Friday, June 27, 2008

Wall-E Reviews Describe an Extraordinary Movie

I have eagerly been reading the beginning and ending of WALL-E reviews ... I really don't want to know more than the trailers have told me. I am printing these out and looking forward to reading the middles after I have seen the movie. By the way, Jeffrey Overstreet warns us that Roger Ebert's review gives a giant spoiler right in the middle with no warning. Bad critic!

I don't usually do this with more than one or two trusted sources but everything I've read so far makes me think that this is going to be something extraordinary on many levels, hope filled, reflecting the truth of our human condition ... here are some snippets in case you are similarly curious.

Rod Bennett at Catholic Exchange

Via The Curt Jester in an earlier post on this site.

Pixar Animation Studio was founded in the 1980s by media moguls George Lucas and Steve Jobs, but whether they knew it or not, the guys who made their latest film release WALL*E (in theatres tomorrow) were working for God. So says this reviewer, anyway.

It’s not heresy. Catholics have been saying since at least the 2nd Century that God sometimes uses secular voices to speak to the world, especially when it comes to unreached peoples or neglected truths. Writing about the poets and mythmakers of ancient Greece, St. Justin Martyr put it this way, c. 155 AD: “Even unwillingly, these men were on your account forced to say many things by God’s compassion for mankind…For all these writers were able to see realities darkly through the sowing of the implanted word that was in them.” Well, storytelling techniques have certainly come a long way since the days of Pindar and Sophocles — WALL*E pushes the high-tech art of computer generated graphics to hitherto undreamed of heights — but God’s willingness to communicate vital realities via the mediums of myth and fable has apparently continued unabated. WALL*E (directed by Finding Nemo’s Andrew Stanton) is funny, touching, beautiful, clever, and wildly entertaining — but it may also be the most powerful warning against consumerism, idolatry, and addiction to luxury ever to be offered in a mainstream film. ...

Christianity Today
This is science fiction the way science fiction is meant to be. It creates a world that's clearly not our own, but it's totally believable as the place we're headed, maybe a hundred years down the line. But it's not cynical or misanthropic; like the best sci-fi, it uses these imaginative conceits to ask big questions about our world and our humanity. It's a movie about love amidst chaos, about the dangers of unchecked greed and the forces that overcome it. ...

And it is absolutely not a political movie, no matter how hard a small faction of political bloggers might try to pin it as one. Yes, it has a message about the environment—take care of it. And yes, it has a message about capitalism—too much of it can be sinful. These aren't political points; they're very basic moral ones, and no rational Christian has any grounds on which to object to them.

But even more than a great work of sci-fi, this is a great work of cinema. WALL•E is Pixar's boldest, bravest film yet, opening with half an hour in which no dialogue occurs. Much of the story is told, then, only through images, and in this regard, it's the most sophisticated and subtle film Pixar has yet made. ...

And yet, the greatest feat of WALL•E—its most seemingly-impossible achievement—might be this: Despite the fact that it's hard science fiction, that it paints a dystopian picture of our future, that it's subtle and sophisticated, and that it's very light on dialogue, it's every bit the crowd-pleaser that we've come to expect from this studio—funny, romantic, imaginative, and utterly gripping. This is Pixar's magic. ...
Jeffrey Overstreet's interview with Andrew Stanton
In addition to Stanton's insights, he has links to many reviews that make fascinating points such as this tidbit from Moises Chiullan.
The movie is more fundamentally about what it is to exist and believe in hope. Every science fiction film with a desolate Earth as a backdrop does not make that its main focus, and neither does WALL*E. I’ve let WALL*E roll around in my head for around a week and a half since seeing it, and I can’t shake it (a good thing). It would be one thing if I were exploding with praise the day after seeing it, but the fact that it’s still as captivating almost two weeks later, to me, means the movie has to be the real deal. This movie falls under the Important Cinema banner regardless of what piece of its narrative you fall in love with. This really could be one of the movies people will still argue about in 25, 50, or 100 years.
First Showing's Review: The First Perfect Movie of 2008
Movies have the ability to make us feel every possible emotion. There are times we cry, times we laugh, times we love and times that we are scared out of our wits. With all the different feelings that I experience during the many films I watch, it wasn't until after seeing Wall-E that I realized there is one emotion that movies so rarely make me feel. The emotion that I'm talking about is joy. To be honest, Wall-E has so consumed my thoughts that I can't even bring another movie to mind that has made me feel the pure joy that I felt during or after seeing Pixar's Wall-E. ...

1 comment:

patrick said...

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