Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Two-Disc Deluxe Edition + Digital Copy
Actors: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Christopher Plummer, Bob Peterson
Directors: Bob Peterson, Pete Docter
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios take moviegoers up, up and away on one of the funniest adventures of all time with their latest comedy-fantasy. Up follows the uplifting tale of 78-year-old balloon salesman... more »
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An outstanding Blu...4 discs filled with more than a day's w
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 11/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had no expectations of being disappointed with a Disney/Pixar BD, and being that it took me a whole dedicated day to get through everything, I now feel it was worth every penny. The film was enjoyable, funny, sad, and scary filled with some nice messages about life and loss. I can understand why the majority of my customers loved it.
The Blu clarity is outstanding, and the amount of reference points are extensive, but one that stands out the most for contrast lines would have to be when the house is entering the lair (balloons against the dark cavern). The sound is selectable between 5.1 DTS, 2.0 DTS and Descriptive English. The 5.1 was beautiful with tons of reference points, sometimes excruciating (that bird screeching) but thorough nonetheless. Now for the supplements (all times in minutes):
DISC 1: (BD)
* 5:46 Partly Cloudy short film. Was hilarious. A great depth test for your display with the clouds. Nice little message of tolerance no matter how difficult someone might be.
* 4:40 Dug's Mission. An almost lo-def looking short take on our main dog dealing with the main three baddies on a chase.
* 22:17 Adventure Out There. A must see documentary about the crew taking the actual trip to the Tepui location in South America. A beautiful travel infomercial in itself. Loved how their guide only wore sandles for the ascent and hikes.
* 4:56 Alternate Scenes Ending of Muntz. Sketches and interviews regarding different endings for that bad guy that they had come up with.
* 1:00 How-to on using the Digital Copy.
* Cine Explore option while watching the film. The two directors give their commentary with multiple pop-up screens showing art, ideas, etc.
* Screen Saver. Allows you to set a time period for your screen saver to activate.
* Maximize Your Home Theater. The standard Pixar multi-step process for setting all of your theater capabilities.
DISC 2: (BD)
* 6:24 Geriatric Hero. History behind the creation of our old guy. All of these documentaries are interview oriented with sketches and film clips to supplement.
* 8:26 Canine Companions. In depth analysis on the breed choices, training and dog behavior studied to get the dogs in the film to be more - dog like.
* 9:00 Russel Wild Explorer. Covers the reasons for his character to have the loss and why he was "egg" shaped as opposed to other sketch ideas.
* 5:04 Kevin (bird). Nice reference to the Swiss Family Robinson ostrich; covered the hardest part of any of these animation films - the feathers.
* 4:38 Homemakers Pixar. Enjoyed the work that went into them studying sub-floors and lighting options in making this look so real in the house.
* 6:25 Balloons and Flight. Tells the now famous number of balloons used; some interesting dirigible history; shows the Pixar group using that local Bay Area air service I keep seeing fly around here (research stuff).
* 7:37 Composing for Characters. Have to be into the musical/scoring stuff for this one.
* Global Guardian Badge Game. After the initial setup of name, difficulty levels and tutorial material, the game has an extensive amount of country/geography material. Customers grouped around and we did fine for the United States section, but we randomly tried Africa and we bombed (some of the countries they were asking for I hadn't heard of in years) - good learning tool though.
* 9:15 Alternate Scene - Married Life. Another sketch/interview piece about more material being removed/added into that section of the film. The scene itself would have been only a minute longer.
* 6:00 montage. A mix of characters doing funny things - will make the kids laugh.
* Screen Saver option.
DISC 3 (DVD)
* Film, plus special features from disc 1. WITH THE EXCEPTION of no Spanish subtitles/language; English only.
DISC 4 (Digital Copy).
* Code both unlocks the copy and gets you the usual points at the Disney site.
Overall, an excellent product no matter how you look at it. The case has that new single hinge, multi-page off center chassis that has proven to be less than durable, but it should suffice for low usage storage. Enjoy.
An emotional triumph
Julie Neal | Sanibel Island, Fla. | 06/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's a movie for dog lovers, the elderly, children of divorce, FOBs (Friends of Birds), former Boy Scouts, people yearning for adventure, and anyone who has ever loved... and lost. Up is for everyone. It made me laugh out loud, and it made me cry.
I thought it would be tough for Up to match the emotional power of Wall-E. The two Pixar films are similar in their lack of dialogue in the first act, which helps deepen the emotional impact. Up begins with Carl, a shy young boy star-struck by a famous explorer; and kookie Ellie, who has a similar obsession. The two kids become fast friends, and vow to one day travel to Venezuela. After getting married, they buy their dream home and fix it up, hoping to fill it with children. Carl and Ellie's life together from childhood through old age is depicted, silently, with delicacy and subtlety. These first 15 minutes is like a celebration of a happy marriage, and you truly feel Carl's pain when he is left alone. He sits slumped in his chair, talking to the house as if it is the missing Ellie.
When developers close in on Carl's beloved home, he decides to fulfill his promise to Ellie and travel to Paradise Falls. A former balloon vendor, Carl lifts his home with hundreds of colorful balloons. Stowing away on the porch is Russell, a plump, plucky kid trying to earn a scouting badge.
Later, man and boy are joined by a golden retriever who can talk with his collar, and a huge, colorful bird. Dug the dog is priceless: spot-on for every dog that ever lived, including his obsession with squirrels. Through a series of close calls and adventures, the quartet vanquishes a villain and saves the day. And Russell earns his scouting badge.
In the process, Carl learns to let go of his mourning for Ellie, and live life again. When this happens, a magical thing happens. Before, Carl's craggy face is gray and monochromatic. At the moment of his transformation, Carl's face is awash in color, and he is surrounded by beautiful hues. It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy steps out of her gray world and into a candy-colored Munchkinland. Carl, too, enters a whole new world.
Up is an emotional movie, full of truth. It's one of the year's best films. Score another triumph for Pixar.
-- By Julie Neal, author of The Complete Walt Disney World 2010."
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 08/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Someday, Pixar is going to do it -- they're going to create an emotionally uninspiring, lackluster animated movie. But in the meantime, they're still putting out delightful animated movies like "Up," which defies the usual kid-movie conventions by starring a crotchety old man. It's a charming, fun little adventure story with flying dogs and balloon-powered houses, but underlying it is a bittersweet little story about loss and love.
As a child, the shy Carl Fredricksen bonded with the oddball Ellie over their shared love of adventure, the explorer Charles Muntz, and Paradise Falls. They later married, move into their "clubhouse" together, and lived a long, sadly childless life together. When Ellie died, she had never fulfilled her dream of going to Paradise Falls.
Now crotchety, alone and harassed by a real estate developer, Carl (Ed Asner) is finally ordered to a retirement home. But he isn't going quietly -- instead he attaches thousands of balloons to his house and floats it away toward South America. But he accidentally takes an enthusiastic, naive Wilderness Explorer (a thinly-veiled Boy Scout) named Russell (Jordan Nagai) along for the ride. Poor kid was just trying to earn an "assisting the elderly" badge.
And the jungle trek to Paradise Falls turns out to have some surprising obstacles: a big emulike bird that Russell names Kevin, a talking dog named Dug ("I am jumping on you, bird!"), and a mysterious old man who lives deep in the heart of the jungle. Turns out the old guy is very familiar to Carl -- and to capture Kevin, he's willing to sacrifice Carl and Russell.
Industry experts were babbling about how "Up" wouldn't be as popular as the previous Pixar movies, because the protagonist is basically a crusty old coot. Well, shows what they know. It ended up becoming one of those classic movies that somehow appeals to all ages -- while the humor and action appeal to children, adults can appreciate Carl's love for his lost wife, and his slow realization that he's clinging to the past.
In fact, the first ten minutes are some of the most heart-tugging, quietly bittersweet scenes I've seen in a long time. Without a word, they show all the ups and downs of a realistic marriage -- joys, sorrows (Ellie's inability to have children), growing old together, and finally loss.
But it's not a depressing movie by any stretch -- in fact, it's like a childhood fantasy come to life, complete with a floating house suspended on hundreds of balloons, and biplanes piloted by a talking dog army.. Plenty of great dialogue ("Do you want to play a game? It's called See Who Can Go the Longest Without Saying Anything." "Cool! My mom loves that game!") and an action-packed climax in an aged airship.
Ed Asner is absolutely perfect as ubergrouch Carl -- crotchety, grumpy, and determined to fulfill his wife's lifelong dream, but gradually realizing he's clinging to the past. Nagai is equally perfect as Carl's polar opposite: a naive, chattery Scout who is determined to reunite Kevin with her baby chicks. And the utterly adorable Dug and the other dogs deserve special notice. These creatures are utterly hilarious -- they talk ("I hid under your porch because I love you") and act the way dogs would if they talked. Three words: cone of shame.
The two-disc edition is going to have some very nice extras, but once again people with regular-def DVDs are going to get shafted because the Blu-ray edition will have a bunch of exclusive stuff. Grr. As for this one, there's a digital copy, the director's audio commentary, kinda-alternate-ending "The Many Endings of Muntz," and the documentary "Adventure Is Out There" about the research for this movie.
There are also a pair of adorable animated shorts. "Partly Cloudy" has a much-abused stork having to deliver potentially harmful baby creatures from a kind but clueless cloud. And "Dug's Special Mission" is a sort of backstory for the adorable Dug, explaining what the heck he was doing before he met up with Carl and Russell.
"Up" continues Pixar's running tally of gloriously animated, emotionally layered movies that the entire family can enjoy. With that, I have only one more thing to say... SQUIRREL!"
Disappointing release from Disney
F. J. Hoffknecht | Redwood City, CA | 11/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Another commendable, 4-star outing from Pixar.
The DVD packaging is another matter. There have been many complaints about the computer-incompatibility, but my gripe is about the "pecking order" for those that want the single-disc DVD vs. the 4-disc Blu-ray and everything in-between.
Time was when you bought a 2-disc set of a Pixar film, you got hours worth of neat, entertaining and enlightening extras (example: the exhaustive Super Heroes guide with "The Incredibles"). By the time "Cars" came out, you could only get a single-disc version with very few extras. "Ratatouille": same story. "Wall-E" somewhat rectified the situation with the available 3-disc version, which did have generous bonuses - if you shelled out the bucks, that is. "Up" has the most deceptive packaging of all: a bare-bones single-disc version (you just want the movie and a lot of promos? You got it!), the "deluxe" DVD version (which Amazon/Disney advertise as a "Two-Disc Deluxe Edition + Digital Copy", which can imply there are three discs [there are not], and there are certainly NOT "hours of new bonus! [sic]", as the slip-sleeve boasts), and a 4-disc Blu-ray version for those fortunate enough to own that format. Disney is obviously hard-balling the recession-weary public into buying Blu-ray players and their inflated-priced discs and punishing those who are scraping by with an archaic DVD.
What would have been nice is an extras-packed double-DVD w/o the digital copy (I don't know anybody who really uses this), a better-valued single-DVD version and maybe even a single-Blu-ray.
The release date for a Pixar movie used to be an event. Now it's a downer, waiting to see how Disney rips its faithful public off again."