The Random Review Page

Is it good, bad, or neutral? Did we like it or not? Should you do it, buy one, get one or see it? From time to time, with no specific pattern, different books, movies, plays, musicals, hotels, airlines, and various other goods, services, merchandise, products, productions, places, and events will be reviewed by Aaron or another member of the USA Talk Network staff. Often, whatever is being reviewed has been provided to USA Talk Network, usually on an unsolicited basis. There truly is no rhyme or reason to our selections. They will appear quite random. The reviews we do will be included below, sometimes with links to a site where there will be more information. Contact us with your comments, too, and they may be added.


Despite its nonsensicality, “Night At The Museum: Battle At The Smithsonian,” is action- and laugh-packed from its silly beginning to its sappy end.

Ben Stiller does a yeoman’s job as Night-watchman-turned-infomercial millionaire and Denver’s own Amy Adams is superb as the totally over-the-top Amelia Earhart. The lack of substantial character development (even less than the original movie) becomes incidental to the special effects-dominated film.

The contrived plot, the cast’s silly antics, and the constant stream of historical, art, and archeological references — which adults will “get” more than kids — will keep audiences of all ages constantly amused.

The movie especially will appeal to those who are familiar with Washington, DC, and the Smithsonians. The adroit use of the museums is alluring as it compels audiences to appreciate the extraordinary concentration of educational and entertainment opportunities at the nearly shop-free national Mall.

Sequels for movies such as this suffer because original premises (e.g., museum exhibits coming to life) lose their originality so seeing this film on a large-screen IMAX is a must.

The special effects are impressive — such as when a giant octopus wrecks havoc or the miniature cowboy (Owen Wilson) is elevated to life-size. Although magnification may appear self-defeating in the case of the latter, as a rule, it makes audience members feel they actually are inside the Museum.

And although there’s nothing like a close-up which makes an angry squirrel appear to be 50-feet tall, watching Honest Abe’s statue leave his chair at the Lincoln Memorial is stunning.

While the film’s massive increase in new characters and activity saves it, history buffs and art lovers will enjoy the movie more than most.