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Old 06-03-2009, 02:03 PM   #461
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Yeah, there are some good Pixar shorts. There was one before UP (so get to the theater early) called "Partly Cloudly" about the misadventures of a stork. It was sweet.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:36 PM   #462
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I saw Up last night too. I think it's probably my favorite from Pixar, though I was never exactly their biggest fan or anything. It's their most beautifully animated, but probably has the most successfully mature and poignant adult subtext of any of their work, while still crafting an excellent comical adventure plot over it all. My friend and I were pretty dumbfounded by the sheer amount of clever dog jokes they were able to squeeze in, some of which would have been pretty easy to miss if you weren't really paying attention. Comic geniuses over at that studio if nothing else.

I disagree with GAF regarding the 3D though. I think it absolutely did contribute to the experience. I think people fall into the trap of dismissing it as unnecessary because either A. They see a bad movie, and come away feeling it was a bad movie that wasn't saved by 3D, or B. They see a good movie, and come away feeling it was a good movie, and assume it would have been just as good without the 3D. And in some ways that's right, but in others not really. A good movie is a good movie no matter what, just as a bad movie is a bad movie. 3D is merely another tool for filmmakers to craft an immersive and compelling storytelling experience for you, just like cinemascope, surround sound, or whatever else. And I think it's a pretty effective one, especially if you can experience the best of the technology (IMAX 3D or Dolby 3D, which are considerably finer technologies and experiences than RealD, which is obviously the most common across the glove). For example, I don't come out of Terminator Salvation thinking, "Wow, that was awful, and the aspect ratio totally didn't improve the experience for me!" But I think 3D currently has that stigma for a number of reasons. One, because you usually have to pay a little extra for it. But that's just a business issue, and I figure it will get sorted out some time down the line. Two, because it's still rather new (at least this brand of digital stereo), and people aren't used to it being a common cinematic tool like digital surround sound or cinemascope.

I guess my point is, I'm glad when good filmmakers decide to use 3D to enhance the experience of seeing their films, and I think with Up (and even with U23D, which is still the best 3D experience you can find in theaters) filmmakers are beginning to find more expressive ways to use the technology. If you noticed in Up, during restricted emotional moments, like when Carl is alone in his house, or mourning his wife throughout their adventure, the stereo space was really thin, or flat. Then during more emotionally charged moments they really blew out the stereo space and pushed the 3D depth really far out. Good stuff. And the proof they were so successful with it was that after a couple minutes you hardly ever noticed the 3D standing out from the film. Which you really shouldn't if it's doing its job properly. And a great movie is a great movie whether you watch it in IMAX 3D, or in a rinky-dink strip mall theater, or on DVD on your bedroom tv set. They're just different means of experiencing the film that don't really alter the quality of the product that much.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:26 PM   #463
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Drag Me to Hell.

The most fun I've had at the cinema since Nov '95 when I got to fondle Jessica Poole's breasts during a school screening of Goldeneye.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:31 PM   #464
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It's their most beautifully animated, but probably has the most successfully mature and poignant adult subtext of any of their work, while still crafting an excellent comical adventure plot over it all.
Did you mean to say it's NOT their most beautifully animated? Because there's a "but" following that.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:37 PM   #465
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Good catch. Typo. It probably IS their most beautifully animated I'd wager. Ratatouille comes close, but they are two really distinctive art styles so it's tough to compare.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:58 PM   #466
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UP
Anyways, I liked it a lot. Almost loved it. Very cool flick. The first third of the movie is probably the strongest, but there were some really fantastic moments throughout. One sequence in particular is sticking with me...an extended 10 or 15 minute sequence near the start of the movie with no dialogue. A montage showing Carl and Ellie's life together from children to old age. Beautiful stuff. The relationship between Carl and Ellie is the soul of the movie, and I'm glad the writers didn't lose sight of that.

This is what I am saying, the first 1/3 was great. Carl and Ellie, the montage and their spoken parts were perfect, almost Champlinist. The old man dealing with the construction crew was great too.

What fell flat was how they wrote and depicted the Boy Scout character. That kid was just annoying, one dimensional. And that after they wrote young Carl and Ellie so appealing.
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:09 PM   #467
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Drag Me to Hell.

The most fun I've had at the cinema since Nov '95 when I got to fondle Jessica Poole's breasts during a school screening of Goldeneye.
now THAT is a review...
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:48 PM   #468
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I guess that beats my for Angels & Demons, though it did stray from the book.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:48 PM   #469
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Loved Up, what a surprise. Pixar's 9.5 for 10 (for storytelling I give Cars more credit than most, and the visuals are just awe-inspiring, but they could have done more with it, although its got the least potential from its premise out of all their features)

I don't feel like Russell was one-dimensional, the first half of the movie there wasn't much too him but a likeable loser kid, but when you start to get to know stuff about him, you can't help but feel for him without it feeling cheap or manufactured. I was a tad worried by the design in the first portion of the movie (the only thing I don't like about Pixar is their design of people) but the main characters were well rendered and unique visually, and the rest of the style is just awesome, relatively real but just slightly retro and odd throughout.

Once again Pixar's strength comes from the fact that they produce such great films for adults and simply because its what they want to tell/make, while this will be a more mass marketable film than the last two (masterpieces), given the adventure, talking animals, etc., the storyline and emotion/themes will go right over kids heads, like every Pixar movie after Finding Nemo (even some of Cars is deeper than what Disney markets it as). Pixar's constant display of artistry, creativity and staggering technical animation is always admirable, but their insane and consistent box office success is reassuring for humanity/mainstream that swallows so much crap and don't care to recognize art.

And once again the 'cinematography' is more impressive than many filmed efforts, and in spite of the fact that since its animated you can do anything you want with the angles, this really has a studied and real film way of viewing things, Wall-E set the bench mark for making an animated film look like it was shot and with style(in the Earth sequences, the second half becomes more fantastical all around), but this lives up to it.

I think Coraline will be the animated film of the year (I'm sure it will be forgotten by the almighty awards committees), this will likely be a close second for me, unless something else stuns, although I am really looking forward to The Fantastic Mr. Fox, I love Roald Dahl, stop-motion and Wes Anderson, so its a potent combination for me.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:50 PM   #470
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This is what I am saying, the first 1/3 was great. Carl and Ellie, the montage and their spoken parts were perfect, almost Champlinist.
As in "Charles Champlin" the film critic? Or did you mean Chaplinesque as in "Charles Chaplin"?
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:03 PM   #471
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Yes, I did mean Chaplin, the silent film icon that conveyed emotions without spoken words. (I love/hate spell check)




I did hear Charles Champlin speak once, he had some great Frank Sinatra stories.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:09 PM   #472
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See, I thought Coraline was almost mind-numbingly predictable and treaded worn ground. That film offered absolutely nothing new or exciting. The stop-motion and voice acting were well accomplished, but... bleck.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:20 PM   #473
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Oy vey, we're just born to disagree. You must spend more time here than in other parts of the site, I don't remember running into this much with you before haha.

To be honest Coraline blew me away for being creative in its animation/music/voice acting, and extremely enjoyable from a story-telling point of view, it isn't entirely new territory but I think it brought life to that kid in another world learns a lesson about real life kind of story, and the mood it created was just so cool, it got more and more atmospheric (and no doubt more and more nightmare inducing for children) as it went on. Maybe its because I also kept myself from knowing too much before it came out, so it was still fresh when I saw it and that just let me gape at it and enjoy. I liked the quirky/jerky charm to the stop-motion, which has come along way in terms of smoothness since Nightmare Before Christmas (as evidenced by Corpse Bride) but this seemed like it was deliberately more lo-fi in keeping with the movie, which really liked the fact that it was in a constructed/smaller world and sold that to you, and the music seems often to mix in more toy-like instruments and odd children's voices than impressive professional symphonies, all these things combined to make it so great to me.

The most unexpected thing was the excellent performance from Teri Hatcher.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:36 PM   #474
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Up.

I loved it. Loved! The beginning sequence was incredible. And the part where Carl opened up the adventure book and found Ellie's note also made me cry. Really a wonderful back story. The dog was too awesome for words.

I hid under your porch because I LOVE YOU. Awesome.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:10 PM   #475
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Up.
And the part where Carl opened up the adventure book and found Ellie's note also made me cry
Me too. I cried at the end and maybe one other time as well I loved it too.

Honestly I have never seen any other Pixar movie. I wanted to see Up because I saw a sneak preview of it at Disney World when I went there in March, for the first time ever. I've been Disney obsessed ever since and now I realize the complete sadness of being Pixar deprived and I have to rent all of them.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:25 PM   #476
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although I am really looking forward to The Fantastic Mr. Fox, I love Roald Dahl, stop-motion and Wes Anderson, so its a potent combination for me.
When is this happening? I remember loving the story, didn't know a movie was coming.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:35 PM   #477
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When is this happening? I remember loving the story, didn't know a movie was coming.
November 13th, I believe.

George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Anjelica Huston are voicing it, too.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #478
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Me too. I cried at the end and maybe one other time as well I loved it too.
I cried three times too.
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:38 PM   #479
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November 13th, I believe.

George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Anjelica Huston are voicing it, too.
I know, awesome cast, and many members of the Wes Anderson club. Anjelica Huston is just plain badass.
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:09 PM   #480
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GAF was right, the first third was the best. Unfortunately, it fell rather flat to me once they got to their destination. Did not find the dogs funny except for a few moments. Poor writing choice including them, in my opinion. They could have spent a little more time fleshing out the explorer character, too. They spent like 3 minutes with him and then the rest of the film is essentially a long chase sequence with one break. Picked up a bit again in the last third with Carl's "change of heart", but the ending was a bit obvious.

Personally, I don't really think this is as good as Wall-E or Ratatouille, even if there are some real moments of beauty.

Major props to Michael Giacchino for that score, though.
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