Friday Movie Blogging: All About the Aliens

Anybody else noticing a theme this year? “Race to Witch Mountain,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Dragonball,” “Star Trek,” “Transformers 2,” “Planet 51″ (among others.) Seems like an alien year for movies to me.

But then it seems like every other year, the studios focus a ton of effort on commonly themed projects. Last year, they were all concentrating on superheroes. Other years, it was all about secret agent or epic battle movies. I can’t imagine these different studios meeting up and synchronizing their ideas when it comes to this stuff. In fact, I can sooner imagine them moaning and groaning when they find out their rivals are releasing a mall cop movie in the same year they’re releasing their mall cop movie.

Or it could just be a bunch of studio leaks. If somebody can get the entire Wolverine movie out of the editing room and onto the internet, I don’t think it’s that much harder to walk across the street and tell somebody what movies you’re making.

Movies I watched this Week:

Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)



The General Idea: Reese Witherspoon’s animated homonculus gets turned into a giant by a radioactive meteor. This prompts the government to lock her in a secret facility with other monsters like the Missing Link, Dr. Cockroach, Bob the Blob, and Insectosaurus. And then aliens show up and the monsters have to fight them.

Pros: Great animation and action aside, I like the concept, and the movie has several throw-backs and in-jokes relating to old 1950′s sci-fi and monster movies. The film also takes several well-known cliches from those movies and flips them around for comedic effect. Also, Insectosaurus rocks. And Stephen Colbert is President. And I hear the 3D is really good even though I saw it in 2D.

Cons: “We need monsters?” It still didn’t make sense once I saw the movie. Why not just send Gigantica and Insectosaurus? Dr. Cockroach’s inventions never did anything useful, Bob can’t remember which character he is, and Link has no discernible skills whatsoever. Actually, why didn’t they just make the whole cast of monsters giant? That’s would’ve been a lot more interesting. Otherwise, MvA is sort of a step backwards for Dreamworks. It’s aimed more in the direction of “Madagascar” where characters are annoying for sake of being annoying and keep resorting to unnecessary pop culture laughs.

Rating: Fortunately, it’s not as bad as “Madagascar.” On the Dreamworks scale, I’d put it between “Shrek 2″ and “Flushed Away.”

Knowing (2009)



The General Idea: Nicholas Cage’s son find a piece of paper in a time capsule covered in numbers that foretell future disasters. Nicholas Cage gets obsessed with the numbers and runs around trying to save everybody. With a jacket and flashlight.

Pros: Actually… I really liked this one. It’s kind of like “Next” meets “Signs.” While it still carries the Nicholas Cage gene, it’s more fleshed out than any of his more recent films in years. The disaster sequences are freakin’ awesome, and the film takes some interesting twists towards the end.

Cons: Heh, heh, heh, heh. Okay, honestly – I liked the whole movie, but then again, the kinds of movies I find amusing are often the kinds other people will face-palm at. And I’m fully convinced this is one of them. It’s a lot like an M. Night movie, and if you didn’t like the ending to any of those past “The Sixth Sense,” then this one’s probably not for you either.

Rating: On the Nicholas Cage scale, I give this 4 out of 5 bees.

Movies coming out this Weekend:
Fast and Furious: VROOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!!!
Adventureland: Probably not based on the Disneyland attraction. Seriously, how is this movie not getting their pants sued off? Even our mall couldn’t get away with calling their theme park “Fantasyland.”

April 03 2009 10:40 am | Movies

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