Movie News

Massawyrm loves UP!!!

Published at: May 29, 2009, 8:23 a.m. CST


Hola all. Massawyrm here. At this point reviewing Pixar films becomes a bit repetitive, and frankly we should be thankful for that. Nothing lasts forever, and for the time being we are living in a golden age of solid, dependable family entertainment. Pixar rarely makes a mediocre (or bad) film. Some feel they never have. For a long time I failed to be won over by their films, scratching my head at the love some people had for them. I liked them just fine, but I didn’t love them. But that’s all changed. Ever since they gained their creative freedom from their evil corporate overlords at Disney (and since taking over Disney’s animation) their films have begun to, for the most part, become instant classics. And UP is no different. While some are making a big deal about this being a dramatic shift for Pixar, what with them telling a story about ordinary CG people for the first time - rather than CG animals, monsters, animated objects or superheroes - really this is no different than many of their previous efforts. It is still the story of two unlikely partners who start out not liking one another, but are forced together and ultimately become a team of lifelong friends who need one another. This time, instead of a car or a rat or a green one-eyed monster it just happens to be an octogenarian and a cub scout. In a flying house. And it is decidedly not unlike their previous efforts at all. Which is a good thing. Up is magnificent, a beautifully executed story about love, friendship, obsession and what it really means to go on an adventure. It is an incredibly emotional tale that will get your average moviegoer to cry no less than twice, but possibly a third or fourth time if you’re prone towards crying in films. Not at all subtle in its attempts to be a tear jerker, it plays upon the notion of familial attachments ranging from a husband’s pining for his wife, a boy’s desire for a father and a dog’s love for his master. In fact, if there is one thing this film does differently from anything at all it is to break the longtime Disney mold of the “motherless” child character. In this case, the character of Russell (the Cub Scout) has a delinquent dad. In years past our country’s overtly conservative values have demonized the idea of the single mother to the point that even a widowed mother seemed a bit risqué – so Disney always killed off the mom. I mean, who can’t feel sorry for a kid without a mom? Which leads to what has been so great about Pixar without Disney micro-managing: their films have become decidedly more mature. Contrary to their cartoonish nature, the films have shifted from being about friendship and childhood to wrestling with things like a mid-life crisis (The Incredibles); complacency, obesity and an ignorance of our environmental impact (Wall-E); following your dreams and desires even when everyone (your parents included) tells you you’re wrong (Ratatouille); and here, dealing with the loss of a loved one and living a life unfulfilled. And really, that’s what works best in this film – it wrestles with that notion of having to have accomplished something to life a full life. It’s something we here in the states have ingrained in us from birth. In our culture a person who leaves nothing behind kind-of never really existed. The idea of finding your own patch of happiness in this world and living there quietly contented with the loved ones around you is something we view as simple, unremarkable and not at all special or to be admired. UP is very much about a man at the end of his life who feels that way – and is about to go on the adventure of his life. It is a life reaffirming, sweet journey that – in the classic Pixar way – proves to be an excellent metaphor for the lives we all lead. Once again the Disney name is finding its way on to important (and yet still highly entertaining) allegories that contain lessons we all occasionally need to be reminded of, and that it is certainly wise to expose kids to. Meanwhile, UP is the single most sharply written, uproariously funny Pixar film to date. There are no less than half a dozen lines, most of them spoken by the adorable Dug the Dog, that have become quotable staples here at the Casa de la Wyrm. Several of these phrases will no doubt cement themselves on your brain and bring a smile to your face the instant someone mentions them. The way that the dog characters are handled in this film is exceedingly clever and provides a huge source of sidesplitting jokes. The second half of the film is infinitely funnier than the first as a result – a rarity to be sure. Perfectly executed, wonderfully conceived, it is safe to say that I love everything about this film and once again look forward to whatever Pixar has in store for me next. They have earned my full trust and faith and continue to be one of the single most reliable filmmaking ventures out there. Highly, highly recommended. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Massawyrm
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Readers Talkback

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  • May 29, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    FIRST

    by gruemanlives

    UP

  • May 29, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    FIRST

    by gruemanlives

    UP

  • May 29, 2009, 8:30 a.m. CST

    liked WALL*E & Toy Story

    by Cedar_Room

    never really cared about the others.

  • May 29, 2009, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Hopefully

    by MorganLeafy

    I will too. Getting good reviews, so who knows. Didn't like Ratatouille though.

  • May 29, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST

    is it up-tastic?

    by simondark

    just wondering...

  • May 29, 2009, 8:41 a.m. CST

    I love your mom

    by Tell_Your_Mom_I_Said_Hi

  • May 29, 2009, 8:47 a.m. CST

    PIXAR RULES!!!

    by Underoos Hero

    I can't wait to see this.

  • May 29, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • May 29, 2009, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Sure, but does Steven Seagal fight a bear?

    by OGoncho

    Didn't think so. Mature, my arse.

  • May 29, 2009, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Like I can trust you!

    by HEADGEEK

    After you called TERMINATOR SALVATION the best of the 4 Terminator Movies, how can I ever trust you again. It's those dolphins fucking with your brain after you work out at the gym. You need more protein to balance out your brain juices. I suggest steak and not your first inclination.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    TERMINATOR 4 SUCKED

    by Underoos Hero

    Just like Bale did in Batman....

  • May 29, 2009, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Wall*E and Cars were mediocre

    by Rupee88

    Give Wall*E points for that early no dialogue portion but then it got pedestrian on the ship with the fat people. Toy Story 1 & 2 and Incredibles are the only superb Pixar movies...the rest are meh or entertaining (Monsters Inc) but nothing to write home about. Some like Ratatouille and Finding Nemo are just lame, yet get near 100% on Tomatometer. I will download this one but not pay to see.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:06 a.m. CST

    God, I loved UP.

    by Nordling

    Man, it never fails. There's weekends at a stretch that don't have one movie that I'm dying to see, and this weekend has FOUR in my area (BLOOM and ANVIL opened here too). But UP is a genuine, no-holds-barred masterpiece.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:09 a.m. CST

    I loved up...your moms.

    by Cletus Van Damme

    This is the only Pixar film for which I've seen a preview and thought, "Meh...take it or leave it."<p>I hope it isn't an indication of where things are going with them.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:15 a.m. CST

    I love Massawyrm

    by SimpleSandwiches

    Because he gets down to the fucking review almost immediately. No paragraphs upon paragraphs in a review of an animated movie of how he loved Gertie the Dinosaur and how it paved the way for yadda yadda. Great review. Can't wait to see it.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:22 a.m. CST

    MASS you fucking dipshit!!

    by DoctorWho?

    NOBODY "demonizes" the idea of the single mother". It's simple conventional knowledge that it pretty much sucks not to have a good dad around.<p> Jesus, what a skewed, overt political perspective on such a simple convention. <p> I will now continue reading the review. Fuckin' A that was dumb.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    I knew it!

    by Sick Fixx

    I fucking KNEW you people would shit all over Wolverine and Terminator: Salvation, then turn around and praise a CGI cartoon from Pixar!!! Disgraceful!!!

  • May 29, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST

    I 100% agree with this review

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

    UP is a fantastic movie.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see this!!

    by DoctorWho?

    Dragging my family to it this weekend. I know that dog is going to be priceless.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    DrWho?

    by Parallaxmjm

    I agree. The only time single motherhood is viewed negatively is either when the idea is expressed that that is the preferred plan or a father isn't really necessary in a child's life (this is usually a hollywood celeb position, so it really doesn't apply much to real life)or when a woman keeps having kids while single, usually with different fathers and is on welfare. Other than those scenarios, single motherhood is usually praised as being incredibly difficult and something deserving great respect.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Not coming out in the UK till 16th Oct?!?!?!

    by henrydalton

    What the fucking fucking fucking fuck?!! That's like putting a big 'WELCOME PIRACY' sign up. Seriously, why is the UK getting this film last out of pretty much every country in the cocking world?!

  • May 29, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST

    You overlooked a handful of moms

    by bah

    In Toy Story, the father is simply not referenced. But Lion King kills the father on screen!

  • May 29, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Let's not forget that Massa LOVED Taken....

    by coconutgroves

    And that movie was horrible. I think UP is unanimous, just pointing out Massa is a bit schizo in his reviews, especially if you factor in T4.

  • May 29, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Why the Terminator 4 hate?

    by Bentley_Bear

    I loved it. I enjoyed it much more than Star Trek and I loved Star Trek. They both have problems but Terminator has always been a 'B' movie series. I wanted to see killer robots vs humans and I got that. Yeah, the ending got sappy but the action was top notch and beat the pants off of the boring action of Star Trek and it's bigger plot holes. And I don't buy Orci and Kurtzman's `artistic license` responses. I still loved the film. If I had to choose which one to see again, I'd go with T4.

  • May 29, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Liked UP very much

    by My friends call me Killjoy

    Good film, I'll take seconds please.

  • May 29, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    UP or HELL? HELL or UP? UP or HELL?

    by Ash0k

    Man, I dunno if I should see UP tonight, or DRAG ME TO HELL. This weekend is AWESOME.

  • May 29, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Wall-E was less about environmental ignorance...

    by D.Vader

    And more about revoultion(!), rebelling against those that tell you how to lead your life and insist they know what's best for everyone. It's a film that tells kids to question their masters. It's a film where the creative and different are liked up as political prisoners. <p> All this in a kids film? Amazing.

  • May 29, 2009, 10:58 a.m. CST

    I meant locked up

    by D.Vader

    Damn auto correct.

  • May 29, 2009, 11 a.m. CST

    Parallaxmjm

    by DoctorWho?

    "...single motherhood is usually praised as being incredibly difficult and something deserving great respect."<p> Damn Straight! No one is out there ripping on single mom's. If anything it's the dead beat, loser dad's who deservedly catch shit.

  • May 29, 2009, 11:52 a.m. CST

    up and away...

    by ZombiManos

    it'll be interesting to see how many parents and the like get caught up by the emotion in the film...from the beginning i've heard how this movie is the most emotional of pixar's...yet in the previews, they never once let on about that...i'm personally very curious about how it all fits into the film...

  • May 29, 2009, 12:27 p.m. CST

    did i miss something....?

    by poopoohumor

    i keep hearing about how "Now Pixar can be free from Disney..." you guys know disney BOUGHT pixar, right? the suits are at pixar WAAAAAYY more now than they ever were. do you really think pixar, a place where STORY IS KING, would be doing CARS 2 without pressure from disney? where the fuck is the burning need for story there? and with lasseter running things over at disney, well...lets just say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. it's all just a matter of time before lasseter caves in and sells out. i'll just enjoy the quality movies while they last. but make no mistake, pixar IS losing their hold on the control of their company....

  • May 29, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Toy Stort 3 Teaser!!!

    by Outlaw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VJIyLA8RmM

  • May 29, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Toy Story 3 Teaser...

    by Outlaw

  • May 29, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    I second Dr who

    by bobbofatz

    Damn you guys get conservative thinking and values so wrong so often. Sometimes it is only a single word or sentence that is used to slant a jab. 99% of everybody appreciates and empathizes with the struggle of single mothers. It was the glamorizing of it that became nauseating. Some perceived hard core Repubs blame the ease of getting welfare as enabling some fathers to skate their duties. Nobody in their right mind demonizes single mothers. Wyrm dont be one. I like your reviews. Go Up!

  • May 29, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    "Why the Terminator 4 hate?"

    by Ash0k

    1. Weak characters<p> 2. Bale's worst performance by far<p> 3. *Nothing* accomplished with Terminator mythology<p> 4. No real focus on the actual war<p> 5. McG sucks.

  • May 29, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah...

    by Ash0k

    6. No Summer Glau

  • May 29, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    I understand Harry

    by Massawyrm 1

    After you declared Twilight the best film of 2008, I had to champion a film no one else would. Especially after you hated Dark Knight so much.

  • May 29, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    drwho? & Parallaxmjm

    by Massawyrm 1

    methinks you guys need to re-examine your social history. I'm thinking you guys may have missed much of what I'm talking about. Begin your research a mere 20 years ago with a cursory search of the TV show "Murphy Brown" - then remember that many of the films we're talking about are 50+ years old. Single motherhood was something that wasn't supposed to exist (in some eyes), and there were many people who felt strongly about displays of it. Nothing political about it - just a comment on history.

  • May 29, 2009, 1:44 p.m. CST

    i cared more about a bird in UP than anyone in T4

    by Six Demon Bag

    why is that?

  • May 29, 2009, 1:44 p.m. CST

    by How2fish

    In years past our country’s overtly conservative values"......this is a MOVIE made in the US...where the "conservative value of the movie industry equates to not showing cumshots to 8 year olds..please

  • May 29, 2009, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Love the new avatar, Massawyrm!

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Definitely, a step up... :)

  • May 29, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST

    HenryDalton, why is the Uk getting it late?

    by Alphanumeric1971

    Cuz you guys stick it too us with "Doctor Who" Hows that feel? Hunh?! Hunh?!

  • May 29, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    GREAT review, Massa!

    by vincentkv

    I had to join just to praise this review. I've been reading about UP all day and been getting annoyed by the same-ness of all the writing: 1)That Pixar is great. 2)First 10 minutes oh my god. 3)OLD MAN protagonist! 4)It's very funny. 5)3D SUCKS/is fine. You managed to excite me about the movie and tell why it's great without boring the crap outta me.

  • May 29, 2009, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Saw it this morning

    by palpatinefuckedmydog

    And Absolutely LOVED IT!Funny,heart warming,funny,action packed,funny,very funny,Beautifully animated and funny. The best film I've seen so far this year. And I like the fact that the kid is Asian and they did not go the stereotypical route and gave him an Asian accent. oh and Fuck Shyamalan!

  • May 29, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Important

    by Larry of Arabia

    I like was Massy said in the review. Pixar is making important films. Disney, through Pixar (or vice versa) is once again showing that family entertainment can be a rich experience filled with levels of meaning while pushing the technology and artistry each time out. There is nothing shallow about any of these films. And if you dislike them simply because they are "animated" or have a "family" label you have a cold heart indeed.

  • May 29, 2009, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Loved the film...

    by TheMarineBiologist

    Granted, I think I cried more than I laughed...<p> I may have a problem...

  • May 29, 2009, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Which were the early bad pixar films that disney controlled?

    by ironburl

    I'm confused. Disney has in the past been the distributor. Disney had no say. Now their power seems to have increased (no doubt in part because Steve Jobs in on the Disney board of directors)

  • May 29, 2009, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Which were the early bad pixar films that disney controlled?

    by ironburl

    I'm confused. Disney has in the past been the distributor. Disney had no say. Now their power seems to have increased (no doubt in part because Steve Jobs in on the Disney board of directors)

  • May 29, 2009, 10:35 p.m. CST

    SPOILERS: Revenge of the Fallen novel

    by AxeEmAll

    Judge for yourself if Transformers is one of the best films this summer: Jetfire WAS a Decepticon that shifted allegiance to the Autobots. Before dying, he gives Optimus Prime his wings so that the latter could get to the Giza Pyramid fast, to stop the Fallen from activating a machine that could destroy the sun. The blonde that Sam meets in college is a Decepticon disguised as a girl. "Alice" is her name, since it was a copy of a human-like Honda robot (This blonde seduces Sam and as a probe is being inserted into his mouth to "hack" his brain--a.k.a. the tongue of the Decepticon, Mikaela enters his room, which pretty much pisses her off until...) Optimus Prime goes into stasis (he's not really dead, but it would take like a thousand years for his body to repair itself) after being stabbed by Megatron (Optimus goes mano-o-mano with both Starscream and Megatron in that forest in the trailer). Sam actually dies, and while he is being revived, he sees a vision of the original 13 Primes,killed by the Fallen, telling him that they choose him to own the Matrix of Leadership (the dagger-like thingy that Sam picks from the ground in the trailer, produced by the AllSpark thousands of years ago as a key to a machine atop the Pyramid of Giza that produces Energon). Sam uses the Matrix of Leadership crystal to revive Optimus' Spark. Simmons has a major role in the film and becomes a hero of sorts. After being fired from Sector 7, he spends his time in his mother's deli, and he keeps a secret attic above his mom's restaurant, blogging with the name "Robo Warrior" who happens to be discovered by Sam's geek dorm mate. Simmons is responsible for helping out a U.S. Carrier with coordinates to destroy Devastator by sneaking under the biggest Decepticon ever. And Mikaela gives Simmons a kiss (well, a flying kiss that is, for helping her and Sam). Yes, it has a happy ending. I'm not sure how they would explain why Arcee is a girl, or the concept of trans-dimensional travel. Two Decepticons defect to the Autobots: Jetfire and Wheels, that small Decepticon who ends up enamored by Mikaela. Like he hugs her and burrows his head into her cleavage, but without fazing her.

  • May 29, 2009, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to the film, but Massa,

    by jerseycajun

    I concur with others that saying Pixar had less independence before the Disney buyout is confusing. If Disney chose to, they're actually in a better position now to tinker creatively with Pixar's work if they really wanted to. The initial 6 picture deal Pixar and Disney had was for one to produce and the other to distribute only. Pixar stopped listening to Disney's "creative" input after the first draft of "Toy Story" bombed, and they haven't looked back since. The only reason things haven't changed creatively, is that it was made part of the buyout deal that Lasseter would helm the creative departments at both Disney and Pixar animation, and that they'd be sheltered from interference. I think the changes you see over time is the natural maturing process the artists have gone through, no more, no less. As a naturally evolving (creatively) studio, it does boggle the mind where they could go from here, and what they could continue to do. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing what they do with "The Bear and the Bow" as well as "Newt". It's an exciting time to be a fan of animation.

  • May 29, 2009, 11:34 p.m. CST

    "I do not like the Cone Of Shame"

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Dug is HILARIOUS.

  • May 30, 2009, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Needs more scatalogical humor and

    by Dingbatty

    annoying songs by Smashmouth.

  • May 30, 2009, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Best movie of the year so fare imo

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    I havent seen many movies this yr, but Up just surpassed Star Trek by a wide margin imo.

  • May 30, 2009, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Really looking forward to this.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • May 30, 2009, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Disney...

    by j_ky2002

    ...ya know how every now and then you see some dipshit bimbo or porn actress call herself "Bambi"? Why the fuck do they do that, when Bambi was a MALE? I point that out to every cumdumster bitch that calls herself that. ---I have issues.

  • May 30, 2009, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Bambi

    by palpatinefuckedmydog

    is short for Bambino or Bambina not just a Disney reference.

  • May 30, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    I admit it, I cried like a bitch in the theater

    by Tacom

    That montage at the beginning got me and later when Carl finds the pictures in Ellie's adventure book.

  • May 30, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Needs more GIANT PIG

    by GIANT_PIG

    GIANT PIG!!!

  • May 30, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Six demon flag. Very funny

    by bobbofatz

    I have not seen the films referenced but, "you cared more about the bird" comment was priceless!

  • May 31, 2009, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Tears flowed from my eyes, too.

    by Anime_Nut

    I truly, truly LOVED this movie. Especially how the movie gently eases the audience back into laughing after that heart-wrenching montage.<p> I really hope the DVD/BD's obligatory short film is another adventure with Li'l Carl and Li'l Ellie.<p> The only thing that kept this from being my favorite Pixar film is the somewhat-tedious Second Act. Not long after Carl and Russell began their jungle trek, I started to nervously ask myself, "Really? All the things they could have done with that house, and THIS is what we get?" Thankfully, things picked up real soon after that. As it stands, Finding Nemo remains my favorite Pixar movie, followed by Wall-E, and now Up.

  • May 31, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    OK, Im on board...

    by benlinus

    This movie is just fucking fantastic! Saw it today at the Ziegfeld in NYC with the wife and 6 year old daughter. I got teary about 4 times. The movie is just fantastic. VERY different from WALL-E but still a masterpiece. Yes, the montage in the beginning will make you weep, but it is funny as fuck and that dog has some FUNNY fucking lines! "SQUIRREL!"!!!

  • May 31, 2009, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Hated Ratatouille and Walle with a passion.

    by bioforge

    Very cautious about another pixar feature.