of had their own thing going on. They weren't human at all, and they were a nice mix of the gothic type vampire and the dirty nasty street vampire.

Anyway, there's a fairly sizable cliché infestation in there, particularly towards the end (hey, let's save the kid!), but it's not distracting enough to really bother me. I mean, I could have thought up a better way to end the thing (everybody dies; everybody dies except Josh Hartnett, who joins up with the vampires; everybody dies except Josh Hartnett and one of the vampires, who both end up stranded in the middle of nowhere). The ending they have just seems like it's supposed to be cool - they had an ending in mind but didn't quite know how to get there.

Whatever. Not a problem. The whole thing is creepy and weird and vaguely disturbing. They had some pretty great shit in there, and a decent portion of gore. It actually sort of manages to go halfway between the subdued quiet more thriller side of things and the all out gory zombie movie.

Anyway, by far the most amusing thing in the movie was Ben Foster as 'The Stranger', the Renfield character, totally over the top, with some weird accent (cajun, apparently. I'll buy that). Boff, man (what the hell does boff mean? I don't know, I read it in a book).

Yeah, good vampire movie. Better than Underworld anyway. Not scary, but pretty weird. I'm kind of tempted to read the comic.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Dead Silence

Dead Silence (2007)

Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Laura Regan, Judith Roberts

Spawned from the creators of Saw (I en't seen Saw...) comes a movie that doesn't make any fucking sense. Yay! Something to trash!

Okay, when a guy's wife is murdered (has her tongue ripped out. Apparently this will kill you) seemingly by a ventriloquist's dummy, the guy has to return to his home town to learn the legend of Mary Shaw. Mary Shaw was a ventriloquist who killed a kid and then got her tongue cut out by a lynch mob. I guess. And now she's back! Boogah!

When put that way, the movie almost sounds coherent, like Darkness Falls but with a ventriloquist who collects tongues instead of a pervert who collects teeth. To be fair, the movie makes enough sense in the big picture. I mean, it has a plot, I guess.

But the movie itself is basically just a bunch of creepy stuff for no reason. I can't even begin to express my frustration with this movie, actually. Most of the stuff in it seriously doesn't have a whole lot of connection to any of the other stuff.

Okay. I saw the trailers. I expected it to be lame. I would have been really disappointed had it not been lame. I expected something sort of along the lines of Magic or something. You know, crazy ventriloquist. Ghost of a crazy ventriloquist. Ghost of a crazy ventriloquist who sort of possesses her dolls but not really, but anyway she needs the dolls to live except she's either possessing that woman or she's some sort of reincarnation or a witch and she hollowed out the guy's dad so she could use him as a doll. And all because she wanted a child of her own. And I guess a tongue collection?

That's a much more accurate description of the movie. See what I'm saying?

Another thing which bugged me: Okay, in these kind of movies, there's a person who gets killed without a trial because the villagers thought she killed some kid. It always turns out she was falsely accused, and thus she comes back to take her revenge on the people who killed her.

In this, the woman actually did kill the little kid (okay, he was a little shithead, but still), died for it, and then came back to have her revenge on the descendants of the people who killed her. That's just retarded. They were even when they killed her. Now all the people she killed will have to come back and get revenge on her again. This is what happens when you start skewing morals in a moralistic genre.

Yeah, this movie sucked. No two ways about it.



1408 (2007)

Directed by: Mikael Håfström
Written by: Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, based on the short story by The King
Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack, Jasmine Jessica Anthony, Tony Shalhoub

You could say that some movies have a shine to them. "New" Stephen King adaptation about a haunted hotel.

This one's about a guy who goes around proving that houses aren't haunted. A real sarcastic bastard (my kind of guy), grieving over his dead daughter. And then he finds a hotel room that really is haunted. Ha ha.

There's a nigh unbearable sense of doom throughout the whole thing. Waiting for whatever's going to happen to happen. A gradual build-up of atmosphere. Climactic dread.

The room was freaky as hell, with mirrors in unexpected places, and it was all shot really well. Also, my God is John Cusack looking old. He looks like my grandma. That alone was totally horrifying. Poor guy, he used to be so adorable.

Anyway, the dread sort of fizzles out once they start fucking around, and by the end of the movie I couldn't trust them at all. I just accepted that the guy was dead, still trapped in the room, whatever. Freaky shit, but it really pissed me off. I don't like people messing with me like that (the main reason why I got mad at Shyamalan. Bastard).

So other than that (bastards), the script was pretty good, the room was spooky as anything, the whole thing shone like the sun, Sammy Jackson got his obligatory Sammy Jackson line ("It's an evil fucking room").

Something I was wondering about though: If you add the numbers of 1408, you get 13 (I didn't work that out, they said so in the movie. I'm not that smart, God), so does 1246 have the same problem? Okay, 1246 doesn't have the misfortune of being on the 13th floor. How about 1453? Or 1471? I know, I know, it actually doesn't matter. The room's haunted because it is, this is just what I think about in the wee hours of the morning.

So yeah, not a bad movie, one of the better Stephen King movies I've seen lately (horror movies, anyway). Pretty... tense, I suppose. Laden with Kingisms, but, hey, can't argue with that (I have my own set of clichés I use in everything I write, I should really leave him alone). But still. It bugs me. Not as much as some of his other ones. The Tommyknockers for example. Actually, I shouldn't really give him a hard time anyway seeing as he had wasn't exactly involved with the production team on that one. I don't think.

Yeah yeah. Leave Steve alone. Okay. Just shut up about it. Yeah yeah.


Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness, the Ultimate Experience in Medieval Horror (1992)

Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by: Sam and Ivan Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Bridget Fonda, Ted Raimi, Angela Featherstone

Surprise! Third and final (to date - I heard a rumour about an Evil Dead 4. Or a remake or something... anyway) Evil Dead movie, taking place in the Middle Ages. Oooh, exciting.

So, in the recap (featuring a new Linda), our hero gets zapped back in time (and presumably moved to a different continent) and finds that they had a bit of an evil dead problem in the 1300s. In order to return to his own time, he must retrieve the Book of the Dead (what's a Sumerian Book of the Dead doing in 14th century England?) and defeat the army of darkness, among other things.

So, higher budget and even more retarded than the first two. It makes me wonder if Sam Raimi actually ever grew up, emotionally speaking. I mean, he did make Spiderman (I will admit I thought Spiderman was pretty cool. I mean... he's a spider... and a man!).

Anyway, that's sort of what makes it more cute and endearing (albeit a little disturbing).

It's got some snappy lines, decent (although maybe a little dated?) FX and that over the top weirdness going on. Plus geysers of blood and some chainsaw/hand related goodness (that thing must be heavy). And Bruce Campbell is weirdly charismatic.

Still, the transition from low budget zombie movie to higher budget medieval action movie (lets call it an epic zombie movie) is a little alarming, and the fact that this doesn't really have that much more plot than the first two doesn't help. It's just a bunch of stuff that happens, kind of like a video game (were they making video games at this point? Yeah, I guess they would have been)

Anyway, it was pretty enjoyable, particularly at two in the morning, revved up on tea, Big 8 cola and surplus Mars bars (I got extra candy this year. Bwahahaha). Man, I'm excited really easily.


Evil Dead 2

Evil Dead II, the Sequel to the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Horror (1987)

Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by: Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Richard Domeier, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, John Peakes, Lou Hancock

Part two of Halloween goodness. Noticing a theme? Anyway, half sequel/half remake I guess of/to the original Evil Dead. It sort of recaps the first movie in about ten minutes, changing details enough to confuse me (I was thinking, 'this guy takes his new girlfriend, also named Linda, to the same cabin where the last Linda got killed, gives her the same necklace, watches her get possessed by the same evil spirits and cuts her head off. Try explaining that to the cops'). Anyway, yeah. All recap.

In this one, he and a bunch of new people must fight off the evil demons or whatever, trying not to get eaten by the one living in the cellar. Oh yeah, and he cuts his hand off.

It certainly surpasses the original in terms of sheer grossness (dude obviously had a bigger budget for FX et cetera) and weird... shit. It sometimes borders on too silly, like some kind of really fucked up kids show. This worries me.

My associate observed that it looked sort of like a Tim Burton movie. Indeed! The creatures look like they belonged in the waiting room in Beetlejuice or something.

Anyway, it's as entertaining as the first one, and more advanced technically, though not so polished as to take away from the nasty low budget goodness of the original. It maintains a sense of mayhem (no plot, no character development! Yay, chaos! Actually, main guy seems to be developing into an asshole of some variety... still he reminds me of, like, the distant cousin of Joxer the Mighty. Not as weenie, maybe) or something.

And hey, there's some pretty nifty chainsaw action going on there. I wish I had a chainsaw for a hand. Actually, maybe not. It would make certain things kind of difficult. Making a cup of tea, for instance (I always worried about the little details of Edward Scissorhands' life, but that's a topic for another time). Still. It's pretty good for killing the undead among us.


Evil Dead

The Evil Dead, the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Horror (1981)

Written and Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York

Mmm, toast-o-licious. The tea is cold and disgusting, I en't drinking it. Anyway, this would be the first part of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy and, coincidentally, part one of this year's Halloween triple feature of the macabre.

One of the monuments to terror I hadn't experienced before, so excuse my pointing out the obvious here. I'm still a noob in the grand scheme of things.

This is the one about the group of fairly decent (well, one or two are fuckin assholes) kids who go out to a cabin in the woods, open the book and get killed/possessed/molested/et cetera by evil forest spirits. And what is the only surefire way to get the demon out of your friend once they've been possessed? Dismemberment. Yeah baby.

So the premise (I won't call it a plot per se) isn't exactly bursting with originality, the acting occasionally dips below good and the whole thing is fucking retarded, but this wins by intense, over the top, extreme grueling horror. It just goes on and on unabated, axes, chainsaws, dismemberment, decapitation, geysers of blood and oatmeal for 85 minutes.

I mean, even by zombie movie standards (and it is really a zombie movie at heart) this is moderately grisly. Dawn of the Dead was pretty fucking disgusting but it wasn't ridiculously gross. This goes just that much too far, pushing past the border of bad taste, and making it that much more entertaining.

Besides that, the good camera work and... interesting make-up job cover up the low budget (it's a very good example of a low budget movie - there are only five people in it, there's very little in the way of special FX short of some make-up and, y'know, the tree thing. There's really nothing in it, and yet it works).

Also a few nods to 'the classics' (do you ever notice that when you like the movie, it 'nods' to 'the classics', but when you don't like it, it 'rips them off') as well as, I gather, the Three Stooges. I tried my best to avoid the Stooges, but from what I read, they're in there.

Anyway, there's more...


Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum (2006)

Directed by: Shawn Levy
Written by: Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant based on the novel by Milan Trenc
Starring: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Jake Cherry, Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Mizuo Peck, Rami Malek, Patrick Gallagher, Pierfrancesco Favino, Kim Raver, Paul Rudd, Crystal the Monkey

I guess this is sort of a kids movie... I dunno. Whatever. It reminded me of some of those things I went to see at the IMAX so many years ago. I think this played on IMAX, actually...

Anyway, it's about this guy who goes to work as a night guard at the Museum of Natural History so his kid doesn't think he's a loser. Little does he know, everything in the museum comes alive at night to duke it out, and he has to make peace between them or some damn thing.

Meanwhile, the former night guards who he's replacing are trying to get him fired, cos, you know, they're evil.

So it's borderline lame, but the cast is just so irresistible. They make the clichés seem less so (of course, the big disco dance party at the end sort of cancels it out). But it's cute while it lasts.

Anyway, I guess the Reno 911! guys wrote it, so it's got that going for it. I guess. They're toned down a bit, I must say. Still, it was quite a bit funnier than some other crap I've seen. This may have also been the aforementioned casting. I was never sure about Ben Stiller, but I guess he's pretty funny.

Also, the FX were not too bad (mainly because the digital creatures didn't really have any flesh - i.e. a walking dinosaur skeleton or a talking Easter Island head).

It did stop and start a bit. I dunno. It sort of bugged me when he kept leaving and coming back and getting fired and rehired all in the space of, what, three days? And when the hell did that guy sleep, anyway? He's trying to keep the museum from falling apart all night and trying to be a dad all day. Poor bastard.

So fairly entertaining and not too patronizing. It keeps the butt jokes to a minimum (hee hee! Butt jokes).

Anyway, I haven't eaten yet today, been writing, so I have to go make a piece of toast or something (and mmm, another cup of tea), but I'll come back afterwards. I just can't keep away!