Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Monsters vs. Aliens


On her wedding day Susan (Reese Witherspoon) is hit by a meteorite and grows to 50-feet-tall. A Top Secret military base take her into hiding/lock-and-key, where they keep several other monsters - B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), a brainless, indestructible glenatinous blob; Dr Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), a mad scientist with the head and abilities of a cockroach; The Missing Link (Will Arnett), an amphibious fish-ape hybrid; and Insectosaurus (Conrad Vernon), a 350-feet-tall grub. However, a robotic alien probe the size of Insectosaurus has crashed to Earth and is destroying all in its path, and only the monsters can stop it!

Between Shrek 2 (2004) and Monsters vs. Aliens (or MvA), DreamWorks Animation had only two hits - Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) and Kung Fu Panda (2008) - while everything else has been miss - Shark Tale (2004), Flushed Away (2006) and Bee Movie (2007) to name a few. However, MvA is most definetly hit. The animation is superb, full of so much care and attention to detail that you feel you could be watching a mega-budget live-action sci-fi. Everything that could and should be detailed is so - from the fur on Insectosaurus, with every strand given life; to the design/structure of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge - let's face it all major bridges (London Bridge, the many in New York, et cetera) are very intricately designed.

However, the film's characters are what bring it such lovely life. Supported by the witty, action-packed screenplay, full of substantial character and event development, Witherspoon makes Susan a character to sympathize with in the first half, but strong and determined in the second; Laurie captures the mad scientist down to a tee; Arnett makes Link quick-witted and full of energy; but Rogen steals the show as B.O.B., who gets great gags, brought to hilarious life by Rogen's impeccable comic timing.

Chuck in some neat blink-and-you-miss-'em references to big sci-fis such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Men in Black (1997), and what you have is a well-written, witty, fast-paced sci-fi that is beautifully animated, and all-round great entertainment for the whole family.

Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland, Conrad Vernon, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Paul Rudd, Jeffrey Tambor, Julie White, Amy Poehler, Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski, Ed Helms, David Koch.

Annie Award: Storyboarding in a Feature Production (Tom Owens).
Annie nominations: Voice Acting in a Feature Production (Hugh Laurie), Animated Effects (Scott Cegielski).

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