Posts Tagged ‘seth rogan’

Monsters Vs Aliens Review

As mouth-watering concepts go, the idea of pitting a team of monsters against an alien invasion is pretty great. Unfortunately, the result is not quite as good as the initial idea sounds.

When a meteor lands on Susan (Reese Witherspoon) on her wedding day, she is transformed into a seventy foot tall monster and removed from society by the government, led by General Monger (Kiefer Sutherland). Whilst in solitary she meets The Missing Link (Will Arnett), Dr Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), B.O.B (Seth Rogan) and Insectosaurus all of whom assure her that she’s never getting out. All that changes, however, when the villainous Gallaxhar sends his alien robot probe to earth to try and find ‘quantonium’, the very substance that turned Susan into Ginormica.

If it sounds very complex for a knockabout animated comedy, that’s because it is. The opening twenty minutes set up Susan and her life before removing her from that and throwing her in with the monsters. After this, it’s not entirely clear where Susan’s story is going or even how her character is evolving. At one point the film comes to a shuddering halt while the monsters discuss how Susan has developed. That’s when you realise that actually, no, she hasn’t and that the entire arc of her character has been bolted onto the existing (great) idea of monsters battling aliens.

And that’s another flaw in the film. There is no monster/ alien battle. There’s one alien who unleashes a robot and then clones himself later on for a small rumble. Even for a child-friendly movie, that’s pretty weak.

On the plus side, some of the voice acting is phenomenal. Stephen Colbert, in particular, as President Hathaway, is truly exceptional and Seth Rogan’s B.O.B is as great as could be expected. The Missing Link and Doctor Cockroach are good supporting characters but could really have done with some more development, while the Kiefer Sutherland-voiced General Monger is so perfect it’s almost weird.

The animation is also brilliant, easily the most gorgeous film to yet emerge from the Dreamworks Animations studio to date, which is lucky, because most of the film’s humour is hidden in wonderful facial expressions and slight gestures.

All in all, it’ll entertain the children but even they might feel something’s lacking from the final product. On paper it’s great, on screen it looks more like an extended advert for the game tie-in. Slightly disappointing.

3 stars

Funny People Review

And so the Seth Rogan-Judd Apatow comedy machine rolls on, resulting in this – Apatow’s third writer-director feature.

The likes of overly-shmaltzy-but-just-about-amusing-enough-to-get-away-with-it The 40 Year-Old Virgin and the downright hilarious and loveable Knocked Up really should have prepared us more for this. While Apatow may know some of the hottest names in comedy, he’s actually a very poor comedy writer, leaving it entirely up to the talents of his actors and their improv as to whether or not a film is funny. With his previous two films, the cast had a great variety of material to work with. This time, not so much.

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When world famous actor George Simmons (Adam Sandler playing something eerily like himself) is told he might only have months to live, he sets out determined to enjoy what time he has, recruiting promising young stand up artist Ira Wright (Seth Rogan) to write him new material and work for him. As the two travel the country together, Ira comes to believe himself as more than just an employee to Simmons, while George himself is trying to patch up the broken heart of the only woman he ever loved, Laura (Leslie Mann), who is now married.

It’s not a promising situation for any comedy, much less one that proclaims itself to be hilarious in its own title, when one of the opening scenes is a man being told he’s going to die. Make no mistake about it – this film is a tragedy starring comedians.

Halfway through the film, the gear shifts with an audible clunk as Simmons is cured of his disease, changing the tone of the film completely and losing what little comedy there was in it in the first place. More annoyingly, several scenes are laced into the film for the sole purpose of showing off Judd Apatow’s family. Wife Leslie Mann wears tight jeans for Adam Sandler to comment on how hot she looks and one of his daughters sings a song in a home movie – it’s like he’s sitting next to you asking you what you think.

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Most criminally of all, the always wonderful Jonah Hill barely features at all and when he is on screen it’s so pointless and unnecessary you might find yourself wondering why he was even put in there in the first place. Also, most of the genuinely funny lines from the trailer have been replaced with less amusing ones in the final film, making this the most blatant case of false advertising since Alone in the Dark was billed as a horror.

Granted, it is a sweet story told by great actors and Adam Sandler has never been on better form. But when your hot comedic talents are outshined by Ray Romano and Eminem bickering at each other across a crowded bar, you know you have problems. Amusing in places, but don’t expect anything worthy of the hype. Maybe next time the Rogan-Apatow comedy machine rolls into town, they could remember to pack some laughs along with the emotion.

Two stars