By Ed Sum
Watch out Shrek! Dreamworks’ Monsters vs Aliens is more than just another franchise in the making. It has now arrived on the boob tube and where the movie fits in is with a blu-ray/dvd video release that delivers a bunch of extra content. The upgrade to the higher-resolution format is worthwhile, and the 3D version on the smaller screen is just as good as the big-screen presentation. And in a combo set, the DVD has extras likes deleted scenes whereas the Blu-ray has an animated extra, B.O.B.’s Big Break in 3D.
While this film does not compare to PIXAR’s movies for depth or meaning, it does keep up with recent 3D trends. The animated short, Monsters vs. Aliens: Night of the Living Carrots became available first on the Nintendo 3DS first, and, of course in 3D, natch! The visuals in both products are very eye popping, and the visual experience is more enjoyable than grating. And the movie experience is a wonderful tribute to the B-movies of yesteryear with a dash of dyslexia mixed in. That is, sci-fi connoisseurs will find plenty of pop culture references of even some current films of the past century to snicker at, but as for Godzilla—he’s a fluffy bug!
Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) is a young girl from Modesto, California, unaware of her impending date with destiny. A glowing meteorite crashes right on top her and she’s unphased. The fact she is totally unharmed gets her detained by the US government.
In Prison, she meets Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), a fish-man known as Link (Will Arnett) and B.O.B. (Seth Rogen). When an alien armada is ready to invade, Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) is up to more than just conquering a planet. Susan’s ability to transform is fueled by an energy known as quantonium and that’s what the aliens are after.
As an action/comedy, all the elements required to make this film great is here. But young children will not necessarily get all the jokes. They may well be in for the slug-fest of the millennia. While older Dreamworks franchises are retired, namely that of Shrek and Madagascar, what’s next is left to the Penguins and this show. If given a preference, the Penguins are better trained!
4 out of 5 Stars