Monday, June 01, 2009

Up kind of leaves you down

I’m conflicted about my feelings for Up. We went and saw it Friday, but I wanted to take the weekend to ruminate on it. On the one hand, it was a somber tale of an old man fulfilling a lifelong dream. On the other, it was a lighthearted romp. Leaving the theater, my entire family was lukewarm about the flick, but we’ve all been quoting it extensively afterwards.

I guess the problem here is that Up really is two stories. The set-up for the main story is lengthy and sets a tone that is betrayed by the latter parts of the film. What we’re presented with in the beginning is the tale of two kids who grow up together dying to become explorers. It doesn’t happen and there is plenty of heartache along the way. AND THEN, the old man does leave and the adventure happens. The issue I had is that the intro is so long, you’re kind of in a somber mood by the time the humor starts to kick in. But the humor does kick in.

Once the house leaves the ground, the movie picks up, but you’re already a third into the flick. If you’ve made it this far, though, you will be rewarded. While most of the major plot points are quite transparent – it is a kid’s flick after all – that doesn’t rob the movie of its humor or poignancy. Of course, the best part of the movie is the dogs. The advertisements kind of oversell how often the dogs are in the movie, but they do play an integral role.

Lastly, we went to see it in 3-D and while I’ve been very pleased with 3-D movies lately, I didn’t think there was much in the way of 3-D going on in Up. I could have saved the extra two bucks a ticket and seen the regular version and not missed anything. While I applaud the advances in 3-D, I do want there to be an obvious reason for its use.

Overall, I guess I give Up a conditional recommend. If you’re prepared for the lengthy, and sorrowful, intro you’ll be ready for a good movie. If you go in thinking it’s all going to be a big jungle romp, you’re going to be a bit disappointed.

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