Friday, July 10, 2009

Me, "Up," and Max Von Sydow

As I've mentioned before, the reviews I write for ICON range from one to five stars. In the year or so that the rating system began, I haven't given out five stars once. For me, five stars signifies something almost life-changing, like the times I saw Pulp Fiction and Boogie Nights. Watching those movies, they almost felt like living, breathing creatures.

That brings us to Up, which finally landed the coveted five stars. (I'm sure the guys at Pixar are doing their happy dance.) Why? I can't remember being so moved by a movie. For some people, crying at the movies is as normal a reaction as laughing or gasping. Not so for me. I remained dry-eyed at Benjamin Button, Terms of Endearment, and even Field of Dreams--one of five movies deemed acceptable for guys to shed a tear.

In fact, I'm usually as jaded as this guy.

But with Up, I cried twice. And not just a sniffle, but full-fledged crying jags so severe that it frightened me. I cried like a soap opera actress, a five-year-old with a skinned knee. It was as if I was malfunctioning. The "something's in my eye" excuse couldn't be used. It was worse than George Costanza crying during Home Alone.

So, that's a big reason for the rating, and why it's the best movie I've seen this year. I do think I Love You, Beth Cooper could pose a threat.

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