Ultimately the movie was told very well and very beautifully, but the lackluster story didn't deserve it.
So, I came in the movie with a pretty open mind, yet still skeptical. The last few Pixar movies, with an exception to "Ratatoullie", haven't been that great. I was worried that "WALL-E" would have been over-hyped, and that it wasn't really all that great.
I was wonderfully mistaken.
First off, I'd like to say that the opening short was great. Not good- great. It was funny, witty, and flat out cute. Just wanted to say that.
So, I've heard many people saying that the opening was artsy. I'd have to say I'd disagree. It wasn't artsy- it was a representation of WALL-E's life. It had a few sight gags that will entertain the kiddies, yet at the same time was pretty emotional. It opens on a ruined and not green Earth, yet in the background plays music from "Hello Dolly". But after that amazing opening, we finally get to the story.
EVE arrives. Immediately, WALL-E (unsurprisingly) is enamored with her. (Even though she keeps trying to shoot him with her laser.) There is a cute little montage with WALL-E wanting desperately to hold her hand, a very sweet theme throughout the movie. The movie hits off with WALL-E trying to show EVE the "wonders" of his Earth, and meanwhile he shows her the last remaining plant that he found. THIS is when the movie begins.
WALL-E and EVE get trapped on this Space Cruise, which has been going on for about 700 years. In other words, all of the people are all fat and ugly and lazy. But they're so lovable! Again, this moment could come off as preachy, but it doesn't, and moves quite smoothly. There are also many funny robots doing- well, funny things. Getting back to the plot, pretty much the plant that WALL-E finds and EVE gets becomes the center plot, proving that life is capable on Earth- but it's not as easy to get back as it sounds. It becomes somewhat of an action type movie, with comedy, and a little romance. I can't say anymore because it'll give too much of the plot away, but let's just say I got a little teary eyed.
I would recommend this movie to all ages, but really I'd say 6 and up. I mean, not saying that little kids won't like it, they just might find it boring after a while, and might hunger for something with a little more in your face comedy, more of a "Toy Story" or "Monster's INC". In other words, it's not a "kiddie flic", but rather a "family movie." I still don't like the product placements for this movie every five minutes, but at least the message wasn't IN YOUR FACE obvious. It was subtle, which was nice.
In all, I'd say that this was a really good movie and would recommend it. (Oh yeah, the animation was beautiful. Just wanted to add that.) Rating: A Age Group: Any age (but recommended 6 and up).
Comparison to other Pixar films: It's different, but good.
Overall: A great movie.
But, I haven't seen the original, so I knew I wouldn't be "tainted" by that; I'm just judging on the movie by itself here. And lemme tell you folks, it's pretty impressive.
We begin with promising characters that go no where and stay one dimensional and barely learn anything about them, yet we're supposed to be moved when one of their dreams doesn't become a full reality. Wait- what? The dancing, although slightly impressive, is nothing out of the ordinary. The "best dancer" in the school is alright, but nothing that would be gasp-worthy. And yes, yes, I know she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," but did she win? No. And apparently she can't act either.
None of the actors look like believable high schoolers and the school has an unlimited amount of funding (and I'm in a high school for preforming arts, so I would know.) Half of my fellow students in my drama class could out act this newcomers. Although, to their credit, they didn't have much do go on; the script is as thin as it gets.
And, to make matters worse, the singing isn't very impressive either. They all had the same sort of robotic- Hannah Montana/HSM type of nasal tone that we've all heard before on Radio Disney; it's old. We came for great performances, not an even WORSE High School Musical copy pretending to be- well, "Fame". Why should I care about these characters? So far none of them seem very special to me (although the black girl, I forgot her name, now THERE'S a singer. The rest? Mediocre at best.) Where's all the edge of highschool? No drugs? No sex? Why are these kids so clean? One drinking scene, and one "almost rape" scene, which really didn't seem that scandalous at all. Wow, one "gangsta" kid, real impressive and original guys. Wasn't expecting that. And the black girl who can sing hip-hop, and the closeted depressed gay guy, and the over-the-top dramatic film kid, these aren't predictable, no sirree. Why aren't these kids in a real crisis, and why the hell is the drama teacher a counselor? This movie is choppily edited, and for some reason it goes super fast (and not in a good way.) None of the years are distinguishable from another.
The absolute worst part? They cut "I Sing the Body Electric" for some crappy "believe in yourself" song. At that point I left the theater, because A) I had to pee and B) I was tired of being sold short. I didn't care anything about the characters well being, and when the gay dancing boy tried to off himself, I sincerely hoped he would succeed. And then all the kids, one by one, would jump in front of the subway to end the movie in a more interesting manner then how it began. And then the filmmaker kid would say, "And cut" and jump dramatically into the subway and die a slow death, and the "Fame" theme song (not the terrible remake, the original by Irene Cara) would play behind his demise. Now THAT'S an ending.
In full? It felt like an afterschool special. A really bad one. From the 80's. The movie was going for a reaction, but with too many one-sided characters and no real emotions, I had no reaction. It was stupid bubblegum fluff advertising itself as a great dance movie, the next "Fame." Well, it wasn't "Fame" at all. It was "Shame."
1. The canned jokes. Although usually they're alright, sometimes I just can't sit through them.
and 2. The movies. This isn't the show's fault, but sometimes the movie choices they review are movies I haven't even heard of, so it's hard for me to laugh at other people's reviews.
Other than a few minor problems, this is a great "kill time" show you can watch when you're bored and not feel guilty that you haven't left the couch in two solid hours. The hosts have a good chemistry and are funny, and add to the show. Not one of the funniest shows on TV, but definitely a fun show to watch.
First problem; who is this movie marketed to, anyway? You'd think it was marketed to women (because it's a romantic comedy), but you'd be wrong. There are more topless women in this movie than in any porno ever made, and I don't even need to see a porno to know that. So, why would women want to watch a man have sex with various topless women? So maybe it's marketed to lesbians. Again, it can't be. There are so many homophobic and fat-phobic jokes that I can't even count. (Okay, probably about seven.) So maybe you're thinking, "So it's a guy movie, like Wedding Crashers." Wrong again. First off, Wedding Crashers, although not perfect, was a funny and entertaining movie. This however, is not. Although there is some "dude humor", there are also many juvenile slapstick jokes. Can it be marketed to teenagers? No, because it's rated-R. So who is this movie trying to reach to?! Retarded older men?
Then comes the actual writing and movie- well, guess what folks, it's terrible. There is no cliché that isn't used; The Sassy Black Woman, The Annoying Womanizer Best Friend, The Perfect Yet Imperfect Woman, The Guy Stud That Rivals The Main Man, The Crazy-In-Love Main Man, etc. Not to mention any woman that isn't perfectly skinny and photo-shopped is automatically a scary fat woman. Almost without fail, my Mom and I could predict the entire movie's plot and exactly what would happen. And we were nearly always correct. Besides not guessing the stuffed penguin sex-scene at the end (which was disgusting and strange, by the way, if not slightly funny) almost everything went the way we thought it would. Dane Cook's creepy stalking of Jessica Alba's character in real life would automatically turn a real woman off and get a restraining order, but of course because this is Hollywood they (SPOILERS) get together at the end. Shocking, isn't it?
And now the acting. Well, Jessica Alba is flat as always. The kids in the beginning are okay, if not over the top. And of course Dane Cook plays- well, himself. I guess the acting is over the top, but that might be the director's fault, so I don't know.
One more complaint; the colors in this movie were incredibly bright. Everything was brighter than life and very hard to watch.
Honestly, I shouldn't have to put a spoilers tag seeing you can predict this movie just by the trailer, but I must for those who might actually care. Don't waste your time on this movie; go out and watch a more decent romantic comedy, like "Music and Lyrics" or "Wedding Crashers", something that is actually romantic and funny.
My problem with most romantic comedies in general is that they have this stupid set-up for reality as if everything is made of rainbows and butterflies and nothing ever goes wrong with the power of love. (That of course is not true.) Now, I'm going into this with missing the first half-an-hour, but I heard some of it and could tell it was depressing.
Now, maybe it's because when my parents were married I remember them yelling violently at each other frequently and this movie hit too close to home, but generally speaking I just don't want to watch couples fighting. (And as brilliant as "Revolutionary Road" is supposed to be, I just don't want to suffer through that.) And guess what folks? That's all that happens in this movie. All they do is fight and argue and fight and argue a bit more and put their friends in difficult situations and cry and scream and personally, I just don't want to have to sit through that.
Once again, we have another movie where everyone is a cliché. Men are all slobs, stupid, they all like video games and can't be serious about anything, and women are annoyingly persnickety and are hyper-clean and feel they are superior to their man. At least, that's what most movies tell me. Now, I know this movie wanted you to be on the woman's side (most romantic comedies do), but personally I couldn't stand both of them. He was annoying and slob-ish and although she didn't annoy me as much she was still a nagging stereotype of "the every-woman". Of course there was the pseudo-gay brother, the best friend who tells-it-like-it-is, and not to mention both lead characters come from two stereotypical families.
One good thing about this movie is the acting. The acting, although at points slightly campy, is never over-the-top and never feels fake. You feel like you could believe they are a couple breaking up. Vaughn and Aniston work well together, and have some real emotional scenes. Another good thing about this movie is the ending; the ending is so real and honest to real life and open-ended that it just boosted an otherwise mediocre movie up another star for me. This is an example of a movie that is almost unbearable to watch but has a great ending.
It's a terrible movie to bring a date to, though, because it'll just depress you. It's a good movie to watch when you're blue though, especially for the great and unexpectedly well acted ending.
Lemme preface by saying that I read the book back in 4th grade, and thought it was brilliant. It's not just an ordinary "kiddy" book, it's edgy, sweet, interesting, and many themes.
In truth, I didn't expect much because I kept hearing horrible reviews, but I know that the reviewers also hated Yes Man and saying it was bad, even though it was funny and cute enough to satisfy anyone. The book is not meant for little kids; there are themes they won't understand, and really is for the older end of elementary/ beginning of middle school kids. But of course it's animated, so that crowd will basically ignore it. Which means, the audience that the text is meant for won't get it, but people who are too young to understand will flock thinking it's an innocent film when the basis isn't.
Now first off, it's completely different than the book. The order of introducing Desperaux first is changed so that we meet another main character Roscuro first, which would be okay if that didn't completely change the tone of the movie from the book. One major aspect of the book was about telling stories reducing ignorance and getting people out of the dark into the light, and that was largely ignored when a certain aspect about the book was changed, which bothered me. The themes of dark and light remained, but there were made to be obvious and the subtlety was lost.
Other than a few aspects, the basic plot of the movie stays pretty accurate to the book. Only problem is, the movie makes it BORING. The characters were turned into caricatures of themselves, especially Roscuro who received the brunt of all the changes. The book, if I remember, was slightly dull because of all the descriptions, but because you read it over a period of time it turns into a fairy tale instead of a 1 1/2 hour movie. This dullness made the movie feel longer which, with a young audience, is never good.
The most distressing out of all this is the loss of the edge that the book contained. All the aspects that made it more than a normal kiddie book are gone because, in truth, this is a normal kiddie movie. For example, in the book, the reason Miggery Sow's deaf in one ear is because her father beat her, but that's never mentioned. Neither is the fact that Desperaux is torn between conformity and the outside world, and is not completely wrapped in the outside yet. These are small facts, but add so much depth to the book making it an instant classic, whilst the movie is not. It's a shame because the material it's based on is great, but the movie falls flat. There are parts that are great and dead on to the book, but those are overshadowed by confusing plot points and long lingering shots that are unneeded. The art is beautiful, especially the job on the fur and the glossiness of the eyes. You can even tell subtle details like the wetness of Desperaux's nose, which is amazing thinking that only six years ago Monsters Inc was out and it took so long for that fur to be done, and it wasn't even that great. Soundtrack is decent too. But other than that, the actual story is too long and complicated to fit into the slot it's given, and unneeded parts such as a talking fruit basket, are annoying to those who know what the audience is missing.
Why did I give this movie a 3 out of 10 and not a one or even a zero? Because I didn't see it alone. I saw it with friends in a matinée early in the afternoon in the back row of a movie theater that new the movie would be bad but laughed at all the lame jokes anyway and threw popcorn at the screen at some points.
To be truthful, the movie was awful. AWWWWWFUL. Boo kind of awful. Had I rented it or seen it with adults and no friends I would have hated it and probably wouldn't have recommended it. At all. Ever. Now, this is the second time I've seen a bad movie with friends that's a comedy on purpose; the first was "Superhero Movie", which I saw for my birthday. Now, we all knew the movie was awful, but because we were with friends that were stupid teenagers we didn't care. That's what you do; you see bad and ridiculous comedies with friends. But this time there was a breaking point.
Now I don't want to make "Superhero Movie" sound good by any standards, (it's not people, unless you enjoy fart jokes) but it was decent enough to have good laughs that were actually kind of clever and occasionally some acting that wasn't atrocious. It was still bad, but it had it's points of normalcy. (Sort of.) "Year One" didn't. Reasons why "Year One" was so bad and everyone agrees? 1. Too long. Even my friend who I was sitting next to the whole time thought the movie dragged on for forever. When I checked my phone (yeah, my phone was on the whole time, I didn't care if it rang, if you were stupid enough to see the movie anyway you don't deserve to see it without a phone on, but it still never rang, anyway), back to the subject, the movie was almost two hours long. TWO HOURS OF PAIN.
2. The Bible stories were out of left field. You know, the Cain and Able thing could have been pulled off, but it didn't. It was overacted and it was hit over your head that one was Cain and the other was Able. Although I have to admit, the death scene (over and over again) was pretty funny, but still over acted. Same with when later Cain is accused by his father of killing Able, his reaction was funny, but completely over acted. That bothered me. Sodom and Gommorah were a bit too much of the movie, and Abraham's sacrifice was a bit strange to come at the same time of Cain and Able. It didn't make sense.
3. Jack Black was waaaaay too manic, but you could never hear Michael Cera. In my opinion Michael Cera's acting was subtle and funnier than Jack Black's, but many of his jokes didn't work because of how quite he is. (Not to mention he plays the same character in every movie, similar to Black.) 4. The virgin jokes and gay jokes were overdone. Seriously, how many times did we need to be reminded that Michael Cera's character was a virgin and the priest was gay? It didn't make me laugh and it was overdone. Most people can agree with that sentiment.
There was so many other flaws, but because I was with friends it was bearable. The final act with the fire and sacrificing came out of left-field, and by then I just wanted to leave.
My conclusion? Skip it unless you're willing to dumb yourself down for a day. It's bad. Very bad.