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Friday, October 1, 2010

UP Got Me Down


I'm probably the last person in the world to have seen UP, the Disney blockbuster from last year. Everyone, and I mean, everyone has been urging me to see this movie.

The story is about Carl Fredrickson, an elderly man who somehow manages to fly his house to South America as a promise to his late wife, and also to evade a court order that will put him in a retirement home. As he's making his getaway, he accidentally picks up a young stowaway, and together they encounter a villain with a huge pack of dogs who can not only talk through ingenious translation collars, but can also cook. (A dog that can cook! That's a dream come true for me.)

I know everyone wanted me to see this movie because of the talking dogs, and in any other case that would have hooked me.

But, I have to tell you it depressed both Greg and me very much.

We loved the characterizations of the dogs. Whoever wrote them definitely knew the canine perspective. 

From the sudden (and constant) cries of "Squirrel!" where every dog head snaps in unison, to the 'Cone of Shame', the plastic cone put on dogs to keep them from chewing--but in this instance is used as punishment. The dog references were spot on each time.

But it was the very short but memorable lead up at the beginning of the movie where we meet young Carl and Ellie (his wife) that really upset us. The clip is below.




As Greg and I watched it, we'd glance over at each other, uncomfortably aware that this was our story too. We aren't as old as Carl and Ellie, but we'd been together a long time, childless, still enjoying our 'adventures'.

When Ellie dies, we felt Carl's suffering as keenly as if it happened to us. Although we liked the story, it was just too sad thereafter to enjoy it. I seriously doubt we'll ever watch it again.

Kids will love this film, as will parents, but I think it hits too close to home when you're talking about losing the love of your life and continuing on without him/her.

We both liked the movie, and the message was a good one, but I am a little sorry we saw it.

Did you see UP? What did you think?

40 comments:

Kaz Augustin said...

Exactly the same reaction. Oh, and yet another Disney movie that has the woman dead before the plot begins. Good frickin' grief. Does Disney only employ misogynists? (As an interesting side note, the Polish language (and I'm sure many others) doesn't have a word for men who hate women. Food for thought, no?)

Linda Leszczuk said...

Maria,

Yes, the quick life overview at the beginning hit close to home for me, too. Not just the trying to go on after one of us was gone but also the realization of time slipping away. All the things I/we had planned to do but haven't gotten around to yet. And for some it is too late.

But I will admit I was able to get caught up in what came next and enjoyed the rest of the movie very much. The fact that we saw it with children probably made the difference.

Liz Fichera said...

I've not seen the movie either. Sounds like a major tearjerker.

Ted Cross said...

I can't pinpoint it now that it has been so long since I saw it, but I didn't see what the big deal was. There are so many better cartoon movies, like Monsters, inc. or the Incredibles or Toy Story. This one didn't grab me.

Joanne said...

I didn't see this, and actually haven't been to any movie in ages! This sounds sad, though. On the other hand, sign me up for one of those cooking-dogs, too, if you wouldn't mind :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I LOVE UP. We bought it and my kidlet loves to watch it over and over again.
I cry like a baby in those first 15 minutes EVERY TIME. But I think it has a wonderful way of coveying his motivation for going on that adventure.

Marianne Arkins said...

Felt the same way. CRIED when she died and there was this overwhelming sadness through the entire movie as he pulled that house around. It broke my heart.

I don't think kids would get that... and maybe folks who haven't been married. But I thought it was a terribly sad movie. A good movie, but not a happy one.

Except for Dug. *G*

Dru said...

I couldn't get into the movie.

Maria Zannini said...

Kaz:

Ref: Disney
LOL. I think killing off the wife and/or parents is a prerequisite for them.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: I think children do make a difference in how this story affects you.

But I agree, seeing time slip away is what hit home.

Maria Zannini said...

Liz/Joanne: You hadn't seen it? Amazing! So I wasn't the only one.

Joanne: My dogs barely sweep the floor. I can't expect them to cook too. :)

Ted: LOVED Monsters, Inc. I think that was one of their best ones.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: I think what they did best was the subtle movements to convey emotion.

Like when Karl and Ellie are climbing up the hill when they're old, and Ellie stumbles a second time. He runs back down, and his hat flies off.

The fear he felt was displayed so subtly.

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: I think you're right about the kids not getting the sad parts. They are too young to understand the loss of something built over so many years.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: Do you think you didn't like it because of the cartoon technique they used? It kind of threw me off at first, but I finally accepted it.

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

i love the movie and own it on blueray. LOVE the dogs.

But yes, i cried like a baby after the beginning. My mom gave me crap because "ellie lived a full life" so i had to ecplain to her that i wasn't crying for ellie, i was crying for karl

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah:

Ref:...i was crying for karl

That's exactly right. It's the one left behind who's hurting.

Mike Keyton said...

(A dog that can cook! That's a dream come true for me.) Yes, but have you tasted it? And do you know where their noses have been? And would you ever argue with the chef? You've opened up a 'can of dogs' here, Maria

Maria Zannini said...

Mike:

Well, you're right on all counts, but I'd still argue with the chef. And if he knows what's good for him, he better not show me those teeth. :)

Kim said...

I choke up over the beginning, but I love this movie. It's one of my 5-year old son's favorites. Every time we watch it, he spends the next few days stumping around, using whatever he can find as a cane, telling us to call him "Mr. Frederickson." :D

Linda Leszczuk said...

Did Karl remind anyone else of Spencer Tracy in his later years? A tiny piece of my mind kept seeing Tracy in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

Maria Zannini said...

Kim: That is so cute that your 5 year old mimics the old guy. It must have really made an impression.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: I'm glad you said that. When I saw the trailers the sound was off and the first thing I thought of was Spencer Tracy. I wonder if that was deliberate.

Meghan Schuessler said...

UP was great, really sweet movie.

Maria Zannini said...

Meghan: It had a lot of meaning for us, but only because we resembled that old couple so much. :)

Amanda Sablan said...

I still haven't seen it myself but I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually. What can I say, I'm a sucker for award-worthy movies. ;]

Maria Zannini said...

Amanda: You mean I'm not the last person not to have seen this movie?

Where this movie excels is in the subtle details. Very Disney right down to the smudged glue on the scrapbook.

Kay Theodoratus said...

Haven't seen "Up". The trailers just didn't hook me.

Now, I don't think I'd ever seek it out. Too many of my friends are losing spouses. [We're just at that "golden" age.]

Ellie said...

I haven't seen this movie and now I think I'll avoid it. I too know so many people who have recently lost their spouses/partners and as you say, it's pretty close to home.

I'm sure the movie itself is stunning and children will love it, but it's not for me.

Maria Zannini said...

@Kay
@Ellie

Ref: losing spouses

You're reflecting my sentiments as well. A friend of mine once said when you get into your forties, buy yourself a nice black suit because soon you'll be burying some of your friends.

Last year we buried him. He was only 52.

Tia Nevitt said...

I didn't cry until the very end, when the boy got his badge. And then, when they were sitting on the curb together, I went totally over the edge. It hurt.

But you know, the rest of the movie didn't wow me so much. A little TOO much over the top, if you know what I mean.

Maria Zannini said...

Tia: I think I was more taken with the technical aspect of the movie in general. But the scene with Carl and Ellie is the part that stung. Too close to real life.

Stacy said...

I'm sorry it brought you down. I am always so disappointed when we sit down to watch a movie and it's not at all what we were looking for. These days I remind myself a whole lot of my mother, who I used to make fun of, because she only wanted happy endings. Me too, now. I left while Tom and the kids finished "Up." I just couldn't get past that sad start and couldn't imagine any ending that would make me feel better about his life. I'm tellin' ya - Mary Poppins was the last good Disney movie!

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Oh my gosh, I think you're on to something here.

I didn't used to be so fussy about HEAs, but the older I get, the more I like to see them.

That said, I like hero or heroine to work for their happy endings.

I never thought about it until you mentioned it. An interesting aspect of getting older.

LovLivLife Reviews said...

Only recently have I seen this movie and for the same reason... everyone said to watch it.
My daughters and husband- along with the rest of my Ohana has seen it when it first came out. Me, I was reading.

I agree though. It was very sad. I am not sure if my little ones understood the entire content but they did enjoy UP. In fact, it seems children movies are more profound then adult movies. I certainly cry more.


=)Well, at least you are not among the hold out any more and neither am I. Now I have to see a few other movies my hubby says is a MUST see but I much rather read a book.

Carol A. Strickland said...

I actually had a chance to see this again two days ago. I was giving pheresis at the Red Cross, where both arms are hooked up to machinery and they have you watch a movie. I rejected the awful movies they had to choose from, plus the sad movies, and headed toward the comedy section. I paused at "Up." Though it is a wonderful, wonderful movie, I knew I would cry at the beginning and end. When you're hooked up on both arms you can't reach for a Kleenex. And no, I don't see why it would necessarily be particularly depressing in perpetuity. Let's face it, no one lives forever, but in this movie the old man got to see his goal accomplished, knew that the spirit of his wife was with him, celebrating with him, and the old man got a wonderful new friend with whom to set new goals and find a different kind of happiness. This movie reminds us to treasure our loved ones during the time we have. (PS: My pheresis choice was "Tooth Fairy." It wasn't nearly as bad as I'd thought it was going to be, and it, like any good comedy, had a couple tearing-up places.)

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Carole,

Ref: Let's face it, no one lives forever, but in this movie the old man got to see his goal accomplished, ...

Hmm...I disagree a bit. I don't think most people get that 'Disney' happy ending in real life.

The elderly couples I know carry on bravely, take on new challenges, meet new people, but the lights in their souls are gone. I've seen it happen too many times which leads me to believe that Disney's happy ending is more fairy tale than fact.

That's how life rolls.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I agree completely. I'm in the same situation as you (and the characters) and the beginning sort of spoiled the rest for me. Also, I cried like a baby.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: It's definitely our age. We see life through a different prism.

I wouldn't have felt this way 25 years ago.

Joanna St. James said...

I have not seen UP, i am prolly the last one standing

Maria Zannini said...

Joanna: You might have to form a club. Evidently, you're not alone.

It was okay, but some parts hit too close to home.