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Monday, October 27, 2008

Four Fall Films (part 4)

Monster House

Release Date July 21th, 2006

Rated PG for scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language.

Gil Kenan (dir.)

Mitcgel Musso as DJ (Voice)

Sam Lerner as Chowder (Voice)

Spencer Locke as Jenny (Voice)

Maggie Gyllenhaal as Zee (Voice)

Jon Heder as Reginal ‘Skull’ Skulinski (Voice)

Steve Buscemi as Nebbercracker (Voice)

Kethleeen Turner as Constance (Voice)

Jason Lee as Bones (Voice)

Catherine O’Hara as Mom (Voice)

Fred Willard as Dad (Voice)


Monster House Review By John C.

**** (out of four)

Monster House is technically and visually stunning, a feast for the eyes and the imagination. The story is packed with humor and excitement, which makes it a timeless Halloween classic. Even though it is animated I would not recommend it to anyone under at least 10, maybe older. But, what will likely scare young kids, is certainly going to mesmerize older ones. It is filmed using the method of Motion-Capture (Mo-Cap for short), in which they actually recorded the movements of live actors as a base for animation, and to make the characters movements more real and life like. It is by no means cheating in the medium of animation, because they still have to animate the backgrounds, and animate over the wire models that are created from the captured movements of the actors. Everything you see in this world is animated. The voice cast is perfect, including Maggie Gyllenhaal as the baby-sitter, and Jon Heder as an obsessed video game and comic book geek. Jason Lee is also there as the baby-sitter’s drunk boyfriend, and last but not least, Steve Buscemi as the old man named Nebbercracker, who owns the mysterious house across the street. The story is very interesting and compelling, and the three kids are actually believable in their roles. Director Gil Kenan was only 29 when he made this, and his newest feature City of Ember is also spectacular. I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next.

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