Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A-Z Challenge: Up

Sometimes a kids' movie comes out that not really a kids' movie.  It's just a really great movie that kids will probably like, too.  Up falls into this category.

Up is perhaps the best, most original new story to have come out of Hollywood in the past decade.  If you extended that time-frame back to "ever" I would have a hard time arguing with you.  Thinking back to my R-post and Ridiculous Remakes, the originality brought to the screen in Up makes the remakes even more ridiculous.  Here is a movie with characters, settings, and events that are fresh, vibrant, and damn funny.

When movies are made right they can hold powerful influence over our emotions.  Many of the films I've listed in this series are movies that inspire a reaction: a gasp, a cringe, tears of laughter, tears of joy.  Up is a hard movie to watch to the end with dry eyes.  It's also hard to watch quietly, without laughing.

I couldn't pick a favorite part, but some of the more memorable scenes are:

- When Russel first knocks on his door and introduces himself over and over
- When they first meet Doug the dog, who loves them immediately even though he just met them; a dog has never been so perfectly written.
- The first time Alpha speaks.  It's not just the squeaky voice, but they way he speaks, very formal, almost Yoda-like in his syntax.  I can't not laugh.
- The cone of shame.  Again, a keen understanding of the dog's psychology is at play...look at Doug's face and body posture when they put him in the cone, they nailed it.
- When Mr. Fredricksen is emptying out his house at Paradise Falls and he finds Ellie's scrapbook; he flips to the end where she was going to put their adventure to the falls and finds she had filled it out with their adventures together and holy crap this might even make me cry thinking about it.  Squirrel!  There, that's better...



Eric said...

Up really surprised me, in a good way. I didn't think initially I'd enjoy it that much but I took the kids to see it anyway. The part I liked the most though, was the beginning when they are showing the couple's life up to present day. No words are said during that whole time, and yet it is truly powerful. Good choice!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

This is one of the few Pixar films I didn't like as much. I guess I found the premise too depressing.

D.G. Hudson said...

Haven't seen this one. We usually like Pixar films. But crying and laughing, hmmm, that might be too much emotion.

Film choices are very subjective, and we all have our faves, but some of the ones you've highlighted I wouldn't have know about otherwise.

Thanks for visiting my U post, Rick.

D.G. Hudson said...

'Known' about, not know. Must proofread.

Anne Gallagher said...

This movie was just too sad. My daughter loved it and thought it was great, but the overall premise was just soooo sad. I cried through almost the whole thing.

Rick Daley said...

Eric- That beginning was really well done. I think it was highly effective storytelling, doubly so as it was wordless but conveyed so much.

Alex- It's deep, but for me that's what works.

DG- It has some heft to it, but there's a happy/sad moment involving a scrapbook that makes the emotional climax, and it is more positive than depressing (to me). It's worth watching.

Anne- It's a love story, aren't they supposed to be that way ;-) It's also a coming of (old) age tale...