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Aliens in the Attic (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 4, 2009 by  



Extremely fun, entertaining and hilarious hijinks galore!  An entertaining film for the whole family!  As for the Blu-ray, solid picture quality and an impressive lossless audio soundtrack.  Overall, a solid Blu-ray release!  And for those curious about the film or those who enjoyed it, the Blu-ray release is definitely worth checking out!

TITLE: Aliens in the Attic

DURATION: 86 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (Widescreen 1:85:1), 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 5.1 Spanish, Portuguese and French, AVC@22MBPS, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Thai

RATED: PG (Action Violence, Some Suggestive Humor and Language)

COMPANY: Twentieth Century Fox

RELEASE DATE: November 3, 2009

Directed by John Schultz

Based on a story by Mark Burton

Screenplay by Mark Burton and Adam F. Goldberg

Executive Producer: Marc S. Fischer

Producer: Barry Josephson

Co-Producer: Joe Hartwick Jr.

Associate Producer: John R. Woodward

Music by John Debney

Cinematography: Don Burgess

Edited by John Pace

Casting by Julie Ashton

Production Design by Barry Chusid

Art Direction by Nigel Evans

Set Decoration by Milton Candish

Costume Design by Mona May

Starring:

Carter Jenkins as Tom Pearson

Austin Robert Butler as Jake Pearson

Ashley Tisdale as Bethany Pearson

Ashley Boettcher as Hannah Pearson

Henri Young as Art Pearson

Regan Young as Lee Pearson

Doris Roberts as Nana Rose Pearson

Robert Hoffman as Ricky Dillman

Kevin Nealon as Stuart Pearson

Gillian Vigman as Nina Pearson

Andy Richter as Uncle Nathan Pearson

Tim Meadows as Sheriff Doug Armstrong

Thomas Haden Church as the voice of Tazer

Josh Peck as the voice of Sparks

Ashley Peldon as the voice of Skip

Kari Wahlgren as the voice of Razor

They are home but they are not alone. Prepare for the ultimate extraterrestrial invasion full of hilarious hijinks and outrageous mind control gags when Aliens In The Attic descends onto Blu-ray Disc (BD) and DVD November 3 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Its summer vacation, but the Pearson family kids are stuck at a boring lake house with their nerdy parents. That is until feisty, little, green aliens crash-land on the roof, with plans to conquer the house AND Earth! Using only their wits, courage and video game-playing skills, the youngsters must band together to defeat the aliens and save the world — but the toughest part might be keeping the whole thing a secret from their parents!

Extremely fun, entertaining and hilarious hijinks galore!  An entertaining film for the whole family!  As for the Blu-ray, solid picture quality and an impressive lossless audio soundtrack.  Overall, a solid Blu-ray release!  And for those curious about the film or those who enjoyed it, the Blu-ray release is definitely worth checking out!

The summer 2009 adventure family film “Aliens in the Attic” will entertain you with it’s kid-friendly comedy, not so much reliance on the grownups and a film that manages to capture  the time of youth and adventure.  The film has made over $56 million worldwide and now its set for a release on Blu-ray and DVD.

The film is directed by John Schultz (“Bandwagon”, “The Honeymooners”) and features a screenplay by Mark Burton (“Madagascar”, “Chicken Run”, “Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit”) and Adam F. Goldberg (“Still Standing”, “Aliens in America”, “Fanboys”).  The film features music by composer John Debney (“Hannah Montana: The Movie”, “Swing Vote”, “Evan Almighty”) and a screenplay by Don Burgess (“Enchanted”, “My Super Ex-Girlfriend”, “The Polar Express”, “13 Going on 30”).

“Aliens in the Attic” revolves around the Pearson family.  Tom Pearson (played by Carter Jenkins, “Viva Laughlin”, “Surface”, “Bad News Bears”) is an intelligent person who is great a computers and a hacker.  On the day that his parents Stuart (played by Kevin Nealon, “Saturday Night Live”, “Weeds”, “Grandma’s Boy”) and Nina (played by Gillian Vigman, “The Job”, “The Hangover”, “Sons & Daughters”) were checking up on his grades online, they noticed that his grades were changing.

Meanwhile, Tom’s sister Bethany (played by Ashley Tisdale, “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”, “High School Musical”, “Phineas and Ferb”) tries to sneak in through his bedroom window after her big date with her boyfriend Ricky Dillman (played by Robert Hoffman, “Step Up 2: The streets”, “The Onion Movie”) who Tom can’t stand.  While his little sister Hannah (played by Ashley Boettcher) tries to warn them that their father is upset and coming to see him, Stuart tells Tom that he needs to stay away from his computer, do better in school and he will have to go on the family trip for a day of fishing and staying at home that they leased for the summer.

While the Pearson family made it to the home that they are staying, they are greeted by Stuart’s mother Nana (played by Doris Roberts, “Everybody Loves Raymond”), his brother Nathan (played by Andy Richter, “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien Show”) and his children Jake (played by Austin Robert Butler, “Ruby & the Rockits”) and the video game playing twins Art and Lee Pearson (played by Henri and Regan Young).

For the two families to meet each other again for this vacation, its apparent that Tom and Jake don’t quite get along as Jake is younger but more dominant and tougher than Tom.  And to make things worse for Tom, Bethany’s boyfriend Ricky has also schemed his way into being a guest at the home.  Jake convinces Tom to take action against Ricky and use his paintball gun to get him to leave the premises.  But of course, it all backfires and Tom’s parents feel bad for him and Tom gets another lecture.

As the whole family try to enjoy their vacation, because the TV stopped working, Ricky volunteers to fix the satellite but wants Tom to join him upstairs.  Meanwhile, we see a spaceship(s) arrive on top of the house.

While upstairs, Ricky tells Tom that he is lying about his intentions of coming to their house and that he is also not a high school student but a man no longer in school.  And to get back at Tom for the paintball incident, Ricky forces Tom to fix the satellite himself.  And as Tom check on the satellite, he sees that the dish has been destroyed.  Jake joins Tom on the roof and is surprised about the damage caused to the dish but then things go crazy as a shadow of some creature shows up on the wall.  As they turn around, they are greeted by four mean aliens: The leader Skip, the warrior Tazer, the intelligent engineer named Sparks and a female named Razor who want to capture both Tom and Jake

As Ricky, tries to talk to Tom, not knowing there are aliens behind him, he is shot by a dart on the back of the neck and is now being controlled by the robots.

Meanwhile, all children come in contact with the aliens and now the war is on.  Aliens work up a strategy to get to the basement in order to find a device that will call down its alien fleet to attack the Earth, while the children do what they can to prevent it from happening.

Will the kids be able to stop the aliens in time?

“Aliens in the Attic” on Blu-ray comes with two discs, the original Blu-ray with the film and the special features and a second disc which contains a digital copy of the film.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Aliens in the Attic” is featured in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1, AVC@22MBPS).  With a good number of scenes are shot during the day, the colors are vibrant and even indoors, inside the house there is good enough lighting that you do see the detail in the homes, destruction caused by the children and the aliens.

Audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (also Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital) and this is where “Aliens in the Attic” shines.  Dialogue and music is front and center channel driven but it’s the good amount of LFE that you hear during the action sequences that catch your attention.  Especially at the end when you hear the stomps with that deep bass coming out of your subwoofer, almost reminiscent of that “Jurassic Park” T-Rex stomping, a good amount of that during the action sequence at the end.  Especially during the implosion of a machine where you hear this long reverberating sound that sounds really nice.  I didn’t hear any major use of panning or any significant surround usage, especially with the rear surrounds but for the most part, for a kid-friendly film, good use of lossless audio during the action sequences.

Subtitles are featured in English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese and Thai.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Aliens in the Attic” comes with the following special features:

  • Introduction to Film with Ashley Tisdale – (:20) Introduction shown beginning of the presentation of the film and also included in the special features.
  • Introduction to Special Features with Ashley Tisdale – (:20) An introduction to the special features by Ashley Tisdale.
  • Alternate Ending – (2:46) An alternate ending but not yet finalized with the special effects and CG animation.  Similar to the final cut but with a more extended scene with the aliens.
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring the following three deleted scenes: The Basement, Anti-Gravity Sheriff and Alternate Resolution.
  • Gag Reel – (4:52) Bloopers from “Aliens in the Attic”.
  • Behind the Zirkonians – (15:23) Featuring an animated comic book of the aliens and how they got the job to pursue their capture of the Planet Earth.
  • Meet the Zirkonians – Using your remote, you can view information on the four aliens: The warrior Tazer, the intelligent Sparks, the leader Skip and the female warrior Razor.  When you click on an alien, you can click on parts of the alien’s body or their profile and watch video of the main talent talk about the certain aliens capabilities.
  • The Ashley Encounters – (4:09) Ashley Tisdale on the set of “Aliens in the Attic”.  Cast talk about working with Ashley and more.
  • Lights, Camera, Aliens – (9:31) Behind-the-scenes of making the film “Aliens in the Attic”.  Interviews with cast and crew.
  • Kung Fu Grandma – (1:20) A promo of how to transform your Nana into a bonecrushing martial arts fighter.
  • Brian Anthony “Electricity” Video – (1:34) A music video showcasing the aliens to the tune of Brian Anthony’s “Electricity”.
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents Life After Film School with Barry Josephson – (27:29) Three film students interview Barry Josephson, producer of “Aliens in the Attic”.

The film also comes with a digital copy “Aliens in the Attic”.

I watched “Aliens in the Attic” with my six-year-old son and both of us enjoyed it.  Personally, I think that there are going to be a lot of children films that touch upon fantasy and once in awhile, it’s good to have these type of films where the parents are not too important to the plot but it’s the children working together to take on the enemy.  Personally for me, it reminds me of the zaniness of a film such as “The Goonies” but for a more younger demographic that know their video games, know who Ashley Tisdale is and for adults, a film to just watch and enjoy without having to critique how the CG doesn’t compare to the latest Pixar film or how this film did not screen for critics.

The kids bring some charm to the film.  You have Carter Jenkins playing the very intelligent Tom Pearson, but in the beginning, tries to shave off his “book smarts” because it’s not cool and in the end, I personally though the message with his character was quite positive for children.  Being smart doesn’t mean you’re not cool.  Austin Robert Butler as Jake Pearson, the child who thinks combat/strategy is a predictable gung-ho character (especially when he owns an expensive paint ball machine gun, you know where that’s going).  For the video game fans, the twins Henri and Regan young reaches out to those who know their video games.  From one sporting the old school Activision shirt, to them using their video game skills during the body control parts of the film.  And dare I say, I had fun seeing the “Street Fighter 2” Shoryuuken and spinning kick move that the kids use on Doris Roberts character Nana.  And Ashley Boettcher as the young Hannah Pearson who is the cute innocent young girl who befriends an alien, ala young Drew Barrymore who played Gertie on “E.T.”.

Ashley Tisdale provides that young star power for those who are familiar with her Disney Channel TV shows or her films and also her music.  But the shining star happens to be her boyfriend Robert Hoffman, who portrays the craziest role when he gets controlled by the aliens and later on by the kids.

As mentioned earlier, the adults do not play a major role in this film.  Sure, we have former “Saturday Night Live” cast members Kevin Nealon and Tim Meadows and “Late Show with Conan O’Brien” sidekick Andy Richter and also actress Gillian Vigman.  But the adults do not really interfere in the film but you do get to see “Everybody Loves Raymond” actress Doris Roberts as the grandmother Nana Rose Pearson being mind controlled and the video game twins use her a fighting video game-like character.  Sure, it’s corny but for fighting video game fans who recognize the fighting moves, you can’t help but laugh and root for grandma.

But the hijinks are hilarious, the characters are fun and my son enjoyed the film as well.  Personally, I figured that I grew up with such 80’s films as “E.T.”, “The Goonies”, “The Monster Squad”, where kids work together to take on an enemy.  Sure, we have that now with a few adventure films but it’s good to have something different (especially when its aliens) and a film that is not so serious.

As for the Blu-ray, personally, I enjoyed the Blu-ray release.  I thought the picture quality was good and the audio quality especially the utilization of LFE (especially at the end) was a nice tough for the audiophiles. And for the Ashley Tisdale fans, there are a good number of special features for you.

Parents who are wondering if this is suitable for children, I think four years and older would be fine.  It’s not a scary film at all but perhaps the sight of green aliens with sharp teeth may be a bit scary for them.  But for the most part, this is a kid friendly film.

Overall, “Aliens in the Attic” is not as adventurous as “The Goonies” or “The Chronicles of Narnia”, emotional as “E.T” or dark as “The Spiderwick Chronicles” but the film does well for its own as a kid-friendly film with a fun group of young characters trying to fight off four aliens who are trying to trigger an alien invasion.

“Aliens in the Attic” is an enjoyable family film that is fun, hilarious and entertaining, especially if not taken too seriously.   Overall, a  film definitely worth giving a try!






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