HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Really? A movie about the Tooth Fairy? Oh crap but it’s stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (kudos on stealing Vin Diesel’s career by actually having posessing talent AND muscles)so it looks like my maternal unit will be forcing me to watch this on her dime and I’ll wind up secretly enjoying it(Race to Witch Mountain) while vocally detesting everything it stands for to prove a cinematically snobby point. I can not believe “The Eyebrow” wrestler dude from WWF’s Smackdown has made a viable career out of making wildly successful Disney movies. Maybe Warner Brothers should usurp Triple H and the Hardy Boyz for a few bromantic comedies?
$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,
I went in on “Race to Witch Mountain” this Saturday and had I been 8 years old, I would’ve been mildly impressed. As a grown up, I found myself shocked at the Dwayne Johnson, the wrestler formerly known as “The Rock”, and the amount of charm that this giant man owns. A mediocre Disney release that will probably go on to make $150 million during it’s theatrical release, this movie put all it’s weight on the adorability of Mr. Johnson.
Playing Jack Bruno, an ex con turned taxi cab driver who is being chased by some thugs that want his repaid immediately. When one afternoon 2 aliens disguised as angelic blond tweens sneak into his taxi and offer him a wad of cash to take them to their spaceship, his job is to mangle his cab in a big chase scene while asking lots of questions that never get answered. Protect the children who are being chased by the C.I.A. at any cost. That is what Jack Bruno was born to do. The ex con with the heart of gold. Dwayne is not left with a whole lot to work with, maybe the convict aspect of the character supplies the grit, but he practically breaks the fourth wall in every scene to apologize for the movie’s writing.
The kids are played by Anna Sophia Robb, Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Alexander Ludwig from Sandlot 3. I can not believe they made a third Sandlot movie. Really? Anyways the kids are stoic “aliens” with Anna Sophia playing the loving one and Alexander plays her brother who trusts no human.Carla Gugino took a break from filming “Watchmen” to phone in her appearance as a kooky scientist who owns The Rock’s heart.
With mediocre “Power Ranger” like special effects and some non threatening? violence this is a decent movie to take your niece or nephew to if you’re stuck babysitting in the near future. You won’t be bored and there’s always Dwayne Johnson’s ever pulsating bicep to keep your loins company for an hour and a half.
Anyone over 10 years old can see how this will all play out immediately and to make all the parents in the audience more uncomfortable, they give a big wink at the end of the movie to let you know that this time next year you’ll be watching this movie’s sequel. Sorry. At least this will hold the kids over until the next Pixar/Dreamworks 3d extravaganza makes it’s $200 million budget into a theater near you.