Saturday, March 28, 2009

Space Sham: “Monsters vs. Aliens” Isn’t Out of This World

I think I’ve reached the point where even with glorious 3D technology a movie can still be a dud. The dud I’m referring to is “Monsters vs. Aliens” which is DreamWork’s latest attempt to out Pixar Pixar. Even with stuff being thrown in your face which includes a paddle ball, which was done over fifty five years ago in the original “House of Wax,” “Monsters vs. Aliens” is sort of a lame attempt to get you in the theater. To be honest, had the film not been in 3D I don’t know if I’d be as inclined to spend my hard earned cash.

The problem here is mostly due to the fact that the film is just simply forgettable. Here I am nearly 2 days later and I’m trying to figure out stuff that actually went on in this flick. I remember the story starting out with Reese Witherspoon’s character getting married, getting hit by a meteorite and then growing to ginormous proportions while at the alter. She’s immediately taken away by the government and locked away where they keep other “monsters” which include a slimy one-eyed blob (Seth Rogen), a brilliant talking cockroach (Hugh Laurie) and a amphibious creature known as the Missing Link (Will Arnett). Oh and there’s a gigantic beetle thing that doesn’t really talk (and sort of reminded me of the strange Katie character from Horton Hears a Who!). So apparently there’s some aliens who want to invade earth for some reason and it’s someone’s brilliant idea to let the monsters fight the aliens, and in so doing, they are let go, free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.

The story seems like a sort of lame attempt to create lovable characters and while the voice actors do a wonderful job, I can’t really say the writers (all five of them) can’t really come up with anything witty or particularly original for them to do or say. The only monster that gets any laughs at all is Rogen’s B.O.B. character and that’s mostly because Rogen’s voice (and in particular his laugh) is so well known and funny on its own. The animation of these characters is well done but nothing approaching Pixar level quality. It’s obvious the animators went for the more traditional “cartoon” look which is totally fine; I mean this isn’t WALL-E.

And what of the 3D effect? I’m not so sure it’s worth shelling out the extra bucks to get the added dimension, but I’m sure it’s got to be a lot more fun than the 2D version. And you get to keep a nice looking pair of 3D glasses, that in all honesty, I was tempted to mail to the blind guy on American Idol. In most of the recent 3D movies, I never really felt the 3D was a gimmick, but here it definitely feels like just another way to get people to buy a ticket. Yeah the marketing ploy worked for me and now I’m paying for it ($11.25 to be exact). GRADE: C


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