Thursday, June 5, 2014

Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Monsters Vs. Aliens(2009).

I kind of wanted to see this, but was afraid, that movie wouldn't be as good as the premise. What is worst for DreamWorks, movie makes me think, how much better movie Pixar would have made out of this story. DreamWorks doesn't take as much changes as Pixar does. That makes DreamWorks' movies much lamer than Pixar's movies. In The Incredibles we got hilarious lecture, why superheroes should not use capes. Here we got blob named Bob and news reporter's comment, how ufos always land on America. In this movie alien had good reason to land to America and I don't think they land only on America that often in other movies. It is reasonable assume, that American movies happen in America.

Pixar knows the their source material and respects it. For example The Incredibles is one of the best superhero movies ever made. Pixar made fun of superhero clichés, but they respected superheroes enough that superhero fans found it hilarious too. DreamWorks used interesting references, but didn't respect sources enough to be true to them. For example, this movie has a scene, where President plays Yamaha DX7. It has name and looks of DX7. But unlike DX7, it has build in rhythm tracks or drum machine, which make it feel like cheap all around keyboard for home use. Yamaha DX7 was considered affordable synth.  That is still about ten times more than what it was made to look like in this movie. There was no reason to make keyboard DX7 and drum machine part didn't bring much to movie. I may be biased, but I think it made movie worse. I don't own DX7, but know the synth, because it is considered as classic vintage synth and it had important role in popular music.

The premise is interesting. Old scifi monsters fighting against invading alien. Main character Ginormica is 50 Ft. Woman. Bob is heavily modified version of Blob. It can talk and doesn't get any larger than it already is. Origin story made sure, we understand this is Blob. It had so similar images to original Blob movie, that you can't miss them, if you remember the original movie. Dr Cockroach is mad scientist, who became human cockroach in similar experiment, that Fly movies had. Insectosaurus is pretty much like Godzilla's friend Mothra. Missing Link is Creature from the Black Lagoon. Origin stories are not like in source material and characters are made to fit kid's movie, but similarities to sources are obvious.

Invading alien is Gallaxhar, who want to collect quontinium from Ginormica. Gallaxhar sends robot harvester to collect quontinium. When Monsters beat robot, he comes himself to earth in peace, but in order to kill tmost and enslaving the survivors. Monsters vs robot battle missed great opportunity to show us kaiju style fight. Insectosaurus and robot stared at each others for some time, but they never fought. It was huge disappointment. One of many. DreamWorks didn't dare to take any changes. They just picked low hanging fruits, which made movie predictable and lame. Half of the best moments can be found in trailer I posted. Movie has lot of references to other movies, but most of them are only names.

Movie got two tv speacial sequels and one short film. First tv special Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space (2009) has whole cast of the movie. To me it worked better than movie. It was shorted and more horror oriented, when the movie was more alien invasion scifi oriented. It also looked better than movie. Second tv special  Monsters vs. Aliens: Night of the Living Carrots (2011) was direct sequel to first tv special. This had only Bob, Dr Cockroach and Missing Link. It was weird, because it happened in Ginormica's home town and featured her parents. It looked as good as first special, but story wasn't as interesting. It was also only half as long as first special. Sort film B.O.B.'s Big Break (2009) also had only  Bob, Dr Cockroach and Missing Link. It happens before Ginormica and Insectosaurus joined to group. It has Invisible Man, who was only mentioned in the movie.


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