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Monsters vs. Aliens

A movie directed by Conrad Vernon

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Excellent FUN For the Whole Family...NO 'CUTESY' Joke!

  • Mar 17, 2010
Rating:
+4

Sure, most of us ‘animation fans’ associate CGI animation with animation giant Pixar. But don’t forget, Dreamworks animation also had some success with “Shrek” so Pixar isn’t exactly the lone success in CGI animation. “Monsters Vs. Aliens” is an animated comedy with enough tools to keep the young and old entertained. It has enough comedic gags and sci-fi tributes to entertain the mature audience with cool colorful, fluid animation and action to entertain kids of all ages.
 
Susan (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) is hit by a meteor on her wedding day. As a result Susan grows to 50 feet tall, her hair becomes silver and gains super strength. Seen as a menace, the government actually has a secret organization led by General Warren R. Monger (Keifer Sutherland) that keeps “monsters” of this kind under lock and key. In this secret installation, Susan is dubbed Ginormica and befriends a fish man called the missing link (Will Arnet), Bob (Seth Rogan), mad scientist Doc Cockroach (Hugh Laurie) and huge bug Insectoaurus (Conrad Vernon). Susan however still wishes to reunite with her fiancé Derek (Paul Rudd). One day, the quintet is sent into battle against an alien force set to invade the earth led by Galaxhar (Rainn Wilson) and the odd group finds that their powers are limited only by a lack of self-confidence.

         A scene from "Monsters vs. Aliens."

                           Reese Witherspoon as Ginormica and Rainn Wilson as Gallaxhar in "Monsters vs. Aliens."
 
The direction and script by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon is quite brisk and easy to get into. The film isn’t trying to overreach with its premise and keeps things simple while giving tribute to certain sci-fi classics such as “The Fly”, “The Blob”, “Creature”, “Attack of the 50 ft. Woman” and “Mothra”; even “Close Encounters of the Third Kind“. The film exudes this cheerful and fun aura as it presents situations that utilize the scenes in a quirky but clever atmosphere as we see certain sci-fi and war situations that please fans of sci-fi movies. The film is also very colorful and full of slapstick comedy that spark the action scenes. The film’s formula is very simple, keep the movie at a brisk pace while avoiding the expected traditional dramatic trappings that plagued animated movies for years. 

  Susan (Reese Witherspoon), toothy Insectosaurus, Dr. Cockroach, Missing Link and B.O.B. from "Monsters vs. Aliens." 

The film is still a buddy flick at its core but what made “Monsters vs. Aliens” an attention-getter for me is the way that it rounded its characters with dimensions that give it its emotions. The movie is definitely trying to keep the sensibilities of a cartoon, while keeping some shots simple. The animation is very smooth and fluid as it complements each scene and sometimes exaggerate to enhance the angles of the story. I guess what I liked about the film is the fact that it tried to pitch an adult theme as to what makes a monster; these guys are often just misunderstood and sometimes looks don’t make a monster but the way one acts do make one a monster. Maybe not horrible in appearance, but still a monster.
 
The cast is quite pleasing (though I thought the villain wasn’t exactly the best) and you can just feel that they are having a ball voice-acting the film’s characters. Witherspoon took center stage as to be expected and I liked the way that she managed to express her character and is a great persona of empowerment. I thought Seth Rogan was the film’s best source of humor as the one who has no ‘brains’ but is smart in a different way. The five leads just manages to take over the film by livening the script with witless behavior and innocent heroism. I would like to mention the quirky President Hathaway (played Stephen Colbert) who appears to be based on the Stephen Colbert persona in “the Colbert Report”. 

               Seth Rogen as B.O.B., Will Arnett as The Missing Link and Hugh Laurie as Dr. Cockroach, Ph.d. in "Monsters Vs. Aliens."
 
 I guess if “Monsters Vs. Aliens” had a flaw it would be that it tried a little too hard to be “cutesy” that it almost made me puke (kidding) and its simplicity may well be its strength but it also proves to be its weakness. The film did divert from its tone on some scenes and it almost fell to the trappings of animated movies. But once it gets solid ground, “Monsters Vs. Aliens” is one REAL enjoyable ride that manages to pull off a silly adventure that is simple yet embraced in raw clever and energetic style that just made me smile as much as an animated film ever could.
 
Highly Recommended! [4+ Out of 5 Stars]

This Review is a Lunch.com Exclusive

 
Excellent FUN For the Whole Family...NO FRIGGIN' Joke! Excellent FUN For the Whole Family...NO FRIGGIN' Joke! Excellent FUN For the Whole Family...NO FRIGGIN' Joke! Excellent FUN For the Whole Family...NO FRIGGIN' Joke!

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November 01, 2010
I remember reading your review when you first posted it but felt a bit overwhelmed at how behind I was getting on this animated films. Now that I'm slowly conquering the mountain, I can finally say it: Great critique bro. I agree with everything you said throughout! Spot on as usual. I was just going through some of the comments now that I actually know what's going on and thought you might like to know that while DreamWorks would probably love the credit, Robots and Ice Age are actually Blue Sky Studios' works (20th Century Fox) and Monster House belongs to Sony ImageWorks (Columbia Pictures). Not that it matters in the least, I just find it pretty interesting that just about every studio out there wants a piece of the pie that Pixar and DreamWorks baked initially.
 
April 15, 2010
Yeah I thought this one was really good, kinda has special meaning for me. Great review.
 
March 25, 2010
Oh, there's cutsey alright; Gerneral WARren MONGER? That gets my vote for cutsey. =)
March 26, 2010
I agree 100% LOL!
 
March 19, 2010
What's wrong with cutesy jokes??? ;P I still need to see this. Great review, Woo!
March 19, 2010
I think you will have a great laugh with B.O.B....he gets all emotional and "hugsy"!
 
March 18, 2010
I liked this one too, and I agree, Dreamworks has some pretty good animated films. I really liked "Madagascar". I found it hard to believe that the cockroach was Hugh Laurie, and Bob was hilarious. I can only hope that the newest animated film by Dreamworks will be as enjoyable as these previous films.
March 18, 2010
I agree. I wasn't too fond of ROBOTS though. I did really like MONSTER HOUSE. I think this site needs a review on that animated movie. (hint hint)
March 18, 2010
Great idea. I haven't reviewed any Dreamworks films yet. I only vaguely remember "Robots", so it must not have had much of an impact on me. I'll have to re-watch "Monster House", and get cracking on that review :P
March 20, 2010
I'll post the review for sweet rice with cocoa if you post a review for MONSTER HOUSE ;-P
March 22, 2010
Ooo, I was actually thinking about that sweet rice with cocoa the other day. That's it. I'm re-watching that movie tonight.
 
March 17, 2010
I just couldn't bring myself to watch this one.
March 17, 2010
I can see that. I saw it on HBO last night, and I figured why not? Trashie and Scot liked this one.
March 19, 2010
I dislike most '50s films, especially sci-fi.
 
March 17, 2010
Smart move, Woo! " sometimes looks don't make a monster but the way one acts do make one a monster. Maybe not horrible in appearance, but still a monster" ...Smooth ;-)
March 18, 2010
Thanks! By the way, I am pretty monstrous... ;-P
 
1
More Monsters vs. Aliens reviews
review by . October 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Monstrous Hype Meets Most Expectations
   While it isn’t oft publicized, Pixar and DreamWorks have quite a little game of swapping going on that basically started right from the beginning.  Need evidence? Well you know Pixar’s Toy Story and DreamWorks had a remarkably similar film in Small Soldiers.  DreamWorks had Antz and Pixar A Bug’s Life.  Pixar had Finding Nemo, DreamWorks Shark Tale and so on and so forth.  Pixar led the monster genre with Monsters Inc. but DreamWorks had even bigger …
review by . January 08, 2010
Fun for the whole family and hopes for a MVA 2!,
   Every animated movie since the release of Shrek has desperately tried to gain adult acceptance as that is were the true money lies and on the Easter Weekend we were treated to Monsters v Aliens.       It stars the usual big Hollywood names in the trendy fashion that is voicing a CGI kid's film. This time we had the talents of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogan (who is more than everywhere these days), a British Huge Laurie as the Monsters and Keifer Sutherland hamming …
review by . May 07, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I really enjoyed this.
 MVA, at first glance seems like a movie that's typically attempting to capitalise on the growing trend of CGI animated "comedies", however, I would personally consider it up there with the likes of Shrek and Toy Story and not down there with the likes of Space Chimps and Fly Me To The Moon, two films which may appeal to kids, but I absolutely hated. These types of movies generally attempt to appeal to both adults and children with different types of comedy which is aimed at kids, …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie was a pleasant surprise. Kept me laughing.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Good special effect got to watch this in Blu-Ray looking forward to watching it in 3D
review by . May 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
MVA, at first glance seems like a movie that's typically attempting to capitalise on the growing trend of CGI animated "comedies", however, I would personally consider it up there with the likes of Shrek and Toy Story and not down there with the likes of Space Chimps and Fly Me To The Moon, two films which may appeal to kids, but I absolutely hated. These types of movies generally attempt to appeal to both adults and children with different types of comedy which is aimed at kids, and risqué comedy …
review by . April 19, 2009
News Reporter: "Once again, a UFO has landed in America, the only country UFOs ever seem to land in."     Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):     1. Star studded cast lights up the screen (or at least their voices do) in a funny and action-packed computer-animated film from Dreamworks.   2. Reese Witherspoon is Susan Murphy, a sweet home Modesto girl who doesn't realize her true worth until she gets hit by a meteor. . .   3. . . . on her …
review by . October 20, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Every animated movie since the release of Shrek has desperately tried to gain adult acceptance as that is were the true money lies and on the Easter Weekend we were treated to Monsters v Aliens.    It stars the usual big Hollywood names in the trendy fashion that is voicing a CGI kid's film. This time we had the talents of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogan (who is more than everywhere these days), a British Huge Laurie as the Monsters and Keifer Sutherland hamming it up voice style …
review by . March 27, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Great Visuals and Characters.     Cons: May be to long for small children.     The Bottom Line: A solid and enjoyable adventure with great visuals.     Ushering in what they hope will be a bold new era in 3D movie making, Dreamworks has set a very high standard with “Monsters Vs Aliens”. By combining science fiction and monster films, pop culture references, a strong cast, and cutting edge 3D technology, the film is likely …
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Wiki



Monsters don't exist, right? If they did, they'd be locked up in some secret government location so the general population wouldn't know of their existence. But what if monsters do exist... and they aren't evil, or even particularly scary? What if they're funny... and smart... and what if they might just be the key to man's survival? When a meteorite crashes in California on Susan Murphy's (Reese Witherspoon) wedding day, Susan is struck by a dose of otherworldly quantonium, her bridal glow becomes decidedly green, and she suddenly swells to a gargantuan 49 feet-11 inches tall. The Feds swoop in and whisk her away from husband-to-be Derek (Paul Rudd) to a government concealment agency where they dub her Ginormica and leave her to bemoan her losses and spend the rest of her days with strange creatures like B.O.B., the brainless blob (Seth Rogen), mad professor Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), the half-fish and half-ape Missing Link (Will Arnett), and the overly huge and strangely silent grub Insectosaurus. Next, Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson), ruler of an alien civilization, sends a huge robot to attack Modesto, Calif., to recover the quantonium released by the fallen meteorite. Under the ineffective leadership of President Hathaway (Stephen Colbert), the government embraces General W. R. Monger's (Kiefer Sutherland) suggestion to pit the imprisoned monsters against the robot in exchange for their freedom. The monsters are no match for the robot until ...
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Tags

Movies, Comedy Movies, Animated Movies, Childrens Movies, Family Movies, Kids Movies, 3d Movies, Monster Movies, Computer Animated Films, Stephen Colbert Movies, Alien Movies, Seth Rogen Movies, Hugh Laurie Movies, Rainn Wilson Movies, Will Arnett Movies, Dreamworks Movies, Kiefer Sutherland Movies, Reese Witherspoon Movies

Details

Director: Conrad Vernon
Genre: Family
Release Date: 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009
Runtime: 1hr 34min
Studio: Paramount
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