Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Blu-ray review

Ben Stiller and Robin Williams in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Ben Stiller and Robin Williams in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Shawn Levy’s Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is certainly more of the same. However in this case, that means more action, a larger cast that adds to the comedy, and a much bigger museum to play with. While it’s strictly geared towards it’s family-friendly audience, the film does it’s job well enough to grab some laughs from just about anyone, at the same time tackling some important issues, and the best part – getting people interested in history again. The Blu-ray package features outstanding picture quality, a superb audio track, and hours of supplementary features.

Bonus Features

  • There are multiple Commentary Tracks on the main disc – the first by director Shawn Levy, and a second by writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon.
  • The Curators of Comedy: Behind-the-Scenes of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (HD) is a thorough behind-the-scenes featurette, focused primarily on the cast, as well as the construction of the film’s gigantic sets and props.
  • Scavenger Hunt Mode features a rathe difficult trivia game with two levels. It’s a very entertaining game that almost guarantees a second play.
  • Historical Confessions: Famous Last Words (HD) is a funny sequence featuring each of the film’s historical characters saying a few words about their legacies.
  • Directing 101: A Day in the Life of Shawn Levy (HD) centers on writer/director Shawn Levy from his morning breakfast until the end of a shooting day. The featurette follows some exciting greenscreen sequences and a look at dailies.
  • Secret Doors and Scientists: Behind-the-Scenes of The American Museum of Natural History (HD) is one of the best bonus features on the disc, as viewers are taken inside the research labs of The Museum, meeting scientists with a variety of backgrounds, who discuss their work.
  • Caveman Conversations: Survival of the Wittiest (HD) centers on the three cavemen from the film grunting in response to interviewer questions. It was funny for the first couple of minutes, but gets a bit stale by the end of the segment.
  • Museum Magic: Entering the World of the Photograph (HD) features Shawn Levy and visual effects supervisor Dan Deleeuw following the recreation of the famous historical photo of the sailor kissing a nurse.
  • Phinding Pharaoh, which is presented in HD, centers on Hank Azeria’s progression of voices that led to the ultimate pharaoh’s voice he used in the movie. Azeria makes the featurette another hilarious segment, that’s well worth watching.
  • Three featurettes make up Show Me the Monkey, all presented in HD. The vignettes follow how the talented primates were used in the film. This is a funny and enlightening sequence, with a spotlight on the immensely gifted Crystal. A must see.
  • Gangster Levy centers on a sequence in the film at an Al Capone display, with director Shawn Levy filming himself as a classic gun-toting gangster, after his failed attempts to find appropriate archival footage.
  • The Jonas Brothers in Cherub Bootcamp will be a popular featurette for fans of the boy band, as members go through an intense training regime, in preparation for their appearance as cherubs in the film.
  • The eleven Deleted Scenes on the disc are featured in HD, all with optional commentary by director Shawn Levy.
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents, which is presented in Standard Definition, includes two installments of the titular show. Making a Scene follows production of the sequence inside the Air and Space Museum, and World Premiere features the red carpet premiere of the movie, with stars briefly interviewed about their roles in the film.
  • The HD Gag Reel features a few really funny moments, but there’s a lot of filler here, with typical missed cues and messed up lines.
  • Trailers are presented in high definition for (500) Days of Summer, Aliens in the Attic, Post Grad, Glee, All About Steve, Fame and Amelia.
  • A Standard DVD Edition of the film is included on a separate disc, along with a Digital Copy on the third disc, for iPods and other PDA devices.

Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams, Christopher Guest, Alain Chabat, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Bill Hader, Jon Bernthal, Patrick Gallagher, Jake Cherry, Rami Malek, Mizuo Peck, Kerry van der Griend, Matthew Harrison, Rick Dobran, Randy Lee, Darryl Quon, Gerald Wong, Paul Chih-Ping Cheng, George Foreman, Jay Baruchel, Mindy Kaling, Keith Powell, Craig Robinson, Samuel Patrick Chu, Augustus Oicle, Kai James, Thomas Morley, Clint Howard, Matty Finochio

Original Release Date: May 22, 2009
Blu-ray Release Date: December 1, 2009



NIght at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Blu-ray packaging
NIght at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Blu-ray packaging