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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Wall-E,’ ‘Fly Me to the Moon,’ maybe more

My whole week at the movies is almost entirely up in the air at the moment because I started jury duty this morning (more about this at my scratchpad blog, MaryAnnJohanson.com). Which means I cannot plan for any daytime screenings. So, at the moment, until I know how the rest of the week will fall out, I’m left with not much more than Wall-E [opens wide June 27], because it’s screening in the evening. And that one movie could well be enough to satisfy my movie jones for quite a while.

I saw all sorts of preview footage from the film at New York Comic Con back in the spring, and it made me sob with joy at how beautiful it is. Pixar’s Jim Morris, at Comic Con, quoted director Andrew Stanton, who described the movie thusly:

Imagine if everybody leaves the Earth and someone forgot to turn the last robot off.

So Wall-E and his pal, a cockroach called Hal (get it? Hal Roach?), are left to fend for themselves amongst the ruins of human civilization, and the bits that I saw…? So poignant. Then, Wall-E meets another of his kind, who’s like the iPod of robots, sleek and dangerous and irresistible. If the film meets the ridiculously high expectations the preview footage set us up for, this could be not only the best Pixar movie ever but one of the greatest movies ever made. I know how hyperbolic that sounds, but I’m not kidding: this movie looks to be amazing.

The other evening screening I should be able to make is Fly Me to the Moon [opens wide August 8], another CGI animated movie… this one in 3-D. The trailer — which you can watch at the official site — makes it look like A Bug’s Life meets Apollo 13, as three young houseflies stow away aboard the Apollo 11 flight to the moon. Buzz Aldrin provides his own voice. You can’t make this stuff up.

If my jury service ends early and I can make other screenings this week, I’ll update youse.

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