Sunday, April 05, 2009

B.W. At The Movies: Monsters vs. Aliens

Oh, come on. Right off the bat Monsters versus Aliens is a tip of the hat to the 1950s B-movie delights The Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, The Fly, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Blob and Mothra. It couldn't possibly miss, right? They had me before the Dreamworks fishing kid is abducted by an alien ship.

This new animated feature is a smorgasbord of delightful references from the obvious (Independence Day, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek) to the ones that catch you off-guard and give you a special giggle (The Amazing Colossal Man, Destroy All Monsters, "Initiate Code Nimoy!")

A hilarious gang of monsters who have been held captive at Area Fif — um, that is, a secret location — are joined by Susan a k a Ginormica, a young lady who has gained enormous stature after being hit by a mysterious meteorite. When Earth is invaded by aliens, the monsters are offered their freedom in exchange for helping to repel the invasion. Before you can say Ginormica, Dr. Cockroach, Missing Link, B.O.B. or Insectosaurus, they're off on a quite fun little adventure.

This puppy is for everyone who has fond memories of the low-budget sci-fi monster flicks of the 1950s or the big-budget flicks that they inspired. The voice cast is spectacularly brilliant (Hugh Laurie was born to be Dr. Cockroach; Seth Rogan as B.O.B. is, well, Seth Rogan; and Reese Witherspoon makes a great action hero — who knew?), the writing is crisp and clever, and the afore-mentioned cinema references are thick as flies. I loved it. Honey, put this one on the "keeper DVD" list for when it comes out.

Oh, and an underlying theme is the underhanded incompetence of government. How can you not love this movie?!?



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