Wall-E (2008) ***1/2

Rated: G
Runtime: 1hr 23min
Director: Andrew Stanton
Stars: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Sigourney Weaver
Genre: Comedy
Language: English

Wow Wee – Wall-E is Wall to Wall Entertainment

In a Nutshell

Plot

Straight as an Arrow
Twisty

Sound Quality

Easy to Hear
Incomprehensible

Who's That?

Few Main Characters
Lots

Naughty Words

Mild
Foul

Naked people

None
Lots

Violence

Tame
Bloody

Wall-E, Pixar’s new computer animated film is both a fun ride and a cautionary tale. Here we have a summer hit which will be enjoyed by both children and adults.

Wall-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth Class) is all dusty, grimy metal on the outside and enormous heart and compassion on the inside. When we first meet Wall-E, he is collecting and compacting trash heaped on our abandoned Earth. We are some 700 years in the future, and life no longer exists on Earth except for Wall-E and a cute cockroach. The inhabitants have long ago fled the planet and in their wake left it covered  in garbage. The humans now live on a gigantic spaceship which wanders the universe. The ship is provided by Buy-N-Large, a conglomerate which supplied Earth with everything from food to machinery, power and whatever else was necessary for existence. Unfortunately, it was Buy-N-Large who left Earth in the catastrophic state it is in. Do I smell corporate avarice?

Some film goers may be a bit disturbed by the depiction of all the humans as extremely overweight, unbelievably sedentary and wanton to extreme excess. Director Andrew Stanton’s message here is quite dramatic!

As Wall-E passes his lonely days and months doing his job, he tries to enjoy the simple things. He collects various items of garbage which have an appeal to him. His favorite possession is a VHS video of  Hello Dolly which he watches as often as possible. The appeal for him is in the connection he sees in the people. He loves the scenes of people singing, dancing and especially holding hands. Here is when we see the humanity in Wall-E’s robotic eyes. He is no longer simply a trash collecting machine, but a creature with feelings and longings and a need to connect.

Those longings will soon be satisfied with the arrival of EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator). When Eve lands on Earth, everything changes. Eve is very beautiful and Wall-E is quite smitten by her. Eve is on Earth looking for plant life which could possibly lead to a rebirth of the planet.

The scenes with the robots interacting are highlights of the film. Wall-E shows his shyness and longing for a connection with another person. Eve is cute and somewhat flirty in the sweetest ways. They certainly are the most romantic couple seen in a movie in some time! There is hardly any dialogue between them. The emphasis is on their movements and especially their eyes which are very expressive indeed.

The latter part of the film has Wall-E following Eve to the spaceship. Wall-E along with the ship’s captain gallantly tries to return to Earth and start life anew. This part of the movie will be enjoyed by children because Wall-E becomes heroic and the action ensues.

There are some fine actors lending their vocal talents here. Jeff Garlin as the captain of the ship, and Sigourney Weaver as the voice of the ship are excellent choices for those roles.

Of course, Pixar’s computer animation is a star as well. The process is once again magical as it was with last years hit, Ratatouille and with The Incredibles.

Wall-E stands alone and above those films because more than entertain as they did, Wall-E entertains and informs and presents themes of ecology, consumerism and excess.

You will walk away thinking of those themes, but you’ll be remembering Wall-E for its romance, humanity and heart.

A former teacher of English Literature, Paul J. Cassese taught in the NYC school system for more than thirty years. Paul enjoyed taking the wonderful film courses of Richard Brown and Scott Siegel, and is excited about his new role as an online film reviewer. Going to the movies has been a passion of Paul’s since boyhood. Paul thanks his dad for passing that on to him.

Comments

Sam said on July 4, 2008

 

Having just seen the movie, I agree with your excellent review. This is an important movie, and don’t forget the part of Fred Willard (stay the course) does that sound familiar?

longchamp le pliage said on June 24, 2013

 

Carrier Longchamp
longchamp le pliage http://longchampuktote.biz

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