I was able to get off work early today. But we won't get in why I am getting off work early. UGH. Anyway, I wanted to go see the movie WALL-E last week (at this same time ironically) but it did not work out. However, it did work out for today's viewing. So, on with the show.
The movie was another one of Pixar's best movies. It may not have had the talking toys that they have been known for, but they did get another winner with the story. The graphics were amazing along with the sound. I really liked how they blended animation with live action. And it was funny as well.
This movie is a real good movie to go see with the WHOLE family. And I mean the whole family. You don't find too many of these kinds of movies any more. And no, this is not one of those Shrek kinds of movies where there are lines placed in the movie just to make all age groups happy. Where one line makes a reference that only seniors might understand and then the next is for the Iphone generation. I recommend this movie highly. And if you can, go see it on a really big digital screen. You will love the graphics.
Also, stay to the very very end. You have to watch the credits for even more to the story and more amazing graphics. And a bit of a hat-tip to the Commodoreearly PC games of old.
Click below the fold for the storyThe movie starts off with the most oddest of songs. Why thy chose it, I have no idea. But, it turns out that it is a song that WALL-E is listening to while he is going about his mission. His mission, as has been stated in the previews, is to clean up the mess left behind by Earthlings. He is one of a million WALL-Es that were built to clean up the mess that humans created. They started off as just regular housebots, but as humans got lazier and lazier, the trash really started piling up. After a while, the only corporation in town, started selling tickets for people to get away from the trash and go to the new clean living. While on their way, they will be pampered and cared for like never before. And, while they are gone, WALL-Es will be busy cleaning up the mess. And, when they return, Earth will be clean as a whistle.
Well, that was the plan.
Turns out the corporation was the plant. They controlled everything and nothing. The trash and toxins fouled up everything and the few million WALL-Es that were left behind just could not quite handle the job. The job was just too big of a job. After a few hundred years, the WALL-Es started breaking down. And with so much trash, there was just only so much that a lonely WALL-E could do with the compacted trash he creates.
WALL-E started building skyscrapers with his trash-cubes. Along the way, he would find things of interest and keep them. He would put them in his cooler that he carries on his back and take them back to his home. His home turned out to be a broken down WALL-E carrier. He would find things of interest and then place them in their respective bins back at his home. His favorite past-time is watching old movies on VHS tape. His favorite is My Fair Lady (if I recall correctly). He plays the tapes on a VHS machine that plays through a video IPOD. He then uses a huge magnifying lense to view the video. When a particular scene comes on that he likes, he will record it on his built in tape recorder.
Pixar made WALL-E like he was just an average joe doing his daily routines over and over again. WALL-E's movie pal is an armored cockroach that joins him on his daily trash compacting chores. At one point, WALL-E and friend were tootling along and the cockroach was getting a really bumpy ride and almost fell off. WALL-E stopped by some broken down WALL-Es and took one of their tracks replacing his old worn out one. Average joe just trying to get from work to home. Once home, he walks in and surveys his decorating handiwork. He then goes and puts his shoes (the tracks) up on the towel holder. After watching his favorite movie and dancing around with his new find, a hubcap that he uses as a top hat during his dancing, he gives his friend a twinky and he pulls hims self into a cube to go to sleep.
In the morning, his power is low and he gets moving just like some of us humans are prior to our morning coffee. After recharging from solar power, he is off again to work. This day however is when he meets the love of his life. A ship lands and launches a shiny white probe. The probe then goes off scanning things. The probe turns out is female oriented. She goes all over the place scanning and scanning the area. What for? Don't know yet. Every scan returns a flashing red dot and a buzzer. Negative. A few times WALL-E makes noises and the white robot quickly turns and blasts the area where the noise is.
After being nearly blasted to smithereens by the white robot, she starts basically ignoring WALL-E. WALL-E, who is now so infatuated with the white robot that he follows her everywhere like a young teen who has found his true love for the first time. He makes some goofy and comical blunders while trying to not be noticed.
Later on, during one of her scans of a number of oil tankers, she is caught by one of those old junkyard magnet cranes. She gets away and then blasts it. That starts a fireball that erupts the ship, which explodes and rolls in to the ship next to it. That ship explodes and rolls in to the ship next to it, etc. She then settles down and looks exasperated because of making a mess and not finding what she was supposed to find. WALL-E is finally able to approach her and then does the young school boy approach by slowly sliding up next to her.
She attempts some control words to try and initiate communication to no avail. Then she mentions directive and WALL-E perks up. He shows her what his directive is: to make junk cubes out of trash. WALL-E asks her what her directive is and she says classified. She introduces her self as E-EVA(sp?) and WALL-E does his best to say the new name. WALL-E introduces himself and when EVA (WALL-E's interpretation) says his name back to him, WALL-E swoons.
After EVA is nearly swept away by one of the ongoing storms that roll through the city, WALL-E takes EVA back to his home where he shows her all his neat finds. It is there where EVA learns that WALL-E can repair himself with collected parts and learns what a movie is.
WALL-E then shows EVA his favorite find. On the last outing, WALL-E found a living plant Everying on this planet is basically brown and dead. The implication is that Earth has turned into a giant trash planet that only robots can live on (and not well at that). Once EVA sees the plant, she automatically scans it. The scan turns out to be positive. Her directive then is to find living matter, of which, a chlorophyll producing plant is one. She then goes in to an automatic mode where she captures the plant, that WALL-E had placed in an old shoe, in a force-field and brings it into her body cavity. she then goes into a suspended mode while flashing a green leaf symbol. It is obvious that she is signaling home.
WALL-E has no idea what has happened. He tries to wake her. Failing that, he tries to keep her comfortable. He takes her outside in order to ger some sun thinking she needs to recharge. He protects her from the rain using an umbrella, but in doing so he is struck by lightening. Shaking that off, he grabs another umbrella and is immediately struck by another bolt and is laid flat. He then tries to jump start EVA and ends up being shocked big time. He then takes her on his little trips with him at one point he takes her to a nice spot where they can view the setting sun. He tries to hold her "fin" that seconds as her arm and contains her "fingers". After grabbing a hold of her arm, the arm closes back down and his fingers are smashed and comedy ensues where he tries to pull his fingers back out.
The ship comes back for EVA while WALL-E was away and he has to run back to her. He is able to get on to the outside of the ship and catch a ride. The ship is on autopilot and takes them back to the cruise ship that was introduced in the beginning of the movie - The Axiom. This is the ship where the entire human race has been over the last 700 years.
There are more comedy moments as WALL-E tries to keep up with EVA who was being transported to the main supervisor in order to deliver the plant. Along the way, WALL-E meets people and robots. The people have become fat, lazy, disconnected and spend all their time demanding drinks and food from instant waiters while talking on their virtual heads-up IM screens. At one point, two people are right next to each other talking via their heads-up. One of WALL-E's accidents causes a woman's heads-up to turn off. From then on, she becomes aware that there is a life going on around her. She begins to see where she is and the beauty that is around her. Another one of WALL-E's accidents causes a man to fall off of his hover-chair (everyone rides hover-chairs and have grown fat and atrophied to the point of unable to even move a single muscle except their mouths). The man wallows on the floor like a new born baby. He starts asking for help. The assistance security bots come out and cordon off the area around him while notifying everyone that assistance will be coming and to remain calm. Meanwhile the man is getting upset that no one is helping him. So, WALL-E helps him. They introduce themselves. The man then begins to have his eyes opened.
EVA is then taken up to the captain's Control deck. It is there that we meet the robotic autopilot in the shape of a ships wheel. He is very..... robotic. He alerts the captain, who is fat and slovenly, to come to the deck. The captain sleeps one level below the Control Deck. It is here that we see a long line of pictures showing all the past captain's of The Axiom. They start off in normal shape and start getting fatter and fatter to where we see our current captain. A Jelly Bean with fingers and toes.
The captain was awoken late by the autopilot so he has to turn back the main ships clock in order for him to get his morning announcements out. He does this as the autopilot is trying to notify him that the probe has returned with a sample. Finally he realized the enormity of the event. However, he has no idea what to do. The computer begins the project designed to return the ship and its occupants back to earth now that life has been found. The computer initiates a scan of EVA in order to confirm the life form. After confirmation, the ship will automatically head back home.
However, after the computer wakes up EVA and opens her body cavity to retrieve the sample, we find the plant and shoe missing. During this whole time WALL-E has been hiding under counter watching all this. EVA notices and realizes that he is in danger, and then begins to ask him where the plant is. After the captain realizes that the plant is gone and the immediacy of the return home is gone, he has EVA sent off to repair. He then sees WALL-E and orders him off to repair as well.
At the repair shop, we see that not all robots have it together. There are many here with some unique quirks. One massaging robot actually pummels things. A tennis robot shots tennis balls like an automatic rifle. A vacuum robot sneezes. Each robot is placed in their own force-fielded cage. EVA is taken in to the repair bay where WALL-E thinks she is being taken apart. WALL-E sees EVA's arm being removed in order to access her other parts. WALL-E thinks her arm was ripped off. He then uses his cutting torch to break out. Once out, the main robots start after him. He breaks through the glass door into the repair room with EVA and takes the arm from the repair robot. It is this arm that EVA has her gun. He holds it up to put it back on to her, but after a tussle with the repair robot, the gun goes off and fires back into the "jail" and hits the control pod. After it explodes, all the force-field cages are released allowing the broken robots to escape.
The robots rush in and carry WALL-E off in celebration. As they leave, alarms sound and the security robots begin their chase. EVA comes up to WALL-E in order to take her arm back from WALL-E. The security robots see the gun and an announcement is made that she and WALL-E is a rogue robot. Announcement go throughout the ship. They escape and EVA is intent on sending WALL-E back home in order to get rid of what she sees as a trouble-maker. She tries to place him in an escape pod but he keeps getting out. Then a security bot comes in and they have to hide. We see this security bot placing the plant and shoe into the escape pot. EVA is trying to figure out what to do when WALL-E goes in to the pod and the pod is released. EVA realizes that she needs to get that plant back. She races out after the pod. WALL-E soon realizes that the pod is set to self-destruct in 10 seconds. He starts pounding buttons and levers. Meanwhile the pod is going crazy like a swiss army knife. He then sees a fire extinguisher and the latch to open the door. Countdown hits 1 and he is still stuck inside.
We then see EVA flying through space to get to WALL-E. We then see the pod explode and EVA expresses her sadness for the loss of WALL-E. Then, we see WALL-E flying toward her using the fire-extinguisher trick he learned back on Earth. They then meet up and she sees him as a charming little sweetheart of a robot. They then go zooming and flying around in dance like moves. EVA learns to really like WALL-E and WALL-E really falls in love. He longs to hold her hand like the way the people did in his favorite movie.
WALL-E then shows EVA that he still has the plant and she becomes determine again to take the plant to the captain. So, the get back into the ship and try and sneak their way back up to the captain. Meanwhile the captain has been learning all about earth after being intrigued about the possibility of returning to a place he has never heard of. He is enamored by Earth's possibilities and glory days of old. He explains to the autopilot that people actually plant things and things grow. Things like pizza the captain exclaims.
EVA finds a way to sneak up to the captain and shows him the plant. The captain gets the plant and realizes that he can really now go home to the Earth he has been learning about. He accesses EVA's memories in order to see Earth as it is now and learns that all he has learned is not the way it is. No farms, no lush grass, no dancing, no ho-downs. He gets saddened. But then realizes that this little plant has made it. He will protect the plant. If this plant can make it on Earth, then humans can too. But, the autopilot demands that the captain give it the plant and forget about going to earth. They struggle and the captain demand to know why. Autopilot says it is classified. The captain demands. So, the autopilot plays a video (the second seen actually) of the former president of the planet (who is also the president of the planet's company played live action by Fred Willard. Fred explains that the plan to use WALL-Es to clean the planet has failed and the planet has gone too toxic. Thus, he proclaims that the 5-year cruise on The Axiom will now become permanent. He orders that they not return home. He orders the autopilot to keep this order no matter what to protect the humans.
Meanwhile, EVA sees the video that was recorded while she was in suspension of WALL-E taking care of her and her memories on the planet. She realizes that he really cares for her and she starts caring for him.
WALL-E gets the plant after everyone fights for it. The autopilot takes over the ship and orders the captain locked in his quarters. He then electrocutes WALL-E and shuts EVA down. They are then dumped down a trash chute.
In the trash area, EVA wakes up but is unable to move. There, we see the very large versions of WALL-E getting rid of the mountainous waste the people produce. EVA and WALL-E are compacted and set for dumping into space. EVA escapes and retrieves WALL-E, however, WALL-E is broken and busted up. His parts are fried. He produces the plant and EVA makes the choice to not follow her directive in order to care for WALL-E. She tries to find replacement parts but they are not compatible. As WALL-E begins to fade, he shows her that he can only be repaired by going back to Earth to where his parts are. But, the only way back to Earth is to have the computer recognize the plant and set sail for home.
Thus, begins a very comical race scene with EVA carrying WALL-E trying to get the plant to the computer. Along the way, they meet their broken robot counterparts. They come to his aid. One of the funniest scenes was when a herd of security bots block their way. EVA tries to blast them, but she can only shoot one at a time and they are advancing. Meanwhile, her calvary has arrived. Each of the broken robots has a unique skill that allows them to bust some heads. Key moment is when the massage robot gets released from his bonds and basically pile drives all the security bots to pieces.
The captain realizes that EVA and WALL-E are on their way back up with the plant. He makes his stand. He tricks the autopilot into releasing him. Now that the captain is back up on the Control deck, the captain activates the computer program to have the plant scanned. That makes the autopilot angry. They fight. Meanwhile, the computer program causes all the people to be directed into the main center chamber of the ship sans their virtual heads-up screens. They are clueless and wondering what is going on. The captain announces over the ships vid-screen that the autopilot has gone crazy. The autopilot then tips the ship toward its side causing people to slide out of their hover-chairs. they slide around like fat pillows.
Meanwhile, EVA and WALL-E make it to the place where the plant is to be placed for the computer to analyze it, which happens to be right in front of all the people. As the ship is tipped, the plant goes rolling down the tipped floor amidst the people. The people actually start helping each other and even act to save some sliding babies. Eva then has to save some people from a mass transit vehicle that came off its tracks and begins sliding toward the people who have become smashed like sardines against the corner of the deck. Meanwhile WALL-E waiting over by the plant-scanning place.
The autopilot then shakes off the captain and deactivates the computer program. This causes the plant scanning place to recede back into the floor. WALL-E uses his body to prevent the scanner from dropping back into the floor. The autopilot then uses his shock tool to make the scanner slam down on WALL-E that really squishes him. The captain sees this and, with the music of 2001's black object music playing, the captain begins to struggle to his feet. Takes a step. Takes another stop. The people are cheering from their squashed locations.
The captain then finds the Manual Override switch on the autopilot and shuts it down. The people cheer and the captain rights the ship. Now, EVA has to find the plant. The misfit robots find it and they begin shuffling, shooting, bouncing the plant toward EVA. Even the humans get involved in handing it down the line. At the last, the umbrella robot opens up and bounces it up into EVA's "arms". She places the plant in the scanner and the computer announces success and that they are now heading to Earth. EVA then realizes that WALL-E is in really really bad shape.
The ship goes in to Hyperdrive (I will explain this in another post (snicker)) and arrive at earth in no time. The ship lands on Earth in a specially prepared landing platform. The doors open and the people are seen slowly walking out and amazed at the sites in front of them.
EVA zooms out from between them and the people mourn about WALL-E's condition. EVA takes WALL-E back to his home and begins to repair him. The misfit robots follow as best they can. At the end of a very fast repair job, EVA shoots a hole in the roof of WALL-E's home to let in sunlight. She does this to recharge his batteries. But the misfit robots see the explosion as a bad sign.
WALL-E then wakes up. But, something is wrong. He acts like he was when he was first created. He has no emotion and only is intent on his directive. He even compacts some of his favorite items from one of his storage bins. EVA sees this as wrong and desperately tries to "bring him back" by showing him his old favorite items. She even plays his favorite movie. But all to no avail. WALL-E turns and leaves to do his job. As he is leaving he runs over his friend the cockroach. No harm. Remember he was armored. EVA and friend follow WALL-E.
EVA does not give up and continues to try and get WALL-E to come back. She then realizes that he is lost. She begins to get sad. She puts WALL-E's hand up and she puts her fingers into his. She leans close to his head and begins to softly sing his favorite song. A zap passes between them. She hopes this did something. But nothing has changed.
EVA turns to leave but is stopped. Her fingers are stuck in WALL-E's. She looks at the fingers and they twitch. She looks at his eyes and they are focusing and refocusing. Then his eye pods start to bounce like they did after he has a solar recharge.
WALL-E is back! He then realizes how close he and EVA are. And with a little fright and amazement he realizes that they are holding hands. Something that he has only "dreamed" about doing. EVA expresses her joy and they hug and hug. In the background, you can see the misfit robots coming in to the scene. But then one of them (Mo the cleaning robot) then shoes them out of the way in order to not disturb the two lovers. Funny scene.
They then go off and we see the people coming out of the ship. We then see the captain and kids planting the .. plant... into the ground. He exclaims that this is how pizza is grown.
Now, the credits are incredible IMHO. The first part they use classical art as the medium for telling the story of how the people rebuilt the Earth. The people use the robots to help them do the manual chores of rebuilding. EVA digs a hand turned bucket water well. Other robots help hold the nets to capture fish. The big WALL-Es are used to move rocks and stone. A typewriting type secretarial robot is used to "type" holes in to the ground so that the people can plant seeds. Then we see little sailing boats out on the water where there was no water before. All is back to normal now.
Then, the credits change to the normal scrolling credits but the included animation harkens back to the old Commodore and early PC games that were based on 8 or 16 bit VGA graphics. It retells the whole story in that format on each side of the screen with the credits in the middle.
And guess what. Peter Gabriel sings the lead song. Woohoo!
Amazing movie. Go see it.