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DVD Review: Escape from Planet Earth

June 4, 2013

Escape from Planet Earth Blu-ray CoverEscape from Planet Earth – An eOne Films’ Release

http://www.escapeearthmovie.com

DVD Release Date: June 4th, 2013

Rated PG for some scary scenes and cartoon action

Running time: 89 minutes

Cal Brunker (dir.)

Bob Barlen (writer)

Cal Brunker (writer)

Aaron Zigman (music)

Brendan Fraser as Scorch Supernova (voice)

Rob Corddry as Gary Supernova (voice)

Sarah Jessica Parker as Kira Supernova (voice)

William Shatner as General Shanker (voice)

Jessica Alba as Lena Thackleman (voice)

George Lopez as Thurman (voice)

Craig Robinson as Doc (voice)

Jane Lynch as Io (voice)

Our reviews below:

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Escape from Planet Earth DVD Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is a popular astronaut on Planet Baab who is travelling to Earth, always overshadowing his nerdy brother Gary (Rob Corddry), who works in mission control.  But when Scorch ends up stranded on our planet and enslaved at Area 51 by the sleazy General Shanker (William Shatner), it’s up to Gary to rise up to the challenge and rescue him.  The two brothers get unexpected help from an amusing assortment of other alien creatures who are being kept on Earth for their technological skills, providing some surprisingly clever scenes.

The animation of Escape from Planet Earth is bright and colourful, with some appealing voice work from the good cast, and a couple of likeable supporting characters at Area 51.  With several elements obviously “borrowed” from other places, the film often feels slight at 89 minutes and the musical choices are also sometimes misjudged, like a complete overuse of the annoying Delta Rae song “What Matters Most,” but the target audience won’t really care.  Although kids will likely get the most entertainment value out of Escape from Planet Earth, there are enough amusing moments to keep adults in front of the screen, especially in 3D.

The Blu-ray set includes a copy of the film in 3D, along with a commentary track by director Cal Brunker, deleted scenes and several featurettes.  There are also three music videos, and by far the best of them is “Shooting Star” by Owl City, the other two with Delta Rae and Cody Simpson you can skip.

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Escape from Planet Earth DVD Review By Erin V.

**1/2 (out of 4)

In Escape From Planet Earth, Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is an intergalactic hero on his home planet Baab.  On the other hand, his older but smaller brother Gary (Rob Corddry) is head of Mission Control for BASA and while many of Scorch’s missions wouldn’t have ended well without Gary on the other side of the headset, he pretty much gets no recognition for the work that he does behind the lines.  When Scorch is called to the “Dark Planet” (aka Earth) on an SOS call, Gary gets into an argument with him about this and ends up quitting.  Shortly after though, Scorch is captured by General Shanker (William Shatner) on Earth and it is up to Gary to figure out a way to rescue his brother even if it takes him out of his comfort zone.

On Earth we meet a bunch of other aliens who have been taken captive in Area 51, being used by Shanker to build advanced weaponry in hopes to exchange their labour for being set free.  Meanwhile back on Planet Baab, there are those who aren’t much better themselves and we soon find out that this battle might need to be fought from both sides.  With the help of his wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and son Kip (Jonathan Morgan Heit) Gary has to figure out how to stop Shanker and get both himself and his brother back home.

Escape From Planet Earth is an animated film pretty much aimed towards kids.  And for its target audience, it will play quite well.  There are some neat (if random) references to other movies and such, which will only be caught by the older members of the audience, and are admittedly quite funny.  The other aliens in Area 51 also provide some quite amusing moments.  Overall, I would say the film picks up more as it goes along and will certainly be enjoyed on DVD by families.  Is it great entertainment?  No.  Amusing enough?  Yes.

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Escape from Planet Earth DVD Review By Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

I have always liked films about friendly aliens among us.  Escape from Planet Earth is an amusing comedy with an intelligent message.  When a friendly yet showoff guy named Scorch Supernova (Bredna Fraser) decides to visit The Dark Planet, aka Earth, he gets captured by humans.  After all, Earth is the only planet in which its main inhabitants “evolved in reverse,” which is explained in a hilarious and clever scene narrated by the talking computer (Ricky Gervais).

It is now up to Scorch’s brother Gary (Rob Corddry) and his son to find Scorch and bring him back to Planet Baab.  It turns out that several extraterrestrials have been kidnapped by a human, General Shanker (William Shatner), who enslaves the poor beings and forces them to hand over their technology for human use.  The peaceful aliens are tricked by humans into using their technology to create weapons that could destroy their homes.

Escape from Planet Earth is deceptively simple.  On the surface, it is mindless, goofy entertainment.  But what makes this film unusual among children’s entertaining are its human rights messages.  There is a good message against sweatshops, human trafficking, and the arms race.  The film has enough silliness to entertain children, and enough in jokes for their parents.  With its clever jokes and important message, Escape from Planet Earth is a fun movie for the whole family.

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Escape from Planet Earth DVD Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

We’re not so evolved as we think we are.  At least that’s how the blue-skinned cartoonish inhabitants of far away planet Baab see us.  They even refer to Earth as the Dark Planet, where if aliens end up here, they never return.  That is until one brave alien can orchestrate a daring rescue mission.  Escape from Planet Earth is mildly amusing animated entertainment that parents know kids will like, because it all seems so familiar.  The animation and storyline seems to have borrowed from other animated films such as Monsters vs Aliens, Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story and even Monsters Inc.  For most kids, the fact that they’ve seen all this before in one form or another won’t matter one bit.

Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) starts out as the hero in Escape from Planet Earth.  When the egotistical blue astronaut from Planet Baab finds himself captured by Earthlings, led by the villainous General Shanker (a hilarious William Shatner), it’s up to Scorch’s nerdy brother Gary (Rob Corddry) and his trusty computer (Ricky Gervais) to rescue Scorch and all the other aliens being held at Earth’s top secret Area 51.  It turns out that General Shanker has been capturing aliens and using their superior brains to make weapons that could take over the universe.  Since aliens are smarter than Earthlings, guess how things end.

Escape from Planet Earth does have some moments of funny and clever dialogue that will go over kids heads but will amuse grown ups.  The action is never too scary and the bright cartoon coloured aliens will entertain kids.  Grown ups will note the solid cast of voice actors, particularly William Shatner, who seems to revel in this kind of role.  The 3D feature works well, but doesn’t make the movie any more original.  All in all, Escape from Planet Earth is what it is – a mildly entertaining animated sci-fi comedy that families of all ages can watch together.  And that’s not a bad thing.

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Escape from Planet Earth DVD Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

The animated film Escape from Planet Earth begins with the big dumb blue hero Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) of planet Baab rescuing five babies from another planet, backed up as always by his much smarter older but smaller brother Gary (Rob Corddry) at mission control. Upon return to a mosh pit of adoring fans including Gary’s son Kip (Jonathan Morgan Heit), Scorch is sent off again by his boss Lena (Jessica Alba) to earth, known as the dark planet because no aliens have ever returned from it. Scorch’s landing at Area 51 is first welcomed by a pair of slackers (Steve Zahn and Chris Parnell) but he is then captured by the villainous general Shanker (William Shatner) and imprisoned with other aliens (George Lopez, Craig Robinson and Jane Lynch). When Kip tries to take off to rescue his uncle, his mother (Sarah Jessica Parker) and father have no choice but to help.

Though Escape from Planet Earth can by no means be ranked among the best in a strong field of recent animated features, it will appeal to younger viewers with its simple plot, good voice cast and strong colourful production design, especially in 3D. For the rest of us there is a generous helping of satire and cultural references, including the clever score from Aaron Zigman.

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Consensus: Although kids will likely be the most entertained by Escape from Planet Earth, the brightly coloured animated film has a good voice cast as well as enough amusing gags and clever references to keep adults watching.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

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