Saturday, May 30, 2009
This is Pixar's flick for 2009 and really that's all I have to say about it to make you wanna go see it. Oh, should I add that it's in ReelD 3D? Oh, and should I also add that it's by one of Pixar's oldest artists/directors, Pete Doctor (who not only did Monsters, Inc but even directed one of Pixar's first shorts back in the 80's)? Up tells the story of an old man, Mr. Fredricksen, who had a wife with whom he shared a happy life, full of adventure. Recently, though, she passed away and his life doesn't seem very full of either happiness or adventure. Well, before he gets shipped off to some retirement community, he decides to just go for it and head off to a remote part of Venezuela that he and his wife always swore they'd see some day. He decides to take the adventurous route and attaches hundreds of helium balloons to his house to float his way south. Of course, he had no idea that a young wilderness scout, Russel, was on his porch and now is along for the ride. Before Mr. Fredricksen can turn around and get Russel home a storm hits and he gets knocked out. Little Russel guides them to Venezuela, which is where Mr. Fredricksen finds them when he wakes up. Let the bonding and the adventurous trip home begin. Along the way they both learn that the trip and all the wilderness badges were not what they were really after, but instead they sought intimacy, happiness and friendship. Up is a very sweet, very simple story. It's inspiring and natural as usual. And of course the visuals are truly amazing. Pixar seems even better in 3D. That said, I didn't love it like I love most of Pixar's movies. In fact, it kind of seemed like alot of other movies that are out there. I'd say Bolt was nearly as good and I can't believe I'm saying that. I'm not sure if that means Pixar's raised the bar so high that other studios are also putting out great cohesive, heartwarming stories just to keep up, or if it means that this may be the first movie by Pixar that I'd classify as 'good' and not 'great.' I suppose, though, that you can't step up to the plate and hit a grand slam everytime. Sometimes you just have to be grateful for a measly home run. Well, this flick may not be a grand slam, but it is certainly a home run. The characters are memorable and the principles sound. It's charming, it's engaging and it's certainly worth a watch if you feel like feeling good.
P.s. A word of caution if you'll be seeing this with young one's, this is the first Pixar movie (I think) where you actually see people die. Not many, but two adults do die in the movie and the couple loses a kid. That's pretty heavy stuff if you're not expecting it. So now you know.