Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wall-E (2008)

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Part of the magic of movies is the feeling you get when the credits roll and you know you've just participated in artistic brilliance. Pixar has become accustomed to providing movie-goers with this experience, but never more so than with their latest creation, Wall-E. The story of a robot on an Earth displaced from human habitation for 700 years and his space-journey to find love stands head and shoulders above Pixar's recent successes and everything else released this year. In fact, Wall-E isn't to be compared with this years films, but stands tall among the film classics of all-time. Wall-E is like a five-tool baseball player, strong in every possible aspect and nearly flawless in some. The combination of impeccable visuals and sound transplants the viewer into a futuristic world from the very first minute. The attention to detail by the creators, including writer/director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo), is astounding. Film references, deep symbolism, and clever observations abound throughout the entire 98 minutes, and, like usual, the Pixar visual team has created stunning animation to accompany a rock-solid script. The first 45 minutes of the film is the most phenomenal and unique sequence to appear on the big screen in years. Nearly dialogue-free, the lens follows Wall-E as we come to understand his existence on a barren, trash-filled Earth and his programmed, artificial-intelligence version of a personality. The creative minds behind Wall-E took unbelievable chances, and their fearless vision pays off time and again. The film begins to become more conventional, but no less stunning, when humans are first introduced to the story. The story that follows leaves the viewer rooting for not only Wall-E, but the entire human race. Stanton loaded Wall-E with metaphor and allusions concerning mankind and the future, but nothing is forced and every jab of wit, sarcasm, and innuendo fit perfectly into place. Ultimately, Wall-E is a film about love and companionship, and using robots as a vehicle to portray this drives home the universal nature of the subject matter. And that is what Wall-E truly is, universal. Some of the references may go over the head of the kids, but Wall-E has something for everyone to relate to. Wall-E will make you laugh, and think, but more than anything, smile. The climactic scene between Wall-E and Eve is instant film lore, and Wall-E, the robot with more personality than most humans, will be no doubt be mentioned in the same conversations as Forrest Gump, ET, Vito Corleone, Darth Vader, and Hannibal Lecter. Wall-E is the culmination of excellent film making from every imaginable angle and unthinkable creativity.

Good for: everyone, Pixar fans, children, a date, film buffs

Bad for: mean people, uptight people

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