Movie Review – “Up”

From Academy Award-nominated director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) and Disney*Pixar comes the newest animated big-screen hit, “UP”. You are invited on a hilarious and heartwarming journey into a lost world, with the least likely duo on Earth.

In the 1930’s, a beacon of hope for a down-and-out American public was a rich, clever and handsome adventurer named Charles F. Muntz (voice of Christopher Plummer). His famous mantra “Adventure is out there!” inspired his biggest fans, youngster Carl and Ellie (voice of Elie Docter).

Carl Fredrickson (voice of legendary actor Ed Asner) is not your everyday hero. He’s a bit of a grouch, but in the tradition of the great Walter Matthau and Spencer Tracy, “he’s a grouch you can love.” After retiring from the balloon business he is forced to leave the home he and his late wife, Ellie, built together. But don’t look for this 78-year-old to move into the old folks home…he’s going to live the rest of his life on his own terms. Instead he takes to the skies! He ties thousands of balloons to the roof, lifting the house into the air and heads south, finally fulfilling the promise he made to his wife so many years ago…to follow the search started by the adventurer Charles F. Muntz for proof of a rare and fantastic 13-foot-tall flightless bird from a remote mountain in South America.

But every great adventure has its unexpected challenges and nightmares. Carl’s manifest themselves in the form of an enthusiastic, overly optimistic, 8-year-old Junior Wilderness Explorer from Tribe 54, Sweat Lodge 12, named Russell (voice of 9-year-old Jordan Nagai, making his acting debut). Equipped with a backpack loaded with official Wilderness Explorer camping gear, Russell is ready for a wilderness adventure.

Here comes the challenging (and often hilarious) part: his only camping experience to date was in his own living room, his knowledge of all things outdoors comes from books and he’s never left the city!

Their journey would not be complete without surviving extreme weather, treacherous terrain, strange inhabitants of a lost world-as well as each other. The “strange inhabitants” include Kevin (voice of Bob Peterson), an extremely rare 13-foot-tall flightless bird with a sweet tooth (something he and Russell have in common) and a penchant for getting himself into some very curious and seemingly impossible situations.

Then there are the members of a pack of dogs on a mission to capture a rare bird that their master is pursuing, which includes Dug, a lovable golden mutt mocked as the nerd of the pack. Pack leader is Alpha (voice of Bob Peterson), a menacing-looking, black-as-night Doberman Pincher. Beta (voice of Delroy Lindo), a tough Rottweiler, is Alpha’s lieutenant, and Gamma (voice of Jerome Ranft), a rough-and-tumble Bulldog, is Alpha’s hench-dog. All the dogs have high-tech collars that give them unusual abilities specially designed for sinister hunting expeditions, including GPS tracking and translating their thoughts into speech. Having been sent into the jungle on a “Special” mission, Dug accidentally succeeds when he discovers the bird following Carl and Russell. Now they are being pursued through the jungle by Dug’s own pack and nothing will detract this pack from their mission. Well, maybe a squirrel!
Along the way “Carl discovers that life’s true adventure can be found not in travel or great accomplishments, but in the everyday relationships that we have with friends and family”.

A special note to all you movie buffs out there: John Ratzenberger gives voice to the Construction Foreman Tom who tries to persuade Carl to sell his home to Tom’s boss, a major contractor. Mr. Ratzenberger is the only actor to voice a character in all 10 of Disney*Pixar’s films.

“UP” is rated PG for some peril and action.

Also showing…”Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian”
Rated PG for mild action and brief language. “In the World’s Biggest Museum, Something Huge is About to Go Down. When Everything Comes to Life, There’s One Man For the Job”.
Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Robin Williams

Also showing…”Star Trek” Rated PG-13
From director J.J. Abrams and Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Bruce Greenwood, Eric Bana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Leonard Nimoy

Also showing…”Land of the Lost” “Right Place, Wrong Time” Rated PG-13
Starring: Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride

Also showing: “Terminator Salvation” “The End Begins” Rated PG-13
Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington

Also showing: Now in it’s 5th Week…”Angels and Demons” “The holiest event of our time. Perfect for their return” Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, disturbing images and thematic material.
From director Ron Howard and Starring: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer

Keith Johnson enjoys going to the movies, especially with his 10-year-old daughter. You can learn more by viewing his blog, Movie Reviews http://keiths-movies.blogspot.com

This entry was posted in Movie Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.