Entertainment behind the scenes
In Pixar’s 2007 movie “Ratatouille,” a food critic played by Peter O’Toole offers a glowing review of a restaurant run by a rat, in a poignant scene at the climax of the film. O’Toole’s dramatic speech begins with the words, “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy,” before going on to say that his true job is the “defense of the new.” When it comes to Disney/Pixar’s latest animated release “Up,” Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times is on a similar wavelength. “Some films are an obligation to write about, ‘Up’ is the purest pleasure,” he reports.
Nearly all of Turan’s fellow critics agree about “Up,” which opens on Friday floating on a wave of box office success for other family-oriented films. The movie is about an old man and a boy who set off in a house carried skyward by 20,622 helium balloons. The aggregating Web site rottentomatoes.com reports that as of Thursday afternoon, 97 percent of critics have given the movie a favorable rating. Rotten Tomatoes has stamped all 10 Pixar films with its “Certified Fresh” seal of approval, going back to the 1995 “Toy Story.”
Turan in his review said that “Up” is noteworthy for starring an old man, voiced by Ed Asner, who appears genuinely old, instead of having the physicality of a young man. ”This is a film that is heartfelt enough to restore your faith in whatever needs restoration,” Turan wrote.
David Edelstein of New York Magazine remarked on the computer-generated imagery (CGI) of the film. “The look of ‘Up’ is a world away from Pixar’s usual CGI intricacies – simple in a way that only artists with a genius for complexity can achieve.”
Last year, then 15-year-old Miley Cyrus was the runaway hit at 3-D theaters when her “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” made $31.1 million its opening weekend at U.S. and Canada box offices in only 683 theaters.
Cyrus’ old friends the Jonas Brothers, who gained fame on her Disney television show “Hannah Montana,” are looking to eclipse that number when their 3-D concert movie opens in 1,271 theaters on Friday, and hundreds of theaters have been sold out.