“UP” in the hood for a date

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Yesterday we went to see the movie “UP.” Elizabeth suggested it after listening to a review she liked, so I jumped on the opportunity.

UP

Before we went we had a nice dinner of guacamole and pinto chili dip, and discussed why it is that we often use side dishes as main courses in our house. Elizabeth decided she needed a balance in her meal, so she made herself a tall glass of spinach and fruit sludge.

IMG_1098

We went to the ICE theater (Inner City Entertainment) on 87th and Dan Ryan. It’s one of the only theaters on the South Side, and Elizabeth had never been. It also has a big parking lot, so we wouldn’t need to take the CTA and exhaust our mother’s legs and back more than necessary.

*Spoilers Ahead*
(I wouldn’t want to have read this before seeing the movie!)

“UP” is a Pixar movie. Before the movie began there was a short called “Partly Cloudy.” This was an extremely enjoyable vignette about the creation of babies (of all types) in the clouds and their delivery by storks (clouds and babies make a brief appearance in the feature, as well).

When the movie begins, you’re introduced to a young boy obsessed with an adventurer. He soon finds a girl of like mind, and after some very fun interaction between them, we witness a video montage of them getting married and growing older together. They are shown to be very happy and in love, despite numerous setbacks in their ambitions together. When the young boy-now old husband finally decides to realize their dream together, she is hospitalized and soon passes away, and he is left alone. This is all backstory. The movie fades to black, and the real story begins.

The real story involves a new young boy adventurer looking to aid an old man, and an old man newly inspired to achieve his and his wife’s life ambition to pursue a specific adventure in the likeness of their hero. Lots of things happen – funny animals, unexpected bad guy, adventure chases, etc. The point ends up being that the boy isn’t cared for by his father, and the now old man sort of adopts him as grandson.

*End of Spoilers*
(I wouldn’t want to have read that before seeing the movie!)

I told a friend recently that when I was younger I was good at reasoning away the watching of almost any kind of film – finding some aspect that made it worth watching despite numerous objectionable aspects. Since marrying and also since going to the Orthodox Church (which is very visually oriented), I have become more selective about what kinds of images I want to see. For instance, I have become more sensitive to graphic violence or unnecessary nudity when previously I may have shrugged these off while secretly relishing them both. I have also become more sensitive to the messages in movies. In the discussion I had with my friend, I explained how I was no longer satisfied with movies that simply want to state in some quirky manner how screwed up life is, what a complicated mess it is, involving all of man’s passions partly or completely uncontrolled (I was referring at the time to Coen brothers movies). Yes, these can reflect reality in some ways, and yes they can be an enjoyable tale, but they don’t enrich my life, and they don’t put a message into my head that I want to nurture.

Instead, I would prefer to see a movie that has a positive (not only negative) message and visuals that are more intentional and thoughtful rather than cheap thrills. This movie had a very pro-family message, which is obviously very appealing to us at this time. The husband and wife were completely faithful to one another and he pined for her after her death. In her absence he had a brief period of grumpiness before pursuing another family-type relationship with a young boy without a good father figure. My favorite parts were actually the backstory of the feature and the short before it. After the feature really began, there were more slapstick and chases than I really needed, but it was a kids movie.

I find this movie to be in great contrast to a movie I recently showed my students (when studying animals in captivity): “Happy Feet.” I forgot how much I disliked this film the first time I saw it. It was a cartoon with songs about a tap dancing penguin in the Antarctic.
The movie was filled with sexual innuendoes in an effort to blend the natural mating of penguins with their human-like portrayal as cartoon characters. It also seemed to have strong messages of individualism, disrespect for elders, and anti-religion.
I regretted showing it.

After the movie, we drove further west to end our date with a nice big ice cream cone. We decided to make our second visit to the Original Rainbow Cone, where the signature cone has scoops of chocolate, pistachio, strawberry and Palmer House (a cherry-nut blend) ice creams, as well as a layer of orange sherbet. I substituted vanilla for Palmer House, but Elizabeth ordered the classic.

~Eric

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2 Responses to ““UP” in the hood for a date”

  1. brooke Says:

    …………

  2. vagueperson Says:

    How are the new shoes?

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