• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Monsters Vs. Aliens

TITLE: Monsters Vs. Aliens

YEAR: 2009

GENRE: Animation, Family and Science Fiction

I have to admit, I think I would have enjoyed being a kid in the 1950’s. Not because of the beehive hairstyles, Elvis, or tin toys, but rather the incredibly cool science fiction movies of the era. I could just see myself as a wide-eyed kid with a bucket of popcorn and a Coke watching movies like Them!, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and The Thing and being amazed at the effects. I always enjoy when our poster business goes to film festivals and any one of these 50’s sci-fi films are played on a big screen. I think this is why I was so anxious to see DreamWorks’ film Monsters vs. Aliens. The trailer was probable the best I have seen for any animated film, and I was there opening night in the theater to see this. I am now recommending all of you couch potatoes to rent this, as it is the best salute to 1950’s science fiction films since the more adult farce Mars Attacks!.

The film starts with one of the greatest moments for a person in their lives: their wedding. Susan Murphy is about to walk down the aisle when a meteorite strikes her and she begins to grow until she is 49.5 feet high. She attracts the attention of a secret governmental agency and she is captured and brought to the agency where she meets a team of misfits and scientific oddities: B.O.B., a gelatinous globule with million dollar flexibility and a two cent brain; Dr. Cockroach, a mad scientist who is a giant bug with issues; The Missing Link, a monster from the swamps; and Insectosaurus, a giant worm-like monster. When an alien force invades the world and the military can’t stop the invading force it is now up to the gruesome five some to be released into action and save the day.

There is a difference between a salute to films of the past and a slap in the face where the respect is less obvious to nonexistent. Monsters Vs. Aliens stays in the realm of respectability and has some great moments. All of the characters are parodies from 1950’s sci-fi especially The Missing Link (The Creature From The Black Lagoon), B.O.B. (The Blob), and Susan (Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman), but all the jokes are more a gentle jab in the ribs to friends who understand the puns rather than degrading the original product, which is the smart approach. People who have not seen these movies can also understand the fun as well, as there are at least ten laugh out loud moments throughout the film for any viewer and the rest of Monsters Vs. Aliens will keep a smile on the face of the viewer. The action scenes are wonderfully animated and are genuinely exciting, and the voice acting is excellent especially Hugh Laurie as an over the top, hysterically comical Dr. Cockroach.

DreamWorks is starting to create some serious competition with the giants at Pixar including the Shrek franchise and the tremendous 2010 Viking fantasy How To Train Your Dragon. Monsters vs. Aliens is a great addition to the DreamWorks repertoire as it is a funny, clever animated film that deserves multiple viewers. It is also an opportunity for parents to show those old 50’s films and allow their kids the opportunity to see where many of the jokes from Monsters Vs. Aliens come from. Nothing wrong with sharing the classics with your kiddies, and Monsters vs. Aliens will give you an adequate excuse to bring back those thrilling days of yesteryear. Run this as a double feature with Forbidden Planet, you will thank me later.

* * * * 1/2

–Mark

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