Pixar and Dreamworks films discussions

Dominic Knight wrote:

There's a very short trailer for the upcoming movie, UP included in the DVD. I'm interested to see it as it has an interesting premise. We'll see though. See synopsis in first post.

You must have looked at something other than the trailer, because the only "premise" in that trailer is, there's an old guy on a porch of a house that is floating up through the air because a bunch of balloons are strung up out the chimney.

duckilama wrote:
Dominic Knight wrote:

There's a very short trailer for the upcoming movie, UP included in the DVD. I'm interested to see it as it has an interesting premise. We'll see though. See synopsis in first post.

You must have looked at something other than the trailer, because the only "premise" in that trailer is, there's an old guy on a porch of a house that is floating up through the air because a bunch of balloons are strung up out the chimney.

I have a link to the teaser trailer Pixar released in the main post.

Dominic Knight wrote:
duckilama wrote:
Dominic Knight wrote:

There's a very short trailer for the upcoming movie, UP included in the DVD. I'm interested to see it as it has an interesting premise. We'll see though. See synopsis in first post.

You must have looked at something other than the trailer, because the only "premise" in that trailer is, there's an old guy on a porch of a house that is floating up through the air because a bunch of balloons are strung up out the chimney.

I have a link to the teaser trailer Pixar released in the main post.

This video is not available in your country.

I hate going through proxy. I'm not even going to bother watching the trailer I guess.

t0W wrote:
Dominic Knight wrote:
duckilama wrote:
Dominic Knight wrote:

There's a very short trailer for the upcoming movie, UP included in the DVD. I'm interested to see it as it has an interesting premise. We'll see though. See synopsis in first post.

You must have looked at something other than the trailer, because the only "premise" in that trailer is, there's an old guy on a porch of a house that is floating up through the air because a bunch of balloons are strung up out the chimney.

I have a link to the teaser trailer Pixar released in the main post.

This video is not available in your country.

I hate going through proxy. I'm not even going to bother watching the trailer I guess.

That's what you get for living in Canada...

I watched it this afternoon.

I like it better than Cars, Finding Nemo, and A Bug's Life, but less than all the other Pixar movies.

I was surprised really. I thought I was going to like it more than that.

Thin_J wrote:

I watched it this afternoon.

I like it better than Cars, Finding Nemo, and A Bug's Life, but less than all the other Pixar movies.

I was surprised really. I thought I was going to like it more than that.

I watched it a few days ago, and I felt about the same. It's cute, but it didn't pull me in as much as the others.

One of the things that really impresses me about most Pixar films is their ability to capture the "essence" of things. The rats in Ratatouille talk, but they still look, move, and act like rats. Most of the animals in Finding Nemo are characterized in a way that accurately depicts their behaviour, like the seagulls screeching "Mine! Mine!" and the defensive posturing of the crabs. The Incredibles positively oozes James Bond-esque style, from the soundtrack to the design of Syndrome's island fortress.

WALL-E, on the other hand, features robots that aren't very robot-y at all. Most disappointing for me was the realization that it's a science-fiction story that's very light on science. Sound in space? A spaceship that constantly dumps copious amounts of garbage into space, yet has apparently remained self-sufficient for 700 years? I'm not expecting a film like this to devote a lot of time to explaining the science behind everything, but given Pixar's impressive track record I was expecting their first real venture into science fiction to be a little less "science=magic!"

On top of that, I found the plot to be a bit bland. It was a cutesy love story with a very simplistic environmental message. Most Pixar films usually contain some interesting character development, but there wasn't much there at all this time. WALL-E at the end of the film is the same person as WALL-E at the beginning of the film, except now he has a girlfriend. It certainly had some great moments, like WALL-E accidentally becoming the leader of the robot revolution, but overall it felt a bit weak.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the film. It was cute and visually impressive. It just felt a bit shallow. I was expecting greatness, but WALL-E just didn't meet my expectations.

I tend to agree with that. When Pixar is really hot, they do movies that are better than almost anything else you could watch. But WALL-E, while a fun movie and worth the time to see, is sort of the mental version of cotton candy. It's light and fluffy and cute, but ultimately rather unsatisfying.

It feels like a movie they made because they were out of other ideas.

But it was way better than Cars, which I thought was pretty dismal.

muttonchop wrote:

One of the things that really impresses me about most Pixar films is their ability to capture the "essence" of things. The rats in Ratatouille talk, but they still look, move, and act like rats. Most of the animals in Finding Nemo are characterized in a way that accurately depicts their behaviour, like the seagulls screeching "Mine! Mine!" and the defensive posturing of the crabs. The Incredibles positively oozes James Bond-esque style, from the soundtrack to the design of Syndrome's island fortress.

WALL-E, on the other hand, features robots that aren't very robot-y at all. Most disappointing for me was the realization that it's a science-fiction story that's very light on science. Sound in space? A spaceship that constantly dumps copious amounts of garbage into space, yet has apparently remained self-sufficient for 700 years? I'm not expecting a film like this to devote a lot of time to explaining the science behind everything, but given Pixar's impressive track record I was expecting their first real venture into science fiction to be a little less "science=magic!"

You realize this is a bit like people playing D&D or MMORPGs(WoW) complaining because something isn't "realistic", right?
You're completely willing to buy talking rats, fish, and cars, and "superheroes", but robots that don't fit your predetermined view of what a far future(hundreds of years) robot should be are just too much to swallow or that a race of beings that so polluted their own planet that they had to leave it to live on a spaceship would eject their garbage into space is unbelievable?

That's a rather selective "realism" requirement, IMO.

I don't necessarily disagree with much of what you said ducki, but...

duckilama wrote:

or that a race of beings that so polluted their own planet that they had to leave it to live on a spaceship would eject their garbage into space is unbelievable?

I think you misinterpreted what he said about that. He wasn't questioning that they would dump their garbage in space, he's saying that if they produce that much garbage that stuff has to come from somewhere and the ship has supposedly been self sufficient for 700 years, just sitting in space. Where does all this stuff they're throwing away come from?

Legitimate question.

But then you come back to your point where a robot that develops a personality is the main character.

To be honest I never payed much attention to the broken science part of the science fiction in the movie. I was just underwhelmed by the story.

I think some of you saw a different version of Wall-e than I did.

Thin_J wrote:

I think you misinterpreted what he said about that. He wasn't questioning that they would dump their garbage in space, he's saying that if they produce that much garbage that stuff has to come from somewhere and the ship has supposedly been self sufficient for 700 years, just sitting in space. Where does all this stuff they're throwing away come from?

Legitimate question..

Fuel Scoops, of course. Didn't you ever play Elite?

duckilama wrote:

You realize this is a bit like people playing D&D or MMORPGs(WoW) complaining because something isn't "realistic", right?
You're completely willing to buy talking rats, fish, and cars, and "superheroes", but robots that don't fit your predetermined view of what a far future(hundreds of years) robot should be are just too much to swallow or that a race of beings that so polluted their own planet that they had to leave it to live on a spaceship would eject their garbage into space is unbelievable?

That's a rather selective "realism" requirement, IMO.

Like Thin_j said, I was talking about how the ship constantly dumps garbage but has remained sufficient for 700 years. Unless they're constantly mining asteroids or something it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Just to be clear, I wasn't complaining that the movie wasn't "realistic". The point that I was trying to make is that usually Pixar manages to present their subject matter in a way that perfectly captures some unique aspect of it. I'm not saying that talking rats are realistic, but movement and behaviour of the rats felt very ratty. WALL-E, on the other hand, seemed to lack this attention to detail. Weak science was part of it, as was the portrayal of the robots. I felt like you could replace WALL-E with a talking turtle, and the spaceship with a boat, and it would be essentially the same movie. That's not something you could do with Ratatouille, or Finding Nemo, or any of the others.

And to be extra clear, I don't hate the movie. I liked the movie. I bought the DVD and I'm sure I will watch it many times. All I'm saying is that I expected a great movie, and got a good one instead.

Replicators! E=mc2

muttonchop wrote:

Like Thin_j said, I was talking about how the ship constantly dumps garbage but has remained sufficient for 700 years.

Eh, seems like a rather silly quibble. You're asking them to show the unimportant -- to the story -- infrastructure in order to make it less "science=magic!"? Hey Arthur C. Clarke, f*ck your monolith, show us your power production and distribution mechanisms otherwise it's crap! If didn't add to the story I'd consider detailed exposition of how the humans mine asteroids or even capture nascent civilizations and distill them into base elements meaningless fluff put in solely to cater to picky bastards like you :D.

If you're going to take issue, at least make it something far more blatant. Humans devolve into amorphous blobs with absolutely no muscle tone in their legs but regain the ability to walk within seconds, a single plant means the planet is now a fully active biosphere capable of supporting humans again and as far as I could tell every bit of the garbage that was on the planet when they left is now still there and must be dealt with. Humans kickstarting a civilization sure ain't going to be capable of dealing with it.

Perhaps I need to explain my stance on "science=magic" a bit better. I am not arguing in favor of adding more scientific explanation; what I'd rather see is the replacement/removal of things that don't make sense. I mentioned the garbage thing for two reasons:
1) It doesn't make sense.
2) It's completely unnecessary.
The only reason they showed the garbage being dumped was so they could have a dramatic rescue scene, which could have occurred anywhere. Choosing to have it occur in a location that reduces the believability of the ship seems lazy and poorly-planned. They could have just as easily had the rescue scene take place in some sort of recycling facility, power plant, etc. It would have been just as dramatic and visually impressive, but it wouldn't have raised so many questions.
Things like the plant and people learning to walk in minutes are also silly, but at least they were somewhat necessary plot elements, so I'm inclined to forgive them.

I don't need to know how it works, but I need to believe that it does work.

* There is an interesting symmetry between Wall-E and the giant garbage compressors

They are actually labeled as "Wall-A"

I always wondered what languages Eve is speaking before she speaks English and Wall-E understands her? Maybe the Axiom has visited other planets?

Also, the technology did not help the Earth because the planet itself was too toxic for anything to live.

I think there are several essential things about the garbage room scene. It's amusing on several levels:

* There is an interesting symmetry between Wall-E and the giant garbage compressors
* MO gets to go completely nuts trying to clean up an entire garbage area
* It's an homage to the detention level garbage masher scene in Star Wars
* My memory of the plot is fuzzy, but isn't this the first point in the movie where Eve decides something is more important than her directive?

It works dramatically and it works comedically. It doesn't *have* to make sense.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit wrote:

Eddie Valiant: You mean to tell me you could have taken your hand out of that cuff at any time?
Roger Rabbit: No, not at any time. Only when it was funny.

A million questions are left unanswered about how the spaceship is self-sustaining for such a long period of time. Any number of rationalizations could be cooked up as to how they get their resources. Mining bots scouring asteroids? Though never shown in the movie, huge hydroponic gardens to feed all the people? Those points are completely irrelevant to the story.

There are plenty of other nits to pick, too. Why does the robot detention center have force fields to restrain the robots, but an easily breakable glass-like door between the detention area and the repair area? Why does a civilization sufficiently technically advanced to produce self-sustaining motherships that can survive for hundreds of years in space need to use trash compactor robots to build towers of garbage cubes? Has everyone in the future forgotten how to recycle?

There are plenty of scientific holes in the story, and sure, the characters could have been replaced by animals and a floating zoo or something. Then you'd lose the essential charm of the "advanced" robot learning from the "primitive" robot. The entire climax of the movie, where WALL-E loses his personality, wouldn't be feasible.

Completely apart from the sizeable technical achievements of the movie, and among the most amazing 20 minutes of film I've ever seen in the opening, WALL-E is a fairly simple story about star-crossed lovers. The spaceship, the humans, the plant, all the rest of it is window dressing. The plant is a plot device to get them together. The spaceship is a setting where they can be separated. The plight of the humans cements their relationship by having them work together on something larger than themselves.

It's not hard sci-fi, it's a love story.

BadKen wrote:

I think there are several essential things about the garbage room scene. It's amusing on several levels:

* There is an interesting symmetry between Wall-E and the giant garbage compressors
* MO gets to go completely nuts trying to clean up an entire garbage area
* It's an homage to the detention level garbage masher scene in Star Wars
* My memory of the plot is fuzzy, but isn't this the first point in the movie where Eve decides something is more important than her directive?

This is the last time I mention the garbage scene. I was only using it as an example, but somehow it's ended up dominating the whole conversation.

The scene is essential, but the setting isn't. I said as much in my previous post. Even then, my only actual complaint with the setting is the fact that they are just dumping garbage out of an airlock. Replace the airlock with some sort of furnace or recycling plant and it's the same scene only now it makes a lot more sense. This isn't even a scientific complaint really, it's more of a logistical one: even if they are mining asteroids, I can't imagine that mining and processing asteroid ore would be less effort than simply recycling their garbage.

It works dramatically and it works comedically. It doesn't *have* to make sense.

Yes, but the crux of my argument is that if it worked dramatically, comedically, and made sense, it would be better.
The point that I'm trying to get across is that if you have sacrifice credulity to make something work, maybe there's another way. Clearly things like the garbage disposal are minor nitpicks, but it's the little details that turn a good movie into a great movie; that give you the sense that the filmmakers have made an effort to create a consistent world that adheres to a set of rules. I don't want a film to be "good enough", I want it to be great. I accept that this isn't always possible, but that doesn't mean I can't be disappointed.

And on a completely different tangent, if you translate the escape from the repair center into human terms, WALL-E releases a bunch of dangerous psychotics from a mental institution, and they immediately go and murder a bunch of cops. Hooray?

muttonchop wrote:

This is the last time I mention the garbage scene. I was only using it as an example, but somehow it's ended up dominating the whole conversation.

The scene is essential, but the setting isn't.

I know you're gettting (have gotten?) sick of the subject, but I think there is another salient point to be made.

I don't believe the setting is an accident. The way these Pixar guys produce movies they agonize and go back and forth over every minute detail of the movie. That includes script, dialogue, production design, modeling, lighting, camera work, sound effects, music score, and yes, even setting. Do you think no other possibilities for any given locale in the movie occurred to Andrew Stanton?

Maybe he wanted to make an ironic comment about how humans are still dealing with their waste how they always have, even after chasing themselves off their own planet. Maybe he wanted that setting for any of the other reasons I mentioned before. Whatever the reason, it was intentional.

So, it's clear to me, as intentional as it may have been, it was jarring for you and broke your suspension of disbelief. Fair 'nuff.

Wow I'm bored just scrolling past all this garbage and "where did their food come from" discussion.

Here, have some WALL-E porn.

BadKen wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Cramps wrote:

Great movie. I don't think you'll find any argument from anybody, critic, audience or box office.

Reading the local newspaper, there was a review from an Arizona paper

Is this the review?

I had to laugh after reading that review in the Tucson paper. The reviewer came at it from such an odd angle. It was interesting to see someone rate the film mediocre, but his criticisms seemed either off the mark or misguided to me.

I know I'm late to the discussion, but I agree with the Tucson review. At best I found the film amusing. It's not Pixar's worst [Cars], but it's definitely not their best [The Incredibles]. It's an interesting premise, for sure, but the central conceit doesn't work for me, even if it's tangential to the robots' relationship.

...Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

—Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

As a species, we can't stand still. I can swallow the anti-consumerism message, and the idea that we're changing our world into a place where we won't survive, but I won't accept a future where we essentially give up and stop making ourselves better.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

I know I'm late to the discussion, but I agree with the Tucson review. At best I found the film amusing. It's not Pixar's worst [Cars], but it's definitely not their best [The Incredibles]. It's an interesting premise, for sure, but the central conceit doesn't work for me, even if it's tangential to the robots' relationship.

The basic message of The Incredibles was a bit odd, if I remember correctly. The 'bad' guy is the one who has no innate powers but, through his own hard work and intelligence, achieves effective super powers. The good guys are the ones who rely on the innate powers they were born with to win. So is the message "if you weren't born powerful, don't bother trying"? Or you could even say it's a bit eugenic.

Maybe I missed something or I'm just trying to read too much into it, though.

I thought The Incredibles' message was

"Hey, you know what ? We CAN create an exciting, imaginative, funny, emotionally charged CG cartoon ! Eat our dust, Disney !"

But maybe I'm trying to read too much into it, or something.

Zelos wrote:

The basic message of The Incredibles was a bit odd, if I remember correctly. The 'bad' guy is the one who has no innate powers but, through his own hard work and intelligence, achieves effective super powers. The good guys are the ones who rely on the innate powers they were born with to win. So is the message "if you weren't born powerful, don't bother trying"? Or you could even say it's a bit eugenic.

Maybe I missed something or I'm just trying to read too much into it, though.

Funny, I seem to remember the bad guy being a mass murderer. Were we watching the same movie?

muttonchop wrote:

WALL-E, on the other hand, features robots that aren't very robot-y at all.

I don't know what you're talking about. WALL-E features some of the most roboty robots ever! Especially WALL-E himself! You're crazy.

Anyway, I love WALL-E, but I watched it again a little while ago and I'm not sure if it's as rewatchable for me as Ratatouille. I think I'm going to have to put Ratatouille back in the lead for my favorite Pixar movie. Brad Bird's movies just have a mature adultness to them that put them in a league of their own.

I want an Incredibles prequel that features Gazerbeam, because I really want to know if his name is just an unfortunate coincidence or if it purposely had another meaning because he was actually gay. In my mind, he's gay. I want a gay character in a "kid's" movie, and Brad Bird seems like the crazy son of a bitch to do it.

MechaSlinky wrote:

I want a gay character in a "kid's" movie, and Brad Bird seems like the crazy son of a bitch to do it.

If you pay me I'll edit a version specially for you. When that guy appears on-screen, it will have a scrolling "Are you gay ?" sexual identity hotline number at the bottom. The Incredibles : diversity edition.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Zelos wrote:

The basic message of The Incredibles was a bit odd, if I remember correctly. The 'bad' guy is the one who has no innate powers but, through his own hard work and intelligence, achieves effective super powers. The good guys are the ones who rely on the innate powers they were born with to win. So is the message "if you weren't born powerful, don't bother trying"? Or you could even say it's a bit eugenic.

Maybe I missed something or I'm just trying to read too much into it, though.

Funny, I seem to remember the bad guy being a mass murderer. Were we watching the same movie? :P

Sure, that was kind of what I was trying to say in my muddled way: the bad guy is the one who leads his life by the standard kid's-story moral of trying hard and achieving success through work.

Zelos wrote:

The basic message of The Incredibles was a bit odd, if I remember correctly. The 'bad' guy is the one who has no innate powers but, through his own hard work and intelligence, achieves effective super powers. The good guys are the ones who rely on the innate powers they were born with to win. So is the message "if you weren't born powerful, don't bother trying"? Or you could even say it's a bit eugenic.

Maybe I missed something or I'm just trying to read too much into it, though.

Yeah, the message is definitely interesting. I mean, not only does he work hard to give himself the powers that others are simply born to, but when he finally achieves his goal he is rejected by the hero he idolizes, who sees him as nothing but a nuisance and a liability. Plus, his goal as a villain isn't just to defeat the robot and play superhero, but to eventually sell his inventions to everyone so that anyone can have superpowers, making the unique abilities of the Supers commonplace and mundane. His failure at the end isn't that his robot is destroyed, but that by destroying it the Supers have regained public acceptance, firmly re-establishing their position as gods among men.
I love that movie.