Up (2009) Review

RATING: 4.5/5

A grumpy old man’s dream of fulfilling his deceased wife’s dream is overcome with many obstacles that gradually bring life into him.

A movie that brings in the feels for sure.

The opening, needs no introduction. Everybody had talked about how perfect it was and, yes, it was perfect. As far as the visual storytelling accompanied by the music, it was all done superbly well. Even with no dialogue, one got an immense grasp of the emotions being brought forward from the life of Carl and Ellie. It was during the sequence that one could understand clearly the reasoning for Carl’s motivations and why he wanted to go above and beyond to fulfill a promise.

The concepts alone were quite imaginary and original. Sure, a house being lifted by thousands of balloons is virtually impossible. But, it did make the film fun to look with its bright colors and gorgeous cinematography. Whenever the house was floating graciously in the clouds or when Carl/Russel were walking the house, the imagery would be amazing.

Outside of the house, the film had very nice cinematography and visuals. Especially whenever the Venezuelan environment was showcased or when the “Spirit of Adventure” blimp was revealed.

As said prior, Carl was a great character with understandable motivations and the arc he went through flowed smoothly. The rest of the cast did pretty good too. There was quite a bit of back and forth parallels. Carl never had a child and had a difficult time with handling Russel. Russel doesn’t spend time with his father and had a difficult time having a male figure in his life, guiding/caring for him. Muntz represented the dark half of Carl. Just like with Carl for two-thirds of the movie, Muntz was a man with a burning passion and he wanted so badly to fulfill a promise.

Composer Michael Giacchino nailed it. Without him, the film probably wouldn’t have worked as well as selling the teary emotions. The tracks that sold the most were whenever Carl was on-screen solo. Tracks such as “Married Life,” “Carl Goes Up,” & “Stuff We Did,” were memorable and classic pieces.

So what’s keeping me from giving this a perfect rating? Well there were a couple things.

For one, the film wasn’t humorous for me. A lot of times I would be chuckling, but there wasn’t a time where I would burst. The “humorous” segments were more cute than anything. Like Kevin’s antics, the Alpha dog having a chipmunk voice, the dogs flying mini-airplanes, was all cute but nothing worth laughing heavily on.

I do wish there was something more with Muntz. This was the man or source of inspiration behind Carl’s character and reasoning for going to Angel Falls. It would have been interesting if there was some kind of conflict revolving around this.

One thing I completely forgot and stunned me was the fact this Pixar film showcased blood as clear as day. Something that prior films did very little and something that the later films hardly did. Quite a risk for Disney on their part, but it’s something I welcome.

Such a great film, not just in the Pixar line-up, but animations as a whole. It was a film that showcased how one shouldn’t be so wrapped up in the past and how they should simply live life to the fullest. Even if one can’t fulfil their lifelong dream, that shouldn’t stop them in the present. One should enjoy life the way that makes them happy.

If you haven’t seen it, drop what you’re doing. It had strong performances, great visuals, well done cinematography, memorable music, and above all else, it’s an emotional story that everyone should see to get a lift in life.

YouTube: LoneCentric Pictures/Tk Theater Productions

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