Film: Wall·e - Livre d'Or








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livredor
Film: Wall·e
Monday, 22 September 2008 at 10:07 pm
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Reasons for watching it: I really liked the sound of it when everyone was raving about it. I've liked other Pixar stuff, and it just seemed like my kind of film.

Circumstances of watching it: Joanna spontaneously invited me to join her at the cinema, and since for once I was actually free this evening, I jumped at the chance. So we went up to the big cinema at Hötorget, and sat through some seriously inappropriate trailers (mostly involving people shooting eachother and having on-screen sex), and a very cute little Pixar short about a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, with the gag that the hat is actually magic.

Verdict: Wall·e is very watchable, but doesn't make entire sense.

Wall.e is visually gorgeous. It's so pretty and atmospheric and characterful, and the best of the animation is just stunning. Even the worst is only bad by comparison, but the fat blobby humans are of Toy story standard, not transcending anything I've seen before like Wall·e himself. The storyline is original, but if you stop to think about it at all, doesn't even slightly hold together. The really impressive characterization makes it easy to suspend disbelief and get immersed in the action, which I suppose is all you can really ask from a children's cartoon, but still.

It's also just ludicrously schmaltzy, and I say that as someone with a high tolerance for romantic films. It's a technical achievement to make the audience go aww over robot characters who are only barely anthropomorphic, but it's still an utterly cheesy romantic plot. It's also based on quite a stalkery, sexist model of Twoo Wuv: EVE gives absolutely no indication of interest in Wall·e, but his persistence (including taking her inert body on a romantic date when she's switched off and totally unresponsive) wins out in the end and she learns to appreciate him after all. This dynamic is made even worse by the fact that Wall·e is cute, but dirty, shabby and clumsy, whereas EVE is shiny and ultra high tech and futuristic. Honestly, I think if this had been live action I'd have walked out after the first twenty minutes.

The ending really, really doesn't make sense. I think I'd like the film better if either Wall·e managed to stay dead, or if they hadn't used the closing credits to imply that the recolonization of earth was successful, closing off the rather nihilistic interpretation that all the humans would die (being totally unprepared to return to the probably non-viable earth), leaving the cute robots to repopulate the world with strange mechanical offspring.

I was sort of hoping we'd hang out afterwards, but we just discussed the film briefly (Joanna found it way too cloying, whereas I could see its good points in spite of that), and then I gave her hatam_soferet's present. She was delighted, it couldn't be more to her taste, so yay. It's very sensible not to stay out late on a work night. I'm a bit disappointed that we don't seem to be moving past the friendly acquaintances stage; I fear she's formed the impression that I'm flaky and unreliable, which is not entirely false, but it's a bit of a shame.


Whereaboooots: Hötorget, Stockholm, Sweden
Tuuuuune: Dusty Springfield: Son of a preacher
Discussion: 11 contributions | Contribute something
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:September 22nd, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry
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That sounds about right, although I think I reacted to slightly different things.

I fear she's formed the impression that I'm flaky and unreliable,

Oh dear :( You seemed to get on well, I didn't expect any not-friendshop.
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livredor: attached
From:livredor
Date:September 23rd, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 10:27 pm (livredor's time)
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It's the sort of thing that would have been fun to watch with you, since it's both soppy and geeky. Did you write about it?

I'm not not friends with Joanna, we get on fine, and she's always really nice to me, but it's just that I don't seem to be able to get close to her as I'd hoped. When she first moved here, she invited me for shabbat a few times, and we had some really good conversations, and it seemed like there was lots of potential. Then I had a couple of months when I was being hidey, not really answering emails or showing up to shul or social events, and when I resurfaced, Joanna was much more distant with me. Which is fair enough, because it probably looked like I was completely ignoring her for several weeks. And probably some of this is in my head, so I shouldn't angst about it on LJ.
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syllopsium: default
From:syllopsium
Date:September 23rd, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
3 hours after journal entry
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Well, not exactly. I'll agree that the Wall-e 'death' wasn't ideal, but I don't necessarily see the issue with the repopulation.

Whilst only one plant is initially found, the closing shot makes it clear there are many many more. THe repopulation doesn't provide any timeframe, either..
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lavendersparkle: Ood
From:lavendersparkle
Date:September 23rd, 2008 06:16 am (UTC)
9 hours after journal entry, 07:16 am (lavendersparkle's time)
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I got the impression fro the closing credits that the repopulation took thousands of years, hence the cycling through so many styles of art, but that Wall-E and Eve were around all of that time. Also, Surely it's possible that the space ship could continue to sustain the human population in the way it had been doing in space whilst they began to recolonise the Earth. I that case they could have spent hundreds of years building up to being able to support themselves from the Earth eco-system.
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livredor: complicated
From:livredor
Date:September 23rd, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 10:39 pm (livredor's time)
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I didn't actually manage to watch the closing credits all the way through. I'd intended to, as I'd seen all the reviews saying they were the best bit, but Joanna wanted to leave and we got a bit swept up in the crowd (who obviously hadn't read the reviews). It's true that if the space ship can somehow magic nourishment for the whole population in space, it can probably feed them until they get farming reestablished, and it does have all the information they could possibly need. But it's a very harsh environment, and you've got a bunch of people who have never left their chairs or used their brains, not exactly the most ideally qualified for the job.
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livredor: complicated
From:livredor
Date:September 23rd, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 10:32 pm (livredor's time)
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Well, the thing with the plant was part of what made no sense. How can there be 700 years with no plant life, and suddenly a single plant appears out of nowhere? Plants have to be part of an ecosystem! Also, I was thinking more about the fact that the people from the spaceship are totally ill equipped to deal with repopulating the planet. I guess the idea is that they can get help from the super intelligent futuristic space ship, but still, it seemed implausibly optimistic.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 23rd, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry
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It's not 700 years with no plant life - it's 700 years with no plant life in the area Wall-e/Eve covers. I'll grant you that having no plant life at all is actually fantastically unlikely, though.

The repopulating I have no problem with. Necessity is the mother of invention. There's a large proportion of evolved, fat humans with lots of knowledge and the remains of a civilisation at their fingertips - they might make a lot of mistakes and many might die, but they'll get there eventually.
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syllopsium: default
From:syllopsium
Date:September 23rd, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry
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oops.. that was me
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forestofglory: default
From:forestofglory
Date:September 25th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 01:01 pm (forestofglory's time)
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Seeds can last that long, but they don't grow well in refrigerators. Also plants have hard time with vacuum.

I'm in the "realisticly they would die" camp. There are too many steps between "look a live plant" and "look pizza".
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lavendersparkle: wedding
From:lavendersparkle
Date:September 23rd, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)
9 hours after journal entry, 07:20 am (lavendersparkle's time)
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I thought Wall-E's behaviour was a bit weird stalkerish, although quite a bit of it is just trying to look after someone he's just met who seems to have stopped working. Actually, that bit of the film made me like the film a bit more because it made it oddly mirror the history of my husband and my relationship.
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livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:September 23rd, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 10:50 pm (livredor's time)
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I think some of it was trying to look after her, yeah. But taking her on a romantic boat trip and dressing her up with fancy clothes when she was switched off really squicked me. I think the best justification is that Wall·E isn't terribly bright (which is nice, I think the film worked much better for not having super-intelligent robots). I think if the film existed in a memetic vacuum, I'd probably have found it sweet, but there are just so many stories of nerdy, socially inadequate guys managing to bag impossibly beautiful women by sheer force of refusing to pay attention to being turned down. I'm probably over thinking it, but the pursuit thing struck me as quite unpleasant.
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