Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cathy and David at the Movies: "Wall-E"



Cathy: Earth was abandoned 700 years ago by the human race, leaving behind an army of robots to clean up the rubbish. Wall-E is the sole survivor, and over the centuries has developed a personality along with a deep sense of loneliness.

David: And a very entertaining sense of curiosity.

Cathy: For a movie that has practically no dialogue for the first 40 minutes, I was engaged from the moment the film began.

David: That's because it draws on the best traditions of visual comedy – it’s a little like watching a robotic Mr Bean.

Cathy: No, not at all. Wall-E is a captivating and endearing character. Maddy says "extremely cute"! Along with Wall-E, I was delighted at the arrival of Eva – an exploratory probe from the human "ark", and enchanted by the relationship that develops. As Mia said, it’s a love story "kids-style", but one that adults can thoroughly enjoy as well.

David: The name Eva is suggestive, of course. The abandoned earth is no garden of Eden, but there is a definite "bone of my bones" (or perhaps "cog of my cogs") reaction on Wall-E's part.

Cathy: There are some truly magical and touching moments, such as the "space-dance" with Eva and a fire-extinguisher-propelled Wall-E.

David: And a lot of references to other films too. Wall-E is reminiscent of "Number Five" from the 1986 movie Short Circuit; his cockroach friend is reminder of Pinocchio's Jiminy Cricket; and the ship-board computer (voiced by Sigourney Weaver) deliberately recalls "Hal" from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Cathy: Truly a movie that can be enjoyed by all ages. I loved it. I'm giving it four stars.

David: Well, personally, I think this will end up on every shelf in every living room next to the Shrek DVD's. Pixar has raised digital animation to a new level with this film. Am I allowed to give it FIVE stars, or is that exaggerating?

5 Comments:

At Wednesday, September 24, 2008 12:39:00 am , Blogger Shan said...

I had a very rough day today and so I took myself off to see Wall-E this evening, simply hoping to be distracted by a pretty film.

Instead I found myself guffawing at the short film ("Presto") and throughly, deeply moved at Wall-E. More than once I gasped, cheered and even teared-up. (NO, I didn't cry, but I was moved.)

Unlike any other movie-makers active today, Pixar continually show that they understand the power of beauty in art. The fact that they do this in narratives - even in an essentially silent film like Wall-E's first act - is testament to their talent.

Wall-E is a beautiful film, and it is a good reminder of what "movie magic" actually is.

 
At Wednesday, September 24, 2008 10:52:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

I absolutely agree, Shan. Yes, "Presto" was a cartoon in the best tradition of the pre-movie cartoons of the past. I remember as a kid being entertained by Pink Panther shorts, which visually drew on many of the same traditions of visual comedy that Pixar now uses. "Presto" was more "Warner Bros." style than Disney, but I must admit Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck had a great deal to do with the formation of my sense of humour!

My only criticism of Wall-E was that the animators decided to make the obese humans so cartoon-like, whereas everything else in the film is so realistic. We know that they could do realistic human beings - the "promo" for the BnL Ark at the beginning shows humans like this. I think they could still have made the 700yr-into-the-future humans fat and spineless, without making them unrealistic cartoons. I can think of many reasons why they chose to do it the way they did - eg. the robots are more real than the humans - but I think it was a miscalculation.

 
At Wednesday, September 24, 2008 12:32:00 pm , Blogger Shan said...

Actually David the humans in the BNL at the start are real humans! I think the reason the obsese humans are so cartoony is because if Pixar animated realistic fat people, it wouldn't be cute. I would have preferred cartoony humans at the start as well as the end.

 
At Wednesday, September 24, 2008 1:25:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Are you sure that they were real humans at the beginning?

 
At Wednesday, September 24, 2008 10:50:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

The "real" At the Movies has its review here

Read the comments below the review - there are actually people who didn't like it!

Weird.

 

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