Thursday, July 14, 2016

Movie Review: "Monsters vs. Aliens" (2009)

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Movie"Monsters vs. Aliens"
Director: Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon
Year: 2009
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

When Susan (Reese Witherspoon) is struck by meteorite on her wedding day, she suddenly grows to a few stories high and gains immense power at the alter. She is taken into custody by the government to a secret facility that houses all of the monsters that have been captured over the years. Now, when an alien attacks looking for the quantonium meteorite that struck Susan, the government asks her and her new monster friends to battle against the invading alien in an effort to save the planet. 

"Monsters vs. Aliens" comes to us from Dreamworks Animation, which is the studio responsible for films like "Shrek," "Madagascar," and "How to Train Your Dragon," just to name a few. It boasts the voice talents of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Kiefer Sutherland, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Stephen Colbert. Wow, what a cast! This animated feature film is a bit of a throwback to the old 1950's b-monster movies, which we love because it's just a little bit different than the other types of animated films that get put out on the regular for children. Susan, voiced by Witherspoon, is hit by a meteorite on her wedding day, which turns her into a giant woman the government dubs Ginormica. Susan is reluctant to embrace her new found status as a "monster" and just wants to get home to her fiance Derek, voiced by Rudd, who doesn't want anything to do with her now that she's a giant. Her character is obviously inspired by 1958's "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," Arnett's Missing Link is inspired by 1954's "The Creature from the Black Lagoon," Rogen's B.O.B seems to be inspired by 1958's "The Blob," Laurie's Dr. Cockroach Ph.D. seems mostly inspired by 1958's "The Fly," and Insectasaurous is clearly inspired by "Godzilla," who made his first appearance in 1954. These monsters are pitted in a battle against an alien who has come to Earth searching for a substance called quantonium, which is what turned Susan into Ginormica.

We had watched this movie many years ago and liked it, and watching it again for the first time in a long time, we still thoroughly enough "Monsters vs. Aliens." It's actually a pretty funny movie! The voice-over work is really good, and it is loaded with quippy, witty dialogue. Witherspoon is great as Susan, Rudd plays the cocky Derek well, and Rainn Wilson is menacing as the villain alien Gallaxhar, but it is Seth Rogen who steals the show here. Rogen is fantastic as B.O.B., and though it is often said that he always plays the same character, his voice talents work extremely well coming out of a gelatinous blob like B.O.B. There are a lot of hilarious laugh out loud moments throughout this animated feature, more than enough to keep both parents and kids entertained. It has a lot of references to other movies that parents can pick out, and a lot of silly jokes for the kids. The special effects are also really good, and the animation is crisp, clean, and bright. Finally, the story deals with becoming an outcast and discovering who your true friends are, which is a worthwhile message for anyone at any age, but is particularly relevant to this film's target demographic. "Monsters vs. Aliens" winds up being a cute sci-fi action comedy that is suitable for the whole family and is never shy on jokes and references.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 72%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
One year ago, we were watching: "Terminator Salvation"

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