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Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon
Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland, Stephen Colbert
Writing Credits:
Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky, Rob Letterman, Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger

A woman transformed into a giant after she is struck by a meteorite on her wedding day becomes part of a team of monsters sent in by the US government to defeat an alien mastermind trying to take over Earth.

Box Office:
$175 million.
Opening Weekend
$59,321,095 on 4,104 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
English Audio Description
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 11/30/2010

• Both 2D and 3D Versions
• Audio Commentary with Directors Conrad Vernon and Rob Letterman and Producer Lisa Stewart
• “Modern Monster Movie Making” Featurette
• “Tech of MvA” Featurette
• DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox
• Deleted Scenes
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Monsters vs. Aliens [Blu-Ray 3D] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 2, 2018)

With 2009’s Monsters vs. Aliens, we get a modern-day animated update on sci-fi genres from the 1950s. On the verge of marriage cable TV weatherman Derek Dietl (voiced by Paul Rudd), Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) finds herself bopped on the head by a meteorite. This comes with a shocking side effect: Susan grows to more than 50 feet in height.

Obviously, this causes a ruckus, and Susan gets abducted by government officials and absconded to a secret site. There Susan meets other “monsters” such as insectoid genius Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), blobby BOB (Seth Rogen) and fish-man The Missing Link (Will Arnett).

Rechristened “Ginormica”, Susan attempts to cope with her powers and new circumstances. When aliens led by Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) threaten the Earth, Susan and her monstrous partners need to come together to save the planet.

When I saw Aliens theatrically back in 2009, I looked forward to it. The movie came with a fun premise and earned pretty good reviews, so I expected to enjoy it.

However, that theatrically screening left me a bit cold. At no point did I dislike Aliens, but I also never found myself enchanted by it. The movie gave me mild entertainment that couldn’t live up to its promise.

Divorced from the expectations that came with my 2009 theatrical screening, I hoped Aliens on Blu-ray would impress me more than it did at my local multiplex. I often find myself more entertained by movies when I see them a second time and can better appreciate them for what they are, not what I hope they’ll be.

Unfortunately, I experienced no new appreciation for Aliens. Seven years after my first viewing, the movie still seems watchable but surprisingly flat.

Honestly, I can’t really understand what went wrong here. As mentioned, the movie comes with all the necessary components to succeed. It boasts a cool premise along with lots of talent involved – how could the end result seem so blah?

I don’t know, but “blah” sums up my view of Aliens pretty well. The story generates just enough merit to keep us with it, but it never manages to add that extra spark. While action sequences provide occasional bursts of excitement, those scenes seem a bit perfunctory and lack real pizzazz.

All the actors follow suit. They do just fine in their roles and that’s about it. They neither add to nor take away from their characters – they do their work in a professional manner but never manage to bring zing to the proceedings.

Maybe I’ll watch Monsters vs. Aliens again in 2023 and think it’s a hoot. I doubt it, though. Through two screenings, I find the movie to provide a competent animated adventure but nothing more enticing than that.

Credits note: stick around through the end text for a mid-credits tag scene.

Trivia note: Gallaxhar’s giant robot looks an awful lot like a Minion, doesn’t it? Given that Aliens came out more than a year before the Minions debuted in 2010’s Despicable Me, no one mentioned this in the Aliens supplements – and since a different studio made Despicable, those involved with Aliens might not bring it up anyway.

Is it possible the robot’s resemblance to a Minion is a coincidence? I guess, but I think it seems unlikely. That robot looks way too much like a Minion for it to be happenstance, I think.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A+/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Monsters vs. Aliens appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. From start to finish, the flick looked amazing.

Sharpness seemed immaculate. Not a single slightly soft shot emerged in this tight, precise image.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I witnessed no edge haloes or artifacts. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Colors delighted. The movie mixed a variety of palette choices; from warm and sunny to chilly and desaturated, we found a good variety of tones, and the flick always made them look dynamic and full.

Blacks came across as dark and dense, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. I felt totally satisfied with this terrific presentation.

Though not quite as good, the film’s Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack also worked very well. With all the movie’s action, the mix gave us many active moments and lots of impressive sequences.

Flying elements zoomed around the room, and other components – like battle material – made strong use of the various channels. These all combined to form a well-integrated soundscape.

Audio quality was top-notch. Speech appeared distinctive and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Music seemed robust and rich, while effects gave us clean, accurate information; bass response also appeared deep and taut. Everything here worked well to create an “A-“ soundtrack.

The package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Aliens. The picture comments above reflected the 2D edition – how did the 3D compare?

Visuals seemed virtually identical, as the 3D movie continued to look great. It showed nary a dip in terms of sharpness, colors or darkness.

In terms of stereo imaging, Aliens dazzled. Literally from start to finish, it came with a slew of fun “pop out” moments, and the image boasted a stunning sense of depth as well.

Honestly, the 3D Aliens almost felt like a different movie. It represented my third screening of the film but it was my first via 3D, and it became the only one I genuinely enjoyed. This turned into one of the best uses of 3D I’ve seen.

Only one extra appears on the Blu-ray disc: a 3D trailer for Puss in Boots.

The package does provide a DVD copy of Aliens, though, and it comes with some extras that open with an audio commentary from directors Conrad Vernon and Rob Letterman and producer Lisa Stewart. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at animation and character design, cast and performances, deleted concepts/sequences, music and connected domains.

While the commentary provides occasional nuggets of value, much of it seems bland and forgettable. We get a fair amount of joking around but not a lot of substance. The track does improve as it goes, but it remains less than engaging overall.

Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of five minutes, 29 seconds. We get “Monger’s Plan” (2:55), “War Room Turns on Monsters” (1:49), and “If You Don’t Know” (0:45). These can be entertaining but don’t offer anything particularly memorable.

Two featurettes follow. Modern Monster Movie-Making lasts 17 minutes, 28 seconds and includes executive producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, Letterman, Vernon, Stewart, stereoscopic supervisor Phil McNally, head of layout Damon O’Beirne, actors Reese Witherspoon, Will Arnett, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert and Seth Rogen, co-producer Jill Hopper Desmarchelier, production designer David James, and art director Michael Isaak.

“Monster” looks at 3D usage, cast, characters and performances, visual design and creating San Francisco, and animation. Some of this info came up elsewhere, but “Monster” presents a good overview.

Tech of MvA runs six minutes, 19 seconds and features Katzenberg, Vernon, Letterman, O’Beirne, Desmarchelier, Chief Technology Officer Ed Leonard, research and development FX manager Ron Henderson, FX developer Scott Cegielski, Head of Digital Operations Derek Chan, and visual effects supervisor Ken Bielenberg.

“Tech” focuses on animation, 3D and computer areas. Like “Monster”, some of this becomes a bit redundant, but we still find some interesting notes – though the program features a little more product placement than I’d like.

With the DreamWorks Animation Jukebox, we see/hear songs from Shrek, Bee Movie, Flushed Away, Over the Hedge, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda. All of this feels like glorified advertising to me.

At least one Easter Egg appears here. If you press “Do Not Press”, you’ll find a bunch of ads for other DreamWorks products. Yawn!

As much as I like the ideas behind Monsters vs. Aliens, the movie itself leaves me curiously cold. I think it musters passable entertainment but it lacks much charm or excitement. The Blu-ray brings us excellent visuals and audio as well as a decent batch of bonus materials. This will never be a great movie, but the 3D makes it a lot more fun.

To rate this film visit the Blu-ray review of MONSTERS VS. ALIENS

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