Movie review: "Up"
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. 3 1/2 of 4 stars: “Up” soars but doesn’t reach the heights of “WALL-E,” “The Incredibles” or “Monsters, Inc.”
‘Up’ flies almost as high as Pixar’s best movies
Animated adventure film will evoke laughter, tears
The geniuses at Disney/Pixar continue to elevate the art of the animated film with “Up,” their latest cinematic achievement.
On face value, “Up” appears seems just an entertainingly elaborate flight of fancy coupled with the kind of exotic adventure in faraway lands seen in the “Indiana Jones” movies or the old matinee serials that inspired them.
But as with Pixar’s nine previous features, “Up” offers so much more if you look beyond the surface, though the studio’s first 3-D release looks gorgeously vivid and richly detailed. Plus, it doesn’t get caught up in the usual 3-D gimmickry.
Pete Docter’s (“Monsters, Inc.”) second directorial effort also works as a fun buddy comedy, bouncy spoof of children’s movies, thought-provoking statement on how we view the elderly, and touching exploration of loss and friendship.
Don’t get to the theater late, as the first 10 minutes of “Up” offer some of the most poignant and thrilling cinematic moments of the year.
And bring tissues because only the hardest of hearts will not be moved to tears as we’re introduced to Carl Fredricksen as a shy and restrained boy who idolizes famous explorer Charles Muntz (voice of Christopher Plummer). Through their common love of exploring, Carl meets bold and chatty Ellie, who brings out the adventurer in him.
They grow up, get married and make a life together. We witness their triumphs, tragedies and ultimately her death in a tender montage with no dialogue, just Michael Giacchino’s pitch-perfect score.
After Ellie’s death (which some children may not catch), Carl (Ed Asner, perfectly crusty and loveable) hides out in his home, which developers want to level to build skyscrapers.
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