Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Escape from Planet Earth

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action and mild rude humor
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Mild potty humor, kiss
Alcohol/Drugs:Tranquilizer gun
Violence/Scariness:Mostly comic peril and violence, parent crushed to death, some scary-looking aliens
Diversity Issues:Character sneers at stay-at-home mothers but female characters are strong and brave, don't ask don't tell joke
Movie Release Date:February 15, 2013
DVD Release Date:June 5, 2013

A new animation studio called Rainmaker has produced its first film, “Escape from Planet Earth,” a story of sibling rivalry and aliens.  It almost works as an amiable, if derivative time-waster for kids with a few jokes for the grown-ups, but too much is unsettlingly off-base.

On the planet Baab, where the inhabitants are blue and nearly bald, Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is a big, brash, brave, impulsive hero.  His Buzz-Lightyear knock-off spacesuit is festooned with NASCAR-style sponsor patches.  In between missions, he promotes his cereal brand, Scorchies.

His brother Gary Supernova (Rob Corddry) is the brilliant but careful, brilliant mission control specialist who makes sure Scorch knows what he has to do, where he has to be, and how to get back home.  His coffee mug says, “I (HEART) Safety.”  Gary tells Scorch to proceed with extreme caution and Scorch responds that he will proceed with style.

Scorch always calls Gary his “little brother” and Gary irritably reminds Scorch that he may be smaller but he is actually older.  Each feels unappreciated by the other.  And each secretly thinks his contribution is the more important one.

They complete a successful mission rescuing kidnapped Baab-ian babies from a planet inhabited by creatures with big teeth who thought of the babies as a delicacy.  But it put such a strain on their working relationship that they split up, just as Scorch is about to undertake his most dangerous mission of all — a trip to “the dark planet” of earth, “the only world in which evolution goes in reverse.”  More than 100 aliens have landed there and none has made it home.  Scorch, insisting he can do it on his own, arrives on earth and is immediately captured.  Gary goes after him, and he gets captured, too.  And of course they are taken to Area 51.

They are held there by General Shanker (William Shatner), where they are forced to give up their inventions — like social networking, cell phones, computer animation, and search engines — so that the general can finance some big contraption he says is to help preserve peace.  The brothers will have to learn to work together and to appreciate each other if they are to get back home.  And they will need the help of Gary’s wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and son.

There are a couple of good jokes and some of the characters are well-designed and voiced, especially Jane Lynch as a one-eyed alien who appears to be made out of lobster shells.  The prison-like setting where Scorch, Gary, and the other aliens are kept and much of the humor is reminiscent of films like “Paul,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters vs. Aliens.”  But the movie slides from the unimaginative to the weirdly creepy when the aliens are told that if they work they will be set free in a chillingly insensitive echo of the infamous Auschwitz gate.  When Gary’s boss (Jessica Alba) repeatedly insults Kira for being a stay-at-home mother, it falls flat.  So do the jokes about Gary’s being a nerd, making fun of him for being smart.  It’s one thing to have all the aliens breathe air and speak English, but having them travel back and forth between planets in less time than it takes to fly from New York to Chicago and have characters show up on Baab when they were left behind on earth three days earlier feels less like sci-fi than laziness.

Parents should know that this movie includes extended peril and action and some scary-looking aliens, some potty humor, and a parent getting crushed by a UFO.  There are some oddly insensitive jokes about nerds not having any friends and stay-at-home mothers not being capable.

Family discussion: Why was it so hard for Gary And Scorch to be nice to each other?

If you like this, try: “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Monsters, Inc.”



Previous Posts

Is This the End of Television?
Last week both cable giant HBO and broadcast giant CBS made announcements that signal the end of television as we know it.  Both responded to the clear message of the market and said that they would make their content available in the form and via the delivery system consumers prefer -- the interne

posted 3:24:08pm Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Dylan Baker on Directing for the First Time in the Fact-Based High School Football Movie "23 Blast"
Dylan Baker is probably best remembered for playing some of the most horrific villains imaginable ("The Good Wife," "Happiness").  But his extensive career has included wild comedies ("Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," "Anchorman 2"), historical drama (he was Robert McNamara in "13 Days"), and even

posted 8:00:11am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Best Movies About Writers
Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It's always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty and eloquent. Movies are written by writers, so they have some insight and appreciatio

posted 3:37:07pm Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Great News About Now You See Me 2
You didn't think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, alo

posted 8:00:59am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

In the Footsteps of St. Peter
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4c7qh9hMVY[/youtube] David Suchet (PBS' Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

posted 3:55:57pm Oct. 20, 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.