Saturday, July 5, 2008

MOVIE: WALL-E

[NO SPOILERS, BUT MAY CAUSE RISE IN EXPECTATION]

There are many movies that make you wonder why you actually spent almost ten bucks. WALL-E is worth every penny and then some. As we have come to expect, Pixar has delivered yet another film that is far more than just visually stunning, offering up a top-notch story as well.

Seven hundreds years in the future, the Earth is empty of people and a solitary robot named WALL-E spends his days cleaning up a thoroughly trashed world. Then one day, a gigantic ship lands and a completely different kind of robot arrives. From there, we get to follow an adventure that not only dazzles us but actually makes us think.

Nowadays, it almost seems that the less dialogue in a film, the better. For the first part of this story, the dialogue is almost non-existent, everything being communicated with gestures and expressions and the merest of sounds. Just that alone makes WALL-E unique.

The price of admission is worth it just for the art and graphic design. WALL-E would be worth a second or third, ten-dollar look simply to give you another chance to feast your eyes.

The story is fun and unpredictable and heart-warming. And as if that wasn’t enough, there is more than one theme (admittedly borderline PC) that can make even the shallowest of us ponder significant ideas. There is the eerie reality of omnipotent megacorporations. There is a stark image of a defeated natural world. There is enough here for the most adamant of Luddites to examine a technology-infested world.

The cherry on top is found before the movie even starts. Pixar’s tradition of offering up a short film is carried on with a story called “Presto” about a magician and his rabbit. It was quite a breath of cinematic air to actually be laughing whole-heartedly before the main feature even began. Of all the short Pixar films, “Presto” is a close second only to “For the Birds.”

WALL-E itself might be rivaled only by The Incredibles. Time will tell. The only thing that The Incredibles possibly has over WALL-E is that the protagonists are human. But as we get to know WALL-E better by seeing this film again and again, this little robot might even compete for that category.

3 comments:

Payton Bartee said...

Great review! I absolutely loved it, and we seem to share similar tastes when it comes to Pixar. I've never been completely negative about a film of theirs (although Cars left something to be desired), but The Incredibles and Wall-E stand apart in my book. I loved how easily Pixar managed to immerse me in Wall-E's foreboding futuristic world.

It's rare that a "cartoon" is this touching, but I was sincerely moved by Wall-E and Eve. I honestly think this is the best love story since "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Obviously, one of the biggest aspects of the movie is set around Wall-E's devotion to Eve; his willingness to make her happy above all, and to one day end up holding her hand. My revelation for this film: Wall-E is John Cusack's Lloyd Dobler in robot form. That's how compulsively, blindly romantic Wall-E is, and how endearing he is to someone like me.

It's always been hilarious to me that animated films are looked on almost condescendingly, as if animated films belonged in a different category than "real" filmmaking. The creativity and storytelling/writing in this film deserves as much respect as any Oscar contender this year. Like Toy Story a decade earlier, Wall-E easily raises the bar...it was that good.

John said...

Yeah, this movie was amazing. Seriously, wow.
What do you mean "borderline PC" themes? The idea that we've only got the one planet to live on might happen to be popular at the moment, but that doesn't change the fact that it's true.

Presto was good, but I didn't think it was wholly original -- it reminded me of that youtube cartoon of the cat that wants to be fed.

Brent said...

I haven't seen WALL-E yet, but wanted to add on to John's comment.

Nowhere is irresponsibility with any part of God's creation condoned in the Bible. He said we shall have dominion over the world in Gen. 1, but also put Adam in the garden to "till it and keep it" in Gen. 2.

I do believe people can be too focused on "saving the planet" instead of the people on it, but I feel we need to seriously consider our motives as soon as we start to feel we can do whatever we want to with this world. To me it smacks of being deserving of this life and world, which we are not.

(my first soapbox in cyberspace...)