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Mar 30, 2009

Fletch's Mini Film Review: Monsters vs. Aliens

I'm gonna try my best not to over-analyze the plot of a kids' movie, especially one in which a man accidentally turns himself into a cockroach, but some things just can't be ignored.

So entranced in her perfect little life is Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) that, after being hit by a magic metoeorite and transformed into a 50+ foot tall woman, she doesn't stop and smell the (now miniature) roses even once. Doesn't stop to consider the cool elements that would go along with being five stories high. Doesn't have concerns about now needing a tampon the size of a ladder. Barely worries about squeezing her fiancee to death upon picking him up. Damnit, she's just so damned oblivious, worrying so much about getting back to said a-hole weatherman fiancee and their pending honeymoon to, uh, Fresno, that she barely bats an eye when confronted with a blob (Seth Rogen, stealing the show yet again), an ape-fish-man (Will Arnett), Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie) and a grub the size of a mountain that goes by the name of Insectasaurus.

Really, though - all that had nothing to do with my enjoyment (or lack thereof) of Monsters vs. Aliens. They're just some of the many, many things that could vex one if one were so inclined to be vexed. But I didn't even have time to do so while watching the movie. Instead, I was busy counting the not-so-intentional film "homages" - sure, we know all about The Blob and The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, but what about those films with lesser reputations: My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Fantastic Four, Independence Day?

Truth be told, I nodded off a few times, and most of them were during the climactic action scenes - not a good sign for a film that's being sold as nothing more than a visual and aural spectacular. To be fair, it is a sight to see - recent animated films such as Ratatouille and Wall*E had already left us wondering what boundaries were left to be crossed by computer technology, and the third dimension has given animated filmmakers a new bar to reach for and perfect. Thus far, they're doing a bang-up job. But the writing's just not there, and no amount of Rogen one-liners and digital dazzling can make up for it. (Though the kiddies'll love it.)

Fletch's Film Rating:

"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."

5 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Mini Film Review: Monsters vs. Aliens"

Sea_of_Green said...

So, another film that's visually stunning, but has no substance whatsoever. *Sigh.* Yep, I think I'll be avoiding this one. And my kid can live without seeing it. On to the next Pixar film instead!

Nick said...

Yeah, again, we disagree here. And all the complaints you had in your opening paragraph... that was all part of the homage to the B-movies of yore. I'm relatively sure Attack of the 50-foot women didn't address said issues, either.

I personally think what people are failing to grasp is that, when you make an homage film to B-movies... you're going to get a B-movie (albeit a higher standard B-movie). And I think too many people were expecting more than that.

Also, I'm pretty sure the Independence Day homage was intentional. Not sure about the other two, though.

Jess said...

NIck, I'd have to agree. It wasn't amazingly mind blowing, but for a Monday afternoon, it was a funny movie. I laughed or guffawed a few times for really nerdy moments (when cockroach says "By Hawking's Chair" I laughed). Fletch, I think you're not a kids movie fan.

Fletch said...

Jess said: "Fletch, I think you're not a kids movie fan."

I don't think that's entirely fair.

Am I going to see the Veggie Tales movie? God no. Do I love the Ice Age series as much as a 7-year old would? Highly doubtful, though what adult would?

We see every Pixar flick in theaters, saw this, saw Coraline, and so on down the line. Does that qualify us as 'fans?' I don't know, but I don't think we can see all these movies and be classified as haters. I wouldn't expect to enjoy them as much as kids would, unless they're made as much for adults as for kids (hi Pixar).

Fletch said...

Oh, and Nick - I'm entirely fine with B movies. What I wanted out of M vs. A was either a) better writing, in the form of a funnier script, or b) better action. This was severely lacking in both areas.