Thursday, June 18, 2009

Movie Review: UP

To be honest, I really was not expecting much from this film. I knew that it was a Pixar film and that I had liked the small preview of it that I'd seen online. I was thinking that this will be a cute kid’s film that I will never want to see again about a boy an older man and a dog exploring South America. The previews tell you that this will be a light film, when I actually saw it I could not believe the quiet dept that make this small film into an instant classic.

This review will be heavy spoilers through, so if you do not want the film spoiled for you, please stop now and see it in 3D when it comes to South Korea on 30 July 2009.

Like I had stated earlier, I really had no hopes for this film. It was going to be a small, light, kids film, that I might like. The film opened up exactly like I thought it would with a goofy boy, wearing explorers goggles, watching his hero on the movie screen and seeing his hero fall from grace and maybe his hero redemption. I kept thinking OK, “So why is this a good film?”

The answer is because what happens next in the movie.

The goody boy meets a crazy girl and they find in each other that they want to both be explorers and that she has already made an adventure book. She has a few pages filled up and she tells him that she will keep the rest of the pages blank until she can go to South America and see a huge waterfall and fill it with stories from her life there. You are also shown that she gives him a grape soda badge and they are both now part of the same club. Then the film takes the step from good film into a great film and what was so awesome, there were no words used so this part will easy play in foreign theaters.

What you are shown for the next 4.5 minutes is that goofy boy, Carl Fredricksen being married to that explorer girl, Ellie. You are silently shown their entire life together and how they both loved each other. You are shown some good times and the bad times, but you are shown one thing, and that is the love that these two people have for each other. Richard Corliss of Time called it "the sweetest, saddest 4½ minutes you'll ever see on film."

Director Pete Docter intended for audiences to take a specific point from the film, saying:

"Basically, the message of the film is that the real adventure of life is the relationship we have with other people, and it's so easy to lose sight of the things we have and the people that are around us until they're gone. More often than not I don't really realize how lucky I was to have known someone until they're either moved or passed away. So if you can kind of wake up a little bit and go, "Wow, I've got some really cool stuff around me every day", then that's what the movie's about."

It was like they made a 3-5 minute version of "The Notebook" and they tell the story without any words, just with love and life that anyone in the audience will be able to follow. When you see that Ellie had died and the love is gone from his eyes, I was realizing that I might be seeing a way better film; than I thought that I was going to see.

Due to those two not being to have any children and that fact that the court has declared him a public disturber and that he must now live in a retirement home. Carl looks at the photo of Ellie and decides to do 1 last adventure, he makes a big balloon out of thousands of small ones and he takes his house up and with him and they are both going to South America.

Now this part of the film will leave a lot to the imagination of the audience and it will, at times be a stretch to believe but, for whatever reason, this part of the film works as we see Carl go on his adventure and now he has a sidekick a boy by the name of Russell, a Wilderness Explorer stowaway on Carl's flying house. This part of the film I will leave unspoiled because you will have to see it to believe it.

What I thought was a great idea near the end of the film is when Carl finally finds Ellie old Scrapbook and he looks at it and then he discovers that she added a lot of new pages to it and finds her mementos of her life with Carl after they were married, and a final note from her thanking Carl for her adventure and an encouragement for him to go on an adventure of his own. Invigorated by Ellie's last wish, the man goes into "HERO" mode to save the day.

I must say that I loved how the film ended and the extra pictures throughout the credits. When you decide to see this film, please get their early and do not leave your seat because if you do, you will miss something. This film will definitely become a Blu-Ray purchase, once it become available in this format.

Grade. A+

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