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Monsters vs Aliens

Monsters vs. Aliens (Rob Letterman & Conrad Vernon, 2009)

You may well wonder why I saw this on its opening weekend at the theatre. There's a very innocent answer. Today my younger brother's oldest daughter Gwendolyn celebrated her 10th birthday, and the party was held at the movie theatre before the screening of this flick. There were about a dozen other 10-year-olds there and a small group of adults. Anyway, when we showed up at the box office, the ticket seller went ahead and gave us tickets for the 3-D screening at 4:30, but the rest of the party had tickets for the non-3-D screening at 5, and since part of the party included a tour of the projection booth, there was no way to get to the 3-D show, so we saw it in 2-D. Although the trailer looked cute, I would have waited for the DVD to check this out, but I thought it was a fun day at the movies(yes, even for a 50+ Disney Dork... )

There's no need to go into the plot of the film, but part of the fun is mentioning all the film references you can make. Since this is a Dreamworks Film, Spielberg references take priority, but there are some cute homages to older sci-fi films in the way the various monsters came to be, as well as some visual recreations of specific scenes from specific movies, although all of this is done in passing. You'll either get it or you won't, but the movie flies by so quickly that you'll still enjoy it anyway. Monsters vs. Aliens is a step down from Kung Fu Panda, but that was the best Dreamworks animated film ever, so this one is still worth watching. I could imagine lots of the 3-D effects watching this one, but it's certainly fine in 2-D. Just don't look for anything original or too deep, although "critics" who claim that it's completely empty of humanity are undoubtedly on the running on empty humanity scale, at least if you ask me. This is a kid's movie, but there are plenty of scenes of violence and scares plus quite a bit of sexual innuendo. I only heard two babies cry during the movie, and both were rushed out of the theatre (although come to think of it, it might have been the same baby twice).

I'm actually biting my tongue to keep myself from giving away some of the references/in-jokes, but I feel the need to mention one. I'll admit that this isn't the largest image around, but does this guy remind anybody of Gen. Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) from Dr. Strangelove?