Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wall*E


This movie is a love story. Wall*E is the last functioning trash compactor robot on Earth, and over the years he's grown a little sentimental, collecting all sorts of treasures, including a VHS copy of "Hello, Dolly," which he watches endlessly. When a robot probe comes to Earth, all sleek and sexy, Wall*E is smitten. It's probably the most poignant and endearing love story on the big screen this year.

What's amazing about that is that the two lovers are robots and their verbal communication amounts to little more than saying each other's names. Everything else comes across through "eye" movement and body language (that last is made all the more spectacular by the fact that neither robot ever looks or moves like a human being).

Wall*E is also pretty good science fiction (as far as it goes, anyway; it doesn't try to be very deep). Humanity has taken to the stars, leaving Earth behind. This is because rampant consumerism, with it's resulting trash, has rendered Earth uninhabitable. They now live on a huge luxury cruise liner floating is space where their every desire is catered to by an army of robots.

For those worried about the environmentalism message here, don't be. It's never strident or preachy. The filmmakers stay away from politics. The message is one of being responsible. Does anyone really disagree with that?

There is also a cautionary message about idleness. The humans have given up doing anything for themselves. As a result they are all blobs and, due to their sedentary lifestyles and living in a lower gravity environment, their bone structure is atrophied. These people have no control and no meaning to their lives. They are basically herded about by advertisements and habit, not even noticing their surroundings. If they fall out of their hoverchairs they are helpless.

The animation is sumptuous. The "acting" of the principle robots, Wall*E and EVE, is sublime. Every frame is a testament to Pixar's attention to detail and love of storytelling.

Our experience in seeing the film was somewhat blunted by the fact that we had to deal with an incorrigibly restless little boy, so much of the last act was seen over shoulders in the entryway and barely heard over whining and crying. We'll have to see it again, sans infant, to truly appreciate it, I suppose.

Even so, I can safely say that it is in upper end of Pixar quality, which means that it is light years beyond whatever any other animation studio is doing.

4 comments:

Pinky said...

Hi Heather,
Thanks for the great reunion yesterday. It was really fun! I'm excited to keep in touch now ... especially through the blog. Also, seems like you are quiet the movie goer/critic ... I'll check your blog every time I want to see a movie. Thanks again.

Succubus and Saint said...

Hey, thanks for the review...I actually wasn't very excited about Wall-E..But it sounds pretty good. I like the element of what has happened to humans. I am interested to see their take on that.

Dirtius Wifius said...

People do seem to be overwhelmingly impressed with it.

Fun - has a message or two but it's not preachy in any way.

And it's just lots of fun.

Yeah, we like watching movies. I only started reviewing them because I was asked to do a review, but I think it's a good idea.

What do you all prefer though? A review like Brent's that talks about some details, or a review like mine (a la Get Smart) that talks more about how it made me feel? Which is more helpful?

BeatlesDiva said...

This was a fun film. I ever went out, just like a little kid, and got myself an action figure of Wall*E....too cute!