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Wall-E – Part 1

I went and saw Wall-E this weekend. And that inspired me to write this three-part post. No recipe this time, and only one is going to be me bitchin’ at someone. Ain’t that great? ^_^

So, part 1 is the movie itself. Brilliant. I really loved it. Technically it’s as good as the usual Pixar fare – in other words, it’s damn near perfect. The animation is fantastic, the art is beautiful, the character design is great and the range of their expressions awesome – especially for robots [and yes, I know, they ripped off Johnny 5, blah blah blah. Wall-E is cuter!].

As for the storyline… Mmh. This is trickier. Many other reviewers seem to have some sort of problem mostly with the end.  They found the final sequence stretched out and a bit of a let down; I didn’t, really; I mean, no more than I do when I like a movie and would like it to last longer than it does. However, for reasons explained in part 2 of this post, I couldn’t concentrate as fully as I would have wanted on that bit, and maybe that sort of influenced my opinion. So I’ll refrain from passing judgement there.

What I did truly enjoy was the beginning, on Earth. For the exact same reason that so many people disliked the movie: because it was almost a silent movie. Because neither of the characters said much at all. Because all of the communication was in the images, the body language – and when the body is basically a metal cube or a plastic egg, fair play to the animators for conveying meaning and emotions.

Amazing the number of people out there complaining that there wasn’t any dialogue. What? Is it too hard to stop munching on your fucking popcorn long enough to concentrate on the actual screen? Having to engage your brain cells hurts? Not being spoon-fed all the information needed impairs your sense of enjoyment?

Get a clue, you buffoons. It’s a movie. Primary medium: images. And contrary to Hollywood’s current belief, there’s no need for every other image to be an explosion to make a good movie. Even if the flashing lights have a better chance of capturing the attention of the mentally deficient twits who populate most of this planet.

As for the message behind the movie… Yes, it’s another “our consumerist society is on autopilot for FUBAR-City” plot. You’re tired of that? Better slash your wrists now, because soon enough this won’t be sci-fi anymore. We’re headed for some serious environmental problems, overpopulation, pollution, the whole thing. We still have time to avoid the kind of nightmare described in the movie, but whether we have the guts and intelligence to do it is another problem. We (yes, ‘we’, I count myself in there) love our disposable goods, our comfort too much.

Anyway, whether or not we agree with the probable future of our still-blue planet, Wall-E delivers its message well – the images of Earth are, well, seriously depressing really, and the first view of the humans is even more so. Of course, it’s counterbalanced by the funny moments, and the sweet ones. Wall-E and Eve’s E.V.A. ballet around the Axiom for example made my throat feel really tight. But even so, I thought it did a pretty good job of painting an unpleasant picture of our possible future.

At the same time I read a couple of reviews that complained that the generally happy ending sort of spoiled the message, by ultimately saying “it’s ok if we screw up the world, we can always sort it out later”. I tend to disagree – it’s a message of hope, not an absolution of sins past. But in any case… it’s a PIXAR movie, not something by Oliver Stone or in the Mad Max tradition. You kinda have to expect that not everyone will die at the end…

 

Sooo. My opinion: great movie. As good as any Pixar I’ve seen before, better than many. Well worth watching. Hype, expectations, nay- or yay-sayers, I don’t care, that’s how I feel about the movie. On a side note, this review was supposed to be short and ended up being long and ranty – and possibly not even very informative. Ah well. It’s not like I’m being paid for this – or have many readers anyway.

So, part 2 in the next installment – full-blown rant, sorry – and part 3 to follow later this week. Stay tuned and all that.

Beep.

2 Responses to “Wall-E – Part 1”

  1. on 04 Aug 2008 at 5:03 pm Erica

    I’m eager to see it. My oldest son raved about it. Thanks for the thoughtful review. And their dance around the Axiom making your throat “feel really tight” is a great description, which tells me a lot about the scene and the reviewer.
    :-)

  2. on 05 Aug 2008 at 10:17 am Grumpy Frenchman

    Aw, shucks…

    It’s a flying scene. They always get me. There’s something so utterly wonderful in the idea of flight, especially free flight… and especially in outer space. For me anyway.

    The movie is well worth seeing. The more I think about it, the more I want to go see it again – only I don’t want to brave the kiddies’ matinee again. Damn these small town cinemas that don’t keep a film more than two weeks.

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