UP – The Perfect Movie


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UP

 Psst. You want to know the world’s worst kept secret?

 


Pixar is Awesome.

 


Their latest movie, UP, is simply stupendous.


 

Wolverine? Bah! A toothless tomcat. Terminator Salvation? Pshaw! A bunch of namby pamby wind up toys with broken main springs. Logan and Connor meet your better! Almost octogenarian – Carl. At 78 years of age and a product of cinema only, he kicks the collective butts of these so called tough guys. Even Kirk and Spock of the rebooted Star Trek movie could stand to learn a lesson or two from the Ed Asner voiced character.

 

 

Pixar has amassed an amazing pedigree of movies. UP may very likely end up as the new inheritor to their throne. This is a movie; no strike that: this is a piece of art, about life and living. UP flawlessly encapsulates a lifetime of shared experiences in the first ten minutes. UP is in all respects the closest thing you will ever see to a perfect movie. The first 10 minutes ARE perfection. Pure, story telling perfection.

 

The amazing thing is that the film continues from that high point with only a miniscule drop in the overall emotional power that the opening prologue generates. It goes without saying that the technical aspects of this film continue to push the edge as Pixar has done in every subsequent movie since they first started.

 

What makes UP so transcedent is the storytelling. Emotional touchstones set up at the beginning of the film are used to perfection for the payoffs that follow throughout the movie. Moments of sadness and regret become moments of joy and inspiration by film’s end. The story arcs are woven with invisible seams. Never is there a moment or even an inkling of manipulation. This is a masterpiece of storytelling. Wonderfully wrought. Seemingly simple on the surface yet full of multiple layers of heart felt emotions.

 

It is no small measure of greatness that a film totally created in the digital realm generates more emotional reactions from its audience than its CGI enhanced brethren even seem capable of dreaming about.

 

This is a exciting and giddy tale of chasing one’s dreams and exploring undiscovered places. Not just untouched places as in a geographical sense but also of the human heart. Mixed in are steady doses of humour that always plays honest and true. This is a tale that celebrates the joy of the human experience.

 

Pixar does not only create movies, they create treasures.  Magical ones at that.


10 out of 10

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The Water Horse

Took my 8 year old to see The Water Horse. The critics have been indifferent to this one but we both enjoyed it. For me it was the beauty of the Scottish landscape around Loch Ness and the Scottish accents. The ‘Water Horse’ was mostly well done effects wise.

The only time it stumbled was when the boy rode on the creature’s back. That’s one effect shot that has yet to be pulled off seamlessly. From Legolas on the back of the Cave Troll to Anakin riding the cow creature in Attack of the Clones to this movie, mixing a live actor with a CGI one just doesn’t jell.

And what 8 year old wouldn’t want their own special pet?

Disturbia

Watched Disturbia on the weekend with the current hot kid on the block, Shia LeBoeuf.  He’s pretty good but the standout for me was David Morse as the bad guy.  The story is basically a reworking of Hitchcock’s Rear Window slanted to the all important teen movie going audience.
 
The movie captured the generation gap between the Morse and LeBeouf characters in a moment where Morse orders LeBoeuf to take a pencil and start writing a note.  You know at that moment, Morse has made a mistake.  The LeBeouf character would never write a note on paper. Text message?  Maybe.  Video record?  Most likely.  Write on a piece of paper?  Never.  That simple moment shows the gap between the two and leads to the inevitable climax.  Probably unintentional by the filmmakers but I found it most illuminating. Cool  And it made me feel old too. Sad

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Finally got around to watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  Great flick with many layers demanding multiple viewings.  Jim Carrey shines but it is Kate Winslett who is the real life force of this film.  Truly an awesome, luminous performance.

Bourne – Bond Thanks You!

Saw The Bourne Ultimatum last night.  Even hough the hype machine was in full bore for this film it is indeed a terrific action movie. Middling to fair on the logic side though.

The blemish was the lack of exploration of Bourne’s true identity. We got the how but the why was not properly explained. He might as well have found out he was John Doe for all the impact it carried.

The actions scenes were awesome, even the footstep pursuit stuff was well done. Highlight scene was the in close fight in Madrid between Bourne and the ‘asset.’ Brutal yet beautiful at the same time. Thankfully Greengrass pulled the camera back enough to properly frame the actions sequences this time.

And the Bond franchise obviously viewed the other two Bourne movies when they made Casino Royale.  Realistic action is always more emotionally investing.  Here’s hoping future Bond installments continue to follow the example of Bourne.