Most of the time when I get ready to write a review, I already have a good opening sentence planned; a sentence that, in my opinion, sums up a good portion of the film. WALL-E, however, is different. This film had so many beautiful, mesmerizing, and intelligent moments that I find it nearly impossible to come up with one singular way to describe this captivating film.
WALL-E is the latest CGI film from the creative genius behind such recent hits as A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., and Toy Story 2. WALL-E is Andrew Stanton’s first film he has directed since helming the smash hit, Finding Nemo. I don’t know of anyone who did not fall in love with Nemo. I am sure that most audiences will feel the same way about WALL-E, a robot left to clean up the mess humans have made of the planet Earth.
700 years in the future, mankind has left Earth to live in a ginormous spaceship while a tiny robot by the name of WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) is left behind to clean up the mess humans have made of Earth. However, WALL-E is no ordinary trash-cleaning robot. He actually has feelings and after being on Earth all alone for 700 years doing nothing but collecting trash, he has begun to wish he had a companion. His dream comes true when he meets EVE, a robot sent back to Earth to find a cure for Earth. Unbeknownst to EVE, WALL-E actually holds to keep to mankind’s future: a single plant. EVE realizes what WALL-E is in possession of, and rushes back to the human’s spaceship to alert them of her findings. WALL-E has been waiting 700 years for a companion to come along so, of course, he is not about to let EVE leave him so easily. Thus begins WALL-E’s zany, but sweet, intergalactic journey to save the human race and to “get the girl.”
WALL-E is by far not just one of the cutest kid’s movies ever, but also one of the sweetest love stories I have ever seen. I think this is partly because the majority of the film has no dialogue whatsoever. This makes the cuteness so much cuter because it leaves more to the imagination of how WALL-E feels for EVE and how he feels about his place on Earth as a garbage collector. Really, the only dialogue spoken throughout the entire film is by the spaceship’s captain (voiced by Jeff Garlin). Although you would never be able to tell, the voice of the ship’s computer is the voice of Sigourney Weaver. If the film had any flaw at all I would have to say that it was the look of the film. The attention to detail was incredible but it was nothing compared to the work done on Finding Nemo or Ratatouille.
The aspect of WALL-E that intrigued me the most was the storyline. I think the whole idea of showing what could theoretically happen to the world if we don’t start taking better care of it now was superb. Once on the ship, the audience really gets a treat from seeing the filmmaker’s perspective on how mankind’s lifestyles have changed. In WALL-E, every single human is grossly obese and each is floating around in hover-chairs. Even when two people are lounging next to each other, they still continue to communicate through computer screens directly in front of them. This is to symbolize how even today, we as a society are becoming less and less personable and more and more into communicating through the internet and text-messaging.
WALL-E truly does having something for all ages. Adults will likely be drawn into the storyline and themes which I just described whereas children who watch
WALL-E will be more inclined to fall in love with WALL-E’s cuddliness, even if he is made out of scrap metal. I give WALL-E an A-.
In terms of my personality and my taste in movies, Wanted had everything going against it. For example, James McAvoy, who plays the lead character in Wanted, was also the male lead in last year’s critically acclaimed, Atonement. I hated Atonement! Also, I had heard about Wanted being reminiscent of The Matrix. I was not even that big of a fan of that movie either. Finally, Angelina Jolie is in Wanted and sure she’s hot but I’ve never been that impressed with any of her movies. So in retrospect, I should have despised Wanted. However, by the time the movie had ended I was left wanting more!
Wanted begins by making the audience thank God they are not in the shoes in the main character, Wesley Gibson (McAvoy). Wesley leads a pitiful, lonely life as an accountant whose girlfriend is cheating on him with his very own friend! One night he is whisked away by Fox (Angelina Jolie) through an awesome shootout and high-octane car chase to a secret hideout. It is here that Wesley is introduced to Sloan (played by the legendary Morgan Freeman). Sloan explains to Wesley that he and his fellow tough guys are a group of assassins known as The Fraternity. Sloan informs Wesley that his father was once part of The Fraternity of assassins and that it is now his own destiny to follow in his father’s footsteps to help track down and kill a Fraternity assassin who has gone rogue.
I have a hard time trying to determine what the greatest strength of this film was because the truth of the matter is that it seems as though just about every aspect of this film was amazing! The special effects were unbelievable. The “slowed-down-bullet” effect famously used in The Matrix was utilized in the film a number of times. Even the humor in Wanted was funnier than most of the comedies that have come out this year. However, if I had to choose the best aspect of the movie, I would have to give the most credit to screenplay and overall plot of the movie. I honestly cannot remember the last movie I saw that had so many plot-twists. Many movies try to throw little plot-twists into the mix but most of the time they fail to elicit a desired response from the audience. Wanted was able to perfectly use a number of startling twists. If all of this love I am giving to Wanted is still not convincing you to run out and see this movie right away, let me tell you that you do, in fact, see Angelina Jolie naked.
I absolutely loved this very original film. I think I would have to put Wanted in my top five favorite films of the year so far. I give Wanted a solid A.
By the way, Wanted is definitely better than The Matrix.
Watchmen tells the story of a group of retired superheroes known as Watchmen (duh). The film takes places in 1985 after the government puts a ban on superheroes. One of the superheroes, The Comedian (“Grey’s Anatomy’s” Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is assassinated in one of the coolest scenes of the movie. In response, the surviving Watchmen reluctantly decide to strap on the spandex suits once again to unearth the mystery surrounding The Comedian’s death. As the movie is very confusing without reading the graphic novel, I am not entire sure how a nuclear bomb threat played into the story.
It is quite possible that I would have enjoyed the movie much more if I had read the graphic novel before seeing the film adaptation. That said, the story definitely kept me focused because it kept me trying to figure out just what the hell was going on. The greatest aspect of the film was the visual effects. The effects really kept me from thinking the movie was crap. Every time Rorschach (one of the Wacthmen) appeared on screen with his mask continually changing inkblot shapes, I stopped listening to the dialogue and tried to figure out how the effect was created. One of the most interesting visual effects was the way the planet Mars was created. Several times throughout the movie Dr. Manhattan (the big blue guy) travels to Mars and I was always focused on the look of the red planet during the scenes. The unique thing about it was that it looked as though it was an effect done in the 80s for a movie like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). This is actually not an insult. I loved the fact that the visual effects director wanted to give Mars a more classic look rather than overkill it with too much detail that would detach the audience from the story. I loved the dark look of the film. It certainly helped add a sense of dread to the whole city. The color in the film was so saturated, though, that sometimes it seemed almost to superhero/fantasy-esk.
I wish I could say more about the film adaptation of Watchmen but unfortunately, I did not have the graphic novel as a resource or as a reference point for comparing the film to the book. Once again, the saving grace of this film, for me, was the visual effects (and the scenes with Rorschach in prison). Therefore, I give Watchmen a B-.
Welcome back Mickey Rourke! I have not seen many films by Mickey Rourke but if his performance in The Wrestler is any indication, I will certainly be putting his films in my Netflix queue. For those of you who do not know, Mickey Rourke has been out of the Hollywood spotlight for over a decade now because of his battles with drugs and alcohol. Now, clean and sober, Rourke returns to give what many are calling his best performance of his career.
Mickey Rourke plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a once legendary wrestler who reached his peak in the 80’s. Now, over the hill and living alone in a trailer, Randy still continues to wrestle on a much smaller scale just so he can stay off the streets. As he realizes he is getting old and he has no money, he decides to get a real job working at a deli (while still wrestling on the side). Also coming to terms with the fact that his relationship with his teenage daughter is nonexistent he tries to rekindle their relationship. With the help of a stripper (Marisa Tomei) Randy manages to accomplish some success.
The Wrestler is basically a story about aging, trying to come to terms with the signs of aging, and attempting to conserve some bit of that happiness you knew when you were younger. Mickey Rourke is truly stunning in this film and in my opinion, should have won the Oscar for Best Actor this year (Sorry Sean Penn but Mickey was better). Rourke is able to show sides of himself that he has rarely, if ever, showed audiences. In most of his films he plays a bad guy or a tough guy. In The Wrestler he shows that in his aging years he can still play a tough fighter but he can also show true emotion. One particular scene stands out. In the scene Rourke cries as he tries to convey to his daughter how much he loves her and how much he misses her.
The rest of the cast is decent. If Marisa Tomei was ever to win an Oscar it should have been for this movie (not for My Cousin Vinny). Evan Rachel Wood plays Rourke’s daughter and does not do much else besides yell and cuss at her father. The script is very well written and almost has a sense of mystery because it makes the audience want to know how Randy Robinson is going to screw up his life next. I do not recommend this movie for anyone who has hates movies with excessive vulgarity or any who has a weak stomach. I give The Wrestler an A-.