Friday, July 11, 2008

July 11-The Heartbreaker

Say hello to W.A.L.L-E.
The absolute cutest, do-gooder, sentimental, and empathizable robot in real or fictional existence (besides, perhaps, his romantic flame E.V.E).
The film, W.A.L.L-E, though billed as a children's flick, is really for everyone and anybody. Much of the film is probably better understood by an older audience. I loved seeing this movie (twice now), but the hardest part of it was keeping a hold on my tear ducts. From beginning to adorable end, the audience wants to melt into "awww"'s as they watch W.A.L.L-E stumble around, in love with the modern, pristine robot E.V.E. Probably the best decision the filmmakers made was to have the robots basically speechless, communicating with jerky eye movements and, in W.A.L.L-E's case, squeaky wheels and un-oiled hinges as he dances and attempts to hold hands with E.V.E. It is simply incredible how touching this little box of metal is.
Before seeing the film, however, I dwelled on animation today. As time rolls on and entertainment must cater to children of this modern generation, Pixar and Disney have forged an alliance. Myself and all of my peers (and of course those before us) grew up on a healthy diet of The Lion King, Aladdin, The Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and so on and so forth. All of the unequivocal Disney, hand-drawn classics. These films carried such deep and unexplainable emotion that they could never be duplicated.
Then came The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo, Pixar's innovative new brainchildren. Pleasing to the eye, but didn't quite pull at the heartstrings the same way. Granted the films were well-made and emotional, they didn't have the Disney charm and child-like fantasy from before. Never had Sleeping Beauty tackled an overweight ex-superhero trying desperately squeeze into a spandex outfit. More and more sexual innuendos and adult jokes seeped into the character's mouths. Real-life problems were tackled rather than how to leave the ball before midnight.
And then W.A.L.L-E came along. A beautiful product with the heart and charm of Disney and wit and design of Pixar. With some light political and economical messages thrown in.
Go see it with the entire family. And get ready to "awwww"!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 8-Goodbye Heath, Hello Oscar

I know, I know. Doesn't this image alone send shivers down your spine?
I remember when I first heard of this Australian heartthrob's untimely death. I was falling asleep in the back of my mom's car on the way home from school, and as soon as I heard, I didn't believe it. One second Heath Ledger is a new father, Academy Award Nominee, and budding star, and the next he's-dead?
But the Academy isn't done with Heath just yet. Or at least, I don't believe they should be.
On July 18, 2008, The Dark Knight will grace screens across the world as the next chapter in the star-studded Batman series. Ledger stars against Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne as the Joker, one of the most notorious comic book villains of them all. But there's something different about Ledger's portrayal. Something a thousand times more creepy than his predecessors...
Is it the makeup? Rendering this handsome hunk virtually unrecognizable under the front of a blind prostitute who can't get her face paint off? Or is it the fact that we are watching a spirit that has left this Earth, no doubt as the aftermath of preparing for this extremely challenging role?
Or is it just the fact that he's damn good?
I believe that we have a lot to expect from Ledger's final role, and I, and I'm sure many others, will be shocked to not find his name in the ballots once again.