Friday, October 30, 2009

Up Blu-ray Review

Disc 1 Size: 41.5 GB
Disc 2 Size: 17.8 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: A

Video
Up comes to Blu-ray with a wonderful 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. What I love about Pixar is the clear attention to detail they put into their animation, and thanks to a high-def format, the work put into it can truly be appreciated.

Textures are absolutely stunning on this film. Whether it be the environments, clothing, or even skin and fur details, it all just pops. Colors on this release are also out of this world, creating a rich and vibrant look that easily leaps off the screen.

This presentation is flawless, and like with Monsters, Inc. I was truly amazed. It's like seeing Blu-ray for the first time all over again. If you needed any reassurance for supporting Blu-ray (as if), this is just one more title to easily remind you why you went Blu.

It's no surprise the film looks good, animated visuals can only look as good as the work put into them, and that's where Up truly shines and sticks out among other animated releases on the format. 10/10.

Audio
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is included and sounds amazing. The film is provided with a terrific and immersive lossless mix. I always love a track with great direction and balance, and Up brings both with absolute perfection.

We go through many different weather conditions, environments, and levels of intensity in the film, and the track matches each setting so nicely. No matter the condition, the track is presented with such clarity in dialogue, as well as the effects and music. The surround speakers are used to create environment in such fitting ways, whether it be the quiet creaking home or open wilderness.

Despite being an animated film the sound effects are believable and used very nicely. Like the video presentation, the audio presentation has so much detail put into it it's impossible to be disappointed. The storm scene is also very impressive, filling your viewing room with so much activity and rage.

The film's music is particularly beautiful, presented throughout the entire soundscape and clear as can be. You will easily be impressed by the audio track, making this Blu-ray release a definite demo disc. 10/10.

Extras

Disc 1:

Cine-Explore (PiP)
Pete Docter and Bob Peterson provide audio commentary for the film, presented in a Blu-ray exclusive picture-in-picture track that features images and more during the many stages of production. They go so much into detail about the many ideas for each scene, the challenges they came across, the inspiration for things and much more.

Party Cloudy: Theatrical Short (5:46) (HD)
The animated short that was played before the film theatrically is present on the Blu-ray release in beautiful high-definition. This is a fantastic short that everyone will enjoy.

Dug's Special Mission: All New Original Short (4:40) (HD)
Dug the dog gets his own short as he embarks on his own little mission, it's very cute and very funny. Kids will definitely enjoy this added short.

Adventure Is Out There (22:17) (HD)
All about the inspiration for the wilderness locations in Up. They talk about specific locations and their travels in Venezuela. The animation team discuss their experience there, as well as show it with actual footage from their travels.

Alternate Scene: The Many Endings of Muntz (4:56) (HD)
Learn about the many ideas for the ending of Muntz. They had many different approaches, ultimately deciding his fate. The possibilities are actually quite funny, but as mentioned in the feature a few were quite random and even creepy.

Easter Egg: The Egg (1:55) (HD)
An extra feature all about the importance of the egg featured in the film. This is an easter egg for the film that I came across by accidentally scrolling left on the main menu rather than going up and down the menu.

Disc 2:

Geriatric Hero (6:24) (HD)
All about the inspiration for Carl. There was quite a bit of research put into the character, much more than I expected. Anyone who loves the character should definitely watch this very informative feature on the character.

Canine Companions (8:26) (HD)
A feature all about the dogs in the film, the different roles they played and much more. Since these are talking dogs, they wanted the body expressions to be accurate to what was being said so they studied real dogs and got information from professionals.

Russell: Wilderness Explorer (9:00) (HD)
See the many ideas for Russell, learn about the inspiration for the character design and much more. They also go quite in-depth about the character's personality and backstory.

Our Giant Flightless Friend, Kevin (5:04) (HD)
It was only fitting for Kevin to get her own feature as well. There were many ideas for the design, since it is a non-existent bird it was quite difficult to get to it's finalized form.

Homemakers of Pixar (4:38) (HD)
All about Carl's home in the film. The importance of the look of the home is made quite clear, and the attention to detail on the home is quite impressive. They show the physical models used to help the animation team.

Balloons And Flight (6:25) (HD)
Both the flying house and Muntz' dirigible are covered in this feature. The animation for the balloons is very cool and we get to see it in early stages of animation too. They also talk about the storm featured in the film.

Composing For Characters (7:37) (HD)
The film has such beautiful music, and they talk about the different themes for each character. The music brings so much emotion to the film, it's very powerful. Anyone who loved the music will find this feature very entertaining and interesting.

Alternate Scene: Married Life (9:15) (HD)
Ideas for the 'Married Life' sequence, clearly the version in the film is the best.

Up Promo Montage (6:00) (HD)
The title is quite self-explanatory. It's a very funny montage of the many promos for Up.

Global Guardian Badge Game (BD-Live)
A cute little game available in easy and hard difficulty modes. One of the easy mode activities include knowing where every state is on a map. Depending on your child's intelligence level, this could be a very fun or very frustrating experience.

Worldwide Trailers (HD)
Included are two theatrical trailers. The first one titled 'Theatrical Trailer #2' which runs 1:48, and the second titled 'Theatrical Trailer #3' which runs 2:29.

Disc 3:

DVD Copy of the film

Disc 4:

Digital Copy of the film
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

This is quite the supplements package, everything is so informative and fun and viewers really get an in-depth look of the film's production. The inclusion of the DVD and Digital Copy also help this release out in the extras category, as I'm sure many kids will want to view the film on the road or in their rooms. 10/10.

Blu-news Summary
Last year I feel in love with a robot named Wall-E, becoming my favorite Pixar title....until Up came along. While I found Wall-E beautiful and amazing, I was not prepared for the experience that was Up. I have to be honest, when I saw the original teaser trailer for Up I was totally turned off to the film. The movie just didn't appeal to me at all, whether it be the old grumpy man or the whole balloon house in the sky.

I gave the film a chance though, being a Pixar production I still had faith it would be at least a bit fun. I have only truly been disappointed by Cars, but I'll save my thoughts on that until I review the upcoming combo pack release or something.

I have never cried in a theater, never, not even close....until Up. I found myself in tears within the first 15 minutes of the film, and then again towards the end. The scenes in the film were powerful and even though they were animated characters, I connected with them and they came to life. The entire movie is wonderfully crafted, each scene felt fitting and the film has such a fantastic flow.

Now don't start avoiding the film just because it has it's very sad moments, you may even find yourself with tears of joy while viewing the film. Aside from the powerful moments, we get such a funny funny movie. The characters are extremely memorable, and you will find yourself laughing quite constantly.

I was left amazed by what I had seen, the film did not just become my favorite Pixar film, it also became one of my favorite films in general. So as you can probably tell by now, I was definitely anxious for the Blu-ray release, each day felt slow as I awaited Up this week. Right when I received I began to watch, and the film is still as amazing as the first time I saw it.

This is truly a film everyone should see, whether it be a 4 year old child or 96 year old man. The film easily appeals to everyone and you do not need to have kids to enjoy this film at all. It's clearly intended for all audiences, with moments that will strike adults with much more emotion than it does children.

I was truly surprised how much I connected with the film, and how powerful of an impact a cartoon had on me. This one not to be missed, buy it now! 10/10.

The Blu-ray release is stunning in all aspects. Not only is the film amazing, we get astonishing visual and audio experiences. Extras on this release are quite extensive, and the inclusion of a DVD and Digital Copy automatically makes it easier to recommend. Up on Blu-ray is a 'Must Own.'

Additional Screenshots:

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