Monday, September 9, 2013

What’s UP: Balloon to the Rescue! (2009)

Hollywood is a very busy place with thousands of hardworking people collaborating every day to create films.  There’s the big players, like the directors, the producers, and the actors that we all know.  Then there are people with lesser celebrated, yet equally important, roles.  These people work behind the scenes, they are the cameramen, the boom operators, the animators, the lighting people, etc.  Every one of these people has a very important job that, with their combined efforts, creates cinema.  It tells a story that can make us laugh or cry or even change the way we think about the world.

What’s UP: Balloon to the Rescue!” was not made this way.  This movie was most likely created by a team of four during the course of an alcohol fueled weekend in New Jersey.

whatsupdvdcover

I apologize if I’ve offended alcoholics and people from Jersey.

At first glance, you might think that What’s UP is a kid’s movie, filled with lovable characters and a unique and dynamic storyline that ends with a moral or lesson learned.  But, look closer, and you’ll see it for what it truly is, a very blatant cash grab attempting to trick people into mistaking this for “Up”, the Oscar award-winning Pixar film.  This movie is rampant with one-dimensional characters, offensive stereotypes, and lazy storytelling at every turn.

I know what you’re thinking.  “But wait, isn’t this is a kid’s movie? Shouldn’t you go a little easier on it?”

whatsupamanda No.

What’s UP starts out with a TV special showing us all the characters we’re going to meet instead of, you know, meeting them.  We learn about “Monster Squad”, a team of scientists dedicated to protecting the Earth from monsters and we get to see a couple clips of monsters being destroyed and the resulting celebration.  During an interview with one of the scientists, they proclaim “I hope one day we can prove monsters exist” despite already watching several clips of monsters.

After the TV special airs, a Frenchman knocks on the Monster Squad’s door asking for help.  They agree and offer some tea in celebration.  “Oh, but Monsieur, I am French.  I only drink wine.”

Once the Monster Squad arrives in France, the Frenchman steals a “super energized rock” and throws it on the ground which “obviously opened a portal into another dimension”.  Now Monsters are escaping into our dimension and must be stopped.  During the ensuing chaos, the Frenchman furthers his evil plans and gets the daughter of one of the scientists alone.  They make lovey-dovey faces at each other until the youngest son, Gato, comes in the room and asks what they’re doing.  “Oh, nothing little boy. Would you like some candy?”  He then proceeds to ROOFIE THE CRAP out of the little boy.  Seriously, not more than 10 seconds after eating the candy does the little boy fall asleep on the floor.

whatsupgato

While the group is fighting monsters, we meet our second walking stereotype, the Chinese Guy.  In the span of about 10 minutes, the Chinese man is referred to as “Bejing”, “China”, and is bribed with “moo goo gai pan" for helping them.

The movie continues being racist and boring until the end when they just throw the Frenchman into the “other dimension” that they banish the monsters to.  Afterwards, they’re sitting around the kitchen table discussing it like “Oh yeah, we just basically murdered a French guy.  But he was kind of a dick, so no one cares.”

LESSONS LEARNED:  French people don’t drink anything other than wine, Chinese people can be bribed with promises of Moo Goo Gai Pan, and children have a surprisingly low tolerance to Rohypnol.

What’s UP was about 45 minutes long, and is really only funny if you’re actually a bad person.  I wouldn’t let real children watch this crap, and to be fair, I doubt they’d even want to watch it.  It’s like an edgy 13 year old watched the trailer to UP and made their own story.  The only revenue this movie can hope to bring in is from the elderly and young children that are likely to confuse it with the Pixar film, UP .

It wasn’t worth the $5 I paid for it on Amazon.  Steer clear.

4 comments:

  1. Cecilia MastropietroSeptember 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Oh god. It already sounded horrible from your description, but that trailer really cemented that opinion in for me. Truly terrible.

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  2. Wow. I don't even have words. As if the fake wana be Up wasn't bad enough, or the blatant racism, the animation on top of all if it all is just flat out awful. I've seen better CG done in the late 90s.

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  3. "Hollywood is a very busy place with thousands of hardworking people collaborating every day to create films. There’s the big players, like the directors, the producers, and the actors that we all know. Then there are people with lesser celebrated, yet equally important, roles. These people work behind the scenes, they are the cameramen, the boom operators, the animators, the lighting people, etc. Every one of these people has a very important job that, with their combined efforts, creates cinema."

    You give a shout-out to everyone, even the boom operators, except for writers? You know, the people wrote the stories "that make us laugh and cry"?

    ReplyDelete