“WALL-E” Echo of Silent Movies of the Past

Running Time: 1 hr. 37 min.
Release Date: June 27th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: G
Distributors: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Directed by:
Andrew Stanton

JJ Rating: A+

A robot that was designed to clean up the trash that was on the Earth does so day after day after day. He would compact the trash into cubes and place them neatly in stacks. 700 years of cleaning this and that, and then a ship lands and Eve (Elissa Knight) comes out to find plant life. She meets WALL-E. (Benjamin Burtt). WALL-E becomes infatuated by her and follows her back to her ship and then his unique personality starts to play a vital role in random robots and people’s lives. WALL-E.

I had fun trying to figure out what movie was going to reign the box office. Was it going to be WALL-E or Wanted? So I would go to www.imdb.com or Yahoo Movies and check on the numbers of people who had rated the movies. I saw both of them and the amount of people that were in the showings I was at were very close and I was excited to see how close it would be. Also the reviews that are at Yahoo Movies is a bland array of ignorance at its boringly best. There is a finesse to expressing like or dislike of a film and some people have it and others just plain don’t. Those that were writing dislike of WALL-E plainly did not have the brain capacity nor the ability to process the movie and had offspring that couldn’t do it either, since most were “OMG me and my kid so like um walked out. It was so laaaame.” Yeah. That was the gist of over 100 reviews that panned the movie. Not someone you should trust in knowing what is and isn’t a good film. The over all major complaint was that it had not the normal amount of verbal lines. That and the overly bogged down idea of how everything has to be go green propaganda.

One of the best movies I’ve seen was a silent movie by the name of Battleship Potemkin. What does make silent movies so awesome is that they have to rely on facial expressions and hand gestures. They look lively and in the moment every moment so that people knew who was speaking. WALLE-E comes into that same range as a silent movie, even though it had speaking parts. WALL-E and Eve tend to only speak each other’s names to express themselves verbally, but in doing so they say it with sense stress and emphases that one understands their feeling and emotion.

People always want great acting because that’s why one goes to the movies to see great acting and be entertained. I believe when you go and do acting classes that one of the games you could play is to use one word and say it while conveying different sets of emotions. That’s what happened in WALLE-E with all of the robot characters. The animators and the voices were able to convey feeling without elongated speaking or having logorrhea. That is awesome talent. It was like watching mimes perform with high intensity and determination with a great destination in mind.

Visually WALL-E was stunning. It was like looking up at the sky and seeing the billions of millions of stars in the galaxy and being in complete awe of what one sees. Even when the scenes were in the trash filled Earth the visuals were stunning and technical and wowing. The sounds were crisp and detailed as the visuals. Everything had it’s own distinct look as well as sound. No robot moved or sounded the same as another and it was a well orchestrated blend that moved like a well oiled machine.

The storyline of WALL-E does seem a bit eco-minded but it is true that humans are a bit trashy and to see what it would look like in 700 years seems about as accurate as anything. It wasn’t like they showed the Earth consumed by an expanding sun or flooded because of the polar ice caps are no more. It showed a Earth filled with trash. That’s reasonable. In history there were peoples that had technological wonders that we would marvel at even though they lived thousands of years ago. Who is to say that what we have now will be improved upon hundreds of years later? It could very well be gone and there will have to be another restart for humans as there has been in the past. It was not at all pushy in any agenda. It was a story about a robot who watched films and wanted something similar to what a human has in one of his favorite films (that happen to be tape and not DVD also he used cassettes instead of Cds). WALL-E has a personality that is quirky and unique for a robot like himself. He has hopes and dreams of what he wants to accomplish and he is fairly simple in what he wants his life to amount to. The damage to the Earth is but a backdrop for where he lives and how the story and climax are shared.

I cannot forget to mention the cartoon short that is at the beginning and prior to WALL-E. That short was so funny I did laugh out loud. It was one of the better ones that has come before a Pixar movie I have seen. Creative can’t even begin to describe the mind that came up with that cartoon. It goes along with the lack of verbal line theme that WALL-E will follow up with. Again lines are not needed to tell the story if the expression and gestures are done right.

I am not going to sit here and state that WALL-E is a movie that EVERYONE should see. I am going to state that it’s a far cry from the dreaded reviews that Yahoo has in the lower end of their grading scale. Those people are the reason movies have to be dumb down; and they breed and that’s just going to bring about Idiocracy. I feel sadness because of that. It’s not going to be a movie for everyone because not everyone can withstand a movie that lacks in the talking department and that’s fair for them to dislike it based on that. But to dislike it because it has no speaking and you state that as dumb, well that makes it another story entirely.

I believe WALL-E to be one of those rare movies that actually works on so many levels. Those that don’t see it are the ones that have cobwebs growing in their brains because those levels are not being used. It doesn’t mean that if you don’t like it you’re stupid, but it does mean if you can’t see why it was great and respect that then you are having cobwebs and you need to fix that.
WALL-E is an echo of silent movies of the past. It has great characters that express themselves marvelously through means that seem a bit archaic in films now days, and does so with such brilliance that it begs to ask why are there not more films like this one? Why do we get films that pander to the lowest common denominator and why cannot they strive to be as great as they use to be?

I will own this movie and watch it for it reminds me of silent movies and 2001: A Space Odyssey, the moment after the screaming apes; the moment with the flight to space station. Majestic and smooth with a hint of humor and humility, sprinkled with truth and adorableness that seems to be what the world stares down at but should aspire to be.


1 comment:

patrick said...

Wall-E totally looks like the robot from "Short Circuit"... minus the cheesy 80's style of course

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