Saturday, July 12, 2008

Outside Of Yonkers

Somehow I’d missed the page in The Sunday Times’ Culture section offering tickets for the previews of WALL•E. Because my details were already in their database I got an email the next day reminding me about the screenings, so I figured it was worth booking a seat. The only drawback was they were on Saturday and Sunday mornings, which could only mean theaters filled with kiddies buzzing their way through a sugar rush.

The last time I was at a preview like this it was for the godawful Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, a film so bad that even before the midway point the audience it was aimed at had lost interest in the screen and was rampaging up and down the aisles. Unfortunately the PR woman who had invited me asked what I thought of the film. I tried my very best to be diplomatic and then never heard from her again.

Still, this time it was Pixar rather than Dreamworks Animation. Except rather than revelling in the antics and witty banter of mismatched buddies, WALL•E is a virtually dialogue-free love story between two robots that fronts an ecological parable. It also uses the songs Put On Your Sunday Clothes and It Only Takes a Moment from Hello, Dolly! as recurring motifs in the narrative.

So, there was the potential for their concentration to slide right under the seats and the auditorium to turn back into the roiling madhouse it was before the lights went down. But after the anarchic theatrics of Presto, the short preceding the feature, the theater fell virtually silent. Short of the odd cough, belch or cry that kiddies seem to randomly blurt out, they hardly made any sound other than laughter as they concentrated on the story unfolding. It really is a phenomenal movie.


At 3:50 am, Blogger Ian said...

You didn't think the middle section was incredibly flabby and confusing? (If you've spent a significant amount of time building up the two lead characters, don't abandon them suddenly in the middle of the movie) Or that the environmental message was delivered in a manner somewhat akin to being hit with a sledgehammer again and again and again?

At 3:59 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

Nah, not one bit. I didn’t think either WALL•E or EVE were abandoned. The new characters and situation had to be introduced and they appeared with a lot of laughs.

Same with the environmental message. The situation was what it was. In fact, I thought it was putting its shoulder behind having a pop at large corporations rather than being green.

Given that this is Pixar’s first release since being bought by Disney, I thought that deserved a hearty round of applause.

At 9:12 pm, Blogger Geoff Prickett said...

It's refreshing to find a movie that will actually shut the kids up in the cinema. Although there was a fair bit of rustling and nattering during that middle section.


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