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It is 'Megamind' over matter

Published November 11. 2010 05:00PM

The big question in moviegoers' minds about the animated feature film, "Megamind," is whether or not to see the movie in 3-D.

While there are certain scenes where 3-D enhances the visuals, paying a premium to see "Megamind" in 3-D is not necessary.

"Megamind" features the voice talents of Will Ferrell as Megamind, the Evil Overlord; Tina Fey as Roxanne, a TV news reporter; Jonah Hill as Hal, a TV cameraman Megamind transforms into arch enemy, Tighten; Brad Pitt as Metro Man, a superhero good guy; and David Cross as Minion, Megamind's sidekick.

Tom McGrath ("Madagascar") directs from a first-time screenplay by Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons. The script is a cut-and-paste of any number of live-action, animated and superhero-themed movies, as well as the web series and play, "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog."

While the film-makers attempt to flesh out the plot with a back story, there is scant character development. The main characters are not visually memorable and are reminiscent of those in "The Incredibles" (2004). One of Megamind's incarnations invokes Marlon Brando as Jor-El in "Superman" (1978). There's also a "Star Wars"-"Transformers" style battlebot.

The dialogue lacks the numerous quips we eagerly anticipate in animated features, surprising given that funny persons Ferrell and Fey are on board.

None of the vocalizations is particularly memorable, again surprising considering the talent.

Lacking the aforesaid elements, the film-makers resort to numerous fight scenes between Megamind and Metro Man, and Megamind and Tighten. These are required in a film about a superhero. However, there's an overabundance.

Similarly, there is a preponderance of explosions, flames, toppling buildings, crashing cars and the like. "Megamind" is perhaps the most extensive 3-D animated action film to date.

"Megamind" may also be the first hard rock and heavy metal digital 3-D movie, what with AC-DC's "Highway to Hell" and "Back in Black," Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" and Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle," among soundtrack songs.

The animation is of above average quality, with impressive detail. The 3-D effects are remarkable in several scenes, including those with Megamind's invisible car; one where Megamind looks out a window which reflects exterior images of buildings, and when Roxanne walks along a rain-soaked city street.

Nonetheless, "Megamind" is rather mindless.

"Megamind," MPAA Rated PG (Parental Guidance Suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children) for action and some language; Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family; Run time: 1 hr., 36 min. Distributed by DreamWorks Animation SKG and Paramount Pictures.

Credit Readers Anonymous: Stay through the first portion of "Megamind" end credits for an extra scene. The 3-D effects include silhouettes of the film's characters and scenes floating behind the end credits roll.

Box Office, Nov. 3: "Megamind" took control, opening at No. 1, with $47.6 million, getting there before "Due Date," opening at No. 2, with $33.5 million; and "For Colored Girls," opening at No. 3, with $20.1 million.

4. "Red," $8.8 million, $71.8 million, four weeks; 5. "Saw 3D," $8.2 million, $38.8 million, two weeks; 6. "Paranormal Activity 2," $7.2 million, $77.2 million, three weeks; 7. "Jackass 3D," $5 million, $110.8 million, four weeks; 8. "Hereafter," $4 million, $28.7 million, four weeks; 9. "Secretariat," $4 million, $50.6 million, five weeks; 10. "The Social Network," $3.6 million, $85 million, six weeks

Unreel, Nov. 12: Continuing through Nov. 11 at Civic Theatre of Allentown is "Farewell," based on the true story of a 1981 espionage case involving the United States government, the KGB, the then Soviet Union. Willem Dafoe stars.

Opening Nov. 12 at Civic Theatre of Allentown is "Nowhere Boy," based on the Liverpool, England, teenage years of the Beatles' John Lennon. Aaron Johnson plays Lennon. Kristin Scott Thomas plays Aunt Mimi. Anne-Marie Duff plays his mother Julia.

"Morning Glory," Rated PG-13 (opening Nov. 10): Rachel McAdams plays a television producer attempting to revive a morning TV show with feuding co-hosts (Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford).

"Skyline," Rated PG-13: Strange lights appear over Los Angeles in this extraterrestrial thriller. No, it's not another red-carpet movie premiere.

"Unstoppable," Rated PG-13: Director Tony Scott tells the story of a half-mile-long freight train carrying deadly materials. Chris Pine is the young engineer and Denzell Washington is the experienced engineer. Rosario Dawson also stars.

Two Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes

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