WALL-E gets big points for distinguishing itself in the horrific wasteland that is children’s animation with two great strengths; it’s strong, culturally relevant (and well communicated) message and it’s departure from this type of fare’s typical safety zone (although it’s not a huge leap). I couldn’t shake the feeling however, that there were some missed opportunities; the grandeur of space seemed lacking, they could’ve taken the designs of the future human race a bit further and the optimistic ending kind of sells it’s grim warning of a premise a bit short. But these are relatively minor complaints; the scenes of WALL -E, the last personality on Earth bigger than a breadbox, quietly (futilely) sorting through our skyscrapers of waste 700 years after our departure from the planet are crushing in both their scope and implications. 3.5/5

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

Film, 1985

Amazing post-apocalyptic costume and set design elevates what was already a thoughtful film about the way humanity navigates itself into contemplative eye-candy. 4

Children of Men

Film, 2006

This movie comes very, very close to being an absolute classic, but is just a little too straightforward to provide a real hearty meal. Another great example of a filmmaker using documentary style filmmaking (in addition to a variety of other brilliant and inventive tricks) to create a believable, fictional reality- not to mention unique use of extended takes to unbelievably pulse pounding effect. I wish it had won a (more substantial) Oscar or something so people would remember it and it had gained the attention it would have needed to help inspire filmmakers to start making interesting movies again. 4