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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Up - 4 Disc Combo Pack with Digital Copy and DVD [Blu-ray]

 

(Pete Docter + Bob Peterson, 2009)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Disney Pixar

Video: Disney Pixar

 

Disc:

Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:36:12.933

Disc Size: 44,554,082,831 bytes

Feature Size: 25,588,518,912 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.93 Mbps

Chapters: 35

Case: Custom Thick Blu-ray case

Release date: November 10th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4035 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4035 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs: Dolby Digital EX Audio French 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital EX Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2064 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2064 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Descriptive track: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Global Guardian Badge Game: Players try to locate countries and states around the globe in a multi-layered BD-exclusive and geography game enhanced by BD-Live.
Cine-Explore: The making of by director Pete Docter and co-director Bob Peterson
Dug’s Special Mission: An all new film original short that follows the hilarious misadventures of Dug as he attempts to complete his “special mission”. (4:40 in HD!)
• Alternate Scene: The Many Endings of Muntz: Many ideas were hatched about how to dispose of the film’s arch villain, Muntz and now viewers can see the many alternate endings proposed during story development.
Partly Cloudy:–The hilarious short film that preceded screenings of UP. In it, a fanciful world where cherubic clouds jovially create the earth’s cuddly animal newborns, one depressed cloud must find the silver lining in his assignment: fashioning the less-loved critters like crocodiles and porcupines. (5:46 in HD!)
Adventure is Out There: This documentary tells the story of the filmmakers’ visit to the Tepuis Mountains of South America to research the design and story of the film. (22:17 in HD!)
Geriatric Hero: A character study of Carl and Muntz, from research to realization including art and design, rigging, animation and story. It focuses on the issues of aging, “simplexity”, shape-language and compelling character arcs. (6:24 in HD!)
Canine Companions: For anyone who ever wondered where CG puppies come from, an introduction to the design, behavior and language of dogs. (8:26 in HD!)
Russell: Wilderness Explorer: A character study of Russell from inspiration and design to finding the character arc and authentic voice for this wilderness ranger. (9:00 in HD!)
Our Giant Flightless Friend, Kevin: Find out how Avian Research & Development at Pixar helped bring a mythical, 11-foot tall iridescent bird to life. (5:04 in HD!)
Homemakers of Pixar: Carl and Ellie’s house is an important “character” in the film. Fans follow the development of the house from story to art to its ultimate realization in the computer. (4:38 in HD!)
Balloons and Flight: Carl’s house and Muntz's dirigible presented the filmmakers with two different problems, how could they make a physical impossibility possible? And, in the case of the dirigible, how would they unearth a fallen giant and let it soar? (6:25 in HD!)
Composing for Characters: The collaboration between the Pixar filmmakers and Up composer Michael Giacchino. (7:37 in HD!)
Married Life: An alternate scene and expanded character backstory (9:15 in HD!)
UP promo montage  (6:00)
Worldwide trailers (1:48, 2:29)
DVD with film and bonus features and Digital Copy

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios take moviegoers up, up and away on one of the funniest adventures of all time with their latest comedy-fantasy. Up follows the uplifting tale of 78-year-old balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen, who finally fulfills his lifelong dream of a great adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South America. But he discovers all too late that his biggest nightmare has stowed away on the trip an overly optimistic 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell. Their journey to a lost world, where they encounter some strange, exotic and surprising characters, is filled with hilarity, emotion and wildly imaginative adventure.

 

 

The Film:

"Up" is a wonderful film, with characters who are as believable as any characters can be who spend much of their time floating above the rain forests of Venezuela. They have tempers, problems and obsessions. They are cute and goofy, but they aren't cute in the treacly way of little cartoon animals. They're cute in the human way of the animation master Hayao Miyazaki. Two of the three central characters are cranky old men, which is a wonder in this youth-obsessed era. "Up" doesn't think all heroes must be young or sweet, although the third important character is a nervy kid.

This is another masterwork from Pixar, which is leading the charge in modern animation. The movie was directed by Pete Docter, who also directed "Monsters, Inc.," wrote "Toy Story" and was a co-writer on "WALL-E" before leaving to devote full time to this project. So Docter's one of the leading artists of this latest renaissance of animation.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

 

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

The transfer is actually seamless branched and shifts between English, French and Spanish captions for the text signs etc. in the film - although it goes almost the entire last hour without any of these unnoticeable switches. Your first option is to choose one of those 3 language choices and then succumb to the expected adverts (only 3) like Toy Story 3 (June 18th, 2010), The Princess and the Frog, and Santa Buddies.

 

Expectantly 'Up' looks absolutely awesome on Blu-ray. Disney/Pixar give this stellar film an immensely impressive transfer to high-definition. As we've stated in the past - this being digital-to-digital, in this high resolution format, there are no flaws at all - no noise (also no grain), no damage - no weaknesses of any kind that I can critique. Your only decision on the appearance is a subjective one on how much you like, or dislike, the animation style. I happen to love it - it has similarities to Wall-E but it's brighter with more defining facial characteristics in the human faces... like The Incredibles. Colors range from soft palette realism to some exuberant brilliance of the natural surroundings (Kevin's feathers) or things like Russell's merit badges which, despite the lack of grain, do exhibit some real texture - see the capture below. There is definitely a dimensional look at times. This Blu-ray is exhibiting as perfect a representation as one could ever hope to hope for. The film's warmth and this pristine image quality will give it substantial ballots in our Blu-ray of the Year poll. As you might have already anticipated - Up gives a totally compelling viewing on Blu-ray.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 4035 kbps is as perfect as the image. Michael Giacchino's score (also see LOST, the new Star Trek film, and Speed Racer - for some of his more notable efforts) floats, at times, like Carl's house drifting slowly in the clouds. There is actually an interesting featurette in the extras entitled Composing for Characters focusing on the collaboration between the Pixar filmmakers and composer Giacchino. While not an aggressive soundtrack, the mix does exhibit some desirable depth and exercise for the Surround speakers. Ex. Russell's knuckles rap on Carl's wooden door and I get up to check ours. At certain, more enthusiastic, points of the film - the audio, surprisingly, envelops your home theater. It has far more impact than you would openly note when watching - and this is really the goal of a solid track - to support the film with subtle intent. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

The supplements are extensive but not bloated. The package has 4-discs. There are two Blu-ray discs - one of the feature - a second of extras, a DVD (with the film and some bonus features) and a Digital Copy for playability on your portable devices.

 

There is so much variety available whether you want to see the film in the 'Cine-Explore' option as a running 'Making of...', indulge in some amusing Pixar shorts in the brilliance of HD like Dug’s Special Mission or Partly Cloudy (both running about 5-minutes and both looking incredible on the feature disc), play the Global Guardian Badge Game, watch production documentaries like Adventure is Out There which tells the story of the filmmakers’ visit to the Tepuis Mountains of South America or follow a character study of Carl and Muntz, from research to realization including art and design, rigging, animation and story. It focuses on the issues of aging, “simplexity”, shape-language and compelling character arcs. There was a rumored commentary with director Pete Docter and his co-director Bob Peterson but if it was there I couldn't find it on the feature disc. The second Blu-ray has 7 documentaries running less than 50-minutes in total - all listed above, the 9-minute Married Life alternate scene, the Up Promo Montage and 2 'Worldwide trailers'.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Another of my favorite Pixar films and let's hope they never stop. For a Blu-ray package this huge - there isn't much to say in the end. It's this year's Wall-E but has a PG rating and, as a film, I enjoyed it much more. Home theater devotees will revel in the image and audio transfer - it is immaculate. We can use terms like 'demo' or 'reference' - but even they seem inadequate. It's a great package at twice the price. Of course we give it our highest recommendation as one of the must-own Blu-rays of the year. 

Gary Tooze

October 23rd, 2009

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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