Thursday, November 20, 2008


Hyped as one of the best PIXAR movies of all-time, this movie generated over $485 million in the theatre. After I got through the first 20 minutes of previews and the musically fancy and important production and ownership logos flashing across the screen, we finally made it to the actual movie.

WALL-E is a little robot, similar to Short-Circuit, but a little dumber. WALL-E appears to be living in a lifeless world in the future. His primary objective is to scoop and compact trash into tiny neat squares and stack them into tall buildings. He is cleaning the Earth. Unfortunately, though, it appears he is the only WALL-E type machine left to do the cleaning.

EVE is introduced to the Earth by a probing robot to determine if there is any life left. WALL-E falls in love, robotically, of course. EVE leaves Earth and WALL-E is determined to go with her. He wants her to stay. He is the robot with a personality who wants companionship, sort of like weak-minding salesmen.

EVE is sent back to the mother ship where all of the Earth people are living. WALL-E is now trapped, but wants to find EVE and get her back to Earth. There is the subliminal, or maybe not so subliminal, struggle between man and robot as read in Isaac Asimov's I Robot, not much unlike Will Smith's I, Robot. There are the 3 Laws of Robotics that help govern the relationship between man and robot. PIXAR did a good job of incorporating this.

You'll notice the voices of several people including John Ratzenberger (Cheers), Sigourney Weaver, and Fred Willard.

Overall, I thought the movie was okay. It wasn't great, though I heard a lot of acclamation for the movie and it was really hyped by the over-caffeinated movie critic crowd. My wife, the science-fiction detesting loving wife that she is, said that this was the worst movie she ever saw - worse than Star Wars. Take that as you may.

Upon informing a friend of my wife's comments, she replied, "Mrs. Eludius does not have a heart." That's not a logical statement. My wife has no mechanical electrodes that detect the emotional presence of other mechanical beings.

The movie is about 1:38 minutes long and is rated G, which means there's not too much to look forward to in the movie if you're over 12 years old. WALL-E wasn't horrible, but I'm in no hurry to see it again. I give it a 3.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

As I've mentioned before, I'm a sucker for a James Bond movie. I know. The movies are usually hokey. He always gets the girl. Or, more accurately, he gets lots of girls. I think this makes him a slut. But I'm still drawn to the movie and I'm going to make you read about it.

On Comcast OnDemand this week they have several James Bond movies. I am still in the cycle of trying to rewatch the movies as I have seen them all at one point, but many I haven't seen for 20 years. On Her Majesty's Secret Service is one of those that I have not seen in a long time.

After playing James Bond for several movies, Sean Connery stepped down and George Lazenby was selected. Some interesting points - it was the only Bond movie for George. He later went on to star in some more important movies - the Emmanuel series of European skin flicks. Connery later returned and did another Bond movie before the role was offered to Timothy Dalton.

No, you say. It went to Roger Moore. Correct. Timothy Dalton turned down the offer saying that he was too young for the role. He went on to star in Flash Gordon and Roger Moore became the new James Bond. Dalton was reoffered the role after Moore retired from the role.

Another interesting note is in one scene a janitor is seen emptying the trash and whistling the theme to Goldfinger.

But enough about that. This movie is actually the third in the trilogy. Wait - there are +25 James Bond movies! Correct. However, there was a trilogy in the series. Many of the movies dealt with the evil scientist and his organization known as SPECTRE. However, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and Diamonds are Forever are the trilogy of an ongoing story line. SPECTRE continued to make appearances in later Bond movies, but a new terrorist organization known as Quantum is the new villain in both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

The story line of OHMSS, Bond is initially relieved of his duty and resigns, but Money Penny cleverly changes his resignation into a request for a leave of absence. Bond uses this as an opportunity to infiltrate SPECTRE to absolve himself of a perceived failure. However, along the way he keeps running into and eventually falls in love with Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo. In my opinion, she is one of the most influential characters in all of the Bond movies and she is mentioned in later movies, including The Spy Who Loved Me, License To Kill, and in For Your Eyes Only.

Back to OHMSS, Bond is able to infiltrate SPECTRE, which eventually leads to him being discovered, a gun battle, and his ultimate escape. This follows most of the Bond movie plots. In the end, Contessa Teresa helps him escape. Their love is stronger than ever and Bond asks her to marry him. They get married and they drive away eventually stopping on a cliff-side perch to remove flowers from the car. A passing car containing Blofield opened fire on them and Tracy is killed. The ending is emotional and Bond is visibly distraught, almost to the point of denial. As mentioned previously, she is mentioned in later movies and in For Your Eyes Only, Bond lays a wreath on her gravestone.

Of the Bond movies that I have seen (I have yet to see Quantum of Solace), I think On Her Majesty's Secret Service is one of the best movies. Lazenby was an excellent Bond and one can only imagine how successful he would have been had he stayed with the character.

Overall, I give this movie 4 stars. There is a lot of gun violence, explosions, subtle sexual references, some not so subtle sexual references, and some partial nudity, not that there's anything wrong with that.

If you're a Bond fan, don't forget about this movie. It's one of the best.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another Netflix Delay

Apparently Netflix can't find any movies that are available. Hey Netflix - how about the first movie on my F-in list!!! Its says Expected Availability - NOW.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Get Smart

I saw Get Smart in the theater 25 times. Would you believe on bootleg copy before it was released on DVD? How about last Tuesday?

Steve Carell stars as Maxwell Smart, the quirky gizmo-loving detective for the American intelligence agency known as CONTROL. We works along side Agent-99, played by the young and beautiful Anne Hathaway.

As you will remember from the Mel Brooks-produced 1960's show, Maxwell Smart fought against the implied Russian agency known as KAOS. Always lucky, but never Smart, he always seemed to get his man, though with a heavy hand from Agent-99. If you were born in the 1980's, you're definitely thinking right now, "Get Smart was a TV show in the 1960's???"

This movie adaption of the TV show has many familiar faces, such as former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, former Sesame Street star Alan Arkin, and a Godfather, James Caan. And this movie does not disappoint. They cleverly included many of the sight-gags and vernacular of the original TV show. Steve Carell is funny, as he usually is. And Anne Hathaway is sexy - as she has been since the day she turned 18. Prior to that day, this editor had no relevant opinion of her.

Get Smart is 110 minutes long, 10 minutes short of 2 hours. It is rated PG-13 for some crude humor, mild violence, language, and would you believe plentiful nudity? If you blinked, then you missed it by that much.

I really liked this movie and I give it 4 stars. Make sure you see this movie.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

THX 1138

Ever see the beginning of a movie and the far away to close sound check with THX is on the screen? Ever wonder what that is? Well, it is part of George Lucas' production company. And THX was the character in one of his earliest films.

THX 1138 was a character played by Robert Duvall in the movie of the same name. Lucas started producing the movie in 1969 and it was shown in 1971. It is a very futuristic science fiction movie. Many of the scenes do not appear to go together and there is very little dialog. For those of you who don't like thinking movies - stay away. Stay far away. This movie makes you think. And it's the actions of the characters that make you think. Or perhaps the lack of dialog that make you think.

One thing that I thought about during the movie is how similar this could be to George Orwell's 1984. It definitely appeared as if the government was in charge of everything, including mind control, destiny, and prescription drugs, though that may not be far off from the current truth.

In the movie people are drugged up and not allowed any free thought or action. Instructions are given by "Big Brother" throughout the movie. One day Duvall decides to not take his mind controlling drugs and then hooks up with a girl, which is illegal. Both are removed and sent to some sort of endless walled prison. Duvall then spends the rest of the movie trying to escape.

I found it interesting that during the chase Big Brother was providing budget statistics for each action, which determined future actions. Another point of interest was during an explosion at the police manufacturing plan (where they manufacture police robots). After the clean-up, a friendly Big Brother voice informs the other workers that the explosion killed x amount of people, bringing that group' death toll to 200 and some, which is lower than their department's death toll, so keep up the good work!

The only reason that I got this movie was because I knew that George Lucas had produced it in or just out of film school. If I had watched this movie without any knowledge, I would have thought it to be totally nuts. However, knowing that it was a Lucas production, I actually caught glimpses of Star Wars in the making. A lot of the settings and electronic communications reeked of Star Wars. I'm not sure if it is worth watching the movie to see this, but I found it interesting.

THX 1138 is rated R for sexuality, nudity, and scientific confusion. The movie is 88 minutes long, but seems a lot longer since there is very little dialog. I gave this movie 3 stars, but would have given it 2 1/2 if Netflix would have allowed it. It's not the kind of movie that I would normally like, but science fiction fanatics would probably love this movie.
My Zimbio