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Your Up Reviews

Talk about Pixar's Up here!

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Postby lizardgirl » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:19 pm

Nice review, apixarfan. Sounds like you've got Carl spot on. And yeah, I too liked the new 3D version of the Pixar logo.

And I'm looking forward to your review, ffdude1906! Sounds like it's going to be very in-depth and interesting.
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Postby Flik-E » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:40 am

I had just gotten Up on DVD yesterday and watched it for the first time since I had not gotten the chance to see it in theaters. Like all of Pixar's films I say it was very good. Back when I first saw the early teaser for it though that just showed an old man standing in a house being lifted up with balloons I wasn't sure what to think of it. It was like "Okay, what was on their minds when they came up with this one?", but now I know that it's really a much deeper story than that trailer led me to believe and when I heard all the wonderful reviews about it and how emotional it was it really made me want to see it for that reason.

Russell and Dug were both very funny and Carl is a very likable character, who I could tell still cared enough for Russell's safety on his journey even though he still thought he was in the way. I could relate a bit to Carl's attachment to his house and possessions as his only things to remember Ellie by (I would probably have the same attachment to any childhood stuff that I still keep around). Charles Muntz was an interesting villain since his own obsession to fulfill his lifelong dream had sort of driven him into madness, and I like the twist of having your childhood hero who had inspired your passion in the first place one day turn on you. [spoil]I would have to assume that he didn't actually die at the end cause he still had balloons tied to him and they could have lessened the impact of his fall.[/spoil]

What really spoke to me was when [spoil]Carl was looking back at Ellie's adventure book and turned past the "Things I'm going to do" page for the first time only to find the photos taken of all the things he had done with Ellie, and that already made the message of the story clear to me that the real adventure is the relationship you had with your loved ones and to let go of the past. I also liked when Russell made Carl promise to take Kevin back home by saying "Cross your heart?" as if Ellie was speaking to Carl through him.[/spoil]

The part where Carl hits the construction worker over the head with his cane and he was bleeding wasn't really as graphic as I heard it was. It's not really the first time Pixar had shown blood since Dory had a nosebleed in Finding Nemo and the blueberry scouts in A Bug's Life made a drawing of the circus bugs and grasshoppers killing each other, so I wasn't really surprised by it.

The visuals are all great. The scale of South America is amazing, the pack of dogs are very realistic, and I like how colorful the movie is with Kevin and the balloons. It seems like it's easier to take for granted now the kind of things Pixar is capable of doing now.

I'm still very new to Up but watching it once has convinced me what a good film it is.
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Postby thedriveintheatre » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:22 am

So I was going through the reviews I wrote for my school magazine last year to attach to my request for a job interview when I came across the one I wrote for Up! I can't believe I didn't think of posting this here, but well, with Oscar season in full swing, what better time, eh?

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In case you can't read the small font, here's the 'unedited' version. Be advised, I used some minor coarse language to 'up' my hip quotient for a university publication.

.....

"I don’t get it. How the hell do they do it? Once again, Pixar has taken a foolhardy gamble and won, pulling off another genre-transcending masterpiece for the ages.

If you haven’t seen the cryptic trailer yet, here’s the lowdown: A geriatric curmudgeon escapes to South America in his airbourne house, with an overweight stowaway aboard. Upon landing, a gormless Chocobo-lookalike bird and a cowardly talking dog join their pack, as they encounter countless perils while facing certain death at the hands of a disgraced former explorer.

It’s better than it sounds. After a summer of mediocre ‘blockbusters’, Pixar’s most sublime film is like a breath of fresh air. It also happens to be the most heartbreaking; characters bleed, hurt each other (both physically and emotionally), and experience overwhelming grief. The opening montage alone will make you weep.

But far from being ‘emo’, Up remains a riveting adventure movie, featuring dazzling animation, inventive action sequences, and endearing characters. It also delivers a meditation on the human experience, the possibility of life after death, the true meaning of heroism, and how sometimes the greatest adventure is actually beginning one.

Overall, Up is an exhilarating thrill-ride and the most fun you’ll have at the movies all year. You’ve got balls, Pixar. And that’s why I admire you for… SQUIRREL!
Rating: 5/5"

.....

Thankfully, the editor kept most of the original submission intact. The only changes were:

- replacing "... masterpiece for the ages" with "... masterpiece of animation in their latest film, Up."

- removing "thrill ride" from the penultimate sentence.

- removing the non-sequitur exclamation of "SQUIRREL!", probably to prevent reader confusion (and which I was annoyed about, since Up was already in release for two weeks and most people who watched it would 'get' the joke).

But yeah, I'm really thankful I managed to do my part in promoting what I think is one of the best films of the year. :)
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Postby buzzlightyear159 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:22 am

Up is ,in my opinion, the best Pixar film I have ever seen. What really got me was the opening montage of him growing old with his wife and it made me cry when [spoil]his wife died[/spoil]. Up is a great overall film that I will always remember as one of Pixar's greatest. In my opinion this isn't really a kids movie because of the story of his love for his wife and if I were 6 I'm not sure I would enjoy it that much. I love this movie and I hope everybody else does too.

4/4 Stars
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Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:59 am

Well, Up is emotionally, visually, and overall overwhelming. My mom and sister were crying in the theater. I loved it so much, I was proud to go see it as my B-day gift. I always have the highest expectations for Pixar, and they go above and beyond the call of duty every year. I LOVE UP!! :D
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Postby Leon K Fox » Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:02 am

This is the script for a review I did on YouTube, if ya wanna watch it in video form here's a link to it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3LHjgIQVr8

If ya wanna just read it though, well, I've quoted it below :)

Heya everyone, Leon K Fox here, and this is going to be a review of the 2009 Disney Pixar film Up. I did make a video on this film previously, but that was more of a response to Confused Matthew detailing why I felt he horribly misjudged the film, this video however is going to be a much more in depth review on what I consider to be one of Pixar’s greatest, if not their greatest film.

Now Up is a fairly recent film, not new by any means, but it’s not like the last movie I reviewed, The Little Mermaid which came out 21 years ago. But either way, I’m sure that if you haven’t seen this film you’ll have at least heard of it.
Now, Up...where do I start with this one?

Well, I can start off by saying I rather appreciate the fact that two of its main characters were old men, , which is an uncommon sight in this youth obsessed media of today, especially in (ironically enough ) Disney, so it was a breath of fresh air to say the least.

I can also safely say that Up is easily one of the most moving films that I have ever seen, both animated and non animated, it really is up there with the likes of The Fox and the Hound for me in terms of films that can move me to tears every single time I watch them. Pixar’s films do always have a strong amount of heart and emotional connection to be had with the characters...well...almost...always...yeah, moving swiftly onward. (I was refering to Cars here)

But anyways, Pixar are renowned for making this a core aspect in their films, and I’m sure you’ve heard many a reviewer make mention of this, so I’ll not elaborate on it too much here, as true as it all is it has all been said before, and by people far better than I if I’m perfectly honest.

Regardless though, this type of emotional substance is the norm for Pixar’s films, so what makes Up so special in my eyes? Well, the fact it tells a much more human story than most of their other films, now that’s not to say that the others didn’t have characters that we could relate to as people, they did, you can have an entirely fantastical world but still have human characters. But no, in Up the very premise is a scenario that we’re all going to have to go through one day, or will know someone who has, I won’t touch on this too much in this video, but I fall into the latter category.

It made me relate to Carl in a way that words can’t really describe, now some could turn around and say “but the film just reminding you of a sad time made it moving?” No, it wasn’t just that, it was now naturally and convincing the story was told. Carl and Ellie only have 10 minutes or so of actual screen time together, but this film made EXCELLENT use of that time.

There are two main segments, one with Carl and Ellie as children, meeting for the first time, which is the only time Ellie has any dialogue in the film, but this is not to the film’s discredit at all. In this segment we learn who Carl and Ellie are, mainly that they are both huge fans of world famous explorer Charles Muntz, and Ellie dreams to go Paradise Falls and park her house right on there, sounds like a little girl’s fantasy but she genuinely means it. She explains all of this to Carl in a very believable child like manner, then leaves and we get to the second segment.

This part is essentially a highlight reel of sorts, showing Carl and Ellie’s long and loving life together, and it’s not glorified or somehow made more exciting by a summer time movie (well it came out in the summer in the US anyway, but I digress) it just shows a normal man and wife, going through the mundane adventure that is married life, and the score that accompanies the scene is rather aptly titled “Married Life” but I’ll touch on the score a bit later. But as I was saying, we see them getting ready to go to work, Ellie tieing Carl’s tie over and over, them saving up to go to Paradise Falls but an unexpected expense coming up preventing it from happening, them trying to have a baby and failing...in other words, a very mundane, normal married life, even the infertility of Ellie was to an extent as that’s not as uncommon as one would like to think.

But that’s the thing, this sequence being so mundane is what makes it so relatable and very human as far as the story telling is concerned, and Ellie dies of old age just as Carl is finally able to afford their tickets to go to Paradise Falls, which is very much a depressing premise, but they don’t cut the bullshit, many people die never getting the chance to do what they dreamed of doing, as tragic as it may seem. But this all happens in the space of 10 minutes, and you feel like you’ve been watching Carl and Ellie progressing as a couple for YEARS, which makes her passing so much more emotional and relatable when it does happen.

In just a few scenes in this film, the ones detailed here and one that crops up later on in the film, tell a love story that is more believable, heartfelt and human than some other films do in their entire time span, The Little Mermaid being a GREAT example of this. It really is a testament to how strong the writing is here.

We then see Carl as an old man, alone, dealing with all the problems associated with old age, stiff bones, inability to climb stair cases, needing a cane to walk etc, and he’s not able to get over the loss of Ellie, to the point that he almost talks to the house as if it IS Ellie, and refuses to sell it and go to a retirement home for that very reason. He ultimately strikes a man for accidentally breaking the mail box that he and Ellie had put together and is forced to leave his home and go to the retirement home as a result, but in a final act of desperation ties thousands upon thousands of balloons to his house, tears it from its foundations and takes off with the intent of taking their house to paradise falls as Ellie had always dreamed of.

Okay yes, this is a somewhat silly concept, but there are some instances where one has to accept that they’re watching a film that kids can enjoy, even if it is a family picture, and even with that in mind it does so much for the film thematically, as it really is a beautiful metaphor for him keeping a hold of the memory of his wife and literally taking it to the falls with him on what is essentially a suicide mission, or would have been had he not been interrupted, A very depressing but believable premise.

However, as we all know Carl is not alone on his adventure, he’s joined by Russel, an 8 year old with a mouth that doesn’t seem to have a stop button. Let me just say this, I absolutely LOVED this character, I normally don’t like kids in real life, but for some reason Russel’s authenticity to what a child of his age might actually be like added to the humanity of this film. Russel is the over eager motor mouth sort of kid, who jumps at the opportunity to do something that entertains him, and it all feels so natural, unforced and detrimental to the character.

He wasn’t just comic relief either, he added an interesting spin to many scenes that would have one cut solutions or outcomes had it just been Carl throughout the journey, and he even has a backstory of his own that is actually kind of tragic, his parents are divorced, both are with other people and it would appear that his dad could give less than half a shit about his kid, which makes you feel for Russel just as much as Carl. Russel’s hyperactivity is never taken to comic relief over the top status, which I really appreciated.

I mean, every single conversation they have is believable to the core, Russel annoys the crap out of Carl as you would expect, Russel is oblivious to this however, he asks a lot of questions, as kids do, and he wants to keep every single animal he acts as a pet and even begs Carl to let him keep them, which I thought was really cute.

Along the way they bump into Dug and Kevin, two of the most loveable side characters in any Disney/Pixar film I’ve seen. These two WERE the comic relief, particularly Dug, and neither were ever over the top or annoying.

In fact despite being able to talk, Dug came off very much as a real a dog, his lines were all essentially “What would a dog think in this situation?” he still behaves like a dog in every sense of the word, like how he instantly takes to Carl as his master and you hear this in thoughts, it’s so hilarious and pretty original when you consider how most talking animals are done in these sorts of films. They essentially become humans in animal bodies which while not a bad thing in of itself, has been done so many times before and it was nice to see a fresh spin on this kind of character, so kudos to Pixar for that as well.

Another character they bump into is Charles Muntz, the adventurer that Carl and Ellie had adored as children, who ends up becoming the antagonist of this movie. If I have to be honest, while not a bad villain per say, he was definitely one of the weak points in an otherwise fantastic film for me. I just didn’t find it TOO believable that he would have spent well over 60 years hunting for the bird, yes he was stripped of his honour, dignity etc at the start of the film but...I dunno, it just seems a bit over the top to me.

The fact he’d resorted to murdering people he suspected were after the bird struck me as a bit odd as well. I suppose you could put it down to him being mentally ill, which I guess he was, but regardless he definitely wasn’t Pixar’s strongest villain. If they hadn’t shown the news reel at the start of the film his part in the story wouldn’t have made any sense.

I can’t complain too much though, as he does give Carl and Russel many an obstacle to overcome and keeps the movie moving forward nicely in between the key moments in the story, which is why I don’t want to complain about him too much as he could have been a LOT worse and he did more to benefit the story that take away from it, but he is one of the weak points in the film regardless.

Also, on another note, I have to say that the score in this film is absolutely FANTASTIC, it truly is. Married Life, Stuff We Did among other great tracks feature in the film, and all set the mood perfectly, one of the best scores in any Disney or Pixar film, bar none.

Some of the best scenes in this film were ones with no dialogue, or very slow dialogue. A perfect example of this would be the montage sequence from the start of the film that I mentioned earlier, but also the scene where Carl takes a second flick through Ellie’s adventure book once Carl has finally gotten to the house to the side of Paradise Falls and he realises that while he’s accomplished his goal of getting their house to the falls, Ellie is still gone and not coming back. But as he’s looking through the book he notices that pages he previously thought were empty behind the one that said “Stuff I’m going to do” that showed that Ellie thought her life was Carl was an adventure, and she even writ a little note inside of it, presumably hours before she died that says “Thanks for the adventure, go have a new one”.

There is not a line of cohesive dialogue, or hell dialogue full stop in this scene, but so much is said in it regardless, and to me it’s by far the most moving scene in the entire film, even more so than the Married Life scene from the start of the film. Pixar did an excellent job at conveying Carl’s emotions and gradual change in emotion throughout the scene, through major aspects such as the score gradually becoming less depressing as the scene progresses, to little touches like the colour brightening up as it progresses, which is something I must confess to not noticing on my first few times watching the film. This was one of the scenes that really sold the film for me, not to say the rest of it didn’t though, of course.

However, I do have one other problem with the film, I think it’s going to come off as more of a nitpick than anything. It’s in the finale of the film, now I loved this finale, especially consider the beautiful moment that preceeded it, and it was definitely one of the most exciting in any of Pixar’s films, and it’s a great combination of both hilarity and real peril.

However, there is one thing that bugs me about it, how has Carl gone from needing a stair lift and using a cane to running around, climbing on things, fighting with a cane and generally being an action hero? It strikes me as being a bit odd and it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the finale TOO much, but still, you can see where I’m coming from here. Him being able to hold onto the house wasn’t a problem as the balloons took a large amount of the weight off of the house, but besides that it does strike me as being a bit odd, but I won’t complain about it too much.

All in all, Disney Pixar’s Up is not a perfect film, but it’s as close as they’ve ever gotten to it, no two ways around it. Easily Pixar's best film and one of the best I've ever seen.
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Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:05 am

Wow, you certainly are a devoted Up fan. :D I really enjoyed your review.
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Postby Leon K Fox » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:01 pm

Thanks ^^ It means a lot.
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Postby lizardgirl » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:48 pm

That's quite some review, Leon K Fox! You've made some great points (for example, about how little time Carl and Ellie actually spend on screen together) and I agree with your review on the whole.
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Postby Leon K Fox » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:05 pm

Thanks ^^ I'm rather pleased with the response the review has gotten thus far to say the least :)
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Re: Your Up Reviews

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