Wednesday, June 3, 2009


This is probably going to be a short review as I have almost nothing but positive things to say about Up, don't fault me for an inability to shower things with praise. That said, Up, as I'd read many times before actually seeing the film, is one of the best animated films I've ever laid eyes upon. I thought Wall*E was one of the best animated films I've ever seen, thought that The Incredibles (still my favorite Pixar) film was the best animated film I'd ever seen. And certainly couldn't think of a better pair of films than the companies one-two punch of Toy Story 1 and 2.

Thus, claiming that Up is one of the best animated films I've ever seen is quite a hefty compliment. The film, as you've probably heard by now, is about an old man, Carl (Ed Asner) literally shuffling in to the end of his life, mourning a wife he's lost and a sense of adventure that's faded like pictures on the wall. When his house, "Elle", as he refers to it, is going to be put up on the market, Carl flips out, assaults an innocent man with his tennis cane, and has one day to pack his belongings before being shipped off to an old person home. Carl, intrepid former-adventurer that he is, instead rigs his house with balloons and floats the whole damn thing away, finally pursuing the adventure he's always yearned.

Unfortunately, he drags a ten year old Adventure Scout with him, runs in to an old hero turned bad guy, befriends a rainbow bird and talking dog (both of these characters brilliant in there simplicity and humor), and well, I won't say any more. What I will say is this, the film is touching and funny and literally crackles with adventure. There's a sense of silliness and wonder and the bizarre that doesn't punch you in the face, but is rather just accepted from the beginning. Films about houses that float away on balloons and sails made of quilts don't do it for you? Well, don't watch this film. This is a film about the adventurer inside all of us, that little person who makes you want to swing out over the water on a fraying rope swing when you're younger, but seems, as this movie claims, to get pushed to the side as we get older.

At the end of the film, I was happy, I was a little sad, and most of all I was excited, as Up seems to say that you can be an adventurer your entire life. You don't have to say goodbye to the dreams of floating houses and giant birds, those things are all there, you just have to find them.

I also wanted to write a quick word on the usage of 3-D in the film. I've never seen any of the new wave of non-cheesy films using the technology and was actually shocked by two things:

1. 3-D kind of makes me nauseous. There's a lot of blurriness and a lot of strange movements and vaster plains and I sort of felt sick.

2. It's really amazing what they're doing with it, but I still found myself wanting a crisper image. Something more clear and sharper, but alas, at least I got to see mountains jump off the screen.

I just finished watching Sisters (89) and can't wait to write about it.

Thursday: Sisters (89)

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