on November 10, 2009
The Movie Itself:
When I first watched this movie in theaters, I was thrilled. It was a movie meant for everyone. The novelistic first quarter, with Carl Fredericksen & the love of his life, Ellie, their fantasized story made us adults cry. The next two quarters were intriguing and kept pace with adults and kids like, made us laugh in way only Pixar can, and set us up for an ending that was perhaps most suited for kids but was satisfying for all generations. Pixar has a track record that is unparalleled by any other studio. With "Up" they have proven to us once again that there is more left in their tank to surprise us with.
Pixar Home Videos are reference quality discs and this one is also perfect. The MPEG4 AVC 1080p transfer in 1.78:1 aspect ratio is breathtaking. Colours are spectacular, flesh tones are natural, blacks and whites are vibrant, the motion and detail is extraordinary and leaps out of the screen. Okay I have run out of words so I hope you all get the idea.
As impressive as the video is the DTS HDMA 5.1 track. You can actually feel the atmosphere through the speakers. The control of the channels is perhaps the best I can recall in recent memory. Heck I could even feel the wind blowing through the house when its lifted up in the air. The balloons rubbing against each other and the briefest of sounds were clear. It really is a treat and its one of those few times when my surround sound investment seems to be worthwhile.
Up has it all, its perhaps the best release of the year if considered as package. Its presentation is second to none and its a movie that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages including some of us who think they are too old for everything. I hope everyone picks it up and enjoys it for years to come. Highly Recommended.
I first saw this movie many years ago but it has never left me. The beginning is a sweet tale, two children, a boy, Carl and a girl, Ellie meet and find they share a love of adventure. They eventually marry and plan to move to Paradise Falls in South America to find their hero Charles Munz who went missing years ago. But life gets in the way, and they never make it. Now a widower, Carl finds that his life is changing in many ways, his house is blocking new construction and he finds himself becoming reclusive. Into the mix comes boy scout Russell who needs his helping the elderly badge to complete all of the scout badges. Unfortunately for Russell he finds himself trapped on the front porch of the house when Carl flies it away with balloons. Somehow they make it to South America, fairly close to Paradise Falls. While heading toward the falls with the house slightly overhead (they have a day until the balloons inflate completely) they met characters such as Dug the dog with a collar that makes him talk, Kevin a giant and rare bird and a mysterious stranger who has many other dogs like Dug also with talking collars. The stranger seems to be someone that Carl knows and sets the story up from being a touching tale about following your dreams to a tale of good against evil. This is one of the sweetest and also most enjoyable animated movie I've seen in a while able to bring you to tears one minute and then have you laughing the next.
I wouldn't quite call this animation for adults. But I would say that as kids' movies go, this is one of the better ones. One of the ones that a grown-up can watch without ever being tempted to reach for the remote to see what else is on.
Beneath a predictable but nevertheless fairly well executed adventure, this story tells the tale of how its protagonists come to terms with their own inner pain, and move on to embrace what life yet has to offer them. In this it's hardly unique: let's face it, the same could be said of virtually everything Hollywood produces.
What makes this movie is how well it achieves this. I wouldn't exactly call it deft or subtle. It's more that there's a certain realness to the emotional subtext. A willingness to shy away from answers that are a little too pat or glib.
Like everything Pixar makes it is served up with a certain amount of treacle. But there's also enough that's real to ensure we don't all walk away with diabetes.
Up is a great DVD - In fact I was pleasantly surprised at how good the film was. Having seen the trailer I was not expecting that much. Yet, the movie was funny, the animation was superb and the storyline was great. The orchestral soundtrack was also wonderful composed and brilliantly executed and mixed with the animation. This movie was really thought out and executed superbly.
The movie begins with the central character as a young child, who meets a girl, they make a pledge to go to this particular place (which is in Venezuela) to the place of their explorer hero. Time passes, they marry, they age and eventually the man, with society and his surroundings so changed from 60 years previously, decides to go and take his house with him! Many funny incidents arise and the mysterious lands takes on many surprises and do those with whom they encounter.
The DVD extras are also good. The behind the scenes, where the production team fly to Venezuela and explores these desolate table top mountain in the middle of know where is a mini-documentary in itself. Where they see the most amazing sandstone rock features, naturally worn from the elements and the most amazing plant life and fauna. All of which was recreated in the movie. There are also some good deleted scenes on the extras.
An amazing family movie with lots of laughs
Someday, Pixar is going to do it -- they're going to create an emotionally uninspiring, lackluster animated movie.
But in the meantime, they're still putting out delightful for-all-ages animated movies like "Up," which defies the usual kid-movie conventions by starring a crotchety seventysomething old man. It's a charming, fun little adventure story with flying dogs and balloon-powered houses, but underlying it is a bittersweet little message about not letting the present be bogged down by the past.
As a child, the shy Carl Fredricksen bonded with the oddball Ellie over their shared love of adventure, the explorer Charles Muntz, and Paradise Falls. They later married, move into their "clubhouse" together, and lived a long but sadly childless life together -- and when Ellie died, she had never fulfilled her dream of going to Paradise Falls.
Now crotchety, alone and harassed by a real estate developer, Carl (Ed Asner) is finally ordered to a retirement home. But he isn't about to go quietly -- instead he attaches thousands of balloons to his house and floats it away in the general direction of South America. But he accidentally takes an enthusiastic, naive Wilderness Explorer (a thinly-veiled Boy Scout) named Russell (Jordan Nagai) along for the ride. Poor kid was just trying to earn an "assisting the elderly" badge.
But the jungle trek to Paradise Falls turns out to have some surprising obstacles: a big emulike bird that Russell names Kevin, a talking dog named Dug ("I am jumping on you, bird!"), and a mysterious old man who lives deep in the heart of the jungle. Turns out the old guy is very familiar to Carl -- and to capture Kevin, he's willing to sacrifice Carl and Russell.
Industry experts were babbling about how "Up" wouldn't be as popular as the previous Pixar movies, because the protagonist is basically a crusty old coot. Well, that shows what they know. It ended up becoming one of those classic movies that somehow appeals to all ages -- while the humor and action appeal to children, adults can appreciate Carl's love for his lost wife, and his slow realization that he's clinging to the past.
In fact, the first ten minutes are some of the most heart-tugging, quietly bittersweet scenes I've seen in a long time. Without a word, they show all the ups and downs of a realistic marriage -- joys, sorrows (Ellie's inability to have children), growing old together, and finally loss.
But it's not a depressing movie by any stretch -- in fact, it's like a childhood fantasy come to life, complete with a floating house suspended on hundreds of balloons, and biplanes piloted by a talking dog army.. Plenty of great dialogue ("Do you want to play a game? It's called See Who Can Go the Longest Without Saying Anything." "Cool! My mom loves that game!") and an action-packed climax in an aged airship.
Ed Asner is absolutely perfect as the ubergrouch Carl -- crotchety, grumpy, and determined to fulfill his beloved wife's lifelong dream, but gradually realizing that what he's really clinging to is his past. Jordan Nagai is equally perfect as Carl's polar opposite: a naive, sweetly chattery Wilderness Scout who is determined to reunite Kevin with her baby chicks. He's really just a sweetie-pie.
And the utterly adorable Dug and the other dogs deserve special notice. These creatures are utterly hilarious -- they talk ("I hid under your porch because I love you") and act ("Scream all you want, small mailman!") the way dogs would if they talked. Three words: cone of shame.
"Up" continues Pixar's running tally of gloriously animated, emotionally layered movies that the entire family can enjoy. With that, I have only one more thing to say... SQUIRREL!
It's been a while since I've watched a movie with the family that was really the whole package. "Up" is certainly worth watching.
The background story is about lifelong love between a man and a woman. Budding adventurers Carl and Ellie meet as children. They fall in love and marry and when Ellie passes away Carl realizes that he never took her to Paradise Falls, South America as they had dreamed of doing. When Carl finds out that he is being sent to a retirement home, he rigs thousands of helium balloons to his house and sets out to give Ellie this one last gift. It's not long before he finds a stowaway, Russell, an earnest little boy and the son of a single mother, and at that point it is too late to turn back so he's stuck with him.
Carl and Russell manage to land themselves in Paradise Falls and along with their new friends Kevin (a rare exotic bird and a new mother) and Dug (a dog who talks) set out on the adventure of a lifetime.
This movie was hilarious yet sentimental and as a family we laughed and "awwwww'd" the entire way through. A must-have addition to your kid's movie collection, although it may be the adults who watch it over and over again!
on December 7, 2009
I am always apprehensive when it comes to films for kids. Will there be violence or jokes that aren't appropriate?
But this one is just enjoyable over and over again - as that is how often my 2-year old son wants to see this movie. And I willingly play it for him, myself, and my partner. We all love it - which can't be said of many movies - plus I don't find it offensive or violent. The voices aren't irritating, and there isn't any underlying theme that I am uncomfortable with, for myself or my son.
This movie is like no other I have seen - in terms of storyline, and the amount that it is heartwarming while at the same time (if you really need to 'think' in your movies) it critiques our current society.
We get to sit, laugh, smile, and talk about the film together. While I wouldn't normally say movie time is family time, this provides both.
If you enjoy Happy Feet and Finding Nemo, you are very likely to love this film too!!!
on November 3, 2011
Takes you from a childhood dream of two children quickly through their lives as a couple to a widower trying to complete the one dream his late wife never realized. A little boy quite outgoing comes into the picture and plays a huge part. The old gentleman has a nemesis who appears as a balancing act as expected.
The is one delightful movie with humor, sadness, joy that simply carries us along with it to the very end. Grab a box of tissues; a bowl of popcorn and prepare yourself for the balloon ride of your life. The villain, to the couple, to the little boy trying to fill his own needs, it all blends well. It touched me as an adult as easily as my grandchildren one a teen. In a summation this animated classic of a movie is as close to real life characters we all know or see and often identify with in our thoughts or reality. "Delightful" in one word.
on February 3, 2010
Great movie. My 3yr old daughter loves watching it and I don't mind seeing it over and over. So cute, a little sad, so funny and all the characters are hilarious. You'll love Russell the little boy and what a great choice to pick Ed Asner for the voice of Carl. A great movie for everyone.