Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
June 2, 2009
Things are looking UpKim Hollis: For those of you who have seen Up, what are your thoughts?
Josh Spiegel: I really enjoyed Up. The storyline is fascinating and unique, and I found myself completely able to buy into all of the more whimsical elements of the story. What really impressed me about that whimsy is that the first 15 minutes of Up is probably the most realistic material the folks at Pixar have ever made. Of course, the rest of the movie is not as realistic, but I totally bought into the fact that, when cornered with living in a retirement community, an old man would just lift his house up with balloons and head for South America. Something else worth mentioning: this may be the funniest movie Pixar's done, especially with regards to the many animals that the two lead human characters encounter. Overall, Up was filled with lots of laughs, some great action, and a lot more emotion than I would've expected, even from Pixar. One note: I'm very curious to see the film in 2-D, partly because the 3-D, while enhancing the background animation, wasn't as in-your-face as previous 3-D films.
David Mumpower: WALL-E won Best Picture at The Calvins earlier this year and was much beloved by our staff. I too thought it was very good, but it didn't dazzle me the way that The Incredibles and Ratatouille had. I thought that the part involving the humans, while understandable, was a bit bland. Up, on the other hand, is a film upon which that I have spent the body of two days trying to find a hole, something that would make it slightly lacking. I have yet to come up with anything. I'm absolutely blown away by how deft a feat of storytelling it is. Some of the sequences shown in the trailer appear to be singular comedy bits on first impression. After watching the movie, however, the viewer comes to realize that a lot of the story's complexity is encapsulated right there in the commercials, disguised as silly little laughs. In particular, Dug seems like something of a one-note joke on the surface, but the entire concept of that collar is embedded throughout the second half of the film, providing innumerable belly laughs. Pixar has done something masterful here in combining their best character study to date with a Looney Tunes sensibility. It shouldn't work, but it does. Big time. Why can no one else in the world be as consistently entertaining as this group? It shouldn't be THAT hard to expect excellence on these seven-figure budgeted tentpole releases yet only Pixar manages it.
Sean Collier: I was struck by how sad Up was - Wall-E was emotional, but Up had me welling up once or twice. And while it is a very, very good film that I would recommend to anyone, I did find the introduction of a villain unmotivated and unnecessary. There was a clear path to the finish line that just involved various pitfalls as our leads try to get the house to its intended location, somewhat hampered by a big bird and a talking dog - the action ending struck me as a concession to the normal demands of a pedestrian kids movie, especially considering how unmotivated the bad guy's sudden turn was. I'm quibbling, though - Up is very, very good, and probably more emotionally engaging and more funny than most, if not all, other Pixar films - and that's saying something.