Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Aliens in the Attic

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action violence, some suggestive humor and language
Profanity:Schoolyard language ("screwed up," "sucks")
Nudity/Sex:Kisses
Alcohol/Drugs:Adults drink beer, some adult alcohol humor
Violence/Scariness:Cartoonish sci-fi violence, no one seriously hurt, laser, paintball, and potato guns, pratfalls, many crotch hits, kickboxing
Diversity Issues:Crude insults about a teenager's masculinity
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009

Back in the era of Saturday matinées, “Aliens in the Attic” would have been just fine sandwiched between a couple of cartoons and a newsreel, especially if about half an hour was lopped off and there was a bit more imagination or wit in the title invaders. It’s probably better suited for DVD and a pizza at slumber parties than for an $8 movie theater ticket. But as long as no one expects too much, this is not a bad time-waster.

The Pearson family: mom, dad (SNL and “Weeds” vet Kevin Nealon), love-struck teen queen Bethany (“HSMs” Ashley Tisdale), sulky middle child Tom (Carter Jenkins), cute sock-monkey-clutching kid Hannah (Ashley Boettcher) are joined in their vacation home by their grandmother (Doris Roberts of “Everybody Loves Raymond”), uncle (Andy Richter), and cousins, aggressive Jake (Austin Robert Butler of “Zooey 101″) and gamer twins (Henri and Regan Young). Tom is not happy with himself, with being away from his computer, with having to go fishing, with any of his family, and especially with the uninvited arrival of Bethany’s boyfriend Ricky (Robert Hoffman), who seems able to fool everyone but Tom with his good manners and preppy appearance. And then there are the aliens in the attic, four little green creatures with many arms who have come in search of something they need to take over the planet. One of their most potent weapons is a mind-enslaving dart that turns humans into remote-controlled zombie slaves.

But it only works on adults.

And so the kids have to learn how to work together to protect the grown-ups and the planet. What works best in the film are the special effects, clearly the primary focus as the talented cast, including Tisdale and SNL vet Tim Meadows, get less attention than the CGI and wire work. The gamer expert twins use the Wii-style remote to manipulate the zombified Ricky and grandma, the kids have to assemble weapons with whatever they have on hand, and the aliens turn off the gravity and get tangled in a Slinky. A lot of slapstick and a little crude humor went a long way with the kids in the audience and there were frequent hoots of delighted laughter. I could hear some of the punchlines repeated and stored for later use. (That last point is as much a warning as an endorsement.)



  • jestrfyl

    Nell,
    Your first paragraph says it all. This is a great and helpful review.

Previous Posts

Exclusive Clip: Behind the Scenes on "Calvary"
Brendan Gleeson gives a magnificent performance as a warm-hearted priest in a sad and damaged world in "Calvary," opening next week across the country.  Here's an exclusive peek behind the scenes, featuring Gleeson and Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies Sister Rose Pacatte. [iframe

posted 3:45:01pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Tonight: The Last of Our Pre-Code Series, Jean Harlow in "Red Headed Woman"
Tonight is the last of the Pre-Code films Margaret Talbot and I will be presenting at Washington D.C.'s Hill Center.  And it's a doozy, Jean Harlow in "Red Headed Woman."  We'd love to see you there. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATDif96J5Ms[/youtube] Margaret and I will be back a

posted 3:37:33pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Statler and Waldorf and "Muppets Most Wanted"
Featuring my favorite Muppet characters!  (Probably because they are critics.) [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/U0NpTfwfbCM" frameborder="0"]

posted 12:21:40pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014: Costumes!
[gallery ids="28926,28927,28928"] About 10-15 percent of Comic-Con attendees come in costume and they are always willing to post for photos.  I love the way there is total fluidity of age, race, gender, and body type.  Even species -- see Superdog below (no, that's not Krypto -- look at the sup

posted 8:40:49am Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

The Real Story: James Brown and "Ski Party"
One of the highlights of this week's "Get on Up" is a scene where James Brown and his group appear in a teen movie set in a ski chalet. The fun of the scene is seeing the R&B performers so far from their usual milieu, wearing ski sweaters and performing for a bland group of white kids perkily c

posted 8:00:05am Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.