Friday, October 09, 2009

Nutshell Review: Up

Just back from Disney Pixars newest offering, Up. First impressions are good.

The music is fantastic, utilizing a lot of classical music to full and wonderful effect. The beats are well matched, though possibly the fact that I noticed them is actually a negative. Music should accompany the scene, never overpower it, but I just couldn't help notice how well certain pieces fit the action onscreen.

And the action is rendered in stunning clarity and detail. Once again, Pixar prove themselves masters of their chosen medium. Having seen Monsters Vrs Aliens earlier in the year, the difference in quality is astounding. Everything is lovingly crafted, from the principle characters holding your attention, to the tiny flowers, bugs and landscape details all over the scenery.

Which brings me to the characters themselves. Now, admittedly, they were clichéd and, highly ironically, very 2D in nature, but they were fun and enjoyable, and I liked them. The animals that appear were probably more fun than the few humans, but I certainly wasn't annoyed at any of the characters presented.

Finally, the big part of the movie, the 3D. It seems that this is becoming more and more prevalent in modern cinema. In just this year alone, I can think of three animated movies already released and one on the way presented in polarized 3D, the style that needs the lined glasses, rather than the red/green ones. Monsters Vrs Aliens was ok, but the 3D never seemed to be quite right. It was a fraction of a millimeter off the whole time, and both myself and Claire ended up with quite the headache afterwords. We didn't get to see Coraline, unfortunately, so I can't comment on that, and I have no interest in seeing A Christmas Carol, having been less than impressed by any trailers so far.

But Up was incredible! The 3D was, for me, stunning. It worked so well. There were just a handful of moments when it shifted a little off, but 90% of the time, I loved the effect. Bit's flying out at the screen, depth and distance between characters and backgrounds, and even effective multiple layering. It has to be said though that Claire disagrees with me. She found the 3D distracting and annoying again. She says it was better than Monsters Vrs Aliens, but still not great.

The one weakness is the story. It's rather basic, simple and clichéd, and feels unusually by-the-numbers for a Pixar production. Claire felt she could not only tell where the plot was going, but could almost predict the dialogue in some places. I think her situation wasn't helped by the fact hat she couldn't immerse herself in the movie because of the 3D, while I fell headlong into the screen and only resurfaced when the credits rolled.

Well worth seeing in my opinion, though not Pixars finest hour. Then again, they may never top the perfection of Wall-E, which all members of this household are delighted to point out was a movie released before 3D became the cool thing to do.

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