The elderly aren’t seen as important in our country. They’re respected in other parts of the world because they’re supposed to be wiser. They’ve seen more sights, heard more noises and have had more experiences. Due to this, they’re looked up to for advice, guidance and tips on life. Not in America. The elderly are seen as enfeebled, cumbersome, wastes of space we’d rather not have to deal with. We pay people to deal them for us. That’s why nursing homes exist. Abuse of the elderly is continually spoken about because they’re more fragile. We see them as senile beings (no disrespect to Al Davis’ clear case) and not dispensers of wisdom. As keen as we are to sweep them under the rug, it’s necessary to have a reminder that our elders “although slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose,” to quote Lloyd from Dumb & Dumber. We get a huge reminder of that, courtesy of Pixar’s Up.
Carl Fredrickson borders on obtaining octogenarian status. He’s just lost his wife of many years (in a tear evoking sequence) and he has no children to burden. The only thing he still owns is the home he and his wife moved into after tying the knot. Now, the neighborhood surrounding him his been uprooted by construction. His is the last house on the block and he faces continual torment from the construction company to sell his house only so they can mow it down. He tells them they can have it…when he’s dead, and although he lives a simple life of dressing up in his Sunday best only to move out onto the porch and stew, he shows no signs of slowing down.
One day, Russell, a junior Wilderness Explorer (think: Boy Scouts), knocks on Carl’s door and reading directly from his manual, offers to assist Carl across the street, lawn and porch. Carl turns him down all three times. Russell needs only one more badge, the “assisting the elderly” badge, to become a senior Wilderness Explorer. Carl decides to send Russell away in a way he thinks he’s helping. Carl tells Russell that a bird called a “snipe” always invades his property and asks Russell to hunt down the bird and return it once the bird is found. That ought to get rid of him for a while.
While Russell is out doing his darnedest to assist Carl’s need, a construction vehicle parks in front of Carl’s home. The driver is unable to corral the massive machine and he runs over the mailbox Carl and his recently deceased wife, Ellie, had painted long ago. Carl is heartbroken by the misdeed and when the driver tries to pry it from Carl’s hand to fix it, Carl bops him on the head with his tennis ball-footed walker. Carl is taken to court and forced into moving to a retirement home. When he’s to be picked up the next day, he instead launches a force of balloons out his chimney, lifting his entire home into the air where the destination is a childhood fantasy Ellie was never able to see happen – at the top of Paradise Falls in South America. Russell has stowed away on the property and Carl is forced to ask for help in a way that would make Ellie proud and lead Russell to earning that “assisting the elderly” badge.
Pixar's tribute to 'Pearl Harbor.'
I was instantly reminded of my favorite film from last year, Gran Torino, during the first ten minutes of Up. The former film also contains an elderly male protagonist, Walt, recently widowed. Unlike Carl, he has children, but they and their children are so far removed physically and value-wise they might as well not exist. Whereas Carl’s home is literally the last on the block, Walt’s is the last from the neighborhood he moved into as to his dissatisfaction it’s been overtaken by Hmong immigrants. Lastly, there is the common element of the younger male available to help. Walt had Thao, who was shamed into helping, but would soon develop a father-son relationship. Carl has the eager Russell at his disposal. Where the similar set-ups differentiate, could be the very difference between animation and live-action. Clint Eastwood keeps Gran Torino firmly grounded in reality, whereas Pixar using the medium of computer animation is able to take things in a fantastical direction with a balloon-floating house. The two films employ a similar set-up yet take different approaches, but still end up making a similar point.
Up is Pixar’s first foray into the newest old fad in filmmaking: 3-D. I went against Roger Ebert’s advice to save money and see the film in 2-D, as I feel the need to experience the film the way it was intended to be seen. Perhaps that makes me a tool to Hollywood’s marketing plans for 3-D and if that’s the case, so be it. Director Pete Docter stated there wouldn’t be any visual tricks created solely to exploit the additional dimension, unlike DreamWorks’ Monsters vs. Aliens. Like everything Pixar, story comes first. The 3-D effect didn’t truly add a lot to the film, except during the aerial scenes. The spatial difference between an object and long-range blue sky depicts a wondrous sight and you can’t help but thing maybe this was the perfect opportunity for the animation titan to debut a 3-D effect.
Up is almost certainly Pixar’s saddest film to-date. Finding Nemo had the death of Nemo’s mother at the beginning, but there are at least three tear-inducing moments following Carl and Russell. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s as much humor as expected to offset it. Dug, the dog who speaks English through the use of a manufactured collar is certainly a brilliant creation and Carl and Russell’s relationship grows exactly as hoped, but you never feel the stakes are all too high, as well as they may have been set-up and crafted.
When you expect perfection, you’re bound for disappointment. Unfortunately, Pixar has set the bar so high for themselves, it’s difficult to continue to achieve that level of success. I’m being overly hard on the film, to be sure. It’s a very good movie that I think could have used a bit more refinement to make it perfect. Up teaches a lesson all viewers should learn. Although bones deteriorate and hunches develop, the childlike sense of adventure and wonderment is never lost, no matter how old you get. As we all age, perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to run into someone who genuinely wants to help.
Although it’s pretty much a year-round thing for me, Pixar hype is never more prominent than when a new film is to be released. Up is that film and its release date is now just eleven days away. We’ve pretty much covered everything we can for you up to this point. We’ve brought you posters, trailers and a preview. We’ve even covered the short that’ll be playing in front of it, Partly Cloudy, with some character art, plot synopsis and a clip. The only thing remaining is to bring you a review of the film, which rest-assured will be coming right around its release.
With the Up circle almost coming to completion, we now set our sights on next Pixar film, Toy Story 3. There are rumors being bandied about that the teaser trailer will show in front of Up, even though that had originally been thought to not be happening. Now, the net is abuzz with the knowledge that Pixar usually inserts a character for their new project into their current one. Nemo was in Monsters Inc. A kid is seen reading an Incredibles comic book in Finding Nemo. Wall-E is in the short film titled, Your Friend, the Rat, on the Ratatouille Blu-ray/DVD.
The Passion of the Christ blew up to mammoth box office propotions when it was released five years ago. Unheralded for an independent, subtitled, bible film. It managed to get a huge spike during Easter of that year and Hollywood now has two Easter (bunny) themed projects in the works. Ahh, Hollywood, the haven of fakery. [Cinematical]
Is Terminator Salvation rated PG-13? So it says according to a Pizza Hut tie-in promotion. I just read the 25-page Terminator retrospective in last month’s “Empire,” and got me hyped. This news doesn’t make the film any more appealing to me. In fact, probably less so. However, The Dark Knight had R-rated themes with just PG-13 level violence. We’ll soon find out. [Ain't It Cool News]
More rating-related news, [Latino Review] reports the future feature film of Stephen King’s It movie will boast an R-rating.
Last week, we posted the new The Hangover trailer. Our review will be up very soon. Hint: It was was pretty good. [CHUD] reports that Warner Bros. is having director, Todd Phillips work on a script for a sequel, already. However, Old School 2 was spoken about for what seems like forever, and I have to doubt that’s ever happening. We’ll see what the box office take is.
Following up The Hangover sequel talk, and coming off the studio’s disappointment in Watchmen, Zack Snyder reveals some ideas for a 300 sequel. 600, maybe? [MTV Movies Blog]
[Coming Soon] has some casting info and some pics of this month’s “Empire” cover girl, Megan Fox, from the set of Jonah Hex.
The George Lucas-produced WWII fighter pilot pic, Red Tails has some casting announcements, involving a Wu-Tang Clan member and a Boy ‘N Tha Hood. [JoBlo]
Lastly, [/film] carries a story about investors and merchandisers may be worried about Pixar’s Up. Nonsense as far as I’m concerned. I can already envision a Carl Frederickson cardboard standee in my room. Let’s get it done!
There’s been a lot of hype about the Transformers sequel over the past few weeks. We were given the teaser poster, we put the movie up as one of our Top 20 Anticipated of the year, we’ve learned there wouldn’t be any Dinobots and now we have the first official footage from the film. Below is the Super Bowl spot for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It’s short. Only 30 seconds, but for anybody planning to check out the re-boot of Friday the 13th in a couple of weeks, you can expect to see a longer teaser attached to that. Behold the TV spot:
I LOVE that huge robot bursting through the freeway and emerging right at the end. That’s just beautiful. I’m also very happy to see a quick glimpse of a robot transforming into a car. It’s a magnificent sight.
You can indulge your nostalgia for the first film here and go back even further and pick up the 1986 animated film. All will help bide time until June 26th.
I’ve never seen an episode of “Star Trek” in my life. I’ve actually worked hard to avoid it. It’s always been around me in its several incarnations on TV, but I’ve managed to make myself sparse during those times. It’s the Klingons that I can’t look at. Like Worf. I could hardly stand to look at that guy through a commercial. Look at that thing. The stuff nightmares are made of. For the same reason, I’ve never seen any Planet of the Apes films. The faces are too difficult to look at for me.
There aren’t any Worf-like creatures in any of the Star Trek spots so far and I’m thankful for it. Here’s your chance to check out the Star Trek Super Bowl spot, below:
Is anybody excited for this who’s NOT a “Star Trek” fan already? I can kind of see the appeal. I think the involvement of J.J. Abrams was a good decision. It might help crossover into non-”Star Trek” fandom. What did you think of the TV spot? Did it really entice? Are you more into it, less into it or just the same?
Certainly one of my most anticipated movies of the year, Pixar’s Up, has its Super Bowl TV spot online. It’s very similar to the teaser trailer that’s already out. There’s a short tag joke at the end, which is knew. A whetting of the appetite for sure. Of course not much needs to be revealed to get people on board for a Pixar film. They just need to know it exists. Check out the spot, below.
We’ve already previewed the film here. And as the TV spot suggest, you can see an exclusive clip from ‘Up’ at Disney.com. Unfortunately I can’t embed it for you, so here’s a direct link to that clip. I won’t spoil anything about it for you.
Meanwhile, I’ve been catching up on my “Empire” magazine reading lately and there’s a couple new pics from Up I hadn’t seen before. Here they are for you:
What did you think of the TV spot? Did you check out the clip? I look forward to any comment from a devout Pixar fan, like myself.
Here we are with another Super Bowl spot before the game has been played. This one is for the filmic adaptation of the TV series “Land of the Lost.” Land of the Lost stars Will Ferrell and Danny McBride (second billing!) and they go back in time and face dinosaurs, amongst other creatures. I guess after not having Dinobots in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, we’ll still be able to get our dino fix this summer.
I don’t know. Never seeing the show, I don’t have any connection to the material. It could be good. I think this spot will do well in terms of selling the movie to viewers tomorrow, and that’s its main goal. I’m happy Will Ferrell isn’t in some crazy sports comedy and it looks pretty epic. Brad Silberling directs his first big movie since the unfortunate Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. That one is obviously off the “franchise” train.
What do you think of this spot? Do you want to see the movie?
This one is more of a scene from the film than just a TV spot. Kind of hard to believe you’ll see this one in it’s entirely during tomorrow’s game. That’d be $12 million! Whatever gets people excited about the film and makes them buy tickets, I guess.
The Year One is directed by Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day) from a script he wrote with “The Office” scribes, Gene Stupnitsky & Less Eisenberg. Michael Cera and Jack Black star as Oh and Zed, respectively, two caveman trying to survive before civilization. In the clip/TV spot below, you’ll also meet Kane and Abel, played by Paul Rudd and David Cross.
It looks pretty decent to me. I’d love it to be good and funny. I recall the buzz being not particularly strong from some test screening reviews I’ve read. I wish I was able to tell you myself if it was worthy or not.
UPDATE: It turns out that was just a clip. Here’s the actual Super Bowl spot.
This scene reminded me of a clip from the 1981 film, Caveman, starring Ringo Starr, that I’ve seen numerous types playing “Scene It” on the 360. Sadly, I couldn’t find the exact one. Here’s a clip of music being invented.
I wonder if the Super Bowl will be holding any more surprises tomorrow. We now bring you the Super Bowl spot for the third sequel (that’s number four) to The Fast and the Furious, the creatively titled Fast & Furious! This is the first Super Bowl spot we’ve posted for a film that’s already had a trailer released, so only slightly new footage. Of course, this is going out to the few people that watch the Super Bowl, too. Behold!
Vin Diesel used to be my boy when he was coming up. For those that know his first major film role was Saving Private Ryan, an even more in-depth education will lead you to knowing Spielberg had that role written into the film specifically for Diesel after seeing Vinny’s short film Multi-Facial, at Sundance. I bought the DVD and have always enjoyed the 20-minute short. It definitely displays Diesel’s acting chops and saddens me to know he’s been pigeon-holed into this crappy action stuff. Hopefully one day, he’ll break out like I know he’s capable of.
The complete short is below, but if you find it in your heart to buy the DVD, check it out here: Short 5 – Diversity.
I was never allowed to play with G.I. Joe’s as a kid, so I never got into them. I have no idea what any character’s name is. I know “Cobra” has something to do with that universe. So, my excitement for this film is less than zero. It wasn’t really increased by this TV spot. If you want to see what G.I. Joe has in store for you tomorrow during the Super Bowl, just check it out below.
Did you like it? Are you excited for this?
I don’t hold director, Stephen Sommers, in high regard. Remember Van Helsing? It is nice that it’s trying to find a spot in August though, which over the past 10 years or so (ever since The Sixth Sense) has extended the blockbuster season. I’m all for better movies spread around. I hope this is good for anybody that has an interest. Be sure to let me know.
About a year ago, a friend and I were recalling this old G.I. Joe commercial. For the heck of it, here it is below.
The first film-related TV spot set to air during the Super Bowl was made available today via MTV Movies Blog. The spot is for the Dwayne Johnson-starring Disney film, The Race to Witch Mountain.
The film is a remake of the 1975 film, Escape to Witch Mountain. Johnson plays, Jack Bruno, a modern-day Travis Bickle (only in that he drives a taxi), who is sought by a paranormal expert, Dr. Alex Friendman (Carla Gugino), to help protect two extraterrestrials from a dastardly organization who only want to use them for evil. Sounds dastardly.
With 30-seconds of airtime costing $3 million this year, this ad is costing Disney $6 million. Do you think it’s worth it? We’ll find out March 13th, I guess.
As mentioned in my preview of the film, I’m actually looking forward to Angels & Demons, even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Da Vinci Code film. I just have some wishful thinking, hoping Ron Howard and Co. will have learned from their mistakes. I did think the book was pretty cool and would like it to be done justice on the big screen. Tom Hanks is my boy.
The following clip doesn’t really show off a hell of a lot. It’s 30 seconds long and essentially just shows a few flashes. We’ll apparently have to wait for the theatrical trailer to even get a remote sense of what to expect. I would imagine we’ll get that pretty soon, as the film’s slated for release May 15th.
What did you guys think of this spot? Was they’re really much of anything to help you get hyped? Are you looking forward to this at all?
I certainly never bothered to make my way to a Sobe booth to pick up 3-D glasses, so I can’t tell you about the dazzling things I witnessed in the additional dimension. For those of you that saw the ad, here’s your chance to relive it, and for those that missed it, here’s you chance to see it.
I think this has a chance to be good, actually. I’m not much for any other studios computer animated films, but Pixar’s, and this certainly has a vague resemblance to Monsters, Inc. (as these studios are apt to do), but I do like the eye/tongue/elbow/butt scanner joke.
For those that saw the TV spot in 3-D did it really enhance your enjoyment at all? For anybody not as ready and willing to outright reject the animated product of non-Pixar, what’s your level of interest in the movie?
For some extreme trivia, former “The Simpsons” writer and longtime friend of Wes Anderson (he played the wrestling ref in Rushmore), Wally Wolodarsky had a hand in writing the script.
Throughout the life of this site, my affinity for Pixar will become obvious, if it hasn’t already. I know I’m not in the minority in this feeling, either. Their movies are simply beautiful and each yearly release will almost definitely find itself into future “Anticipated” columns. Ratatouille ranks as my favorite film of last year, Finding Nemo was my favorite film of 2003 and you can bet I’m fiending after the 3-D re-releases of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 over the next 13 months. However, this is Up‘s turn to shine.
Up follows Pixar’s eldest protagonist, since their short, Geri’s Game. Carl Fredrickson, a 78-year-old curmudgeon dreams of a life beyond the isolated boredom of his retirement, and decides to fulfill a dream he made with his wife, years ago. He uproots his house with a sky full of balloons and goes upward and onward toward South American adventure. The one thing Carl didn’t plan on, is that he’d have company on his trip in the form of 8-year-old Russell, a junior camper, who hid out in the hopes of adventure. Russell thinks he knows everything there is to know about the wilderness, but his knowledge is purely theoretical. Together, they will experience jungle habitants, villains and scenery far beyond their imagination.
Directed by Pete Doctor, who helmed my one-time favorite Pixar film, Monsters, Inc., Up has received strong buzz from the short portions that have been shown to audiences. This will also mark Pixar’s first film to be released in 3-D. I had seen Bolt in 3-D back in November, where the Up teaser trailer was attached. I can’t say that the 3-D experience was much more special than any 2-D feature I had seen, but I have a feeling that Pixar will have stored some great creative tricks that will take full advantage of the additional dimension.