Saturday, July 05, 2008
Well I'm back home.
There. That's taken care of...now let me talk about WALL-E:
Pretty much every time I get home from a Pixar movie, I can't help but glow (and wish that I worked for them). As I've gotten older I find the magic of Disney has all but left me...but not when it comes to Pixar. There's just something about those movies (perhaps it's the perfect blend of story and cutting edge animation?). Anyway, even before I knew what it was about I wanted to see WALL-E. Pixar is just that good in my book.
When I was in junior college I took a "Film as Literature" class that totally changed my life. One of the many revelations I had while taking this class was: Charlie Chaplin was amazing. Most people today have written Chaplin off, which is a shame because I can't think of a modern "talkie" actor today who is funnier. I mean that. Seriously...if you don't believe me go rent MODERN TIMES. I defy you to watch without laughing (cocaine mistakenly but on food instead of salt...genius!). Anyway, there's something magical about Chaplin--and I think it's because of the medium he worked in. Chaplin had to convey everything with body language...which meant he had to be an above-average actor at all times.
Why do I bring up Chaplin? Well the first 2/3 of WALL-E is basically a Chaplin flick (with robots). That's how ballsy Pixar is--they actually put out a (nearly) silent kids flick in 2008. That they did this is a miracle, that it works so well is an even greater one. True, there is sound (and humans at the end that talk) but the bulk of the film is about two heroes that don't speak...just beep and whistle.
I won't spoil the plot, but I will say that it's the most lovingly-apocalyptic movie I've ever seen. It's about the end of the world...and love. Al Gore (and all his green people) will love it. And yet, even if you disagree with Global Warming, you can't help but shudder at the world it depicts. Our excess is alarming, but if the film's message is to be believed: love can save us (and there is still hope). It's pretty damn deep for a kids movie, but not super preachy or artificially didactic (like HAPPY FEET).
Wall-e himself is adorable, a delightful mix of R2-D2 and Chaplin's Tramp. Like the George Lucas robot, Wall-e is so likable because beneath his cold metal skin lies a beating heart. Sitting in the darkness I totally believed in Wall-e. No catchy pop songs, no inane pop culture references...just a lonely robot who likes "HELLO, DOLLY!" and dreams of getting to hold someone's hand. Besides IRON MAN, WALL-E is the only summer movie that's truly worth damn. Go see it.