Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pixar's Up

Written and Directed by Pete Doctor and Bob Peterson. Released 2009. Rated PG.

This review has been a long time coming. It will difficult to express without revealing the entire movie, but I will try my best.

I like Pixar and I like fantasy-flying adventures. You can guess that I was immensely excited when I saw the trailers. Then I saw more trailers as the movie release date got closer. Then I heard that it would be a 3-D movie. My hopes plummeted. Nothing like a gimmick to underscore the value of story. But I went and saw it in the theater and even wore the bulky glasses.

I was entranced for the first ten minutes. I was surprised but not disappointed to be intensely absorbed into the childhood drama of exploration and friendship not at all set in the fantastic. I was touched as I watched the friendship grow into romance. I wallowed in bitter-sweet sorrow as I saw the couple remain together through crushed expectations and unfulfilled promises. I rejoiced in the animated ballet that carried the story. Then I saw a fat, little kid ruin everything for an hour and half.

This movie is divided against itself, not by plot holes, but by the nature. I’m going to say that the opening sequence is Movie A, and that the remaining time is Movie B. Movie A is artistic and touching at the deepest levels. Movie B is delivered by stereotypes and dog jokes. It simply can’t hold up against Movie A. Now, Movie B is still enjoyable. It’s funny, it has high-tension drama, and it has a solid buddy-picture mentality that develops nicely. However, everything that transpires in Movie B is shadowed by its relation to Movie A. The odd couple story in Movie B is almost in the face of Movie A’s relationship, the villain portrayed in Movie B ignores the significance that was associated with him in Movie A. Basically, everything special about the incredible Movie A is desecrated in Movie B. And I use the word ‘desecrate’ deliberately, as Movie A’s themes border the sacred in value.

The 3-D was enjoyable but for a few moments where it distracted. Rocks would fly out of the screen at you, but since they blocked my view of the flying house I was not appreciative. More than once I thought someone was walking in front of the screen to look for a seat.

If you don’t have a problem accepting the themes and morals this movie gives you, then it’ll be a favorite. However, if you’re like me and have definite opinions on the differing experiences, then you should probably just watch The Incredibles.


  1. First off, as a fan of this site, I am glad to see you back in action! Second, your review is spot on. Somehow people fail to mention the gorgeous montage that you call Movie A! I never knew a montage could be so affecting. Luckily, I was watching this at home so I could take a break before moving on to Movie B. Movie B was, sadly, forgettable, but before reading your review I couldn't figure out why. But I think you're right: Thanks for discussing this.

  2. Yeah, it's about time you get reviewing movies again...although I'm a hypocrite because I haven't written anything in awhile. Anywho, I think you're totally right about the Movie A/B thing. It bugged me when I watched it. Like you said, it was still enjoyable, but as a general rule, I hate talking animals, minus parrots. Movie B was cheesy and childish, but I was surprised by how many laughs I was actually able to have (that isn't to say there were a ton of them). But I have to defend 3D. I've always similarly described 3D as a gimmick. Then I saw Avatar. I didn't care much for Avatar's storyline, but visually, I thought it was beautifully done, and the way that 3D was used in that movie did more to make me feel like I was actually part of the movie and part of the story than anything has in a long time. I didn't see Up in 3D, and chances are it did come off as gimmicky because, hey, this is still Disney, or at least a Disney affiliate we're talking about here, but 3D used correctly can actually do a lot to enhance the movie-going experience. I'm just sayin. In the end, though, this movie was no Wall-E.