Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian — Ben Stiller makes a fool of himself once again for the entertainment pleasure of the young’ns. He reprises his role as a hapless museum worker who deals with a bunch of historical displays who come and life and talk to him. It’s sort of like the cult hit TV show Wonderfalls, only without the intelligence or most of the entertainment value. Amy Adams is the bright spot, doing a better job as a caricature of Amelia Earhart than Hilary Swank did as the real deal in Amelia. Available in one of those Blu-ray/DVD combo packs I adore, extras include 12 deleted scenes, a gag reel and one of those terrible interactive games.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels — Watching this 1998 Limey crime flick again is a welcome reminder that there was actually a time when director Guy Ritchie showed real talent and promise. His first effort remains his best, featuring a pre-fame Jason Statham as part of a whimsical gang of lowlifes who struggle to come up with half a million pounds to help their buddy get out of a jam with a mob boss. Debuting on Blu-ray, the best special feature is a compilation of the many, many swear words used in the film. It’s disappointing Universal couldn’t drag Ritchie back into the scene to comment on why it all went wrong after this movie, which was dismissed by many at the time, unfairly, as a Tarantino knockoff.
Also out this week:
Terminator Salvation — Christian Bale, who famously went berserk on the set of this movie, stars as the leader of human resistance efforts against robotic menaces. The DVD is bare-bones but the Blu-ray has an alternate cut, featurettes and cast interviews.
Phil Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available at bookstores and on Amazon.