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FWIW, former film critic Rod "Crunchy Con" Dreher took one of his sons to see the film on a "staycation", and he liked it, with one common reservation:

I really liked "Up," and commend to you Alan Jacobs' reflections (he's right too about the talking dogs and the airplanes -- it was the only false, un-Pixar-ish note in the movie). As we were driving away from the theater, full of popcorn and soda, I tried to explain to Lucas, in terms he could grasp, one of the film's lessons: that we have to be careful not to let focusing on ideal adventures that can never be achieved rob us of taking pleasure in the adventures we can have in our everyday lives.

From the back seat, Lucas piped, "Like this one, Dad."

"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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See Post #101 in this thread.

Interestingly, this thread includes a reference to McCarthyism, quotes Todd McCarthy, *and* includes a discussion of Tom McCarthy's involvement.

I'm sure this means something. Let me know if you figure it out.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

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See Post #101 in this thread.

Interestingly, this thread includes a reference to McCarthyism, quotes Todd McCarthy, *and* includes a discussion of Tom McCarthy's involvement.

I'm sure this means something. Let me know if you figure it out.

I thought someone had probably posted that story already, but I didn't feel like taking the time to search through and check on it. I stumbled on it, incidentally, when I saw that McCarthy has an acting role in The Lovely Bones.

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mpup03re-letteredflattenedsm.gif

"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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Funny comic. And yet It's pretty clear (at least, it was to me) through the course of the film, that Carl becomes more agile and spry the farther he goes in fulfilling his dreams. Seemed to be one of the film's many themes... how getting out there and living, whether in high-stakes adventure or in intimate relationship, pumps life and meaning into your veins. I think it'd be short-sighted to call it a flaw or inconsistency in the film.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

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"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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DVD bonus feature:

The Many Endings of Muntz - Many ideas were hatched about how to dispose of the film’s arch villain, Muntz, and now viewers can see the many alternate endings proposed during story development.

Looks like the controversy may have touched a nerve at Pixar? (Wonder if Docter is saying to himself "How come Brad Bird didn't get this kind of criticism when he killed off Syndrome??!!") I'm guessing future Pixar films will think twice before killing the villain.

“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:

: Looks like the controversy may have touched a nerve at Pixar? (Wonder if Docter is saying to himself "How come Brad Bird didn't get this kind of criticism when he killed off Syndrome??!!") I'm guessing future Pixar films will think twice before killing the villain.

Was there ever any controversy over the killing of Hopper in A Bug's Life? I can't remember. (That was in Pixar's early days, though, and the film as a whole was pretty conventional in other ways, too. The Incredibles, of course, was a superhero movie, so the death of the villain could also be excused as one of the genre's conventions. The big selling point of Up and other Pixar movies these days, on the other hand, is how they supposedly don't adhere to convention any more.)

"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 wonder whether this is really a helpful way to respond to the controversy, though -- actually highlighting other possible resolutions so that people can say, "See, why didn't they go with that idea?"

I still think that the rough concept video for Monsters, Inc. (in which Sully, or whatever he was called at that stage, is an angst-ridden monster afraid of scaring rather than a top scarer) has a spark of real monster-ishness missing in the final product, as polished and effective as it is. I find Monsters, Inc. hugely enjoyable, but it doesn't do for monsters what the Toy Story films did for toys, i.e., show us the other side of our emotional relationship with our own imaginary creations. It doesn't put me inside the head of the creature hiding under my bed or in my closet the way that that concept video did.

“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:

: I wonder whether this is really a helpful way to respond to the controversy, though -- actually highlighting other possible resolutions so that people can say, "See, why didn't they go with that idea?"

Yeah, that's always a danger when you include the alternate endings on a DVD. It can actually bite you on the butt no matter which way the audience reacts: In the case of, say, Star Trek: Generations, where the DVD includes the original ending (in which Kirk dies simply because Soran shoots him in the back), the viewer is likely to think, "That is so LAME! How could they even have THOUGHT of that, let alone SHOT that and EDITED it together!?" But in other cases, like you say, the viewer is likely to say, "Well gosh, that was BETTER -- why didn't they stick with it?" (And then there are cases like, say, Married Life, where there are something like three or four different endings on the DVD, and it's not really clear -- to me, at least -- which version they should have gone with.)

"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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Yeah, that's always a danger when you include the alternate endings on a DVD. It can actually bite you on the butt no matter which way the audience reacts: In the case of, say, Star Trek: Generations, where the DVD includes the original ending (in which Kirk dies simply because Soran shoots him in the back), the viewer is likely to think, "That is so LAME! How could they even have THOUGHT of that, let alone SHOT that and EDITED it together!?"

Huh. Yeah, I guess some people are likely to think that. I just tend to ask "Is the movie better off the way it is?" If I like the final cut version better than the deleted scene version, I nod in approval: They made the right call. If not, I shake my head and say they should have gone the other way.

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

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bowen wrote:

: Up is currently the #2 Pixar film world-wide at $645M, behind only Finding Nemo.

FWIW, it's still #3 overseas, since the $350-ish million it has earned over there still lags behind the $417.3 million earned overseas by Ratatouille. (Finding Nemo earned $524.9 million overseas.)

Among animated films as a whole, Up currently ranks #7 worldwide, behind Shrek 2 ($919.8 million), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($882.2 million), Finding Nemo ($864.6 million), Shrek the Third ($799 million), The Lion King ($783.8 million) and Ice Age: The Meltdown ($655.4 million).

"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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bowen wrote:

: Up is currently the #2 Pixar film world-wide at $645M, behind only Finding Nemo.

FWIW, it's still #3 overseas, since the $350-ish million it has earned over there still lags behind the $417.3 million earned overseas by Ratatouille. (Finding Nemo earned $524.9 million overseas.)

Among animated films as a whole, Up currently ranks #7 worldwide, behind Shrek 2 ($919.8 million), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($882.2 million), Finding Nemo ($864.6 million), Shrek the Third ($799 million), The Lion King ($783.8 million) and Ice Age: The Meltdown ($655.4 million).

It will very probably beat Ratatouille internationally, unless it disappoints in Japan. It will easily beat Ice Age: The Meltdown worldwide. All the other movies on those lists are out of reach.

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FWIW, right now, if you buy Up on Blu-Ray at Amazon.com along with one of about 30 other Disney Blu-Rays, you can enter a product code that gets you $10 off -- which, at the current price (and assuming you were interested in buying one of the other Blu-Rays anyway), effectively means that the four-disc set for Up would cost you only $9.99.

It's not quite as good or simple a deal as the one they had for the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-Ray a few weeks ago, where you could simply pay $9.99 for the three-disc set, period, without having to buy anything else. But if, like me, you were thinking of getting one of those other Blu-Rays too, then you're basically getting both discs for only $30-plus, which isn't bad. (And that, alone, is enough to qualify for the free shipping, too.)

My apologies if this seems like crass advertising. But I like deals like this (among other things, I'm always looking for reasons to drive across the border to the post office in Blaine!), and I figured some Pixar buffs here might want to know about this.

"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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A little box office update: Up's international gross now stands at $352M with some money still to be made in Europe and with Japan still to go. Up is currently the #2 Pixar film world-wide at $645M, behind only Finding Nemo.

Heh... That's my #1 & #2 favorite Pixar films, right there in income order. :)

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An interview with Pete Docter:

How far into the next project are you?

That one I just started. We finished Up, I took some time off, spent some time in Europe and Japan doing publicity over there, so I've only been on this for like a couple weeks.

Is that the Monsters Inc. sequel?

I'm not working on ... I'm working on something else, but I cannot announce what it is.

...

The one thing critics tend to fault Pixar films for is that — though they always have these un-Hollywood setups — they always end with a conventional chase scene. Will Pixar ever end a film without one of those?

Yeah, it's definitely something you think about: "This time, we want to make sure we don't fall into these habits that we do." But just from a storytelling standpoint, you want to have a sense of acceleration, that things are getting faster and deeper and more intense, so that's why you inevitably get to some physical thing, which really viscerally gets the audience going. But it's always something that we're aware of. And it's always frustrating when there's a couple of things in this film where you go, "Ugh, I wish we could have found a better answer than this." But you just try to make it as good as you can.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

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Thought getting the Blu-Ray would get you everything that there was to be had? All the DVD content plus a bunch of Blu-Ray exclusives? Well, think again:

With the latest major update to Apple’s music downloading software came iTunes Extras, a little incentive to download movies for exclusive content. As expected, Up has joined the party.

Besides the cool iTunes Extras menu, this release of Up has another feature not found on Blu-ray or DVD! It’s a brand new short film titled George & A.J. which follows the two Shady Oaks caretakers in their continuing "adventures." You may remember the duo from the lift off sequence in Up when they came to take Carl away. . . .

"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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Besides the cool iTunes Extras menu, this release of Up has another feature not found on Blu-ray or DVD! It’s a brand new short film titled George & A.J. which follows the two Shady Oaks caretakers in their continuing "adventures." You may remember the duo from the lift off sequence in Up when they came to take Carl away. . . .

Up comes with a digital copy that you download from iTunes...wonder if that's included?

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Nezpop wrote:

: Up comes with a digital copy that you download from iTunes...wonder if that's included?

According to the site I linked to, no.

FWIW, I've never bothered downloading digital copies of any of my discs -- partly because, in some cases (e.g. Live Free or Die Hard), the digital copy had expired by the time I bought the disc in the first place, but mainly because it just sounds too complicated with the DRM and whatnot. If I want a copy for my smartphone or my laptop or any other device, I'll rip it myself, thankyouverymuch. (I also find it kind of distasteful how people go on and on about movies like Up coming in "epic four-disc sets" when half of those discs are just lower-resolution copies of the hi-res movie on the first disc.)

I know, I know, Pixar/Apple/iTunes guru Steve Jobs needs to make a little more money. But still.

"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 also find it kind of distasteful how people go on and on about movies like Up coming in "epic four-disc sets" when half of those discs are just lower-resolution copies of the hi-res movie on the first disc.)

I haven't heard people talking about epic four disc sets...but I get what companies like Disney are trying to do. Blu-Ray has a harder road than DVD did-and DVD had to overcome a lot of silly bitterness from the public. I was working in a video store when DVDs were "new"...they had been around for three years, but video rental stores were just starting to carry them side by side. People complained. VHS was good enough? Why are they forcing me to re-buy movies I own, etc, as if improvemennts in technology were just a scam to force the public to re-buy movies. People were angry about the shift for years. Blu-Ray is seeing an even harsher response. So, Disney and others are trying to do everything they can to make it an easy transition and yet, every option is met with disdain. I do understand the complaint about releases hitting Blu-Ray earlier (Snow White coming out a full two months before the DVD). But I have just seen some real odd anger-especially towards Disney on the Blu-Ray front. They are including DVDs as incentive to get those people who think, "I will get a blu-ray player eventually..." to buy the Blu-Ray. And I got Up for $19.99...most special edition standard def DVDs cost more than that. Blu-Ray is getting well within the range of not being to expensive, far faster than DVD, and yet I see people hoping for it to go the way of Laser Disc (which is just weird...I get not caring about it. I do not get actually hating it enough to hope it fails).

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Nezpop wrote:

: I haven't heard people talking about epic four disc sets...but I get what companies like Disney are trying to do.

Oh, me too. And I like having the bonus DVD; as one Disney rep put it, most people who own a Blu-Ray player probably own just the one, but they ALSO have DVD players in their laptops, their mini-vans, the other rooms in the house... So, especially for a family-oriented company like Disney, it makes sense to include a standard-def DVD. But seeing the disc advertised as a "4-disc set" when it's really more of a two-disc set with a couple extra copies ... well, you know what I mean.

Plus I'm not really sure why the "digital copy" has to be on a separate disc in the first place. Maybe to allow video stores to ditch the digital copy and only rent out the regular discs? Certainly the Live Free or Die Hard "digital copy" was included on the same disc as the other bonus features.

: And I got Up for $19.99...most special edition standard def DVDs cost more than that.

I noticed recently that Amazon.com is selling the "three-disc" Blu-Ray of Star Trek for $21.49, and the "two-disc" DVD of the same film for $22.99. Yeah, the DVD costs more than the Blu-Ray. (But the one-disc DVD is apparently going for only $10 because of a price war with Wal-Mart.)

"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 noticed recently that Amazon.com is selling the "three-disc" Blu-Ray of Star Trek for $21.49, and the "two-disc" DVD of the same film for $22.99. Yeah, the DVD costs more than the Blu-Ray. (But the one-disc DVD is apparently going for only $10 because of a price war with Wal-Mart.)

It's now dropped to 20.99. :)

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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