Monday, May 18, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page 8
traced back to the book, in which
these seemingly perfunctory state-
ments are properly fleshed out and
actually make sense. "Angels" (like
"Da Vinci Code") screws itself by
splitting action and mystery, but not
fully developing either side. When
details are neglected, audiences are
left to go with the flow, which can be
extremely infuriating attimes. On the
other hand, if none of the interesting
and genuinely cool Catholic and Illu-
minati lore is present, the whole pur-
pose of the movie is lost.
The worst part of the film, though, is
that fans of the book gain nothing from
watching the movie. Not only does the
movie skip important information
present in the books, but the info it
does have is so watered down that all
significance is lost. The deaths in the
novel definitely churn the imagina-
tion. But when these scenes are shown
on the bigscreen under a PG-13 rating,
not much justice is done. That's not to
say a "Saw" approach is required, but
just like the dialogue of the film, they
feel merely obligatory - just some-
thing to move the story along.
Ultimately, "Angels" doesn't share
any of the intrigue or mystery of
its book counterpart. It's trite in its
descriptions and divided in its spirit.
Not even a trip to the confession booth
can purge the sin of watching this
abomination of a movie.
Pixar director discusses Up'coming film
Pete Docter reveals the
creative process behind the
newest Pixar installment
By ANDREW LAPIN
Daily Film Editor
When filmmaker Pete Docter ("Monsters,
Inc.") was trying to figure out an idea for his
next movie, a peculiar image started to float
around in his brain.
"I just drew this picture of a house float-
ing with balloons, and something about that
seemed very evocative," Docter explained in a
recent phone interview. "We started just think-
ing, 'Well, who's in the floating house, and how
did they get there and where are they going?"'
Figuring out the answers to these questions
led to the concept for "Up," the latest entry in
the Disney/Pixar hit parade. The film focuses
on the life of Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed
Asner, TV's "Lou Grant"), a diminutive 78-year-
old man who ties thousands of balloons to his
house so he can fly to South America, and Rus-
sell (newcomer Jordan Nagai), the Boy Scout
who smuggles a ride aboard.
Early drafts of the screenplay had Carl and
Russell going to a tropical island. Eventually,
though, Docter decided to send the characters
somewhere more original-and turned to South
America's Tapui mountains for inspiration.
Docter acknowledged the unorthodox
choice to anchor a family-friendly film with
an old man as its protagonist, but he noted
that he and the other Pixar filmmakers never
think about marketability during the produc-
"We make these films for ourselves," he
explained. "We just think about, 'Is this inter-
esting to me, as a person, as an audience mem-
ber? Am I engaged? Do I care?"'
Still, Docter notes that making an animated
film isn't all fun and games.
"You're working on cartoons, happy, fun,
Pixar la-la land, but it is, you know, there comes
a point where you start to think of yourself asa
failure if you don't get this done," he said.
"Up" wasn't immune to this pressure, and
many challenges were present in the film's cre-
"Every film we've gone through, it seems
like there's some new technological hurdle,"
He found designing the.characters and set-
ting to be the most taxing challenge.
"This was a
story where the
floats his house to
It's a completely
And if we could
somehow create a sinCe 1978
I think we felt like
we could make that a lot more believable and
real to the audience than if you made it super-
"Up" will also mark another milestone for
being the first Pixar movie to be released in 3-D.
Docter explained that a separate "3-D Team"
was formed after the film's initial conception
to follow the main crew around and implement
the extra dimension. They had.to be conscious
of things that wouldn't work in 3-D, like objects
breaking the edge of the frame as they rush
towards the audience.
Docter said he was also very careful not to
rely on throw-things-at-the-audience types of
"The screen is almost like a window look-
ing into this world," he said, summarizing the
angle they were approaching the new dimen-
sion from. "We're not selling 3-D. We're selling
the story itself, and the 3-D's going to be in sup-
port of that."
The fruits ofDocter's labors can be seen when
"Up" takes flight nationwide on May 29th.
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