With the exception of "CARS,"(sorry but really hated that one!) PIXAR continues to create some of the best film releases of any year! Mind you, not just best "animated" releases, but "film" releases! It's apparent within the first ten minutes of "UP," that there's something transcendent at work by the filmmakers and writers on this one. In one of the most poignant, beautiful montage sequences ever created, the magic and heartache associated with childhood romance, falling in love, aging, and the associated loss of a loved one, as well as the pains of regrets, comes to life in a way that's seldom been achieved before. The innocence and beauty to these opening moments calls to mind the kind of Capra-esque touch Oliver Stone achieved in the early moments of "BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY," easily the best sequence of that film!
But, as the film catches up to present day, we find that the character's life we've followed is that of Carl Fredricksen, living alone in his house, just happening to be the last holdout which greedy builders are after in order to complete their monopolizing for a huge construction payoff. A young Wilderness Explorer, named Russell, showing up at Carl's door, isn't going to be received any better than the corporate landgrabbers, but Russell is naive and good-natured, another part of the beauty to "UP" and its overall appeal!
When Carl's house, loaded with tons of helium-filled balloons, is untied, the old man takes off onto an uncertain adventure he'd always dreamed of, but never dared. Making things much more interesting, for him, however, is the fact that Russell is still on the front porch, and now an unwitting guest!
What follows is a PIXAR adventure that rivals the magic of any of the other great PIXAR films, as well as any of the best family films, period!
Humor, inspiration, and heart-warming moments are abundant in virtually every scene. While only a 5 minute sequence near the film's end, almost comes close to dragging the film, things are quickly revived with a terrific, moving climax. "UP" is easily one of the best films of 2009 or any year!
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release. Every frame showcases beautiful imagery, flawless colors and inky blacks! The detail, again, is just flawless! There's not anything about this image that's less than stunning! Easily one of the best looking blu-ray presentations of 2009 and any year thus far!
BUENA VISTA has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. The mix is outstanding from beginning to end! It also boasts one of the most immersive listening experiences available on blu-ray. Bass, ambient and discrete effects are perfectly balanced with the beautiful score and dialogue. From the city streets to the darker tree shaded areas of jungles and dark caves, the environment is extremely creative and captivating. A great mix to showcase the full potential of what a great DTS-HD mix can offer in home theater, and still rivaling even the best theatrical experiences available.
BUENA VISTA has presented this blu-ray as a four-disc special edition, including the blu-ray, a digital disc copy and standard dvd. Also included are loads of extras!
A full HD picture in picture commentary is offered, and while kids won't enjoy it, any film lover should get a lot out of the insight about the filmmaking process and various challenges discussed herein.
Other HD extras include the marvelous theatrical short, "PARTLY CLOUDY," which was originally released with the film in theaters and is even better than the "PRESTO" short preceding "WALL-E."
Another HD short, "DUG'S SPECIAL MISSION" offers even more fun. A long documentary, featurettes, trailers, BD-LIVE extras, and even more are also offered, making this feature and its numerous supplements, easy to recommend for purchasing anytime, but also, in particular, for holiday viewing!