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.

Dark City (1998)

Directed by:  Alex Proyas (The Crow has long been one of my favourite movies, to the point where I dressed up as The Crow a couple times for Hallowe’en)

Written by: Proyas, David S. Goyer and Lem Dobbs

Starring: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Richard O’Brien, Melissa George and David Wenham.

What it’s about: a man, having awoken with no memories of himself, seeks to uncover the mystery behind himself and the ever-changing city he lives in

Alternate B-Movie Title: The Strangers Come When You Sleep

Movie Mash Up: The MatrixThe 13th Floor + Memento + Metropolis

What I liked: so much of this movie.  Even re-watching it years later, I still take new things away from it.  It’s a murder mystery, but not at all.  It’s an amnesia story, but not at all.  The acting is great, very noir-inspired.  The movie is gorgeous.  Melissa George is mostly naked in it.  It’s menacing, and has a great ending that delivers a twist/answer that doesn’t feel like a cheat at all.

What I disliked: watching so much “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” recently had me convinced throughout the entire movie that Armin Shimerman was the actor playing Mr. Hand.  Turns out it was Richard O’Brien, and I disliked that.  Other than that, the movie is excellent across the board.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Yes, it’s a great story, even better than The Matrix (which was released the following year), and criminally overlooked.  It’s a bit scary, and has a wonderful, satisfying ending.

Rating: 5 / 5