Sunday, July 05, 2009

Up

Roger Ebert recommends seeing Up in 2-D, but I went to the 3-D version, anyway. It's a wonderful movie, and I'm sure it plays just as well either way, though maybe the colors are better without the glasses.

I can understand why Up is being sold as a kids' movie. That's where the money is. But it's more for geezers than kids. The poster to the left gives you a pretty good idea of the importance of the characters, except that the house has a bigger part than the poster indicates.

Edward Asner is the voice of Carl Fredricksen, an old guy who's just lost his wife, Eileen. The sequence that begins the film tells of how the two met, and then there's a terrific silent bit that fills in all you need to know about the rest of their life together.

Like Rick Blaine, I'm a sentimentalist. I know that's a character flaw, but I blame my grandmother Brodnax, who often read "The Wreck of the Hesperus" and "The Babes in the Wood" to me when I was at an impressionable age. At any rate, it's possible that I shed a manly tear during Up's silent moments, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Carl had once promised Eileen that they'd travel to South America to a plateau straight out of the Lost World, just as their hero, Captain Muntz had done. Real life intervened, and they never got there. Now Carl's alone, and he's been declared a public menace. He's about to be carted off to The Home. But he doesn't go. He sets out on one last great adventure, thanks to zillions of balloons. A kid tags along accidentally, and when they land on the plateau, the adventures begin in earnest. I'll say no more about those, not wanting to spoil the fun. But I have to admit that the adventures aren't the main reason I liked the film. It was Carl's story that got to me. He might be an animation, but he was as real as any character I've seen in a movie in years.

And then there are the dogs. They're great, particularly the one that adopts Carl. The dog tells a great joke about a squirrel, one that Dave Barry would appreciate.

This movie, along with Gran Torino, proves that you can make good movies about geezers and the people will flock to them. The filmmakers might have to disguise the fact that their movies are about geezers, as Up does, but that's okay as long as the films get made. I loved Up, and while it might not be your cuppa, you should give it a try just to see.

15 comments:

Neil said...

I cried my fuckin' eyes out seeing UP. Holy shit.

Max Allan Collins said...

It's a character flaw not to be a sentimentalist.

George said...

Great review, Bill! I agree with every word of it. I had tears in my eyes five minutes into UP.

Bill Crider said...

Well, I'm glad it's not just me. If you're sentimental, don't read those poems I linked!

Rick Robinson said...

We saw UP in 3-D, and we loved it. Solid story well told, something a lot of movie makers could learn from when "improving" screenplays these days. Very emotional moments, for sure.

There were 2 problems with the 3-D. (1) is that my wife had lasex surgery years ago resulting in one far vision eye and one near vision eye. The 3-D didn't work at all for her. (2) I had to put the glasses over my regular ones, and the damn things kept slipping down. Other than momentary loss of 3-D a couple hundred times until I pushed the damn things up again the 3-D was excellent. I'm going to have to fid a solution for that problem, as a lot of forthcoming films are in digital 3-D.

Bill Crider said...

I have some smaller glasses that I wore to the theater, so no problem with slippage.

jj solari said...

Somebody shoot me, please. jj solari age 65

Graham Powell said...

I liked how old Carl thought he never really fulfilled his wife's dreams. Then he looked in the back of the book... And yeah, I'm a sentimentalist as well.

Bill Crider said...

I may had shed another manly tear at that point, myself.

jj solari said...

are you gentlemen aware that you are crying over a cartoon? and admitting it to everyone? what is this The View For Men?

Bill Crider said...

Embarrassing, isn't it?

pattinase (abbott) said...

We went to see it-turned out it was not in 3D at that theater, which we thought mistakenly it seems that it was important, and saw another movie instead. We'll have to go again.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think that the 3-D is that important to the story. I think its just another way to up-sell the price of a ticket. As to JJ you probably were unmoved by Old Yeller because it was only a dog.
Bryan Barrett

Gerard said...

Glad all you ladies liked the film.

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