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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:20 am
by Mark-E
It's sort of hard not to love Pixar anymore. I think I trust them about as much as I do my own family at this point. After watching UP it's quite easy to see why as well.

They make all of these great stories seem effortless, and i think the main difference between Pixar and every other animation studio lies within the execution. Anyone could come up with these ideas, but not everyone could pull them off. In another universe UP would be a confusing mish-mash of lots of different styles of movies. But for some reason it all works perfectly and just seems to make sense.

This review will seem very muddled and disjointed. But it's 2am and my head is killing me with its aching, but i still feel a need to give this movie a positive review.

I think it's a shame that this wasn't released in the summer for England because it had all the things that were missing from my summer, personally. It had a real sense of adventure and the sort of escapism you come to expect each year which was sadly amiss this summer. But more importantly it has a genuine hero in Carl which is another thing that any other movie I saw this year seemed to be missing. Someone who I could cheer for with out conflicting emotions of beliefs based on the character.

The film even made me cry, quite easily.

With that i think i'm just going to leave the review. I seriously need some sleep

But I did love the film.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:24 am
by ffdude1906
Kind of a shame you were in such a tired state typing that, but oh well. I agree. They work their absolute minds to death on creating these stories, but they're so consistently brilliant, it's like clockwork to them, it fascinates me to no end.

And yeah, Carl is one of the most consistently lovable characters in the movie, but it's so incredibly subtle. He's so irate and grumpy, but at the same time just oozes charisma, and you never cease to find a reason to dislike him in the slightest. How you can create a character with such flawed and negative qualities, and still have him be the best and greatest character (in my eyes at least) in the entire movie is absolute, unequivocal, and raw genius. I think for the most part, it stems from the beginning of the film, and from there, you just have an understanding of why he is how he is, and from that, comes a love and sympathy for him. It's remarkable how PERFECTLY it works, and it makes the film so strong.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:44 pm
by totoro
ffdude1906 wrote:And yeah, Carl is one of the most consistently lovable characters in the movie, but it's so incredibly subtle. He's so irate and grumpy, but at the same time just oozes charisma, and you never cease to find a reason to dislike him in the slightest.

I wish everyone would agree on this, but I have read newspaper reviews complaining that Carl came across as too grumpy to be likable.
Something like that always puzzles me, especially if you can't even blame it on bad voice acting (Carl's voice sounds quite good in the German dub).

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:40 pm
by lizardgirl
I enjoyed reading your review, Mark-E, even if you think it's disjointed. Your love for the film really comes across.

My review might be quite long...I have a lot to say about this film. :lol:

Having seen Partly Cloudy, I will say that at that moment, I was perhaps a little disappointed. (I'll go into that in the Partly Cloudy thread, though my concerns seem to be similar to others' who have made similar points). But the opening montage of Up stopped me from having any more worries. I loved meeting [spoil]Ellie, who came across as such a boistrous, forceful yet loveable character. Even though she didn't have much time in the film, her personality was so vivid that it's easy to see why Carl was so affected by her death.[/spoil]

Obviously the way the film looked was spectacular throughout, though I'm not sure if the 3D added much. I'm seeing it again next time, so I'll compare the two. But as per usual with Pixar, it wasn't the look of the film but the story and characters within it that really shined.

A lot of the storyline took me by surprise, especially as showing certain bits to very little kids might raise a few questions. One bit that, for some reason, really shocked me was when [spoil]Carl hit the guy's head, the one that was trying to fix his broken mailbox. I wasn't shocked by what Carl had done- he was under such stress that it's understandable- but more shocked by the fact that Pixar decided to show it, and to show how those in the world who are innocent can still be easily prosecuted and put into a situation where you can't help but lash out.[/spoil]

As for the characters, I fell in love with most of them, mainly Carl and Kevin. Carl is such an adorable, sweet man and I love how he kept [spoil]talking to Ellie throughout the movie. He learns so much about moving on from the past and having your own adventures, and I love that despite his age, he does learn so much.[/spoil] And Kevin's just awesome. I had a feeling I'd like her from the trailers, but I had no idea just how cool she is! I love how she is both intelligent but clearly bird-brained, and how her key motivation is to [spoil]get back to her kids (which also ties in nicely with the whole Carl/Russell relationship.)[/spoil]

Muntz was also a surprise character for me. I had no idea where he fitted into the story, but right from that opening montage where we see [spoil]how he's rejected by his peers and has lost the respect of everyone he knows, I could tell that he was going to come back later on in the film and mess things up. I keep questioning why he spent so long trying to find Kevin, and why he didn't stop- didn't he have any family? Did the respect of his peers really mean that much to him? [/spoil] He could've been explored more, though I do understand why he wasn't. After all, the focus of the movie is Carl, and what Muntz represents is basically a [spoil]fallen role model that he once looked up to.[/spoil]

Oh, and Dug is awesome too. He obviously represents a few key things, like [spoil]not being afraid to be different and doing what you think is right[/spoil], but Dug really comes into his own with that amazing humour.

The story flowed well, and I kind of like how it becomes more and more psychadelic as the film goes on. The ending was satisfying, and I like how there wasn't a feeling of, "oh, that's the end of the film so that's it." The idea that [spoil]Carl and Russell go on another adventure of sorts means that though the film still evokes that sense of closure, it's easy to imagine the two of them carrying on and doing so much more after we see the ending credits.[/spoil]

I wish I could end the review there. :lol: But, unfortunately, I don't think it's all good. Don't get me wrong- this is a great Pixar movie, and in comparison to most other movies around it's almost a work of genious- but I had a few gripes.

It's probably a personal thing, but I just didn't like the character of Russell. I warmed up to him a little more when he reveals that [spoil]he doesn't really have a father figure and something's happened to his mother (though it's never really clear what the situation is, just that she isn't there). And he does grow as a character throughout the movie, starting off as a kid with the sole aim of getting his assisting the elderly badge, but then we find out why it matters so much to him and he reveals his own loving side when it comes to his attachments to Kevin and Dug. But...I don't really know what it is, but despite all of this he still seemed a little flat. And a bit annoying. :lol:[/spoil] It's difficult for me to quantify, but perhaps it's because in comparison, Carl is such a deep, deep character, that even though Russell does have some depth, it's never going to be anything near the depth achieved with Carl.

Also, the story was good- very good- but part of me does feel that it comes across as just an extension of an idea. So the main, original idea was [spoil]guy lives life but doesn't embark on the adventure of his dreams, ends up doing so at an old age and ties lots of balloons to his house and goes somewhere very far away. Which in theory sounds like a great idea, but much like with Partly Cloudy in a way ("okay, so let's think of where babies come from...storks...clouds! And now let's create a story around this") the story that comes out of the idea perhaps isn't as concise or as satisfying as previous Pixar movies. Like, with every Pixar movie there's a key idea (toys come alive, monsters are real, fish loses his son and tries to get back to him, etc.) but the story that evolves around each key idea has to be well developed enough to be convincing. Carl wanted to go on an adventure because he hadn't done so before and had promised Ellie he would, fine. But the whole Muntz trying to track down Kevin thing just seemed like an unfortunate sideline created to introduce strange and curious creatures, and perhaps also to offer an alternative viewpoint (Carl=letting go of past=good, Muntz=not letting go of past=death). And I'm pleased that they did what they did. It's just it perhaps doesn't flow as well as I thought it would.[/spoil]

All in all, there's no doubt in my mind that this is an amazing Pixar film, one of their best. I left the cinema feeling great, knowing that I'd just seen something quite spectacular. I think it has its flaws, more in execution than in anything else, but the heart of the film is perfect. It sends out a great message without being preachy (something Pixar are getting to be experts at!) and is really quite an emotional ride, moreso than I expected.

Plus, for me to be going to see it again in the cinema, it has to be good because I never do that. :lol:

I'll shut up now!

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:22 am
by Mark-E
I think your review was completely fair Lizardgirl it certainly comes across that you loved the film and its only natural to have a few problems here and there!

Now that i'm in a much more lucid state, I think i can praise the movie a little more :lol:

I've had some time to think about it at great length and hopefully i'll have another chance to see it again.

But i particularly liked the theme of dedication that was apparent with all the characters through the movie, and the lengths they would go to in order to remain dedicated to their individual cause. It felt like a very human thing to do in my opinion which means that sometimes our judgment is clouded due to our own emotions.

Carl was clearly dedicated to upholding his wife's dream, Russell was dedicated to assisting Carl at any cost along with making sure Kevin stays safe, Kevin was dedicated to getting back to her children, Charles Muntz was clearly quite dedicated on getting his reputation back at any cost, and capturing the bird. Then there was Dug who was clearly endlessly dedicated to pleasing his master, whoever that may be at the certain time.

But there are lots of positives about UP to go through, particularly the colour pallet used throughout the whole movie. There was a particular scene involving Carl, the house, and a red sky in the background that made a most stunning visual image of their silhouettes. It made me take off my 3D glasses just so that I could get a look to see the image in all of its glory.

There were a few surprises in the movies tone which surprised me a fair amount as well [spoil]The blood, the obvious depressing death of a baby as well as Ellie herself[/spoil]

But the movie altogether has a really downbeat attitude about itself despite being completely uplifting. For me, it has the same degree of Melancholy that i think is what i like about so many of the other Pixar movies. All of their films seem to give you something to ponder about, and that something is never a positive. Whether it be the fear of being neglected, the acceptance of the mundane within everyday life, or even the perils of destroying our own planet. Pixar always seem to include something downbeat that never makes their movies overly sappy or optimistic to a point where everything just seems too pleasant.

It's movies like UP that reminds me why I dislike Dreamworks animated efforts so much. You just get the feeling that if they would have made UP the movie would have been quite possibly a real disaster when the end product was given to us to watch.

I sometimes wonder if Pixar know quite how strange it is to all of us that they seem to have the winning ingredients every time to make these instant classics, which is a term i don't use very often...but i think they apply. UP just like so many other Pixar films is timeless and filled with a great story, real emotion, and they make it all seem so effortless.

But it also makes me worry about the future, I can't help but feel as though there will soon be a hurdle that they won't be able to jump. I fear that the increasing amount of sequels that seem to be getting released could end up with a bad result in the long run.

It's the originality of things like UP that makes us come back to Pixar and hail them so highly as possibly the most trustworthy movie studio in the world. I think it's completely understandable to fear that the incoming flow of Sequels might soon end their impressive run of features over the years.

But i'm straying off topic a little and I suppose i'll end this little ramble with another small reminder that I really like this movie and will be happy to watch it again and again for years to come.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:06 am
Me likey! I'm going to pretty much echo LG's review. So yeah 4.7/5

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:31 am
by karly05
Great, thoughtful reviews, Mark-E and lizardgirl! I enjoyed reading your comments.
I agree with ffdude, that the opening scenes do such a great job of establishing Carl (and Ellie) as characters that we will follow Carl through anything. Also (and I think this is a mix of the writing, animation and Ed Asner's vocal work), we understand that when Carl is grumpy/angry, it's because he's hurting, and we get the emotion behind his behavior.

Tossing in a thought about Muntz:
[spoil]In the DK "Up: the Insider's Guide" book, they make the comment that Muntz is more interested in his own "fame and prestige" than anything else, so I could see him becoming that obsessed with his reputation, and proving that he was right about his "monster." I like Muntz, but I think that even in his younger years, he was a self-absorbed so-and-so. :wink: [/spoil]

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:01 pm
by lizardgirl
Nice full review, Mark-E! You're right, it's definitely a film that can be watched over and over again.

Thanks, karly05! And that's interesting about Muntz...Hmm, seems like he has always been like that. Though I can't help but wonder why, in the same way that I can't help but wonder why [spoil]no-one actually seems to care that he's been gone so long, like his family and friends...But then again, just because we don't see that in the film doesn't it mean it didn't happen, I guess. It just seems odd that someone can disappear for so long without it having an effect on anyone else.[/spoil]

But now I'm straying off topic. :lol:

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:44 am
by karly05
lizardgirl wrote:Though I can't help but wonder why, in the same way that I can't help but wonder why [spoil]no-one actually seems to care that he's been gone so long, like his family and friends...But then again, just because we don't see that in the film doesn't it mean it didn't happen, I guess. It just seems odd that someone can disappear for so long without it having an effect on anyone else.[/spoil]

I've thought about that: [spoil]Whether anyone ever did try to find Muntz. The way they set up Paradise Falls in the newsreel, it is a remote, dangerous, inaccessible place, so there probably weren't many people capable of looking for him (or maybe willing to take the risk). And if someone did find him, and tried to talk him into giving up on the bird and coming back to civilization, it's a pretty sure bet that unfortunate person ended up dead. :shock: This is wandering off into Fanficland, but I'm sure there were people who cared about what happened to him; we just don't know about it because it's not part of the story.[/spoil]

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:53 pm
by lizardgirl
Very true, karly05, I have to agree with you there. Still, it's interesting to speculate.

I saw Up again today (was going to see it on Wednesday but got one of those 24-hour colds) and it was definitely a better viewing than the first time round. Instead of just tearing up when [spoil]Ellie passes away[/spoil], I cried properly and so did my mum, which I thought was sweet seeing as she's never really reacted to a Pixar film like that before (especially at the cinema, as she's deaf so most of the time doesn't get a chance to keep up with all of the details of the story. The [spoil]wordless montage at the beginning[/spoil] was therefore as hard-hitting for her as it was for everyone else). But it all just seemed somehow...better this time. I think with a second time viewing you get a chance to sit back, relax and just let the film wash over you without worrying about whether you'll like it or not, and I definitely found that with Up.

I think I'll leave it at that for cinema viewings (not sure I could afford anymore, haha) but I'm pleased I went to see it again.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:57 pm
by disneyfreak
I thought Up was superb the chemistry between the old man and the boy scout was both touching and funny. I really liked the way the house just took off with all those balloons.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:14 pm
by apixarfan
I finally saw UP in 3D today and, to say the least, it was a great experience

I did have a longer review planned, but I accidently lost it all, so I'll just briefly summarise some sections and get on to the main portion

My thoughts about Partly Cloudy:
A nice heartwarming short that got me ready for what was to come

The main feature

The 3D aspect:
Disney•Pixar and 3D goes so well together, making this a 3D experience to remember, especialy some scenes. The one that stuck out for me was when Dug turned and said "SQUIRREL" looking for the squirrel. I swore his head was in the auditorium, at least, until he turned back to Carl.

Added info: Apparently, some people said that with 3D, some of the vibrance is lost. Oddly enough, for me, it was quite vibrant and colorful, even in 3D. Perhaps some cinemas had the brightness turned down slightly, affecting the vibrand color. Either that, or it's just me. I mean no offence if any is taken.

The film itself:
I don't know where to start on this. This film is, well, amazing!!! I was very engaged in the film and found most of the scenes emotional, even though I managed to supress my crying. It was a challenge

My thoughts about Carl:
[spoiler]Carl seems to've gone through a lot in life. Even though he lost Ellie and, at first, their dream to go to South America, he seemed set to continue, to fufill the dream. He's very resourceful, in the right conditons and a person that's just set-on to fufill the dream. At least, until he realised that Russel and Kevin were more important than a house on Paradise Falls. Even though the dream is fufilled in the end without Carl knowing, he seemed happy about saving who and what's important. All in all, Carl is a good character, before and after he realised that actual lives are more important then dreams[/spoiler]

My thoughts about Russel:
Not much to say about him. He's one half of a comic-relife charater mixed with a purpose to the plot. I found that he added more to the plot when he [spoil]went to risk his life to rescue Kevin[/spoil]

My thoughts about Dug:
[spoiler]He's a very funny character. He's just so random. Nontheless, I did feel sorry for him when he got the Cone of Shame, but that didn't stop this bundle of enthusiasm (Dug). He's a good character that can be absent-minded at times, but is well meaning[/spoiler]

I didn't really put a My thoughts section on Charles since he's a [spoil]misguided person going on bad guy. He didn't seem so bad, until he revealed his intentions. Who knew trying to prove some scientists wrong would drive him to go to any means necessary to get Kevin[/spoil].

Final Thoughs:
A really(X10) great film. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it entertaining. A great film in 3D, so great, I felt like I was there.

Extra section:
I like the new Pixar logo made for 3D. It's quite unique to see the logo from a different angle, especailly since it's the same animation with Luxo Jr jumping on the I.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:37 pm
by ffdude1906
Always good to read a great review, although I'm a bit surprised at how brief your description of Russell is. No biggie, just kinda interesting, but I love how you talked about Carl the most (haha, I love Carl, he's so amazing).

I still have to put my review together, considering mine is gonna be practically scene-by-scene, almost a commentary if you will, but I think I'm gonna wait til it's out in Japan, so as not to disturb the boards too much (although I think pretty much everyone's seen it. Getting it on Blu-Ray will probably help anyway, just because it'll put me in the in the mood watching it again)

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:54 pm
by apixarfan
ffdude1906: Thanks for your opinion about my review. The reason why I said less about Russel was because I didn't really think about much to say about him. I mean, sure he's a good character, but I found the other characters better.

Can't wait to see your review. I also can't wait to get UP, but on DVD. I am making the move to blu-ray, but not right now. I'm thinking sometime later, but not right now, even when UP is on DVD in the UK.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:01 pm
by ffdude1906
Thanks! I can't wait to write it! I find myself really pouring out a lot of crazy stuff when I write about Up, dunno how to describe it. It brings the best of that out of me. I'm really hoping my review will be good, although it'll kinda be a personal statement about the whole thing, hehe.