Someone's seen Up!

If you were following our ShoWest coverage you'll know that I counted the 50-some-odd-minutes of UP we saw in 3D among the best of the fest. I'm absolutely dying to see the rest of the film so I'm insanely jealous that a JoBlo.com reader was able to catch the whole thing (though it wasn't in 3D so nanny nanny boo boo to you). But our reader, who opted for the slightly bizarre codename of "Squishy Panda," was kind enough to send us a review. He keeps it mostly spoiler free (there's nothing here you haven't already read) and, no surprise, he loved it. Here's what he had to say:


Long time schmoe here who was lucky enough to catch one of the first screenings of Pixar’s new movie UP today and wanted to share with everyone how freaking awesome it was.

I’ll keep this review spoiler free and won’t elaborate too much because Disney’s done a great job keeping the film’s actual plot somewhat under wraps. The basic set up is this: After the passing of his beloved wife, geriatric Carl Fredricksen decides to fulfill her lifelong dream of exploring the world and settling down next to a South American waterfall. The old man just ups and leaves, literally; with the help of a few thousand balloons, Carl turns his house in to a floating one-way ticket to jungle paradise. Soon he and young unwitting stowaway Russell are on a crazy adventure that involves talking dogs, exotic animals, villains straight out of “Heart of Darkness” and lots and lots of helium.

That’s all you need to know, save for the fact that UP continues the flawless tradition of excellence you’ve come to expect from Pixar (except maybe for CARS, which is good but not my favorite). About three minutes in it had already taken MONSTERS VS ALIENS and wiped the floor with it. Much has been said about the opening montage that sums up Carl’s life with his beloved Ellie…and it’s all true. It’s easily one of the most moving sequences I can remember, but so simple and natural. It gets the film going in a very surprising and effective way.

It’s pretty much nonstop after that. Aside from female nudity (sorry MovieHotties), UP has everything you could want in a flick. There’s a fun adventure story, clever laughs, thrilling action, cute animals, funny fat kids, a little romance, and tons of creativity. Even if the film hadn’t of come together as well as it did, it would still get points for originality. It’s also one of the more emotional stories Pixar has ever told. Director Pete Docter did a great job with that in MONSTERS INC. (Anybody who isn’t affected by the last shot of that movie is dead inside. And probably a Nazi.) But here it’s sentimental to an extreme, but in a relatable way that doesn’t make it too sappy. Anybody who’s ever been in love can find the emotional backbone to this movie, and there was more than one spot where people were legit sobbing in the theater. Along those lines, you can expect a few darker moments as well. (There was actually more than one instance of blood in a Pixar movie!) Nothing overly adult themed, but between the two, it might be tricky for young kids easily scared or saddened. But as Carl might say, kids should stop being such sissies.

As usual for Pixar the visuals are amazing throughout, especially the fantastic character work. Carl (voiced by the great Ed Asner ) is every grumpy old man you know, but in a lovable way that makes it okay when he’s sour to kids and dogs. The flick uses his elderly status and tools in great creative ways. On the opposite side is the young and naïve Russell, who manages to play the annoying sidekick kid without actually being annoying. His pudginess probably helped. And you may have seen snippets of the talking dog Dug in the trailer (“Squirrel!”), but there’s a whole army of canines that brought in countless big laughs throughout. I predict purchases of dogs will skyrocket after this movie.

Overall, I’d rate UP up there with the studio’s bests along with THE INCREDIBLES and TOY STORY. (At this point having done cars, robots, and old people, there’s pretty much nothing Pixar can’t handle.) I honestly find it hard to think of a negative thing to say. The audience ate it up, both young and old alike. My only gripe is that we didn’t get to see the requisite preceding short “Partly Cloudy” and there wasn’t a preview of TOY STORY 3. C’mon, I know the movie is done already. http://twitter.com/leeunkrich/status/1473688691

I give it a 9 out of 10 but reserve the right to raise the score upon second viewing. And if you actually use this you can call me Squishy Panda.

Source: JoBlo.com



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