Check out our review of the third and final installment in the “Night at the museum” film series as Larry spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Christopher Guest, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Rami Malek, Dan Stevens, Rebel Wilson, Patrick Gallagher, Ben Kingsley
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Written by: David Guion & Michael Handelman
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 10, 2015
"The best ‘Night’ ever!"
Get ready for the wildest and most adventure-filled Night at the Museum ever, as Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) travels the globe, uniting favorite and new characters and embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.
Ben Stiller leads an all-star comedy cast, including Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Rebel Wilson and Ricky Gervais, for one final, fun-filled Night at the Museum. This time, Larry Daley (Stiller) and his heroic friends embark on their greatest adventure yet as they travel to London in order to save the magic that brings the museum exhibits to life!
Imagine walking into the world’s most magnificent museums, where the wonders and history of the world come to life. That was the starting point for the Night at the Museum motion pictures. In Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb, the series third installment, Ben Stiller reprises his role as museum guard Larry Daley, and Shawn Levy is once again at the helm, producing and directing. They are joined by an all-star cast including Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Rebel Wilson and Ricky Gervais, for one final, fun-filled Night at the Museum.
When New York’s Natural History Museum’s exhibits, which come to life at night, start to behave strangely, Larry, the newly-promoted director of nighttime operations at the Museum, must find out why. The Tablet, which magically brings the creatures to life, has started to decay and the only way to restore it may be at the British Museum. Larry, who’ll do anything to save his museum “family,” along with his son Nick and the museum exhibits, travel from New York to London, where they must discover the Tablet’s secret.
Being a fan of the first two Night at the museum films I looked forward to this third and final installment. This one introduces a few new characters headlined by Sir Lancelot, Tilly the British museum security guard, Merenkahre (father of Ahkmenrah), Laa, and several new creature exhibits brought to life by the magic of the tablet. The original characters return and include Jedediah, Teddy Roosevelt, Octavius, Attila the Hun, Sacajawea, Dex, Ahkmenrah and Rexie. Like the first two installments the story is on the thin side, giving way to the slapstick and multitude of special effects but there is no denying that there’s plenty of fun to be had. I wasn’t crazy about the choice to add “Laa” the caveman, Larry’s doppelganger, played by Ben Stiller. The character added nothing of value and should have been edited out. Tilly, played by Rebel Wilson, similarly added little but I get a kick out of her so it worked.
I enjoy these films for the character design as well as the thematic tone. I find the conceptual blend of fantasy and the historical figures/elements brought to life as portrayed by the members of the cast to be fun. My favorite character throughout the series has been Teddy Roosevelt, played by the late, great Robin Williams. Having said that I really enjoy them all. In Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb I found myself chuckling aloud at Jedidiah and Octavius (Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan). I also appreciated the cameos by Dick Van ****, Bill Cobbs and the late Mickey Rooney. Speaking of which, there is another sequence that contains a pair of cameos that some may find interesting. The situational humor is what you have come to expect although not quite up to the level of the first two films.
Be that as it may there is still fun to be had in this formulaic, special effects laden affair that offers fans more of what made makes this franchise a frolicking adventure ride. It’s silly but on a harmless and rewarding level that transitions from the first film through to this one quite successfully. As a fan I had a good time with Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb.
** Be sure to check out the AVS Forum/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb Blu-ray Giveaway for a chance to win a copy.
The rating is for mild action, some rude humor and brief language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element):
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 Mbps.
This is a high quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Certain scenes appear better resolved than others although I suspect this is related to the photography. Contrast is dynamic without being overpowering and blacks are respectable in depth with discernible detail visible in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.
Like the video presentation, the 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack doesn’t disappoint. This is an entertaining audio presentation that utilizes the entire system. Sound staging is excellent as both the front and rear channels are seamlessly integrated. Dialogue has excellent soundstage presence with defining vocal character and room penetration. When applied sound effects traverse the room resulting in an involving listening experience. A good example of this occurs during the Relativity Art sequence as Teddy and Larry pursue Lancelot into the painting. The visual effects mated with the rotating sounds moving around the room is done quite well. Dynamics are energy filled and impact felt with discerning clarity and articulation. This is an active mix that makes regular use of the subwoofer to accentuate its dynamic range. The result is that where appropriate, points of contact resonate with tactile impact that energizes the room with clean low frequency extension. I had no complaints with the audio presentation and felt that it elevated my enjoyment of the source.
- (HD) 7 deleted scenes
- (HD) Limited time offer of Digital HD Movie (choice of Night at the museum or Night at the museum: Battle of the Smithsonian)
- (HD) The Theory of Relativity - 12 minute featurette
- (HD) Becoming Laa – 7 minute featturette
- (HD) A day in the life – 16 minute featurette
- (HD) The Home of history: Behind the scenes of the British museum – 21 minute featurette
- (HD) Creating visual effects – 3 minute featurette
- Director Audio Commentary
- Bonus DVD
- Digital HD Copy
Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb is an effectively fun comedy that adheres to the formula that made its predecessors entertaining. Those that like the series will find this to be as enjoyable. 20th Century Home Entertainment brings it to High definition in good fashion as it boasts excellent video quality and engaging lossless surround sound. There are plenty of fan friendly bonus features that take you behind the scenes and Fox has included a limited time Digital HD Copy choice of either the first or second film which is a nice touch. I am happy to place this Blu-ray release of Night at the Museum: Secret of the tomb alongside my copies of Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian in my collection. If you’re a fan this Blu-ray offering comes recommended.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7702 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package