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Posts Tagged ‘animation’

Wall-E: Cuteness Ceiling Shattered

Posted by goldwriting on June 30, 2008

If you are having a problem finding this movie cute, endearing and bordering on unbearably adorable, please update your emotional server to Mac operating system 295.5.6, otherwise known as “Cockatoo”.

The moment of delivery finally came. Pixar gave birth to yet one more instant classic character who rode his miniature tank treads into the hearts of adults and children across the nation. Bringing in $62 million in the opening weekend it stole the #1 spot easily (but fantastic job to Wanted for its #2 appearance at $51 million). Once again Pixar created something that parents and older siblings don’t moan and groan about having to bring their little ones to, in fact, the little ones might even be dragged there without a choice of their own. This is the creative key to their continued success, lure in the entire family.

So let’s get to the star of our show, Wall-E. He is a self-sufficient, solar powered, mini-roving trash compacter left on Earth to clean it after the humans evacuated to party in space. In the span of 700 years, Wall-E becomes incredibly lonely as most life on the planet, even artificial life, shuts down, but Wall-E refuses to quit and he fills his time with his own style of treasure hunting and antique collecting. His life takes a drastic turn though when a unmanned probe is sent back to Earth as a routine to check for signs of surviving biological life. This is the moment where we see that in its core this is one of the most classic stories ever told: Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy chases after Girl (there is one more step, but I have to leave something to chance, don’t I?).

Beyond the dazzling CGI animation, which by now is expected and consistently delivered by Pixar, the amazing beauty of this film is the simplicity of it. In the first thirty minutes of the show is covered in approximately four or five words of dialogue. Thoughts and emotion shine through the most minute of movements, the sound of Wall-E’s eyes focusing, the inflection in tone as he repeats one word over and over again, and the continually changing angles of his head. Wall-E reminds us of the power of silent film when we were shown emotion and meaning without being told through banal and brain coddling exposition. Throughout the rest of the film more speaking roles appear, but our two main characters run the gamut with only a handful of words between them. It’s a wondrous achievement in screenwriting and a powerful display of trust and belief on the side of the studio.

Surrounding our two main star-crossed lovers, Pixar gently tackles the idea of making a cockroach, one of the most universally hated insects on the planet, into a loyal and adorable friend, once again proving that anything in their hands is capable of becoming endearing. There is also a noticeable left-leaning bend to the story, somewhat in the vein of our last eco-friendly animated juggernaut, Happy Feet, where we get a slight glimpse of what our future might be on this planet if we don’t start to turn things around. On a more sneaky and capitalist note, you should also take note to what operating system is running everything 700 years into the future. I’m not going to give away the goat, but let’s just say we could name it “iFuture”.

Overall, this is one more grand slam for the wizards of animation at Pixar and one more DVD that I will be including in my library in the coming months. See this as soon as you can!

p.s. There is another one of Pixar’s great short films in front of Wall-E, which coincidentally, is also completely silent. Seriously, these guys are geniuses. They must eat that Smart Start cereal every morning. I’m gonna get me some…

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Daily Musings 3/18

Posted by goldwriting on March 18, 2008

1 – If you have to begin and end your video with “I’m not sick.” you have already doomed your public image. Judge for yourself with this oddly clever animation of Lego Sadism. [via GorillaMask via UniquePeek]

2 – Florida will not be re-voting for the primary they so brilliantly decided to hold prior to the dates set by the Democratic National Committee. Since the race is so tight between Obama and Hillary there has been talk about getting Florida’s delegates to sit at the convention and count (the same goes for Michigan), but Florida officially stated today that no new voting will take place. Hillary is an outstanding proponent for the votes standing as they were already cast, but that’s mainly because she whooped Obama in that state, mainly because he didn’t bother campaigning there since it wasn’t going to count in the race. Douchebag points: Obama = 0, Hillary = 2999 (if she makes it to 3000 I’m sending her a free Obama ’08 t-shirt) [via CNN]

3 – Hold the presses. Get out your sandworm nets because Dune is coming back to the big screen! Peter Berg, actor/director behind The Kingdom and Friday Night Lights among others, is attached to bring a new adaptation of the Frank Herbert classic novel to movie fans worldwide. According to the article they are now looking for writers and they want something that is more faithful to the original book, which many literary fans complained about with David Lynch’s 1984 version (which I still loved anyway). This is one of my favorite novels and I have good faith in Peter Berg, so this is what I like to refer to as “f’ing awesome news”. [via Variety]

4 – Condolences go out to the family of Anthony Minghella who just passed away. He was a highly acclaimed director and deserved every accolade he got. From The English Patient to The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain the man was a consummate visionary and I’m convinced he would have continued making extraordinary work. [via IMDB]

5 – Stephen King’s The Stand is going to be turned into a graphic novel. Thrilling news, I must say, but the success of this all hinges on whether or not they include King’s own portrayal of one of the survivors in the TV mini-series version. Few things are as humorous as King telling Rob Lowe about how he gets used to moving tons of dead bodies, “Just think of ’em as cordwood. That’s what I do. Yeah, cordwood.” [via lilja’s library via comicbookresources]

6 – Now I don’t know what is so strange about this Garfield Minus Garfield strip. You mean most people don’t do this all the time? Hmm…i’m feeling a bit odd right now.

garfield.png

7 – If you are one of those zealots for the cult indie film Boondock Saints, this should be quite exciting for you. (I guess I need to actually watch the film now) [via FilmDrunk]

8 – Some kid found a completely fossilized dinosaur in his back yard. Hell, all I ever found were chewed up tennis balls and dried dog poop. I should’ve moved to din-country. [via CNN]

9 – The first full trailer is available for Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, which originally didn’t look promising to me, but now I am turning the tide. This could be something special. Robert Downey Jr.’s controversial decision to play a character who is playing in blackface might just be a work of comic genius. Or he could start our country’s most vicious race war. Time will tell. [via FilmDrunk]

10 – There are many downsides to a night of binge drinking. One of those is having your mugshot taken like this: [via Perez Hilton]

st-pattys-mugshot__opt.jpg

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Daily Musings 3/5

Posted by goldwriting on March 5, 2008

1 – The primaries last night were not the slam dunk we were hoping for on the Obama train, but the Clinton marketing engine has failed to derail us in any fashion. Obama is still ahead in the delegate count because in Texas she failed to take it by any size-able amount, meaning the delegates are fairly evenly split. While watching the coverage last night it was mentioned that there was a flowchart sent out very early on in the race between Obama and Hillary that laid out every primary and caucus and which ones they predicted Obama would take. Amazingly this document is being hailed like a Nostradamus doctrine since it’s been nearly on the nose the whole time. It predicted the loss in Ohio, the close shave in Texas and had Obama winning 10 straight in a row up to this point (it failed to believe he would win in Maine, which he did, giving him 11 in a row). So if those palm reading folks continue putting their faith in this chart, Obama will still come out ahead when the votes are all tallied up with crucial wins in the final primaries. I hope they’re right because I am someone that does want to see things change and Hillary is unfortunately showing herself to be more of the same politics we’ve had for the last 24 years.

2 – The Onion, the fake news network, is coming out with their own movie in shiny straight to DVD fashion. Kudos to Steven Seagal for being able to parody himself in what could be his best performance ever. [thanks, FilmDrunk]

3 – There is a video of this floating around, but I refuse to post it here. A US Marine is under verbal fire today, instead of literal fire, for having a fellow soldier videotape him throwing a small living puppy over the side of a cliff. I understand that war can have detrimental effects on people’s mental state and cause them to do things they would normally never do, but most of those instances come in times of intense stress and combat. This was one soldier goofing off with another and tossing a helpless animal over a cliff. Word coming out of the Marine top brass is that they are hugely disappointed and that most Marines conduct themselves with honor and respect. They are pulling together all the pertinent information now to decide what to do with this soldier, but my opinion is solidly that this person be dishonorably discharged from the Marines immediately. We have obviously been in such a rush to fill up the ranks of our Armed Forces that we are letting people in who are not there to defend our honor and our country, but people who just want to play with guns, flex their muscles and expel cruelty where they see fit. Let’s see the Marine Corps try to make a booster commercial out of that story. [via CNN]

4 – Rumors are flying around the net this morning that our favorite bouncer and dirty dancer, Patrick Swayze, is battling a very serious form of Cancer and has mere weeks to live. I desperately hope he is not as bad off as they say. Swayze may not be an Oscar winning talent, but he has helped bring about some of the greatest popcorn flicks in history. Road House not only provides some of the most hilariously violent fight scenes in history, but it also continues to serve as a measuring point for any relationship I might get into. If the girl I am interested in does not like Road House and giggle themselves silly watching it, we’re doomed from the start. But that’s only the beginning for Swayze, he also helped to bring us Ghost, The Outsiders (my personal favorite movie), Red Dawn, Dirty Dancing, Next of Kin, Point Break, Too Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar and Donnie Darko. Can you imagine a happy and fulfilling life without those movies. I think not. So my thoughts and good vibes are going out to you, Dalton. May you tear Cancer’s throat out.

5 – These people have way too much time on their hands, but also way to much genius to be contained. Please enjoy, Michael Jackson’s Punch Out: [via GorillaMask via The Panda Page]

6 – The one man who did so much to bring fictional and fantastical lives to those who had none in reality has just passed away. Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dragons, died Tuesday at 69 years old after a long battle with a variety of health problems. I was also one of those role playing kids, covering my dining room table with battle charts, dice graphs and miniature pewter figures that I would hand paint and detail myself. Admittedly I branched out from D&D pretty quickly into other system I felt work more expansive, like Marvel and G.U.R.P.S, but somehow I think that admission just made me more of a dork than before. Oh well. Gary helped to ignite the world of role playing and the nerds, geeks, dweebs and closet cool kids of the world owe him a debt of gratitude for that. You rolled a true 100, Gary. Thanks for the memories.  [via CNN]

7 – In my mind Robert Downey Jr. can do no wrong on film (not making any claims about his personal life), but doing a role of a role in blackface? Our boy might be straying from the land of logic just a touch. Luckily, Iron Man will come out before this controversial role and we will all get to experience the full gooey excitement over the comic book extravaganza. [via FilmDrunk]

8 –  The Pearl Jam parody rendition of “Old MacDonald’s Farm” is one of the joys of my life: [via Pandachute]

Kids Rock

9 – The Dragonball Z live action adaptation is being pushed from this year until 4/3/09. Some reports are claiming it is because the release weekend was getting too crowded with other big ticket fare. My thought is they had no real idea how long it was going to take to animate all those crazy diagonal lines every time someone jumped in the air. Also, the budget for blond super spiky hair gel has skyrocketed.  [via ComingSoon]

10 – What’s that you say? You want more Touhou videos!? Well here you go, it’s Hot Pockets time:

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