Monsters vs. Aliens
Monsters vs. Aliens is strictly playbook material for DreamWorks, makers of kidult-friendly pop-culture mash-ups. But it has one thing going for it that its predecessors did not: It will heretofore be known as the first 3-D movie to render all previous comers headache-inducing charlatans, rinky-dink pretenders. For the first time in the medium’s history, you are there — from the president’s war room to a prison facility where the government has been storing assorted mutants and monsters since the 1950s. But the chasm between the movie’s technical accomplishment and artistic achievement is vast. The story is familiar. And as good as the performers are — from Seth Rogen as a blue blob to Reese Witherspoon as a 50-foot woman — they’re still doing their trademark schtick (though Stephen Colbert as the president is a stroke of casting brilliance). But the grandeur of the effects — the spectacle of the thing — elevates Monsters vs. Aliens to something approaching art. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s most certainly a milestone.