Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monsters vs Aliens - Observations

I love a tightly constructed plot and Monsters vs Aliens does a good job of this. Here are some observations about the plot and other points. Stop reading if you don't want to see any spoilers.

The movie is mainly about Susan/Ginormica's transformation from shallow bride to world defender. At the opening all she can think about is that she is about to go to Paris. The marriage and her future husband are incidentals.

Early on Susan is repulsed by her future mother-in-law's deformed thumb and the prediction that kids that she has with Derek will have the same trait. Shortly after that she is transformed into a monster and learns to appreciate he fellow monsters.

We never see what happens to the meteor but it apparently is actually a ball of energy which Susan absorbs entirely (twice). We do see the energy as it is sucked from her body by Gallaxhar.

Susan maintains that she isn't really a monster, she's just large. In fact, her actions in the outside world show that there is no place for her there. She is just too big. She has a much harder time fitting in than the other monsters (since she doesn't actually fit into anything).

What sort of fabric was that wedding dress made out of that it could stretch (in all directions)? Too bad her garter wasn't made of the same stuff.

No one even comments on Susan's hair changing color.

Susan wakes up in a uniform provided by the military. It has the number "005" on the breast. She is the fifth monster added to the collection (not counting the late Invisible Man).

Susan has a stroke of luck. The other monsters have been imprisoned for years or decades. She is only locked up for three weeks before the military needs them to fight a giant robot.

The robot has been sent to retrieve the energy that Susan absorbed. If the government had realized this they would probably have simply handed Susan over, end of movie. Instead she and the other monsters got to save the world from a menace directly related to Susan. No wonder they are locking up people with abilities on Heroes.

Susan thinks of herself as an ordinary person who happens to be large. When confronted with a robot that dwarfs her, she acts like an ordinary person and runs. It isn't until she is on the Golden Gate Bridge that she sees people in danger and starts acting like a hero.

General Monger's briefing on Ginormica mentioned that the energy she absorbed gave her size and incredible power. This set up her fight with the robot when she discovered that she is disproportionately strong (she is even stronger than you would expect from someone her size).

Science factoid - strength goes up according to the square of the cross-section but mass goes up according to the cube of the volume. This means that really big people have trouble supporting their own weight. A fifty foot woman could not stand up. Ginormica has extra strength which compensates for this.

Watch Gallaxhar's eyes. The middle ones behave normally. The outer ones seem to have a mind of their own.

Apparently Ginormica has to concentrait to use all of her strength. When Gallaxhar tells her that it is too bad that she doesn't know how to harness the power she replies that she knows how to use it. She then breaks a force field and tears through several steel blast doors.

It is almost a cliche that a monstrous hero will be given a chance at a normal life and have to give it up to save the world. Susan never even thinks about the choice. By the time she is returned to normal she has accepted her life as Ginormica. She seems more concerned about losing her powers than her chance at resuming her life.

The clones don't seem to be very smart. This is probably on purpose. An army of exact replicas of Gallaxhar would probably kill each other arguing about who should be in charge.

Stealing a uniform as a disguise is another cliche. Loony Toons characters did it all the time. They also did it in the Wizard of Oz. Indianna Jones and the Rocketeer both did it. I could go on. The results are usually as unlikely as the monsters.

The suit that Gallaxhar put in Susan was handy since her government issue outfit would not have shrunk. Either he was concerned about her modesty or repelled by human physiology. Either way, it was convenient.

Someone changed Susan's clothing twice while she was unconscious. Will there pictures of a naked, sleeping Ginormica appearing on the Internet in future movies?

Will Arnet (Missing Link) and Jeffery Tambor (Susan's father) were regulars on Arrested Development. Arnet's wife, Amy Poehler (computer voice), was also in a few episodes of Arrested Development.

Most Americans know Hugh Laurie from House. He is actually a British actor and the Dr. Cockroach character is much closer to the rest of his career than Dr. House.

An in-joke was that Susan was only 49 feet, 11 inches. This must have been in a press packet since several reviewers mentioned it but no one gave her height in the movie. She may have grown after one of Dr. Cockroach's experiments.

The Missing Link was inspired by The Creature from the Back Lagoon. B.O.B. was the Blob. Dr. Cockroach was from the Fly.

Insectasurus was obviously a take-off of Mothra. Mothra went from giant caterpillar to moth.

The idea of using earth monsters to fight aliens/alien robots was a staple of Japanese monster movies in the 1960s.

Saving San Francisco wasn't enough to give the monsters acceptance. They had to save all of humanity instead.

General Monger first used his parachute in the war room.

Only by becoming Ginormica did Susan finally get to go to Paris.


Funny videos said...

The idea of using earth monsters to fight aliens/alien robots was a staple of Japanese monster movies in the 1960s.

Ginormica said...

I'm fan of Ginormica! She's the best.This movie is the parody of old films.For example,Ginormica is the parody of "Atack of 50ft woman".

Ginormica said...

And really good and cute Ginormica toy.