Tuesday, December 1, 2009

DVD Review: Ben 10: Alien Swarm

Today (December 1), less than one week after its television debut, Warner Home Video has released a DVD of the recent Cartoon Network TV-movie, Ben 10: Alien Swarm.

The movie is based on the Ben 10 animated series that have come out over the years, which were created by comic book creators Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, and Steven T. Seagle, several of whom worked on Superman comics earlier in the decade and a very underrated but good run on X-Men comics bfore that. Directing the film is Alex Winter, better known to movie buffs as "the other guy from Bill & Ted."

Starring as Ben Tennyson, the boy with a watch that makes him turn into aliens, is Ryan Kelley. If you're a Smallville fan and the name sounds familiar, it's with good reason - Ryan played "Ryan" in two popular early episodes of the series, "Stray" and "Ryan." He was much younger then and although he has a young face, it'll make you feel old that he's not the kid he was in those early Smallvilles.

Perhaps I was living under a rock in not knowing Ben 10 had been adapted into live-action before. I don't know how good (or not) that effort was, but I will say that I'm sure any kid who grew up watching Ben 10 would probably think this movie is The Coolest Thing Ever. There are details like Kevin's green car that look pretty nice on screen, and the effects - especially considering they're for TV - are of a great quality. I know it would be expensive but I think a live-action Ben 10 series would make for fantastic TV for the younger set. I don't think there are that many live-action adventure series for the pre-teen ages; even something like Smallville might have content that parents might not want their kids to see, whereas Ben 10 is totally safe.

I admit without any experience of Ben 10 I was a little lost and detached. At 31, though, I'm sure I'm out of the target demographic, and I'd probably "get it" more if I'd seen more of the cartoons. Even if I hadn't been sent a DVD to watch, though, the trailers had me pretty curious.

Ben 10: Alien Swarm hits DVD today. If you have a younger nephew or a kid, they'd probably really dig it.

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