Quickie Reviews: WALL-E, She’s The Man

WALL-E (USA, 2008 ) Pixar Animation Studios. Animated Feature Film.  Color.

Outstanding on nearly every level.  Visually stunning and epic, the film uses the Chaplin-esque plucky Wall-E and his dialogue-free yet heartwarming and funny encounters with Eve, an iPod-like reconaissance robot, to create a touching story that makes good use of old films and the dystopia genre’s conventions, yet still presents a new and exciting story.  Citing everything from old scifi films like 2001: A Space Odyssey to the old musical Hello Dolly and some old popular songs, Wall-E is a masterpiece of postmodern science fiction dystopia, and an environmentally and socially relevant reminder of where we are headed.  Yet, despite all this “fearmongering” (as some like to call it), it remains a positive and uplifting picture.  My favorite Pixar flick yet.  Rating: 10/10

She’s The Man (USA, 2006) dir. Andy Fickman.  Feature film.  Color, 35mm.

A teen version of Shakespeare’s “12th Night,” in the tradition of other Shakespeare adaptations like Ten Things I Hate About You, She’s The Man tells the story of Viola, a confident soccer player at a fancy prep school whose team gets cut.  She is rejected by the boys’ soccer team, and decides to prove she can play soccer as well as the boys…by defecting to a rival prep school and disguising herself as her brother Sebastian.  I did not decide to watch this film by myself, but found myself mildly amused by much of it.  Viola (Amanda Bynes) is a strong and funny character, and despite some very laughable dialogue and awkward situations, the film pulls off its story fairly well.  The camera work in the soccer matches, while decidedly more MTV-esque than most films, is pretty unique.  The film features a couple of good covers of older songs, too, although it can’t help but throw itself into the “training montage to music” cliche a few times.  Overall, this is pretty solid for a teen film, and though I don’t know how faithful it is to Shakespeare, it shows the relevance of Shakespeare’s sex comedies in today’s world.  Rating: 6/10


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