Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Up (Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, 2009) Review
As a kid, Carl Fredricks was a big fan of exploring and wanted to be just like his idol Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer). On his way home from the theatre, he runs into another explorer enthusiasts, Ellie (Elie Docter). Next up we have one of the saddest scenes in film history as it shows Carl and Ellie living their lives together including getting married, working and planning on having a baby. It ends with Ellie passing away, leaving Carl on his own. Now an old man (Ed Asner), he accidently assaults a construction worker and has to move to a retirement home after going to court. Having none of that, Carl attaches a large amount of balloons to his house and proposes to fly the house to South America and live there, just like Ellie always wanted. The only problem is...a young boy scout called Russell (Jordan Nagai) stowaways on the house. Now Carl is stuck with him and now must survive in the vicious outdoors...in South America!
I'll be honest, this film WAS good. The first time I watched it, I thought it was great...but after re-watching it many times, I'm starting to not enjoy it as much. The beginning is fine and is actually the best part of the film but once the dogs are introduced, it sort of loses something. It's not as good. Don't get me wrong, I like characters like Dug (Bob Peterson) and Kevin but it is terrible in comparison to the set up a the beginning. Sure, it deserved all those Oscar nominations but after watching it too many times...it just isn't as good the next time around.
The cast is great! Ed Asner is fantastic as Carl and is easily one of Pixar's best protagonists. He makes Carl the ultimate grumpy old man and it really makes for some great moments. Some people may find Russell annoying but you learn to love him. He's the typical 'I wanna be a hero' kid and goes though some good development. Charles Muntz is a fantastic Pixar villain and is one of Christopher Plummer's best recent roles (he was pretty good in 9 as well). It may have Pixar's smallest cast but that doesn't mean it's the worst cast...in fact, it may be one of the best!
Up is a great film when you watch it for the first time. Afterwards...not so much. The characters are great, the settings look wonderful (have I used that adjective yet?) and the story is well written. It's one of the only films where I think the start is better than the rest of it but even then...the start is VERY hard to top considering how amazing it was. If you haven't seen this film, you should...just don't watch it over and over again...
A great film with a great cast and actors. It's better the first time through but it's still good.