My photo
Hawaii, United States
I'm Kieran. I live in Hawaii. I like to watch movies a lot and I make them too. I also play around with flash animation, so you'll see a lot of that in my blog.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wall-E Review

Well, I finally made it down to the theater and saw Wall-E, and before I begin writing this review, there were two things in the theater that distracted me that could have effected my experience of the film. First, the screen was horrifically small, as was the theater, and the screen's aspect ratio of either 1.77:1 or 1.85:1 did not match the 2.35:1 ratio of the film, causing some of it to be projected onto the curtains. Second, sitting behind me was a group of children who seemed to feel it was their sacred duty to narrate everything that was happening in the film. Fortunately, they let up for some of the beginning and most of the middle and end otherwise I would not be here writing this review, but instead rolling around in the grave. Now with that rant done with, lets get down to the review.

Director Andrew Stanton's Wall-E has some amazing components: amazingly effective robot characters who managed to progress the story with little dialogue, a creative world, and an interesting and satirical plotline. Stanton, who directed Finding Nemo, has created a world completely unlike his colorful reef world, but both his bleak wasteland and his vibrant space worlds teem with the imagination and attention to detail that made his previous film so enjoyable. In fact, although I felt at first that unlike last year's Ratatouille, Wall-E did not top the other P.I.X.A.R films with technological and storytelling prowess, Wall-E's world is one of the most thoroughly designed of all P.I.X.A.R worlds. One of my favorite subtle moments of the film is where the titular character enters an abandoned super store. Behind him is a banner that reads "evacuation sale".  However, the ending of Wall-E almost ruined all the amazing preceding material for me, because, like many endings today, and like the movie itself, the epilogue seemed too short. Stanton certainly gave audiences a spectacular final action scene, but the emotional climax was cut painfully short, perhaps to go easy on the minds of younger audiences, however, the final plot-device was a brilliant idea and to see it tossed aside after minutes was anticlimactic and almost ruined the picture for me. But, perhaps my criticism is unfair. Wall-E's space scenes have incredible scope, it had a big budget, a big box office and big ideas, but for some reason it didn't feel big. It didn't quite reach the epic status some of the scenes seemed to be grasping for, because in the end, Wall-E is a simple love story with a lot of special effects, side characters and subplots that seem to distract from the emotions that, when focused on, are handled so well. It may be unfair to say so, but it seems as though Wall-E sets up a spectacular world populated by incredible characters, but doesn't quite take any of it far enough. Wall-E seems too big to be a kids movie and I felt that something important was lost through the child filter, while in other P.I.X.A.R films, nothing is. For all its incredible imagination, emotion and majesty, Wall-E feels incomplete. However, I feel as though I will enjoy it more when I see it again in the comfort of my own home. When I first saw Cars I was disappointed by its preachiness, length and lack of humor, but when I saw it on DVD all the subtle humor and depth came through to make it an enjoyable experience. During my viewing, Wall-E seemed to light, humorous and short to deal with its serious themes, but it seems like it could grow on me a great deal when I am not taking it at face value, too overwhelmed with the spectacle unfolding but not fully unfolding on the big screen to notice the subtleties that are hinted at amongst the action sequences. I had considered giving it a 7.8, but for now I give it an 8.4. When the DVD comes out, I'll do a "thoughts on" post giving me thoughts on a second viewing. As for the present, the score stands at 8.4.

I am also trying to see "The Dark Knight" bear with me, it may take me as long to see it as it did to see Wall-E. 

No comments: