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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Night at the Museum (2006)

I think I saw this movie once before this viewing. I liked it well enough. Then a perfectly nice copy of the DVD was going to get tossed at the used bookstore I managed so I took it home. And it sat in the binder until tonight! It was fine on the rewatch. I struggle with PG movies because they're meant to appeal to such a specific demographic. The stories aren't as tight as a G movie needs to be, and the appeal can't be as broad (or as exciting) as a PG-13. Gags that aren't that funny (to me) go on for waaaay too long. Really, how many times do I need to see Ben Stiller and a monkey slap each other? And dumbed down plot points that have Ben and I yelling, "JUST CHECK THE INSTRUCTIONS" over and over for the first 20 minutes of film.


I wish Ben Stiller and Paul Rudd switched roles. They both play schmuck characters so well but Paul Rudd is charming, and this movie could have used more of that. Robin Williams, Owen Wilson/Steve Coogan, and poor, underutilized Carla Gugino could only do so much to carry the movie in their limited roles. (Owen Wilson *always* understands the assignment.)



HOWEVER. Dick Van Dyke is a treasure and I had totally blocked out his portion of this movie and so it was a gift to rediscover that. I hope he has the best time being Dick Van Dyke. And aside from the mustache-twirlingly villainous thing, his character is who I want to be when I grow old. Mercurial, whimsical, involved in some sort of magic, and having the best time messing with people. Mickey Rooney was a delight, too. "You wanna dance, hot dog?" will certainly be quoted in the days to come in our household.


Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt is almost difficult to talk about. Robin Williams is a sort of pop culture stand in for my dad, and as someone who loves to make people laugh, mostly because I don't want them to feel sad like me, I guess he reminds me of me, too. Teddy Roosevelt is my favorite presidential personality (I have major qualms about many of his political takes...). I spent half an hour reading Teddy Roosevelt quotes while working on this project and teared up the whole time. A really remarkable man. His line about being wax... oof. Just the fact that he's actually aware that he's a wax figure?? Oh my goodness. Heartbreaking.


Digital.

"I'm Just Wax. What Have You Done?"


Takeaways:

-I liked this a lot more while it was still on the iPad. Haha oh well.

-I originally conceived of doing something with TR as a candle but I kept thinking, then, "out, out brief candle" and I am not mentally healthy enough right now to sit with that.

-I've been struggling with the digital drawing a lot lately. As I get happier/more confident with traditional drawing, I feel more deficient with the digital. And obviously that just means I need to practice more but it's felt Not Great to pick up the stylus for a while. It was nice to clear some cobwebs with this one.

-The line, "I'm just wax. What have you done?" makes me think of my favorite author, Sarah Vowell, who also looks up to Teddy. She once wrote that she lives her life as though Teddy Roosevelt is looking over her shoulder asking if that's all she's accomplished. I feel that. I think about it often. This movie felt like a little twist of the knife in that way, as I wonder more and more lately what I'm really accomplishing.

-Good lord I need to invest in more and varied fonts and brushes for Procreate. This font is a little tooooo close to stock photography/inspirational quote posters.


Would you like to know more? Next week's flick is Starship Troopers! So excited to watch this one with my Movie Club pal, Andy.


Have a great week, dear reader. Don't quit. Keep going.

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