The Sunbaked King

Seventeen

A COMMENTARY ON 17 AGAIN
Zac Efron, Leslie Mann

17again

At seventeen, Mike O’ Donnell (Matthew Perry/Zac Efron) was a god. Back then, his future was a very, very bright one. But one fateful day, his girlfriend came to him with news of her pregnancy and a choice. It was a difficult decision: he had to sacrifice his college scholarship for a life with his girl, one who he really truly loved. He chose the latter… and blamed her every day for 20 years for not being able to live the life he had sought for himself. When faced with a divorce, a shunned promotion, and two alienated children, he wished that he could redo his life over. One that perhaps ended with a happy ending, one that would salvage his life from the pit of depression it was now submerged in.

A spirit-guide granted him that wish.

This got me thinking: what happened when I was 17, and was there anything then I wish I could redo? Thanks to a nifty blogging “device,” I got my answer. Seventeen was one of the best years of my life.

When I was seventeen, I wrote my ideas on a Blue Feather notebook. Sometimes I used a black gel pen; sometimes I used a blue ballpen. Whatever color or type I used, I remember being happy putting down my thoughts on paper. Blogging then was almost non-existent, except for those who knew HTML and subscribed to sites such as Geocities. Longhand was the way to go if you were keen on immortalizing your angsty, testosterone-loaded, 17-year-old self. And that was what I did.

And this was what I wrote [I tried to replicate how the first page really looked like]:

guaranteed to jack you up — the faculty, zeke *

kerwin ray escape sentillas * kerwin, kerker, ker, min, wing, wingwing, ray, win
17 (as of the moment) yrs old * plans to die at 30, changed mind, now 50 to 60
 august 13, 1984 * 081384 * 13-08-84 * 13th of august, year of our Lord, 1984
5’4 and a half, less than 120 lbs * black eyes, big nose, huge head, thin stature
. . .
blue, brown, gray (fave colors) * hates violet, likes orange * idolize Joshua Daniel
Hartnett and Mark Wahlberg * infatuated with Britney Spears *
likes to be a model, seems like there is no hope * What
Dreams May Come, The Matrix, The Others, Lion King, Blair Witch Project 1 & 2, 
Liar, Liar, Entrapment, Hearts and Souls, etc., etc., etc., * never that honest *
Stephen King, Anne Rice, Clive Barker, Christopher Pike, Edgar Allan Poe, Peter 
Straub (authors) * Pizza Hut, Greenwich, McDonald’s, Jollibee * wants to be a
psychopath * wants to be a millionaire * openly closed book * Nokia 3330 *
contact me at raker_17@hotmail.com * 09177019896 * … * Globe
Telecom, Personal plan * Boy Meets World, Friends, Sliders, WW2BAM, TWL, Battle
of the Brains * mathematics freak, so they say * writes badly or nicely * the
spark.com analyzes and I am a Dreamer * submissive, introvert, abstract, feeler *
pop fan (boy bands, etc., etc.,) * Linkin Park fan * fan de sal and fan de leche *
corny, childish, cheesy, corrupt, careful, careless, contradictory, callous *

* sad, happy, scared, nervous, exalted, tearful, hateful, smiling, friendly, Kerwin

That gave a little peek into the person that I was seven years ago. Aside from the glaring fact that I was less than 120 lbs, a lot of things have changed about me. Some of which were for the better, and some of which were for the worse. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, though. The wake-up calls, the enlightenment, the changes in mindset all contributed to the person who I am now, and the person I am now is one I am happy to be associated with. Mike O’ Donnell eventually realized that he didn’t regret the decision he made that day; he just forgot. It’s good that some things never really change. It’s good that some people never really leave you.

[Beneath all the gratuitous shots of Zac Efron, there’s a coherent story about second chances, and how we never really need them. It’s a feel-good movie best shared with friends who share the same “interests.” Hehe.]

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Filed under: Cinema, Ra, Sunshine, The Couch Potato, Utter Joy

Yearend Series 2008: These Are A Few of My Favorite Things (I)

I know, I know. It’s past the first quarter of the year already. But there are some things you just cannot NOT do, you know?

******

Welcome to the Annual These-Are-A-Few-Of-My-Favorite-Things Awards. For the next two days, I shall regale you with a tribute to all things I loved in the year 2008. For the first day (which is today), we shall take a look into the visual and auditory media that have held my mind and my spirit in such rapture and awe. Without further ado, we begin with…

Favorite Song

The nominees are:

Burnin’ Up, Jonas Brothers
Lucky, Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillat
A Little Too Not Over You, David Archuleta
Lovebug, Jonas Brothers
Touch My Hand, David Archuleta
My Hands, David Archuleta
Can I Have This Dance, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens
Circus, Britney Spears
Crush, David Archuleta
You Can, David Archuleta

And the Favorite Thing Award goes to:

archuleta cover art from new-music-now.blogspot.com

You Can
David Archuleta

I don’t think it’s fair to have four of David’s songs in my top 10 and not make him bring home the bacon, do you? Archie surpassed the second placer (who, incidentally, was still him) by a small margin. Sorry, Britney, try again next year.

Show me that good things come to those who wait.


Favorite Movie

The nominees are:

Cloverfield, directed by JJ Abrams
Iron Man, Robert Downey, Jr.
The Happening, Mark Wahlberg, directed by M. Night Shymalan
Wanted, Angelina Jolie
Mamma Mia, Meryl Streep
The Dark Knight, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger
Wall-E, Pixar Animation Studios
Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller and a star-studded cast
High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens
Pineapple Express, Seth Rogen, James Franco

And the Favorite Thing Award goes to:

the_dark_knight

The Dark Knight
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger

The brilliant performance of Heath Ledger, the complex ethical and moral undertones surrounding the film, and pretty much the general kickass awesomeness of The Dark Knight put it way ahead of its competitors. I’ve watched a total of 31 films in 2008, give or take 3, and nothing expresses the “wow” factor more than this dark film of twisted heroism.

Why so serious? 🙂


Favorite TV Series, Reality

The nominees are:

The Amazing Race, Season 13: Nick and Starr win
American Idol, Season 7: David Cook wins
America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 10: Whitney wins
America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 11: McKey wins
Hell’s Kitchen, Season 4: Christina wins
Top Chef, Season 4: Stephanie wins
Top Chef, Season 5: Hosea wins

And the Favorite Thing Award goes to:

whitney_antm

America’s Next Top Model
Cycle 10

Among all the shows listed above, I only got ANTM Cycle 10 right. I picked Whitney from the very start, cheered her on even as she got in the bottom two so many times, dismissed rumors of fixing, and laughed as Tyra got her plus-sized model wish. If David Archuleta won American Idol… the award would have went somewhere else. (And really, I still do think The Amazing Race is the best reality TV show of all time.)

Tyra: Let’s not use “plus-sized,” let’s use “full-figured.”
Paulina: Let’s just call it “beautiful.”


Favorite TV Series, Drama/Comedy

The nominees are:

Well… I don’t think there’s any contest last year.
The Favorite Thing Award goes to:

gossip_girl

Gossip Girl
Season 2

OMG you guys I can’t believe, like, I missed out on this!!1!! I mean, fine, missing the first season was sooooo L to the ame, but who cares, I’m back in!!! Loving Blair and Chuck and Serena and Eric and Lily and bleching Vanessa, and the entire Humphreys (really, who likes them anyways). Squeeek! Gossip Girl, include me in the email blast!!!1!!

You know you love me…


Favorite TV Series, Local

The nominees are:

Iisa Pa Lamang, ABS-CBN 2
Lipgloss, ABC 5
Pinoy Dream Academy, Season 2, ABS-CBN 2

And the Favorite Thing Award goes to:

iisa_pa_lamang_characters_again

Iisa Pa Lamang

One word: Isadora. With a villainess like that, who needs Claudine Barreto? I could watch an entire show with only Isadora plotting. The next best thing about the show are the dialogues. It’s as if the show decided at some point to stop pretending like it was a serious soap and embraced the innate campiness of Filipino soap operas. It utilized the usual soap opera conversation repertoire and cranked it up a thousand notches. Without such a show, you wouldn’t hear this:

Scarlet: Hanggang sa pool ba naman, sinusuot mo pa rin yang diamond necklace mo?
Katherine: Of course! Diamonds are forever… just like me.

******

That’s the first part. The next part deals with my favorite lifestyle treats.

The Annual Favorite Things Awards shall continue… after the break.

Filed under: Cinema, Geekery, The Couch Potato, TV, Yearend

100 Words

heaven + ground + storm + archuleta + happening + rejection + pasok + flapjacks + forgotten + incredible + california + hermit + games + good + journey + taipan + cows + single + knight + kaban + sunday + boob + four + wall + aisle + august + tomb + chris + iphone + entry + history + sassy + wall-e + birthday + way + breakfast + clone + sumosam + study + darkness + competition + poem + jacques + death + coffee + eavesdropping + contented + corollary + catch + atenista + eagle + embers + other + recovery + melancholia + retreat + one + sidebar + thunder + q + hush + coat + waltz + letters + exam + know + family + musical + incomprehensible + leche + minutes + comeback + comeback + universe + blast + joke + brothers + yearend + series + 2008 + 2009 + goodbye + forgotten + sing + united + nations + avenue + honeymoon + american + hopeless + rest + idol + night + honors + honesty + hot + half-empty + hee + hope + 100 =

100 posts in 100 words.

I’ve gone a long way, and there’s no sign of stopping.

I will never tire of writing.

Filed under: ...And Others, Being Blue, Bibliomania, Cinema, Domesticated, Eros, Fiction, Yes?, Gadgetry, Gastronomy, Geekery, Helios, Mindlifting, Ra, Rat Race, Sunshine, Testimonial, The Couch Potato, Them, TV, Untamed, Utter Joy, Utter Sadness, Vanity, Yearend

Hopeless Emptiness

A COMMENTARY ON REVOLUTIONARY ROAD
Leonardo diCaprio, Kate Winslet

On the surface, everything looks composed and organized. A modest house with room for the kids, a newly-mowed lawn, a decent car. mparevolutionaryroadposterSuburbia. This is the stuff mainland America is made of. This is the stuff people want for themselves. After all, who doesn’t want stability in their lives? Who wouldn’t want to wake up each morning knowing that there are going to be scrambled eggs and orange juice on the table? Who wouldn’t want to go to work knowing that there’s a job out there waiting for him, and perhaps a modest paycheck to feed himself, the wife and kids?

People who want more from life, that’s who. People who were born to be over and beyond what society dictates them to be. People who truly believe they exist to create a difference in the world. For these people, the perfectly composed suburban scenario is nothing but a trap. It stifles. It reeks of pretense.

Frank Wheeler (Leonardo diCaprio) and April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) have moved into their new home in Revolutionary Road, and there they learn that that their lives are going to be anything but revolutionary. With a job Frank hates, and a housewife role April despises, they set out to be better than who they are by moving to Paris. Acknowledging that they have lived what Frank calls a “hopeless existence” is only half of the equation, however; getting out of it is another matter entirely.

Hmmm, hopeless emptiness. John Givings (Michael Shannon), a mathematician plagued by a case of insanity, said it best: people hint at the emptiness, but never really see the hopelessness. This is perhaps the reason why people moan at the redundancy, but never recognize the futility of living the redundancy. So they do things again and again, believing that something is out for them, when in fact everything stays the same. By the time they realize that something’s amiss, their entire life has passed them by, and they end up bitter and sad and mad at the world. What’s worse, they end up bitter and sad and mad at themselves. For failing to see. For failing to act.

A road can lead two ways, and it’s perfectly fine to use both of them. The only mistake is to stay behind without using at all.

[Revolutionary Road is a comeback for the famous Titanic tandem of diCaprio and Winslet. diCaprio’s and Winslet’s performances are spot-on and quite effective. They’ve gone a long way since Titanic, which I didn’t even watch on the big screen (can ya believe it?). The music is quite minimal, and it works. In fact, the scenes are quite minimilastic; you get the idea that while suburban life may be this clean, a tiny speck of dust (or blood) is all it takes to destroy the entire picture.]

Filed under: Cinema, Domesticated, Mindlifting, The Couch Potato

High School Musical 3

BEHIND THE LINE

High School Musical 3

Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Gabreel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman… [anyone else I missed?]

mpahighschoolmusical3posterHollywood is confusing me. I don’t know what to make of it anymore. Who represents the high school teens of America more?

In one corner, we have the beautiful lads and lasses of 90210. The West Beverly High teens are a bunch of rich kids with nothing much to do but swap girlfriends and boyfriends boringly, make cheesy remarks boringly, fight with parents and fellow students boringly, and bitch around in parties boringly. I didn’t realize that teen life in California, and by association the entire United States, was so sleep-inducing. But 90210 proved me wrong. Who am I, a foreigner, to disagree with the American show? I can’t even control my adverbs.

In another corner, coated with gold stripes of wealth and splashed with green streaks of envy, are the fabulous teens of the Upper East Side. With Gossip Girl constantly revealing the scandalous news of Manhattan’s elite, it’s hard not to think of American teens as shamelessly rich and deliciously mean people who can’t seem to find any time to go to class. Instead of biology, they have sexual chemistry; instead of graphs, they have other exciting evil things to plot.

Interesting choices we’ve got so far. But wait, there’s one final contender: the kids at East High. With their Montez smiles, Bolton muscles, and Evans flair, maybe these joyous teens re-pre-sent? Granted, Disney exaggerates the happiness and the camaraderie, but I can’t help but wonder whether American teens aren’t as cynical or as liberated as media purports them to be. Maybe it’s really possible that jocks can be invited over by Julliard if they can scream loud enough in empty gymnasiums without attracting any security intervention. Maybe it’s really possible to giggle the Gabriella way without getting socked in the face. Maybe it’s really possible that a guy (say, Troy) and a girl (say, Gabriella) can really stay in a room all alone and not do anything (say, sex). 

But then I remember that Vanessa Hudgens plays Gabriella Montez, and I am suddenly convinced otherwise. Upper East Side for the win!

Filed under: Cinema, The Couch Potato, TV

Tropic Thunder

BEHIND THE LINE

Tropic Thunder

Ben Stiller, Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Black

Speaking of being self-aware, Tropic Thunder premiered in theaters around three weeks ago. I watched it twice: the first time on a Friday with my officemates, and the second time the night after with my father and my bro. Now, in case you read my back-to-back movie excursion as a good omen, I’d like to throw you a curveball: one of my friends slept through the movie, and my father did the same thing, as well.

No worries, though. They were just tired.

Three weeks in and I’m still wondering how Ben Stiller did it. He co-produced, co-wrote, directed, and starred in probably one of the funniest films of 2008. And that’s not even the most fantastic part. The best part? Stiller managed not to annoy. After Zoolander, Stiller has become more and more intolerable. I don’t know if it’s the characters he plays, or it’s just him. I’m leaning towards the latter. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing he made (and wrote and directed and starred in) this movie, or else he would have gone the way of the Unfunny Carrey.

Thanks to the writing of Stiller, Justin Theroux, and Etan Cohen, Tropic Thunder is a classic example of a parody done well. It comments on the absurdity of Hollywood war movies, and borrows scenes from the good ones, but as a whole, it still portrays a distinct, coherent film. A lot of the movies attempting to spoof other movies are just that– spoofs. Nothing makes sense. What these so-called movies offer is a hodgepodge of scenes that are distortions of their originals, created under the impression that the familiarity and the hilarity are enough. Guess what? Not every scene is familiar; not every joke is hilarious.

Of course, the film is not without its faults. I thought that Matthew McConaughey’s character was extraneous and could be removed; Nick Nolte was not utilized enough; and we should have had more endorsements of Alpa Chino’s Bust-A-Nut and Booty Sweat. But I’m just nitpicking. Despite its flaws, Tropic Thunder is one hell of a funny movie, and you would be one hell of a tropic blunder [not my words, but theirs] if you haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.

P.S. By the way, you know how your friends tell you to stay in the theater until the credits are over because something awesome is going to happen after the credits roll? I suggest the same thing, only in reverse. Come early. Something awesome happens before the movie even starts.

Filed under: Cinema, The Couch Potato

Eagle Eye

BEHIND THE LINE

Eagle Eye

Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson

At first, I thought I was watching Wanted. There’s this guy, a few months’ behind his rent, working at a job that doesn’t satisfy, when suddenly he finds himself awash with money at the ATM, an alpha female is dictating orders left and right, and he’s in an endless chase involving cars, trains, guns, and one big massive conspiracy. Well, ARIA is no Angelina Jolie, which is a disappointment, but that electronic lady can sure bully anyone around. 

Few more minutes in, and this time I felt like Maximum Overdrive was on the screen. (Along with The Blob, Maximum Overdrive is one of the scariest films I’ve watched in my younger years.) Only this time, instead of machines becoming self-aware and bringing mechanical doom on everyone living, horror has gone electronic and specific. ARIA chooses only an unfortunate few (You have been activated”), and sends the entire digital crew to “service” them.

Finally, due to its strong political overtones, the film seemed like the more improbable cousin of Enemy of the State. More improbable, and definitely more intense. Removing the bugs from your shoes and your clothes, not using your credit cards, and basically becoming a hermit are not enough to guarantee safety, especially from someone who can read the English language through coffee cup vibrations. As ARIA herself says: “We know who you are. We are everywhere.” If the words weren’t enough to creep you out, her intonation surely would.

So watching Eagle Eye brought to mind an assassin thriller, a Stephen King horror, and a Big Brother nail-biter. In my world, that’s one heck of a fantastic combo. Critics might call this sort of movie “preposterous” and “fantastical,” and urge everyone to avoid it. I, on the other hand, would call the movie “preposterous” and “fantastical,” and, with a big smile on my face, urge everyone to watch it. Even if you had to sit in the 3rd row closest to the screen, if it came to that.

Filed under: Cinema, The Couch Potato

Death Race

BEHIND THE LINE

Death Race

Jason Statham

On one sunny day in 1991, my father arrived home from his oath-taking in Manila, carrying with him a big box. I thought the box contained a pair of shoes; the size was just about right. When the plastic bag was placed aside and the package revealed, my eyes almost popped out from their sockets. It was a stunning, high-tech, top-of-the-line… Family Computer. 

Over the next few weeks, Mario became my best friend. I guided him across infinitely deep gorges, helped him avoid the fiery fury of King Koopa, prompted him to step on that turtle in Stage 3 a hundred times so that he can gain a hundred lives, and consoled him when he was met, not by the Princess, but by that annoying mushroom seven freaking times. When he jumped, my joystick jumped. When he tiptoed across narrow cliffs, my toes curled. When he died, I kicked the computer away. (Kidding.)

The fantastical thought has crossed my mind several times. How it would feel like to be inside Mario’s World? Would it be just as fun? Or would the prospect of an incoming bullet (with a maniacal smile, no less) be actually dangerous? Death Race tells us that no, it wouldn’t be fun at all, but it would be one hell of a successful marketing strategy.

Death Race presents a world where the US is no longer the superpower, criminals roam the land, and private corporations gain profit from managing prison establishments. One of the many ways by which they do this is through TV (or maybe TiVo) subscriptions from rabid fans of the Death Race. With this one sensational concept, the movie provides a commentary on the extremes of capitalism, the addiction of people to reality TV, and the regression of a nation to its dark, bloodthirsty ways, all without appearing preachy or boring.

Boring, in fact, is one word I will not use to describe the movie. Boring is not a term I will use to describe Mario Kart in Time Zone, boring is not a term I will use to describe Need for Speed, boring is not a term I will use to describe Gran Turismo. The Race, which is a cross between a reality TV show and a video game, is a vivid spectacle of gunfire, gore, and machinery. With a respectable action star at the wheel (Statham), the result is a fast-paced film that will make you reach for that invisible joystick pad in front of you.

For $99, Stage 1 of the Death Race is worth every penny. For P170, Death Race is worth every cent.

Filed under: Cinema, Gadgetry, The Couch Potato

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

It’s all about expectations. I expected WALL-E to be as fantastic as its direct predecessor Ratatouille, and it disappointed me. While the hype surrounding it wasn’t as phenomenal as, say, The Dark Knight, the hype I built for it was. Lesson learned (and learned again): Do not keep your expectations high.

And now we have Star Wars: The Movie That’s A Hybrid of Sorts, of Little Worth to Marketing Moguls Everywhere. Apparently, it wasn’t just I who had low expectations for the movie. Even George Lucas seemed to agree. Think about it. When I think of a George Lucas film, especially one with Star Wars in its title, I immediately think of three things: extensive media coverage before and after the movie’s shown, tie-ups with several food/beverage companies and fast-food establishments, and at least one reincarnation in console form. As far as I know, hype surrounding it was sparse (it’s definitely not E! News material); it’s not in any Happy Meal or Jolly Kiddie Meal I’ve seen; and the video game about it won’t be coming out until end of this year, months after the movie was first shown. 

It’s almost sad and pathetic. Almost, because I pretty much didn’t care. I wasn’t going to watch it, anyway.

Except that I did, upon the insistence of a roommate who thinks anything Star Wars must be good. Grudgingly, I went inside the theater, thinking I was in for a heartbreak.

For the first few minutes, I was smirking. Everything was happening as expected. First off: the way the characters were drawn didn’t appeal to me– the lines were drawn too sharp, and there were more angles to one’s face than there were in a duodecagon. Furthermore, despite their attempts to recreate the atmosphere of the “real” Star Wars films, it still felt like the movie was going another direction altogether. The dialogues were injected with humor uncharacteristic of previous installations; once this got going, the villains seemed out of place. Finally, there’s Ahsoka Tono, Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan. What an annoying character. Couldn’t they have come up with someone less irritating?

While Ahsoka failed to endear herself to me as the movie progressed, I found myself endeared by other things. Like the hooded Ewok-like creatures. Like the deadpan utterances of the droids. Like the adorable young Hutt the Jedis had to rescue. Once I let go of my early prejudices, I realized that I appreciated this film more than its “real” counterparts. For one, letting go of the dark undertones (the one which haunted Anakin Skywalker and Episode III so chokingly) proved to be a great move. It shifted the focus away from the characters (or should I say, that character) and back to the story. For another, the story itself was presented coherently. It was simple and concise, clean and well-polished.

Expectations, expectations. What I wanted to avoid watching turned out to be a good way to end a wonderful Friday night.

Filed under: Cinema, The Couch Potato

WALL-E

BEHIND THE LINE

WALL-E

It was middle of the year last year when movie theaters started showing the trailer for WALL-E. I distinctly remember the first trailer they used, primarily because it didn’t mention WALL-E until the end of it. In the trailer, a voiceover was describing where Pixar‘s greatest film hits were first conceptualized: over lunch in a quaint little restaurant, among workmates who also happened to be friends.

One by one, the voiceover narrated how each film came to be. Monster’s, Inc. happened because the makers envisioned a world where monsters actually thrived on children’s nightmares; The Incredibles became the result of a consensus that a family with superhero abilities would be interesting to watch; and Finding Nemo got the green light as soon as Dory entered the conversation. All this thinking probably happened between handfuls of fries and spoonfuls of ice cream. And between the potato wedge and the salad, Pixar’s bright minds thought of a lonely robot…

Scene fades to black, WALL-E appears on the screen against a backdrop of stars and sky, and the robotic drone follows: “WALL-EEEEEEE…”

I loved each and every film that came out from that restaurant. The prospect of WALL-E being One of Those Films chilled me. In a good way. That intriguing drone, that cool title font, and the special trailer for it all added to the hype that was building inside me. When Metacritic gave the movie a 93, I was thrilled; they gave Ratatouille a 96, and that particular Pixar film was my favorite. Needless to say, it dismayed me to no end when cinemas here pushed the release to a later date.

I finally got to watch it yesterday. Thanks to Jel‘s amazing foresight, we got prime seats on WALL-E’s first day of showing. We bought ourselves the tickets, a bucket of popcorn, and a couple of drinks, and we were set. I went inside the cinema prepared to be blown away. 

And maybe that’s where the problem started. I expected a fantastic film, full of heart and yet full of fun, and on the basis of my spectacular expectations, WALL-E failed to deliver. Don’t get me wrong– Pixar outdid itself once again with the visuals. The landscape they created was nothing short of breathtaking, even if most of it was made of trash. And WALL-E himself was one of a kind. Pixar has a penchant of breathing life into the most inanimate things or most disgusting creatures to ever walk the Earth (or space), and WALL-E is no exception. Endearingly human in thought and mannerism, WALL-E is as adorable as any cute inquisitive human kid can get.

But in order to make a good set of gears into a great machine, careful thought must be placed into their relative position with each other. One part must complement the next. In this case, the bind that must hold the endearing characters together with the fantastic landscape they live in is a tight plot, a story that’s believable enough for you to be able to empathize with the actors and the plight they’re experiencing. After all, it’s man’s love for excess and utter disregard for the environment that we’re talking about here. With the current global issues surrounding us these days, the topic should be interesting enough.

Unfortunately, the story was poorly executed. Since the film’s fairly recent, I won’t divulge any details about the plot, but for the most part, it left me struggling to understand. For me, it felt like the makers focused too much on making the characters as heartwarming as possible, thinking that it would be enough to draw the audience in. It wasn’t. In fact, the lack of a coherent plot distracted me from enjoying the characters as much as I should have. I just wish they gave me more to work with.

It says something for the film when Jel and I walk out of the theater without giving it much discussion. We didn’t talk about WALL-E until today, almost 24 hours later.

Filed under: Cinema, The Couch Potato