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

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  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French, Portuguese, and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: A
  • Rating: PG
  • Discs: 3
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: December 1, 2009
  • List Price: $39.99 [amazon-product align=”center”]B001PR0Y4O[/amazon-product]
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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian -

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

More Screen Captures (18 Total)

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG and thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian brings back Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) the night guard at the Museum of Natural History who found himself surrounded by museum exhibits that came to life learning a lesson in finding a job that meant something to him. This time around Larry is a successful inventor hawking his goods on TV with George Foreman, like the glow in the dark flashlight and he’s forgotten all about his special friends at the museum already. He has to go back to the museum and help rescue them when they are shipped off to the Smithsonian and come under attack by one of that institution’s exhibits, the Pharaoh Kahmunrah, who seeks a powerful ancient tablet.

BDDefinition-BattleOfTheSmithsonian-p-1080Battle of the Smithsonian seeks to recapture the historical charm of its predecessor, and it adds in a whole host of new figures, from Al Capone and bobble-head Einsteins to a live action recreation of the famous Alfred Eisenstaedt end-of-war photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse. Of course, the biggest role added this time is Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart and she serves as one of the film’s only fine points.

Director Shawn Levy pulls out all but the kitchen sink — or maybe that’s in there as well – in this action romp that is fixated more on special effects wizardry and hyperactive energy than any actual comedy or story. Even Adams’ true talent can’t save the absolute dullness of gags like “this is the United States of don’t touch that” spewed earlier on by Jonah Hill. A who’s who of names in Hollywood populate the cast of Battle of the Smithsonian, including Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, and Bill Hader, but it’s still not enough comedy powerhouses to make Smithsonian a true comedy classic.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

BDDefinition-BattleOfTheSmithsonian-n-1080Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian has a strong video presentation on Blu-ray. The 2.35:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding from Fox has a consistent layer of grain and excellent detail throughout. Textures in clothing and skin are strong. Shadow detail is also solid, with well-delineated imagery in darker areas. Flesh tones are the weakest link in the transfer, showing some slight red push. Although blacks look good and very detailed, there is sometimes a little bit of noise in dark scenes.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

BDDefinition-BattleOfTheSmithsonian-m-1080One would expect Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian to be a showcase piece for home theatre sound and it doesn’t really disappoint; the audio is not all gimmickry straight through either. There is a surprising amount of subtlety in the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, especially in the earlier parts of the film. The surround channels are nicely used for atmospheric sounds that engulf he listener and there are good dynamics. The mix never overwhelms with activity, but when the action gets going, it is more than competent. Low frequencies rumble, high frequencies are smooth, and the score is breathy. Dialogue sometimes sounds a little canned, but other than that, it is an easy mix to listen to.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

BDDefinition-BattleOfTheSmithsonian-g-1080There are hefty doses of extras on Battle of the Smithsonian and all but two of them are in1080p high definition giving this three-disc releases even more added value.

The supplements provided on this release are:

  • Commentary by director Shawn Levy
  • Commentary by writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon
  • Scavenger Hunt Mode — Play along to this game during the film and answer questions to collect points based on the historic figures in the film.
  • The Curators of Comedy: Behind-the-Scenes of Night at the Museum 2 (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:27.52)
  • Historical Confessions: Famous Last Words (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:06.29) — The “historic” figures discuss their place in history.
  • Directing 201: A Day in the Life of Director/Producer Shawn Levy (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:19.19) — Shawn Levy gives viewers a look at his hectic work day.
  • Caveman Conversations: Survival of the Wittiest (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:04.18) — The cavemen from Night at the Museum give an interview.
  • Museum Magic: Entering the World of the Photograph (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:05.41) — The filmmakers show how they recreated the famous Alfred Eisenstaedt
  • end-of-the-war photograph for the film.
  • Secret Door and Scientists: Behind-the-Scenes of The American Museum of Natural History (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:15.58) — The staff of the museum give a look behind-the-scenes.
  • Phinding Pharaoh (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:04.50) — Hank Azaria works through different accents for the character from the film
  • Show me the Monkey Featurettes — It’s all about the monkeys on these featurettes
  • The Jonas Brothers in Cherub Bootcamp (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:03.53) — The Jonas Brothers go through bootcamp to learn how to dance like Cherubs
  • Deleted Scenes w/ optional Commentary by director Shawn Levy (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
  • Gangster Levy (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:01.57)
  • Gag Reel (2.35:1; 1080p/24; 0:08.10)
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:09.36)
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents: World Premiere (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:05.29)
  • Trailers:
    • Aliens in the Attic
    • Fame
    • Amelia
    • (500) Days of Summer
    • Post Grad
    • All About Steve
  • DVD — Standard DVD of the film
  • Digital Copy — digital copy for transfer to a Mac/PC or iTunes/Windows Media-compatible device

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

BDDefinition-BattleOfTheSmithsonian-o-1080The original Night at the Museum film was a surprise hit, but going back to the well may definitely have been a mistake. Despite this stellar looking and sounding Blu-ray offering from Fox, I hesitate to recommend this release than anything other than a throwaway weekend rental.

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BestBuy.com:
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian -

Purchase Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonion on Blu-ray
at CD Universe

Night At the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Shop with us for more Blu-ray releases at Amazon.com

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