Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Movie Review: Up

It's hard for me to not be biased towards Pixar. For the past 14 years they've given s 10 of the best films of the modern era. If you asked me to rank their films I might just have a panic attack out of indecision. Pixar was the company I dreamed of working for when i was younger and was my first step into pursuing film as a profession. So with that, let the Pixar love rain down, preferably not at the sake of an angry cloud.

With Up Pete Doctor returned to the directors chair for the first time since 2001's Monster Inc. which I remember believing was Pixar's weakest film to date. Of course when I call a Pixar film weak what I actually mean is "it was slightly short of great". Up had a big wall to climb coming after Wall-E witch many critics believe to be the best animated feature the company has made. With such pressure was Up able to live up to such standards? Yes!

It might seem cliche by now to describe a Pixar film like this but the first 20 minutes of this film really are magical. Going into the film many didn't think it would take the same risk as Wall-E but Up does. The first 20 minutes of the film are almost silent after the introduction to a young Carl and Ellie. In most films montages are used to shorten the length of a film and feels like a crutch. Here it's used to communicate an entire life and conveys every major emotion that a couple could go through in a lifetime. The montage as well as the film can be incredibly funny but very dark at the same time. This might just be the funniest and darkest Pixar film yet. While the rest of the film works much like Wall-E the film suffered just a bit from such a stellar start.

The story is all about getting to "Paradise Falls" so that Carl can make Ellie and his dream come true of going on an adventure. Along the way Carl gets teamed up with a boy scout named Russell, a talking dog, and a giant bird. They all have great moments and their own story lines which help to support the main themes around Carl's story. The weak point of the film comes from the films villain Charles Muntz whose motivations never seem quite believable. I think the idea behind his obsession with capturing the bird was made to be a parallel to Carl's obsession with Paradise Falls. I don't think it was ever fleshed out enough though to feel tangible like Carl's.

Every year I look foward to seeing if the lates Pixar film can hold up to the ever growing library and every year they succeed. up was a magical film and a wonderful vision of what it's like to be a human being. I'd like to mention the short in front of the film "Partly Cloudy" it was hilarious and every bit as good as Up itself. So what are you waiting for, Pixar is back so get off your butt and go see the film and let us know what you thought.

Rating 5 out of 5

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