Seriously. At this point, does anything taste better than a good ol' juicy Pixar movie? Arguably, in terms of consistency this studio is the best studio ever in the history of movies. There's a genuine purity and original organic deliciousness that soaks into every flippin frame of most of their flicks. Even at their lowest point (Cars) it still kept zooming along and immediately popped out any dent with Ratatouille. (Which I felt deserved to win Best Picture last year. Sorry, No Country but we all know you dropped the ball at the 3/4 mark. Sorry, There Will Be Blood when you really boil it down you were sky-high level shtick.) That being said, Wall-E was not my favorite Pixar movie ever. It comes in 3rd place behind Nemo and Ratatouille. Those two made me cry. But with Wall-E I didn't full-on cry. I only got welly once-- but that might be a fault of my own.
I had some concerns going into this movie as I do with all Pixars. I thought Ratatouille was going to be a big ball drop. It looked to highbrow and lame. Wrong. Dummy. With Wall-E the overall look was coming off too cutesy. Too ET-ish. Too R2-commercial. Too been there. With a beep and boop language that would certainly annoy me. So I slammed up a media blackout wall to avoid any more negative seepage plus I wanted to avoid all plotpoints. Proudly, I went into this movie 80% cold and blind to what this whole thing is about.
This movie starts up with a short for starters (such a nice tradition). I liked the short alot and laughed outloud a bunch of times. Fine. Got me. Then Wall-E starts up and my eyes got reminded of how straight-out dazzling these movies look. Old-style music floated over a dirty gritty garbage covered post-everything Earth. Animation twas good it smelled dusty in the theater. A lonely half-cheerful half-sad half-pathetic robot continued doing his little job of scooping up garbage and compacting it into cubes which he stacked and stacked and stacked (with goofy funny!) as he passes by wasted Wall-E's along the way. At this point, I started to feel like I was going to cry. It all looked so good. He was so cute and sad and alone. But I put the brakes on crying. It was too soon to be all weepy weep. I was gonna savor the cry for a better moment. Mistake.
For the first 40 minutes I just stared at this dialogue-less movie stunned that something so good has come for me again. That yet another world has been created that surrounded me 360 degrees. Personalities got built rather than slammed in my face stupid style (cough shrek). When we finally leave the planet, I dove head-first into this human world that was a brave smack at cold corporate consumerism. Coolio! Off we go! Yadda yadda Wall-E fumbled around through clutzing it up and getting hit on the head and hiding and goofing around and adventure and stuff. And the story moves along this way and that. Racing through corridors and flying around beautifully in space. I laughed out-loud alot at the bonky antics and had a big goofy grin on my face through most of this. But some little things did start to pick at me a little.
The plot became slightly clunky and the inevitable end point lacked surprise. The momentum of the flick started to lean heavy on the physical comedy. Side-character robots stayed slightly remote. The love story, although very cute, wasn't plucking at my heart all that much. And at some point I realized this film wasn't going to make me cry. (Even with a close call toward the end). But I had shut that cry window too early based on dumb mannish pride. And I regretted that decision back around minute 15.
Whatever! That being said none of these nitpicky issues overrode the greatness of this flick! The appreciation for its message. The visual bigness and smallness. I dug it all. And the star power of Wall-E was undeniable. That being said there was something of a ceiling for me and this movie. Something kept me from going over the top about it all. And on the walk back-- although my head was filled with colors and swimming with good thoughts I realized the nagging question that kept chomping at my heels... Was it just a bit too corny?
But really. Whatevs.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- The first 40 minutes or so is just straight of smiley hypnotic.
- I thought the initial courtship of Eve was friggin hysterical.
- As much as 'it's just a movie' --I dig how Pixar plants seeds in kids heads.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- I wanted more out of the defective robots and Wall-Rs.
- For a stretch the plot sort of looped in a circle before getting going again.
- Even though the human world in space was gross. It still looked sorta good to me...umm... as a place to visit.... for a week... or two.
All in all, this movie is the best film of the year. Not sure if it's really for little little kids because there's so much visual information to process to follow along. But older kids and grownup kids need to see this flick. Fight the urge to see something 'adult' that you know sucks and suck it up and see this film. Don't be snooty toward an animated movie about a robot! It'll beat the crap out of a doodybag like Get Smart any day of the week.
Oh! PS. The only thing that lingers in the air about the goodness of this flick is the fact that Wall-E is gonna have to clean up all this crap one day. It would have been so nice if they could have just resisted the urge and didn't produce this garbage. Hard to not be slightly grumped at the hypocrisy. C'mon dudes... couldn't you have kept it real?