Thursday, July 17, 2008

WALL-E, Journey To The Center Of The Earth, and The Horde

I haven't mentioned WALL-E, which we went to see two weeks ago, but in a word, it's wonderful.

No, it's not the great breakthrough it could have been. For the first half hour, I really had the sense that I was watching a movie that was deeply, deeply personal. It was in landmark film territory, not just landmark animated film.

Then they stopped taking chances and it became recognizable as more standard Pixar fare (which was still fantastic), including the obligatory Chase Sequence That Lasts Fifteen Minutes Too Long. It went from being deeply personal to being personal, at a distance.

In spite of that, though, it was funny and wildly entertaining. I'm just greedy when it comes to Pixar--I see flashes at times of a kind of brilliance I wish they would explore more deeply.

Yesterday, we went to see Journey To The Center Of The Earth. In high definition and 3D, of course. It must be the most wildly implausible and ridiculous series of sequences ever constructed for a film, and I thought it was fascinating that three people could fall to the center of the earth, muck around, and still never actually get dirty.

Here's what's more important, though: Eli 6.11 loved it. The 3D was excellent, it was goofy fun, and he said that it had now supplanted Speed Racer as his "number one movie of all-time." So if you have a son or daughter in the 6-10 range, I think they'd have a great time.

As a grown-up, by yourself? Not so much.

Eli had on the huge 3D glasses and looked absolutely hilarious. I'll try to put up a picture on Monday.

One of the things we noticed when we reached the theater was that it was jammed. Our movie day this summer is Wednesdays, and we always go about four p.m., so we were baffled. Then we saw people lined up against a wall. And another wall. And another.

These people were hardcore liners, too. They were geared up. I'm surprised we didn't see a microwave oven, and that might have been because we just didn't look hard enough.

The manager was working the concession stand, so we asked him what was going on. As it turns out, there was a special preview showing of "The Dark Knight" starting in three hours.

Three hours to see a movie a few days early? That didn't seem unreasonable, particularly for one that has such huge buzz right now. Then the manager said that some of the people had been waiting in line since seven a.m.

I'm guessing this movie is going to, um, do pretty well.

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