Monday, January 04, 2010

Review: DVD - Monsters vs. Aliens

Monsters vs. Aliens
Directors Conrad Vernon Rob Letterman
Reese Witherspoon
Seth Rogen
Hugh Laurie
Will Arnett
Rainn Wilson
Kiefer Sutherland
Stephen Colbert

According to the plot, Earth does, it seems, have a great deal of monsters about. However an ultra secret government agency "even saying the name is considered treason" is tasked with collecting and secreting them to an equally secret prison facility. In this facility we are introduced to B.O.B. (Benzoate Ostylezene Bicarbonate): An indestructible gelatinous mass created when a genetically-altered tomato was injected with a chemically-altered ranch dessert topping, voiced by Seth Rogen, Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D: A brilliant but mad scientist who, in an experiment to imbue himself with the resilience and abilities of a cockroach, ending up with a giant cockroach's head and some personality features of the cockroach - and thanks to the voice talents of Hugh Laurie (House), The Missing Link, oft referred to as just "Link": A 20,000-year-old fish-ape hybrid who was found frozen and thawed out by scientists, only to escape and wreak havoc at his old lagoon habitat - voiced by Will Arnett, Reese Witherspoon voices Susan Murphy, aka Ginormica: hit by a radioactive meteor on her wedding day, which causes her to mutate and grow to a height of 49 feet 11.5 inches. There is Insectosaurus: Formerly a 1 inch (25 mm) grub transformed by nuclear radiation into a 350 feet (110 m) monster with the ability to shoot silk out of her nose, but there doesn't seem to be any real dialogue going on though, however Link seems to be able to carry on a conversation with Insectosaurus. These monsters were to be kept in isolation to protect Earth however when an alien craft lands in the USA ("the only place where UFOs ever land!!") our menagerie is pressed into service to help protect the very people that needed protection from the monsters! Simplistic as the plot seems, it manages to work on different levels that are bound to appeal to many others.

This motley crew is headed up by their keeper/jailer what have you, General Warren. R. Monger who claims to be 90 years old and is hilariously voiced by Kiefer Sutherland.

Other voice talents are Rainn Wilson as Gallaxhar the evil alien, Amy Poehler as Gallaxhar's sarcastic computer and Stephen Colbert as impulsive and dimwitted President Hathaway. Colbert fans will absolutely love the way he voices the president. It's 100% Colbert goodness. Plus Sutherland's General W.R. Monger is like a maniacal Gunny R. Lee. The throw away lines that Monger has are precious. Stuff like "and that's why I always wear a parashute!" or ".... giving her gigantic size and power!" but it's what he is doing with his hands that is priceless. Or Colbert's "I guess robots DO eat lead!" or "who wants to freeze my head?" priceless!

Monsters was the first animated movie shot directly with advanced 3d tech and even though the dvd I had was regular video, you are struck by how clear and deep each scene seems. Even though the paddle ball is only 2d it still seems to jump right out of the screen at you. The attention to detail is astounding.

As a movie, it's harmless entertainment. Some of the humor is a bit risque and a lot that could be suggestive but again it really is harmless and funny. Mostly it's supposed to be a morel play, but you can quickly tell that it was an excuse for the most part just to have a party. I wonder if that is a sign I am too old, when legitimate movie making sounds like a bunch of teens at a kegger. That doesn't mean don't bother with the rental, far from it. Even the 2d version is some of the best animation I have seen. I really think they have set a new bar and much higher.

So after watching the movie and enjoying myself I decided to push my luck and look for extras....Mother load. Where as the shallow gene pool of the creative elements of GI Joe were twinking over how creative they THOUGHT they were in their commentaries, Vernon and Letterman wax poetic about the people that helped them get this movie made. They are proud of the end product and the time and dedication it took. Instead of busting on their movie (though in truth I don't see where or what they would have to complain about) they spend the whole movie explaining how things were done, how everyone rose to the challenge that the movie presented and time after time funny anecdotes concerning the voicing talents and crew. Then a short film on how the 3d was produced and just how ground breaking it really was. A whole reel of outtakes believe it or not! and a collection of music videos from other animated movies. It was a cornucopia most certainly!

How would I rate this DVD? Monsters vs. Aliens is an excellent example of an animated comedy and is certainly at the top of its game. It certainly stands head and shoulders above some of the live action films I have watched lately. In my mind it does exactly what it sets out to and does it in fine style. I would think this would be a worthy addition to your dvd library and certainly is well worth renting let alone buying. Go for it.... I think this is a 10

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