Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
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Mini-review; Wall-E

Went to the movies to spend the early afternoon in air conditioned splendor after yesterday's 98 degree temps. It only got up to 77 today, and there's a nice breeze, so that didn't turn out to be such an advantage.

Saw Wall-E, which was okay, sort of. Maybe. I caught myself nodding off several times. I caught myself saying WTF even more times. The movie opens with the biggest WTF in Disney animated movie history. Okay, I'm a musical theater geek, so maybe to me this is a bigger WTF for me than it would be for you, but I suspect not. It opens with the audio from one of the opening numbers from Hello Dolly. And we're not talking about the title song or any of the songs which have become standards. We're talking about Put On Your Sunday Clothes,starting with its utterly forgettable 3-minute tuneless intro. In the movie it's a 5-minute Gene Kelly over-choreographed dance number, which is shown several times in the movie as Wall-E is obsessed with this number, which is on a videotape he found in the scrap heap and has saved. Also repeated ad nauseum is a 30-second clip from the much more recognizable It Only Takes a Moment, which serves as the romantic hook for the movie.

I happen to love Hello Dolly, except for the parts Barbara Streisand is in, but Wall-E is such a mismatch it went a long way to ruining it for me.

Another WTF is the characters. Much of the action takes place on an ark spaceship which the inhabitants of Earth boarded 700 years ago to escape the pollution and garbage for what was supposed to be a 5-year cleanup (of which Wall-E is the sole remaining operational bot). They have all chosen to live their entire lives in hover-lounge chairs plugged into the internet and they are all now so obese they can't even stand. As much as I love to park my fat butt in my comfy recliner, I can't see an ark ship where everyone chooses to be fat and lazy. In any population there will be some insane Morning People who jog everywhere, spend too many hours in the gym and the pool, and have no use for the Internet except to download aerobics videos and  nutrition plans. I think the movie would have been a lot less boring if there was some diversity in the population on  board.

They tried real hard to build a love story between 700-year-old Wall-E, who looks like a trash compactor on tank treads with a pair of binoculars slapped on top,  and brand spanking new Eva* who looks like a hermetically sealed white ceramic martini shaker. It didn't work for me. Part of it was the lame lame lame Hello Dolly obsession, part of it was just poor writing.

*In the movie, the character played by Fred Willard spells out the acronym as EVA, which is what Wall-E calls her, but she calls herself Eve, and so do all the other characters. Another WTF.

There were two highlights for me. The first is the performance by he voice of the captain. Jeff Garlin was superb. He also played the only character to whom  the writers had given any...er...character. The second highlight was the closing credits. No easter egg, but like Kung-Fu Panda they were artistic and entertaining, and the music was highly danceable (there were about a dozen kids dancing to it beneath the screen, sometimes jumping up to try to touch the screen. Made me smile.).

I went on a Sunday afternoon hoping the kids in the audience would liven things up, but they were put to sleep almost as much as I was. Not worth matinée price, and probably a huge snoozer on DVD.
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