*** Official WALL-E Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by mattCR, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer

    Oct 5, 2005
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    Lee Summit, Missouri
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    I've seen it. Maybe the best film I've seen since the first time I watched Pulp Fiction. Strange, but i can't think of any other film that left me dazed as I walked out. This is must-must-must see material. And you will kick your own ass if you let anyone break the story to you before you've seen it. It was like Empire Strikes Back that way. I can't imagine having anyone else reveal the story to me without seeing it first.

    This is my front runner so far this year for "Best Picture" not animated, just "Best Picture"
  2. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Screenwriter

    Nov 10, 1998
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    Chuck Anstey
    Well I saw it with the family this morning at 9:10am and I am not quite sure what to think. It is good but it has almost no funny moments. The movie is pretty serious from the word go. Not scary serious but just normal drama. All those clips where it looks like WallE is doing some funny stuff isn't very funny in the context of the movie, especially with the music being much more serious and rarely light-hearted. I am curious what other people will think about it since it seems to be not light-hearted enough for a fun kid's movie with a message (like Cars, KungFu Panda or Over the Hedge) but not serious enough for a high quality science fiction story with a message.
  3. Chris Will

    Chris Will Supporting Actor

    Jan 7, 2003
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    Montgomery, AL
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    Chris WIlliams
    I agree Chuck, while I really enjoyed the movie I was surprised at the lack of comedy in it for being a Pixar movie. It had a few funny moments but, the short before the movie had more laughs then all of Wall-E.

    I'm also upset that I read the last few comments on this page and some of the very glowing reviews on aintitcool.com because I think it set my expectations too high (they didn't really spoil anything though). Don't get me wrong, I loved it and it is a great movie but, I don't think it is the "greatest thing Disney has put there name on" as some have said. Wall-E is a great film but I would still rank Toy Story 2 as my favorite Pixar movie with this one coming in 2nd for now. It's just that all the "best picture," "best Disney movie ever," "best thing since Pulp Fiction" type comments really had me expecting something a whole lot more. This movie has nothing on LOTR, IMO, which came after Pulp Fiction. I will definitely be picking it up on Blu-Ray and will love watching it many times but, best Disney movie ever I don't agree with. I also agree that this Pixar movie maybe a too serious for young kids (or maybe not, they may just love watching cute little Wall-E to even notice the serious story).

    Following is a question about the movie so I'll put it in spolier tags for those who haven't seen it yet:
    One thing that bugs me about the movie is that when the fat man and woman accidentally touch hands late in the film, they react as if they have never touched another person before. If humans have been on the ship for 700 years and lost physical contact with each, how are there kids on the ship? This bugged me all the way home. Did the robots impregnate the humans? Whats is Disney/Pixar suggest here? I know I'm digging into the movie too much but, for some reason this entered my mind after seeing it and bugged me the entire drive home. [​IMG]
  4. MichaelD

    MichaelD Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 12, 2001
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    I just got back from seeing it and absolutely loved it. I think it's up there as one of my favorite Pixar movies. Like Chuck said, it is definitely adult oriented and it is a drama. I don't know how the kids that were at the theater followed all of it.

    I'll put this part in spoilers since we don't have an official discussion thread up yet:
    I love the music in the movie, from the songs, to the soundtrack part of it. I also think this is one of Pixar's best efforts. With the lack of dialogue through most of the movie, it is quite an achievement to be able to make it so engrossing. In fact I would argue that there is a slight dropoff once we meet the humans on the ship and the dialogue begins.

    The nuanced movements and interactions between Wall-E and Eve were amazing and their love story was really well done.

    Also, I was able to see it in digital and the presentation was spectacular.

    I would give this 10/10
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Nov 15, 2004
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    The basement of the FBI building
    Wall E is easily the best movie that I've seen this summer. It's a got a message that everyone can agree with and it doesn't preach (as some have worried), it's got funny and sweet characters and the animation is just amazing.

    Since it's not the usual animated junk (it's not rapidly edited or full of action and there's no catch phrase spouting characters), some young kids may not be that interested but I think it would be more appealing to children than Ratatouille was. And that's not a knock against Ratatouille, I just think that that's a movie that was more aimed at school age kids and adults.

    Bottom line: It's another Pixar homerun.
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Wall-E". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  7. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
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    Northern Virginia
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    Chuck Mayer
    Not a ton of time for a long-winded review (for a welcome change to HTF, I am certain). I loved it, but it didn't change my life [​IMG] That's how high my anticipation was, and it came close enough. Very sweet, extraordinarily well-directed. I did laugh more at Presto (brilliant), but when WALL*E made me laugh, it really made me laugh.

    Still batting a 1.000, even when the metric is great movies. I'll get another view before we do the dreaded "rank the Pixar films" again [​IMG]

    An exceptional film from an exceptional studio.
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    "Presto" the animated short before "Wall-E" was a much more entertaining piece of entertainment than the main attraction, unfortunately.

    It's weird to be out of sorts with the positive critical response to Wall-E. I enjoyed the look of the film, the CGI was breathtaking throughout the film (Hell, Roger Deakin was brought in for lighting and cinematography input), but, and it's a big BUT, I just didn't get invested in any of the characters to give a damn about the remaining 2/3 of the film after Wall-E and Eve's introductions.

    I think I just couldn't handle all the cute gags and bits designed to induce laughter and "aww..." in youngsters, it just got a little too much for me. The film itself just couldn't quite sustain my interest as it turned into more of a homage of 2001 in the latter part of the film, even if it kept trying to dance around its environmental/consumerism message by pouring on all the cute sight gags and tugging at heartstrings every 30 seconds.

    I may try to see it once more, to see if it plays better on a second viewing, but I suspect that's being very optimistic.

    I give it 2.75 stars or a grade of B- (mainly for the visuals, as the story and characters just didn't quite do it for me).
  9. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

    Mar 16, 1999
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    Hmm, I thought it was great, good message story, had humor, and the social commentary about today's society was spot on. Plus the chases and other bits that I won't reveal were very sweet and funny. I loved the 2001 reference, totally apt.

    The animation and visuals, material rendering of the robots, especially Eve were excellent.

    There were little kids in the audience that were crying at first, but the full house very quickly got into the film and it was dead silent at the ending segments. So I think it worked!

    I thought the Sigourney Weaver voice over for the computer was a direct riff on Alien. And that was cool.

    I'm sentimental, so I give it a solid A+.
  10. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

    Mar 14, 1999
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    I liked it more than my wife did, who felt it was a good kids movie, but the eco-green overtones and direct Bush-bash by Fred Willard was little heavy handed.
  11. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

    May 9, 2001
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    Elizabeth S

    I'm with Patrick. I had so been looking forward to this but it just didn't engage me. I actually felt a bit bored through much of it. I'll give it a C+.
  12. Shawn.F

    Shawn.F Supporting Actor

    Oct 16, 2005
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    Right now, I would have to say that this is my favorite movie of the year so far. So beautiful to look at, and I thought the love story was perfectly conveyed. I can't wait to see it again.
  13. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

    Aug 20, 2000
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    Visually this film was out of sight, at least on external shots. The internals on the ship weren't quite as impressive, but Pixar does advance the bar on computer animation once again. From a visual standpoint, I'd give this film an A+.

    The story is something else. This one started out strong. It really felt different than anything that Pixar has attempted, but by the end it fell into predictability and suffered from an age old animation cliche. In the first half of the film I really had a strong feeling that Pixar had succeeded in making an actual SF animated film, however, the last half ended up being a succession of sight gags, topped off by an ending that I feel is just too rote and improbable. Storywise, I think I would give this one a 'B'.

    A lot of people think CARS is one of Pixar's weakest films, but I would put CARS before WALL-E in terms of engaging characters and story. I might go and see WALL-E again, and a second viewing might cause me to change my mind; however, right now, for me, WALL-E ranks only slightly above BUG'S LIFE in terms of story. And for me, BUG'S LIFE was the weakest film from PIXAR so far.

    From a purely visual standpoint, WALL-E comes in a solid first.
  14. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

    Feb 3, 2004
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    Sam Favate
    I thought it was outstanding - a real home run for Pixar. Very involving, great visuals and great characters made from rusty metal and iPod-like plastic. I have to disagree with the negative reviews in this thread; this is one of Pixar's best.

    What's wrong with a movie having a message? That's just saying the filmmakers have a point of view, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Some of the best movies in history have had points of view and it's worked to great effect (Planet of the Apes, anyone?). And as far as messages go, this was a good one to have.

    The audience I saw it with was full of adults and children, and everyone was quiet throughout. That's saying something, especially these days when every audience seems distracted by cell phones, text messagers, etc.

    One of the best films of the year.
  15. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

    Jul 14, 1999
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    Chad Rouch
    I don't understand why so many critics are calling this Pixar's masterpiece -- it isn't. It's very good and sits comfortably within Pixar's canon of films -- but they've done an equally number of better and worse films than this. There are huge chunks of this thing that just don't work. There are some immensely pleasurable things in the movie, especially for a devout Chaplin fan like myself, but like a lot of Chaplin it's a bit disjointed.

    To me, Chaplin worked best in shorts, and when his films were basically a string of shorts strung together with a thin thread keeping some sort of narrative momentum. Whenever he tried to be too grandly serious, in say "The Great Dictator" it's when his faults as a large canvas storyteller started to show. "The Kid," "City Lights" and "The Circus" are where Chaplin is at his most charming, devising comedy bits that can be pulled right out of the film and be hysterical with no context of the greater work.

    That's exactly how "Wall-E" works. It's best when the little guy is exploring bits of his world, and eventually universe, and experiencing wonderment -- these parts of the film just exude charm.

    However, it's when the film introduces humans that the film loses its humanity. I think that's the point, but it becomes so focused on the plot that it also loses sight of the humanity in the robots -- and that's where it fail. It's second half is just not as good. Sure, there are some fun bits with Wall-E maneuvering through space using a fire extinguisher, but overall it just loses itself.

    It's worth seeing, but I think it's better to have expectations in check.
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator

    Mar 4, 2001
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    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
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    David Fischer
    I enjoyed WALL-E, but my wife didn't. I found it a relaxing, almost contemplative story with cute moments throughout. She was annoyed by the jarring fusion of two very different stories, the preachiness, and the plot's logical flaws.

    So I give it a modest recommendation.
  17. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Second Unit

    Oct 4, 2001
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    La Mesa, CA
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    Nicholas Vargo
    This is my review, courtesy of my blog on MySpace. Apologies if there are some spoilers:

    Wall-E - ***1/2
    Directed by Andrew Stanton

    Pixar Animation Studios has brought us movies that rival those that were made during the golden age of Disney Animated Classics. And Wall-E continues that tradition by making a computer animated film with sophistication and style. It's a terrific acheivement, especially considering that many of their past films have been either just as good or better.

    In the film, we are taken 700 years into the future, where a robot named Wall-E is cleanign up the trash that has been left by humans. All humans from the Planet Earth now live in the galaxy onboard the Axium, a ship that gives them new life. On Earth, only Wall-E remains. He is alone and he feels it. In fact, the only time he absolutely feels happy is when he comes home and plays around with some of the things he has found, like a Rubik cube or even watching a movie like the 1969 classic Hello Dolly. Then one day, his lonliness is threatened by a sweet robot named EVE, who is sent to find any signs of plant life on the planet. By finding any, it tells the humans in space that they can return to Earth. For Wall-E however, it is love at first sight. When she is given by him a piece of grass, her objective is finished and she must return by ship to the Axium. Wall-E has also hitched a ride with the ship and when he arrives, he discovers that the humans have become overweight and dumbed down as a result of mass commercialism.

    The characters of Wall-E and EVE have a innocent charm that crosses over to a part of all of us. They feel like fully-realized characters. Even though they never say much, they always feel like they have a real personality that makes us feel what they feel. They in many ways are fish out of water type characters, but their actions and doings never feel out-of character or overblown. They are both created brilliantly. The same can also be said for the humans, especially the captain of the Axium (voiced by Jeff Garlin) who never fails to steal a moment that he is in. And of course what would a Pixar film be without the voice talent of John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin from TV's Cheers), here voicing one of the other humans that Wall-E comes into contact with.

    But what makes Wall-E as terrific as it is are its moments, many of which are beautiful and well thought out. The best one for me comes in the first half of the film, where we see the various attempts Wall-E tries to capture EVE's heart. Beautifully set to Louis Armstrong's classic version of the standard "La Vie en Rose", this sequence is so well played that it was this moment that absolutely sold me on the high quality of this movie. Credit must be given to director Andrew Stanton for pulling it off, and not just on this moment, but on quite a few others as well, including its excellent finale.

    I must also credit Stanton for making the most ballsy discission in Pixar's history: He makes the first 40 minutes or so almost dialogue-free, and manages to keep the film involving and entertaining. The real reason this succeeds is not only its sophisticated approach to this section, but also because of the characters themselves. We love both Wall-E and EVE, and that makes the movie all the better for it.

    Granted, once we leave Earth and arrive on the Axium, it is possible that here is where the fortunes will turn for many moviegoers. For this one however, I was involved all the way through both sections of the film. I actually found many of the scenes that took place here quite interesting. The appraoch to this section is interesting alone, but whether or not it works will have to be something that you'll have to judge for yourself.

    Is Wall-E the best film in the Pixar library? No, there have been better films, but the audacity of this one alone makes it a must-see motion picture for all ages. It is possible you won't be as impressed with this film as I was, but I dare you to at least not to try it. If nothing else, it should be an interesting experiment for anyone who watches it.

    NOTE: I must also give mention to the short film that precedes the feature presentation: Presto. A very funny five-minute cartoon that is very funny and absolutely worth your time. Even if you hate Wall-E (which I doubt will happen), I have no doubt that you will love this.
  18. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

    Feb 4, 1999
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    Thanks for the great review. It closely mirrored the viewing experience that I had with the movie.

    Viewing the movie as an adult who also *loves* science fiction, I was pretty much "blown away" by the entire film. I've seen many movies try to convey a story similar in concept to what was shown here. The sad fact is that most stumbled badly with the execution. The execution of this story was flawless. In some parts of the movie it could even be described as brilliant. There is no doubt, though, that this is more of a drama than a "kid's movie".

    I was fortunate enough to have a couple of 11 year olds in tow for my first viewing of the movie and monitored their reaction whenever I could. These kids are typical of today's youth in that they can become very bored very quickly. From what I could tell they were both riveted throughout the movie. Afterwards they both told me that they *loved* it. They had never seen "2001: A Space Odyssey" or even "The Black Hole" (It was pretty obvious that the captain's robot was modeled after a combination of H.A.L. and Maximilian) so even the concepts borrowed from other movies seemed fresh to them. It goes without saying that the sophisticated parts of the romance also went over their heads. But the bottom line is that they both felt as though they had seen a great movie.

    All I can say is, Pixar has done it again!

    Here are my ratings:
    As a Science Fiction Movie: A+
    As a Romance Movie: A
    As a Drama : B+
    As a "Kid's Movie": B
  19. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

    Jul 2, 2002
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    I thought it was good, but not great (3 stars).

    Comparing it to Cars seems about right; except where Cars had a week first half and redeemed itself in the second half, WALL-E goes the other way - a very engauging first half loses its focus for the second half.

    My major complaint is the lack of a strong antagonist.

    The ship's computer was initially protrayed as evil; but in the end was really just acting on the contents of the last earth transmission. But why then didn't he just take the captain's orders? The computer was lifted from 2001; but in 2001 HAL was motivated by its fear of the danger (to keep it simplistic) and because of that seemed to be more menacing.

    I don't know, I was just expecting more there. If they fleshed out the antagonist, or made more of a statement with the environmental message, I'd have accpeted this as more of sci-fi movie. But in the end it was predominantly a love story, which is fine, but I was hoping for both.
  20. Brett_M

    Brett_M Screenwriter

    Nov 19, 2004
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    Mos Eisley Spaceport
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    Brett Meyer
    I enjoyed this film immensely and so did my 8 year old son.

    Believe the hype. Go see it -- digitally if you can.

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