The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

My top 10 Movies of all time #10

Up (2009)
Directed by Pete Doctor

Unfortunately, because this film is still on general release in cinemas in the UK and many have not seen it (the date on the poster is the US release date, btw) I’m keeping spoilers to a minimum, which is why this one will be shorter than the others, however for all other posts, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!

Up is the most recent movie on this list and the first from the creative genius powerhouse that is Pixar. Up is a tale of friendship, dreams and adventure, sounds typical for a Disney movie, right? This isn’t your average animated movie…

Up tells the tale of Carl Fredrickson, a man whose life literally flashes before our eyes, we see him as a child, adoring a world famous explorer and meeting his future wife. It’s a bizarre first couple of minutes, something that I can only relate to as seeing a home video of when you are a kid. It’s like you recognise places and things, but they feel so alien and old, the film’s moments in the past are some of the strongest of almost any film. We see Carl and his new best friend and wife, Ellie’s life and it’s pretty bleak for a childrens film. Ellie has a miscarriage and so they never have children and then later dies, leaving Carl alone, in the house they re built. As the city is built around the house, they’re offering Carl a lot of money to take it off his hands and knock it down. He’s having none of it though and takes off with loads and loads of helium balloons attached to it. It’s a incredible scene to behold, especially in 3D.Carl, now determined to reach Paradise Falls, heads on his way unaware of Russell, a portly boy scout who’s stowed away…

 

The film is a delight to all of your senses. The story is utterly heartrendering, if not occasionally baffling, with strong performances and characterization from all characters (especially Doug, the lovable moronic dog) You really feel for all the characters as they go on this epic journey of self-discovery and especially Carls realization towards the end.

The thing about this though is how misleading the film is, it’s a Pixar U rated movie, you’d think it’d be great for kids, I very much doubt it unfortunately. I wouldn’t take a kid to see this, yes, there’s nothing threatening or unsuitable and the plot is laced with comedy, but the opening is utterly traumatising and the last few scenes would be terrifying (there is child-napping involved)

However, Up manages to both cross the line of a masterpiece, it’s both rich in story and emotion and is visually stunning, especially when viewed in 3D. If Digital 3D cinema is something that Pixar are focusing on in the future, then this is a step in the right direction, maybe Up will just be the start of a revolution in 3D animation, if so, then I’m all in.

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