Friday, March 27, 2009

No Pics Are Perfect - Monsters Vs. Aliens - Movie Review

Dreamworks can never quite catch up to Pixar, can they? Jack Black said it right. Put all your money and bet on Pixar. While Dreamworks animation have produced huge hits (i.e. Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar), they always seem to be genially entertaining but forgetable, while Pixar creates pure masterpieces. Pure art. Pure classics.

And most of that comes from the writing and the base idea. Because animation wise, both are pretty impressive. And Dreamwork movies creates some great marketable characters, but Pixar tends to do FILMS. Remy and WALL*E are amazing characters but you can't divorce them from their respective films (Ratatouille, Wall*E) but all I remember about Shrek is Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey, though I can't really remember what stories they went through.

This time, Dreamworks comes out with Monster Vs. Aliens (in IMAX 3D, basically the most fun part of the whole experience, though I'm not sure I'd pay the premium to see this movie, even though it's the main reason to go). Even the title alone doesn't have the eloquency of a future classic.

What it does have are some great marketable characters voiced by a great cast, basically FOX TV stars (Hugh Laurie and Keifer Sutherland) and folks from the current cool comedy group from The Office (Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms and John Krasinski), Comedy Central (Stephen Colbert), Arrested Development (Will Arnet, Jeffrey Tambor), the Apatow gang (Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd) and the go-to comediennes (Amy Poehler and Julie White). Then add in two A list blonde Oscar winners (Reese Witherspoon and Renee Zellweger) and you've got an A list voice cast.

Too bad there's not much of a script to work with (by Maya Forbes & Wallace Wolodarsky and Rob Letterman and Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger and Conrad Vernon).

Luckily, the main cast of monsters with Reese Witherspoon as Susan/Ginormica, Hugh Laurie as Dr. Cockroach Ph.D, Seth Rogen as B.O.B., Will Arnet as The Missing Link and Keifer Sutherland as General W.R. Monger (not a monster but the monster keeper) manage to wring out as much as they can from a surprisingly joke-light filled story. Seriously, that Jello joke that you see in the ad is one of the funniest bits.

The movie, as the title suggests, is nothing more than a B-movie in 3D animation (which in on itself harks back to those matinee days with the red and blue glasses, only now with intensely crisp technology). Nothing more, nothing less. It's not even an homage as it is just a pretty basic plot where monsters are called upon to fight invading aliens (and really, it's first just an alien robot, and the alien (yes, singular) shows up later with his clones).

The script focuses on Susan (Reese, whose voice really is perfect for animation) who is a regular girl getting married (to Derek Dietl, schmarmingly played by the always lickable Paul Rudd) who becomes giant. Still, it never reaches any actual depth of emotion or character as it so tries to do. The most depth in this movie comes from the 3D animation itself (which I will admit, is always a lot of fun, if not somewhat dizzying at times).

Monster Vs. Aliens (in IMAX 3D) = C+

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the nice review about movie. I watched it last Sunday with my little niece. Really it is interesting movie, blog is too good with damn cool pics I loved it. My little niece never get tired to watch Monsters vs. Aliens movie again and again.