Monsters vs Aliens : 3 of 5
When my pal Melinda and I saw the sneak preview of Race to Witch Mountain, they handed us free passes to see an early showing of this movie, which means I get to post this review before the release date, just like a real critic. Although Dreamworks never reaches the depth of emotion in a typical Pixar film, they can certainly make an entertaining movie, and Monsters vs Aliens is totally fun! If you're a fan of giant monster movies, you will especially enjoy this film, and I wouldn't be surprised if the filmmakers are kaiju fans, since a few of the scenes really have the feel of a good Godzilla battle (especially the knock-out sequence involving the Golden Gate Bridge!). Actually, some of the best background modeling work is in the San Francisco cityscape, which looks amazing (and it's always fun to see a familiar place in a giant monster movie). I was happy with all the character designs, and although I didn't notice any animation technology breakthroughs in this movie, I was mesmerized by the awesome transparency effects on B.O.B., especially seeing that eyeball suspended in his gooey head in profile shots. All of the action is really cool, but judging from the miniature voices I heard in the theater saying "I want to go home", there may be a few moments that went a little overboard in intensity (but they are definitely short and the kiddos perked up soon!). I really enjoyed the voice work, especially Stephen Colbert as the president (although the character design didn't completely fit), and his big moment making first contact with the giant alien robot is hilarious. I wouldn't call Monsters vs Aliens a "must see" film, but it's definitely good for a nice afternoon of animated action!