Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Planet 51

Saturday afternoon I took Elliot, Zippy, and Chloe to see Planet 51.  I invited Elliot to write a guest review, but he declined.  The boys loved it, but it was too long and too loud for Chloe.  After about 40 minutes, she grew more restless than usual, kicking the chairs in front of us, swinging her arms, hitting me, hitting herself.  I finally took her to the back, where she spent a good 20-30 minutes opening and closing the door.  She loves that slow close on the hydraulic hinges.  We got to come back in for the last 10-15 minutes.

Like any good kids movie, there is plenty here for the adult viewer to enjoy, especially if the adult has been a fan of sci-fi movies.  I probably missed a bunch of movie references, but I know there were references, visual or otherwise, to E.T, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien, Terminator, Star Wars, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 2001, and plenty others.  Oh, and Singing in the Rain

The setting is a planet which seems a lot like an idealistic portrayal of 1950s America, where movies about alien invasions are all the rage.  When an astronaut from Earth lands, alien invasion hysteria sets in.  Turns out everyone on Earth thought the planet was uninhabited.  Rover, the rover, loves rocks, collecting them at every opportunity.  At one point the astronaut, Captain Baker (voice by Dwayne Johnson), bops Rover on the head, "A planet full of life and you only send us pictures of rocks!"

There are plenty of other laugh out loud moments and clever bits in Planet 51.  One of the boys favorites occurred when Captain Baker's friends rescued him from nearly getting his brain taken out by the Planet 51 scientists.  He got up from the table, and his sheet dropped away, revealing his naked body.  All of them stared wide-eyed at his tenders (as my boys call it), until one says, "That's a funny place for an antenna."  (Zippy has delighted in recreating that scene for me, thankfully not in public--yet.)

My bottom line, 3 stars.  The boys' bottom line, a hearty 4 stars.  Chloe's bottom line, Get me outta here!

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