Aliens in the Attic Lacks Anything Resembling Imagination
- Friday, July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: July 31, 2009
Rating: PG (for action violence, some suggestive humor and language)
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Family
Run Time: 86 min.
Director: John Schultz
Actors: Ashley Tisdale, Carter Jenkins, Austin Butler, Ashley Boettcher, Robert Hoffman, Kevin Nealon, Tim Meadows, Andy Richter, Doris Roberts, Gillian Vigman, Regan Young, Henri Young
When a movie like Aliens in the Attic isn't screened for critics, that's usually the first sign that it won't exactly be gracing the list of Academy Awards nominees. Or even a movie reviewer's "Best of 2009" list.
Sadly enough, the movie is so bland and utterly unimaginative that it's not even quite controversial enough (a la last year's Worst Picture winner The Love Guru) to be nominated for a Razzie either, which celebrates the worst in film. Even Paris Hilton's awful The Hottie and the Nottie elicited far more attention for being so flat-out awful.
In fact, the only reaction that feels appropriate for a flick like Aliens in the Attic is a good long sigh for whomever green-lighted this tediously boring mess in the first place.
And it's certainly no resumé boost either for Ashley Tisdale, who has shined as the sassy Sharpay in three High School Musical outings. If anything, Aliens in the Attic does little to inspire much faith in her career beyond East High. Not that Tisdale does a bad job of acting per say, but her lackluster lines and snotty big sister routine got old fast—really fast.
Also not doing the Aliens in the Attic any favors is the movie's ho-hum storyline which borrows liberally from Chevy Chase's Vacation flicks, War Games and Gremlins, minus those cute furry creatures, of course. But thanks to badly executed CGI, the look, feel and script are so benign that it's almost a disservice comparing Aliens in the Attic to those aforementioned flicks because they were far, far superior.
Now who knew that Clark Griswold's misguided adventures could be superior to anyone's?
Nonetheless, the winks and nudges to these better ‘80s movies do little to advance the cause. In true Vacation fashion, without all the slapstick humor, the Pearson family decides an escape to a quiet country cabin could really do the family some good. After all, Tom (Carter Jenkins) has just hacked into his school's computer to change his C's and D's to A's and B's. Not missing a beat, Tom's dad catches on, and his technology has wisely been confiscated. And Bethany (Tisdale) has far less volatile matters on her mind. Namely, she can't wait to parade around in her new bikini—not that their small town Michigan destination will provide the rays she's hoping for. And the parents, portrayed by Kevin Nealon (TV's Weeds and Saturday Night Live) and Gillian Vigman (The Hangover, Step Brothers) definitely look worse for the wear because of their kids' nonstop bickering, save for the only adorable kid of the pack, Tom and Bethany's sweet younger sister Hannah (Ashley Boettcher).
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