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Museum movies

I have a piece of cheese sitting on the air conditioning vent in my office. I thought I'd be having it for lunch, but I got a last minute call for lunch with Liv (who is in town for my dad's birthday), so the cheese stays where it is until it's time to go home.

Last week, Graham and I went to see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be the sort of movie we'd see in the theater, but a) I liked the first one, and b) they were showing it on IMAX at the Museum of Natural History. We had about an hour to wander around the Museum before the movie started, which was fun. I hadn't been there in probably 20 years, and Graham had never been. We weren't able to get into the special exhibitions (Terra Cotta Warriors, Ghingus Khan and Diamonds), but we got to see the permanent stuff. We ooohed and aaahed at the dinosaurs. We decided to skip over the Homage to Oil. We wandered through the Hall of the Americas and were glad to find that our retention of the stuff we learned in our various history classes was more or less OK. We saw way too many snakes in the "habitat of Texas" dioramas. We went through the "ooh shiny!" motherlode: the gem collection. And then we went to the gift shop to oogle the Natural Science stuff for sale, ultimately refraining from getting anything, though Graham sorta kinda wanted some of the replica battle helmets that (I think) were in conjunction with the Ghingus Khan exhibit.

I think that going through the museum set the stage for the movie. Having just seen half a dozen dioramas, it wasn't hard to imagine them coming to life at night. The movie was similar in idea to the first one, though I think it wasn't as clever the second time around. Hank Azaria spent way too much time mugging to the camera. But Amy Adams was simply wonderful as Amelia Earhart. It's not the sort of movie we would have paid money to see in a theater had it not been for the Museum setting it was in...

I will say, though, if they wanted me to want to go to the Smithsonian, they certainly succeeded. Both Graham and I pointed out stuff we'd seen before, and I think the next time we're in DC, we'll probably hit one or two of the component museums. I was pretty happy that the National Gallery got a lot of play, and Graham knew Air and Space pretty well. We both want to examine the Castle a little more the next time we're in town. I imagine that attendance will be up this summer at general interest museums all over the country because of this movie.

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