I’ve now seen Aliens in the Attic one and a half times, and after each viewing, my seven- and ten-year-old both exclaimed how awesome it is. For kids, this movie has all of the elements to make it awesome: cute aliens, adventure, a Disney star (Ashley Tisdale), neat gadgets and lots of physical humor. As a parent, I thought Aliens in the Attic was pretty awesome, too. The first thought that came to mind when I watched this movie (penned by Mark Burton and Adam F. Goldberg) was how it follows the model of those great Spielberg films from the ‘80s, like Goonies and Gremlins. Indeed, there were several moments in Aliens in the Attic when director John Schultz emulated the camera style of those slickly produced, slapsticky Steven Spielberg productions. Because of this approach, this film was a throwback to my youth and made it as much fun for me as it was for my kids.
In the film, Carter Jenkins stars as Tom, a straight ‘A’ kid who’s throwing his grades in order to look cool. He’s tired of being a mathlete and the butt of the jokes for all of his peers. Even among his family, Tom feels like a loser and an outsider and thinks that his brainpower will never get him anywhere. Tom has an older sister, Bethany (Tisdale) and an adorable little sister, Hannah (Ashley Boettcher). After they’re reprimanded for trying to fix his grades by hacking into the school computer, Tom and his sisters are dragged on a family vacation by their parents (Kevin Nealon and Gillian Vigman) to spend time at a summer house with their uncle (Andy Richter), their Nana (Doris Roberts) and their three cousins, Jake (Austin Butler) and twin boys, Art and Lee (Henry and Regan Young). Showing up unexpectedly is Bethany’s skeezy boyfriend, Ricky (Robert Hoffman), a college student lying about his age in order to score with his recent high school graduate girlfriend. Continue reading