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ALIENS IN THE ATTIC

SYNOPSIS:
A bunch of kids on a double family fishing holiday become involved with midget aliens who have landed in the attic of the rented holiday house, looking for the previously hidden machine which will help them lead their species on an invasion of earth. Their superior powers of control, however, only work on mature humans, so the kids have to keep their battle to save the world a secret from the parents. Complicating things is Bethany's (Ashley Tisdale) budding romance with the self obsessed jerk, Ricky Dillman (Robert Hoffman).

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
If parents can explain to their younger children what Pinot Grigio is, chances are the one joke that the kids would not otherwise understand will also hit home in this entertaining and sometimes goofy family comedy. It's a line about grandma's behaviour at a crucial point. There is no attempt to take anything seriously, especially not the mini aliens, who are half ugly half cute, and the adventure is firmly grounded at the one location. The rented lakeside holiday home (I wish I could rent it) is a large home with an attic ideal for alien invasion. It's also full of stairs with balustrades down which to slide, rooftop satellite antenna which to destroy and a wonderful cellar, too.

The gadgets and gizmos are fun, the romantic play between Robert Hoffman's Ricky and Ashley Tisdale's Bethany is like a running gag with bonus extras in the form of an alien gizmo that takes control of humans, and Doris Roberts gets into the swing of it all as Nana, the grandma whose false teeth have a cameo role.

The screenplay is clear and well structured in the Hollywood mode, and John Schultz directs proceedings with a sense of fun. All the actors are enjoyable, not least little Ashley Boettcher as Hannah the youngest, who gets to bond with the smallest of the advance party of four aliens, Sparks (voiced by Josh Peck).

Undemanding and occasionally lol, Aliens in the Attic will have the youngsters in stitches at some of the fight scenes.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

ALIENS IN THE ATTIC (PG)
(US/Canada, 2009)

CAST: Carter Jenkins, Austin Robert Butler, Ashley Tisdale, Ashley Boettcher, Henri Young, Regan Young, Doris Roberts

VOICES: Thomas Haden Church, Josh Peck, Ashley Peldon, Karl Wahlgren

PRODUCER: Barry Josephson

DIRECTOR: John Schultz

SCRIPT: Mark Burton, Adam F. Goldberg

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Don Burgess

EDITOR: John Pace

MUSIC: John Debney

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Barry Chusid

RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 3, 2009







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