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Archive for June 29th, 2008

Blurby bit to follow this

Out of curiosity about my own reaction to Wall-E I decided to test something today. I just finished watching a movie I hadn’t seen before: I am Legend. I went into this knowing human pride and mistakes had caused a disaster. I knew Will Smith was all alone trying to survive. I knew it would be depressing.

And it was, all of that.

But I still thoroughly enjoyed the movie. And I think that’s the difference. I feel like I was lied to about Wall-E. Expectation vs Reality and animated, cute betrayal. I don’t have a problem with negative stories but I want to know up front what I’m getting. That is why I didn’t like Wall-E.

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I’m sad to say that I’m not a fan of this movie. I love what Pixar does and I could pick up most any movie they make and watch it over and over.

But not this one.

I left feeling like I’d been beaten vigorously about the head and shoulders by something large and mostly hurt-y. I think they wanted you to leave feeling happy for Wall-E and uplifted by what happens in the last few moments but it couldn’t overcome the rest of the beat-down suffered on behalf of humanity.

The movie, as a recent email put it, is dark. The basic themes involve humans being stupid, humans being mindless, and humans being cows. A movie made in 1969 is held up as ideal, if oversimplified, humanity. If this wasn’t fun enough toss in overwhelming environmentalism doomsday prophesies and here you have Wall-E.

Why would I pay to see this?

Newspapers, websites and TV are replete with these themes. Who thought it would be fun to pay to see them in Pixar animation too? All stories need conflict and negative ideas in order to show triumph in the end but I think this movie was a little light on the triumph. I wish they’d cut down the negativity and taken the triumph shown in the credits and made that part of the actual movie. I might have a different opinion of the experience if they had.

I can’t fit it into some neat starred rating system but I would say that I likely won’t be recommending the movie.

Followup here

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