Picks of the week
‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’
(PG, 100 minutes, Fox): Relocating the action from New York’s Museum of Natural History to the British Museum does nothing to resuscitate the creaky franchise, which involves high jinks by a bunch of museum artifacts that have sprung to life.
Even Rebel Wilson, playing a saucy, cockney counterpart to Ben Stiller’s American museum guard Larry Daley, isn’t enough to shock the patient back to life.
That said, a few moments of genuine verve spike up the plot, in which Larry travels to London with such old standbys as Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher) and a caveman named Laaa, also played by Stiller in a nice Neanderthal counterpart to Larry’s wry deadpan. The best joke is a cameo by one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, playing himself, in a gently self-deprecating turn that takes place in the middle of a London theater production of “Camelot.”
The film ends with tributes to two actors who died after making “Secret of the Tomb”: Williams and a frail Mickey Rooney, who appears briefly in a reprise of his role from the first film.
Contains some rude humor and language and mild action.
Extras: Deleted and extended scenes and an “Improv, Absurdity and Cracking Up” featurette.
On Blu-ray: Five more deleted and extended scenes, commentary by director Shawn Levy and featurettes “The Theory of Relativity,” “Becoming Laaa,” “A Day in the Afterlife,” “Behind the Scenes of The British Museum,” “Fight at the Museum” and “Creating Visual Effects.”
(R, 114 minutes, Oscilloscope): Amy Jo Albany (Elle Fanning) is the daughter of jazz pianist Joe Albany (John Hawkes), who played with Charlie Parker and Miles Davis but struggled with a decades-long heroin addiction and died in 1988.
The film is based on her memoir about growing up in dingy Hollywood apartments amid beautiful sounds and a lot of ugly behavior. There are fleeting promises of happiness, which never come to fruition, followed by the harsh reality that Amy Jo is alone. The teen doesn’t have much in the way of role models. Her mostly absent mother (Lena Headey) is a casually cruel alcoholic, and her grandmother (Glenn Close), a funny, fiery woman, doesn’t hesitate to slap people around. Hawkes’ craggy face transmits anguish one moment, love the next. Joe cares for his daughter, but not enough to put her welfare ahead of his drugs or career.
Contains drug use, language, some sexual content.
“Listen Up Philip”
“The Red Tent”
“The Soft Skin”
“White Haired Witch”
“Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B”
“The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Edition”
“Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf”
“The Breakfast Club 30th Anniversary Edition”
“Teeth and Blood”
“The Red Road”
“Ancient Aliens: Season 7 - Volume 1”
“New Tricks Collection: Seasons 6-10”