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Up - 4 Disc Combo Pack with Digital Copy and DVD [Blu-ray]
(Pete Docter + Bob Peterson, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Disney Pixar
Video: Disney Pixar
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 44,554,082,831 bytes
Feature Size: 25,588,518,912 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.93 Mbps
Case: Custom Thick Blu-ray case
Release date: November 10th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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
English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none
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.
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.
"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.
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
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.
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'.
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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze