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Monsters vs AliensPosted Thursday, April 16, 2009, at 11:45 AM
An alien named Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) detects the quantonium radiation emanating from Earth and deploys a gigantic robotic probe to find it and extract it from its source, Susan. After a botched attempt by the President of the United States (Stephen Colbert) to make first contact with the robot, it begins destroying everything in sight, resisting all conventional military force used against it. General Monger convinces the President to use the monsters to fight the robot instead. The monsters accept the mission with the promise of freedom if they succeed. Arriving in San Francisco, Susan is chased by the robot across the city to the Golden Gate Bridge, where the monsters are able to defeat the robot.
Now free, Susan returns to her hometown and introduces her family and friends to the monsters, who are quickly dejected after innocently causing a panicked ruckus in the neighborhood. Derek, meanwhile, breaks up with Susan, claiming that he can't be married to someone who could overshadow his career. Initially devastated, Susan realizes that becoming a monster has improved her life, and fully embraces her new friends and lifestyle. Suddenly, she is abducted by Gallaxhar, who apparently kills Insectosaurus when he tries to save her. On Gallaxhar's ship, Susan breaks loose and chases Gallaxhar down, only to enter a machine that extracts the quantonium from her body, shrinking her to her normal size. Gallaxhar proceeds to use the quantonium to power a machine which clones him into an army so he can invade Earth.
With assistance from General Monger, B.O.B., Dr. Cockroach, and the Missing Link infiltrate Gallaxhar's ship, rescue Susan, and hot-wire the ship's power core, activating the ship's self-destruct sequence. Susan, however, is cut off from her friends, who are trapped in the power core and tell her to save herself. Instead, Susan confronts Gallaxhar, who tries to escape with the quantonium, and attempts to force him into releasing her friends. When Gallaxhar says he cannot reverse the sequence, Susan takes the quantonium back and absorbs it, restoring her to her gargantuan size and allowing her to save her friends. The monsters leap out of the exploding ship and are rescued by General Monger on the back of the revived Insectosaurus, who had sealed his body in a cocoon and transformed into a giant butterfly.
The monsters receive a hero's welcome upon their return. Derek attempts to get back with Susan for the sake of interviewing her, which could benefit his career; instead, Susan rejects him and forces him to endure the humiliation of being thrown into the air and caught, swallowed and spit out by B.O.B. on camera. At that moment, the monsters are alerted to a monster attack near Paris and fly off to combat the new menace.
Cast and characters
Reese Witherspoon as Susan Murphy, aka Ginormica: A young woman from Modesto, California who is hit by a radioactive meteor on her wedding day, causing her to mutate and grow to a height of 49' 11 1/2". Somewhat meek and unassertive, she initially wants nothing more than to return to her old life, but gradually warms up to her new status as a monster. Even for her size, she is amazingly strong and has a resistance to energy attacks, making Gallaxhar's weapons all but useless against her.
Seth Rogen as B.O.B. (Bicarbonate Ostylezene Benzonate): An indestructible gelatinous mass created when a genetically-altered tomato was injected with a chemically-altered ranch dressing. Given that he has no brain, he always says what comes to mind, often confuses his friends' agendas with his own, and has an extremely limited attention span. His greatest strength lies in his insatiable appetite, being able to devour and digest any substance.
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D.: A brilliant but mad scientist who, in an experiment to imbue himself with the longevity and abilities of a cockroach, ended up with a giant cockroach's head but gained the abilities to climb up walls. He is charming and sophisticated, in spite of his tendencies to eat garbage and laugh maniacally.
Will Arnett as The Missing Link: A 20,000-year-old fish-ape hybrid who was found frozen and thawed out by scientists, only to escape and wreak havoc at his old lagoon habitat. He behaves as a macho jock most of the time, but is rather out of shape. Despite this, he is an expert martial-artist and takes it upon himself to lead the team in attacks, even if his gung-ho attitude doesn't always work to their advantage.
Conrad Vernon as Insectosaurus: Formerly a one-inch grub transformed by nuclear radiation into a 350-foot monster with the ability to shoot silk out of his nose. He is unable to speak clearly, and is mesmerized by bright lights (usually used to lead him to other locations); he also has a close bond with the Missing Link. In his butterfly form, he grows wings and is able to fly and becomes the Monsters' mode of transportation.
Rainn Wilson as Gallaxhar: An evil alien overlord who hopes to take over Earth. He is served by gigantic robot probes and an army of clones of himself. He claims to have suffered several traumas in his youth, driving him to destroy his own homeworld and make a new one on Earth.
Amy Poehler as Gallaxhar's Computer
Kiefer Sutherland as General W.R. Monger: A military leader who runs a top secret facility where monsters are held. He comes up with a plan to fight the invading aliens with the imprisoned monsters. With this, the monsters gain his respect, and he theirs. In a scene during the credits, he claims to be 90 years old, in spite of his youthful appearance. His name is a pun on the word 'warmonger'. Though he detains monsters, he never throughout the film shows any hostility towards them and even salutes them before their mission.
Stephen Colbert as President Hathaway: President of the United States. Not wanting to be remembered as "the President in office when the world came to an end", he agrees with General Monger's "monsters vs. aliens" plan. He is very tolerant of the use of weapons, and even carries a gun with him at all times. He even tries to use the nukes to attack the aliens, only to be stopped every time.
Paul Rudd as Derek Dietl: A local weatherman and Susan's ex-fiancé. He jumps at whatever opportunity he has to boost his career, which causes him to place his job (and himself) before his relationship with Susan (he cancels their plans to have a romantic honeymoon in Paris to land an anchorman job in Fresno, for example). After she sees him as the self obsessed man he really is, she gets her revenge by humiliating him during his interview with her.
Jeffrey Tambor as Carl Murphy: Susan's over-emotional father.
Julie White as Wendy Murphy: Susan's mother.
Ed Helms as News Reporter
Renée Zellweger as Katie
John Krasinski as Cuthbert
David Koch as Australian newsreader
Ed Leonard, CTO of DreamWorks Animation, says it took approximately 45.6 million computing hours to make Monsters vs. Aliens, more than eight times as many as the original Shrek. Several hundred Hewlett-Packard xw8600 workstations were used, along with a large and powerful 'render farm' of HP ProLiant blade servers with over 9,000 server processor cores, to process the animation sequence. The movie demanded 120 terabyte of data to complete, with one explosion scene alone requiring 6 TB.
Since Monsters vs. Aliens, all feature films released by DreamWorks Animation will be produced in a stereoscopic 3-D format, using Intel's InTru3D technology. IMAX 3D, Real D and 2-D versions were released.
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