The film Wall-E is one for the ages, a masterpiece to be savored before or after the end of the world — assuming, like the title character, you're still around when all the humans have taken off and have access to an old video player. Wall-E (that's the name of the machine) is a trash compactor, the last of his kind from an age in which cleaning up garbage was mankind's highest priority — before people threw in the towel (and broom) and apparently (no spoilers here!) rocketed away. Now, this squat, childlike robot with his pivoting goggle eyes resides in a metropolis surrounded by skyscrapers that turn out, on closer inspection, to be compressed trash bricks piled high into the soot-gray sky. The movie is a bit of a trash brick itself: Director Andrew Stanton and his Pixar collaborators have taken cultural detritus — bits and pieces from cherished film genres, pop icons, visionary sci-fi tropes, half-remembered bric-a-brac from childhood — and compacted it all into a sublime work of art. The story itself — well, that is a bit of a grown-up downer. Although there's plenty of silent-movie slapstick, the apocalyptic context adds a hefty dose of melancholy. (We laugh when Wall-E finds a little box with a diamond ring, then tosses the ring and keeps the box — but the thought of the couple that left it behind is rather poignant.) For companionship, Wall-E is limited to a sort of roach (evolved) that's virtually indestructible. At heart, Wall-E spins a rather conventional and even conservative — although you'd never know it in this topsy-turvy political world — parable. But the film never feels like blockbuster business as usual. Like in Finding Nemo (only more so), the sense of loss is too pervasive. Something precious is alive, but hanging by a thread, a twig, a microscopic filament. And Pixar — this ridiculously rich, state-of-the-art computer colossus — is using all its resources to show us what we're losing.
--New York Magazine
What: Wall-E (2008 Andrew Stanton)
Format: 35mm Film
Runtime: 98 minutes
When: February 20th & February 21st at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm, February 22nd at 3:00 pm
Where: 5th Ave Cinema, 510 SW Hall St. @ PSU
Admission: Free for PSU Students, Faculty and Staff with ID; $2 for Other Students, Seniors and Children; $3 General Admission