AWFJ Women On Film – “Monsters and Aliens” – Susan Granger Reviews

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Get ready to wear those tinted plastic glasses all summer because Hollywood’s on a 3-D binge with at least a dozen new movies utilizing the visual technology that allows various objects to be projected right into the audience.

In the animated “Monsters vs. Aliens,” the Modesto, California, nuptials of a bride, Susan (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), and her vain TV newscaster groom, Derek (voiced by Paul Rudd), are interrupted by the crash of a stray meteorite. As a result of irradiation by oozy outer space glop, Susan grows and grows and grows, until she’s just one inch short of the amazing 50-foot woman. Since she’s now become a freak, she’s sequestered in a top-secret prison, along with B.O.B. (voiced by Seth Rogen), an indestructible-yet-clueless, blue blob who gobbles up everything; a droll British scientist named Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D. (voiced by Hugh Laurie); an ape man/amphibian known as the Missing Link (voiced by Will Arnett); and Insectosaurus, a grub that’s seven times taller than Amazonian Susan, now called Ginormica.

Problem is: a huge, one-eyed, bullet-shaped alien robot is in San Francisco and the ineffectual U.S. president (voiced by Stephen Colbert) can’t seem to communicate since these aliens, apparently, aren’t familiar with the theme from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” So Gen. W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland) promises the ever-optimistic MonSquad outcasts that they’ll go free if they can defeat the galactic invaders, whose sinister leader, Galaxhar (voiced by Rainn Wilson), unleashes an army of thousands of identical clones on his computerized spaceship.

Back in 1968, the Japanese came up with this monster mash concept which directors Rob Letterman (“Shark Tale”) and Conrad Vernon (“Shrek 2”) and a phalanx of writers have amplified into an amusingly playful female empowerment adventure with terrific attitude, lots of old-movie references, top-notch vocal talent and a climactic showdown at the Golden Gate Bridge.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Monsters vs. Aliens” in 3-D is an awesome, eye-popping 8. It’s enormously entertaining, particularly if you catch it in IMAX 3-D.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.