They Had Me At “Hello, Dolly”

It's the quiet moments we treasureThere’s a lot of stuff opening today, and for a change I’ve seen it all. But the one and only film you need to catch as soon as possible is Andrew Stanton’s “WALL-E”, which is easily the best thing out there, and a runaway contender for the best movie of 2008.

UPDATE: Read my review, and then, if you’re still on the fence, ask yourself one question: When was the last time you wept with joy?

Also out, if you have some additional movie time:

Encounters at the End of the World“: Werner Herzog lugs a high-def camera to Antarctica for one of his odd, obsessive little documentaries. It’s lovely. You should see it, even if you’re unlikely to experience it in quite the same way I did.

Expelled: No Intelligence Necessary“: This is the Ben Stein intelligent-design documentary I wrote about yesterday. It hasn’t grown any less loathsome since then.

“The Promotion”: Steven Conrad, who wrote the marvelous and utterly misunderstood mid-life-crisis movie “The Weather Man”, makes his directorial debut with this similarly unexpected drama about two grocery-store employees (played by Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly) competing for a managerial position. It’s being marketed as a comedy, and I guess I understand that, but it’s a far deeper and more thoughtful work that deserves to be taken seriously. Well, mostly.

“Wanted”: Timur Bekmambetov, the mad Russian genius behind “Night Watch” and “Day Watch”, brings his cinematic skills to America for this manic and thoroughly entertaining fusion of “Fight Club” and “The Matrix”. I have no idea why everybody’s so down on Angelina Jolie, by the way; she’s absolutely hysterical in a marvelous deadpan kind of way.

Seriously, though. You can see any of these after you see “WALL-E”. Got that? See “WALL-E” first.