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Mr. Beaks Mulls WALL-E's Greatness!

(My apologies for the lateness of this review, but I didn't see WALL-E until Friday and wanted to give it a day or two to sink in. I openly discuss the ending of the film, so take the front-page spoiler tag very seriously. I also give away the ending of THE IRON GIANT, too.) When I first learned of the premise for Andrew Stanton's WALL-E (marooned robot charged with tidying up a wasteland called "Earth" finds true love), I irrationally decided it was a companion piece to Douglas Trumbull's SILENT RUNNING in which one of the surviving Dern-Drones ("Huey", "Dewey" or "Louie") discovers there's more to life than gardening. When I finally saw the titular, charmingly junky "Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth-class" character at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con, I swooned at the E.T.-by-way-of-"Number-Five" design (and, most importantly, its Ben Burtt "voice"), and inexplicably overburdened the film with preordained greatness. No way the nerds at Pixar were going to whiff on their opportunity to make a big-hearted sci-fi classic. Given their Lucasfilm roots, WALL-E seemed like the film they were destined to make. The problem with anticipating a "masterpiece" is that even if the filmmaker delivers on such impossible promise, their vision will most likely prove divergent from yours. As a grown man who's not an idiot all day long, I've come to understand this. Still doesn't keep me from engaging in a multitude of "what ifs" when I see trailers for movies I'm insane over. This is why, for instance, it took me a few viewings of HEAT to get with its vacuum-sealed perfection; the Mann/De Niro/Pacino teaming was so monumental that I got caught up in what it "should be" rather than letting the picture simply be on its own terms. I did the same thing to BARTON FINK back in 1991, and, in the intervening years, it's gone from "good Coens" to "top-shelf Coens" in my estimation. I'm hoping the same fate will befall WALL-E, a film that's as flawlessly constructed as Pixar's previous high-water mark, TOY STORY 2, but, for whatever reason, feels like it's missing that climactic "oomph" that'll kick it into the all-time "all ages" stratosphere occupied by THE WIZARD OF OZ, DUMBO, E.T., THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T, THE IRON GIANT and maybe a very few others. Though Stanton flirts with a finale that would've devastated children (and probably shaved $100 million off its domestic box office tally - and, fair or not, I do wonder to what extent he considers such things*), he ultimately opts for an earned-but-safe denouement that feels frustratingly conventional: not only does he go for the, I think, third callback of the WALL-E reboot (the adorable readjusting of the eyes and such), he also repeats the "kiss", which feels more obligatory than exhilarating the second time around. It's "moment" recycling, and it's the kind of very mild misstep that occurs when a screenplay falls one setup/payoff short of what we'll call an "Alex Garcia". Or, to be less obscure, it's THE IRON GIANT concluding with Hogarth tearfully building an Erector Set replica of his blown-to-smithereens buddy rather than the last piece of the robot rolling out of his window bound for the Langjökull glacier. Look, it's a tribute to, if nothing else, the just-plain-greatness of WALL-E that I'm splitting hairs like this, but what else is there to discuss? Hopefully, you've already seen the film for yourself and marveled at Stanton's sublime, Chaplin-esque command of visual storytelling. You've gasped at the offhanded brilliance of WALL-E discarding the shiny diamond ring in favor of the chintzy felt box, chuckled at the malevolent HAL-ishness of the Axiom's computer, and delighted at the WALL-E/EVE zero-gravity pas de deux (with fire extinguisher). Stanton's film is stuffed with holy moments like this, which makes it the most consistently joyous piece of cinema I've seen all year; it's a keeper regardless of whether it packs that ineffable "oomph". Some have ascribed WALL-E's diminished emotional impact to the abrupt tonal shift at the outset of act two (i.e. it's a romance until the Axiom, at which point it becomes a socially conscious piece of sci-fi not unlike SILENT RUNNING), but, all told, it requires less of an adjustment than, say, the comedic-to-tragic 180 of THE GRADUATE - and that movie holds up okay. Mostly, I see WALL-E's arrival on the Axiom as equivalent to Dorothy setting foot in Oz, with the primary difference being that WALL-E is too focused on getting his girl back to register awe at his surroundings. In his eyes, awe isn't worth experiencing if he can't share it with EVE. But does Stanton's distaste for American lethargy (both physical and mental) gradually overwhelm the romance at the core of his narrative? Not at all. In fact, there's something truly touching about this forgotten caretaker of our irretrievably trashed planet inducing chaos and, finally, enlightenment in the name of love. Though some conservatives might be thin-skinned enough to get worked up over Fred Willard's buffoonish head-of-state declaring "stay the course" (a favorite slogan of W's daddy), that's like liberals getting their dander up over the depiction of the president as unabashed horndog in LOVE ACTUALLY (more interesting to me is the "blue is the new red" fashion statement, which could be taken as a criticism of Americans' political flightiness). It's also spectacularly beside the point: Stanton's overt theme is that our health will not improve and our planet will not heal if we don't get up off of our asses and do something about it. That's not a partisan message; that's common sense. True, Stanton lampoons this "eureka" moment with an on-the-nose Richard Strauss cue, but this isn't a swipe at obliviousness; it's just a hanging curveball that needed to find the center field bleachers. And none of this happens if a smitten WALL-E doesn't chase EVE all over the Axiom. Despite the gentle, MODERN TIMES-inspired satire, "true love" is the motor of this story. It's a lovely gesture, and it makes me smile, but there's a part of me that wonders whether we'd be referring to Stanton's film as genuflectingly brilliant if he left WALL-E's memory wiped at the end. Most of those aforementioned classics require some semblance of sacrifice: we assume Elliott will never see E.T. again, whilst another trip to Oz might leave Dorothy talking like Leon Spinks (Baum's fiction notwithstanding). But after a few we-know-you're-not-going-there scares, WALL-E's shipshape once again (like Uhura post-"The Changeling"). For all I know, kids will be plenty traumatized by the sight of WALL-E nearly dying twice, but the stakes were never high enough for me to think he wouldn't bounce back. So why is it that every time I watch E.T., I get caught up in the moment and believe he's a goner the minute he flatlines? And why did I expect WALL-E to go there? Perhaps it's the beginning of FINDING NEMO - particularly the unfinished version I saw in late '02, which, I swear, found Albert Brooks's Marlin mourning over the remaining, uneaten "half" of his wife. Stanton's never been afraid to acknowledge danger and/or death. But, aside from the drab visual palette in the early going and the expired WALL-E units scattered about the landscape (from which our protagonist scavenges in one nearly morbid scene), the movie seems bereft of morbidity. It only wants to disturb so much. I'll be seeing WALL-E again because I'd like to see it digitially projected (I saw the first act in brilliant 4k up at Pixar back in February, but never got invited to a proper press screening - mourn for me!). I'm hoping it'll go the HEAT/BARTON FINK route and improve with each viewing. If not, it'll just have to get consigned to that terribly overpopulated ghetto of "great movies. Oh, what a shame that'd be. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

*This doesn't strand you in horrendous company, Mr. Stanton; Spielberg still has to contend with such presumptions, too (even though audiences fail to realize that his "happy" endings post-1986 - excluding the third and final INDIANA JONES movie - are typically anything but).

Readers Talkback
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  • June 30, 2008, 12:03 a.m. CST


    by virtual_ninja


  • June 30, 2008, 12:03 a.m. CST


    by virtual_ninja

    eat it

  • June 30, 2008, 12:04 a.m. CST


    by virtual_ninja

  • June 30, 2008, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Peter Gabriel

    by Series7

    That song was really good. Did anyone else see the big ominous BnL logo come up after the credits.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Is anyone else tired

    by Series7

    of people being like OH this is a kids film? Wanted was more of a kids film then this.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:20 a.m. CST


    by Mezzanine

    I saw it for the second time tonight, and I am happy to say that it does indeed get better with repeat viewings. The first time that I saw it, I wanted Stanton to go for thed "Wall*E dies, and continues to clean up the Earth for it's new inhabitants" route, and when that didn't happen, I too thought of the amazing, "what if's". But tonight, when the same scene came up, it made sense to me that Wall*E would come back. He HAD to in a sense. He was the one who showed certain people aboard the Axiom how to truly live, and if he died, their dreams of a new world, inspired by the gutsiness of that little robot might have died with him. </p> On the whole, Wall*E is one of the best movies that I have ever seen, and it is destined to be remembered as a timeless movie. The screening tonight was filled with kids in enraptured silence, their parents in awe at what Pixar had accomplished, and people my age; in the middle who applauded for the 8:40 pm showing at the end. More than once I looked over and my girlfriend had tears falling. The love story is timeless, and the messages in the movie are important, not just for today, but forever.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Series7...parents are complaining that their kids are bored

    by bacci40

    and that is a reflection upon the parents...early disney flicks all had adult themes...and were downright scary....and christ, there isnt any dialogue in fantasia....its all music and moving pictures...when in the fuck did animation become strictly for kids? when the fuck did they start dumbing down tv cartoons? why are we raising a generation of the retarded?

  • June 30, 2008, 12:23 a.m. CST


    by The InSneider

    sorry gang but i didn't love it. maybe my expectations were too high but I was a little disappointed. Better than Cars but not in the same league as the true Pixar greats,

  • June 30, 2008, 12:28 a.m. CST

    i think its funny..

    by soup74

    when i talk to people (grown ups) about disnet/pixar film, i almost always hear.."yeah, did you see 'whatever disney movie'? there were lots of jokes in there kids wouldnt get!" like thats surprising.. <br><br>christ, they've been adding 'grown-up' humor for nearly 20 years now (or arguably..since they started) why are people still surprised at that?<br><br>that being said, 'kids movie' or 'grown up movie' is was a classic american fairy tale, and wall-e needed to get his memory back at the end to make it classic. (otherwise it would have been all 'german fairy tale' or something. i kid.. but not really.)

  • June 30, 2008, 12:30 a.m. CST

    Mr. Beaks... this is a movie for KIDS.

    by Galactic

    Just saw the movie with my gf, and I saw a few kids in the audience actually crying when they realized that WALL-E didn't recognize EVE at the end. In all the hub-bub of how Pixar movies are "kid movies that adults can enjoy" have we all forgotten that they are, in fact, movies for children? Even in the earlier "heavy" Disney films they wouldn't end it on such depressing notes. Yes Bambi's mother got shot and yes, Mufasa got trampled to death, but those events didn't happen at the END of the film. Yes, WALL-E, true to Disney form, had a "happy ending". Is that really something you had to nitpick with a kids film? Especially one that was, in my humble opinion, such a great one?

  • June 30, 2008, 12:36 a.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    Agreed that it doesn't make any kind of sense for WALL-E to lose his memory, but if there were some way to separate WALL-E and EVE at the end (and have them still be fully operational)... that might've done the trick. The film just feels like it comes up short <em>one</em> grace note, y'know?

  • June 30, 2008, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Tell Him I Liked ERASER

    by mrbeaks

    See if that smooths things over.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:55 a.m. CST

    What a great movie

    by andrew coleman

    I'm sorry to those who like were unhappy with it or sour because of how popular it is, but this movie made me smile. All the way through I really enjoyed myself. I hope to see it again soon. As for the ending I really liked it actually. I get what some of you are saying but for me it worked.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Seen it twice...ready for more

    by srangel351

    Ive seen the movie twice. once with a widely adult audience and the second time with mostly children. By crowd reactions i would say that the adults responded the most to the film, simply because they were involved enough to take in everything that it offers. While the young audience also seemed to really enjoy the film, i think it was hard for these kids to take it all in. In any case, my feelings on it are that it was a masterpiece. I think mrbeaks, you probably hit its weaknesses on the nose, but im sure you had to really nitpick the film to find things wrong with it. Because it really is a great film. probably one of the best pictures made this year. if the oscars would allow a picture like this to be best picture, i think it deserves at least the nomination. Pixar never ceases to amaze me, and i can't wait to see whats next from them.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:09 a.m. CST

    EVE "crying"

    by darthvedder81

    For whatever reason the part where EVE cries "No! No!" in that weird robot voice after she thinks Wall-e blew up with the ship sent a shiver up my spine. To get that kind of emotion out of expressionless animated robots is kind of miraculous.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:17 a.m. CST


    by Herewereyouwish

    First off, i love your reviews, keep them comin. I think the fact that we weren't sure if his memory was coming back or not is what propels this to a "Top Shelf" movie. Even though this film has some very hefty "adult" issues running throughout, it was made for children, and to be able to draw in the older crowd, make them think that the love was going to end, is incredible storytelling. This is a kids movie, right? It HAS to end happily or a riot of grade schoolers will pillage and plunder, but it is able to make you question how it is going to end, and that is the beauty of it. Oh, i loved it by the way.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Yeah Herewereyouwish...

    by snitchseeker

    I wasn't sure if his memory was going to come back...but I wanted it to pretty much more than I've ever wanted something to happen in a movie before.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:25 a.m. CST

    my minor beef with Wall-e

    by palinode

    [Spoilers etc.] I just didn't buy the sudden decency and eagerness of the humans to recolonize the Earth. I get that they're supposed to giant foetuses in a metal womb, ready to be 'born' into a harsh, challenging world, but I didn't feel it. My 'what-if' version of the film involves the Axiom coming back to the planet as per the ship's directive (no robot interference plot point), the humans finding the place to be a hideous junkpile, and promptly fleeing back to the automated convenience of their Matrix-style life in space. Then Wall-e and Eve are left to rebuild the planet, carrying on the high ideals that humans invented but can't sustain as a society.<br><br>Of course, that's a different film, and Andrew Stanton would no doubt tell me to stop complaining and go make it.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:33 a.m. CST

    I think the merits of this film will be a topic for years to com

    by IndustryKiller!

    Don't get me wrong because I loved this movie and both Wall-E and Eve to me are classic characters from here on out. BUT, I will say that something about the Axiom adventure made it peter out for me as a film just a bit. Sure I think they shift away from Wall-E which is a huge storytelling miscalculation, and moreover it seems like they did it in service of the message, which I guarantee would have been loud and clear even without the hammy "I ALWAYS do nothing!" speech from the captain, but moreover I think they trip a bit in their portrayal of humanity. Rather than just roast us for being lazy I think a better examination of human nature would have been a bit more interesting. Less cartoony at least. Not only did I find the humans of the Axiom unappealing, which Im sure was the point, but uninteresting as well. They were a little too over the top to take seriously. And I find it hard to believe that after 700 years in comparatively small quarters that humans would have turned out so, for lack of a better term, fat and happy. Not to mention that everyone else on Earth is apparently dead and no one seems to notice or care or no a thing about it. The whole thing was too sterile and, for me at least, lacking in wonder completely. Is making the humans a bunch of jovial simpletons really the best they could come up with. I think they could have given that world MANY more dimensions without sacrificing an ounce of the point. I think anyone familiar with my posts on this site can say that I have a great opinion of humanity but give us a little credit. I think we would, proverbially speaking, explode as a society rather than implode. SOmething more anarchic would have rang closer tot eh truth. Ahh well, so close to a classic.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:35 a.m. CST


    by IndustryKiller!

    You could make a drinking game out of how many times I say "I think" or "a bit" in that last post.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:35 a.m. CST

    He just needed to reboot

    by zooch

    It's such a light and fluffy film, I don't think your sad ending idea works.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:43 a.m. CST


    by Herewereyouwish

    I agree. Even though its an almost euphoric feeling when a movie ends abruptly(see No Country for Old Men or Children of Men)or on a down note (see The Mist or The Departed), this movie called for a happy ending, it would have been a worse film had there been heartbreak in the end, no doubt in my mind.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:45 a.m. CST

    the Axiom adventure gives the film purpose

    by zooch

    Everything in the movie, Eve, the humans, all the robots, all seemed to be just following their directives, no individuality, until one little driod disturbs the natural order of things and gives everything life. It makes the films message all the more poignant.

  • June 30, 2008, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Toy Story: The Space Movie, But Different

    by Heckles

    That'll be ten bucks a ticket. Five for your fat kid.

  • June 30, 2008, 2:07 a.m. CST


    by zooch

    When I was a kid and saw ET die, I thought he was a goner for sure, but I've seen alot of movies since then. I know how these things work. ET is not going stay dead. The characters in these kind of films aren't going to die. I kinda understand that going in, but it doesn't take away from the films to me. I still enjoy watching them barely escape death, because that's where the real fun is. Watching a character like Wall-E that was so full of life throughout the entire film go back to doing mindless task was heartbreaking, and it was even more satifying watching him come back. The director acheived at making me feel all this wonderfully to where it felt necessary for it to happen the way it all did.

  • June 30, 2008, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Wall-E's memory

    by Rocklover79

    I knew in my heart of hearts that his memory would come back, but I was very scared for a moment there, and so was the entire audience. Little kids in my screening were crying. LOUDLY. A little girl cried out, "Turn back on, Wall-E!" When he gripped Eve's hand and did his little eye thing, the relief and joy in that theater was honestly overhwleming, I shit you not. The kids(and their parents) were cheering and clapping.

  • June 30, 2008, 2:29 a.m. CST

    Toy Story 2 is "The High Watermark"?

    by codymr

    TS2 is great, but better than The Incredibles? I', not sure about that comment.

  • June 30, 2008, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Why the ending had to be like that

    by Wed Vid Guy

    You can kill WALL-E in a kids film but you can't give him Alzeihmers disease. How fucking sad would that be?

  • June 30, 2008, 2:49 a.m. CST

    Repent Harlequin!

    by Random_Effluvia

    If we're talking what ifs, about the second time WallE bumps into a human I'm reading it as a kid's version of Ellison's "Repent Harlequin Said the Tick Tock Man" where the vigilante's sole goal is to upset the routine. The fact that there is so much talk about the movie is a good indicator of it's ability to last. If there is something that it lacks is a strong theme that runs thru the movie. It can't be a stand against consumerism and be a Disney movie, it can't be about "Global Warming (tm)" and be timeless, and if it was going to be about the love then something should have happened re. the love. It could have been lost (WallE goes simple) or it could have been won but (and a second viewing may change my mind) what I saw was WallE coming back by sheer luck or robust Memory design.

  • June 30, 2008, 3:04 a.m. CST

    I agree and disagree with Beaks

    by hopewell1

    I agree: There was a lot of double dipping going on in this film, emotionally and plot wise. The shoe was lost, twice. The captain fought with Auto twice. Wall E and the hands thing, over and over. Shave off about 15 minutes of that and the film would have been even better. However, thematically Wall E and Eve had to end up together. The theme, as I see it, is that humanity will always need Love and Struggle to give itself purpose and even when we cut off love and struggle from our lives eventually we will bring it back into our lives. The fact that a human made robot reminded and fostered that back into our civilization shows us that human nature is indestructible, even from ourselves, and "life will find a way." to quote another film. As a robot Wall E learned from us what the best of humanity was and re-taught it to ourselves. To "punish" him for that would violate the whole theme of the movie.

  • June 30, 2008, 3:24 a.m. CST

    Just saw it again...

    by Redfive!

    Both times Digitally Projected and I loved it even more the 2nd time around. I completely disagree with Beaks,it was painful watching Wall-E lose his memory and go back to being a drone at the end. I think they kept the suspense alittle too long...and to have Wall-E end with him losing his mind wouldn't make since because he's a man made machine who gave humans back their humanity. Plus the film ends with the humans starting to take back the earth and theres such a storyw ith the end credits I didnt relize it as I did the 2nd time around.

  • June 30, 2008, 5:06 a.m. CST

    You wanted Wall-E dead!?


    Bloody hell mate wasn't the overall Doom laiden plot about entire world obliteration and the disturbing fact that life might go on in space but only in a fat, jello body that can't hold it's own weight not Disturbing enough for you! you want the entire audience to reamin in stunned silence and walk from the auditorium with ther hearts utterly shattered as the Hero just shuts down and all the humans fall in a heap and rot!!! <P>Strange niggle you got there!?<P>Maybee you would have prefered Brody and Hooper to have drowned at the end of Jaws or ETs rescue ship to have crashed or Luke to have missed the shot on the Death Star!?

  • June 30, 2008, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Try this ending

    by Lingerdog

    Wall-E doesn't remember Eve we get shots of eve off and on trying to get him to respond, a call back to what Wall-E did when Eve went into hibernation after receiving the plant. We get the sense that many years are passing. Finally the earth has been restored, there is no more trash to be crushed into little cubes. We see Eve wanting Wall-E to recognize her, her shiny exterior has finally faded and rusted. Wall-E makes a cube out of the last piece of trash, then Directive achieved is heard and Wall-E powers down, Eve not wanting to go on without Wall-E shuts down herself. And then you have the notebook ending version of Wall-E.

  • June 30, 2008, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Genre Requirements

    by MediaNerd

    I think it depends on if you view this as a Sci-fi film or a Romantic film. The romance genre requires that love be lost, but at the last moment found. The message-heavy sci-fi movies tend to be a bit more bleak and require the heroes to die as martyrs for their cause to succeed.<Br><Br> I think the ending we have shows that Stanton wanted a Romantic Sci-Fi, not Sci-Rom. But he threaded that line so tight, that most did not know which direction he would take until it happened. I know I believed the long reboot delay and felt bad for Eve.

  • June 30, 2008, 8:02 a.m. CST


    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    thats horrible.<p>i'll take my Wall-E movie for kids, not star crossed lovers.<p>loved the film. can't wait to see it again.

  • June 30, 2008, 8:04 a.m. CST

    and not to get too sappy here...

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    but i don't think it was his memory that needed to come back. obviously at this point he was more than a sum of his parts. it was his soul that needed to reboot. and it did. and i'd be crying in the theatre still if it had not.

  • June 30, 2008, 9 a.m. CST

    It is a cute movie. Toy Story and Incredibles are better

    by toadkillerdog

    It is not the breathless masterpiece that movie reviewing press is going on about. Really, either some of those people want to work for Pixar, or they are just parroting what they think should be said about the film. It is a cute little film, that is not as funny as the trailers would lead you to believe, and at times it drags and while not boring at those times, I did notice some of the kids getting restless. <p> It is a cute movie though, but nothing ground breaking.

  • June 30, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST

    I was bothered by some Axiom parts too

    by godzillasushi

    The urgency was always there for me, of course. But after what I recall was the third try to get the plant into that machine it started to wear on me. Although that ultimately was just being picky because the Axiom was otherwise perfect. At times I wondered if the adults in the audience retained any of the film enough to look at their own lives. Or if they just thought it was a 'cute' cartoon. I hope much of that film's commentary does make some impact. I have to say, sometimes I just removed myself from the story and enjoyed the way it looked. The visuals are incredible. I'll never forget when Wall-E was riding on the ship away from Earth, and just how stunning those images looked. For what it's worth, Toy Story and Ratatouille are still my favorites but this one easily takes third. From my own personal tastes, it destroys Incredibles and Finding Nemo. :)

  • June 30, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    RE: phoenixmagi2

    by godzillasushi

    Come on man. Your taking it all too literally. Stop looking at it from that perspective! You can't go into a Disney movie about a robot and complain that robots don't have emotions in reality. Your completely missing the point. The whole idea is that Wall-E wants romance and nothing else mattered to him. We interpret everything built around that. It's not supposed to be realistic! I will give you credit for managing to mention both Wall-E and Spider-man 3 in the same post though.

  • June 30, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Finding Nemo was way overrated - even moreso than Wall-E

    by toadkillerdog

    Rat, was good. It was funny, had a good story. It makes top five animated for me. The Incredibles was just that, Incredible. But I will stipulate that i loved it because of the superhero aspect as much as the storyline and animation. Just for the pure storytelling aspect, I think Toy Story is still the best. But Incredibles is my favorite.<p> It is all subjective though.

  • June 30, 2008, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Yeah I never cared for Finding Nemo

    by godzillasushi

    And I still don't get the praise for it. When you compare it to other CG movies, sure, it's great. But against Pixar's own library it's better than Cars....which isn't saying much! My opinions of course. The Incredibles just didn't work for me, and I've come to accept that I'm in a very small minority on it. Anyone I talk to loves it.

  • June 30, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Wall-E was best IMO

    by BMacSmith

  • June 30, 2008, 10:21 a.m. CST

    It's "Blue. It's the new red."

    by Massage...Bored

    Not the other way around like you have it, Mr. Beaks. I'm a nitpicky bitch.

  • June 30, 2008, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Nemo was great

    by Rocklover79

    Not the greatest of all time, but that's a great movie.

  • June 30, 2008, 10:40 a.m. CST


    by bobjustbob

    Loved the first half of WALL-E and enjoyed the second half. I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but the chase-for-the-plant plot item felt a lot like the door chase in MONSTERS INC. The first 30 minutes of WALL-E was simply the amazing. And the space "dance" was the emotional high point to me.

  • June 30, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST

    godzillasushi: some thoughts...

    by mbeemer

    "The whole idea is that Wall-E wants romance and nothing else mattered to him." <p> Ah, but it didn't. He could have had romance by staying with Eve on the Axiom. Love taught him that humanity was important, and that restoring humanity to Earth was more important that being with Eve, or even his life/existance. <p> I find that "WALL*E" is a more thoughtful and touching film than anything I've seen by Pixar yet (I missed "Cars" and "Rattattouile") (and that's saying something, because I thought "Finding Nemo" was pretty touching...), but not as 'exciting' as "The Incredibles". I think it will improve with future viewings, and will be well deserving of the Academy Award.

  • June 30, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    And, DAMNIT!

    by mbeemer

    WE NEED AN EDIT FEATURE!<p> I'm surprised no one has mentioned this before...<p><p><p> (Yes, that was sarcasm.)

  • June 30, 2008, 11:10 a.m. CST


    by Massage...Bored

    You should go directly out from where you are right now and rent Ratatouille (in whatever form you can). You won't be disappointed.

  • June 30, 2008, 11:26 a.m. CST


    by mbeemer

    Plan to at the earliest opportunity.<p> I may be stoned for saying this, but I rarely make it to the theater, even when I say to myself, "Hey, I should get off my ass and go see that!". Meant to see "Rattattoile" in the theater but didn't, made the effort for "WALL*E".

  • June 30, 2008, 11:31 a.m. CST

    The Humans

    by Massage...Bored

    I keep reading people not buying the humans' urgency to colonize the Earth. Well, these people are so damned dumb that all it takes is one singular voice to tell them what to do, they're like lemmings. These people don't think for themselves, they let someone tell them what to do. The Axiom's captain seems to be the only one of them that has to do anything (remember he complains about not waking up in time for morning announcements) on the ship making him less, not by much, dumb and actually eager to learn about Earth. <p> He's like the head lemming, still not very bright but leading nonetheless. So it's through the captain's enthusiasm to do anything but what he's doing on the ship and leadership that the rest of the humans are eager to colonize as well. <p> And they still have the Axiom. I'm sure some people still live in it and used it's services. realize this is all speculation about fiction, but I think it has its merits to converse about it. I'm sure there are going to be lazy assholes within the mix at some point. But the humans do have the technology and robot helpers to rebuild and plant crops. Its not like they would be starting from scratch reinventing the wheel. <p> Geebus, this is why I love Pixar. Yoou wouldn't catch me having to analyze Ice Age 2 like this.

  • June 30, 2008, 11:34 a.m. CST


    by Massage...Bored

    Don't see Ratatouille on an empty stomach because the food looks so damn good you'll be growling in no time.

  • June 30, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST


    by godzillasushi

    I see what you mean. But, in my opinion, I think Wall-E was only trying to help with the plant because that's what EVE wanted. In his world he was trying to help her, the humans were just a beneficiary of that. Either way....get out and see Ratatouille!!! You won't be dissapointed.

  • June 30, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST

    godzillasushi: another exchange

    by mbeemer

    "I see what you mean. But, in my opinion, I think Wall-E was only trying to help with the plant because that's what EVE wanted." <P> But when EVE was ready to forget the plant and try to save WALL*E, it was he that insisted she complete her 'Directive'.<P> "Either way....get out and see Ratatouille!!! You won't be dissapointed."<P> Roger that!

  • June 30, 2008, 12:38 p.m. CST


    by godzillasushi

    OHH...."But when EVE was ready to forget the plant and try to save WALL*E, it was he that insisted she complete her 'Directive'." You're right! I forgot about that. Hmmm, well, that could be interpreted both ways I suppose. I'll just have to watch it again sometime.

  • June 30, 2008, 1:01 p.m. CST

    False Beat

    by SteveMovieez

    I agree with everyone that nobody "wants" to see Wall-E lose his memory. So then why flirt so HEAVILY with that concept? Eve could have just reassabled him, and the tension could have been built by Wall-E taking a few seconds to turn on or something like that. Why even bring up the concept of him losing his memory if it goes nowhere? False beat, son!

  • June 30, 2008, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Isn't it GREAT(!)...

    by mbeemer

    ...that we can be debating nuances in a "children's" movie?<p> *GOD*, I LOVE PIXAR!!!!

  • June 30, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST

    not a false beat

    by hopewell1

    Eve countered her "directive" by making Wall E her purpose. So Wall E comes full circle when Eve saves him by reminding him who he is over his own "directive" (cubing trash). It's a full circle thematic beat. Love enables us to find a deeper purpose.

  • June 30, 2008, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Good one PheonixMagi2

    by Reznik

    Still making the *cough* *cough* big bucks at EA?

  • June 30, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST

    This movie is good, but not that great

    by strosmer

    And was certainly overhyped by Massawyrm. For me, it did not go places I'd never imagined it would. In fact, I think it was lacking in the imagination department. I saw many of the same concepts in Idiocracy repeated here. It was a great entertainment for kids, and had some beautiful moments, but overall I felt it was pretty standard fare for Pixar in terms of story, humor, and characterization. It will win Best Animated Feature hands down, but Brad Bird's movies are still the pinnacle of Pixar's efforts IMO.

  • June 30, 2008, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Guess I'm in the minority here

    by pimplebutt

    I enjoyed WALL-E quite a bit, but I don't think its the masterpiece others do. More milked sentiment than earned heart, I think. Less-than-imaginative gags (e.g., bras, paddle ball, rubik's cube -- pretty 101). Fat people jokes (voice-casted with less-than svelte actors)? And I'm not sure why my laptop speaks better than all robots in the far future. That said, it's still fun and visually captivating. Just no great film.

  • June 30, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST

    pimplebutt: It grows on you...

    by mbeemer

    Like I said earlier, it wasn't as 'exciting' as "The Incredibles", but the more I think about the film the more impressed I am by it. I think it will be regarded as a great film for years to come.

  • June 30, 2008, 5 p.m. CST

    mbeemer: Maybe

    by pimplebutt

    But WALL-E's shortcoming for me wasn't in the action. It was in the emotion. For me, it has all the tropes of a touching film, but little of that really played for me. Aside: Beyond the "Short Circuit" similarities, wasn't anyone else reminded a little bit of " Silent Running" (70's eco-politic, child-like robots, etc.)?

  • June 30, 2008, 5:48 p.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    Never heard of it.

  • June 30, 2008, 6:43 p.m. CST

    pimplebutt: OK...

    by mbeemer

    The "emotion" worked for me (but I'm a sucker...).<p> As to similarities with other films... I think you can find those with any film if you're looking hard enough. In this case there are some deliberate homages, but this is not a cookie-cutter movie made of elements of other films.

  • June 30, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Mr Beaks - Seriously no Silent Running?

    by MediaNerd

    Not sure if that was sarcasm or not since S.R. has been mentioned so often in connection with this movie. But if you seriously have not seen it, definetly seek it out. Emotional-Eco-Sci-fi from the early 70s. Directed by Douglas Trumbo who was a special effects man most famous for 2001, but also Close Encounters and Blade Runner, ect.

  • June 30, 2008, 7:35 p.m. CST

    er Trumbull

    by MediaNerd

    not Trumbo...have Dumbo on the mind or something...

  • June 30, 2008, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Silent Runner?

    by snitchseeker

    I need to learn about good old movies...I'll check this out.

  • June 30, 2008, 8:16 p.m. CST


    by snitchseeker

    yeah...I know...

  • June 30, 2008, 8:38 p.m. CST

    No, MediaNerd

    by mrbeaks

    Not sarcasm at all. Totally ignorant of that film. So there's no way I'd, like, mention it in the first paragraph of my review or anything.

  • June 30, 2008, 8:59 p.m. CST


    by snitchseeker

    bitchy responses... i feel like i'm at school...FIGHT! Kick his ass medianerd! FIGHT!

  • June 30, 2008, 10:10 p.m. CST

    MediaNerd: Apologies

    by pimplebutt

    I somehow managed to gloss over the whole first paragraph of your review when reading it earlier. Maybe I scrolled it off-screen? Anyway, my error. You're all over it.

  • June 30, 2008, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Beaks: the point of Wall-E's "reboot"...

    by BurnHollywood

    ...Wasn't about saving the Earth or some Christ analogy (a la ET). It was about demonstrating the depth of EVE's love for him, and putting her in a place where she could finally mirror the devotion and temporary sense of loss and confusion he felt towards her in the first half of the movie.<p> Pretty heavy shit for a cartoon, but par for the course for Pixar, which may be why they're still head and shoulders above the rest.

  • July 1, 2008, 5:30 a.m. CST

    "Making excuses"

    by mbeemer

    I dunno, Jack, but I do know I am rarely moved to defend a movie, so I think it pushed some buttons people didn't expect - which may mean it had more impact with viewers than you'd think.

  • July 1, 2008, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Pwned :)

    by MediaNerd

    Yeah, it helps to go back and re-read the reviews once in awhile :) Thanks for schooling me Beaks!<br><Br>But hey, Snitch missed it too and now claims he'll go back and watch it. Think you should put S.R. in a 40pt font in your review just for me :)

  • July 1, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Another reason why it probably had to end as it did.

    by jerseycajun

    The point of the film as Andrew Stanton described it was that "Irrational Love defeats life's programming" It's probably the most succinct description of the film, but it would have been hollow if Eve, returning love back to Wall-E at the end failed to 'defeat' his programming.

  • July 1, 2008, 3:41 p.m. CST

    "10 hours of Boba Fett John Wooing Jedis while fucking Megan Fox

    by applescruff

    That's the best quote in this talkback. And hopewell1 does the best job of explaining the ending of Wall-E. And Wall-E is the best movie of 2008 so far, with Pineapple Express a close second and The Signal third (I know a bunch of you lucky bitches saw this shit like 10 years ago but fuck you, it was released in theaters this year so it counts. I mean, if I had to lump it into my 2007 list it wouldn't even begin to crack my top 10).