Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)

Standard issue poster, nothing exciting here.

Standard issue poster, nothing exciting here.

Directed by: Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon (between the two of them, they are responsible for some truly atrocious films, so this is easily their best one)

Written by: Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky, Rob Letterman, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger wrote the screenplay based off of Letterman and Vernon’s story.

Starring: the vocal talents of Reese Witherspoon, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Paul Rudd, Kiefer Sutherland and Stephen Colbert among many others.

What it’s about: a group of monsters are released by the American government to combat an alien invasion

B-Movie Alternate Title: It IS a B-Movie title

Movie Mash Up: The Monster Squad + oh I dunno, any Alien movie minus all the disturbing imagery

What I liked: For the most part I love the vocal cast, I mean look at them all!  There’s a huge “Office” presence, the former awesome real-life couple of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen and I guess Reese Witherspoon can be okay sometimes.  The monsters are wonderful, particularly the moronic B.O.B.  Paul Rudd gets to play an asshole for once, and while the role isn’t great, it is decent comedy.  Honestly speaking, I would rather this entire cast were reunited for an R-rated animated version of this exact film.

What I disliked: Well, I didn’t even realise it until the beginning of the film, but with the Russian meteor event of the past week, the entire meteorite sequence at the building was totally unrealistic.  And yes, that is only because of all those Russian YouTube videos that I knew that.  It put me off for the whole film.  I thought it was decent, but it wasn’t on a Pixar level by any means.  Enjoyable, but unless you’re a kid, repeat viewings will probably make it less enjoyable each time around.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Sure, it is not an offensively stupid animated film, and it is decently entertaining for both kids and adults.

Rating: 3 / 5

Probably the most entertaining bit of animation in the entire movie.

Probably the most entertaining bit of animation in the entire movie.

Hamlet 2 (2008)

Sometimes I have a misguided love for certain films that don’t live up to future re-watchings.  They’re often overly quirky, feature dry, unorthodox characters and acting and story lines, and are potentially offensive to some.  Far too many times, these movies that I championed as “must watches” end up just being hard to re-watch.  Thankfully, that is not entirely the case with Hamlet 2, though I will concede that it wasn’t as great as I first thought it was.  That may be because I have a feeling that it may have helped inspire fucking “GLEE”.

Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) is a high school drama teacher in Tuscon, Arizona and he truly lives up to the old adage of “those who cannot do, teach”.  He’s not a talented actor at all, and the plays his classes put on are just interpretations of Hollywood films like Erin Brockovich or Mississippi Burning.  His wife, Brie (Catherine Keener), is casually cruel to both him and their boarder, Gary (David Arquette) but Dana just appears to be so self-involved that he doesn’t recognise her attacks on him.  ANYWAYS, Drama gets cancelled and as a last ditch effort to save the arts, Dana puts on a play that he personally wrote, a sequel to William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”.

It’s such an out-there concept and what Coogan does with the character, it’s nearly beyond description.  He’s at times both blissfully unaware of everything and then it all comes crashing down into him and really, it’s such a bizarre kind of movie that – while I’m a big fan of it – I can’t really wholeheartedly endorse it as a great movie.  The people that love it, WILL LOVE IT, but most of us will probably think “that was … interesting” and never again think of it.

3.5 / 5