Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)
AKA: Monsters vs Aliens: A Monstrous IMAX 3D Experience
AKA: Monsters vs Aliens 3D

(Release Date: March 27, 2009)
(Premiere Date: March 19, 2009 [Russia and some former Soviet Satellites!])

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J.C. Maçek III... Monster Critic from Outer Space!
J.C. Maçek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

Hi, my name is J.C. and I am strictly HD. That's right, JCM3 is all about the HDMI! We're talking Blu Ray, Hi-Def Digital Cable on Demand and wide screen LCD 1080p 120 Hertz High Definition picture in picture Glory complimented by Surround Sound, baby!!! Of course I DO still go to the movies which can be another beautiful experience, especially in the case of Monsters Vs. Aliens, or, as it was called in the version I saw: Monsters vs Aliens: A Monstrous IMAX 3D Experience. Not only was this beautifully "Hi Def" in its own right, but seeing such an incredibly beautifull animated image in full 3D about the size of the broad side of the Amityville house made me long for the future of playing the Blu-Ray to be on my Posh Toshiba! Yeah, Dreamworks Animation has created an photorealistic fantasy in Monsters Vs. Aliens that is more fun than a four month vacation away from your wife's Bengal Kittens (because those cats are bad, Bad, BAD!!!). Indeed, MVA is a very cool, very well-done movie (leaps and bounds better than similarly titled flicks like Alien Vs. Predator), mostly safe for the kids with an excellent all-star voice cast and rife with references to classic sci-fi from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial to Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Star Trek to... well the list goes on and on. For Sci-Fi fans, this one is a grab bag of comedic references and, while Monsters Vs. Aliens can be occasionally derivative, it never resorts to plagiarism and manages to stay surprising in most ways.
Red... HOT!

Black and still hot!

Monsters Vs. Aliens also features one amazing female Action Hero in the unlikely form of a young bride-to-be named Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon). Susan is only minutes away from marrying the self-absorbed T.V. Weatherman Derek Dietl (Paul Rudd, when a meteor lands on her head. The things some people will do to avoid getting married! The thing is, the meteor doesn't kill her, it infuses her with an inordinate amount of Cosmic Energy that causes her to grow into an amazing, collosal 50 foot woman. Let me tell you, Susan was hot before, but now her hair's gone completely white in this cute Goth chick look and her wedding dress is ripping apart in all kinds of ways. Forgive me for saying this, but I was thinking some BIG thoughts that didn't go away throughout the entire movie. Especially when she's given this new costume that... Nevermind, moving on!

Unfortunately, the United States Government is none too happy to let Susan just run around in her micro-mini hiding around corners a la King Kong Escapes, so they act like Lilliputians to Gulliver and take her down with extreme prejudice. Now that's darn rude!

The Big, Bad General in charge of this here X File is one W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland), which makes sense, seeing as how he's got a bit of experience with cases like Susan's. Soon, Susie Q is re-dubbed Ginormica and introduced to her new cellmates. These include a brainless, gelatinous blob named B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), a fish creature from a prehistoric lagoon called The Missing Link (Will Arnett), a super-intelligent inventor with the body of a man, the head of a cockroach and the origin story of The Fly appropriately named Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie) and the only star bigger than Susan (though not nearly as cute) Insectosaurus (Conrad Vernon). Together they form an amazing team, even stranger than The Doom Patrol, to boldly, fearlessly and tirelessly... sit around all the time in a secret bunker.

Oh yeah! And nobody does it better, baby!

That is until an Alien Threat from beyond the stars lands smack dab on lover's lane, nealry crushing the almost-romantic Katie (Renee Zellweger) and Cuthbert (John Krasinski)! Once the President of the United States (Stephen Colbert) fails to make nice with the Giant one-eyed Alien Killing Machine with either those five famous notes from Close Encounters, OR that "Axel F" song from Beverly Hills Cop (talented guy), he must turn to General Monger's wacky idea to save the day. That is, quite obviously if you read the movie title, sending in the Monster Squad to spank anything the Evil Aliens can throw at them.

The biggest problem our gang has is that the Alien Mastermind Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) and his super Computer (voiced by Amy Poehler) want to get to Ginormica as much as she wants to stop them. The biggest problem Gallaxhar and his overgrown PC have is that Ginormica is nobody to be messed with and she's full of surprises. She's gonna save the world and she's gonna look GOOD doing it.

On one level, it's refreshing to have another female action hero right up there with Buffy and Ripley running around saving the day. On another, its interesting to see how Susan went from waifish bride to reluctant soldier to out-and-out hero. The idea is that she had it in her all along and she easily stepped up to the responsibility, fears set aside. Credit should be given to the six writers (Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky, Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger and the two writers who also directed Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon himself) for managing to evolve the character of Susan so well in the space of a 94 minute family flick, while still leaving room for the action.

Let me tell you, the action is most certainly there! The whole team is fun to watch and even if there are some truly monstrous things hinted in their history, it's almost impossibly not to root for each one of the Monsters as they team up and break through the ranks of the evil invaders. Further, it's not just Susan who looks good here (though... she does). The entire film is beautiful, especially, but not limited to the IMAX and "InTru3D" presentation. While seeing this film in its huge, almost LITERALLY eye-popping, format is definitey the best way to watch this film, I can also say that this one is going to look INCREDIBLE on a HDTV! Luckily the visuals and the sounds (including the music, supervised by Hans Zimmer) are good enough to be enjoyed in most any format and the story is interesting (and funny) enough to carry the film in its own right.

This one's got it where it counts. It looks good and sounds good, it's got subtle and overt references to other films, spoofs the best of each and still never comes off as a complete rip off. Bravo to the Action Heroine and Bravo to the enjoyable Alien Invasion flick. Lest I forget, Bravo to the talented voice cast (which also features Julie White, David Koch, Ed Helms and Jeffrey Tambor)! In short, Bravo to Monsters Vs. Aliens which fights hard for its Four and One Half Stars out of Five! And here I was always the tallest in the class at 6'3". And... I never looked quite as good in skin-tight costumes, either. Don't think I haven't tried, but somehow it just doesn't make anybody glad I did it! And folks, I always thought I had a "Really Big Shoe", but check out the Plimsols that Susan Murphy is wearing. Monster Plimsols... they might frighten Chuck Taylor, but Susan, you've still won my heart!

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Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009) Reviewed by J.C. Maçek III
, the man REALLY responsible for this site
And for the fact that, while he's got an unhealthily large collection of Converse All Star Chuck Taylors in his closet... none of them are big enough to suggest he could fill Susan's... Shoes.
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But I'd be willing to try.
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