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This week:

Filthy says:

Here's what Wall-E does really well: it reminds me that it's not that fucking hard to make a great movie. All you need is to want to make one. Okay, there are incompetent boobs who want that but compromise their vision too many times, or just don't have a vision or imagination to begin with. People who do have ideas, though, and surround themselves with the tools and support to bring those ideas to life, can go about as far as they want.

Here's the first thing you need to make a great movie: a decent idea. Not one that's been done to death, and not one that starts out as "I could make a shitload of money if I..." It doesn't need to be a great idea; it'll get there if you stick with a decent one long enough. Just don't let any grassfuckers talk you into adding a talking dog, dancing Coke cans or using only Dodge trucks. The second thing you need is to surround yourself with a lot of people who are both creative and willing to tell you when you're being an idiot or asshole. For me, personally, this is the point where my dreams fall apart. The only time I can stomach being told I'm an asshole is when I'm drunk, and the accuser is drunk, and then we both agree that I am an asshole and write a plan for how to fix me on a wet cocktail napkin, which I later piss on and lose. I don't mind that so much.

Finally, surround yourself with the financial and technical wherewithal to bring your idea to screen without compromise. For that, you need some bigshot muckety-mucks with deep pockets to believe in you, or to believe they can spin financial magic from whatever you come up with. The thing is, you have to keep yourself and your idea away from them at all times during incubation. Think it up and sit on it until it hatches without letting them get their greasy paws all over it.

I'm guessing that's pretty close to how Wall-E got made. It's just pretty fucking great, so pure of mission and visually perfect that obviously no dimwitted starfucking Hollywood meatheads got mixed up in its making with their shit-for-brains formulas for commercial security. I imagine it represents the true storyteller's fantasy of his idea reaching the screen the way he wanted, or with improvements he approved along the way to the screen. The movie is devoid of the Hollywood taffy-pull of uplifting messages, bankable stars, marketable toys and paralyzing fear that someone might be offended.

Wall-E is a small, curious robot who looks part E.T. and part that cloying robot from Short Circuit. He has been left in New York to clean up all the shit left behind by rampant consumer humans. They left in a giant cruise-ship-like starcraft after their waste and debris made the planet uninhabitable. Wall-E has been at his job for 700 years, long after all the other robots like him crumbled and failed. He has a pet cockroach and a copy of Hello Dolly to keep him company, but he's lonely. Watching that old musical makes his heart ache for someone to be with. That seemed a bit strange to me, because the one time I sat through it my urge was to go be by myself and shoot myself in the face. What I don't know about Wall-E is whether he could always feel emotion, or whether he adapted after 700 years alone. Maybe if the Harelip spent 700 years alone he would finally feel something that approximated a real feeling, too.

Wall-E's desolation is interrupted when a probe is sent to Earth searching for signs of life. It's a Apple-product looking sleek-white egg-shaped probe named Eve who's as female as a robot gets, I guess. I don't know, she was sort of hot. She would have been even hotter with big, pendulous boobs that quivered upon reentry. I suppose that would have changed the movie, though. Regardless, she's hot enough that Wall-E brings her back to the ruined metal hull he calls home and shows her all the cool things he's found over the years: lighttbulbs, lighters, toys, bric-a-brac, a Rubik's Cube, and a tiny plant he found growing among the junk piles.

The plant is exactly what Eve came for; a sign of life. She confiscates it, shuts down, and waits to be retrieved, leaving Wall-E lonely and sad once again. Although, now he at least has a frigid computer to hold hands with. Man, I know the feeling some nights. Once Eve is retrieved, Wall-E joins her by clinging to the outside of the rocket ship as it returns to the starcraft.

The starcraft was meant to be in space for only five years while robots scrubbed Earth clean and made it ready for another wave of crass consumerism. It's been up there for 700 because our planet was ruined more than anyone thought by plastic cups and styrofoam coolers. Nobody onboard seems to mind, though, especially not the captain, whose job has been reduce by autosystems to a morning announcement. The space residents have become complacent and doughy by allowing the robots of a faceless corporation do everything for them. They're so fat and lazy they rely on electric chairs to move, consume all their meals from disposable cups and don't even know there is a pool on the ship. So, sort of like being at a Wal-Mart, or a Carnival Cruise. Wall-E's faceless corporation wants everyone to be fat and lazy. It makes them better consumers, and more eager to buy whatever crap is offered without discriminating.

The captain is as lazy as the passengers, but the discovery of life prompts him to explore an Earth he's never been on, and spurs a sense of need to return. The starcarft was once programmed to return as soon as life was found. However, those plans were scuttled and now the autosystems try to keep the ship in outer space forever. What results is a battle between the systems programmed to keep people fat and happy and the genuine human desire to go home, even if it is partially from Wall-E.

Wall-E isn't necessarily a children's movie, what with it being about the end of the world. There are better ways to prepare your children for that, like the Step-Into-Reading classic One, Two, Three, Four Horsemen at the Door. There's enough in it to entertain a tiny person, but they'll be missing a few layers of the story and just laughing when robots fall down. Well, shit, a lot of adults will be doing that, too. Even more than The Incredibles, Pixar has made a cartoon meant for adults.

I also bet a lot of clueless dumbasses will claim it to be the feel-good hit of the summer, or hilarious, or whatever other cliches people use when they are too fucking lazy to express themselves. It's not. It's ultimately a sad movie. Even when the people do return to Earth, it's only a matter of time before they build it back into a cesspool. And the whole movie is a parable about our increasingly convenience-oriented society.

Maybe fat people will be offended because it shows fat people acting fat. Fuck them. And fuck anyone who doesn't like the message that you can consume yourself into oblivion. First, that's not a political sentiment; it's been politicized by assholes with political agendas, mostly those who want your support in exchange for their assurance you can be as big a pig as you want and it'll never affect anything. Second, if you can't enjoy incredibly well-made movies just because they don't share your opinions, you're a fucking douche. Grow a thicker skin and get your head out of Fox News' asshole long enough to appreciate art and diversity. Probably these same dipshits will label it more Hollywood liberal propaganda. It's not. The way this movie is not Hollywood-style in any way, but that fact will be lost on those people.

Wall-E is melancholy and bittersweet. There are slapstick moments, but almost all of them have some deeper and sadder meaning. It's also ridiculously beautiful; more than other Pixar movies, even. A dry and filthy Earth feels real enough to touch and to coat your mouth with dust. Wall-E is a robot, yet he has way more personality than Hollywood's other robot, Tom Cruise. It's subtle and touching how much he wants to feel loved.

I only have two gripes with the movie, and they're both mostly minor. First, after 20 minutes or so I got the message about fat people, complacency and the deep-seated need of people to do something. That point gets driven home for forty minutes, though, and I got bored with the repetition. Second, when the lardasses return to Earth, they all are eager to get to work making the planet livable again. That's bullshit. The fatties I see using electric karts at my local Safeway can't be bothered to wipe the chips off their laps. There is no fucking way they'll want to take on the challenge of cleaning an entire planet. The movie should end with them demanding to be taken back into space for their never-ending cruise. Four Fingers for Wall-E.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



The legendary Pete Hammond

Incredible Hulk is "Mega-Tons of fun! This super-powered summer movie adrenaline blast will have you leapin gout of your seat! This time the Hulk really is incredible!"

Wanted is "The most visually inventive, trailblazing film of its kind in light years! The heart-stopping extreme summer action movie of your dreams!

Uh, Pete, you do know that light years measure distance, not time, right? "

Filthy's Reading
Junot Diaz - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Listening to
Beck - Timebomb


The Bicycle Thief