Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wall-E: If Al Gore Did a Remake of Transformers

Last night Josh and I went with a friend of ours to finally see the highly acclaimed (and highly didactic) environmentalist's wet dream film Wall-E. Every single one of my friends who saw it proclaimed it the BEST FILM OF 2008. So, suffice to say I went with high expectations.

Alright, I was stoned, and we also got there eight minutes into it, which is strange because it was supposed to start at 9:50 and we got there at 9:58pm assuming there'd be previews and... there weren't. I don't know if the East Village Cinema was trying to support the whole anti-capitalism, anti-marketing message of the film, or if Pixar decided they'd pay movie houses to not run previews, but it was definitely weird for the film to not have them. I'm probably among the few people who like previews, even if they are bad and end up tricking me into seeing The Love Guru. (BTW, Mike Myers, I'm still waiting for my $12 refund)

Anyway, yes, it was good, of course it was good. Robots falling in love while convincing humanity (well, just Americans - since it seemed like though the "whole world" was up in the space station, the population in 700 years will only consist of white Americans...) to return to Earth and restore it to its natural glory is an effective plotline. And, alright, I teared up. But my problem is do we really think this movie will teach people to change their behavior? I don't consider myself an "environmentalist" but I have a relatively small carbon footprint: I don't drive and I rarely even take public transportation, I recycle everything possible, I turn all the lights in my apartment off until I can barely see and have to switch them on, and I don't leave my air conditioner running while I'm not home. These are simple things that people can do to contribute to the environmentalist effort. But do we think that Wall-E is going to pursuade people to take on these (relatively simple) tasks? I'm not convinced it will. It's difficult to avoid the lesson in the film - you're basically beaten over the head with it - but I honestly think most people will walk away from the theatre and be like, "Wow, life's going to suck in 700 years-- anyway do you wanna take a cab home?"

-Jess

7 comments:

Marshall said...

That's especially weird considering there's supposed to be a short film before.

patrick said...

Wall-E totally looks like the robot from "Short Circuit"... minus the cheesy 80's style of course

`nk said...

I was disappointed. Yes, it had a good plot, yes, it had a good message, yes, it even made me tear up, but it was way too didactic for a film. Mainstream films aren't supposed to teach; they're supposed to entertain. The film muddles too many genres: sci-fi, children's, drama, adventure.... Many times, a film can blend the funny and the serious without digging itself into an ambiguous grey zone, but this one fails to find that balance. The whole time, i kept wavering back and forth between enjoying the humor and being seriously depressed by the dark message that underlies it. And just like you said, i don't think it will encourage people to go green. So does it seek to entertain or to change the world? Maybe it seeks to convert mindless children into environmentalists. Are children that smart? I don't know, i wish i had a younger sibling to ask. I don't remember how i used to think as a kid.

On another note, EVE is ugly---she looks incapable of love. For me, her design alone actually weakened the romance between her and WALL-E. The song at the end credits was perfect, but it was definitely for the adults, so it only serves to further divorce the film's two unmatched tones. But i have to say, the animation and sound design were virtually flawless.

Mazi said...

it's funny that you ended up thinking EVE was ugly, pixar made a point of getting Johnny Ive (iPod, MacBook, iPhone etc designer) to create her

verdantair said...

Yeah, i know, that's what i hate about it; Apple products have that sleek, state-of-the-art look that would make a robot look even more robotic (not that i hate Apple, because i swear by it). I liked WALL-E though, cos his design allowed for more human-like movements, and his eyes weren't digital.

Jenny From the Blog said...

I wasn't crazy about this movie. Al Gore definitely crossed my mind after I saw, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that. And it's a little much for kids...my five year old cousin fell asleep during it..so yeah..way to go Disney.

switchblades said...

its funny how every keeps jumping straight to al gore and global warming...yeah, the movie does lean towards that, but its been in production for 10 years...its not a green movie for any other reason really than the creators wanted a way to get humanity off the planet in a nonviolent way...they are really adamant about that fact.


i know that saying its not doesn't mean its not, but that's not what they were truly going for...it was a creative choice they made not for its message of wanting people to be eco friendly, but as a way to get humanity off the island so to speak.