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PCR #479 (Vol. 10, No. 22). This edition is for the week of May 25--31, 2009.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"UP"  by Mike Smith
Saturday Morning Fever: CBS 1975  by ED Tucker
Book Review: Eternally Yours by S.L. Juers  by Lisa Scherer Ciurro
Bric-a-brac .... Buy Black & Check Your Twins .... Bs Football & Supergirl .... Chinese Gold Rush? .... No New Taxes .... Daddy's Boy .... Drop Rocks....sex Me! .... And I'm Biased?!?  by Brandon Jones
Sore As Hell .... Oh To Be 25 Again .... What's So Funny? .... This Is Pretty Funny? (the Joke, Not The Guy Being Dead) .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2...  by Mike Smith
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Walt Disney Pictures     
Starring: The voices of: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer and Jordan Nagai
Directed by: Pete Docter
Rated: PG
Running Time: 1 hour 36 mins

A young boy, helmet and goggles on his head, spends his Saturday at the local movie house. The newsreels (yes, before television many people got their news at the local bijou) shout the story of the great explorer Charles Muntz, who travels the world in his fortified zeppelin, accompanied only by his faithful dogs. Intrigued by the prospect of adventures, the young boy meets a young girl with the same dreams. And dreams, and the lengths one will go to to fulfill them, is the story of “UP.”

Carl Fredericksen (Asner) is lonely. His wife, Ellie, has passed on and he spends his days longing for the past and dreading the future. He still lives in the house they shared for years, refusing to sell it to the developer who is building skyscrapers all around him. Not only does he miss his beloved, he must now deal with the over anxious Russell (Nagai) a Wilderness Scout trying to earn his “elderly assistance” merit badge. Resolving to keep a lifelong promise to his wife, Carl attaches scores of helium filled balloons to his house. Next stop, South America. For Carl and his stowaway.

This is the tenth film to be produced by the folks at PIXAR, and quite possibly the best. Where in the past the story has dealt with the emotions of toys, monsters or even cars, here the main characters are people. And a bird. And a couple of dogs. But mostly people. So much has been written in the past about the outstanding job PIXAR does with creating and presenting characters that it would be foolish of me to make a big deal of it. What I will do is praise the story and script, one that would be much revered if it were meant for live action. It certainly helps that the actors are at the top of their game. Both Asner and Christopher Plummer, who voices the explorer Muntz, are masters at the top of their game. They are joined by young Nagai, making his feature debut, as well as co-director Bob Petersen, who voices an overly friendly dog named Doug.

As with all PIXAR productions, the visuals are out of this world as the film combines images and influences from other films, from “The Wizard of Oz” to “Fitzcarraldo.” The musical score, by Michael Giachinno, is perfect accompaniment to the story and the composer’s second outstanding score this summer, following “Star Trek.” Many a PIXAR film has been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Academy Award. “UP” may finally be the one to snag a nod as Best Picture, animated or otherwise.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “UP”


This week's movie review of "UP" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2009, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.