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bowen wrote:

: So far as I know, there are no movies that are in both iMax and 3D and no screens equipped for both . . .

I'm pretty sure the press screening that I attended for Beowulf was in 3D and on an IMAX screen.

You're right. Beowulf was available in 3D iMax. I didn't know there was such a thing. On checking, there are a few other iMax 3D movies as well. As you note, the next Harry Potter film will be available in iMax 3D, but the 3D scenes evidently are only for the first 12 minutes and use some post-production to make the effect rather than being filmed in 3D. How 3D it will be is anyone's guess.

Still, in general, the movies that have been released in iMax have not been 3D, and those in 3D have not been iMax. Probably this is because the 3D effect has been largely the province of CGI animation while iMax has been largely the province of live action.

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I saw U2 3D in an IMAX theatre. The whole film was definitely IMAX and 3D, right down to the drops of sweat and saliva. As to whether it was shot with an IMAX camera, I'm not sure. The technology was certainly impressive. I didn't have any motion sickness or feel tired at all. I didn't get to see UP in 3D, so I don't know what that was like. Here, UP, 3D or otherwise, was not showing in the IMAX theatre, but was showing on the fully digital 3D screens the theatres have. (albeit dubbed in Espanol)

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Just an international box office update. I added the totals for the markets where I have figures and Up has done $48M so far, most of it in Latin America. It will add a little more in those markets, but probably just a few million. By way of comparison, Ratatouille did $42M in those same markets and Wall

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Caught another clever film reference - much more clever and appropriate than the Star Wars reference.

Last time I heard a movie character say, "She goes ga-ga for it!" it was Gonzo the Great explaining why he was buying a bunch of balloons for his chicken. Moments later, Gonzo sails off into the sky with a bundle of baloons, loving every minute of it. As far as Muppets go, Gonzo personifies "The Spirit of Adventure." Up, up, and away.

(That scene made such an impression on me, that as a tribute to Gonzo, I wrote a story a decade ago about a runaway bird whose first flight is inspired by a balloon that gets away. I think SDG might remember that story, since he read some of it.)

Russell sails off with a handful of balloons as well. It might seem like I'm really reaching to see that as a Muppet Movie reference... except that, when Russell mentions Kevin's interest in chocolate, he says, "He goes ga-ga for it!"

As you may have guessed, I saw it a 2nd time today, and I took about three pages of new notes about storytelling designs that impress me. I'll be working them into an article for Image soon...

Edited by Overstreet

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Christian Toto interviews "animation expert" Ellen Besen:
WWTW:

What are your thoughts on this summer

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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but lacked a solid theme to tether it to.

[sigh.]

There's one more "expert" who I won't be paying attention to on the subject of Pixar. My list of "solid themes" that Up is firmly "tethered to" is so long, I'm going to have to focus on just a couple of them in my review.

And... Old Man Frederickson's scenes are implausible? Guess what, animation expert: Toys can't talk. There are no monsters under our beds. Cars have drivers, they don't drive themselves or talk to each other. Balloons probably couldn't lift a house as surely as these do.

I was actually rather impressed with how Docter remembered to incorporate Frederickson's age and infirmities into the story in clever ways throughout.

Oh, never mind. Apparently I'm just supposed to register my disagreement in efficient, clinical, emotionless replies. So here it is: That "animation expert's" "inner child" is not a child who makes any sense to me.

Edited by Overstreet

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Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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That's about as clinical and emotionless as Spock's "live long and prosper" to the Vulcan science academy (let the reader understand). :)

I certainly don't agree with everything that that woman said, but I do agree that an over-reliance on wacky action scenes is problematic, and that Pixar sometimes fumbles the ball when it tries to balance deep emotional realism with glib cartoon escapism.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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As an animation expert, Ellen has surprisingly little to say about animation, not in terms of technique, not in terms of art, and not in terms of a medium. Instead we have a quite unimpressive instance of generic film criticism. In reading it, I would echo Lewis's comments in Men Without Chests: I feel annoyed as if "my son had returned from the dentist with his teeth untouched and his head crammed with the dentist's obiter dicta on bimetallism or the Baconian theory."

Zing!

I'm particularly gobsmacked by her opening salvo to the effect that "The big studios have all created (and are sticking to) their rather narrow recipes for success and as a consequence, the films are suffering." Um. Right. "Narrow recipe for success" is the first phrase that comes to mind when you think of Up. Followed closely by "lack of a solid theme to tether it to." <_<

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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SDG wrote:

: Um. Right. "Narrow recipe for success" is the first phrase that comes to mind when you think of Up.

I dunno, picking off-the-wall topics IS a Pixar "brand" kind of thing to do. (Especially if the stories with the off-the-wall topics end up falling back on wacky action in the final reels.) It's the flood of sequels coming up in the next few years that ISN'T what we expect from Pixar, even if we expect it from DreamWorks and Blue Sky, etc.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I dunno, picking off-the-wall topics IS a Pixar "brand" kind of thing to do.

Speaking of which, my grandmother's favorite recipe was to serve up something unfamiliar and new each time using mostly unguessable ingredients that most of the other cooks in our family thought wouldn't work together, particularly for young eaters. After awhile it began to seem like a pretty narrow recipe.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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I dunno, picking off-the-wall topics IS a Pixar "brand" kind of thing to do.

Speaking of which, my grandmother's favorite recipe was to serve up something unfamiliar and new each time using mostly unguessable ingredients that most of the other cooks in our family thought wouldn't work together, particularly for young eaters. After awhile it began to seem like a pretty narrow recipe.

The novelty must have gotten rather monotonous. Always something different.

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SDG wrote:

: Speaking of which, my grandmother's favorite recipe was to serve up something unfamiliar and new each time using mostly unguessable ingredients that most of the other cooks in our family thought wouldn't work together, particularly for young eaters. After awhile it began to seem like a pretty narrow recipe.

Heh. You are confusing her individual food-item recipes with her business-plan recipe, of course, but still: heh. :)

I don't think anyone is saying that Up is a rehash of Cars or Toy Story or Monsters Inc. (though don't worry, sequels to all three films are in the works). The point here is that Pixar has, in recent years, made unconventionality a convention (as one might say, "expect the unexpected!"). And the problem with these recent films, as some of us see it, is that the unconventional elements are still wedded to very-conventional elements, usually involving wacky robot action or wacky talking-dog action, etc. So instead of saying "expect the unexpected!", the marketing team arguably ought to say "expect the unexpected at first, but expect the expected as well!" Recent films such as WALL-E and Up have impressed us with "oh, we've never seen that before" and then let us down with "ho-hum, more wacky stuff for the kids." Kind of like how Saving Private Ryan was sold on the promise that it would give us battlefield "realism" like we had never seen before, but then, after that bravura opening sequence, it turned into another fairly conventional war movie. I like Saving Private Ryan, and I like these recent Pixar films -- but I think in all of these cases, the discourse AROUND the movies has been weighted too strongly in one direction and not strongly enough in the other.

Still, full props to Pixar for making movies that generate that sort of discourse. Their business-plan recipe is working very well indeed.

bowen wrote:

: The novelty must have gotten rather monotonous. Always something different.

Well, yes. Once in a while, just for something different, we hoped that she would serve us something not-so-different, something that was more explicitly familiar. So thank goodness she finally stopped innovating all the time and served us platefuls of Macaroni 2 and Beef Stew 3, etc., etc. :)

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
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I don't think anyone is saying that Up is a rehash of Cars or Toy Story or Monsters Inc. (though don't worry, sequels to all three films are in the works). The point here is that Pixar has, in recent years, made unconventionality a convention (as one might say, "expect the unexpected!"). And the problem with these recent films, as some of us see it, is that the unconventional elements are still wedded to very-conventional elements, usually involving wacky robot action or wacky talking-dog action, etc. So instead of saying "expect the unexpected!", the marketing team arguably ought to say "expect the unexpected at first, but expect the expected as well!" Recent films such as WALL-E and Up have impressed us with "oh, we've never seen that before" and then let us down with "ho-hum, more wacky stuff for the kids." Kind of like how Saving Private Ryan was sold on the promise that it would give us battlefield "realism" like we had never seen before, but then, after that bravura opening sequence, it turned into another fairly conventional war movie. I like Saving Private Ryan, and I like these recent Pixar films -- but I think in all of these cases, the discourse AROUND the movies has been weighted too strongly in one direction and not strongly enough in the other.

Still, full props to Pixar for making movies that generate that sort of discourse. Their business-plan recipe is working very well indeed.

Whatever else "expect the unexpected at first, but expect the expected as well!" may be, it doesn't sound like a "narrow recipe."

Also, while Saving Private Ryan does fit the template of "unconventional/revolutionary first act followed by entirely conventional later acts," this template does not fit nearly so well with Wall-E and Up, both of which continue to offer unconventional elements in their later acts along with more conventional elements. Just because familiar elements kick in doesn't mean that the story as a whole becomes "conventional."

I think it is understandable that discussion around a film that does unconventional things and also conventional things largely gravitates toward the unconventional things. How much of The Matrix was shot in bullet time? I'd be surprised if it's much more than a minute. But that's what we talk about -- not the fact that most of the movie is shot in "ordinary time."

Looking back over this thread, I don't see that recent back-and-forths about "narrow recipes" and "no solid themes" have added anything to what N.K. Carter wrote pithily several pages back:

Generally: I loved it, thought it was very much in keeping with the way Pixar vigorously infuses narrative formulas with visual and thematic creativity and quietly pushes the boundaries of what's possible for an American animated film. I am more sympathetic here than with Wall-E to criticisms that its second half is a bit deflated -- there were points, if I'm honest with myself, where I felt the conventions creaking into place, and I did roll my eyes at the dogs flying biplanes, though I loved the dogs overall -- but it's not something that diminishes my love. That said, I don't have much to add to the debate of whether Pixar is fully awesome or merely awesome...

Yep, that about sums it up, I think.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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Yep. I never said that everything in the film works for me either. The dog pilots annoyed me the second time around as well, and it still bugs me that Paradise Falls is their very first stop on what feels like a ten-minute jaunt, when it feels like it should have been the glorious destination of a longer, surprise-filled voyage. All I meant to say was that, for this viewer, the awkward moments amount to very slight turbulence on a glorious flight that I'll recommend to anybody anywhere. For any other studio, that would be a rare achievement. For Pixar, it's become the norm. Long may they flourish.

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SDG wrote:

: Also, while Saving Private Ryan does fit the template of "unconventional/revolutionary first act followed by entirely conventional later acts," this template does not fit nearly so well with Wall-E and Up, both of which continue to offer unconventional elements in their later acts along with more conventional elements.

Such as...?

: I think it is understandable that discussion around a film that does unconventional things and also conventional things largely gravitates toward the unconventional things. How much of The Matrix was shot in bullet time? I'd be surprised if it's much more than a minute. But that's what we talk about -- not the fact that most of the movie is shot in "ordinary time."

Well, the obvious difference there is that the first half-hour of The Matrix is pretty "normal", and only THEN does it proceed to blow you away, and to find new ways of doing so at fairly regular intervals. The classic "bullet time" shot to which you refer occurs during the movie's climax. So of course it makes sense to talk about that, the same way people talked about the Death Star battle when they first saw Star Wars. (Now imagine if that film had BEGUN with the Death Star battle.)

Overstreet wrote:

: . . . and it still bugs me that Paradise Falls is their very first stop on what feels like a ten-minute jaunt, when it feels like it should have been the glorious destination of a longer, surprise-filled voyage.

I'm on the movie's side, there, actually. In the case of THIS journey, getting there was never meant to be half the fun. It makes sense that these characters should step out of "real world" North America into "imaginary world" South America fairly instantaneously, like the Pevensies stepping into Narnia through the wardrobe. This isn't Finding Nemo, where the whole point of the story is Marlin's increasing ability to journey beyond his comfort zone and to encounter the wonders that his son has always dreamed about. Nor is this Watership Down, where a band of rabbits abandon a doomed society and then pass through cultures Orwellian and Huxleyan on their way to building a society of their own. This is Up, where Karl Frederickson spent a lifetime dreaming with his wife about a very particular location in South America. Visiting any other locations along the way would have been a distraction. (Though I guess the film could have thrown in a quick montage or something.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Overstreet wrote:

: . . . and it still bugs me that Paradise Falls is their very first stop on what feels like a ten-minute jaunt, when it feels like it should have been the glorious destination of a longer, surprise-filled voyage.

I'm on the movie's side, there, actually. In the case of THIS journey, getting there was never meant to be half the fun. It makes sense that these characters should step out of "real world" North America into "imaginary world" South America fairly instantaneously, like the Pevensies stepping into Narnia through the wardrobe. This isn't Finding Nemo, where the whole point of the story is Marlin's increasing ability to journey beyond his comfort zone and to encounter the wonders that his son has always dreamed about. Nor is this Watership Down, where a band of rabbits abandon a doomed society and then pass through cultures Orwellian and Huxleyan on their way to building a society of their own. This is Up, where Karl Frederickson spent a lifetime dreaming with his wife about a very particular location in South America. Visiting any other locations along the way would have been a distraction. (Though I guess the film could have thrown in a quick montage or something.)

That was the one thing about the film...the shortness of the journey...heck, what journey? It was more like a joyride. I live in Mexico. Maybe most of y'all above the border...here we call it "the other side," don't realize it, but most maps make the countries down here look much, much smaller than they actually are. There are 2,900 miles between Angel Falls and Chicago. That's more than the distance from New York to Los Angeles or from London to Tel Aviv.

OK, I know, as Peter is pointing out, the story is a fantasy. And I'm sure from the storytelling point of view having the journey be longer was a problem, especially for how the relationship between Karl and Russell develops. Still, it bugged the heck out of me.

Some interesting tidbits about the Paradise Falls location from Wikipedia:

Docter made Venezuela the film's setting after Ralph Eggleston gave him a video of the tepui mountains.[8][24] In 2004, Docter and eleven other Pixar artists spent three days reaching Monte Roraima by airplane, jeep and helicopter.[16] They spent three nights there painting and sketching,[32] and encountering dangerous ants, mosquitos, scorpions, frogs and snakes. They also flew to Matawi Tepui and climbed to Angel Falls,[16] as well as Brazil. Docter felt "we couldn't use [the rocks and plants we saw]. Reality is so far out, if we put it in the movie you wouldn't believe it."[22] The film's creatures were also challenging to design because they had to fit in the surreal environment of the tepuis, but also be realistic because those mountains exist in real life.[24] The filmmakers visited Sacramento Zoo to observe a Himalayan Monal Pheasant for Kevin's animation.[1] The animators designed Russell as an Asian-American, and modeled Russell after similar looking Peter Sohn, a Pixar storyboarder who voiced Emile in Ratatouille and directed the short Partly Cloudy, because of his energetic nature.[11][33]

More is in this article on the real location in Venezuela the film makers based Paradise Falls on.

http://science4grownups.com/archives/2009/...adise-falls-530

I love Pete Doctor's quote: reality is so far out, if we put it in a movie you wouldn't believe it. As one who has traveled pretty extensively in Asia and the Middle East...I'd have to say this is really true! There are a lot of bizarre things out there in nature. Lately, whenever I approach the kitchen sink, the ants who have come in via the window form a line and begin to run to get out. It looks like rush hour on the interstate.

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Such as...?

In 18 pages (or whatever it is for you), I'm pretty sure we've talked about this some. I can recap if you really need me to.

Well, the obvious difference there is that the first half-hour of The Matrix is pretty "normal", and only THEN does it proceed to blow you away, and to find new ways of doing so at fairly regular intervals. The classic "bullet time" shot to which you refer occurs during the movie's climax. So of course it makes sense to talk about that, the same way people talked about the Death Star battle when they first saw Star Wars. (Now imagine if that film had BEGUN with the Death Star battle.)

Actually, I was referring to the film's FOUR bullet-time shots, the first of which occurs in the very first scene, when Trinity takes on the policemen. So it kind of IS like beginning Star Wars with the kind of ground-breaking outer-space dog-fighting we see later in that film. (Whereas in fact Star Wars's opening space battle is impressive for other reasons, notably the stunning progressive reveal of the Star Destroyer, but doesn't yet hint at the computer-controlled camera effects that would make the film's climax so astounding).

More is in this article on the real location in Venezuela the film makers based Paradise Falls on.

http://science4grownups.com/archives/2009/...adise-falls-530

My family and I watched an IMAX documentary on DVD called "Lost Worlds" that spends some time in the Lost World of Venezuela shortly after I screened the film (but before I brought my family to see it). It was great to see the real-life environment that the setting for the bulk of the film is based on.

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SDG wrote:

: In 18 pages (or whatever it is for you), I'm pretty sure we've talked about this some. I can recap if you really need me to.

Well, just one or two for-instances would do.

: Actually, I was referring to the film's FOUR bullet-time shots, the first of which occurs in the very first scene, when Trinity takes on the policemen. So it kind of IS like beginning Star Wars with the kind of ground-breaking outer-space dog-fighting we see later in that film.

Well, there was nothing particularly new about the Trinity-policeman scene. We had already seen that pause-the-action-and-move-the-"camera" effect in a Gap ad that ran on TV the year before The Matrix came out, and we had even seen it already on the big screen, in Wing Commander. (Not that many people saw that film, but presumably many people who didn't see the film still saw the trailer for it.)

The reason we now call this effect "bullet time" is because of the way the Matrix filmmakers incorporated CGI bullet trails into some of the paused or slow-motion shots. And if memory serves, those shots all came later in the film. So the Trinity-policeman scene would be more analogous to the progressive reveal of the Star Destroyer, with the truly Death Star-ish scenes coming, appropriately, near the movie's climax.

EDITED TO ADD: Re: the Gap ad that popularized the "bullet time" effect before it became known as "bullet time", you can see in this article from the June 26, 1998 issue of Entertainment Weekly that the people who created this special effect were already expressing concern about "the spectre of overexposure" even THEN. The Matrix did not come out and stamp a catchphrase onto the effect until March 1999.

FWIW, the "bullet time" effect (before anybody called it that) takes place almost exactly at the 1-minute mark in the Wing Commander trailer below:

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Well, just one or two for-instances would do.

Well, go back to N. K. Carter's post I just mentioned, which, inter alia, describes the film (and really the Venezuela segment in particular) as a "burial quest," possibly akin to The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. That strikes me as pretty unprecedented territory for an animated family film. Or take my brief comments about variously inspired, audacious and/or unprecedented elements in even the Exciting Final Act. Or poke around and see what else you find.

Well, there was nothing particularly new about the Trinity-policeman scene. We had already seen that pause-the-action-and-move-the-"camera" effect in a Gap ad that ran on TV the year before The Matrix came out, and we had even seen it already on the big screen, in Wing Commander. (Not that many people saw that film, but presumably many people who didn't see the film still saw the trailer for it.)

The use of bullet time in the Trinity-policeman scene was explosively new. Neither the Gap commercial nor (AFAIK) Wing Commander used the time-slowing effect as a vital storytelling device, as opposed to a snazzy visual flourish. Its prominent opening-scene use in The Matrix suggests crucial things about Trinity, about the world in which the story is set and the sorts of possibilities that may be open to some characters but not others, about the style and mood of the movie we are watching. Neither earlier instances nor the vast majority of imitators leveraged such effects in anything like as potent a way. (A similar effect in Spider-Man is the nearest partial match I can think of.)

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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SDG wrote:

: The use of bullet time in the Trinity-policeman scene was explosively new. Neither the Gap commercial nor (AFAIK) Wing Commander used the time-slowing effect as a vital storytelling device, as opposed to a snazzy visual flourish.

This is beginning to sound like a difference that makes no difference. Yes, the Trinity-policeman scene, being at the very beginning of the film, gave us a "first impression" that set up much of what was to come later, just as the progressive reveal of the Star Destroyer at the beginning of Star Wars set things up for the rest of THAT film. But were either of these things "ground-breaking" on the level of technical accomplishment? Not really, I don't think so. Leaping, pausing in mid-air, and moving the camera had been done a year earlier in that Gap ad, and Wing Commander even added the element of milk (real? CGI?) frozen in mid-air. Likewise, we had seen rather large spaceship models on the big screen before Star Wars came along, though perhaps not photographed in such intense close-up before (I would have to watch, say, 2001: A Space Odyssey again to see how it compares).

It was in the LATER scenes that things got REALLY interesting, as The Matrix added bullet trails and spinning rooms and whatnot on the one hand, and Star Wars added computer-controlled cameras that allowed for unprecedentedly realistic dogfight battles in outer space on the other hand. (The opening shot in Star Wars is stationary, after the camera pans down to Tatooine; the following shot -- in which the Rebel blockade runner APPROACHES the camera -- has some very slight movement in the background plate, but it's very subtle, and nothing that would require all that much effort to coordinate with the steady, linear flight patterns of the two ships.)

Then again, maybe I'M the one focusing on differences that make no difference here. This sub-discussion grows out of your comment that people tend to focus on the unconventional aspects of a film, and one can certainly argue that the more-brilliant-than-ever-before use of special effects that have already been around for a few years counts as "unconventional" on some level.

So, uncle. :)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
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So, uncle. :)

Oh. My. Gosh. So it is possible to wrestle you to a standstill! (And just when, halfway through your latest post, I was about to say "Uncle" myself!) :lol:

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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This may come as too little, too late, but...

I went on Saturday to see UP with my son, who is seven years old. It was our boys' night out, and we were both excited. This is his third movie seen in theaters. We both LOVED the movie. I was able to bring him, sight unseen, due to two factors: Pixar's track record, and the discussion on this forum. Thank you! Timothy loved the dogs, and especially the dogs flying the planes. But he was also keenly aware of some of the deeper themes of the movie. When two easy chairs wind up side by side on top of a cliff in a brief shot late in the film, Timothy leaned over to me and said, "That's the way it SHOULD be!" and I agreed through my tears. UP's first five minutes will be marriage retreat material for years to come. It sets up the film as potentially overly-sentimental, but the remainder of the film works hard to earn the sentiment expressed therein, deepen it, question it, and reassemble it in a remarkably mature fashion.

The next day, Sunday, was my wedding anniversary. Of course, I took my wife to see UP. She loved it, too, and it sparked a good long discussion both about the film and about marriage in general. What does "till death us do part" mean? What happens AFTER death does us part? How do you honor the memory of the past, without living in the past? Great stuff.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Great thoughts, Crimson. I totally agree with you. Up, like other Pixar movies, could easily be overly-sentimental, BUT they handle the emotional landscape with such care, being reverent at some moments and poking fun at others, that they never (IMO) become objectionable, and often become really, really poignant.

That's just how eye roll.

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This may come as too little, too late, but...

I went on Saturday to see UP with my son, who is seven years old. It was our boys' night out, and we were both excited. This is his third movie seen in theaters. We both LOVED the movie. I was able to bring him, sight unseen, due to two factors: Pixar's track record, and the discussion on this forum. Thank you! Timothy loved the dogs, and especially the dogs flying the planes. But he was also keenly aware of some of the deeper themes of the movie. When two easy chairs wind up side by side on top of a cliff in a brief shot late in the film, Timothy leaned over to me and said, "That's the way it SHOULD be!" and I agreed through my tears. UP's first five minutes will be marriage retreat material for years to come. It sets up the film as potentially overly-sentimental, but the remainder of the film works hard to earn the sentiment expressed therein, deepen it, question it, and reassemble it in a remarkably mature fashion.

The next day, Sunday, was my wedding anniversary. Of course, I took my wife to see UP. She loved it, too, and it sparked a good long discussion both about the film and about marriage in general. What does "till death us do part" mean? What happens AFTER death does us part? How do you honor the memory of the past, without living in the past? Great stuff.

Yes. Good thoughts, Denes.

We went to see the movie as a family of four, and the discussion that ensued afterward was worth the price of admission, and more. In many ways, the movie was a Rorschach test for everyone in my family. My wife and I saw it as a tale that applied to aging Baby Boomers facing an uncertain future (Retirement? What's that? For that matter, what's a job?). My kids saw it as a tale that applied to anxious college students facing an uncertain future (What's a job? And how does one find one, let alone one that is suited to one's talents and abilities?) Everyone came away inspired, uplifted, moved, and greatly entertained, and it led to one of the best family discussions we've had in a while. Of course, it was also a marvelous commentary on marriage.

Little kids? I hope they enjoyed it, too. There was some evidence around me that they did. But Pixar consistently amazes me in their ability to create films that are, ostensibly, targeted to a young audience, and that are immensely satisfying for adults. They did it again with UP.

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