Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
★★ / ★★★★
While the animation does look great in 3D, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would because it didn’t have enough heart. Essentially, as the title suggests, monsters must battle aliens. Reese Witherspoon lends her voice as Susan Murphy, a woman who gets turned into a giant after being in contact with a meteorite. Other stars include Seth Rogen as B.O.B the blob, Hugh Laurie as Dr. Cockroach Ph.D., Will Arnett as The Missing Link, Kiefer Sutherland as General W.R. Monger, Rainn Wilson as the villanous Gallaxhar, Stephen Colbert as the President of the United States, and Paul Rudd as Derek Dietl, Susan’s self-centered husband-to-be. Their voices didn’t distract me from the story but I wish the story was more interesting. Even though there’s references to other movies like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and the soundtrack has something to do with outer space such as The B-52’s “Planet Claire,” I found it hard to fully get into the characters because they didn’t show enough vulnerability. They may be amusing from time to time but their other dimensions could’ve been explored. Although this was obviously made for children under ten years old, animated films like “WALL-E” and “Finding Nemo” show that it is possible to include adults while targeting children. The writing just has to be sharp enough to include jokes that are relevant to the film’s universe while at the same time incorporating common issues like friendship, self-reliance and maturation. In “Monsters vs. Aliens,” I felt like the priority was on the visuals instead of the emotion so there was this jarring disconnect between me and the picture. With a little more time rewriting certain aspects of this film, I can see its potential to become as memorable as “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monster House.” Instead, just rent it on DVD instead of watching it in theaters. One won’t be missing much until then.