Up (Pixar's film)

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Post by James » June 2nd, 2009, 10:50 pm

Animated Views review is... "up"!

http://animated-views.com/2009/up-film/

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Post by ELIOLI » June 3rd, 2009, 11:42 am

The movie lifted you up withwonderful character designs and an engaging story. I didn't think it needed the 3-d really. It did create a sense of depth i'll tell you that, and I know it shouldn't be used as a gimmick at all costs, but it was a colorfully executed peice of work, with or without the glasses! The whole movie was beautifully orchestrated in Pixar tradition.

I enjoyed this film very much. Needless to say I'm not a Pixar fan, but that doesn't mean I don't love them. Well, I'm not a fan for any studio for that matter because, I seem to like all of them! I guess I'm more of an in betweener, and I'm not one of those kind to bash other companies because of its use of pop culture jokes or sarcasticly comment on a company's film. but hey, that's just me.

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Post by Jake » June 3rd, 2009, 5:30 pm

I saw "Up" last weekend. I like Pixar, but I do not agree with the majority of critics that they can do no wrong. It's because of that mentality that makes me watch their films with a somewhat critical eye, fair or unfair. I do love the "Toy Story" films, as well as "Monsters, Inc" and "Ratatouille". However, I don't think even the best Pixar projects compare with classic Disney, like "Sleeping Beauty", "The Lion King", and "Beauty and the Beast". I did grow up on those films and admit to liking a more traditional, whimsical tale compared to Pixar's more modern offerings though.

Anyway, I loved the beginning of "Up" but would compare it to "WALL-E" that the first half doesn't make up for the second. The adventure was forgettable, the dogs aside from Doug were poorly animated and clashed with the film's style, and the villian's scheme felt half-handed and rushed. The emotional scenes really did strike a chord, and Carl's story with his wife was extremely sweet. From the opening montage, I really wanted to love this movie but after they landed in South America, I slowly lost interest and walked away somewhat disappointed. It's still a good movie and I don't mean to be negative. It just frustrates me that no one ever really examines their faults.

I really hope "The Princess and the Frog" is able to compete at this year's Oscars. It'd be a nice boost for 2D animation. "Coraline" is worthy too, I enjoyed it more than "Up".

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Post by Rodney » June 3rd, 2009, 6:01 pm

Jake, I agree with your assessment that many critics blindly approve all things Pixar and declare their films perfect in every way. Reading some of the reviews gives me dejavu at this point since it's basically the same review with every new movie. I think that many of their films (Bug's Life, Cars) had their flaws, but I will say that the great majority is still better than the average fare we get these days. None of them are at the top of my animated films of all time list, but some (Finding Nemo, Toy Story 2 and perhaps Monsters, Inc.) definitely make it into my top 10. Of course, everyone has specific things they like the most in films. I love films in which I can get attached to and care about the characters. I think that in this way, Up delivers.

I should point out that our Animated-Views review does not give Up a perfect score (although, a great one).

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Post by Vernadyn » June 3rd, 2009, 6:42 pm

No film, including classic Disney, is flawless.

I've only read a few of the positive reviews for Up, and I don't remember them much (though I liked Jerry Beck's). I found it much more interesting to read the reviews of those who didn't share my opinion of the film, including Michael Barrier, Michael Sporn, and Keith Lango. It provides perspective, and made me think, "Now, what's the real reason that I like this film?" As long as the criticism is thoughtful, it gets one to see that there are other viewpoints and people that think for themselves. None of these negative reviews changed my mind, but they offered something to chew on for those who liked the film.

Of course, there are still those like Armond White who seem to pan it just for the sake of being a rebel. Of the negative reviews of Up I've read, I thought Lango's was the most well-written and thoughtful. Barrier makes a few valid points, but I can't get past some of his snide inferences that those who liked the film must have been snookered (he said this about WALL-E too). There will always be those that follow the pack. But that doesn't mean that all those who agree with the majority are blind followers. Only some of them (and often the loudest ones) are.

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Post by James » June 3rd, 2009, 8:17 pm

Those that think Pixar can do no wrong and ignore faults are just as bad as those who go looking for faults just to be different from the crowd, though. I don't think any objective person can not agree that Pixar's films are the best of their time. That's not blind devotion. That's unfortunately a stark reality of animation since the late 90's onward. We can all say Pixar isn't as good as Disney 60 years ago, but they are the best now and anyone denying that I'd find hard to take seriously. Especially when those same people will ignore the same faults in other studios.

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Post by Switchblade Sister » June 4th, 2009, 1:32 am

I doubt Coraline will be nominated for a best animated picture award. It's a nice looking film, but the story and characters are VERY lacking (but then again, that didn't stop shrek or that penquin movie!).

Up is brilliant. Loved it all 4 times I've seen it. The 3D version is pretty dark, and not the preferred way to see it (good to see most critics point this out). It's 35% darker than it should be, which is a slap in the face to the wonderful artistry of the film. Pete Docter and Bob Peterson did a wonderful job with the film, but what Ricky Nierva did as the chief designer (production designer) of the film is astounding. The most beautiful Pixar film ever.

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Post by Whippet Angel » June 4th, 2009, 9:49 pm

Thank you for clearing that up! I kept thinking through the entire film "Should it be this dark?" It was bothering me the entire time. :?

Now I have a good excuse to see it again. :D

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Post by Christian » June 4th, 2009, 11:04 pm

droosan wrote:
Ben wrote:In short, anyone else notice...THIS!??

Image
Christian wrote:I was wondering if the full name of the site would get written into the theme somewhere.
When did Animated-News & Views get purchased by Dreamworks Animation..? :shock:

:wink: :lol:
I saw the following letters: A D E S & W and figured the rest of the letters I didn't see spelled out "Animated News" since the themes here usually spell out "Animated News" somewhere. I bet the DreamWorks people like what it really says.

As far as the different animation studios go I see them as all having something different to offer but I think ultimately the Disney output is going to last the longest. I'm not saying they don't put out any stinkers ever but their overall output has so much more staying power than the staying power of all the other animation studios put together. Pixar probably second and DreamWorks Animation probably third. But Pixar is the best at pulling off risky themes and doing so very smartly and while it's not enough to completely drag them down they can seem a little too contemporary (their theatrical shorts are much better in this regard) and can rely too much on including elements for nostalgia's sake (cue wistful voice: "Remember when we used to play with cowboy toys? And army men? And etch-a-sketches? And Rubik's cubes? And videocassette recorders? Remember how gas stations looked in the 1960's? Yeah, those were good times..."). But their concept art is usually amazing and I even bought myself the Little Golden Book of UP and it's a gem.

And as I usually close my Pixar-related posts with: I even like A Bug's Life . . . and my Blu-Ray of it . . .

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Post by Sunday » June 5th, 2009, 2:47 am

Rodney wrote:I should point out that our Animated-Views review does not give Up a perfect score (although, a great one).
About that... I just read it and there's not a single negative nitpick, unless I missed it. Usually when the rating is one notch down from "perfect" there's some short sentence towards the end saying something about how mildly unfortunate this or that was.

:?:
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Post by droosan » June 5th, 2009, 8:33 am

My big nitpick is
click to reveal content
that the identity of Russell's father should have been revealed, at the end.

It seems somewhat obvious to me that the ominous sunglasses-wearing construction executive who has Carl taken to court is (or perhaps should have been, if he wasn't intended to be) Russell's absentee dad.

I base this theory on the fact that Russell tells Carl that his dad is always very busy, and is good at building things. :idea:

IMO, this revelation would have tied both Carl and Russell's story arcs together a bit stronger .. not only to have both characters' problems ultimately caused by the same man, but to cement the notion of wealth/societal approval as 'success' in life (represented by the executive and Muntz) versus strong bonds with friends and family as 'success' in life (represented by Carl's relationship with both Elly and Russell).

The ending as-presented in the movie feels a bit sloppy, to me. The entire notion of Russell's much-missed father becomes a loose end, leading one to wonder why it was brought up in the first place. :?

----------------------------------

Another tiny bit of sloppiness, I felt, was Carl's 'Walter Mitty' moment, in which we think he is dangerously lowering Russell toward a city, only to realize it was merely a daydream on his part.

The scene gets a big laugh (and rightly so) .. but it really seems to be the sort of comedic device that should have crept-up at least three times during the film. Having the scene as a 'one-off' makes it stand out too much, IMO.
Even so, I enjoyed Up immensely. It is simultaneously the most emotionally-grounded and the most whimsical of Pixar's movies. :)

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Post by Rodney » June 5th, 2009, 9:58 am

droosan, I get what you are saying about Russell & Carl, but I disagree.
click to reveal content
I thought it was clear that Russell's father and mother got a divorce and that he has since got remarried. I think that if his father had been the building executive, it would have complicated and muddled the ending by adding an unnecessary layer of new problems. I think it's perfect that Carl has "adopted" Russell as the son he never had. In a sense, they both need one another.

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Post by James » June 5th, 2009, 12:55 pm

Sunday wrote:
Rodney wrote:I should point out that our Animated-Views review does not give Up a perfect score (although, a great one).
About that... I just read it and there's not a single negative nitpick, unless I missed it. Usually when the rating is one notch down from "perfect" there's some short sentence towards the end saying something about how mildly unfortunate this or that was.

:?:
Take two of the best movies you can think of -- not just good ones, but really amazing classic ones. Now explain why one of them is worse than the other. Not easy is it?! Sometimes it's just a gut feeling.

Up is a superb movie, but I don't think it is as good as Ratatouille or WALL-E. Why? There is no single thing I can put a finger on. But 9/10 does not necessarily mean anything is wrong with the movie.

But if you're one of those people who needs to pick nits here you go:

"the leap to suspending disbelief has to be done right or else everything will seem off putting... it mostly works"

"Most of the character designs may not have been the most original, but they were entirely serviceable"

"Jordan Nagai, as the wilderness scout Russell, seems a little stiff"

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Post by eddievalient » June 6th, 2009, 1:38 am

I hadn't looked at this thread in awhile because I wanted to avoid spoilers. Now that I've seen it, I can say without reservation that Up has officially taken Toy Story 2's place as my favorite Pixar film. The opening montage was brilliant and very touching and the following film was every bit as fun and adventurous as I'd hoped it would be. I love the film's message that you don't have to have an adventure to have an adventure. Life, including (especially) the small things we take for granted, is the adventure, so make it a good one. This film makes me see the world in a new way, and that's a rare feat for any production. It's a pity there's no "official" release of the score, though, cause I absolutely adored the music. I saw the film in 3D and, to be honest, once the plot got rolling I barely noticed except in a few places where it really jumped out (like the storm, for instance) because I was so swept away by the story. Sorry folks, but I think Pixar has another Oscar in the bag cause as much as I want to see Princess And The Frog, I doubt it'll be better than this.
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Post by Ben » June 6th, 2009, 2:07 pm

I still think the point of my Up/DWA picture gag has been lost. There are no letters in the balloons lifting the house...it's all it is...an Up/DWA gag.

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