Friday, May 29, 2009

Up! The best movie of the summer?

When I watch a movie, a really good movie, I get emotional and cry, yes I cry. And I cried for more than just that reason while watching this movie. The beauty of Up isn't just the way it looks. That's important because there are so many vibrant colors and every little thing has texture right down to the embroidered patches on Russell's sash and the letters on Ellie's Adventure Book. But, it's the story and the way you feel about the characters that really pull you in. Pixar has this wonderful ability to make a movie that appeals to adults and children alike. And they also make a story that isn't just fluff and silly. The montage at the beginning showing Carl and Ellie's life together is absolutely moving and beautiful and so sweet. You get why Carl is the way he is: he loved his wife and their life together and now they are tearing the neighborhood down and pushing him out and he regrets never taking that one perfect adventure down to live in South America next to the falls. Thinking about it now is making me tear up.

You even feel for the other characters, Kevin and Dug. Kevin is being hunted by this pack of dogs and just needs to get back to her babies. While Dug is a dog that the rest of the pack picks on, he just wants to find the bird they are searching for so they'll like him. When he helps Carl and Russell, he gets treated badly by his pack and eventually by Carl. The look Pixar put on his face when Carl calls him a "bad dog" is heartbreaking. Even the house is a character. You see it go from being a run-down mess when Carl is a child, to being a colorful, happy place throughout Carl and Ellie's life together, to being dragged down to South America and getting banged up to it's last moment on screen.

So far, this is the best movie of the summer. It's filled with heart, sadness, smiles, tears, adventure, laughter, everything that a person needs to be entertained for an hour and a half. If you don't go see this movie and love every minute of it, you may have no soul.

Up tells the story of a man, Carl Fredricksen, who as a child, was enthralled by the adventurous exploits of explorer Charles Muntz (Muntz was disgraced after scientists said his discovery of a certain bird was faked). Carl used to play-pretend that he was Muntz and one day came upon a house where he heard a child also pretending to be Muntz. He went inside and met this girl who he not only befriended, but fell in love with and eventually married and would spend the rest of his life with. After her death, he came across her adventure book and decided, after assaulting a construction worker and being ruled a neighborhood menace, to go on that journey to South America to live in their house next to Paradise Falls. He fills thousands of balloons full of helium, ties them to his house, and takes off. Unfortunately, he has an unexpected guest in a neighborhood kid named Russell.

Russell also has his own storyline that is very sad. He needs to get his last Wilderness Explorer patch for assisting the elderly so that his dad, who used to be around all the time and is now never around, will come to the ceremony where he will see him go on to the next level. It also appears that his step-mother told him not to call anymore because he bugs his father...that's nice. He's looking for a father figure and Carl needs a son figure since he and his wife never had children. In the end Carl learns a lot about life and what it means to find adventure and Russell finds the father figure he needs.


  1. Sounds great--and it sounds like I'll be adding it to the list of movies that make me cry (others include Iron Giant, gets me every time). Can't wait to see it.

  2. I've never seen Iron Giant. Milo and Otis makes me cry. The end of Battlestar made me cry...I cry at a lot...