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Bullet Sunday 134

Posted on Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Dave!It's heatwave edition of Bullet Sunday!

• Hot. It's eighty-eight degrees Fahrenheit outside.

• Hotter. I am guessing it's ninety-eight degrees Fahrenheit inside... because the air conditioner is broked. I try to compensate by eating ice cream and drinking ice water, but it's just not happening. All that does is make me realize how bloody miserable I am when I stop.

• Up. I saw Pixar's latest animated miracle, Up, and found it to be scrumtrelescent.

• Upper. Seriously, Up is one of the most beautifully animated spectacles ever made. That wouldn't be saying much if the story sucked, but this is Pixar, so the story is genius as usual. Crotchety old widower Carl Fredricksen decides to have the adventure of a lifetime by tying thousands of balloons to his house and floating to South America. Unfortunately, an overly-helpful and annoying Wilderness Scout named Russell accidentally gets taken along for the ride. Hilariousness ensues. I don't know if Up displaces Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles as my favorite Pixar movie... but it comes darn close. I'd call the film "flawless" except I did have two small problems and one bigger problem with it. To avoid spoiling things, I've dropped that in an extended entry.

Up Characters

Up Characters

• Twitter. I already feel as though Twitter is a massive waste of time... especially when things like "blip.fm" get involved and people are tweeting every frickin' song they listen to (Why should I care about your bad taste in music? Do people actually click on blip.fm links?). Or, even worse, those who live-tweet television shows and sporting events. Why would I want to read tweets about something I don't even want to watch? Or, if I am watching, I ALREADY KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING AND DON'T NEED TO READ ABOUT IT! Factor in other annoyances like re-tweets, private conversations, and Follow Friday (SERIOUSLY, IF I WANT TO KNOW WHO YOU FOLLOW, I'LL VISIT YOUR FOLLOWERS PAGE!)... and Twitter is mostly noise anymore (don't even get me started on blog post announcements which announce posts that I've ALREADY READ from a webfeed subscription). Bleh. I wish I wasn't so addicted to Twitter. My life would be a lot simpler.

• Twitterer. But now the ultimate Twitter annoyance has struck... TWITTER GAMES! I keep getting "SpyMaster" invitations, and it's only a matter of time before "Mob Wars" invades. This may very well be the last straw for me. If I can't find a Twitter client that gives me the ability to filter out all the distracting shit that is clogging up my feed, I may just give up. Or unfollow a couple hundred people.

And now I really need to catch up on some sleep. If you've already seen Up, and want to read me nit-picking over this excellent movie, that's in an extended entry...

Spoiler Zone!

As I said, I loved Up, and I do realize that you have to suspend belief when you're dealing with flying houses, talking dogs, and the like... but there were a few areas which could have been improved.

  1. Russell missing. At no time was there any mention of Russell being missed back home. Due to cartoon time compression magic, the entire adventure apparently took place in three days, but even that would be long enough for Russell's mom to freak out and call the police. Couldn't they have inserted a few lines somewhere to deal with this?
    • Mr. Fredricksen. We need to find a way to call your parents so they don't worry about you.
    • Russell. They won't worry. They think I'm on Wilderness Scouts camping trip.
    • Mr. Fredricksen. Then why aren't you on a Wilderness Scouts camping trip?
    • Russell. I skipped it so I could get my "Assisting the Elderly" merit badge!
  2. Carl Fredrickson assault. On top of kidnapping a minor and child endangerment, Mr. Fredricksen got sent to a nursing home to avoid assault charges. Now, I don't expect this kind of thing to get dealt with in a child's cartoon... but they could have easily inserted a couple of newspaper clippings in the end-credits montage showing that Mr. Fredricksen was welcomed back as a hero for uncovering the Carles Muntz mystery. This would imply that his crimes were forgiven, and he was free from his nursing home incarceration.
  3. Dogs flying planes and cooking food. And here's the thing that bothered me most. Rather than having actual talking dogs, the writers came up with the "Dog Translator Collar" to let Muntz's super-smart dogs communicate. While unbelievable, it worked really well within the context of the story, and added a note of believability to dogs being able to talk. Even so, at their base core, all the dogs were shown to act just like real dogs, so it all kind of "just worked." But when Muntz had his dogs fly attack planes to destroy Fredricksen's house, the dogs ceased being "just dogs" and things went too far. At first I tried to explain it away as if the planes were drones that flew themselves, and the dogs were merely gunners, but even that seemed over the top. Surely the writers could have eliminated the doggie fighter pilots and doggie chef to maintain some kind of internal logic as to exactly how "dog-like" these creatures are? Both scenes sabotaged all the hard work that went into making the whole "talking dog" thing seem "real."

Admittedly, none of these things are deal-breakers, I just think they could have been handled in a way that better maintains the internal integrity of the film.

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Categories: Blogging 2009, Movies 2009Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Christy says:

    I’ll have to take the kids to see Up–you never know with those movies if it’ll be worth it or not (and I hate throwing $50 down on a really bad night out.)

    I like the new post updates on Twitter…I’m behind the curve on this one I guess, but I’ve been trying to figure Google Reader out for months now…sigh.

  2. NaysWay says:

    Breaking with a de-lurk to comment…

    I saw the movie over the weekend and absolutely loved it. I think it beats out Nemo (my Pixar favorite) – Monsters and The Incredibles fall right behind.

    I agree with the flying planes complaint and the cooking. I thought no one in their right mind would want to eat food prepared by a dog except Muntz because, let’s face it, dude was a little off his rocker.

    As far as Russell being missed, I didn’t think about it until you said something. Good point, and shame on me for not thinking of it (parent that I am).

    The assault story line can be excused. By then, I think an explanation would have just been overkill since the movie was wrapping up.

  3. B.E. Earl says:

    I love it when folks bash Twitter.

    Makes me feel so much better for not “getting it”.

    And kind of interesting that “Up” opened the same week as Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell”. Those are two movies going in opposite directions. (insert rimshot here)

  4. Finn says:

    Saw “Up.” Loved it. Completely agree with #3; I thought the same thing.

    @NaysWay, Don’t feel bad about the Russell thing not occuring to you. It didn’t occur to me either and my son was sitting right next to me.

  5. Neil T. says:

    Unfortunately, Up is not due out in the UK until October. We always get Pixar films months after the rest of the world. And then they have the nerve to complain about movie piracy…

  6. Avitable says:

    Since I think Monsters, Inc. and the Incredibles are two of the worst Pixar films made, it won’t be hard for Up to top them. Now if it can top Nemo and Toy Story 2, that would be impressive.

  7. Dave2 says:

    To use your Joss Whedon argument here… even the very worst Pixar movie is better than 99% of everything else out in theaters!
    :-)

  8. Robin says:

    The big bright blinking red lights sold me – I went from not caring about Up to wanting to see it after work tonight. If I get a second I will probably do it.

    In Re Twitter, lately I have been getting a lot of follow requests for restaraunts and travel sites…..and the regular requisite porn requests. Since I have been guilty of all the things you hate about Twitter, I figured I would drop to my knees, clamp my hands together and beg like whoah to not be dropped from your follow list. I promise i’ll be good… ::wink::

  9. Dave2 says:

    Like I would ever stop following my Robyn on Twitter. Perish the thought! :-)

    Hey, EVERYBODY is guilty of this stuff from time to time… even me. But it’s reaching epidemic status now… I just don’t see how people have time to keep up with all this stuff. Isn’t Twitter itself distracting enough? :-)

  10. Avitable says:

    Hahaha – you have a point.

  11. Hilly says:

    I’m noticing that the people I actually LIKE on Twitter seem to be using it a lot less. I think all of those things you mentioned plus other things have made it more like shopping at Goodwill than anything else. You know, maybe one out of twenty tweets is actually okay.

    And news flash: Having a Twitter account doesn’t make you a marketing expert. Calling yourself a marketing expert doesn’t make me want to follow you anyway. Some of us just want to have fun with things and not learn how to monetize them to death, thanks.

  12. Dave2 says:

    Please tell me more as to how I can be making big money on Twitter. Thanks!

  13. Sue says:

    Twitter was pointless. I deleted mine over the weekend.

    I think I’d like to take the kids to see Up.

  14. ETinNY says:

    Au contraire mon frere! Dogs can fly aeroplanes. Didn’t you see Wallace and Gromit in “A Close Shave”?

  15. Dave2 says:

    Ah, but no attempt whatsoever is made to have Gromit appear as a “normal dog”… he does many, many things that a real dog can’t!
    :-)

  16. Can’t wait to see Up. Next weekend we’re taking my girlfriend’s little one to see it. I think I’m more excited than she is ;-)

  17. Because of you, hon, I quit tweeting my blog posts. I only do it on Facebook because some of those high school/college people have no friggin’ idea what a feed reader is.

    And hot? I concur. When the hell did it go from May to August? Scratching my head down here in GA.

  18. Dave2 says:

    Well don’t stop on my account! Apparently I don’t even know how to properly use Twitter!! :-)

  19. My irritations about Twitter are exactly the ones you named. WTF is up with tweeting new blog posts?!? I hate that. And blip.fm? I have never once clicked on those links. Or Yelp posts. Or any posts. Argh. I do love following a few clever folks and that’s about it.

  20. jodi says:

    and that, my friend, is why I walked away from Twitter. Of course the reemergence of my depression probably helped. But basically, twitter just became like noise to me. I’m trying to be more active in Facebook, which I am not really a fan of, because all my family and friends back home are into it.

  21. kilax says:

    I’ve been wondering what you would say about Up, because I am hearing very mixed reviews about it. I bet I will enjoy it. I am excited to see it on DVD when it comes out ;)

  22. Dave2 says:

    Really? It has a 98% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes… I’ve not heard a single bad word about it!

  23. Sybil Law says:

    UP looks fantastic and I can’t wait to take my daughter to see it (next week – when she’s out of school). I went ahead and read your review – I’ve heard great things about it and will see it, regardless of what anyone else says. The previews look good enough for me. :)
    Twitter really does get on my nerves. I really don’t know why I even keep my account there. I might get on there like, twice a week.
    Blip annoys the SHIT outta me!!

  24. I must be a total dweeb because no one has invited me to join their spy ring. Just as well though…. I’m not much of a joiner as of late.

  25. Jon says:

    Funny…I was just thinking today how annoying it is when someone live-tweets a sporting event. I don’t have a problem with one or two tweets during the game, but I really don’t need the running commentary.

    Thanks for the review of Up. Looking forward to seeing it. Pixar seems incapable of making a bad movie.

  26. Sarah says:

    Up is already out in theaters? Well I guess I’m going to have to go see it now.

    I haven’t been using twitter much so I have no idea what those stupid twitter games are about. Shit like that makes me happy that I have an audience of .5 people.

  27. Iron Fist says:

    Should you ever find that magical Twitter client that filters all that shit, let me know.

    Should you decide to go on a shooting rampage to take out those guilty twitterers in particular, also please call me to participate.

  28. kapgar says:

    Those are all pretty good points regarding Up. But, like you, I still loved the movie and even cried a little at the beginning. Stupid Pixar.

  29. kapgar says:

    For the record, I have gone through and deleted the RSS-fed links on Twitter, save for my blog. If I didn’t keep that one on there, my Twitter account would be suspended for unsocial behavior.

  30. whitenoise says:

    I looked at twitter exactly once- when it first came out. I couldn’t see the point- nobody needs that level of minutia. A blog is different- there’s context, time to fully develop a thought, post some photos, video, links, but “tweets”? Sorry, never got it.

  31. martymankins says:

    ** SPOILERS IN MY COMMENT **

    Of your 3 areas of additions to help tie things up with “Up”, I agree 100% with #1. That would have, for me, taken care of that “huh?” loose end.

    The dogs cooking and such, that seemed over the top, but I did like the irony of dogs being in a dog fight with the biplanes.

    As with kapgar, the beginning tugged really hard at my heart strings. Good thing I could pretend to cough on popcorn and use the napkins to wipe the butter out of my eyes.

  32. HEH!! I am the queen of all Twitter offenders.

    But for old times sake:
    @anissamayhew just reached level “HOLYSHIT don’t you have a life?”

  33. claire says:

    Just saw Up this afternoon and really enjoyed it. Was more of a drama than I expected. The thing that bothered me was the lack of any female presence (well, excluding Kevin, I suppose) after the first 10 minutes or so. I really like Pixar but I want to see some female protagonists for a change.

  34. whall says:

    I fast-forwarded through the extended entry.

    What twitter clients need (I’m looking at TweetDeck here)
    – Ability to save groups in an online profile
    – Custom filters on display end

    For example, I want to have my “VIP” group, “politics”, “celebrities”, “bloggers” whatever groups. And then, globally, or per group, I want to be able to specify filters that either hide items from display or possibly highlight items.

    I would add “blip.fm” to my hide list. You, Dave2, might add “new blog post” to yours. There might be hashtags you add to help highlight certain trends.

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