Wall-E: a 4 out of 10 movie review
I have a bit of a problem. It seems that the group of people responsible for buying in films for Odeon cinemas missed a very big trick. Bear in mind that Wall·E has recently been released in the UK and a full week after Mamma Mia. Now bear in mind that the following week The Dark Knight will be released. At my local cinema, for every Wall·E showing, there are 2 Mamma Mia showings. There is also an absence of a Digital presentation. Not having this beautiful movie in a digital presentation is a crime. A CRIME, I TELL YOU! What is the matter with them? Who in their right mind thought that the karaoke-fest Mamma Mia was better than the subtleties of Wall-E? Why are they still working? Should they not be fired for this oversight? The fact is, in a few days (in the UK) The Dark Knight will be released and we shall all go skipping to the theater forgetting what else is on. Poor lonely Wall·E being forgotten by the British public. We are a total bunch of bastards after all. When I watched this movie, the auditorium was not even a third full, whereas Mamma Mia (a few days earlier) was packed! Now don't get me wrong, Mamma Mia was an enjoyable movie.....but Wall·E: Now that is something else altogether.
Most will tell you that I am a grumpy git who enjoys nothing more than to pull the bones out of everything I see. To most intents and purposes, they are correct. However, above being a grumpy person who thinks nothing is perfect, I am not oblivious to a good movie. I enjoy movies. You'd never review something you inherently hate (I'm not that masochistic).
So it is Pixar's 9th full length feature film and they have gone with an obvious winner. The fact is (by design or accident), Wall·E looks like a cross between E.T and Johnny Five (from Short Circuit). He has a name that you have to say in a cute manner: WALL-EEEE. Even though the spelling is a little awkward. I'm sure someone at Pixar thought it amusing to use an interpunct as opposed to a hyphen or full stop between the L and the E. So is he named WallE? Wally? Wall-E? Wall.E or Wall·E? Who cares. The fact is they have a robot who has acquired a human personality through years of exposure to our junk on an empty planet and he makes cute noises, much like R2D2 (from Star Wars). Is this another coincidence? A robot (R2) who's sounds came from the Sound Effects department of Star Wars (headed by Ben Burtt) who subsequently "voices" Wall·E?
Unfortunately this cuteness overload can often ruin things for the viewer. Sometimes we just can't handle too much cute!. In fact "cute" is a word I rarely use as I happen to think even newborn babies look like ugly midget Michelin Men! This film confirms to the world my theory that humans are an ugly species by portraying us all as a bunch of overweight, lazy incompetent fools incapable of rising out of our chair.
So we begin with some beautiful shots of a junked up Earth, showing off the excellent attention to detail that Pixar is renowned for. An introduction of the hero of the piece is done by showing his back to the camera first (much like old classic movies such as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) and we are taken in almost complete silence through the first third of the film. This is an incredibly bold move to make on Pixar's part. Stanley Kubrick did it in 2001: A Space Odyssey and he upset a few people. That was an adult's film. Imagine the brass-ones you have to have to suggest to Disney bosses, that instead of having an all singing and dancing part, it will be replaced by a robot collecting items with his pet cockroach (who is also amazingly cute) for the first 30 minutes. I bow down to that person for their ingenuity and damn right stupidness. It works! It works very well indeed.
Okay, so this review is sounding like someone (from Pixar) had burst into my home and pushed a wad of $100 dollar notes in my hand. They haven't...unfortunately. Nevertheless, like any film that I consider to be great, it still has flaws. The story takes an unfortunate downturn when the humans get involved. It is such a shame as we truly didn't need humans to make this story. The morals of this tale are shoved down your throat so hard, you feel as though your Oesophagus is going to start bleeding. Yes I know I shouldn't litter. Yes I know I shouldn't be sitting on my arse so much (what do you want me to do? Leave the Cinema so I don't become more of a fat-bastard?). Yes I know we, as a society are choosing the easy option of eating fast takeaway foods instead of nutritional meals. Yes, I know that we spend too much of our life watching television. Yes, I know that I should reduce my carbon footprint. ENOUGH ALREADY! What the hell is a carbon footprint anyway? I'm confused! Only a few years ago, we were having energy saving lightbulbs shoved down our necks and after replacing them all in our homes, some smart person then suggests we turn them all off! we are told that electricity is clean and yet we are told to use less of it. We are assured that recycling is the way to go and so we only get our garbage collected every two weeks instead. So I have bought very expensive lightbulbs which are not on because it wastes energy, am living in total darkness and tripping up on all the trash in the garden due to the fact that the bin man won't arrive for another week. It doesn't matter though, because my carbon footprint is being reduced. If I knew what a carbon footprint was in the first place that might ease my blind, garbage smelling pain but no-one seems to know!
Ahem. Okay so I'm not a lover of the unsubtle environmental messages in the film. Nevertheless, only with this (and a scaling issue of the human ship as it lands) I can find little fault in Wall·E. It is fun, amusing, sweet, beautiful and dare I say it...incredibly cute. At one point in the movie, you assume that Pixar were going to do something VERY bold. I can't reveal it here due to spoilers, but let me just say..I sat there watching a scene not believing what may be taking place.
Wall·E has been described recently as art. I think this statement is the most accurate. It is a gentle, sweet 3 dimensional work of art and Pixar should be very proud. I for one am heading back to the cinema to watch it again and to see if I can get the name of the buying department of Odeon to ask why they thought that the gender-biased Mamma Mia deserves more showings than this. Kids will love it because of it's cuteness and Wall·E's innocence and adults will love it because of the many subtle references to film's of old. The only group of people who may not love this movie as much as I do are teenagers. However we all know that teens are impossible to please and are best locked away for ten years until they grow out of their pouting, stressy stage (do not take that literally - I don't really believe that teenagers should be locked up; just segregated from the rest of society).
Look out for Presto (the Pixar short before the main feature). The inventive "rabbit in a magic hat" jokes are hilarious.
If you haven't guessed already, Wall·E is a solid 4 out of 10. A movie I fell in love with before even seeing it. If you haven't seen it, then I suggest you search this website for Wall·E videos and ask yourself why.....then get down to your doctors for a prescription as you are clearly unwell.
Seen Wall·E? What did you think? Is my rant on carbon footprints unjustified? How did the 30 minute (almost silent) beginning, work for you? Let me know your comments and emails.