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random thoughts about WALL*E

WALL*E was cute. At times a bit too cute. I mostly enjoyed it. I did not find any part of it profound the way some reviewers apparently did. Perhaps they don't know as many tchochke-shiny-collecting geeks as I do and think that such behavior shows unusual sensitivity, but I think it's just normal.

It relied rather heavily on 2001: A Space Odyssey references, and not only as part of the long tradition of movies in which humans who go into space turn into babies. The subtler references were funny.

I laughed when I saw the iPod, and when WALL*E made an old Macintosh start-up sound once he was fully charged.

The fat==stupid==passive message bothered me a little bit. There were hand-wavy things in the plot to soften it ("bone loss due to microgravity"), and I've seen interviews with the makers that explain they didn't mean to send such a message but they meant the people to be infantilized due to having all their needs taken care of. And the people eventually showed some initiative. And there were some nice scenes in the end credits of fat people doing active things. But I think most people watching the movie will walk away with the "fat==stupid==passive" message reinforced in their heads anyway.

I think movies that say "corporations are evul" are really ironic because here we go to a massive cinema complex to be confronted with mounds of food and arcade games and then to watch thinly disguised ads for half an hour before the start of the movie and then 15 minutes of previews for other movies and then a movie and to go back into the complex to be re-confronted with mounds of food and arcade games. But somehow the fact that the movie said "corporations are evul" is supposed to make us feel good that WE haven't been sucked in by corporate brainwashing, or something.

(I don't think "corporations are evul" was the primary message of this movie. That was sort of a free bonus rant.)

This movie made me aware just how few clues are needed for me to make assumptions about gender. I assume WALL*E is masculine because he has hard edges, he is banged-up, and he lives in a messy truck full of a gadget collection. (However, he watches old musicals.) I assume the probe robot is feminine because she is round, mysterious, has a quick temper, and has bad aim with her ray gun arm.

The gender assignments become more obvious when it turns out her voice sounds feminine, her name is EVA, and her sole mission is to find life and put it into her belly, at which point she ceases to communicate or to have any personality at all.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
Reads gender clues. Bangs head in wall.
Jul. 5th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
If you haven't seen the movie, I'll add that EVA comes back to life later on, but she does spend a good quarter of the movie in that state.

And as kyubi pointed out elsewhere, at least she didn't have a bow or eyelashes.
Jul. 4th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
I laughed ... when WALL*E made an old Macintosh start-up sound once he was fully charged.

When Shiva hears the Windows shutting down sound, he's over here, ready for me to scoop the litterbox so he can use it first!
Jul. 5th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
Ha! My cats hear the litterbox scoop sound and usually go in a few minutes later.
Jul. 5th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
None of my others seem to have to be first. Shiva will actually watch me scoop so he can use it immediately after.
Jul. 5th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
...Yeah, I really didn't enjoy the gender/sex/romance stuff at all, and the Girlfriend in a Coma bit was vaguely creepy if hilarious, and the fat stuff had me, as Mr. E says, radiating hateons at the screen. But I could tell they were trying really really hard to make the fat people likeable, which was something.
Jul. 7th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't really see why it was so profound. The critic in our local paper who hates pretty much everything (a different rant--why do they have people who hate certain kinds of movies review them? anyway) loved it. Best movie of all time or something like that. I enjoyed it, I think, but would have to watch it without the kid to make sure. I laughed along with one other person in the theater at the Mac startup sound, but the robot coma scared my son and he was very upset at how sad and alone wall-e was. I just didn't think it was aimed at kids the way that Cars and other Pixars have been. Which would have been fine except that it was marketed to kids and I would've taken R to see Kung Fu Panda if I'd known.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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