Monsters vs Aliens 3D
What About B.O.B.?
Earth is threatened. Galaxar, a four-eyed, tentacled, interstellar bad guy, is headed our way in search of his lost Quantonium, which it seems is even more valuable than Unobtainium. To make things worse, the Quantonium has landed on earth, struck a bride-to-be named Susan, and turned her into the proverbial 50-foot woman, much to the horror of her groom and wedding guests. She is thrown into an Area 51–like prison, where other monsters have been squirreled away from the public for decades. Out of options, the U.S. president recruits the monsters as Earth’s best hope for survival.
If all of this seems to be straight out of the usual Bruckheimer-Bay-Emmerich mold, it isn’t. Instead, it’s one of the funniest computer-animated films of recent years. Galaxar is a hoot. “People of Earth, I mean you no harm,” he proclaims. “But you’ll all be either dead or enslaved in 24 hours. Don’t be angry; it’s just business.” Susan discovers that she can do better than her egotistical fiancé, and the other monsters prove to be both endearing and fascinating.
The use of 3D here is exceptional. There’s minimal use of the leaping- from-the-screen cliché, but it does appear once, to dramatic effect, in an early scene at an Antarctic observation station. Later, while Susan is trapped in the monster prison, there’s a startling sequence of the facility’s keeper, General W.R. Monger (who turns out to be much less of a cliché than his name) floating around in a hover chair. There’s also a hilarious 3D sequence with the president funking out on a keyboard after echoing the chords from Close Encounters of the Third Kind in an attempt to communicate with an immense alien probe robot. The third act takes us aboard Galaxar’s ship, which offers a flood of additional 3D eye candy.
At press time, it wasn’t clear exactly which high-resolution audio format would appear on the general 3D release of Monsters vs Aliens (our Samsung-exclusive version has only lossy Dolby Digital tracks). But I can report that the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack on the 2D release sounds terrific (the audio rating shown below is for that soundtrack). As for extras, this is the only 3D exclusive disc here that offers one, and it’s a gem. “B.O.B.’s Big Break” also appeared on a bonus 3D disc for the original 2D release (but in the primitive anaglyph 3D format, using colored glasses). I would expect to see it on the general release of this 3D title. At least I hope so, as it, like the film itself, is hugely entertaining.