$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,
A few thousand posts ago, I mentioned winning some tickets to the premiere of “I Love You, Man”. Well that premiere came and went and your loyal hero totally missed the ball on hyping you up to see this soon to be Apatowian classic. I won’t bore you with amazing details, in just 3 short sentences I’ll catch you up on that fateful night.
I stood in line with friends and waited to get tickets. I ran to press line in the hopes of meeting my beloved Seth Rogen, who was not in attendance. I tried to get Jason Segel’s autograph but was soon swallowed by the crowd, I propelled myself in his direction and got a much closer look. He is a younger, taller Judge Reinhold and that’s a compliment because Judge Reinhold is the cat’s pajamas in Danger’s opinion. After that pursuit, I focused my attention on the arrival of Paul Rudd who was NOT 6 feet tall, to my dismay, but he was nice to look at. I resumed my place in line and was escorted inside the glorious Mann Village theater. As I was waiting for a friend to use the bathroom, I came across Weird Al Yankovic, the man, the legend. He was noshing on popcorn, I interrupted to shower him with praise and I got to take a picture with him. The highlight of my night, since I couldn’t commandeer Seth Rogen, Yankovic would have to do.
We got to our seats and star gazed until one of my friends went out to buy us some soda pop, and came back saying that concession was free. Highlight # 2. Being rich and famous means you don’t spend money, and that is so backwards I won’t go into it.
Then the lights dimmed. The screenwriter/director gets up for the movie’s introduction and we are thrust right into the bromance of the year until July 31st when “Funny People” arrives in theaters. The movie has a nice Californian pace and the laughs are aplenty. Paul Rudd plays “Peter Klaven” a man in love with the idea of being in love, devoting so much time to the lady in his life that he forgets to have friends of his own. He proposes to his girlfriend played by Rashida Jones and shortly after realizes he hasn’t any friends, so who will be his best man?
A full on man hunt is under way. After striking out a few times, he holds Klaven, a real estate agent, holds an open house for Lou Ferrigno’s estate, where he meets Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) and they immediately hit it off. The bromance begins, brimming with Vespas, Ugg boots and jackoff stations. Stuttery, awkward yet perfectly executed, Rudd breathes life into a man we don’t often come across in the movies. A guy without friends.
He courts Fife, stammering and hopelful, finding common ground and opening up to this stranger in hopes of landing a best man for his nuptials. Fife is just as smitten but can hide it way better. Segel takes his character on as a guy who is brutally honest, caring, masculine, and without inhibition. The dynamic duo however is not the only reason to watch this movie twice. Joe Lo Truglio is great as the voice cracker, Lennon is razor sharp as the guy whom Peter smites in the beginning of the movie and tensely hilarious Jaime Pressly and Jon Favreau are the couple who hate/love each other. Andy Samberg doesn’t get nearly enough time to flex his comedy muscles as Klaven’s gay younger brother but take what you can get. Rest assured, the DVD will be chocked full of unrated glorious tidbits and deleted scenes for your home viewing pleasure. But do not wait for the DVD, watch this movie in the theater now, it will work for a dude’s night out or a romantic date.
Rudd and Segel make for an amazing comedic coupling, fresh and charismatic, which is why this movie should have took the top slot at the box office. A light comedy featuring great music and a slew of cameos, should have pounced the twice yearly Nic Cage suspense/thriller. Show the studios that it doesn’t take a disaster movie to get people into a theater. A little late now but there’s always “Funny People” in July.It’s time to let the funny guy win for a change.
Filming started Monday in New York for the movie “Howl”. The film, a reenactment within a documentary, centers around Allen Ginsberg’s obscenity trial for the publishing of his poem entitled “Howl”, which addresses sexuality, specifically homosexuality and illicit drug use. A reenacted documentary with high profile stars is a great idea. “Milk” went with a documentary feel and that turned out fantastic, so I’m interested to see the editor execute this one.
Rounding out the cast are: Paul Rudd, Mary Louise Parker, and Alan Alda. I wonder if there’s a lot of pot being circulated through their trailers, I mean the stars of “Pineapple Express”, “Weeds”, “Mash”, and “Role Models” making a serious flick together almost merits a weed session in Parker’s trailer as they attempt to get to the heart of their characters while noshing on Powerbars and Jamba Juice.
Franco is an interesting casting choice to play Ginsberg, who was remembered as a portly bearded gent. Franco will be portraying the young Ginsberg, pictured below.
I can see the resemblance. They’re both white men who smoke and wear black rimmed glasses. Resemblance aside, here comes an Oscar nod for Mr. Franco and I can’t wait for that acceptance speech.
For whatever reason, I randomly called KROQ fm on Tuesday morning to attempt to win a 4 pack of tickets to the premiere of “I Love You Man” starring Jason Segel and Paul Rudd. This attractive duo from the comedy mafia led by Seth””marry me please” Rogen, are killing me with the anticipation of watching this potentially insanely hilarious movie.
I never win anything ever but I wound up winning those tickets and being 2 minutes late for work. Neuroses. Long story short, soiled myself with the possibilities of occupying the same theater as these guys and proceeded to gloat my good fortune in the face of anyone who would listen. The premiere is Tuesday the 17th and if I don’t get arrested for attempted rape or kidnapping, I shall share my unique experience with you, the inter-web . Hell, with those criminal charges under my belt, I may as well be a NFL quarterback.