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BMZ Review: Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
By Ann Coates

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Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: March 27, 2009

     

Category: Reviews

A play on conventions, Monsters vs. Aliens, DreamWorks' first foray in their InTru 3D format, is more a technical achievement than an ambitious, fresh, new way of storytelling.  Though unchallenging in its plot, the film nevertheless infuses unorthodox elements that keep the film intriguing in the otherwise tame genre of animation.  Where monsters are conventionally the nemeses in films, they become here our heroes.  With likable characters, particularly Ginormica/Susan and the ever dull-witted but endearing B.O.B., Monsters vs. Aliens offers a benign, but refreshing take on weirdos.

Meant for 3D viewing, the IMAX version of the film enhances the incredible technical prowess of the film's animators.  Unlike previous digitally animated films, where environment and characters are obviously computer-generated, Monsters presents animation that feels real, albeit in a way that resembles plastic toys and miniature train set environments rather than real life.  Nevertheless, an IMAX viewing of the film and in 3D no less, amplifies the crisp detail of animation more than any other medium available.  Characters seem like plastic dolls come to life, while environments appear to contain model cars and planes rather than computer-generated pixels.  As expected, 3D gags aplenty open the film, but once the film settles down into its story, the lame gags cease almost entirely, and the flawless 3D animation can stand on its own.

The story itself, though working within the confines of non-offensive family viewing, amuses with its infusion of bizarre characters and quirky jokes.  We follow Susan, who on her wedding day, gets hit by a meteorite which not only bleaches her hair white, but causes her to grow into a giant.  Brought to a secret military facility, Susan, now Ginormica, meets a group of monster inmates, each a new and slightly off-kilter version of an old b-movie character: mad scientist Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D., half-ape half-fish The Missing Link, the gelatinous B.O.B., and the gigantic Godzilla-sized grub Insectosaurus.

An alien invader, led and made up entirely of the squidlike Gallaxhar threatens the Earth soon after the meteorite hits Ginormica.  Much of the film is spent poking fun at many classic, b-movie sci-fi films turning their conventions on its head.  Ginormica is our unwitting hero (or rather heroine), and her unusual crew of monsters comprise the saviors of the world.  Action-heavy in the later half of the film, Monsters avoids clichéd and predictable character development simply through the unusualness of its characters.  Nevertheless like every kid movie, the monsters never stray too far from a friendly, pleasant appeal. The story itself is pretty predictable, but charming enough, made riveting by the -- yeah, I'll say it -- stunning visuals.

A likable movie, the film could do with a bit more laughs -- the best jokes can be found in the trailers to the film unfortunately.  Nevertheless, it's a breath of fresh air whenever the weirdos are celebrated and the average Joes are hurled 300 ft. into the air only to be caught in the mouth of a big, blue, slimy blob.

Movie Reviews by Ann Coates

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters
A Beautiful Planet
Asteroid: Mission Extreme
National Parks Adventure
Wild Africa
Living in the Age of Airplanes
Journey to Space
Humpback Whales 3D
Robots 3D
Antarctica: On The Edge
The Great Apes 3D
Dark Universe
Tiny Giants 3D
Antarctica's Penguin Emperors 3D
Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland
Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D
Penguins 3D
Space Junk 3D
Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea
Flying Monsters 3D
Rescue (3D)
Cosmic Journey: Through Hubble and Cassini
Born to Be Wild
My Dream 3D
The Little Prince
Tornado Alley
Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue 3D
Magic Journey to Africa (3D)
Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space
Legends of Flight 3D
Inception: The IMAX Experience
Arabia 3D
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Molecules to the MAX!
Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
Under the Sea 3D
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Animalopolis
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (3D)
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Hurricane on the Bayou
Ride Around the World
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Deep Sea (3D/2D)
Vikings: Journey to New Worlds
Mystic India
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

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