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Friday May 29, 2009
What's Up? (Answer: it's a preposition. Ask a harder question.)
I caught the midnight showing of Up last night, and now I'm conflicted. I loved the film, but I'm not sure my in-theater experience was superior to the one I had with Star Trek. I do know, however, that this is a film that I simply have to own, while I'm content to leave Star Trek as a happy memory of the big screen.
In fairness, that means Star Trek remains at the top of my summer rankings. If I ever decide to start ranking DVD and Blu-Ray purchases we can revisit this discussion.
My rankings this summer now stand as follows. I can stop punishing Wolverine with empty spaces above it (soon I will punish that film by pushing it lower):
1. Star Trek
3. Terminator: Salvation
4. Angels & Demons
5. Night at The Museum 2
I don't want to spoil Up for anyone, so rather than tell you how far beyond the trailers the film reaches or why the first fifteen minutes are so incredibly powerful, I'll just tell you the two things I think every Up-wardly mobile theater-goer needs to know. First, the 3-D is every bit as good as Monsters vs. Aliens, and excels by never caving in to the "now it's right in your face" trick. There may have been extreme in-my-face moments during the film, but they didn't stand out (I can't remember them happening) and they definitely weren't forced.
The second thing you need to know: the film did not begin with the traditional Pixar short. This is important information, because without it you might think that the opening scenes of the film are part of a story you won't be quizzed on later. Also, you don't want to be weeping disconsolately over the absence of a short when you're supposed to be enjoying the story in front of you. Get that out of your system now. No short. The movie didn't need one.
And that's all I need to say. As has become custom, I'll keep the spoilers in the comments thread.
Well... that's all I need to say about Up. I do also need to say that I've been listening to the soundtracks for Angels & Demons (Hans Zimmer), Star Trek (Michael Giacchino), and Terminator Salvation (Danny Elfman) and Angels & Demons is the absolute runaway favorite. I love some of Giacchino's work, and Elfman is one of my all time favorite composers, but the Angels & Demons score is an absolute feast for the ears.
EDIT: I'm told that some theaters ARE showing a Pixar short, entitled "Partly Cloudy." Great. I got short-changed in a big way. For me, that nails Up in the #2 slot. Your mileage will almost certainly vary.