Sunday, June 29, 2008

JON-E5 Review “Caution” Satire Ahead

A trip down to the local cinema proved to be quite nostalgic this weekend.
I must admit that the 80's were a decade that I really had no desire to look back upon. Bad music, Mullets, The Brat Pack, oh and then there was Jon-E5 who starred in those two highly forgettable Short Circuit films. (I never really wanted to learn Jon-E5’s final fate.)

Oh and on a side tangent could Disney make a new film about the Tower Of Terror that does not star Steve Guttenberg? Please. Imagine Steve Buscemi as your elevator operator? Now that could be scary.

Jon-E5 it seems will still be around 700 plus years into the future. He is still “conscience” of his existence and very much into self preservation.

After the evil "Big & Large" corporation ruins our planet they gather all of earth’s human inhabitants for an interstellar cruise upon the USS Excelsior while Jon-E5 and his other "unconscious" pals are left behind to clean up our mess. Over the next 700 hundred years, all but our hero Jon-E5 succumb to the fate of time and rust. Jon-E5 begins to cannibalize the others to prolong his life.

As Jon-E5 prepares to turn in each night, we learn that he longs for love and companionship when miraculously he plays a video tape of “Funny Girl” that still functions.

This for me was the best part of the movie and something this studio does best. (I’m just a sucker for the poignant stuff) As we hear Michael Crawford sing “That it only took a moment, to be loved a whole life long” you get a better sense of how lonely Jon-E5 really is and that he is literally doomed to remain lonely for eternity.

Perhaps he should have repaired some of the other units that are just lying around. But that’s just how my mind works. I don’t have Jon-E5’s logic circuits…

Without giving to much more away, Jon-E5 does find love when the mysterious Rob-E the robot comes to earth on a secret mission that will eventually bring Jon-E5 face to face with humans and the evil HAL who has taken over the USS Excelsior. The future of human kind is sad as we all apparently become puffed up couch potatoes. Where is Team Voice in the future? Huh?

Eventually there is a happy ending. If that’s what you want to call it. How the couch potato culture is going to rebuild the wasteland of earth is beyond me. I’m guessing the robots do the work and mankind goes back to the important things in life such as “blue is the new red”

As a whole this film was a nice visual journey with the one poignant moment revisited a couple times. I, along with others felt that the opening short was better than the feature. I would not go so far as to say this movie is a complete miss. It’s just not the best from this studio.
If you like these films on the big screen by all means go out and see it. Otherwise wait for the DVD.


Matt said...

Ok, please tell me that Sulu is in command of the Excelsior and that the "evil" corporation is Wal-Mart!

Great review Jeff. I've heard from some other people that the movie wasn't all that great. My family and I are planning on seeing it sometime this week.

Anonymous said...

We saw the movie on Friday. My son loved it. He gave it a '10' and he wants to buy the DVD. He loves Wall-E. We even had to have a Wall-E cake for his birthday last week.

As for my husband and I, I thought the movie was very good. I enjoyed the story and never felt bored. I also liked the 'look' of the movie and the music. I did not find the lack of dialougue a problem. I think they were able to convey emotion in the robots very well.

It was disorienting to go from 'real' people to cartoon people.

But when we left the theater (at least for my husband and I) we were depressed by the movie. Instead of feeling uplifted by the ending, I just kept thinking about where we are now and how awful it would be to become like that world in the movie. For that reason, I don't know that I would jump at a chance to see the movie again.

But I applaud them for making the film and putting it out there. I hope that it wakes some people up.

Matt said...

I just got back from watching it. It was good, though definatley not one of Pixar's greatest.

If you watch the beginning of the credits, the animation shows the people resettling and reviving Earth. That kind of makes you feel better. They also lose weight.

Craig Wheeler said...

Funny. I actually was on youtube a few days ago looking for some short-circuit clips. It does seem kind of odd that Pixar would create a robot that resembled Johnny 5 so much.

Chris said...

Well, not that I was going to actually see a movie in the movie theatre, but I'd take your advice anyhow and wait for the DVD! Looks cute and all, but now I know....and knowing is half the battle :-)

MikeF. said...

I liked this movie. I saw it on sunday. I loved the visual aspects of it. The shopping carts scene was great! And how could you not get emotional at the end with Wall.E and EVA. Ok where's the coolaid?

Doc Terminus said...

i agree with you as far as JON-E5 goes.. right on target...

But I have a very different take on wall-E... I was amazed. I think its a very bold film. If there is 'cute' anywhere, its overpowered by ultra complex issues way outside of the previous Pixar films realm...

This is not another PIXAR film. Its a bold revision of what a PIXAR film is...

Even with those adult themes, they still held kids interested with simple slapstick. But I maintain this film is for adults.