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Peter T Chattaway

Wall-E

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Whoa.

Yeah, see, that's what I'm afraid of. What if it's only brilliant and spectacular, and not transcendently awesome? Usually I'd be cool with brilliant and spectacular, but after Comicon I'm deathly afraid I'll be crushed by anything short of transcendence and awe.

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SDG wrote:

: It means I am trying to keep my hopes and expectations from rocketing into outer space.

See, that was my SECOND guess as to what you were saying. My first interpretation was that you were trying to keep your hopes and expectations UP, not down.

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Come on out here, SDG. The atmosphere's fine.

Dude. You didn't see the footage. No joke, I got 2001 goosebumps. I don't think anything from Pixar has ever spoke to me of awe, before.

As fo me, there were - no, still are - a few moments from Finding Nemo which speak of greater things. When the water sparkles with minute particles while the sun filters through, it's more than just pretty.

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Dude. You didn't see the footage. No joke, I got 2001 goosebumps. I don't think anything from Pixar has ever spoke to me of awe, before.
As fo me, there were - no, still are - a few moments from Finding Nemo which speak of greater things. When the water sparkles with minute particles while the sun filters through, it's more than just pretty.

Yeah, I'm with you there. I would just speak more of wonder than awe, I think.

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FWIW, Harry from Aint It Cool thinks Wall-E is the best Pixar ever. He can't say why, or even how good it is, due to the embargo, but he did say a few things here. Some tidbits:

I can't tell you about arguably the best film Walt Disney has ever had its name on - and I certainly can't go into how it is one of the absolute best hard science fiction films made in my adult life - and I won't be able to go on and on about how it's an incredible work of speculative future mythology the likes of which, I've never seen... whilst also being wildly entertaining and thought-provoking to literally all ages.

I wouldn't say PIXAR has done it again, because honestly... They've never ever made a film this great before. Don't get me wrong - I love love love the TOY STORYS, MONSTER INC, RATATOUILLE and THE INCREDIBLES... but this... This was gasp inducing.

This single handedly made me forget every other film I've seen this year. I've seen WALL*E and I can't wait to do so again.

This, taken with what SDG has hinted about the Comicon footage has me beyond excited right now. I'm positively giddy.

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If it deserves such a nomination (and I have confidence that it will), those of us who blog and review should start making a big noise about it as soon as it opens, and don't let up until the nominations are announced. It's time. Pixar deserves it. And this may be the film to achieve it.

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I can't believe we're taking Harry Frickin' Knowles all THAT seriously.

You have a very good point. But, I'm taking his comments alongside what others (SDG included) have already written about it. Harry overstates things from time to time, but there are times when he is completely correct in his exuberance.

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Phill Lytle wrote:

: You have a very good point. But, I'm taking his comments alongside what others (SDG included) have already written about it.

SDG saw a promo reel, not the entire film. And he specifically allowed for the possibility that the actual film might be less than what the promo reel promised. That seems the prudent path to take, to me.

And even after the film has come out, I'm sure we will still need time to think about it, reflect on it, see it a second time, etc., etc. The usual stuff.

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I can't believe we're taking Harry Frickin' Knowles all THAT seriously.

Is it any kind of certainty? No. Is Harry's enthusiasm somewhat promising? Sure.

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Phill Lytle wrote:

: You have a very good point. But, I'm taking his comments alongside what others (SDG included) have already written about it.

SDG saw a promo reel, not the entire film. And he specifically allowed for the possibility that the actual film might be less than what the promo reel promised. That seems the prudent path to take, to me.

And even after the film has come out, I'm sure we will still need time to think about it, reflect on it, see it a second time, etc., etc. The usual stuff.

I realized that SDG only saw a Promo reel. And honestly, I don't care about prudence. I get the feeling this will be something special. If it's not, what's the big deal? It won't affect my day to day life just because it did not meet my lofty expectations.

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Phill Lytle wrote:

: And honestly, I don't care about prudence. I get the feeling this will be something special. If it's not, what's the big deal? It won't affect my day to day life just because it did not meet my lofty expectations.

Well, what's the point of getting "positively giddy", then? I feel perfectly justified in trashing The Happening now that I have actually seen it, but I would have been wrong to be anything more than unimpressed or a little worried if all I had had to go by was the trailers. Same thing here: I am impressed and hopeful, but so far all I have seen is a great CHARACTER and some fine ANIMATION. I have absolutely zero idea whether the STORY will be all that good. And I highly doubt whether anyone else who hasn't seen the entire film has a better than zero idea. Maybe all the hype will be justified down the road, just as the anti-hype turned out to be justified in the case of The Happening. But I'd rather know my limit and play within it, to borrow a phrase.

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I like the crackling electricity of a hunch. I've got it for the next U2 album. I've got it for Wall

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And then you write a 3.5-star review that you look back on with...

Ouch. Sorry. Shouldn't have gone there. (Even if that film and WALL-E have Disney in common, at least.)

But given a choice between letting a film grow on me and telling people that I had underestimated it on the one hand, and letting a film lose its magic and telling people that I let my hope get the best of me on the other hand, I know which I'd prefer. Of course, I do both of these things all the time. But I know which one I prefer.

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I like the crackling electricity of a hunch. I've got it for the next U2 album. I've got it for Wall

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And then you write a 3.5-star review that you look back on with...

No, no, no. It wasn't the anticipation that led me to give that rating to Wardrobe, or Spider-man 3. (I'm assuming you're referring to one of those two.) If anything, I expected those films to be disappointments, and they surpassed expectations in the first viewing. It was in the repeated viewings, as the flaws became more obvious to me, that I regretted those ratings.

I haven't seen a Pixar film that worsened with repeat viewings. They've all grown in my estimation so far.

There have been plenty of times that I went in excited, and came out dismayed.

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Phill Lytle wrote:

: And honestly, I don't care about prudence. I get the feeling this will be something special. If it's not, what's the big deal? It won't affect my day to day life just because it did not meet my lofty expectations.

Well, what's the point of getting "positively giddy", then? I feel perfectly justified in trashing The Happening now that I have actually seen it, but I would have been wrong to be anything more than unimpressed or a little worried if all I had had to go by was the trailers. Same thing here: I am impressed and hopeful, but so far all I have seen is a great CHARACTER and some fine ANIMATION. I have absolutely zero idea whether the STORY will be all that good. And I highly doubt whether anyone else who hasn't seen the entire film has a better than zero idea. Maybe all the hype will be justified down the road, just as the anti-hype turned out to be justified in the case of The Happening. But I'd rather know my limit and play within it, to borrow a phrase.

Peter, are you really questioning my anticipation for this film? If you want to approach this film with a level head, more power to you. Am I setting myself up for disappointment? Perhaps. But I would rather ride this wave of excitement and hopefulness, then to exist in the lowly world of tempered expectations.

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I suspect that when Peter and D are expecting, that Peter experiences some warm, joyful feelings of anticipation about playing with that child someday. Even though something could, God forbid, go wrong.

I could be wrong. ;)

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Peter, I hope you don't think I'm prone to jumping on the bandwagon of overly zealous expectations. My comment about an Oscar was just a hunch, conditioned on several "ifs" panning out. I'm beginning to sense a "perfect storm" forming -- in a good way -- around this film, if it's as good as these meager, sometimes suspect reactions are indicating.

I'm with Jeffrey and Steven on the idea of hoping for great things. I've done less and less of that in recent years. Much less. But it feels good to let myself get caught up in the moment.

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Overstreet wrote:

: No, no, no. It wasn't the anticipation that led me to give that rating to Wardrobe, or Spider-man 3. (I'm assuming you're referring to one of those two.) If anything, I expected those films to be disappointments, and they surpassed expectations in the first viewing. It was in the repeated viewings, as the flaws became more obvious to me, that I regretted those ratings.

I dunno, I think one could still argue that, on first viewing, you were drawn to the things that you had "hoped" would be there more than the flaws which became obvious later -- flaws that would not have necessarily stood out on first viewing, because you didn't know what they would be and were thus not primed to look for them.

But now I'm bordering on amateur psychoanalysis. So, um, never mind.

Where would the Star Wars prequels fit on this scale, I wonder? I remember being more skeptical about those than some when they first came out, and then feeling a wee bit vindicated when some of the people who had championed them admitted that they may have over-rated them. And Lord knows, we all WANTED to like them.

It's funny to look back at the Time magazine cover story on Return of the Jedi and remember how the guy who wrote that puffball preview piece claimed that Jedi was better than Empire. Friends of mine actually bought into that argument at the time. I don't think many people seriously claim that Empire is the worst of the original trilogy NOWADAYS, though.

: I suspect that when Peter and D are expecting, that Peter experiences some warm, joyful feelings of anticipation about playing with that child someday. Even though something could, God forbid, go wrong.

Heh. I also experience some trepidation, of course. There is no guarantee that the child will want to play the same games or watch the same movies that I do, etc., etc. I look forward to seeing my children become their own people, but I also get kind of nervous about it, too.

I have NO idea what to expect when they hit puberty.

Phill Lytle wrote:

: Peter, are you really questioning my anticipation for this film?

To the extent that it is based on anything that Harry Knowles says, yes. If Harry Knowles is neither here nor there for you, then carry on.

: But I would rather ride this wave of excitement and hopefulness, then to exist in the lowly world of tempered expectations.

Let's just hope you don't pick your political candidates the way you pick your movies, then. :)

Christian wrote:

: Peter, I hope you don't think I'm prone to jumping on the bandwagon of overly zealous expectations. My comment about an Oscar was just a hunch, conditioned on several "ifs" panning out. I'm beginning to sense a "perfect storm" forming -- in a good way -- around this film, if it's as good as these meager, sometimes suspect reactions are indicating.

Oh, sure, prognosticate away.

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Phill Lytle wrote:

: Peter, are you really questioning my anticipation for this film?

To the extent that it is based on anything that Harry Knowles says, yes. If Harry Knowles is neither here nor there for you, then carry on.

Well, to give you a little of my history with Mr. Knowles, go back to 2001. Decemeber 13th to be exact. Harry posted his review of The Fellowship of the Ring. You can read it here. Here are some excerpts:

I

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To the extent that it is based on anything that Harry Knowles says, yes. If Harry Knowles is neither here nor there for you, then carry on.

FWIW, I wouldn't say Harry Knowles is "neither here nor there" for me. Like Jeffrey, I would go with "somewhat promising."

Certainly, Harry is a totally undisciplined writer with an immature aesthetic and a capricious approach to film evaluation and commentary. However, he is not a moron or an ignoramus, and he can be insightful and critically astute, amid rampant emoting and obscenity.

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So...uh...Peter...what good are reviews and pre-screenings if a critic's review could totally change on subsequent viewing? Apparently, the least trustable time to trust a film critic is after he has seen the movie only once. :)

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