UP - Short, Short Review (no spoilers)

Time for me is short, of course, but I thought I should churn out a very quick and short impression of Pixar's latest movie. I'll compile one of those extra-long essays as soon as I am able. Anyway, we're gonna take no more chances. We're gonna do the short, short version:

UP - Short, Short Review

The first 10 minutes were wonderful, brilliant. Loved it. The rest of the movie, not so much. I didn't like all the chase scenes. I did like the dog. I didn't care about that bird. I liked that kid, the boy scout. I didn't need to know his family history. I thought Kirk Douglas and Spencer Tracy looked nice. Did somebody pump them full of steroids? By the end, I could care less. I didn't want Star Wars. I wanted the husband and wife. Very uneven movie. Too cliched and formulaic. Not one of Pixar's best. The end of an era? Sniffle. Next up for Pixar: sequels and fairy tales. Sob.


Tristan Sregor said...

All of their films have a formula, so there ya go.

Second, the films was hysterical. And that's what Pete Doctor does best.

I loved it.

Can't wait for a full blown review from you though.

Malik Ming said...


I'll admit, though, that having Up twice, I came to the conclusion that it is really two films, both of which I enjoyed immensely: the first half, the better half, is almost Miyazaki-esque in tone and is extremely touching; the second half, which I think begins once the dogs arrive, is a big ol' homage to the action/adventure serials. Fun, but formulaic.

Hmm...is it OK if I pull the "youth" card as to why I loved this film, and why I still get a kick out of silly action sequences? And yes, those old men really did gain a lot of strength by the end.

Chandra said...

I agree that the first bit of UP was the best and that the rest didn't really measure up, but I'm afraid I've been feeling that way about most Disney/Pixar films for quite some time. For example, loved the first half of Wall-e and felt beat about the head by the 'message' of the second half.

I think the thing that saved UP for me is that I really did love the two main characters. I loved that Russell was a little boy who actually acted like a little boy for once! And I just felt so deeply for Carl. And I liked the message that sometimes we overlook the fact that love is sometimes the best adventure that life has to offer. But, I thought the talking dogs and the villain were over the top.

I did re-watch Ratatouille the other night and enjoyed it more than I remembered enjoying it the first time around.

Geoff said...

My girlfriend commented after the movie that if you took the first 10 - 15 minutes of the movie and spliced it together with a scene where Carl cleans the house and looks through the adventure book. (only to see it filled with pictures of their life together, with the note saying "thanks for the adventure, now go have another") You would have one of the best short films ever made. I'm inclined to agree.

That said, I respectfully (and fiercely) disagree with you Daniel.


Geoff said...

Interesting to note, "Up" is actually on pace to be the 2nd highest grossing Pixar film. (Domestically) It is only 35M away from 2nd place (The Incredibles) and will probably reach that within 7 - 10 days.

Malik Ming said...

I feel the same way about the main characters and the message, Chondra. I loved them enough to overlook that what Russell did that incited the Third Act was highly implausible, and that Carl gained youth-like strength for the climax. I didn't care as long as they kicked butt!

On Keith Lango's blog, one of the comments on his negative review said that there will always be different films for different emotional needs. I agree: I honestly needed Up because I was at a point in my life where nothing I'd done seemed to matter. This film taught me that it did. In fact, very recently a phone conversation I had with a former classmate ended with him calling me a "good friend" just for listening to him. Something as simple as that meant a lot to him, and now it means a lot to me.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

I completely agree with Geoff. I'd do without the cloying phrase in the book, though. This was a case of discovering one movie while making another. The marriage story should have been the entire movie.

As always, everyone has their own tastes and moods. Sometimes you just have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate a good movie. It's like the weather.

serhei said...

The character design for Muntz in the newsreel reminds me of Curtis from Porco Rosso, and if it weren't for the names it would be halfway plausible that they're the same person. (That would probably make Muntz even more implausibly old than he already is.) Incidentally, Muntz really gets the short end of the "Indiana Jones Adventure Serial" part of the proceedings at the end. I thought, for a second, as Carl looks down into the clouds... but no, it's a moment of silence for the house.

echoBlaster said...

I just saw "Up" tonight (the movie opened in Norway today) and I must say I was a bit disappointed. As you said, the first part, with Carl and his wife, was fantastic and very moving. Also the scene when Carl looks through the photo album near the end was great. I thought the rest of the movie was kind of stupid and cliche, but often very funny though.

But the best parts were indeed the ones involving the husband and wife. It reminded me a lot of the short animated film "The House of Small Cubes" which won the Oscar in 2008. That film was just fantastic, much better than "Up", in my opinion, because it had such a strong focus and was so perfectly lengthed.

Anyway, "Up" was a good film, but I've definitely seen much better work from Pixar before.

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