Saturday, July 04, 2009

Up The Movie (Warning spoiler)

Happy July 4th!

This afternoon I saw the Pixar movie "Up" for free because my sister won a free movie pass for being the worst bowler 3 years ago. We never could agree on a movie to watch because the Cinemark Theater only showed mainstream movies that did not appeal to me. Finally we decided on Up. Along with free movie passes, the gift certificate included 2 large drinks, 1 large tub of popcorn and 1 large candy. I don't know how people can consume so much! We ended up getting medium sized drinks and barely finished 1/3 of the tub of popcorn. The candy was saved for another day.

I haven't been to the movies in the U.S. in ages! The last movie I saw was in Frankfurt where you had seat assignments. That's why I thought it was strange that the theater today did not give us specific seat numbers. Maybe this is because Germans like things to be specific. Has the movie Up been released in Germany yet?

Anyhow, getting back to the movie, I liked it because it featured unlikely protagonists such as an old man and an Asian Boy Scout. Carl Fredericksen is the old man who is mourning for his beloved wife. They both shared a childhood dream of going on an adventure to South America. However, before they could realize this dream, she dies of old age. He leads a lonely life in the colorful home they used to share. His house is in the middle of a construction zone because he can't bear to move away from everything that reminded him of her. One day, an overeager Boy Scout named Russell knocks on his door and volunteers to assist Fredericksen with something so that he could earn an "Assisting the Elderly" badge. Due to certain circumstances, Fredericksen is inspired to fly away in his home to pursue his dream of going to South America. He flies away by tying many helium filled balloons to his home and floating away. Russell ends up tagging along because he stowed away on the porch. Ultimately, the two meet up with 2 other figures and of course they join forces to battle against a common villian. In the end, Fredericksen fulfills his dream and is able to let go of his old memories and baggage to move onto new adventures, as inspired by his wife's last message to him.

I liked it on many levels. First of all, it has an uplifting message. The message for me was that at some point you have to let go of whatever baggage is hindering you and move on with life to pursue new adventures.

According to the director, "Basically, the message of the film is that the real adventure of life is the relationship we have with other people, and it's so easy to lose sight of the things we have and the people that are around us until they're gone. More often than not I don't really realize how lucky I was to have known someone until they're either moved or passed away. So if you can kind of wake up a little bit and go, 'Wow, I've got some really cool stuff around me every day', then that's what the movie's about."

Also, I appreciated that the little Boy Scout character was Asian. He was even voiced by a Japanese American boy. That's pretty cool because it shows that Asians have come a long way. It's probably also due to the fact that Pixar is located in the Bay Area, Emeryville specifically and many of the animators are of Asian heritage themselves.


Anonymous said...

In Germany the movie starts mid of september and there hasn't been too much advertising for it yet. But it sounds like a typical Pixar movie...

It's kind of curious, that you got seat assignments in a cinema in Frankfurt. That's definitely unusual for Germany.


frankfurtsanfrancisco said...

Maybe it was just the weird Frankfurt theater I went to. It was a Cinestar if that makes a difference. Are you going to see Up when it opens?

Anonymous said...

I know only a few movie theatres in Germany where they do not have seat assignments-even though I have been to lots of movie theatres across Germany. It is only some small distinct theatres that do not have seat assignments. Me personally, I like those most as those tend not to show shitty American bloody bluckbusters but real artistic work..


frankfurtsanfrancisco said...

Ooohh... harsh on the American movie industry aren't we, SE? So I think it's safe to assume you won't be seeing fluffy stuff like Transformers when it opens in Germany.

As much as I am a fan of most things German, I don't think the entertainment industry there is as strong as America's. I find it pretty amazing that most of the films in theaters worldwide come from this little place in Southern California called Hollywood. I guess it's one of our so called "Exportschlager".

Anonymous said...

As an economist ;-) I obviously do not miss to know that entertainment is in fact by far the largest export prodcut of the US.. I do like American movies pretty much, especially the comedies like Dumb&Dumber, Big Lebowski etc.etc. It is solely those brutal bloody American movies I dislike and most often I prefer secret champions over blockbusters..

frankfurtsanfrancisco said...

I see. You're using the word bloody in the literal sense. I thought you meant "bloody" as in the British usage of the word.