(In theaters, March 2009) Although still not quite as consistently polished as the Pixar films, this latest Dreamworks effort is a definite step in the right direction. Starting as an homage to horror B-movies (Attack of the 50-ft Woman. Creature from the Black Lagoon. The Fly. The Blob; and Mothra), Monsters vs. Aliens quickly becomes a generally satisfying action film for kids, mixed with a few jokes for the grownups and a sly message of female empowerment. The uneven script mixes unsubtle moments with a number of sharper jokes, but it sometimes push farther in one direction than you’d expect: the portrait of the renamed heroine locked away as a strategic resource is unsettling, alas dropped at the first opportunity. The rest of the film is a carnival of strong action sequences and one-liners. It’s pretty spectacular in 3-D, but doesn’t rely on it as blatantly as many similar films. It’s a short film, and it seems to go by even faster. While a more solid script would have been a blessing, there isn’t much here that’s blatantly wrong. Best of all, it should have enough content to please both the kids and the adults.