Monday, April 26, 2010

Review: Up on Blu-ray

Awarded with two Academy Awards for best Animated Feature and best Original score plus Golden Globe Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Directed By Pete Docter Co-Director: Bob Peterson

Starring Edward Asner Christopher Plummer Jordan Nagai Bob Peterson

I know, what am I talking about Up for on a sci-fi / science blog. Well I have made no bones about how much I enjoy good animation. I know many of the animated films I have reviewed have had a strong SF theme, but to be honest the reason for the rental was indeed the animation. And without another word the animation is sumptuous! In the theaters it was originally presented in 3D but not having seen it as such I was most pleased with the blu-ray version I watched.

For those that haven't seen the movie, the first thing that can be said is that the plot is very much a “let's put this part here, that part there and so on”. By that I mean, all the ideas and plot devices are off the shelf in a very “Disney” kinda way. No real stretching going on here. That being said though the movie is out and out whimsy. I don't believe at this point I am giving anything away when I say that, in an attempt to keep a promise to his wife of many years Carl escapes almost certain forced retirement by escaping in one of the most unusual methods imaginable but makes complete sense in the world we see Carl grow old in. At the start of his voyage he finds himself stuck with a young boy named Russell who drags Carl into his world and by misadventures bring Carl into a completely over the top adventure all his own. Oh and I am using the word adventure this many times on purpose. The whole movie revolves around it, from very tearful (Disney, who would have thunk it) end of one to the inadvertent completion of another. Did I say tearful? Yeah I know Disney you're thinking of Bambi but it's much deeper and fuller than I have ever seen a Disney movies go. So they gave Docter and Perterson quite a bit of leeway.

The rest of Up is just over the top. Everyone put a great deal of work in detail and it shows. The extras will show you just how much of the movie was drawn from real observations of very real places in South America. And the EXTRAS! The director's comment tract is one of the best I have seen. Lots of effort went into the information that is offered along with the director's commentary. Included in the extras is a great making of and a couple of scene expansions which are wonderful. Even the closing credits are fun! If you like animation you won't be disappointed with this offering. Even the score of the film is great, as shown by the awards for it.

The movie is fun and the extras are a movie buff treat I would give the movie an 8 just because many of the plot devices are like off the shelf Disney kind of thing but just for extras the blu-ray gets a 10 for just SO much material. So that's what...a 9? yeah, that works for me.

If you like animation and whimsey go for it. If not, rent it for the kids, they will love it, but sit in the opening sequences may be upsetting or confusing to young viewers.

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