Amazon Holiday

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: After losing the love of his life, an old man (Ed Asner) decides to fulfill the dreams of adventure that he'd always promised his wife. And no, he doesn't bring her ashes.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, Christopher Plummer, Bob Peterson, Delroy Lindo, Jerome Ranft, John Ratzenberger, Elie Docter

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. I'm going to be the first to say it: the emperor has no clothes on. Just because something has the name Pixar on it, does not automatically mean it's a masterpiece, and if somebody doesn't speak up, our general ability to discern quality from mediocrity could be destroyed forever. But the first 15 minutes are very good.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Not nearly enough. Not to mention that the best laugh in the movie comes from someone in the Walla* group.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Boy do they think they're going to. But even though I knew the boyscout had daddy issues from the first time he mentioned "all the dads" coming to the award ceremony, I can honestly say that after watching the whole movie, I have no idea if his dad is supposed to be absentee or just dead. It makes a big difference in regards to what the movie is trying to say. And trust me, it is trying to say something.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Yes, it will win the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture. Not because it's the best, just because it's Pixar.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: The dog is good. And I suppose the rest of it would be acceptable to you if you were a small child.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: There is so much that's confusing in this movie, that it comes to no surprise that the lighting, weather, and mood of a scene or location can change within seconds from gloomy to sunny and bright or vice versa. Frankly, the whole movie is heavy handed about what it wants you to feel, and the result is that you feel manipulated and empty.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Sure there are some parts of the story that are cute, clever, and colorful, but there are also parts that are boring, illogical, and completely unexplained.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: *Walla is the group of people who go into the studio during post-production and improvise and record all the voices of the people you see in crowd scenes. In the case of this movie, the "people" consist primarily of talking dogs.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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RedLily23 said...

I really do NOT agree with this! The acting is WONDERFUL (not just Dug) and WHAT BORING PARTS? Please elaborate. DID WE WATCH THE SAME MOVIE? This movie makes you feel. SO worth the price of admission and if you had to go see a movie that's out there right now, THIS WOULD BE IT! And it will win an award. Not just because it's Pixar, because it's the best.

Monique Elisabeth said...

Thank you for your comment, RedLily23, I'm sure there will be plenty of people who enjoy this movie like you. And I have not given it a Red Light, or advised anybody not to go. I am simply saying, "Temper your expectations."

As I said in my review, I think the first 15 minutes are great. They represent the level that the rest of the film should've been at to be getting the kind of accolades it's getting. This film is not on the same level with Nemo, Toy Story 1 and 2, or The Incredibles-- so for people to say "Pixar has topped themselves again" is preposterous. Maybe they topped "Cars," but that's about it.

I can't tell you exactly where the boring parts are, because one of the characteristics of something being boring is that you stop paying attention and immediately forget it, but I can tell you that they are after they land in South America. I thought the story was very thin-- not deep-- and predictable. I am not alone in my thoughts either, I actually know people who left this movie in the middle because they were so bored. And they are Pixar fans. They wanted to like it.

Most of the moments where I was supposed to feel something, I had seen coming a mile away. They were not clever, they were standard moments that any professional writer knows they have to put in a film. The difference between good and great films, is that in the great ones, those moving or humorous moments always catch you by surprise. This movie underestimates the sophistication and intelligence of its audience.

Also, the fantasy world they've created where dogs talk and balloons make houses fly is not defined. What are the rules of this world? Aside from those two factors, the world starts out very much like our regular world. In a fantasy movie, it is up to the filmmakers to define the world so that the audience knows what can and can not be done there. Everything extraordinary in this film was arbitrary and random. That is not clever or well-thought out filmmaking.

And don't even get me started about the unexplained age of Charles Muntz... If the main character, Carl Fredricksen, is 78, and Charles Muntz was at least 25 (but probably much older), when he was the main character's childhood hero at age 8, that makes Muntz at least 119 years old, by the time they find him. Yet he looks about 50. And definitely seems younger than Carl. The whole thing is ridiculous and unexplained. They never mention a fountain of youth or a potion, nothing. That's lazy writing, and not worthy of the Pixar label. Kids might be okay with letting them get away with that level of ridiculousness, but what's always been great about Pixar movies is that they appeal to both kids and adults. In this movie, I think they miss the mark on both. The first 15 minutes, while funny and clever, may be too sophisticated and dark for kids, and the rest is too random and childish for adults.

And as far as the acting goes, it's fine. I'm not complaining about it. Nothing really stands out as being a "special" performance, but nothing is wrong with it either. It was just like in any cartoon made for kids. Not worth mentioning.

I hope I have explained my point of view more to your liking. I don't expect to change your opinion, but you asked me to explain, so I have obliged.