Review PR | What makes you want to see a robot?

Today, November 18, WALL-E comes out on DVD. [And, yes I’m asking myself if my blogging mentors would write this kind of post. Stay with me – there is a lesson or two here somewhere.]

I hate robots. I love Pixar. I didn’t want to see WALL-E.

But, I couldn’t stop reading the reviews.

After about three or four I made my decision: I had to see this love story between robots – and I did, three times. I’ve listened to the WALL-E soundtrack so many times, my iPod has it memorized. How did this happen?

What compels you to buy a product, go to a movie, play a DVD, select a song on iTunes?

Emotion, entertainment, education, engagement?

Do you read reviews before you make a decision?

Writing great reviews is a subject I want to explore in more depth. But, for now, you can listen to my interview with Brad Shorr about how to write an Amazon review. And, you can study excerpts from four WALL-E reviews. Each author’s take is in their own tone, yet accurately describes the movie.

Nominated as one of fourteen features for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 81st Academy Awards®. WALL-E comes in at 32 on IMDB’s list of best movies of all time. Here’s the trailer . . .


Four WALL-E Reviews

It’s become a commonplace of contemporary screenwriting classes that a movie must grab its audience within the first few minutes, if not seconds; that’s why so many of them start with clichéd explosions, collisions or violent combat. But no film-school formula could have envisioned the quietly magical pull of this film’s opening sequence. The humor is so delectable, the images are so powerful, and darkly beautiful, and the music provides such a haunting counterpoint, that I’d love to describe the whole experience in minute detail. Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal 

Indeed, sitting among rapt children mostly under 12, I felt as if I’d stepped through a looking glass. This movie seemed more realistically in touch with what troubles America this year than either the substance or the players of the political food fight beyond the multiplex’s walls. While the real-life grown-ups on TV were again rebooting Vietnam, the kids at “Wall-E” were in deep contemplation of a world in peril — and of the future that is theirs to make what they will of it. Compare any 10 minutes of the movie with 10 minutes of any cable-news channel, and you’ll soon be asking: Exactly who are the adults in our country and who are the cartoon characters? WALL-E For president, by NYT Op Ed columnist Frank Rich

The story is set amid breathtaking visuals: Giant skyscrapers built of trash fill Earth’s horizon, and WALL·E’s plunge into outer space is gorgeous, his dance through space exhilarating. Meanwhile, the descendants of those who populated Earth have become massive, flabby beings with tiny, almost-vestigial limbs. They spend their days in moving recliners equipped with screens, in their own virtual worlds, avoiding human contact.  Claudia Puig for USA Today

There’s much more complexity to the film than any “message movie.” As we see glimpses of the junk WALL•E has uncovered amidst the ruins, we see hints of the triviality of greed run amok—witness the Rubik’s Cube and the plastic cutlery. But when he pops in his favorite videotape, Hello Dolly, we see that something good and beautiful has been made by the very same race of people—art, music. Josh Hurst for Christianity Today

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