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Some cheer
Monsters vs Aliens

We bought the DVD the other day, and saw it for the first time the other night.

I love this movie!

Dreamworks can be very up and down, not so much in the quality of their computer animation as in the quality of their scripts. This one is gorgeous, mainly because of what it sends up, a list that includes films made by one Steven Spielberg - whose company it is! - and the goody two-shoes home-town America attitudes that pervade so much Hollywood-produced 'family' movies. I am particularly taken by the young lady who ends up carrying her young man towards a UFO because she wants a look and he has broken his ankle. What's more, the ending - and the choices the heroine makes - are so what Disney wouldn't do it makes my heart glad.

In fact, there are a number of anti-sexual stereotyped jokes (one involving the President of the United States) that gladden my heart.

The plot, which is basically 50s monsters battle 50s aliens-from-Outer-Space, is properly outrageous, but the characterisation isn't.

Anyhow, it cheered me up no end.

Oh, I believe the original must have been in 3D, but there was only one shot that looked as if it had been made for same. I don't think 3D would have added anything to a film whose strength is in its humour.

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I enjoyed it quite a lot, but was disappointed by the ending, in which the monsters agree to continue working for the general who treated them like slaves. The movie credits something like seven writers, and it shows in the lack of a consistent direction.

But you have to remember that they don't have much of a purpose other than to keep working for the government - and that their chief captor helped save them and has become their friend.

I don't think it's fair to claim they were kept like slaves. Asides from Susan, they actually seem to feel quite at home in their secluded lives at the military base.

"Happy slaves" are still slaves. Susan was allowed no contact with the outside world and was deprived of her most basic rights, though she wasn't physically mistreated. The others had been there a long time and were resigned to it.

If the idea of the movie was that this kind of treatment is OK because your masters are really your friends, that's an even worse message. But I don't think any message at all was actually intended.

"Happy slaves" are still slaves.

Okay, let's just get a few things sorted. There's the blob with no brain who doesn't know where he is half the time. It's unsurprising that he is institutionalised, so giving him the freedom to leave the facility would clearly be a bad idea.

The giant bug is basically an animal. Due to their experimentation it is no longer suitable for its original habitat, so their keeping it contained is pretty much their only option. You don't let a lion out of the cage simply because it wants to get out. If you let an animal out of captivity it is with the intention of moving it back to its natural habitat.

The missing link has already had a major incident in public and may actually be happy to be hidden from them. It's situation actually reminds me of the set-up of Hellboy in the Hellboy movies. He's accepted that he needs to be kept out of sight.

The only one I was a little concerned about was the Professor/Cockroach. Though how he'd ever have a normal life without the help of the secret military organisation is uncertain anyway.

I saw this at the cinema with Mr S and the kids but didn't bother paying what amounted to an extra tenner for the four of us for 3D. I loved the film and certainly don't think we missed anything by seeing it in 2D. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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