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A 2009 Pixar Studios movie

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UP is a Tearjearker that Will Leave You Seeking Adventure From the Word... UP!

  • Jun 7, 2009
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Now before I really get into writing this review, let me start by saying that I left the movies last night furious after seeing this!  Not because the movie was bad, but because we had decided to see it in Disney "3D".  Why do I put the "3D" in quotes do you ask?  Because there was nothing about UP that was "3D"!  During the movie, I took off my "3D" glasses three times to make sure I wasn't going crazy and I wasn't.  I could have watched the whole movie without the glasses and been a happier person.  Sure there were points were it was very suddlely "3D", but there was nothing that popped out at you.  It was complete and total false advertising!  The two previews we saw  were more "3D" than the entirety of UP!  I wouldn't have been as angry if I had paid normal admission, but to see the movie in "3D", it was $14 dollars!  If you are going to hugely advertise your film as being in 3D then it better be in 3D because this truly was false advertising and killed the movie experience for me.  So as a reviewers note: DO NOT SEE UP IN 3D!

Now, having a night to sleep on all of that and really think about the film itself, I really think that Pixar has done such an amazing job over the last few years.  First with Finding Nemo and then with Wall*E, the group over there are just a bunch of geniuses.  While I don't think UP sits up there with the likes of those two films, it does still deliver that magic that Pixar does so well.  They have managed yet again to make an animated film that caters to both children and Adults.

When Carl Fredricksens wife Ellie falls ill and passes away before they can vacation in South America, Carl decides to fulfill his promise he made to her so long ago as children by taking their house to Paradise Falls, a land forgotten in time when he is threatened with having to move into an assisted living home.  But problems arise when Russell, a boy who is a "wilderness explorer" accidentally lifts off along with Carl and his balloon propelled home.  Now in South America, Carl, along with Russell, Kevin (a very smart large bird) and Dug (A talking dog) must race against time to touch down Carl and Ellies house on Paradise Falls, before all of the balloons run out of helium. 

What really moved me and made me love this film was its adult themes.  The very beginning of UP is the best part of the film, going through Carl and Ellies life year after year.  And while they don't get to go on their adventure to Paradise Falls together, they both start to realize as their lives go on, that they are going on the biggest adventure of all...Life.  While UP's main audience (children) may not entirely understand this part of the film, to the adults who see this movie, it really ends up being so powerful...and it's animated!  Pixar is just so amazing that they can make a grown man like myself cry at the beginning of an animated Disney film!  Just genius!  Obviously the talking Dog, Dug, was such a funny part of this film.  Really, if UP had just been Carl, the dog and the bird, I would have been happy.  Despite the fact that the movie is funny throughout, during some of the more serious moments, Dug is great for comic relief and was my other favorite part of the film.

Some people are probably going to get on me about this, but I just couldn't stand Russell the boy.  Sure, at the beginning it was funny, but then he just proceeded to get obnoxious and boring after the first 45 minutes.  I just felt as if after that point he had no place in the film.  I honestly tried to tune him out at points and paid most of my attention to Dug, Carl and the bird.  Like I said above, I think it would have been great if it was just Carl and Dug.  I think I felt this way mostly due to the fact that I felt as if Russell had no place interfering in what Carl was trying to accomplish.  It was truly way beyond the kids comprehension and while I think that is the very point the film was trying to convey...I didn't like it.

While UP is no Wall*E or Finding Nemo, UP is a great family film that is a must see for anyone with kids or loves adventure.  There will be points where you're saying to yourself, 'I wish I could do that!'  UP is truly magical and both adults and children will be laughing together at the end.  Like I said though, do NOT see it in "3D", you will want your money back afterward.  UP gets a 4/5.
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More Up reviews
review by . March 07, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Heartwarmer!
Up has certainly reached new heights and depths in the cartoon industry. As a film, it is colorful (remember those balloons?) and full of potentials and possibilities (a flying house, eh? not bad at all!).      My first impression when I began watching the animation of the two main characters Russel & Carl is that hey, they both looked rounded and 3 dimensional. I like the rounded feel to the faces of these characters, very likable, very real, very cute! I have the urge …
review by . June 08, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Once again, Pixar has succeeded in creating a film that is intended for the parents as much as for the kids.  UP joins a long list of Pixar movies that adults enjoy just as much as children.    Don't get me wrong.  The kids will definitely love this movie.  It has:   talking dogs colorful balloons the most exotic bird since archeopteryx   But there is so much for the parents in this one.  The opening vignette is a tale of love, life, and …
review by . November 17, 2010
Over the years, PIXAR movies have excelled in sprinkling in moments of deep emotion within all the inventive fun. I remember particularly well the sadness when Jessie the Cowgirl sings about her long lost owner in TOY STORY 2 or the final moment of MONSTERS INC. when Scully sees Boo again (the one moment makes watching the whole movie worthwhile...not that it wasn't already). WALL E certainly had many touching moments.     But Pixar's new UP has them all beat. There are some …
review by . February 10, 2010
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review by . April 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Carl Fredrickson (Edward Asner) is an adventurous, young boy, who meets a girl named Ellie who shares his same passion. Once they are older they fall in love, and get married. They had once planned to travel to a lost land in South America; however, when Ellie dies Carl becomes a grouchy old man with a hard heart. He is being forced to stay in a retirement home for hitting a construction worker, so he comes up with the plan of tying hundreds of balloons to his house and flying away to the lost …
review by . January 04, 2010
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What ever happens to a dream deferred?
Up is similar to most Disney/Pixar films in that it is enjoyable for people of all ages. It has humor, but it also explores themes such as love and loss, parental neglect, the pursuit (and letting go) of childhood dreams, and even inferiority and the bullying that can take place within a group (as portrayed by Dug, a dog who is seen as one of the lower-ranking members of his pack). While several Disney/Pixar films contain more mature themes (Finding Nemo demonstrates the …
review by . November 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Brilliant Prose Spread Across Two Story Arcs
   Perhaps I should begin this review with some interesting facts about 2009’s Up before even beginning to break down the nuts, bolts and personal opinions of the film.  Up represents director Pete Docter’s first Pixar project since 2001’s Monsters Inc, it was Pixar’s first ever 3D film, it was the first Disney collaboration to earn a PG rating since Pixar’s The Incredibles, it features Pixar's first Japanese/Asian-American character, it was the …
review by . October 22, 2009
It's been a long time coming for us Brits, but Up is finally here, and I'm glad to say it's been worth the wait.      With every new film they release, Pixar somehow manage to add more and more depth, not just to their visuals, but to their stories too. Now less concerned with zany characters, elaborate action set-pieces, saccharine sweet moments and over-cooked visual bravura, Up is perhaps the studio's most human, most poignant, character driven movie to date. Such is the brilliance …
Quick Tip by . November 06, 2010
Awesome beginning and loses its gas after the halfway point. The film had a very strong emotional first half but then it falls to the usual contrived devices that we've all seen before. It had some nice elements to it (seniors fighting) but the plot was riddled with holes too. 3.5 Out of 5 Stars      See the full review here.
review by . May 12, 2009
Scully and I enjoying a glass of wine
Pixar has become the most dependable studio out there for producing reliable films that don't simply continue to raise the bar in animation but set a level of excellence in storytelling that puts most live-action movies to shame. 'Up' represents another change in style, as significant as Wall-E's shift to photorealism, intricate camera effects and darker themes. It effectively blends moments of tragedy with almost slapstick humor, while showing that their understanding of story structure and pacing …
About the reviewer
Julian Brown ()
Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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About this movie


is a comedy adventure about Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner), a retired 78-year-old balloon salesman who meets and later marries a girl named Ellie. Growing up in a small Midwestern town, Ellie has always dreamed of visiting South America. Unfortunately, she died before she got a chance. In hopes of fulfilling his promise to Ellie, Carl uses 10,000 balloons to make his house fly and sets off for South America. He unknowingly takes a chubby eight-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell along for the ride and the duo match up for one thrilling adventure around the earth.

 The film is directed by Pete Docter (the director of Monsters Inc.) and features voices of Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer and Jorgan Nagai. Up premiered by opening the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, which was the first animated film to do so. The film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and grossed over $683 million worldwide, making it Pixar's second most commercially successful film, after Finding Nemo.


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Genre: Animation
Release Date: May 29, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Bob Peterson
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Pixar Animation Studios
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