The future is in good hands

People love to imagine what the future will hold. For some, the days ahead are full of opportunity and excitement. They predict that life will eventually be discovered elsewhere in the galaxy, populations will live on the moon, and the problems of poverty and starvation will be eradicated. For others, the future is doom and gloom; oceans will rise, civilizations will fall, and the problems of today will multiply ten-fold tomorrow. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle: hopeful that the future holds great promise, but weary that problems will undoubtedly arise. Unfortunately, this futuristic middle ground does not translate well when penning intriguing science fiction. Storylines demand that the future is either going to be awesome beyond comprehension or devastating beyond belief. A future just a little bit different from today is just not that exciting. Planet of the Apes is a great example of a film where the future was completely obliterated. Everything man had ever created was gone and a new species had risen to control the planet. Conversely, the Star Wars films showed that the future could hold great promise with the connections of different life forms and entire planets being built to house immense populations. Not surprisingly, when things turn out good in future, robots in particular seem to have a lot to do with it. While robots occasionally take on the roll of the bad guy, most of the time they play humble and helpful servants to their human counterparts. In this weeks feature, WALL-E, we meet a tiny and insignificant robot that is instrumental in not only saving the planet Earth, but the entire human race as well. I have said it before and I will say it again: the most talented people in the motion picture industry work at Pixar Animation Studios. Time after time, the directors, storytellers, and animators at Pixar have produced genuinely great films, and WALL-E is no exception. In fact, this is arguable one of Pixars greatest triumphs because it includes very little dialogue and still manages to captivate its audience. In the story, humans have abandoned Earth because it has become uninhabitable. The only things left behind are the worker robots, of which all have failed but one: WALL-E. Seven hundred years after they leave, the humans send a small droid to search for life. When WALL-E meets the droid, something very unexpected happens; something that changes the course of mankind. I was moved by this film in so many ways. It was heartfelt, emotional, and intensely poignant to the present and future state of mankind. Oddly, however, this is probably the least accessible Pixar production for the youngest viewers. I attribute this to the fact that most of the emotion comes from visual cues and not words. My four-year old (who loved Ratatouille and Finding Nemo) seemed lost as the story progressed and eventually fell asleep. Even if you tend to shy away from animated films, I encourage you to give this one a try. It has everything that a great film should contain: wonderful characters, amazing cinematography, and a captivating story. A brilliant A- for WALL-E. VIDEO REVIEW: The Savages Heres one for folks who enjoy intense character dramas. The Savages tells the story of two grown siblings who are forced to care for their elderly and ailing father a man who had little to do with them when they were children. As you can imagine, emotions run high due to the years of baggage each character carries from the past. This is a picture that, because of its subject matter, is tough to get through at times. In the end, however, the growth of the characters proves ultimately rewarding. Consider this one out if youre in the mood for a harsh reality check wrapped in beautiful story.

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