Friday, June 27, 2008

Popcorn: Wall-E

I saw Wall-E tonight with my brother, and I just loved it.

First of all, for me the best part was there is almost no diagloue! I loved it!! :) The story is told mostly through special effect, bleeps and beeos (think R2D2) and the occasional bit of dialogue from the human characters. And Hello, Dolly!songs (I have NO IDEA why Director Stanton chose this musical. No idea.) .

For a full review, you can read the Ebert link I posted above, but a quick shot: Wall-E is a robot designed to pick up trash, compost it into neat squares, and store in, forming large skyscrapers with blocks and blocks of trash. Besides a friendly cockroach, he is the only "living" thing left on Earth-it's 2700, and all humans were evacuated 700 years ago, because the planet had become uninhabitable. So Wall-E (who is solar-powered), spends his days compacting trash, and his nights playing with various human items (such as a Rubik's Cube, rubber duckies, a lightbulb, an iPod, Christmas lights, etc.), repairing himself with parts from other, broke robots, and watching Hello, Dolly!. He longs for the human connection show in the film.

One day, it shows up, the form of EVE, a robot sent to discern if there is any life on earth. After several mistarts, Wall-E bring her back to his abode and shows him the movie, as well as a plant he salvaged from a refrigerator. At this point, EVE takes the plant and shuts down, with her space ship coming to claim her a few days later. Smitten with his robot love, Wall-E follows her to Axiom, a space ship where humans lay sendentary in hover chairs, oblivious to any sort of world outside their telescreens.

The movie channels several sci-fi influences: ET, Close Encounters, Star Wars (especially the scene in the trash compactor!), Alien, 2001, etc. The voice of Wall-E is provided by the same man who came up with R2D2's "voice" in the Star Wars movies. While it's fun to spot the influences, this is a poignant, touching movie. You feel for Wall-e, you want EVE to hold his hand and kiss him. The scene where they float through space together is as touching as any "human" love scene. He is such a good-hearted little robot. He even frets for the life of the cockroach (which, as the film shows us, is NEVER in danger, even when Wall-E runs over him).

I'm sure kids will like it (the theater was packed with them), but I don't know if they'll like it as much as the adults that go with them.

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