Your Up Reviews

I know there’s going to start being preview screenings soon, and May 29 is only a month a half away, so once you’ve seen the movie, post your reviews for Up here or what you thought of the movie in general. Please use this thread instead of creating your own separate thread. If everyone made their own separate thread for their reviews, this forum would become very cluttered. Thanks.

If there’s a point about the movie you think needs to be expanded upon and would make for an interesting discussion, by all means, create a thread for it. But your reviews go in this thread.

IMPORTANT: And make sure to use spoiler tags when discussing spoilerific parts of the film so that people who haven’t seen the movie, or those who live in countries where the movie isn’t being released until months later, won’t have the movie spoiled for them. To use spoiler tags, do the following:

[spoil]spoiler from Up here[/spoil]

As far as I’m aware once the movie is released on DVD is the US, you can stop using spoiler tags.

Have fun writing those "Up"lifting reviews. :smiley:

I was actually gonna make a topic about this… :blush: Anyway When I go see up I’ll post my reweiw here, and if I can find it before anyone else I’ll put the location of the pizza planet truck here too. I doubt I can find A113 though. :wink:

I just saw it, I loved it!

These are neither my review or critic’s review, but I guess I place them here, some of the buzz for Up on Twitter, following the screening of Up in Alamo (and expect AICN to run a lengthy, spoilerific report as well):

meganhagins: Lovin’ UP. One of the most well-rounded films I’ve seen in a long time, let alone among best from Pixar. I loved the pacing-never rushed.

bigpicture: I saw Up on Wednesday. Much better than I expected. One of PIxar’s best.

EricVespe: Pixar’s UP was as great as I thought it would be

brotherscho: Pixar has outdone themselves, UP was a brilliant benchmark for emotive storytelling for animation

heuge: It is another Pixar classic. I can’t wait to see it in 3D!

HollandGeometry: Just saw sneak preview of Pixar’s UP, with toddler. It did not disappoint. Seriously - awesome.

michaelgmccoy: Pixar’s Up is one of the best movies ever!!!

hyams: UP: both the most emotional AND the funniest Pixar movie yet. awesome. can’t wait to see it in 3d.

Robogeek: just saw Pixar’s latest works of genius, UP and the accompanying short Partly Cloudy, which are… works of genius. Brilliant & beautiful!

And the king of AICN, Harry Knowles:

UP is better than I could have hoped for! Truly tremendous!!

I just know that I came out intoxicated with the affection I felt with the story, characters and imagination of UP and PARTLY CLOUDY

at the moment it feels like the greatest thing ever

UP is definitely better than Bugs, cars n rat… but I cant think of any that I would comfortably call better than UP

re: Walle. UP is a better overall narrative but not as experimentally brilliant. it has its own unique brilliance

Wow. I can’t believe the positive buzz this movie is getting. You think the AICN synopsis will be up in a couple of hours?

I think some report, but I don’t know if there’s any embargo for full synopsis and reviews. To screen the whole thing this early a leaked synopsis is bound to happen, same as brief comments on Twitter and forums, but perhaps “official” reviews won’t come anytime soon.

UP got Harry incredibly UP!!!
Masterpiece is such an over used phrase when it comes to PIXAR – because if very nearly every film is either almost a masterpiece, a simple masterpiece or a heartbreakingly brilliant masterpiece – the meaning is drained from the word and the only adjective I’m left with to describe one their films is to simply state… it is a Pixar Movie – and that carries the weight of its own realized expectations.
UP isn’t quite the film that I thought it was. About 4 days ago – an Austin friend ran into me at CHUYs after she had gotten into the UP screening – and stated how much she was looking forward to it, but she was slightly nervous having seen the 45 minutes we’d seen at BNAT over 6 months ago. What if it doesn’t live up? And all of a sudden a thought hit me. What if they kill Carl? The old man. What if they build that character up and kill him?

I got nervous. Very nervous. In the first 45 minutes – I had already formed an attachment that made me think of Carl as an amalgam of my own father and grandfather – and are they going to carve my heart out? Will they kill every boy & girl’s grandfather on screen and force the little kids to grapple with the weight of simple mortality?

Worse. Will they reawaken that fear in me?

PIXAR films flirt with dangerous territory, but often guide us in the general direction of security and the hope of a happy ending. However, there was something about that first 45 minutes that had me feel that there could be a dark twist ahead.

And I was right about the dark twist, only… not exactly, but incredibly satisfied.

CARL is an old man. He comes from a great generation – having had a long and happy life with the woman of his dreams. Now he’s on his last days, he feels alienated by the world beyond his house. Closed in by the booming society that has supplanted his old neighborhood in lieu of skyscrapers and suits. His life has apparently been fairly uneventful, but filled and powered by childhood dreams.

You remember those. The dreams you had as a child that perhaps many of you followed for an indeterminate period of time, before realizing that you didn’t have the math and science to be an astronaut – and the space program has never been as ambitious as a little boy’s dreams… at least it hasn’t been since I was a small boy. In the contest for tickets – I had people that dreamt of being comic artists, film critics, torch singers in smoky clubs, Pixar animators, archeologists, President and so on. There were the folks that wanted to bio-engineer dinosaurs and mythological creatures, that wanted to be bit by a radioactive spider or realize that they came from the planet Krypton – and in a lot of the replies there was a sadness about themselves. Even though they were many youngsters – much younger than me – they already felt the compromise of a realistic life. A life where bills grow, accidents and health create debt and jobs can be lost. But they’re also blessed with families they love, a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife – and they’ve found a life they love that they couldn’t have dreamt of as a kid, because kids rarely dream maturely.

I know this seems off topic, but in reality – the first 45 minutes deals with a lot of these sorts of issues. It does it with an economy of exposition that will shame most every screenwriter in the business. They show us life, rather than explain it. They show us love, regret, ambition, loss and the power of dreams without ever verbalizing a single conversation. It is… frankly humbling.

There are no long pointless sequences that abandons our main characters in place of a pop culture gag that does not advance the story – and frankly – that’s the biggest difference between PIXAR and just about everyone else. They understand humor inherent to the material and the story – and they realize that it is all about buying into these characters – and that the character isn’t just Carl Fredricksen… but little Russell – the Wilderness Explorer looking for his ASSISTING THE ELDERLY badge.

In the first 45 minutes, I didn’t know if I believed in his character or not. I was fond of him. I liked him, but I wondered if he was ever going to be more than his uniform and age. Would they explore what makes the sidekick character need a side to kick from? Yes, they do. And it isn’t a softball pitch either. It has the emotional resonance every bit the equal of Mr Fredricksen. There’s a reason behind this boy’s passions – and a reason for his over-compensating need to please. And it absolutely makes the film soar higher than it’s fictional house and balloons.

The structure of the film is based in many ways upon two of my favorite RKO films that were filmed concurrently. KING KONG and THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. Even though the first act plays much more like the first act of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Like KING KONG – it takes our characters about 45 minutes to get to the “island” or the “Escarpment” that this film has as its reality based fantasy locale.

In that 45 minutes – they introduce our main characters, create their initial bonds and conflicts – and gives them a reason for their adventure. In this way – it also reminds one of THE WIZARD OF OZ – especially with the montage STORM sequence that is very very evocative of that classic Tornado sequence – minus silly things going by the window.

Once they reach the Escarpment – they find they’ve landed in an area on the opposite side from where Carl’s wife had dreamt of their “club house” being – and suddenly Carl and Russell must FITZCARRALDO that house to its proper place. Along the way they meet an amazing bird that Russell names KEVIN and a talking dog that informs him that his name is DUG – voiced by UP writer and co-director Bob Peterson with sublime perfection.

And it is that much that was screened at BNAT in rough story board, early rough animation and some close to finished animation. Finished – this period of the film has introduced us to our main characters and our place of action and purpose of action. In very nearly the next scene – we’re introduced to a whole lot of conflict and a great deal of unforeseen situations.

My favorite of these involves the other human character of the vanished great explorer that Carl worshipped with his wife… CHARLES MUNTZ – voiced by Christopher Plummer – but evoking a visual check from Kirk Douglas by way of Leslie Banks’ Count Zaroff. Like in that last reference’s movie – there’s a point during dinner where everything about the direction of the film turns. And it does turn dark.

Not so dark as to warp children – but definitely it turns into a film where life is risked and lost and it is tense as hell. Spoiling the last act of the film would be a crime. Mainly because it unfolds so beautifully, so perfectly that it just makes you cheer. There really seems like there’s nothing left unexplored – and I can’t believe just how good it all comes together.

Many people were critical of the last act of WALL-E, and while I get what they’re talking about – I disagree. The last act of UP is supremely entertaining in the kind of way that the last act of MONSTERS, INC and FINDING NEMO and TOY STORY 2 end. The relationships and situations are all absolutely earned through the empathy that the film builds with the characters, the economy of exposition and through tension.

In fact – the dinner scene for some reason evoked the meeting scene in OUT OF THE PAST with Mitchum and Douglas… only imagine if Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau’s love child (Carl voiced by Ed Asner) was facing off against an elderly Kurt Douglas (pre-stroke). It is shot with heavy film noir-esque shadows and the nefarious reveal has the weight of that great turn scene of Count Zaroff. It is at this point that the film just doesn’t stop. Suddenly – we’re in full on chase/threat/rescue/hero/helpless/panic excitement mode!

Because you care about the characters I found myself near breathless through these action scenes, which have the gleeful invention of a great Nick Park action sequence!

After the film – the audience was glowing. It was as if each and every last one of us were 3 feet tall, tiptoeing into our childhood living room on Christmas morning and found our heart’s desire with a big bow on it and with balloons! Lots of balloons. This film isn’t a specified fetish film like MONSTERS, INC, THE INCREDIBLES, WALL-E, CARS, TOY STORY, A BUG’S LIFE or even RATATOUILLE. This is a human adventure primarily – without the obvious childhood fetish item. The fanciful elements concern talking dog collars, giant crazy bird critter and a balloon powered floating house. Otherwise – you’re dealing with humans – humans that have been hurt, have desires, motivations and problems. And nothing could be better.

With STAR TREK, UP and DRAG ME TO HELL – this May we have 3 completely different types of perfect BIG films. And I’ll be damned if I can figure out from a single viewing which I love most! And that is something I find incredibly fortunate to be afflicted with.

That I’m talking about KING KONG, OUT OF THE PAST, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, FITZCARRALDO along with the best of Pixar’s films… well it tells you how fondly I regard this film. Pete Docter has made another incredibly wonderful PIXAR film!

P.S. I’ll be writing a separate piece on PARTLY CLOUDY, the short film that preceded the feature later tonight… possibly. It is possibly the most iconic short they’ve yet made. But like I said – more on that later!

Well, I read through the “Up” junior novel. Since I’ve only read the story I can’t comment on visuals, voices, music, etc. But the writing and different scenes were all taken directly from the movie.

Overall, the story is really good. You definitely won’t see the ending scenes coming, and all of the characters played out nicely. I was very glad to see that Russell had his own development and interests rather than just being comic relief like the trailers make him out to be. There’s a lot of powerful plot points about Carl and his wife, and he realizes a lot about his purposes. My only problem was that [spoil]Muntz[/spoil] wasn’t an incredibly interesting character and his resolution was pretty dumb.

But still, it’s just what I hoped that it would be like, and it will probably be ten times better in theaters.

Twitter stalker continues:

seanoneill: Just saw Up… I cried. So much heart amazing adventure. Love… Loved Up
theoldcrocodile: thinks Pixars 10th movie is it’s sadest and maybe best movie so far.
Lbartsch: Up is an amazing and beautiful movie. Congrats to all my friends and loved ones at Pixar!
KismetSorena: Leaving the UP wrap party. The movie and Party Cloudy were fantastic. So proud of Pixar.
juanbuhler: Saw Up tonight with the rest of my Pixar friends. A sweet film, in many, many ways! The wrap party was awesome, too!
mcdrunk: Just saw pixar’s up. an extraordnarily good film.

From Lee Unkrich: Arriving at the “Up” wrap party. Movie was absolutely fantastic. And Andrew Stanton: Leaving UP wrap party. Movie was tremendous!! That’s 10 for 10! (Great party 2.) - lol Muntz verbal canine technology conference :laughing: - Where is this?

JD - Thanks for posting up all of these reviews! I can’t think of much else to say except what I’ve said already, that being that this film can’t be released soon enough.

– Mitch

I saw Up in Houston a few weeks ago (no 3D, no Partly Cloudly).

The beginning is familiar Pixar. It establishes memorable personalities with ingenuity. You’ve probably heard about the silent montage, which shows the lifecycle of the central relationship. Like the illustrations in the best children’s books, Pixar uses the simplest to say the most. It’s affecting because of how crystal clearly it’s communicated.

The flight of the house, a transitionary period, is my favorite stretch of cinema in a long while. It calls to mind the detail-oriented imagery of Miyazaki. Fantastical, but with a real notion of weight and realism. The sense of dimension, even in 2D, is eerie. It’s magical.

Then the house lands in problematic territory. There are elements here more traditionally Disney. Some whacky characters support scenes that would stand better on their own two feet. The dogs and birds are cute and mildly amusing, but thematically only bright-colors-deep.

I feel as though a brilliant lead, a mature sense of loss, and a carefully constructed atmosphere were dropped into a jungle of mostly gibberish. It’s always competent in its final act - threads wrap, at least superficially - but it does not follow through on the ambition and careful constructions gone before.

There is one thankful development during that act. It concerns Russell, who I worried was a comic device with no stake in grander statements. I won’t spoil it here, but his thread is actually a critical weave in Up’s thematic quilt after all. It’s touching and modest, and will certainly affect children who identify strongly.

Had the opportunity to go to an advanced screening of Up this morning.


I thought it was absolutely fantastic! It had the most heart of any Pixar movie, which is really saying a lot. It also was the most humorous Pixar movie to date. I laughed. I cried. I really enjoyed it from start to end.

The silent montage at the beginning was really beautiful and did a good job at setting up Carl’s background and his relationship with Ellie that drives the film. It was a nice contrast to the action in the rest of the movie after Carl takes off in his house; a great sequence of the flight. The environment of Paradise Falls was pretty amazing. They handled the vast landscape very well. It was breath taking!

The characters were great. Carl starts off as this grumpy old man filled with regrets about not taking Ellie on the adventure he had promised. He’s dead set on getting his house to Paradise Falls despite different things that pop up along the way. In the end, he realizes that he has to embrace another adventure and leave the old behind. Russell was a good comic relief, but also had more to him and is further developed as the film goes on. Kevin and Dug were also good comic reliefs.

Michael Giacchino’s music was spectacular and really added a lot to the movie. I’m always impressed with his film scores.

Well, I’m going to wrap this up. Up is Pixar’s best film to date in my opinion. Pete Docter did a fantastic job and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Cross-posted from the Emery Ed screening thread.

Well, here’s what I had to say on the movie. Keep in mind I’m not exactly a critic, so this is just a fan’s review. As far as spoilers go, I tried to avoid specifics but I do discuss the development of Carl, in general terms. So while no events are mentioned, you do get an idea of the direction the film takes. If you guys have any questions, I’d be glad to answer them.

I just want to say, first off, the audience I spent the 90 minutes of my life with (95 if you count Pete Sohn’s excellent short, Partly Cloudy, as well) the night I saw Up was the best audience I have ever viewed a film with. Every single person there was there because they loved Pixar, because they had the utmost respect for their art, and because they could not wait to see the newest magic this wonderful studio had conjured up.

As such, when we all walked into the theatre to begin the screening- the same theatre where every shot of the movie we were about to see had been viewed, discussed, and approved by the very magicians who made it- you could feel the reverence in the air. When the little, bouncing lamp that had greeted us for the past 9 films hopped onto screen, every single person in the room went silent. And, most importantly of all, when Carl and Russell’s story played out before us, we all cheered, cried, and laughed together.

And for good reason. This story, moreso than other Pixar film I have seen, resonates. Everyone has dealt with their dreams- building them up and trying to fulfill them, only to have to compromise in the face of reality- so it’s only natural to sympathize with Carl. We earnestly root for him as he tries, here at the end of his life, to do what so few of us can accomplish during ours.

Surprisingly enough, it is Carl, this 78 year old widower, who actually goes through the greatest deal of character growth. Yes, Russell experiences quite a bit as well (and reveals a surprisingly moving motivation for his behavior- one that even pushes Carl to mature and fulfill, spiritually, a dream he and his wife had earlier in their lives) but Carl learns the most, by far. Throughout the film, he rediscovers what it means to dream and opens himself back up to the world, lead by the memory of his now departed wife Ellie, who, despite being absent from pretty much the 5 minute mark of the film onward, remains a strong presence throughout the film. Ellie essentially motivates Carl to take his trip, watches over him throughout it, and even, in a way, “convinces” him to do what is right at the turning point before the final act of the movie. I don’t wish to spoil it, so I’ll just leave it at this- the moment of Carl’s “transformation” is absolutely perfect, narratively, metaphorically, and thematically. The image we see of him, just as he undertakes the final portion of his quest, is as heroic as any I’ve ever seen on screen.

Up isn’t just a drama, though- amidst all the character growth and thematic development stands one of the funniest films Pixar has made. The physical comedy and timing here are, as always, spot on and the pack of dogs introduced about halfway through the film serve as brilliant comic relief. Unlike the majority of talking dog characters out there, the Alpha pack are written as if they were actual canines who simply have their thoughts translated rather than as human characters that just happen to inhabit a dog’s body. This key distinction gives them a unique brand of speech that is incredibly amusing. It’s honestly as if the writers translated all those conversations you have in your head with your pets into real dialogue. Dug, the outcast of the pack, steals the entire show and could possibly be my favorite Pixar character to date. (He certainly has the best line of the entire movie- keep an ear out for it and see if you can figure out which I’m referring to.)

The action, though not quite as pervasive as the trailers would have you believe, is appropriately tense and exciting as well, with some surprisingly dark moves taken by the antagonist of the film. (Up, the second of Pixar’s to do so, definitely earns its PG rating.) While not as well-staged or exciting as the battles featured in the Incredibles, it serves its purpose well and keeps the third act moving at a brisk pace.

Speaking of the pacing, however, I do have some complaints with the film. Much has been said about the economy of storytelling present in Up and, while I agree that the opening montage is a perfect display of emotion and depth contained within brevity, I do wish there were some areas the film had actually spent more time with. Specifically, I feel that the antagonist deserved a little bit more development and definitely a better conclusion, and that there was also room for a bit more development in the jungle portion of the adventure. Finally, it is worth noting that the flight to South America from North America is basically non-existent. These are minor complaints and it is to the film’s credit that every single scene feels necessary (a feat that, perhaps, would not have been possible with the additions I mention) but I did have the distinct feeling at the end of the film that it did not feel as “fleshed out,” so to speak, as the rest of the Pixar library.

My only other disappointment, if it can be called that, with the film is the score, which is perfectly serviceable but simply not as noteworthy as I had hoped. I absolutely loved Giacchino’s work on the previous two Pixar flicks he worked on, so maybe my disappointment is simply a product of high expectations, though. (I will say that I loved the central theme’s rendition as it played over the opening montage.)

Regardless of these weaknesses, I still feel this is a film that will be watched for generations to come. It is undoubtedly one of Pixar’s best, featuring the studio’s most emotional work to date, one of the most inventive band of characters on film, and moments and themes that will resonate with everyone, young and old alike.

THAT, my good friends, is what I call a GREAT REVIEW!

Thank you.

I hope “UP” wipes the summer clean!

Here’s a little snippet from my review:

Pixar has done it again! I just saw Up, and it was great. The film was colorful, funny, bittersweet, and entertaining. The characters were wonderfully crafted; you can’t help but love the character of Carl from the very beginning, Russell is energetic and funny, Muntz is a decent villain, and Dug the Dog is hilarious and lovable. The movie definitely stayed true to Walt Disney’s famous saying (and what I think is John Lasseter’s favorite saying): “For every laugh there should be a tear”.

Read the rest of my incredibly in depth review here ( … loudy.html), where I also go on to describe why I was very disappointed in Partly Cloudy.

WWGray4 - Magnificent review, Sir/Ma’am. Your admiration and enthusiasm for the film is clearly felt. Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us!

– Mitch

When my mom told me she was invited to a pre-screening of Up at Tyson’s I screamed, Since then I have been counting down the hours until 10 am this morning. Let me just tell you, the theatre was amazing. It was the second most beautiful theatre I have ever been in, next to the El Capitan :wink: Anyway, Let me just tell you Partly Cloudy was stunning. IT had everything I look for in a Pixar short. It was cute, funny, and of course beautifully crafted [spoil]the amazing part for me is that they made the eel look cuter than the dog! :laughing: how is that even possible?[/spoil] now on to the film, It was spectacular, my favorite Pixar film by far! :smiley: And I have to admit I cried four times. The amazing part about the film was that it was so emotional, and yet so epic. I would even go so far to say that it’s the best animated film to grace the screen :smiley:

woody: You’re so lucky…what would you say was your favorite scene?

Most definitely the scene where Carl discovers the note in the back of Ellie’s adventure book that says “Thanks for the Adventure, now go have another one” that was one of the times I cried. It’s at that point that Carl realizes that he already fulfilled his promise to Ellie, and now he needs to keep his promise to Russel

A couple more questions, pretty much all big spoilers, so don’t read unless you’ve seen the film…

[spoil]Does Muntz fall to his death or float away and presumably fall to death later?[/spoil]

[spoil]Is the last scene Carl and Russell having ice cream or is there a bit at the end about the fate of Carl’s house?[/spoil]

[spoil]Is it ever said if Carl has to go to Shady Oaks or not by the end?[/spoil]

[spoil]Are there any scenes during or after the credits?[/spoil]