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MOVIE REVIEW: Escape from Planet Earth

Escape from Planet Earth offers a fun family comedy. It's clever, without the need to be overbearing. Just the right amount of silly galactic goodness for the whole family to enjoy.

Movie moment with Brendan Fraser and Rob Corddry in Escape from Planet Earth
Movie moment with Brendan Fraser and Rob Corddry in Escape from Planet Earth
8.25 out of 10 | MOVIE - DVD

Rated: PG Some mild rude humor and action.
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes
Director: Cal Brunker
Writers: Tony Leech, Cory Edwards, Cal Brunker, Bob Barlen
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Ricky Gervais, Jonathan Morgan Heit, jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Sarah Jessica Parker, William Shatner

SYNOPSIS:
  Astronaut Scorch Supernova finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet. His nerdy brother Gary from Mission Control may be his only hope.

REVIEW:
 Cal Brunker, storyboard artist on films like Despicable Me and Horton Hears a Who!, takes direction to new heights as the director of the new Weinstein Company animation Escape from Planet Earth. A cadre of writers bring this cosmic cartoon to life, including Hoodwinked! screenwriters Tony Leech and Cory Edwards, director Brunker, and Push and Turn writer Bob Barlen.

Scorch Supernova (voiced by Brendan Fraser, Furry Vengeance) is a home world hero to the citizens of Baab. He goes out on various missions rescuing babies from baby-eating savage aliens, and more. Always trying to prep and prepare scorch for every mission is his older brother Gary (voiced by Rob Corddry, Warm Bodies), considered a nerd who rattles his fingers on keyboards at mission control by his brawny dimwitted brother and the rest of the workers. When Scorch is told to answer a distress call on the 'Dark Planet' and his eagerness works against his brother's preparedness, Gary quits and Scorch is left to his own devices. When Scorch is captured by the 'Dark Planet's' government's military, Gary must sum up the courage to go after Scorch on a rescue mission of his own. In his attempts to rescue his brother, Gary is captured by the men of General Shanker (William Shatner, Boston Legal) at Area 51 who is using other captured aliens - including a three-eyed slug named Thurman (George Lopez, The Smurfs), a solar brute librarian named Io (Jane Lynch, Wreck-It Ralph), and a psycho-therapist personality Doc (Voiced by Craig Robinson, Hot Tub Time Machine) - to build a defense weapon before they are allowed to return to their respective planets. But as Gary tries to break his brother out of Area 51, they uncover more than they bargained for.

The Weinstein Company and Kaleidoscope bring out their big galactic guns for a space odyssey that centers around two orbiting brothers. Gary is the older brother that tries to look after his younger, bolder and reckless brother and hero Scorch. Looked down by Scorch, and even his own son Kipper (voiced by Jonathan Morgan Heit, Date Night) who idolizes the planetary explorer, Gary is forced to face the prospect of having to step light years outside his comfort zone to save his captured family. But as with every tale that included Area 51, a deeper conspiracy is afoot, making this personal tale more galactic.

General Shanker is the typical steely eyed military leader obsessed with taking advantage of the secrets and technology the aliens who have been captured have to offer. But his terrestrial trappings does not limit his malice to his own planet. He may even have corrupt allies on other planets!

Escape from Planet Earth
 is a silly animated tale that should delight children and parents alike. The voice com in mission control and on board the escape pod Mr. James Bing (Ricky Gervais, The Invention of Lying) belts out a variety of quick throw-away one-liners that only adults will catch and appreciate. Lopez's Thurman provides slimy and sticky comic relief for the kids. Even a janitor and his nemesis, a broom handle, add to the yucks. It's screw ball animated comedy that the whole family can enjoy.

The animation is reminiscent of Monsters Vs, Aliens and Planet 51. Cartoony, detailed, and pleasing to the eye, Escape from Planet Earth will give you something fun to look at - at the very least! The 3D is cool, but not critical to the enjoyment of the film. If you need to save some dollars in favor of more concessions for the kids, skip the cost for the 3D glasses.

Escape from Planet Earth
 offers a fun family comedy. It's clever, without the need to be overbearing. Just the right amount of silly galactic goodness for the whole family to enjoy.

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