Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2012

ARTICLE INDEX

  "Up 3D" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-december-2012-up

Synopsis

Carl Fredricksen is a retired balloon salesman.  Carl and his late wife, Ellie, were drawn together as children through their joint fascination with a famous explorer named Charles Muntz.  Ellie and Carl lived together in an idyllic home but were never able to have children of their own.  So they dreamed  instead of following in their hero's footsteps by travelling to Paradise Falls in South America.  They  planned on saving up money for their trip, but other financial needs stood in the way of their dream vacation.  Eventually, Ellie goes to her grave without ever seeing the falls for herself.  Carl is undaunted and wishes to flee the unfettered growth of his hometown.  So he rigs his home with thousands of helium balloons and embarks on the ride of his life alongside an unlikely stowaway an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell.

Specifications

  • Disney Pixar
  • 2009, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 36 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master
  • Starring: Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger and Bob Peterson
  • Directed by: Pete Docter and Bob Peterson
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Up is one of my favorite animated movies of all time.  I think Ratatouille is more finely crafted and entertaining, but Up comes in a close second, thanks to its very touching storyline and its bittersweet, melancholy tone.  Of course, I have all sorts of reservations about the physics behind a floating house, without which this would be a whole different movie.  But really how does Carl hold down enough balloons to raise a house off its foundation?  And how in the world do the balloons retain their bouancy long enough to carry the house all the way to the Southern Hemisphere?  Well never mind all that.  Simply focus on the principal characters, the interplay of their relationships and the adventure of a lifetime.  If you are like me, you will simply sit back and get whisked away on a touching and heartfelt journey. 

Technical

This is one of the better 3D Blu-ray's I have in my collection. The tranfsr is clean and detailed with a realistic perspective on the image's depth.  The flight scenes are downright breathtaking on this disc.  I also didn't notice any obvious crosstalk in the image.  The crisp audio track is presented in DTS-HD Master 5.1.  The audio is especially kind to Michael Giacchino's award-winning musical score.  The soundfield is enveloping and comes through with solid bass effects when called for.

Extras

This 5-disc Blu-ray edition of Up is chock full of fun and interesting bonus materials.  There is a 3D Blu-ray of the Feature Film, a 2D Blu-ray of the Feature Film with Extras, an additional Blu-ray disc of other Bonus Materials, a DVD with the Feature Film and Bonus Materials along with a Digital Copy disc.

Here is a short list of the major bonus materials in this set:  Cine-Explore Commentary - the Making of Up with Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, The Many Endings of Muntz - Alternate Scenes, Married Life - Expanded Character Back Story and no less than seven documentaries.  These are all very engaging extras that are presented in HD, but my two favorites on this disc are undoudtedly a pair of animated shorts - "Dug's Special Mission" and "Partly Cloudy".