Wednesday, June 3, 2009
When you keep on writing good reviews, does your credibility as a reviewer go out the window? I have a pretty broad taste in lots of things, and it must be strange for my last 3 reviews to be glowing for a gypsy-curse horror film, a political biopic and now a children's cartoon about a man that has his home fly away on a bunch of helium balloons, but here I go. (But don't worry, stick around until the end and there will be some negativity.)
Last night Aubrey and I went to see Up in digital 3D. Like the rest of Pixar's films, this one was enjoyable, heartfelt, visually amazing and just a lot of fun.
First off, I am a huge fan of these digital 3D films. From Beowolf to Coraline and now this they always seem to pop off the screen and although the luster does wear off a bit after 10 minutes of wearing the glasses, that first image that pops off always shocks me. I kind of wish there were no 3D previews and that initial shock would come in the actual movie, but I understand advertising comes first.
This Pixar film began like all others, with a short film that has some sort of common denominator with the feature presentation. This was a wordless five minute film about a bunch of storks delivering new-borns to parents. It follows them from delivering their puppies to their doggy parents up into the clouds, where the clouds are creating the babies, then zapping them with lightning to give them life, the wrapping them up to give to the storks to redeliver the babies. It then focuses on this one gray, small cloud that keeps creating fierce animals, like sharks and porcupines to its poor stork that continues to get injured delivering these babies to their parents. The stork finally is so injured it goes to a different cloud which upsets its original cloud since he is just doing what he's supposed to do. It turns out the stork loved doing his job, but didn't like getting injured, so he just went to another cloud to get some protective gear and he comes returns to his cloud to continue his duties and everyone is happy. This doesn't sound like much, but the imagination, and visual stimulous that is used to convey all of this is comical, effective and downright genius. Not to mention the 3D animation that is used and how beautiful it is, I truly believe Pixar has yet to release anything that is not above any potential competition.
The feature of UP began after that. The first 10 minutes of this movie are some of the truly most heartfelt few minutes of anything I've seen possibly since watching The Notebook a few years ago (I'm sorry, but that movie can make almost anyone cry.) This shows the main character as a young boy meet a girl very much like him, and then follows their life through getting married, realizing they can't have kids, how they are trying to save money all their life and how their plan keeps getting derailed, how they grow old together and she finally dies as an old woman. This 1o minutes is so sweet, sad, and tender with hardly a word spoken, it is truly one of the best 10 minutes of anything I've ever seen. It tells a complete story, and the viewer is never left to wonder anything.
After this, the real plot begins which I will not get into here. A guy makes his house fly and adventures ensue. Let's just say, I thought from the trailer this movie would be just OK. I was thoroughly entertained for the entire run-time and was sad when it ended. Visually beautiful, fun, sweet, kind, pure laugh-out-loud moments and a great theme and story.
Now for my gripe: I went to see this movie at 9:15 on a Tuesday night. That means the movie doesn't get out until 11:00 at night or so. I did this for a few reasons, but mostly because I didn't want to see the movie with a bunch of screaming, crying children. I figured that late at night on a weeknight, there will be a bunch of stoner high school kids, and dorks like me going to see this. I guess I underestimated how horrible parents are. There were 2 sets of screaming kids on both sides of the theater. Luckily for me, the loudest and the one talking throughout happened to sit right behind me. Right when the movie began, the little girl started screaming at her mother because she didn't want to wear the 3D glasses that are necessary for seeing the movie in focus. Now, I understand children are difficult. I understand being a parent is hard. What I do NOT understand is why you would drag your difficult child to a movie that this 3 year old could care less that she is watching. I know this girl liked the movie (I know this because she was very vocal about the parts that she did like in a volume that was impossible to ignore), but she would have been just as happy to stay at home at watch the exact same videotape/movie that she has probably seen 300 times by now. You know why I know this? Because I was a kid and I listened to the same records a million times. Children are very easy to take care of because they do not have sophisticated tastes yet. They like fun, pretty things. They like to dance and sing and jump around while watching these things. In today's society there is absolutely no reason for children to go to the movie theater. Home theaters are pretty good, and you can watch a bootleg version of any movie for $5 what would cost you $30 at a theater. On top of that, these movies then can be watched ad nauseum as kids tend to enjoy anyway.
This is not to say kids should not go to movies in the theater. I believe they should. I also believe every person of every age should see this movie UP in particular. I also believe there is a time and a place for everything. The time for a child to see a movie is before 6PM. Period, end of story. A three year old child should be in bed by 9:00 at the absolute latest. They should probably be in bed well before that. I cannot tell you how many times I almost yelled at the woman behind me, but really that is not my place. I can't teach common sense to parents, I can just rant about it on my blog and hopefully when I have kids I can keep my common sense and not act like many bad parents do.
END OF RANT - for now.
In conclusion: Go see Up. It is absolutely amazing!