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Author Topic: EP Review: Wall-E  (Read 17247 times)

Russell Nash

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christianaellis

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Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 02:43:13 PM
I would argue that the film's message is actually not anti-consumerism specifically, so much as anti-complacency. The problem was not simply a matter of consuming too much and producing too much garbage. That was incidental. The problem was an ever increasing attitude of "someone else will do it", and as the technology advanced to allow it, the humans progressively let the robots do everything. While this met their desires for immediate gratification, it stifled the creativity and fulfillment of accomplishment, producing a lifestyle that was ultimately unsatisfying, as evidenced by the boredom of the humans on the Axiom even before Wall-E starts disrupting their routines.

I felt that it paralleled my own battles with laziness versus productivity, in the sense that, on any given day, it may seem more fun or more desirable to sit and watch TV than to do something more active or creative, but I have a desire to accomplish more than that, and I know that many of those things require hard work and delayed gratification. However, if you have a society that increasingly does not make that choice, and just passively consumes instead, that is what leads to the society portrayed in the movie, not the idea of consumerism or capitalism in and of itself.

In the end credits montage, we see the robots and the humans working together, where the robots return to their originally intended function, namely to help the humans accomplish more than they ever could have alone, rather than simply allowing the humans to do nothing while the robots pamper them like babies.



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Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 11:01:18 PM
I agree that the switch from gritty Earth to utopian ship was a bit startling. OVerall I loved this movie. I certainly wasn't the only one. It's trumped princess movies for my 5 year old daughter. She now loves Wall-E above and beyond either Sleeping Beauty, Tink, or Ariel.  I found it sweet, a tad teeny bit preachy but good. Too bad Disney/Pixar is pointing towards lessening consumerisum with this but now there's Wall-E goods everywhere (not all recycleable, or earth friendly) for me to get.. while I'm floating in my hoverchair... talking on my cellphone... 

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Windup

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Reply #3 on: July 31, 2008, 03:27:49 AM
I agree that the switch from gritty Earth to utopian ship was a bit startling. OVerall I loved this movie. I certainly wasn't the only one. It's trumped princess movies for my 5 year old daughter. She now loves Wall-E above and beyond either Sleeping Beauty, Tink, or Ariel.  I found it sweet, a tad teeny bit preachy but good. Too bad Disney/Pixar is pointing towards lessening consumerisum with this but now there's Wall-E goods everywhere (not all recycleable, or earth friendly) for me to get.. while I'm floating in my hoverchair... talking on my cellphone... 

Yeah, I loved the movie, but the irony of one of the world's great merchandisers taking up an anti-consumerist message was not lost on me. 

And I don't buy the reviewer's gloss about "Oh, this isn't capitalism, this is like a totalitarian society..."  To the extent that's true, it just tells you they both lead to the same place; capitalism just takes a more scenic route.

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Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 04:03:06 PM
Sigh, ... eponymous ...

The reviewer gets worked up by the contrasts between earthly hues and gleaming white, then has trouble with the lack of contrast between the human characters. Pfffft. [Edit- rude, sorry. Human characters are consistently bland in this genre.]

Then he hits the panic button over the 'consumerism' issues in the film. 'Oh, No!!! Not anti-capitalism! It's really a Pro free-market conservative film! Hurray for capitalism and free market forces that will save the future!' Whew- that was close! Let's kick a dead horse(communism) for good measure, hurrah!

This takes the Philosophy Professor into very comfortable territory - making up a bland lesson that tangentially touches the issues in the film and then claiming it is the main lesson. [Edit - I think I shouldn't have written this part at all. I considered ending the critique with a tip of the hat to the difficult time I would have trying to construct a review and thanking the author for the effort. I must remember to be less of a git.]

The main lesson is about how to avoid becoming soylent green. (What do you think was in those cups?!?)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 05:32:07 PM by arcsine »



eytanz

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Reply #5 on: July 31, 2008, 04:54:30 PM
Sigh, ... eponymous ...

Huh? What's eponymous?

Quote
The reviewer gets worked up by the contrasts between earthly hues and gleaming white, then has trouble with the lack of contrast between the human characters. Pfffft.

That seems like a pretty consistent viewpoint, so I'm not sure what your objection is. Or is it that you disagree? In which case, "pffft" is a rather rude way to express that.

Quote
This takes the Philosophy Professor into very comfortable territory - making up a bland lesson that tangentially touches the issues in the film and then claiming it is the main lesson.

I assume you are one of his students, then, since you seem to have previous experience with what he is comfortable with. Or are you reflecting a generic opinion of philosophy professors?

Quote
The main lesson is about how to avoid becoming soylent green. (What do you think was in those cups?!?)

All that's necessary to avoid becoming soylent green is to avoid dying. And frankly, any starship based civilization that does not recycle organic materials is rather stupid.

If you want a troubling thought - there are no old people on the Axiom. There are babies, and a lot of people who look vaguely like they are in their twenties and thirties, and possibly forties. But I didn't see a single person older than that...



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Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 05:30:14 PM
Thanks eytanz,
 
   I have added edits to my post because it was rude and I must apologize. I came back to rework the part about the Philosophy Professors ... but it's just plain muck.

Honestly, I thank the author of the review for his work and appreciate it.

I disagree with the essence of it, but that can be done intelligently and I failed to do that.


Eponymous - the reviewer uses the word to describe WALL-E, I think the word is a bit heavy.

Soylent Green - isn't about recycling that occurs in nature but the direct reprocessing of human protein into foodstuff - very efficiently skipping all the deconstruction.



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Reply #7 on: July 31, 2008, 05:57:07 PM
Eponymous - the reviewer uses the word to describe WALL-E, I think the word is a bit heavy.
Why? It's a perfectly cromulent word.

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eytanz

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Reply #8 on: July 31, 2008, 06:34:23 PM
Soylent Green - isn't about recycling that occurs in nature but the direct reprocessing of human protein into foodstuff - very efficiently skipping all the deconstruction.

Sure. And as long as you have a natural environment to recycle biostuff for us, there is no need to process human protein. But in a small, artificial biosphere like the one present on a generation starship (which the Axiom essentially is), organic matter must be a scarce resource, and it's probably not feasible to go through a whole "wait for this person to decompose and fertilize the ground so that we can grow crops there later" process (let alone anything as wasteful of both organic matter and energy as cremation).

The only reason there is anything horrifying about soylent green is because of cultural taboos, which make sense on Earth but which feasibly would have to be sacrificed to some extent if we go to the stars.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 06:36:48 PM by eytanz »



arcsine

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Reply #9 on: July 31, 2008, 06:35:57 PM
Why? It's a perfectly cromulent word.
Most words scarce of synonyms seem a tad heavy to me.

Thank you wintermute. 
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eytanz

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Reply #10 on: July 31, 2008, 06:41:38 PM
Why? It's a perfectly cromulent word.
Most words scarce of synonyms seem a tad heavy to me.
Wait, if a word doesn't have synonyms, that's when it makes the most sense to use it. If a word has a simpler synonym, that's when using it can be seen as pretentious, no?

And just to clarify my original question on this matter, since I just noticed I was ambiguous - I know what "eponymous" means, but I misunderstood and thought you were saying something was eponymous, and was asking what that was. In any case, it seems to me a perfectly sensible thing to say within the context of the review, and certainly a lot less clunky than "the character in WALL-E that the movie is named after" or some other such phrasing.



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Reply #11 on: July 31, 2008, 07:43:28 PM
If you want a troubling thought - there are no old people on the Axiom. There are babies, and a lot of people who look vaguely like they are in their twenties and thirties, and possibly forties. But I didn't see a single person older than that...

Have to say I noticed that, too.  I also noticed that while there were plenty of babies around, there weren't any couples until Wall-E showed up, not in the sense that we think of them at least. 

All of which is a little creepy but kind of cool in that it adds to the sense of the layering of this world.

One small thing -- I'm kind of glad that I saw this movie before hearing this review.  The review was interesting, but I liked being surprised by so much of the plot.  I suppose that's the territory of a review, but I'm glad I found out on my own that the AI on the ship had his own directive.


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Reply #12 on: July 31, 2008, 09:54:18 PM
I also noticed that while there were plenty of babies around, there weren't any couples until Wall-E showed up, not in the sense that we think of them at least. 

My wife and I were talking about that after the movie.  We figured they were test tube babies and there must be egg and sperm extraction robots.  As we thought about the implications of that in regards to a pleasant kids movie, we move on from that.  :)

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Reply #13 on: July 31, 2008, 10:14:18 PM
I also noticed that while there were plenty of babies around, there weren't any couples until Wall-E showed up, not in the sense that we think of them at least.

My wife and I were talking about that after the movie.  We figured they were test tube babies and there must be egg and sperm extraction robots.  As we thought about the implications of that in regards to a pleasant kids movie, we move on from that.  :)

This is a really interesting discussion and it is starting to make me want to see the film too ... yes, I am the ONE person who hasn't seen it yet, and I know I shouldn't really read what people are saying here, but the comments make me wonder who the target audience actually is supposed to be. These comments seem to point in different directions here and I assumed at first the film targeted mainly children (not sure if that has something to do with the marketing campaign or just my perception of it) but I guess I was wrong in that. I am a bit of a sceptic when it comes to Disney, not so much with Pixar of course, so I was not sure what to make of this one. Guess I will have to watch it to see what the fuss is all about.



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Reply #14 on: July 31, 2008, 10:28:47 PM
...but the comments make me wonder who the target audience actually is supposed to be...

Oh, it's definitely a children's movie, or at least aimed at kids primarily.  But it's smart enough to have a lot of different levels that make it appeal to adults and parents as much as it does kids.  Which is a really great trick, actually, and, with the exception of Cars, I'm baffled by how consistently Pixar has been able to pull it off. 


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Reply #15 on: July 31, 2008, 10:34:10 PM
Cuddlebug - I think this movie is one of those rare movies that are really aimed at all ages, and succeeds at that. It is certainly the best movie I've seen in a long, long time.

But note that a lot of the comments above - especially the discussion of murdering old people, cannibalism, and egg/sperm extraction - are just us here enjoying some dark humor in trying to think of the realistic implications of the world depicted in the movie. None of those things are even vaguely hinted at in the movie.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 10:35:58 PM by eytanz »



Swamp

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Reply #16 on: July 31, 2008, 10:45:17 PM
But note that a lot of the comments above - especially the discussion of murdering old people, cannibalism, and egg/sperm extraction - are just us here enjoying some dark humor in trying to think of the realistic implications of the world depicted in the movie. None of those things are even vaguely hinted at in the movie.

'tis true

And the fact that we are intrigued enough to think about these things points to the greatness of the movie.  Of course it has got some holes when held up to intense scrutiny, but it is not a stupid movie by any means.  The whole movie, but especially the first half, is very intricate, thoughtful, touching, and funny.

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Reply #17 on: August 01, 2008, 05:15:03 PM
This is a really interesting discussion and it is starting to make me want to see the film too ... yes, I am the ONE person who hasn't seen it yet,

Correction: You're one of at least two.

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Reply #18 on: August 01, 2008, 06:50:35 PM
Oh, it's definitely a children's movie, or at least aimed at kids primarily.  But it's smart enough to have a lot of different levels that make it appeal to adults and parents as much as it does kids.  Which is a really great trick, actually, and, with the exception of Cars, I'm baffled by how consistently Pixar has been able to pull it off. 

I had a different experience.  We took Alex to see it at a noontime showing, and I noticed that he and most of the other toddlerish kids in the audience seemed a bit bored and restless by about halfway through.  He didn't act up, but it wasn't holding him.  It was the adults who were engaged.  (Conversely, he absolutely loves Cars and wants to watch it more often than any other DVD.)

Despite the relative simplicity of its visual and plot messages, I don't think this movie was aimed at younger children.  Or if it was, it didn't hit home.  There wasn't as much dialogue or fast action as you see in other Pixar films; most of the plot is communicated through images, and you have to be able to put a lot of context together to realize that anything is happening.  That's a skill that we develop only over time.

Me, I loved it.  As an aside, the first half of the closing credits were the best credit sequence I have ever seen in any movie.  That was a story unto itself, and a really, really good one.  The striking artwork and fabulous music helped.  I was almost disappointed when they dropped the conceit and went to the Nemo-style scrolling credits with 8-bit characters interacting with the text.  It was also clever, it just wasn't genius.

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Russell Nash

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Reply #19 on: August 01, 2008, 10:11:21 PM
This is a really interesting discussion and it is starting to make me want to see the film too ... yes, I am the ONE person who hasn't seen it yet,

Correction: You're one of at least two.

::raises hand::

three



cuddlebug

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Reply #20 on: August 01, 2008, 11:38:57 PM
This is a really interesting discussion and it is starting to make me want to see the film too ... yes, I am the ONE person who hasn't seen it yet,

Correction: You're one of at least two.

::raises hand::

three

Ahem, not anymore. So now there are again TWO people left who haven’t seen it and if something like that were possible I’d ‘virtually’ kick their bum to go see it NOW.  I dragged Eytanz with me who saw it for the second time and still enjoyed it as far as I could tell.

It is an amazing movie, really moving and funny at the same time, and I have to agree with Mr Ely himself (who would ever dare disagree with him anyway), but it does not seem like a kids movie to me. The emotions, yes robots have emotions, of course, at least in the Pixar universe they do, but the emotions show in facial expressions and gestures which small children cannot depict as accurately as adults can. Actually, I think studies show that even adults have problems understanding facial expressions properly sometimes, and men do so more than women if I remember correctly.  This also reminded me of the discussion we had on the ‘humanity’ of the jellyfish aliens in ‘Family Values’. It seems we HUMANS can only relate properly to characters whose behaviors and intentions we can understand, empathise or identify with.

Anyway, it seemed obvious that children would enjoy the movie for the images alone, but not understand all the references, that make the film so intriguing for adults. Besides, it takes a lot of concentration to watch all the ‘expressions’ closely, which is necessary to understand what’s going on as there is no dialogue and I can imagine children have problems with the attention span.

BTW, I think I did see an old person, an elderly woman walking with one of those walking frames out if the spaceship when everyone sets foot on the earth again. 

Loved the ‘history of art’ credits and the 2001 soundtrack, great stuff.




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Reply #21 on: August 04, 2008, 04:05:56 PM
I wonder if the reviewer was watching the same movie as me. When he said "the eco-message is not domineering or heavy handed" I had to comment. I consider this to be 'An Inconvienent Truth' in animated form. The eco-message hits you over the head. I would not have minded so much the message of the trash if they had not also thrown in the message about being lazy and overweight. Both of these together just made it too much.
I could not get into Wall-E as a character. He was just a machine running around making beeping noises. The robot from Short Circuit talked and you could get to know him but Wall-E really had no personality.
The cartoonishness of the people on the ship really took me out of the story. Would have been better if they had used live actors.
I think that small children might like the characters but most adults would get bored very quickly.



eytanz

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Reply #22 on: August 04, 2008, 04:47:10 PM

I think that small children might like the characters but most adults would get bored very quickly.

Empirical evidence - i.e. the reaction of most actual moviegoers - shows that this is not true; while I don't doubt that some adults find it boring, I think most adults love it.



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Reply #23 on: August 04, 2008, 04:56:57 PM
I wonder if the reviewer was watching the same movie as me. When he said "the eco-message is not domineering or heavy handed" I had to comment. I consider this to be 'An Inconvienent Truth' in animated form. The eco-message hits you over the head. I would not have minded so much the message of the trash if they had not also thrown in the message about being lazy and overweight. Both of these together just made it too much.
But they weren't together. The "environmental" problems happen on Earth, and the laziness/obesity doesn't become a factor until several centuries later. The only link between the two is that, had Earth remained habitable, people would not have had the option to have all their needs taken care of by robots. And, when they return to Earth, the humans are redeemed.

And I don't think the environmental issue was intended to be anything more than a reason to get everyone off the planet. It wasn't global warming, or pollution, or ozone depletion, or deforestation that was the problem; it was littering. People had thrown out so much trash that the planet was literally uninhabitable. I'm pretty sure that they were deliberately staying away from real environmental disasters because it's not really important what happened; it's only important that EVE is sent to find out if it's gotten better.

I could not get into Wall-E as a character. He was just a machine running around making beeping noises. The robot from Short Circuit talked and you could get to know him but Wall-E really had no personality.
This appears to be a minority opinion. Certainly, the vast majority of the (packed) cinema in which I saw it had no problem emphasising with WALL-E.

The cartoonishness of the people on the ship really took me out of the story. Would have been better if they had used live actors.
I disagree. They used live actors for the pre-exodus humans, to excellent effect. But a Bedknobs and Broomsticks style movie with live action and animation competing against each other can get far more distracting.

And besides, the humans on the Axiom were cartoonish. The style of artwork, if anything, emphasised this. The progression from real person to cartoon was shown beautifully in the captains portrait gallery.

I think that small children might like the characters but most adults would get bored very quickly.
Except that that is not waht the numbers show.

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Darwinist

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Reply #24 on: August 04, 2008, 05:11:50 PM
I think that small children might like the characters but most adults would get bored very quickly.

The adults that posted on the Wall-E thread in Science Fiction discussion all liked the movie. 

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Reply #25 on: August 04, 2008, 05:26:14 PM
Oh, it's definitely a children's movie, or at least aimed at kids primarily.  But it's smart enough to have a lot of different levels that make it appeal to adults and parents as much as it does kids.  Which is a really great trick, actually, and, with the exception of Cars, I'm baffled by how consistently Pixar has been able to pull it off. 

I had a different experience.  We took Alex to see it at a noontime showing, and I noticed that he and most of the other toddlerish kids in the audience seemed a bit bored and restless by about halfway through.  He didn't act up, but it wasn't holding him.  It was the adults who were engaged.  (Conversely, he absolutely loves Cars and wants to watch it more often than any other DVD.)

Despite the relative simplicity of its visual and plot messages, I don't think this movie was aimed at younger children.  Or if it was, it didn't hit home.  There wasn't as much dialogue or fast action as you see in other Pixar films; most of the plot is communicated through images, and you have to be able to put a lot of context together to realize that anything is happening.  That's a skill that we develop only over time.

Me, I loved it.  As an aside, the first half of the closing credits were the best credit sequence I have ever seen in any movie.  That was a story unto itself, and a really, really good one.  The striking artwork and fabulous music helped.  I was almost disappointed when they dropped the conceit and went to the Nemo-style scrolling credits with 8-bit characters interacting with the text.  It was also clever, it just wasn't genius.


I'm pretty sure our kids are roughly the same age, and I'd definitely agree that it wasn't necessarily aimed at them.  Although my daughter enjoyed the movie, when the babies showed up later in the second half, she kept asking about where the babies went after that.  So I think she was only identifying with Wall-E and EVE so much.  (And she thought the Beverly Hills Chihuahua preivew was hilarious, which has me sweating a bit.)  

Still, while I can buy that it wasn't aimed at young children, I do think it was aimed primarily at children (although I'd conceed maybe slightly older children).  I think Andrew Stanton set out to make a movie for children that was something their parents would be just as engaged in.  But I think you could say the same about Finding Nemo and the Incredibles.  Those other movies were flashier, to be sure, but I don't think that makes them any less adult-oriented.  I mean, I think Finding Nemo is just as much a movie for father's as it is for kids.  That's Pixar's secret power IMO, the ability to find a way to make kids' movies entertaining for the grown-ups, too.


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Reply #26 on: August 04, 2008, 05:29:33 PM
You know what I left the cinema wondering about? The economics of the Axiom.

The movie strongly implies (and the supplemental material I've seen makes it explicit) that Buy+Large is a capitalistic corporation that has a monopoly on literally everything, to the extent that they're the de facto world government. Admittedly, a lot of things an change in 700 years, but the presence of ubiquitous (and very effective) advertising combined with the explicit mention of a free cupcake-in-a-cup as being something out of the ordinary lead me to believe that this isn't supposed to be the case. So, my question is this:

How do the passengers of the Axiom earn sufficient money to be able to afford the life to which they've become accustomed? Are they simply granted an allowance? If so B+L's constant attempts to separate people from their money seems pointless.

On the other hand, are we only seeing the descendants of the ultra-rich, eating their way through the accounts that their ancestors set up? The Axiom is the flagship of the fleet, intended to be the epitome of luxury, so that doesn't seem unreasonable. Is the economic situation on other ships vastly different? Are there even second-class cabins belowdecks on the Axiom, populated by people who can't afford to have their walking done for them, and who have to do the work considered too dangerous to risk expensive robots on? (while I can't disprove this latter idea from the text, I'm pretty sure it's not the case)

So, how do the privileged passengers of the Axiom produce enough wealth to be able to live as they do? For that matter, how does the Axiom produce enough wealth that it can afford to vent valuable garbage into space, a tonne at a time?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 05:31:36 PM by wintermute »

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Reply #27 on: August 04, 2008, 10:32:09 PM
So, how do the privileged passengers of the Axiom produce enough wealth to be able to live as they do? For that matter, how does the Axiom produce enough wealth that it can afford to vent valuable garbage into space, a tonne at a time?

"Wealth" is simply a generic placeholder for consumable resources.  I could buy that the ship is sufficiently technologically advanced that, so long as they have raw materials for the robots to produce goods, there's an economy of abundance and money is simply irrelevant.  The question is where those materials came from.  Even if they've got perfect nanotech and can replicate everything they need from free hydrogen in space, they appear to be throwing a lot more out than they could take in at the same time.  >8->

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Reply #28 on: August 04, 2008, 11:04:33 PM
So, how do the privileged passengers of the Axiom produce enough wealth to be able to live as they do? For that matter, how does the Axiom produce enough wealth that it can afford to vent valuable garbage into space, a tonne at a time?

"Wealth" is simply a generic placeholder for consumable resources.  I could buy that the ship is sufficiently technologically advanced that, so long as they have raw materials for the robots to produce goods, there's an economy of abundance and money is simply irrelevant.  The question is where those materials came from.  Even if they've got perfect nanotech and can replicate everything they need from free hydrogen in space, they appear to be throwing a lot more out than they could take in at the same time.  >8->

I thought about that during the WALL•A scenes, too. My conclusion was that either a) the creators didn't think through the science too deeply, and the depiction of waste disposal was little more than a plot device, or b) the scene of the probe ship's approach that depicted the Axiom ensconced in the dust and gas of a nebula was for more than just show. While I'm not well-versed in the composition of nebulae, I know that they are mostly hydrogen but also that there is enough of the heavier elements to form several planetary systems. It would take a ship like the Axiom a very long time to consume the raw materials offered by a nebula.

What bothered me more was that they weren't searching for other planets to colonize. Instead of constantly sending probes only to Earth, why weren't they searching the galaxy for a new place to live? (Well, OK, you could plausibly conclude that they were searching without success, with two pieces of evidence. First, that WALL•E had not seen a single probe in 700 years, and second, the captain's offhanded "Oh, the probes never come back positive." It's a stretch, I know.)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 11:06:25 PM by ryos »



eytanz

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Reply #29 on: August 04, 2008, 11:09:15 PM
So, how do the privileged passengers of the Axiom produce enough wealth to be able to live as they do? For that matter, how does the Axiom produce enough wealth that it can afford to vent valuable garbage into space, a tonne at a time?

"Wealth" is simply a generic placeholder for consumable resources.  I could buy that the ship is sufficiently technologically advanced that, so long as they have raw materials for the robots to produce goods, there's an economy of abundance and money is simply irrelevant.  The question is where those materials came from.  Even if they've got perfect nanotech and can replicate everything they need from free hydrogen in space, they appear to be throwing a lot more out than they could take in at the same time.  >8->


Don't forget energy costs - if there was one thing that the Axiom was full of, it was movement. All robots were all constantly hustling, and - interestingly - the humans were all being moved continuously.

We normally think of wealth in terms of physical goods, but as the recent oil price rises teach us, energy costs are as big a part of wealth as raw materials. I didn't see a single solar panel on the axiom, so that can't be the answer.

One thing that occurs to me - they have hyperdrive. Maybe there's a continuous stream of energy coming in via a hyperspace conduit - there's a power station somewhere in the axiom that has a straight channel into a sun or something like that. Maybe they can get their materials by remote mining. If you an warp space, you don't have to seek resources - you can bring the resources to you.

----

Oh, and one more question raised by the movie - what happened to the other cruise ships? The Axiom was the largest, but it wasn't the only one. Are there still groups of humans stuck in space? Why have they not sent EVE probes to Earth? (For that matter, why did the Axiom send EVE probes? Wouldn't it have been easier for the autopilot to just never send the EVE probes out, rather than wait until one came back and supress all the evidence?)



eytanz

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Reply #30 on: August 04, 2008, 11:11:28 PM
I thought about that during the WALL•A scenes, too. My conclusion was that either a) the creators didn't think through the science too deeply, and the depiction of waste disposal was little more than a plot device

That would be my guess, but it's still fun to speculate :).


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What bothered me more was that they weren't searching for other planets to colonize. Instead of constantly sending probes only to Earth, why weren't they searching the galaxy for a new place to live? (Well, OK, you could plausibly conclude that they were searching without success, with two pieces of evidence. First, that WALL•E had not seen a single probe in 700 years, and second, the captain's offhanded "Oh, the probes never come back positive." It's a stretch, I know.)

I'm assuming that the other probes were also sent to Earth and just landed in places other than Manhattan. Which raises yet another question - we know there were other WALL-Es in Manhattan, and that they all stopped working except our little hero, but what about the rest of the world? Was anyone trying to clean up, say, Ohio? Or Beijing? Or South Africa?



ryos

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Reply #31 on: August 04, 2008, 11:15:30 PM
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Don't forget energy costs...

There's an awful lot of hydrogen in a nebula...

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Oh, and one more question raised by the movie - what happened to the other cruise ships? The Axiom was the largest, but it wasn't the only one. Are there still groups of humans stuck in space? Why have they not sent EVE probes to Earth? (For that matter, why did the Axiom send EVE probes? Wouldn't it have been easier for the autopilot to just never send the EVE probes out, rather than wait until one came back and supress all the evidence?)

I was about to post again and raise the same question. The movie makes no allusions to other ships, but there should have been. They should have been communicating. They should have used their hyperdrive to find and colonize other worlds long before the Earth was dead.

I suppose it was just too much to squeeze into a movie that was mostly about other things (namely, a couple of lovable robots).



eytanz

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Reply #32 on: August 04, 2008, 11:28:14 PM
I was about to post again and raise the same question. The movie makes no allusions to other ships, but there should have been.

There is one explicit shot in the first few minutes of the movie, where there's a newscast of several cruise ships leaving one after the other, but you're right that it's never mentioned again.

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They should have been communicating. They should have used their hyperdrive to find and colonize other worlds long before the Earth was dead.

Maybe there are no other habitable worlds?



wintermute

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Reply #33 on: August 05, 2008, 11:54:44 AM
First, that WALL•E had not seen a single probe in 700 years, and second, the captain's offhanded "Oh, the probes never come back positive." It's a stretch, I know.)
Earth is a big place. Assume 10 probes per mission (I don't recall exactly, but that looked about right), with one mission every 25 years. Assume each probe we be noticed if it comes within 100 miles of WALL-E (of course, in the movie, he notices the ship, but let's be generous). Further assume they don't bother to survey the oceans, but only the 57,491,000 square miles of land.

That means you'd expect to go 14,300 years before WALL-E saw a probe, if my maths is correct. Of course, other WALL-E units might have done so, but they're not around to tell us about it...

Science means that not all dreams can come true


wintermute

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Reply #34 on: August 05, 2008, 12:06:56 PM
I'm assuming that the other probes were also sent to Earth and just landed in places other than Manhattan. Which raises yet another question - we know there were other WALL-Es in Manhattan, and that they all stopped working except our little hero, but what about the rest of the world? Was anyone trying to clean up, say, Ohio? Or Beijing? Or South Africa?
I get the impression that there were WALL-E's everywhere. But the problem with that is that that makes it difficult to explain why WALL-E is the only one left. Given the frequency with which we see dead WALL-E's in Manhattan, there must be tens of millions of them across the globe. Which means that they must have been pretty unreliable if only one of those tens of millions is still going after 700 years.

There are, I think two solutions to this: One is that we don't know that no other WALL-E's are active; just that there are no others in WALL-E's local area. But the supplemental material makes it explicit that WALL-E is the last WALL-E on Earth. The other solution is that the WALL-E's were only meant to operate for five years, so long-term reliability wasn't something that B+L bothered to spend money on. WALL-E is, apparently, frequently replacing his parts with spares taken from dead WALL-E's, so this seems reasonable to me.

But then, the Axiom was seriously over-engineered for a five-year cruise. Why bother with hyperdrive? Why not just sit in orbit? Or, if you really want a change of scenery, Jupiter is only a few months away...

Science means that not all dreams can come true


Darwinist

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Reply #35 on: August 05, 2008, 01:22:03 PM
I get the impression that there were WALL-E's everywhere. But the problem with that is that that makes it difficult to explain why WALL-E is the only one left. Given the frequency with which we see dead WALL-E's in Manhattan, there must be tens of millions of them across the globe. Which means that they must have been pretty unreliable if only one of those tens of millions is still going after 700 years.

Well, I guess one of the WALL-E's had to be the last one left operating. 

I'm glad I saw this movie with a couple of simple-minded tots, this nit-picking of a kid's movie is making my head spin.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 06:20:57 PM by Darwinist »

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Myrealana

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Reply #36 on: August 05, 2008, 05:40:03 PM
IMO, this ranks near the bottom of Pixar's movies - along with "Monster's Inc."

Of course, that still places it well above most movies.

I enjoyed it. The preachiness seemed a bit heavy-handed at times, and that left me feeling abit cold.

I absolutely loved the way the robots expressed so much in so few words.

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Reply #37 on: August 05, 2008, 08:38:31 PM
Oh! The end credits were FABULOUS.  Best bit IMHO. I went on a mini-rant after the movie to my hubby whe hurried out and missed 'em.
The movie and Wall-E in particular made my kiddo happy and that's all that is required.  AS to the Cars referance made earlier by mr Eley. My kid loves that one too. I personally do N get it.  But as long as they've got heart (and this one did have heart!) I'm fine with kids movies in general.

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ryos

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Reply #38 on: August 05, 2008, 08:57:16 PM
I'm glad I saw this movie with a couple of simple-minded tots, this nit-picking of a kid's movie is making my head spin.

It's called overanalyzing;D

The fact that SF nerds are interested enough to overanalyze is a huge compliment to the movie.



Russell Nash

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Reply #39 on: September 17, 2008, 05:59:59 PM
Comment on the actual review:

I found it to be more of a book report than a review.  It was just the Ultra-Readers' Digest version.  Try to tell me about the quality of the movie without making it unnecessary for me to go and see it.



Russell Nash

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Reply #40 on: April 01, 2009, 06:15:39 PM
Well I finally saw it. 

I went into it expecting a lot and thinking no movie could be as good as everyone says this one is.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It was better than I thought it would be.  We bought the disc and added it to our Pixar collection.



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Reply #41 on: February 01, 2010, 06:10:35 PM
I liked this one.  Not my favorite Pixar, but up there pretty high, probably 3rd behind Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo.  I was glad to see a kid's movie with so many SF concepts like the generation ships and whatnot. 

As others have pointed out, Pixar has done very well with mixing components that amuse kids and adults alike, which accounts for their long-term success.  Much like Dreamworks has done as well:  Such as, in Shrek, Shrek looks at Farquad's tower and says he must be compensating for something--that goes right over kids' heads but is hilarious to adults.  :)

I didn't really like the real-looking old humans vs. the new cartoony ones:  it wasn't used terribly, but I just thought it looked out of place.

That's an interesting point about the fact that WALL-E toys and other nonbiodegradable products were marketed so widely despite the movie's message!

I thought they did a remarkable job of making WALL-E expressive with no dialog on his part.  Someone I know, a parent of an autistic child, raved about it because their kid followed the movie much easier than most.  Because there's almost no dialog, the kid was able to respond to the visual cues and to enjoy it to its fullest extent.  That was a point of view I hadn't heard before and I thought it was a cool effect of the way they did the movie.  :)



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Reply #42 on: February 01, 2010, 10:28:53 PM
I thought they did a remarkable job of making WALL-E expressive with no dialog on his part.  Someone I know, a parent of an autistic child, raved about it because their kid followed the movie much easier than most.  Because there's almost no dialog, the kid was able to respond to the visual cues and to enjoy it to its fullest extent.  That was a point of view I hadn't heard before and I thought it was a cool effect of the way they did the movie.  :)

How very odd. My experience is that autistics don't respond to visual cues and need the dialog to grasp meaning.

Well, just goes to prove the saying: if you have met someone with autism, you have met 1 person with autism (i.e. you can't generalize  ;)).



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Reply #43 on: February 02, 2010, 12:08:36 AM
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That's an interesting point about the fact that WALL-E toys and other nonbiodegradable products were marketed so widely despite the movie's message!

The CHICKEN RUN McDonald's tie-in had the same problem - don't eat chickens...eat cows!  Or MADAGASCAR, where the interesting problem posed for children of having a predator exist on an island where all the animals are his friends....but he has to EAT!...is solved by defining a certain type of creature out of "personhood", and thus making them edible (would love to see it play a double bill with FINDING NEMO).

That's okay, though, kids got to learn to be hypocrites early or they'll never become good little consumers.



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Reply #44 on: February 04, 2010, 03:12:35 PM
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That's an interesting point about the fact that WALL-E toys and other nonbiodegradable products were marketed so widely despite the movie's message!

The CHICKEN RUN McDonald's tie-in had the same problem - don't eat chickens...eat cows!  Or MADAGASCAR, where the interesting problem posed for children of having a predator exist on an island where all the animals are his friends....but he has to EAT!...is solved by defining a certain type of creature out of "personhood", and thus making them edible (would love to see it play a double bill with FINDING NEMO).

That's okay, though, kids got to learn to be hypocrites early or they'll never become good little consumers.

Yeah I was a bit bothered by the Madagascar message too:  It's okay to eat fish cuz they're too stupid to be people!  But at least they bothered to address the issue of predators coexisting peacefully among prey.  Unlike Ice Age--Really, a sabre tooth tiger's living among all herbivores and it never ONCE mentions what he eats?  Not only that, cats are strict carnivores--they cannot live without eating meat (unlike dogs who can survive if not very happily).