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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 14.71%
Average: 5.88%
Pretty Bad: 6.86%
Total Crap: 2.94%

6 reviews, 66 user ratings

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by Lybarger

"You can’t say no to those big metallic eyes."
4 stars

It’s been such a lousy year for romantic comedies that the only engaging one features a pair of robots.

“WALL*E” might be another Pixar cartoon (that’s about like lamenting a portrait is yet another Rembrandt painting), but its metal characters are so endearing and vivid that they make the people in most live action films seem inanimate in comparison.

The title character is a lone cyborg who is essentially an artificially intelligent trash compactor. While that’s most of what a Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class (WALL*E) is designed to do, the designation shortchanges him.

He takes breaks from mashing up trash into blocks to collect any object that strikes him as interesting, and he’s smart and ingenious enough to repair himself.

This might explain why he’s still around after all the humans have left the earth ages before and why he’s the only robot still functioning. As he goes through his rounds, there are dozens of fellow WALL*Es who are now little more than statues.

The only company he encounters is a cockroach. If the setup sounds morose or even dull, you probably haven’t been following the work of Pixar. Writer-director Andrew Stanton gave the studio “Finding Nemo,” its biggest commercial hit, so it’s interesting that he’s now created its most audacious movie to date.

There is no dialogue during the about the first 30 minutes of the film, but the charm of its title character makes the loneliness seem curiously engaging. Stanton and his co-writers Pete Docter and Jim Reardon drop all sorts of subtle hints at how WALL*E has come to be the only intelligent being on the planet. WALL*E also has wonderfully expressive eyes and body language, so he’s already a more able romantic lead than Ashton Kutcher.

In addition, “Star Wars” sound designer Ben Burtt has come up with a cornucopia of audio effects that easily make up for the sparse vocabulary of title character. Burtt even performs some of the characters’ voices.

While the movie might visually resemble “Blade Runner,” Stanton and his crew imbue it with a warped sense of whimsy. WALL*E constantly watches a “Hello Dolly” videotape he’s rescued from the rubble and tries to imitate it. The only glitch is that he can’t find another robot to hold his hand or dance with him like the figures on the screen.

That ends when a mysterious cyborg named Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator or EVE (Elissa Knight) lands near WALL*E’s home. Although her slick appearance makes the rusty WALL*E look shabby, she gradually lets down her guard and stops firing lasers at him. She becomes especially affectionate when he presents her with a tiny plant he’s found during his digging.

It turns out that both machines are part of a larger plan to save the planet after it has been ravaged by consumerism, pollution and human error. Stanton and his cohorts have created a frequently amusing dystopia where couch potato lifestyles and willful ignorance have reduced humanity to a sadly ineffectual bunch.

Stanton and his crew poke fun at alarming current trends (pollution, obesity, etc.) but never resort to proselytizing the audience. It also helps that the few humans who do appear in the film are painted affectionately. The captain (voiced by Jeff Garlin from “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) of the vessel that holds humanity’s last remnants might be appallingly ignorant, but he learns with astonishing speed.

Still the most likeable characters are the bots. The writers of “27 Dresses,” “Made of Honor,” “Sex and the City” and “What Happens in Vegas” should be forced to watch this film “Clockwork Orange”-style. Maybe then they’ll create characters who are interesting and likable.

While Pixar has gradually become the studio that has yet to release a lousy film, I still have some quibbles. While the casting of Sigourney Weaver as a malevolent computer is a nice nod to her work in “Alien,” her voice is so heavily disguised that listeners can’t recognize it. It seems silly to cast a star when the performer’s voice is buried in the mix.

“WALL*E” dares to challenge viewers by trusting them to pay attention to what’s on screen. Because so much of it is told visually, you can’t leave for a long popcorn break and expect to grasp the story. Perhaps by trusting their audience, the folks at Pixar have proved that neither they nor their viewers lack heart or brain.

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originally posted: 06/28/08 06:53:30
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User Comments

7/31/19 Suzanne So thought-provoking and a sweet love story - cheers! 5 stars
3/14/16 Charles Tatum A dry stab at social commentary 3 stars
4/02/12 Rita P WALL-E...still the most charming leading man in the movies. 5 stars
11/24/11 Dr. Chan Not a compelling story at all. And its rhetoric is not my taste. 1 stars
10/19/11 Magic Not even a disappointing third act can offset the brilliant first two thirds of this movie. 5 stars
3/04/11 Mona W/his binocular eyes you can see the very moment Wall-e falls in love w/Eve. Pure Magic. 5 stars
2/26/11 Rita Absolutely mesmerized by Wall-e and Eve. A masterpiece. 5 stars
1/13/11 carol miles Sorry I didn't see this on the big screen - it's wonderful 5 stars
8/04/10 Lana Pixar proves herself again, showing how actions speak louder than words. ADORABLE 5 stars
6/01/10 User Name Quite possibly Pixar's best. 4 stars
1/17/10 TravisN Loved this movie. 5 stars
12/22/09 Dr.Lao A visually stunning and thought provoking movie, but the juvenile humor feels out of place 4 stars
12/13/09 Micah Definitely my favorite of 2008. 5 stars
11/26/09 gabriel An average movie hyped to infinity. Completely cliché. if I was 10 again I would love it. 3 stars
11/16/09 Reality Of Films The film was okay, but it was too serious, and boring in parts. I'd give the movie a C. 3 stars
10/22/09 MP Bartley Even by Pixar's high standards, this is truly, truly exceptional. 5 stars
6/19/09 Beefsolver There is no beef between Spirited Away fans and WALL*E fans. Never was. Beef solved. 5 stars
3/26/09 mr.mike It was good. 4 stars
3/05/09 Morgan You hated Spirited Away but WORSHIP WALL-E?!?!!!?? 1 stars
1/21/09 Croweater88 brianodorf, that the worst review i have ever seen you write. For shame. 5 stars
1/14/09 clatz Fantastic movie, very sweet and moving 5 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. one of the best animated films in a LONG time ;] 5 stars
11/28/08 Yvette It was great!! I recommend this for the whole family. 5 stars
11/26/08 Jonathan Pixar's like the '07 Patriots - they're chasing perfection. 5 stars
11/21/08 JD This film is the greatest animated film of the decade. 5 stars
11/21/08 KB5 Great message about the miracle of Life and it in all it's forms! 5 stars
11/17/08 Greets Another fine Pixar film that better than most live-action films this year 4 stars
9/30/08 Louise Clever and charming, with impressive animation 4 stars
9/17/08 Oiman Incredible, best movie ever 5 stars
9/12/08 Jon What can I say? This is another Pixar Classic. 5 stars
9/04/08 Rachel Wouldn't call this Pixar's best film ever - as some have - but it's definitely up there. 5 stars
8/28/08 Cathy It was okay, worth watching once - Some parts are good, but some parts are a little boring 3 stars
8/24/08 Samantha Pruitt i found it to be highly depressing, yet cute, hmmm, those chairs look awesome to have. 3 stars
8/13/08 Alice I dont understand the comments. Iam a huge disney fan but this sucked! Boring. 2 stars
8/06/08 E K Zimmerman Absolutely sublime - the best Pixar outing to date. 5 stars
7/31/08 ben dover 2 stars.brianorfdorf fuck you paki twat 5 stars
7/21/08 Moriazbane Perfection! Great love story. Adult entertainment, not for immature kids 5 stars
7/20/08 Shaun Wallner My daughter loves this movie! 5 stars
7/16/08 athenais Great movie!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/16/08 David Just goes to show "G" films don't have to be poison for adults. 5 stars
7/14/08 Private Without a hint of exaggeration.. modern masterpiece. 5 stars
7/14/08 D Fantastic 5 stars
7/14/08 George Barksdale I loved it, a great family movie 5 stars
7/12/08 toni awesome!!!! 5 stars
7/12/08 Flounder The film moved me to the verge of tears, which is a rarity today. My highest recommendation 5 stars
7/10/08 L. Slusarczyk A fabulous movie thats worth the price of admission. 5 stars
7/09/08 Jack Quite simply one of the best movies ever made. And yes, I cried too... 5 stars
7/08/08 mary m My 5 yr old niece loved it and so did I. I'll admit I cried. 5 stars
7/07/08 Mr X The best Pixar movie yet! Brianorndorf is just being a hater. 5 stars
7/05/08 AnnieG A Pixar movie made for grown-ups that kids may enjoy also. 5 stars
7/05/08 Craig The best quirky-little-robots-in-love movie ever! 5 stars
7/04/08 Matt This movie was TERRIBLE and BORING!!!!!! 1 stars
7/03/08 Leo S Hmm.. Not seeing it. It was ok, but it got tedious pretty quick 3 stars
7/02/08 Flounder One of the most unique, incredible trips to the movies I have have ever experienced 5 stars
7/01/08 Aaron Brian the gags on you. Corporatism musn't always be negative. 4 stars
7/01/08 Anthony You leave the theatre appreciating everything around you. 4 stars
6/30/08 Roy Smith Pixar produces perfectionc again 5 stars
6/30/08 Wolfrider Totally worth it - will definitely be looking for this one on DVD 5 stars
6/30/08 tmcmistress brian, your review is 1% criticism and 99% projecting. 5 stars
6/30/08 Kye Mitchell Wonderful movie! 4 stars
6/30/08 dan halberg take a valium, brianordorf! 5 stars
6/30/08 Robert Auto's voice was Macintalk. Sigourney Weaver was the more normal female voice of the ship 5 stars
6/30/08 Quigley WALL-E deeply moved my heart. Could very well be one of the greatest films ever made. 5 stars
6/29/08 Christof M. Bradford My rating is actually 4.9 stars, because as good as it is, WALL*E is not quite perfection. 5 stars
6/28/08 Bob lovable movie 5 stars
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  27-Jun-2008 (G)
  DVD: 18-Nov-2008


  DVD: 18-Nov-2008

[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  Andrew Stanton

Written by
  Andrew Stanton

  Fred Willard
  Jeff Garlin
  Ben Burtt

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