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April 15, 2009

Monsters vs Aliens

Easter weekend? It must mean a load of kids films at the cinema. Fortunately there’s also one for the SF fans in Monsters vs. Aliens.

First off, this is the first film that I’ve seen of the new 3D wave, and apparently it is the first one to be directly produced as 3D rather than converting after. And it shows.  Forget the cheesy coming out of the screen effects, the true worth of the 3D is depth. The depth is truly amazing. Whether it’s peering at a planet in an asteroid belt or watching a car pull up in an orchard. It really does add an entire new dimension. If you can make films like this then there’s no reason not to, there’s no down side, just cool up sides.

As for the story, it’s entertaining, if not spectacular. The visuals overwhelm the story. There’s some bits that made me chuckle and I loved the SF in-jokes and the Spielberg in-jokes. The Golden Gate Bridge scene and the first contact scene are both standouts for SF fans. The detail was great too, from the synthesiser that the president plays being a DX7 to the intricate workings of the alien spaceship. You can’t beat huge intricate spaceships on a cinema screen, except with huge intricate 3D spaceships on a cinema screen.

There’s a lull in the story about two thirds through, when the action stops and the plot tries to worry about the characters. Pixar can pull this off but somehow DreamWorks never succeed. I could hear the kids in the cinema getting restless. Never mind the action starts again soon.

It’s a film that will stay in your mind after you’ve seen it, not for the story or the characters or the jokes, but for the stunning visuals. I recommend seeing it in the cinema. Don’t wait for the DVD.


Everyone I know who's seen it hated it, but I agreed to check it out based more or less entirely on your say so, and I'm glad I did. It's a fun little romp, a love letter to the crappy grade-D movies I grew up on, and I agree about the 3D: It's eyepoppingly great.

Yeah, well, the family wanted to go out and see a movie, and it was a toss up between MvA, "The Hannah Montanna Movie," or some other the new "Witch Mountain" movie. We were leaning towards the latter because one of my kids has a crush on Anna Sophia Robb, but on your reccomendation I thought "What the hell" and all of us are really glad I did.

So thanks!