Monday, July 17, 2017

Girl vs. Monster (2012)

Number Rolled: 29
Movie Name/Year: Girl vs. Monster (2012)
Tagline: Face your fears.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Production Companies: Bad Angels Productions, Disney Channel, Just Singer Entertainment
Producer: Christopher J. Connolly, Tracey Jeffrey, Sheri Singer
Director: Stuart Gillard
Writer: Annie DeYoung, Ron McGee
Actors: Olivia Holt, Kerris Dorsey, Brendan Meyer, Katherine McNamara, Adam Chambers, Tracy Dawson, Brian Palermo, Luke Benward, Jennifer Aspen, Donald Heng, Rowen Kahn, Anna Galvin, Stefano Giulianetti, Jonathan Hers, Jocelyne Loewen, Douglas Abel, Jarel Geis, Ken Lawson
Stunt Doubles: Krista Bell, Marie-Eve Boudreau, Connor Dunn, Shelene Yung

Blurb from Netflix: Teenager Skylar Lewis discovers that her parents have a secret avocation when she innocently releases a cache of monsters in the family basement.

Selina’s Point of View:
So… the folks over at the Disney Channel really miss Hilary Duff (A Cinderella Story, Younger, Gossip Girl), don’t they?

I could not get over just how much Disney tried to morph Olivia Holt (I Didn’t Do It, The Standoff, Kickin’ It) into that previous blonde of theirs. They gave her everything from the same hair to an outfit that Duff would have worn in the early seasons of Lizzy McGuire (2001-2004). To the best of my knowledge, style has changed since 2001. So, no… I don’t think it fit in this film.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Hilary Duff’s work… but she’s long gone from the Disney Channel and I think it’s important for those in charge to get over it. Lizzy McGuire was her last credit in a Disney produced project. It’s time to move on and let their new actresses be new.

I know I’m ranting on this a bit, but that’s because it was the thing that stuck out the most to me about Girl vs. Monster. The acting wasn’t great, the script was pretty much every Disney Channel film you’ve ever seen (only with supernatural stuff), and the plot was so common that it would have taken a real twist to make it interesting.

Although this was a shorter movie, just shy of hitting the hour and a half mark, it felt like it stretched on for eternity.

All that said, it didn’t have a bad message and the ideas in it might actually seem fresh to kids between the ages of eight and twelve. For that reason, I’d recommend it to pre-teens and kids nearing that age-group… but parents should plug in their headphones and pull up YouTube.

Cat’s Point of View:
I thought this movie was something different, at first. Unfortunately, that set me up for some minor disappointment. Once I got past that, though – things were fine. For whatever reason, I was just thinking that this was a B-movie along the same vein as Zombeavers (2014). What I got, instead, was a Disney Channel made-for-TV Halloween movie.

In any case, once I settled into that groove, it was easy enough to appreciate the movie for what it was.

This particular film from the mouse house pretty much hit all the notes that one would expect – both literally and figuratively. As usual, the show was also a platform to showcase some of the vocal repertoire of the regular Radio Disney talent.

The songs were actually catchy and I wouldn’t mind listening to them again.

Girl vs. Monster didn’t stray far at all from the recipe – but I didn’t really expect it to. This wasn’t meant to be some sort of groundbreaking bit of theater – but more of an entertainment piece with a dash of life lesson of learning to work around your personal fears.

I had a bit of a chuckle at the irony of Katherine McNamara’s (New Year's Eve, Natural Selection, Little Savages) casting in this Disney-monster movie – considering her current regular role is playing Clary Fray on Freeform’s Shadowhunters (2016-).

The special effects, stunt work, and the like were about on par with what’s currently being utilized in most of the Disney Channel shows these days. It’s not too shabby, but clearly not in the blockbuster category. (Though my daughter is about to turn 14, she still loves several shows on this channel so I end up watching a good deal of it still.)

All told, this was a fun Halloween movie for tweens and early teens, but older teens and adults might not find it to their tastes. I would definitely recommend it as a solid pick for a fall family film.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 61%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.7/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5

Movie Trailer:

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