Thursday, October 16, 2008

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Grade: B-

In assessing my grade of it, please take into account that It was meant to be viewed in 3-D, which I did not. This was a fun movie, a fine popcorn flick, though there was nothing long lasting about it.

During an expedition to Iceland, professor Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser), his nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson) and their guide, Hannah (Anita Briem), get trapped in a cavern. As they follow their only escape route deeper and deeper below the Earth's surface, they pass through strange places and encounter incredible creatures, including dinosaurs. But as volcanic activity around them increases, they realize they must find their way out -- soon.

It was a little scary for my 3 year old, but my 7 year old loved it. The special effects were good, and there were some genuine laughs. If it comes out on DVD in 3D, it might be worth rented from Redbox, (with the glasses, of course).


Grade: A-

Visually stunning with a touching story. I (and more importantly my 3 and 7 year old kids) loved this movie. Pixar has done it again! I am amazed how they can continually reinvent the genre to avoid stagnating.

In the distant future, the Earth has become uninhabitable. WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying up the planet, one piece of garbage at a time. But after 700 years, WALL-E has developed a personality, and he's more than a little lonely. Then he spots EVE (Elissa Knight), a sleek and shapely probe sent back to Earth on a scanning mission. Smitten, WALL-E embarks on his greatest adventure yet when he follows EVE across the galaxy.

The overarching message is one of love which is displayed on many levels: artificially intelligent machines learning to love each other, people learning to love each other, and people learning to love the planet. In addition to the environmental message, we find a humorous social commentary on sedentary life. The animation was incredible. I was surprised at how much emotion the animators could evoke from robots who don't even really speak. The first 30 - 45 minutes was almost entirely dialogue free, but it was still mesmerizing to watch. I recommend this film for kids, parents of kids, Earth-lovers, and hopeless romantics. (If all you care about is action and blowing up stuff, then maybe this is not the movie for you, even though there are a few explosions.)