Thursday, April 09, 2009
Review by Christopher Coleman
It's no secret that 3D animated films seem to be the box-office goldmine du jour. The major studios are cranking them our faster and more frequently with each passing year. The only problem is the vast majority fall flat on their three-dimensional faces...at least they do for some adults. Since the kiddies don't care about poor writing, lackluster voice acting, and copycat directing, putting animated kids, toys, animals, robots, monsters or aliens on the screen guarantees their attention long enough to at least ensure a ticket is purchased. It was thought that Dreamworks was a one-hit-wonder with SHREK (and I mean the first). That perception changed radically with last year's, KUNG FU PANDA, which remains my favorite animated film of 2008. So now Dreamworks, because of the great success of panda Po, you've given us the green light to elevate our expectations...and with those expectations our eyes turn to MONSTERS VS. ALIENS.
Let me say it fast and straight. MONSTERS VS. ALIENS is no KUNG FU PANDA, but doesn't completely fall into the destitution inhabited by the likes of MADAGASCAR, BEE MOVIE, or SHARK TALE. The film has a handful of decent comedic moments, eye-popping action sequences, and lovable monsters and when those ingredients aren't enough, the once-gimmicky-now-engaging-3D effects go a long way to making the film enjoyable as a whole. Take the 3D out of the equation and the film experience suffers significantly. Sadly, more often than not, a sub-par (if Pixar is "par") animated feature film means a sub-par original score. I don't know why this is, but it is. So is this case with HENRY JACKMAN's MONSTERS VS. ALIENS?
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