Wayne and Wall-E

I should probably be seeing art flicks that I want to see, like Gonzo and The Last Mistress. I can’t get those in Korea. But I couldn’t resist seeing The Dark Knight and Wall-E, two movies I’ve been really excited about.

The Dark Knight, while thoroughly entertaining, didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. It was solid entertainment, but I don’t understand all these online articles I’ve found heaping God-like praise on it. I’ll state the obvious: The best thing about it is The Joker. I won’t even say “Heath Ledger” because the performance is so goddamned good, Heath is nowhere to be found. He completely disappeared into the role to the point where the only thing you experience is this twisted character. Here the hype is accurate; it’s a work of brilliance. There’s an almost apologetic tone when it comes to Christian Bale’s performance — “yes, he’s also brilliant” — but it’s just a polite way of saying that he’s completely outshined. And I like Christian Bale.

I liked Wall-E better. In fact, I absolutely loved this movie to the point where it made me giddy just to sit there and watch it unfold. The story was not only great, it was bold and courageous in a way that’s never been done in mainstream, Western animated film. When a blockbuster cartoon pisses off gaggles of conservatives, you know there’s something a little deeper going on. What I really connected with was the way the filmmakers presented this post-apocalyptic, single-observer world and a sense of total isolation. You begin with one character, brilliantly designed, in a world completely empty of life. Eventually we get a visitor and then we travel to the other extreme — a completely overpopulated world. The story dynamics felt kind of like a symphonic composition, where things start small and eventually open wide to present something much larger.

On a purely geek level, the sound design was stellar. There was no traditional dialogue for the first hour, and it allowed other, more creative storytelling elements to shine through. This is what happens when a sound designer is brought in during the conceptual, pre-production phase of a film. And it doesn’t hurt when that designer is a legend like Ben Burtt. More films should take notice of Wall-E‘s example.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: