Howie predicts a ‘Monster’ box-office hit |

Howie predicts a ‘Monster’ box-office hit

Howie Nave / special to Lake Tahoe Action

In this film publicity still released by DreamWorks Animation LLC, Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D., voiced by Hugh Laurie, left, and B.O.B., voiced by Seth Rogen in a scene from DreamWorks Animation's "Monsters vs. Aliens." (AP Photo/ DreamWorks Animation LLC) ** NO SALES **

Let’s face it: Pretty soon it won’t be a very big deal to announce that an animated movie is in 3-D. I just wish the glasses could be perfected ” that’s all.

But for now I have to say that “Monsters vs. Aliens” is not only worth seeing, but to see it on an IMAX screen is mind-boggling.

I gotta hand it to DreamWorks, though: At least they are staying true to the classic science fiction genre when it comes to aliens. Without a doubt, some of the best sci-fi flicks were those form the glorious ’50s. That was the heyday for aliens, because the atomic bomb was already a reality, with the nuclear one causing even more stress. The Cold War was still fairly new, and anything “red” was a threat. Mirroring those times, the U.S. was treated to movies from invasions from outer space, and the government could do no wrong because we all know they never lied.

With an arsenal of top-notch voices including Kiefer Sutherland, Hugh Laurie, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Jeffrey Tambor, Resse Witherspoon and Stephen Colbert as the president (now that’s ironic), “Monsters vs. Aliens” is worth checking out. Just like with Disney’s “Race to Witch Mountain,” we get a movie that the kids will like just for the eye-popping 3-D, but the parents will get a kick out of for the tongue-in-check references. There are a ton of California references and one-liners throughout and one-liners that you’ll appreciate.

I’ve also noticed a trend too where the voices that accompany the characters actually look a little like the characters they are portraying. If you wonder why lead character Susan Murphy looks a little like Witherspoon that’s because she sort of is. Even as her alter ego, Ginormica, it’s still Reese ” but just a bit taller. And in a brilliant of animated typecasting, Laurie, from Fox’s “House,” plays Dr. Cockroach.

The good guys are the monsters who must combat the aliens after a meteorite crashes in Modesto (of all places) I don’t want to spoil when it “lands,” but it’s the one day every woman wishes would go perfectly but doesn’t. Like Area 51, Roswell and Devil’s Tower, the government has kept a secret until the proper time.

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Once the aliens have become evident and part of our planet so must the monsters, and, yes that even includes Susan. Under the watchful eye of Gen. W.R. Monger (Sutherland) she and a host of other interesting combinations will see if they can defeat the aliens, including the dimwitted leader Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson, too close for comfort).

The movie pays homage to not just the oldies including not only “The Blob,” “The Fly” and “Godzilla,” but also the classics from Stephen Spielberg gave us.

“Monsters vs. Aliens” is the culmination from director Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon, who have quite a bit of animated experience under their collective belt: the “Shrek” movies, “Shark Tale” and “Madagascar.”

The film boasts more than a half-dozen writers, which usually means there are way too many screenwriters involved but not in this case. This movie was already destined to be a creative hit and will also be a huge box office hit as well.

Remember when growing watching the classic Warner Bros. cartoons and not really getting the adult references until later? Same with “Rocky & Bullwinkle,” but at a slightly elevated level. Well, I think kids watching “Monsters vs. Aliens” will enjoy this not only at its 3-D, IMAX level (which is pretty good right there) but one day will get the gags when they watch it with their kids.

“Monsters vs. Aliens” is rated PG for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language. It clocks in at 95 minutes.