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Wall-E World

July 20, 2008

Dawn and the boys and I, acting upon a wild hair, went to the Route 66 Drive-In last night to go see Wall-E, the newest Disney/Pixar merchandise-marketing tool movie.

First off, it was already pushing 8:30 when we decided to go, and then movie started at 9:25. So we scramble around trying to get a cooler and some snacks together (what- I’m not paying $7 for a box of nasty-ass salt with a little popcorn added when I can bring my own kettle corn), get Adam into his jammies, etc., and get to the drive-in before the movie started.

Well, we made it with plenty of time, but it was obvious right from the start that we were drive-in virgins. At least drive-in-during-this-millenium virgins. See, the last time I went to a drive-in movie was at the OLD 66 drive-in that was on south 6th street where the giant Fed-Ex place is now. Stripes, 1981, in case you’re wondering. And yes, I was smuggled in in the trunk. Although I really don’t think that was nearly as much a money thing as it was a freshman hazing thing- there were nine of us in this guy’s Caprice and I was the only one in the trunk. That’s a whole other issue; I digress.

Anyway, I realize I’m really out of my element when the little girl at the booth tells me to tune my stereo to 89.1. I didn’t say this out loud (thankfully), but I was thinking, um, what the hell for? Won’t that interfere with my enjoyment of the movie? Turns out they broadcast the movie that way nowadays. See, in my day, each parking space had this post in the ground, and attached by a cord was this speaker box. You hang the speaker box on the inside of your window and listen to the movie that way, and hope you didn’t get the one(s) that were all static-y and tinny sounding. But then, in the late 70’s and early 80’s, pretty much everything was tinny sounding. Including some of the music. Even on a good sound system.

Again, I digress.

So like I say, now the movie’s sound is delivered via FM radio, so your enjoyment of the movie is limited only by the quality of your car’s sound system. The bigger shock to someone that hasn’t been to a drive-in in 30 years is that now it’s apparently more of a festival setting than a movie setting. There’s people with lawn chairs, lounge chairs, boom boxes, they’re tailgating (I know I smelled barbecue, but it could have still been Knight’s Action Park), it was like a commune. People pulled in, people backed in, people are sitting/lying in their pickup beds or in the back of their SUV with the hatch up.

But at least we know for next time to bring pillows and comfy chairs, and maybe a boombox. (Dawn’s VUE doesn’t have friggin’ speakers in the back.) I wound up sitting in a chair Dawn just happened to still have in the back of the car. It was a little obstructed, but it wound up being a pretty decent seat. Dawn and the boys sat in the back of the car (I backed in to the spot, geniuses). As far as I know, they could see just fine. I asked Ian twice, and he mumbled “yuuh”, so I assumed that meant he could see well enough. Turned out to be a really nice night. A small breeze picked up and kept up pretty much throughout the whole movie, and it wasn’t very buggy. I got a couple new mosquito bites to add to my collection, but it wasn’t bad at all.

The movie itself? Oh, yeah. It was cute; your typical Disney flick. Entertaining, although I felt this one was more than just a little bit preachy. The rather in-your-face/down-your-throat message was apparently that we are destroying the earth and we are fat and lazy. Which, of course, is all true, for the most part. But I don’t need some damn kids’ movie to remind me, thank you very little. Entertain me, don’t lecture me. Still, it was enjoyable enough. I’m sure we’ll probably wind up buying the damned DVD and every stinking toy associated with it. Although, I think we’ll try to stick with the Happy Meal toys from now on. Of the two closets and two toy boxes full of toys in our house, the boys seem to play much more with the P.O.S. McDonalds and Sonic kids’ meal toys than they do the higher quality, higher ticket stuff. I’m about to take that goddamned Jack Black panda and bash it with a friggin’ baseball bat if I hear “Waa-haaahhh!!! Skadoosh!” again.

Once again, digressing. At any rate, I think I can recommend Wall-E. Kids will like it, though as with most Disney/Pixar flicks, they won’t “get” half of it, and most adults will like it as well. Just realize you’re going to endure a lot of finger-wagging. And I mean a LOT of finger-wagging.

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(Okay, I know that’s not exactly a stellar movie review, but give me a break. Nick Rogers I ain’t.)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2008 11:07 am

    That was a damn fine movie review, sir. Glad you liked it. For me, it joined “The Incredibles” at the upper echelon of Pixar movies, but I can see the preachiness argument.

    Ha. I heard your son saying “Skadoosh” under his breath several times last Sunday at the Sliders game. Are there even tie-in toys with “WALL-E”? That would seem hypocritical given the conservation message of the movie.

    Believe it or not, I still have yet to be at the drive-in here in town.

  2. July 20, 2008 2:20 pm

    Agree that Wall-E was pretty heavy handed. Good review though. I still have never done the drive-in thing

    The planet was a mess yeah, but you have to know that any time Fred Willard winds up as president then you are screwed.

  3. Johann permalink
    July 21, 2008 9:41 am

    PG: Very good point, ref Fred Willard being President. Be afraid… be very afraid.

    UH: See, I didn’t so much care for “The Incredibles”. Go figure. Myself, I still consider “Cars” and the first “Toy Story” to be the best Pixar movies. And yeah, I can kinda see your point about whether there even are “Wall-E” tie-in toys, but I simply can’t imagine there not being boo-koo merchandise surrounding a Disney/Pixar flick.

    And thank you for your tact, but I’m well aware my review sucked. 😉

    Both of you should try to hit the drive-in, though.

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