Sunday, December 13, 2009

Planet 51

New review from The Movie Snob

Planet 51 (B-). Although nothing to write home about, this is a perfectly pleasant little animated feature that turns the tables on the usual alien-invasion story. In the early going, we meet the happy green humanoids of the titular planet. Their culture is very Eisenhower-America, right down to the music and the cheesy alien-invasion movies that are popular at the local cinema. A visit by a hapless astronaut (voiced by Dwayne Johnson, Escape to Witch Mountain) rocks their world, triggering a military lockdown a la The Day the Earth Stood Still. A plucky teenaged boy named Lem (Justin Long, Drag Me to Hell) helps the astronaut hide from the military, while the spaceman's Wall-E style probe Rover tries to help him get back to his lander before the mother ship in orbit returns to Earth. (I assumed Lem was named after Stanislaw Lem, the sci-fi author who wrote Solaris, but I've read an alternative theory that his name is a goof on the astronaut's lander, which looks like a Lunar Excursion Module.) Anyway, it's a harmless way to pass an hour and a half.


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