June 27, 2008, - 12:21 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Only one movie I liked at the box office for this weeks new offerings. Not the boring Islamic propaganda film.
* Wall-E: The best animated movie I’ve ever seen, you forget you’re watching animation. This high-tech masterpiece, while marketed to kids by Disney/Pixar, is actually very appealing to adults. I do not have kids, and I would go see this on my own.
There is very little dialogue in this futuristic movie of lonely desolation on earth which ends in optimism and hope. It’s also a love story of sorts. Yet, it is exciting and fast-paced.
Set in the year 2700, the earth is abandoned, filled with skyscrapers of trash next to real skyscrapers, which are falling apart. WALL-E is a miniature robot, whose job is to gather trash and compact it into boxes on top of boxes. He’s either the last one left on earth or forgotten or both. WALL-E lives his life on earth doing his job alone and hanging around with a friendly cockroach. As he sifts through the trash, WALL-E keeps gadgets and other signs of past humanity (spoons, forks, sporks, etc.) For entertainment, WALL-E watches an old musical movie about love and dreams of holding hands and finding a soulmate like the stars of the old musical.
Soon, a spaceship lands on earth and deposits small robot that looks like a cross between Caspar the Friendly Ghost and an egg. WALL-E and EVE, this new robot, become fast friends as EVE is on her mission to find surviving plant life on earth.
The humans who used to live on earth, now live on a giant spaceship that looks like a cruise ship. They’re all extremely obese, and don’t walk. They get around on mobile lounge chairs and communicate via video screen attachments. They seem to have forgotten that they’re supposed to be hoping to return to earth, when the mission suddenly confronts them. And some robots, fearing their anachronism, get in the way.
Some have made a big deal of the alleged “global warming” message of the movie. But it’s really very vague, and they don’t really hit you over the head with it. We’re not told why nothing is growing on earth–though it’s hinted that’s because of all the trash. Still we don’t know. It appears humans abandoned earth because of a savvy marketing ploy to buy condos on Mars. And there have been other great movies–“Silent Running” and “Soylent Green,” of which this is reminiscent, though far more optimistic at the end–in which there is total desolation on earth and few if any plants grow. Still, they were great movies.
I’m sure you can both enjoy this film with your family and explain to your kids that Ted Turner’s scary vision of a scorched earth with no vegetation is fantasy and won’t happen.
In the end, this movie is a love story more than anything. Wall-E and EVE fall in love. The dearth in vegetation is just the way to unite them.
Not only was this movie very charming and fun, it was fantastic in its animation, story, and sound effects. Go see it.
* Wanted: While this movie is being marketed as an Angelina Jolie vehicle, she does little other than pout, pose, and kick butt. She’s a co-star, at best. The real star of this silly movie is James McAvoy. He plays Wesley, a loser, who hates his job and his fat pig boss lady (a dead ringer for Roseanne). Wesley sulks in his cubicle, as his best friend is having an affair with his girlfriend and everyone treats him like dogpoop.
Soon, though, Wesley is recruited by an ancient fraternity of weavers who make textiles, but are actually assassins. They train Wesley to no longer take crap from the world around him, and to become one of them.
The movie is based on graphic novels/comic books and really seems to be a parody, if anything. While a few scenes in the movie are cool–Wesley telling off his obnoxious boss and beating up his friend who is sleeping with his girl–I found it to be absurd, stupid and pointless. And very disturbing, in that it’s a ton of very graphic violence, murder, and blood without a point. Gratuitous killing for no reason.
And the bullets go around people’s heads to hit targets. Yeah, that’s believable. Ditto for the code that automatically comes to this ancient society of weavers, through some master loom. Who is sending the code regarding which person to kill next? G-d? They don’t tell us (not that I care, but it makes for an even more preposterous script). Certain skipped stitches just magically appeared.
Most of the story–about training a guy to become an assassin for the wrong people–was a bargain basement rip-off of the great “Batman Begins.”
I like guns and shooting more than the next person. But the sheer violence in this movie really does nothing other than show us what a hypocrite Angelina Jolie is. In real life, she pretends to decry violence and is a U.N. goodwill ambassador for refugees. But the pointless, random killing that she glorifies and promotes in this movie is what makes people refugees, amputees, and victims, in the first place. It does mirror the violence and killing, though, that she cheered on as Palestinian children sung of their desire for “revenge” to take Jerusalem and Palestine, when she visited a refugee camp.
Yes, in like the last two minutes there’s a faint morality play. But that’s not why they made this trash, and it doesn’t make up for the 1.5 hours that came before the “do as I say, not as I do–don’t kill” message.
Do you think Baby Shiloh, Jolie’s unborn twins, or the assorted U.N. of adopted kids she and Brad Pitt have will ever be allowed to see this onscreen tribute to killing? How about her naked butt–also shown on the big screen?
And this chick is our new national saint. Skipworthy.
* Bab’Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul: This subtitled Arabic movie showed me one thing–that Arabic movie and TV production really hasn’t advanced much beyond the amateurish, provincial stuff you’d see on Iraqi or Egyptian TV in the 1950s or 1960s. Oh, except that they discovered this thing called “color.”
The movie looks like one of the Arabs from Lawrence of Arabia made it and in that era. Despite that, this movie is being heavily marketed to the Arab and Muslim communities in places like the Detroit area, as movie studios and distributors try to artificially create a non-existent niche market for bland, boring, unsophisticated Arabic movies like this one. It’s not charming, just backward.
You can’t blame the Arabs and Muslims for their lack of advancement in story development and video production, though. After all, they have more important industries in which to make their advancements and developments and focus their “ingenuity” and “creativity”: the IED industry, the homicide belt bomb industry, and the Mein Kampf/Protocols of the Elders of Zion publishing industry, and the women’s sackwear/full-Ninja fashion industry.
Yes, they have advanced video production but only for certain things: beheading videos, Al-Qaeda recruitment videos, and the transmission of anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic sermons.
This movie was extremely boring. I fell asleep multiple times and didn’t miss much. A blind, old dervish (wandering, impoverished Muslim Sufi mystic), Bab’Aziz, and his granddaughter are wandering in the desert to meet with other dervishes at a religious gathering held every 30 years. Along the way, the grandfather tells her a pointless, boring story about a prince who abandons his kingdom. They also meet others wandering in the desert who tell their equally pointless, boring stories. All of the stories are mixed in, make no sense, and are, frankly, stupid. Very hard to follow, not that I wanted to.
The only story I liked was the one told by a man who describes how he found a fountain in the middle of the desert, dove into it and ended up in a palace with many beautiful women who loved and wanted him. He’s told by a group of Arabs in the desert, that this is a taste of paradise in heaven. Finally, the Muslims admit that which we all know is true, but which they constantly deny post-9/11: that “heaven”/”paradise” is comprised by the 72 virgins.
In promotional materials sent to me by the movie’s publicist, “Bab’Aziz”‘s director, Nacer Khemir, says he made this movie
to wipe Islam’s face clean with my movie, by showing an open, tolerant and friendly Islamic culture, full of love and wisdom . . . an Islam that is different from the one depicted by the media in the aftermath of 9/11.
That’s interesting, since there are no non-Muslims in the movie–we see no tolerance, and–although a bus is mentioned and we briefly see an airplane and a motorcycle–it’s as if the movie took place in 1912 or even 1612. And it’s not the real Islam of thousands in the streets, cheering on Bin Laden, HAMAS, and Hezbollah. How many Muslims or Arabs do you know who still roam aimlessly in the desert? PUH-LEEZE. How many would take their granddaughter–who’d be relegated to cooking and baby-making–instead of their grandson, who’d be trained in hate and jihad, not told stupid stories of princes and fountains?
The biggest desert they wander in Islam, today, is the empty, thirsty desert of mind, morality, and humanity–which, in the case of that religion, is completely barren.