Category Archives: jeff garlin

Quickies 8-31-2008


This Filthy World ~ This one-man show with cult movie writer and director John Waters was directed by Jeff Garlin. Basically Waters is just let loose on a stage and he talks, and talks, and talks. That’s not to disparage him at all, he’s absolutely mesmerizing, and his knowledge of film, both pop and obscure is unparalleled.

Among the subjects he touches on in this 86-minute extravaganza are film, books, teaching, Jackie O, his early movies, drugs, Michael Jackson, bears, capital punishment, Liz Renee, Divine, kids, juvenile delinquency, homophobes, fans, the mainstream, Baltimore and movies he’d like to make. He also talks a bit about Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol and for those of us in the Philadelphia area, the infamous Uncle Ed.

My favorite quote from the show: ”Even Divine had his limits. The first time he met Richard Simmons he felt homophobic.” This is a must-see.

I Love Your Work ~ Does Giovanni Ribasi ever not put in an Oscar caliber performance? And does Jason Lee almost always shine in roles with just a touch of creepy in them? These two are just a couple from the superior cast that make this very slick piece on stalking, paparazzi, and the dark side of Hollywood such a great film. What it lacks in story and character it more than makes up for in brilliant direction and cinematography. I Love Your Work was co-written and directed by Adam Goldberg, of Hebrew Hammer fame, and is recommended.

Wall-E


WALL-E ~ “Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth Class,” Wall-E (pronounced Wally) for short, is a love story and a tale of courage. Writer/director Andrew Stanton originally visualized this Disney/Pixar flick as “What if mankind evacuated Earth and forgot to turn off the last remaining robot?” The story expands from there.

Left behind to clean up mankind’s ecological mess while the human race goes off into space, Wall-E soon finds himself alone in this endeavor. When a robot probe, the super-slick EVE model, lands to explore Earth, clunky trash compacter Wall-E falls in love. Eve finds proof of life and returns to space with Wall-E in tow. The plant she finds leads the remaining humans, made fat and lazy by a life waited on by robots, to believe it’s time to come back home.

There are moments when Wall-E could have been as preachy as the early 1970s eco-scifi flicks like Soylent Green or Planet of the Apes but it rarely strays in that direction. Of course the accusative finger of Corporate America isn’t hard to see in Buy ‘n Large but it’s a point not hammered home like it could have been. In the end all is right and everyone lives happily ever after – a nice change of pace from most ecological disaster movies.

It’s worth noting that the first hour of the flick is without dialogue, an achievement worthy of praise in this day and age. With an economy of lines, Jeff Garlin is wonderful as the Captain and Fred Willard is surprisingly good as one of Pixar’s first live-action actors.

Speaking of Pixar, there are tons of great cameos from previous films among Wall-E’s junk collection and among the debris littering Earth. And don’t miss the cartoon before the feature. “Presto” is one of Pixar’s best. All in all, a pleasant family experience.