Monthly Archive for May, 2009

You should go see Up right now.

What film studio has a 100% track record? Seriously, Pixar does it again and again and again, and they find a new way to delight their audiences each and every time. With the exception of a few minor complaints, Up is easily another perfect movie.

up

Pixar are always expanding their storytelling horizons. As heartwarming as Wall•E and Nemo were, there’s something new about how the story of Up is told. The first – largely dialogueless – fifteen minutes of the film are among the most poignant I’ve ever seen in a film, let alone an animated one, and convey a sort of humanity and depth that is an incredible achievement. That segment could easily have been a short film on its own merits.

And yet, somehow the movie manages to go from heart-achingly beautiful and emotional to one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time without so much as a blink. It feels perfectly natural, when by all means it shouldn’t. Enough can’t be said about the humor and comedic timing, so I won’t try.

The movie stumbles a bit. I don’t want to give anything away, but while part of its charm is how unafraid it is to go over the top, sometimes it does go a bit far. And I thought that the climactic part of the film fell apart somewhat halfway through.

This is a pretty short review, because I don’t want to overanalyze a movie that’s simply pure fun. One final thing I will note that whereas from a technical perspective Wall•E explored and mastered cinematography, Up explores new horizons in lighting, to fantastic results.

Go see it. Go see it in 3D; they do it incredibly naturally and it’s a beautiful subtle enhancement to the film. Too bad it won’t be in 3D on Blu-Ray.

*****/5

Twitter’s sneaky new follow links

twitter

I’m going to roll right past the fact that it’s been forever since my last blog post, and certain promises have been violated by several months. Except to say that I’ve actually had most of the top albums post series written for a while now, and I just need to pull some top tracks together and polish off a couple of the albums. Expect them mid-June, when school is out and I have time.

I’m sure others have noticed this already, but with all the talk about Twitter rolling out professional tools for upper-tier users, I thought that an observation I just made was pretty amusing:

It used to be that Twitter would send you plaintext emails when someone follows you, with a plaintext url to their Twitter profile page which would be auto-linked by most email clients. Around the very beginning of this month, Twitter switched to fancy HTML-based emails with chrome framing pretty much the exact same text. It turns out that the motive behind this wasn’t actually polish.

Check out the new URL that Twitter gives you to go to your new follower’s profile:

http://twitter.com/[username]?utm_source=follow&utm_campaign=twitter[timestamp]&utm_medium=email

With this tracking data, Twitter can tell their commercial users just how much that annoying followspam is helping them. I’m surprised that the avatar they embed isn’t itself a beacon tracker so they can get click-through statistics (Dear Twitter: that’ll be a $5k consulting fee, please— kthxbye).

I’m curious to see what other tools come with the professional package.

Speaking of Twitter, expect a “A year with Twitter” post soon. There are things about it that I want to say to naysayers.