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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Review: UP

Hands down, this is one of the most phenomenal animated movies I have ever seen. From animation quality, to characters, to PIXAR'S Godly render machine - everything was perfect as far as I am concerned.

The story is about an old man named Carl, who decides that instead of moving to a retirement home, he would much rather take the trip to South America that he and his wife always dreamed of. He does this by raising his house off the ground with 50,000 balloons and flying there. Along the journey he meets a boy scout named Russell (who is one badge short of a promotion), his oldest hero, and many wonderful equally quirky animals.

The story has its share of sadness and heart as well, and really makes you feel how it must be to be an old man with nothing left. While some of the scenes are hillarious and each joke hits its mark, there are many scenes that will leave you with at least one tear in your eye.

I don't really want to go further into story schematics because I feel like it may spoil a good thing, but I cannot urge one to see this movie enough. It runs on pure story, and unlike those recent other animated movies *cough* Dreamworks lately *cough it is enjoyed for the subject matter and way it is told instead of just gag after gag making up for a lacking plot.

Besides the amazing visuals, two things stood out for me in the film. The first was the character of Dug, the dog with a collar that translates his thoughts into English. Voiced by Co-writer/director Bob Peterson, Dug is a pure silly golden retriever with a heart of gold. Everything he says is marvelous, and the writing truly seems to capture a dog's actual thinking and reaction process. The animation only solidifies how strong the character is. The second thing is the fantastic waltz music score by none other than Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Lost, Ratatouille). While the score is slightly reminiscent of his previous work, it carries most of the film (especially the non-dialogue parts), and does so with amazing strength, pinpointing the mood and ambiance of the current scene. I look forward to purchasing this soundtrack.

Up can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what your age is, without a doubt. Everyone has something to gain or to learn by watching this film, and it certainly keeps the pace running smoothly the whole time (something that WALL•E severely lacked). You won't get bored watching Up, and when the end credits roll, you will be standing up in your seat begging for more. So with out further ado, I award Up a:

***PS. Dear parents who bring your 5 year old and younger children to showings at midnight in a movie theater:
TAKE YOUR KID HOME. LET THEM SLEEP and then SEE THE MOVIE IN THE MORNING. Movies stay out for weeks. If it was some one night only business I would understand, but it's not a one night only issue, is it? And trust me, you will all enjoy the movie more if your kid is not crying the whole time because he has never stayed up past 7 PM before. Come on people - a time and a place for everything.
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