$16.00 was the price of my movie ticket for the 9:20pm showing of Monsters Vs. Aliens at the AMC in Century City. This is the most money I have ever spent on a single trip to the movies. Yet I am not disappointed, I am nostalgic. As I have only been to a 3 dimensional movie twice in my life, and both times I was under 10 years old. As an adult, I was filled with childish glee, an almost drug induced happiness, watching this weirdly grown up Dreamworks toon.
Now Monsters Vs. Aliens did not reinvent the wheel, however it was well paced, wonderfully animated and had a slew of jokes that crossed all age barriers. Now in order to see this movie in 3D you have to purchase a pair of 3D glasses for $4 (real cost $0.04) which oddly enough are knock off Ray-Ban Wayfarers, endearing to children and hipsters. The previews were 3D and waht you forget as a grown up, is how giddy you get when technology starts fucking with dimensions. I imagine 2009 will go down as the year that 3D theatrical releases force its way into your local theater because at this point, you can download any media desired on the internet, so studios will have to go out of their way to offer us a reason to pay the steep box office prices.
The movie starts by introducing us to Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) on her wedding day. She finds out that her groom to be has cancelled her dream honeymoon to Paris in favor of a honeymoon to Fresno and she is pretty bummed. As she tries to be optimistic about it when a giant meteorite crashes down to Earth and lands right on top of her. She toonishly shakes it off and runs to the alter to marry Derek Dietl (Paul Rudd) her douchebag newsanchor in training, groom to be. Before Susan can get to the vows, she starts glowing green and grows to become 49 ft 11inches.
The military led by the hardcore General Monger (Kiefer Sutherland) swoop in and commandeer the Susan the Giant, bringing her to some sort of testing facility where she meets up with her soon to be monster friends. Bicarbonate Ostylezene Benzoate or B.O.B. (Seth Rogen) is basically a blob of goo that has one eye and no brain yet better comedic timing that most of the humans in the movie. The Missing Link (Will Arnett) is a monster from 20,000 years ago who appears to be half ape/fish with a giant ego and a big heart. Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie) is a brilliant scientist who happens to be a cockroach. The last of the monsters being the gigantic cuddly Insectosaurus, the mute of all the monsters is the one you’ll care about the most. Mr President (Stephen Colbert) is the funniest human character, playing the toon President like the best of Clinton’s charm and the worst of Bush’s intellect, he also provides one of the biggest laughs of the movie. General meets with the President and they decide to send the monsters to fight a war against Galaxhar (Rainn Wilson) an evil alien who’s waging a war against Earth. The monsters fight the aliens, San Francisco is destroyed and Susan makes some big revelations.
The casting is amazing here, grouping together the best talents of our generation for an animated movie that’s a little gritty featuring some semi coarse language (boobies and pee) and a little sexual. But that’s how Dreamworks rolls and I love it, down with the G rated snoozefest “UP” Pixar family toon. Viva Dreamworks!
It’s all pretty predictable and the moral was visible from the first 5 minutes but it didn’t matter. I could count original storylines and plots from cartoon movies in the last 10 years on one hand. The way they used the 3D images is what I’ll remember the most about the movie, well second to the top notch casting. Instead of using the technology for oohs and awws, they concentrated on using the 3D for perspective, bringing to life the amazing background imagery and subtle nuissances in the animation. It was well thought out and perfectly executed, the use of this technique brought you fully into the movie because less than halfway through you forget it’s a 3D movie altogether and you just let yourself go with it. Simba’s dad doesn’t die, Bambi’s mom won’t be shot, and Dumbo will not be incarcerated in a cage, but like it or not Monsters Vs. Aliens will still find a way into your heart,