Category: Animation

Wall-e: Popcorn Taxi

What you have to understand is that the idea of seeing a Pixar movie and then having a director Q&A afterwards – along with legendary sound designer Ben Burtt – is one of my ideas of Heaven. If I thought about it, Heaven would probably be an interconnecting series of cinema screens.
Wall-e, screening on August 25th, with special guests Andrew Stanton and Ben Burtt, reduced the pain of the three month release delay by a large margin. I just feel sorry for the poor saps who have to wait for the September 18 wide release.

Wall-e is a special movie: almost no dialogue, a pervading sense of duty in the face of loneliness, and characters who actually surprise us. It’s like I Am Legend if that movie had remained consistently good and was predominantly a love story. It’s also nice to know that the theme of “last robot on Earth” was a Science-Fiction conceit, rather than a damning indictment of humanity’s commitment to anti-environmentalism. This is not a movie about nature, but about human nature – and also the ways that it manifests in the limited AI of cute, beat up looking robots.

Not really spoilers within, but definite discussion of the “flavours of Wall-e“.

Tales From Earthsea

“It’s all right; they have wings.”

Going into a movie expecting the worst can sometimes turn out in one’s favour: when a movie is not, in fact, terrible and can perhaps even be termed “entertaining”, this is a victory. Tales From Earthsea is one such movie.

The problem with being made by Ghibli is that a certain standard of excellence is expected. The problem with being made by Miyazaki Goro is that the film is forced to live in his father’s shadow. For my money, I enjoyed this movie infinitely more than I did Howl’s Moving Castle.

Tales from Earthsea probably sucks as an Earthsea movie – consultation with my mother reveals that an enormous amount of this movie makes no sense from an adaptation perspective, and Ursula K. Le Guin agrees with this – but otherwise it’s a perfectly engaging, albeit generic, Ghibli fantasy film.