Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Andy Serkis Takes Us Inside The Imaginarium
The actor-director gives us a tour of his state-of-the-art studio
Sony To Release The Interview After All
Update: US cinemas get limited roll-out
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
20 May 2009
Monsters vs Aliens TV Pilot Commissioned
Dreamworks and Nickelodeon keep rolling
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

First Look At Monsters Vs Aliens
Empire is dazzled by new 3D footage

24 November 2008  |  Written by James Dyer  

submit to reddit

Empire donned a pair of flash new 3-D specs (not the dorky red and blue ones you used to find in Shreddies packets, but Kissinger-style black frames) and joined Jeffrey Katzenberg and a select audience for a thrilling world-first look at Monsters Vs. Aliens, DreamWorks Animation's latest foray into the third dimension. We were treated to three clips from the upcoming film, which managed to impress each and every member of the office. We can't convery the full marvel of three-dimensional carnage and do it justice but you can read an old fashioned 2D account of the footage below.

CLIP 1

Glorious 3-D plunges us into a whirligig of Apache attack 'copters, tanks and squadrons of F-18s, as a giant, evil-eyed alien probe and what looks like most of the US military warily size each other up across a desert vista. The scene's set-up is a pastiche of Mars Attacks! which technically makes it a pastiche of a pastiche, or Pastiche².

The US President - voiced by satirist Stephen Colbert with pomposity cranked up to 11 - emerges from the White House helicopter, flanked by a phalanx of Secret Service agents, and heads up a long set of stairs to address the extra-terrestrial face to, er, eye. The Pres uses a Casio keyboard to communicate with the probe in a lovely riff off Close Encounters. Unfortunately, the musical address only fires up the dormant probe, and with giant legs sprouting from its sides, it sets about reducing the US military to pancake.

Narrowly avoiding a squashing himself, the President screams to his generals ("Do something violent!") before hurling himself into his chopper and beating a hasty retreat. The army duly obliges, launching an arsenal of missiles and shells which explode harmlessly against the alien pod's deflector shield, Independence Day-style. As you may have noticed, there's one or two alien-landing riffs in the scene. Sadly no sign of a Na-Nu Na-Nu-ing Robin Williams.

The action switches to the War Room where the President and his cabinet scratch their heads over a solution to the stomping alien probe. Cue: General W.R. Monger, voiced by Kiefer Sutherland, who reveals a long-secret military facility housing the ultimate weapon: four terrifying B movie monsters, as well as Susan (Reese Witherspoon), who was covered by a meteor's 'unidentified space goo' on her wedding day and transformed into a 50-foot bridezilla.

CLIP 2

The action switches to a cell in Monger's secret military facility. The giant Susan (or Ginormica, to give her correct monster name) is sleeping, still dreaming of honeymoons. As a klaxon sounds, Susan's bed is suddenly folded into the wall, transforming her cell into an elevator which drops at great speed, much to her terror...

When the cell/lift judders to a halt, one of its wall rises, opening onto a vast concrete chamber into which Susan cautiously peers. She inches into the room and we hear a voice whisper, "the new monster is only a giant pair of legs!" but all that sits in the chamber is a table surrounded by chairs. One is of normal size, dwarfed by others of Monster Ikea-proportions. As Susan scans the room, she unwittingly steps on the smaller one, reducing it to tangled metal.

Suddenly, a tube descends from the ceiling high above, depositing a large dollop of what looks like cold porridge onto the table, followed by a giant spoon. There's a scurrying noise and the antennae of a cockroach appear from behind the gruel. Unaware that this one of her new allies, the Hugh Laurie-voiced Dr. Cockroach, Susan takes the spoon to the bug, narrowly missing its outsized head. "Careful! This magnificent brain of mine will be in the Smithsonian one day," shouts the brilliant-yet-conceited insect.

Dr. Cockroach is joined by the other monsters that emerge from their pens: B.O.B (Seth Rogen), a bright blue, gelatinous eating-machine; The Missing Link, half ape, half fish; and Insectosaurus, a furry, super-sized grub weaned on parts of Tokyo. The Missing Link expresses disappointment at Susan's appearance, grumbling, "I was hoping for a wolfman."


CLIP 3

It’s finally time for the misfit band of monsters to take on the seemingly invincible alien probe and prove their mettle. Susan warily searches an eerily evacuated San Francisco for the metal menace, before it steps out from its hiding place and battle commences.

Even at her size she’s dwarfed by the probe and is quickly forced into retreat — using two abandoned cars as makeshift rollerskates to amp up her velocity, while dodging vehicles and billboards that the probe flings at her. Meanwhile, the slimy B.O.B. swims through the sewer system and pops up out of a manhole onto a street, where he joins The Missing Link and Dr. Cockroach in a souped-up tram (Dr. Cockroach has strapped a rocket onto each side). Cue some high-speed carnage, as the alien probe chases our heroes onto the Golden Gate Bridge.

Reminiscent of the heroes-versus- Omnidroid fight in The Incredibles, this sequence contained some of the most impressive 3-D moments — cars plunging into the raging ocean, Dr. Cockroach throwing himself into the probe’s churning inner mechanism (“Nothing can hurt a cockroach!”) and the mammoth Insectosaurus going on the rampage before getting hypnotised by the probe’s short-circuiting eye.

Katzenberg promises, though, that this is only a taste of the movie’s action. “The probe is just one thing that the alien watching from space has in store for Earth. There are plenty more surprises.”

According to Katzenberg, the new 3-D is to its polaroid predecessor what the sportscar is to the bicycle. Empire has officially chucked its bike in the bushes.
 


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

31 Days Of Larry Fills Lionsgate's Diary
Rom-com from writer Corinne Kingsbury
Twilight Sinks Fangs Into US Box Office
Vamp flick posts $70 million opening

Your Comments

To biggreb666 re: 'Monsters vs Aliens'
As I understand how color*-blindness works, it's not truly monochrome vision, but some colors* can't be differentiated. The modern 3D glasses don't use color to separate the Left/Right images, they use gray polarizing filters. You should see the 3D effect just fine. *non British spelling. More

Posted by jayessell at 22:02 on 29 November 2008 | Report This Post

RE: 3D Monsters v Aliens
I don't think that's thick at all. It's a good question and I'd never considered it myself so, intrigued, I checked it out (which, in all fairness, is what you maybe should have done:) and the answer is apparently yes. But there's not too much info on it. Anyway, about the film, loved the trailer so hoping it lives up to that. More

Posted by Gabriel at 23:02 on 24 November 2008 | Report This Post

Looks familiar
Don't get me wrong. The description of the clips is great and brings back memories of the Cinema Expo in Amsterdam this summer, where a couple of hundred guests saw propably the same clips. The whole 'select audience' and 'world-first look' is therefore a little too much credit too this Empire staff member. More

Posted by Man with Rock at 22:52 on 24 November 2008 | Report This Post

3D Monsters v Aliens
Might be a bit thick, but will this work for those of us (mainly male) who are colour blind? I can't see any difference with those infernal glasses you need to watch it in 3D! More

Posted by biggreb666 at 22:10 on 24 November 2008 | Report This Post

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Three Favourite Scenes Of 2014
A hat-trick of moneyshots from the last 12 months

The 32 Funniest Movie Moments Of The Year
2014's side-splittingest scenes

The 10 Best Games Of The Year
2014's top pixel-pushers duke it out for the number one slot

Dan Stevens: The Breakout Star Of 2014
We congratulate The Guest star on his year to remember

The 15 Most Memorable Character Deaths Of The Year
2014’s RIP honour roll

Watch: Night At The Museum's Cast Share Their Favourite Robin Williams Performance
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ben Kingsley pay tribute to the actor

Watch: Jack O'Connell And Luke Treadaway Talk Unbroken
On POWs, panto and how to name your bomber

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)