I know Harry Knowles takes a special pride in scooping major festivals like Sundance and Cannes (who wouldn’t?). He’s done it again, by hosting the first public screening of Pixar’s Up, nearly a month before the damn thing is the friggin’ Opening Night Film of this year’s Festival de Cannes. What?!?! How does that happen? The Opening Night Film of the world’s greatest film festival, screens at the Alamo Drafthouse courtesy of Ain’t It Cool News, four weeks early? Anyway, thankfully, the film seems to be great. Twitter accounts rated the film as impressive, and Harry has now posted his own review:
The structure of the film is based in many ways upon two of my favorite RKO films that were filmed concurrently. KING KONG and THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. Even though the first act plays much more like the first act of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Like KING KONG – it takes our characters about 45 minutes to get to the “island” or the “Escarpment” that this film has as its reality based fantasy locale.
In that 45 minutes – they introduce our main characters, create their initial bonds and conflicts – and gives them a reason for their adventure. In this way – it also reminds one of THE WIZARD OF OZ – especially with the montage STORM sequence that is very very evocative of that classic Tornado sequence – minus silly things going by the window…
…Many people were critical of the last act of WALL-E, and while I get what they’re talking about – I disagree. The last act of UP is supremely entertaining in the kind of way that the last act of MONSTERS, INC and FINDING NEMO and TOY STORY 2 end. The relationships and situations are all absolutely earned through the empathy that the film builds with the characters, the economy of exposition and through tension.