Archive for May, 2009

Monsters vs Aliens vs Quality

May 1, 2009

It never ceases to amaze me how random (and not-so-random) people come up to me and tell me about their views on anything from a train time indicator (more on this someday), to the state of the nation, to, in this case, the Monsters vs Aliens movie. In 3-D, no less. Armed with the knowledge that the movie is quite enjoyable and the 3-D part of it is made really well; friend, family and I trooped to IMAX Wadala on voting day. (Not guilty, milord. I voted. See previous post.)

The first thing that struck me about the Audi was that it was dimly lit, and quite dull. Being the first non-educational 3-D movie I would ever watch (I am from the forgotten minority that haven’t watched Chota Chetan. And never will. I know it points towards a childhood ill-spent, but.), I thought this was supposed to be the way it is supposed to be. Although, I suspected otherwise, given, also, the dimly lit and unfocussed screen giving me a headache just for attempting to read “Popcorn”. After the mandatory Jana-Gana-Mana (stand!), the movie started with a glowing pink-n-golden Censor certificate. And then, I started to wonder about the hype. The movie looked very, very dull. The 3-D, specially looked a bit broken and patchy. The colours were faded, like in those detergent ads. And worst of all, those dim lights irritated me no end. And, oh yeah, the spectacles were smudged. At this point, if I were alone (which I wasn’t), and weren’t paying for it (which I wasn’t, :D:D); I would’ve walked off. As it is, I sat through most of the movie. At the end of it, it leaves you crying, and with a headache. Totally pathetic, I say.

Not one to be deterred easily, I still ‘travelled’ and voted (er..that’s totally unrelated, just following the sequence of events here). And cooked some delicious dinner. And watched IPL. And studied for my tests. And called up the fellow who recommended the 3-D version. And, well, he tells me (See P.S. also):

a> He thought it was really good animation. (Well, he’s doing a course in animation, he should know.)

b> It was bright and very sharp. Colours were not faded.

c> His kid enjoyed it and sat through the entire movie. (that’s rare!)

d> The movie, by itself, was very good. (No argument there!).

With renewed hope, and being flush with money (as I am, sometimes), I rushed to PVR Juhu this morning. Cuz that’s where he’d watched it.

And Lo. And Behold.

The quality of the seats, the popcorn, the music (the movie hadn’t started yet), the loo, and everything else in general, was way different. (Side Note: Not my first time here, but it does give you that impression, everytime. The place, I mean, not my writing. Cinemax Versova (The Red Lounge) is even better, and generally, even more unaffordable.) The glasses had two different shades, one for each eye. This wasn’t the case, or wasn’t apparent at Wadala. Post the mandatory Jana-Gana-Mana (stand, again!), the movie commenced. W O W! The experience of that Intru3D thingie, the ping-pong ball hitting you on the nose, those fingers reaching out ………….and so on, was awesome! The sharpness and brightness of the ‘screen’ made the ‘3-D’ really kickass! 150 bucks was totally paisa vasool!!! It still does leave you crying, and with a headache, though.

And how about the movie itself, you ask? Well, I never said it was a review! Never meant to write one. But, now that you ask: It’s a normal, middle-of-the-planet movie; no industry-shaking, game-changing stuff here. It’s a simple enough animation story, the kind you watch, enjoy and maybe, watch again on TV someday. Like Surf’s Up, or Over the Hedge. It doesn’t bore me, but it doesn’t do anything (for me? to me? hmm… How do I put it?). So, the movie’s well made, with an OK story, and has excellent animation and 3-D, and you’ll laugh (a lot, if you’re not feeling jaded). I really enjoyed the movie, catching every dialogue, every little nuance of the story and the animation (people, aliens, monsters, expressions, behaviour, skin tones, fur, shadows, depth, stereotypes, spoofs, semi-spoofs and slanted references etc etc etc). You’d forget most of it in an hour or so. What makes it worth watching is the 3-D. A few pointers:

a> It depends a lot on where you watch it. So ask somebody who already has, for a review of the multiplex. Or simply go to PVR Juhu! 😛

b> Reach well in time. If you’re late, and happen to step on my shoes (and there’s no way you can’t, I wear huge shoes), I swear I’ll throw you into the next row!

c> Carry tissue paper. You need to clean those spectacles. Seriously.

d> Get a center seat about two-thirds of the way up from the screen. I was in the third row from the top (corner seat) the first time, and in the top row (center seat) the second time. This is where planning and advance booking really helps. From up there (the top, I mean), it plays as if it’s 3-D in front of you, but is not immersive. You also notice the scene getting cut at the edges of the screen.

e> Blink often.

f> Don’t miss the snippet at the end of the movie, after half the credits have rolled.

g> Take it lightly, and enjoy! It’s a movie for kids.

PS: What’s wrong with Blogger? Where have the underline, bullets, numbering, and Font options disappeared? In any case the fonts and line spacing always get messed up. (Noticed in earlier posts?) I really need a new blog editor, or a new ‘blog-spot’. Any (free) suggestions?