Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens

Monsters vs. Aliens

Dir: Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie

Runtime: 1 hr 34 mins

In a veritable who's who of established and upcoming Hollywood stars and starlets, Monsters versus Aliens is a non-stop thrill ride, so buckle those seat belts (a quick warning to parents: this movie will transform your kids into monsters).

The aliens are battling the monsters to determine the fate of humanity. Imagine Independence Day meets Monster's Inc. meets Alien meets Weekend at Bernie's. Picture what would happen if you combined those movies, and then you have Monsters vs. Aliens. Except it's a lot less like those other movies, and more like Weekend at Bernie's.

The monsters have to trick the aliens into believing that their boss is alive. The fate of the world depends on the aliens believing this ruse, so it's really important that they pull this off. They keep moving the body around, and getting into all kind of hilarious situations. They almost get caught so many times, but at the last moment they somehow manage to pull it off with the aliens none the wiser.

4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Race to Witch Mountain

Race to Witch Mountain

Dir: Andy Fickman

Starring: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, AnnaSophia "The Little Girl" Robb, Alexander Ludwig

Runtime: 1 hr 38 mins

This movie takes me back to when I rescued a couple of witch children. I found them on a particularly empty stretch of the I-10 in Arizona. I knew they must be witches, because who else but witches would be out in the middle of the desert at night, where the only thing for miles is the high-security juvenile detention facility? They weren't going to some fantastical mountain, like the witches in the movie. They just needed to get to Mexico as quick as possible.

They never confessed that they were witches to me, but I knew they were from the moment I saw them. You could tell because they wore these outlandish full body orange suits. And, just like the movie, the cops were after them. The police are always after witches, and that just isn't right. They weren't going to catch these witches on my watch.

On the road they asked me if I would buy them some beer. I asked them if beer rejuvenates their magical powers. They just stared at me and didn't answer. I felt stupid for not knowing. As I bought the beer, I made a mental note to look it up on Wikipedia later (I did; the results were inconclusive. Please comment if you have knowledge of the magic-restoring properties of beer).

When we got to Nogales, they told me this was far enough, thanks for helping us escape. I said it was no problem, it's not like I had anything better to do.

I watched them run off. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of their magic powers in action, but all they did was pull a knife on some old couple and steal their clothes.

4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Watchmen Dir: Zack Snyder
Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup
Runtime: 2 hrs 43 mins

Watchmen is what we like to call “Historical Fiction.” Historical Fiction is a great way to learn about the past without reading about stupid history. Just be careful, because sometimes it can be difficult to tell what is real. That's why I wrote this guide about what's fact and what's fiction within the Watchmen Universe:

Factual or Fictional? with Tom Thayer.

Nite Owl: Fictional. The crime fighting Nite Owl is not real. His character was based on Batman, who is real. The real Batman, however, does not really fight crime. But he does duct-tape real bats to his naked body and run around Central Park, screaming at everyone.

Newspapers: Factual. Newspapers are real, you dummy.

Richard Nixon: Fictional. A “bogeyman” invented by the GOP for reasons highly speculated, but ultimately unknown. Much like an evil Republican Santa Claus, he has captured the nation's imagination, and has been the topic of many recent films, such as Frost/Nixon, Dick, and Tricky Dick and the Candy Factory of Love (spoiler: he destroys the factory).

Dr. Manhattan: Part factual and part fictional. There was no Jon Osterman who got trapped in a reactor and became all-powerful. There was a gigantic blue guy who set most of Vietnam on fire. That happened, however, nearly a decade after the Vietnam War had ended.

4 out of 5 stars.