Film Reviews

Up Pete Docter

Rating - 10/10

The opening of Up, on its own, stands as a masterpiece. In less than fifteen minutes, Pixar doesn’t just up the ante of what an animated film can be, it throws its cards down on the table (all aces), then proceeds to shoot the dealer dead and clear out the casino in a dashing, daring robbery; stopping only to threaten the loudmouth female hostage and break the fingers of a security guard who tries to play cowboy.

Up, quite frankly, is Pixar’s finest hour. Other, lesser, Internet film critics have debated the merit of the previous statement, and I tell you, those sluts (“hack” is such a blasé’, overused term) aren’t worth their almost-but-not-quite degrees in film theory, which, to a man, were only “one last credit/course” away, only failing to be awarded after Dipshit McGee* had a last minute revelation (and subsequent mental breakdown/crisis) that one can start asking “would you like whipped cream on that mocha?” without a high-five-or-six figure piece of dead tree to his or her** name.

* This is the name they should automatically change your legal birth certificate to once you declare your major in film theory, or if you’re a sex worker who calls your daily grind “performance art.” Hey, that reminds me, you kids need to badger yours truly with emails reminding me to review
The Girlfriend Experience!

** This sentence is pure folly. There are no female film theory majors writing gratis on the Internet. They all land cushy jobs at New York publications and wear oversized sweaters to work with opaque leggings because TV leads me to believe that’s both smart and sassy.

Perhaps Toy Story was more whimsical. And, okay, yes, Finding Nemo was adorable. But Up isn’t a film content to entertain your spawn, it wants to move the heart of a motherf**ker. Remember when you were a tyke, and you cried like a bitch when the hunter killed Bambi’s mom? That’s this, but cranked up to 11.

In fact, I’m throwing down the gauntlet and saying that Up is the perfect date movie. Not for a first outing with someone you met off Craigslist, perhaps, but when you’re thinking of transitioning from “renting” to “buying,” you take that lass to see this film, and if she doesn’t bury her head in your shoulder and sob until she’s hyperventilating, you don’t marry that woman until she goes on a long, excruciating vision quest and finds a soul. I don’t know what kind of human being doesn’t get misty-eyed watching Up, but I’m pretty sure that if he were alive today, Hitler wouldn’t have needed a tissue either.

Up is not the kind of movie you’d expect from Pixar in a million years. It won’t sell merchandise, as it’s too complex for the kids. The animation is top notch, and the main character flies around in a house attached to a rainbow of balloons, so they’ll like it, but they won’t understand it. And that’s fine.

I realize this “review” is more along the lines of “gushing praise,” and there’s a reason for that. The less you know about this film going in, the better the ride. Pixar’s advertising for Up was minimalist, almost cryptic in nature, because this isn’t a story you can easily sell for a family night at the cinema. This is a story about facing your own mortality and dealing with life-changing loss. I never thought I’d write that sentence in regards to a studio whose first film was about a toy cowboy and spaceman. Pixar’s always been good at what it does, but between this and Wall-E, it’s starting to take risks nobody else would touch. Who knows if the long-term returns will justify similar chances in the future, but for now, with Up, any new Pixar film gets bumped up from “solid summer entertainment” to “a potential medium-changing event.” Go see it, or you’re a bad person who hates movies.