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.

Despicable Me (2010)

I dislike movie posters that inadvertently give away Things.

I dislike movie posters that inadvertently give away Things.

Directed by: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud (Renaud was responsible for the terrible Lorax movie)

Written by: Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (they wrote the underrated Bubble Boy)

Starring: the vocal cast of Steve Carrell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Kristen Wiig, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Kate Fisher, Jemaine Clement, Jack McBrayer, Danny McBride, Mindy Kaling, Rob Huebel and Ken Jeong.

What it’s about: a super-villain discovers there may be more to life than evil plans

B-Movie Alternate Title: I Stole the Moon!

What I liked: This is one of those animated films that actually manages to tug at the heartstrings, which is almost unheard of in nowadays non-Pixar animated movies.  Steve Carrell does some fantastic vocal work with the character of Gru.  The Minions are of course adorable and hilarious, and credit for that mostly goes to the animators who definitely had fun with the characters.  There’s some decent writing going on here as well.  I appreciate certain amounts of zaniness, and this movie certainly was overflowing with it.

What I disliked: Knowing that Russell Brand was one of the voices in the movie, and was somewhat enjoyable.  Jason Segel’s character was annoying far past the point of “he’s doing a good job BECAUSE he is annoying”.  As an adult, I disliked some of the set pieces that involved stupid physical violence for no reason than to get a laugh out of little kids, but that’s just a minor quibble on my part.  Also, I bought this Blu-Ray at my Blockbuster, previously viewed, and somehow an asshole customer managed to scratch an unscratchable disc.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Certainly, it is fun for people of all ages.

Rating: 4 / 5

So fluffy that I could die.

So fluffy that I could die.

Men in Black 3 (2012)

I’m getting so numb to Hollywood’s creative bankruptcy.  When it was announced that there was a Men in Black 3 movie in production, I reacted with a “WHY… oh.. of course there is.”  And inexplicably, it was a box office hit, to the tune of over $623 million.  It’s starting to appear that I am the one that is crazy, and not everyone else.  You cannot imagine how disappointing this is for me to find out.

The plotline goes like this: something happens and then time travel and impersonations and then conclusion.  Time travel is a common conceit when it comes to rebooting or relaunching a movie franchise, and I dread whatever is going to happen whenever Austin Powers 4 is inevitably made.  Okay, so Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) ends up disappearing from the present and the only one that knows something about it is Agent J (Will Smith) so he travels back in time to fix it.  Congratulations Barry Sonnenfeld, you made “Quantum Leap: The Movie”!

Thankfully, it’s not altogether terrible, but it’s not in any way, shape, or form good.  If Josh Brolin wasn’t able to do such a dead-on Tommy Lee Jones impersonation, well it would have blown.  There’s nothing exciting about the movie.  You never get the feeling that any of the characters are in any danger whatsoever.  It’s just a boring, average movie.  I went into it thinking that at least Jemaine Clement would probably steal the show, but his character was terrible and boring and I don’t even want to write about the movie anymore.

Not good, but not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

2 / 5