20 January 2015

Bye-Bye Dreams

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Hands up who can think of an aspect of life that isn't completely fucking miserable. If you have your hand up, you're wrong. I can enjoy something up until I get to the halfway point but then I realise the conclusion is coming up soon and I can't help but focus on the total bullshit of being alive. I quite like Saturday but then I tend to spend most of my Sunday's simply weighing up if I'd prefer to spend the next five days in work or just save myself the bother and stick my head inside the fucking oven. Some people see an old couple walking hand in hand and think it's sweet that they've managed to stay together for so many years. I just wonder which of them is going to go first and selfishly leave the other to wither in a misty fog of loneliness, Alzheimer's and piss. It sounds like I'm being mean but I swear that I'm speaking the truth. The only way you could possibly end your life on a high is by making sure you leave your loved one in the shit by fucking dying on them. When I reach old age, I think I'll keep a cyanide pill in one of the gums of my false teeth. If my partner so much as sniffles, I'm cracking it out, biting down and burning my insides into oblivion safe in the knowledge that things could literally never have ended better than this.  

Anyway, I thought about most of this whilst watching Pixar's lovely children's film Up. For those who haven't seen it, it's basically about an old man who doesn't take to the death of his wife very well. Whereas most widowed dodderers just sit inside and wait for the cold to take them, this one instead decides to strap a load of balloons to his house and float away like a human fucking bubble. Before his wife died, the two had always dreamed of moving to South America but never got around to it because lets face it... no human ever has ever had their dreams fulfilled. To add a little drama to the journey on his way to paradise, the old man accidentally abducts a small child with the two ultimately being forced on an adventure to save some rare birds. Sounds a bit random, that plot, doesn't it? Yeah, I thought so too. It'd be nice to think that this story is quite literal with everybody getting up to all sorts of hijinks and fun, but the reality of the situation is that I'm pretty sure it all takes place in the old man's head as he lies in his home at the bottom of the stairs. There's just so much stuff in it that might logically be mulling around his subconscious at that time that I really can only assume that these are the dying thoughts of an old man as he fever dreams his way into the afterlife. 

Anyway so before I sound too much like a heartless turd-monger, I think I should say that I completely loved this film. I mean, take my grim reading out of it and you’re still left with a film about an old man, a house of floating balloons and some talking dogs. I mean, if you can’t make even a watchable movie with those ingredients then you’re doing something wrong! What was surprising though was discovering  how little I actually knew about the story considering how long it’s been out now. In fact, other than the balloons, all I really knew was that the old guys wife dies at the beginning. According to everybody who I’d spoken to, you’d think that this death was the most upsetting thing to be inflicted on mankind since we realised that God was dead, we’re all alone and one day our sun would explode destroying any and all evidence of mankind's existence. They really bang on about it! If I told anybody that I was planning to watch this then they’d give me such a warning that I’d cry that you’d have thought I’d need to be on a fucking drip to avoid dehydration. I’m not one to shy away from weeping at a movie like a menopausal gizoid so I popped the DVD in, prepared for some pathetic eye-dribbles and then… nothing. I didn’t cry. God, I’m such a man! 

Obviously, that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the opening or even find it emotional. I just think that because it had been bigged up so much that as sad as it was, it wasn’t as sad as I’d been led to expect. Who knows… perhaps if I’d gone in completely cold, that beginning could have left me shriveled on the floor in a pool of face-piss and mucus. Arguably one of Pixar's biggest strengths is that, like a dodgy hot-dog vendor, it shovels in a lot of heart on the sly and Up is clearly no exception. Whether it be the moment in Toy Story 3 where everyone plummets into hell or the scenes in Monsters Inc. where Mike and Sully display all the child-minding skills of Louis fucking Woodward, Pixar truly are masters of giving you a hoof to the feels. I might not have cried during the opening here but there were moments later on between the old man and that young boy that he’s kidnapped where I came close. Like some sort of reverse Stockholm syndrome, the grumpy old man’s heart begins to thaw as the child's inability to shut the fuck up starts to grow on him like liver spots on a scrotum. As the film goes on, these two lost souls accidentally find the one thing they were looking for. Like the chocolate that the fat boy repeatedly shoves into his fat little mouth at the expense of his life-expectancy, there’s no denying how sweet this is! 

Which leads me to my next point… I accept that everyone will have their own personal reading of this film and most people will take Up at its literal face value, however if you don’t believe that it’s the subconscious dicky-fit of a dying mind then that must surely mean that you do think this adventure is all happening? So going with your version… The old man and his wife live a life where their dreams are shit out of the window and into the gutter. They want a kid but they can’t seem to have one together. They want to go to South America but can’t both afford it. She kicks the bucket and before she’s even cold, he’s managed to end up with fucking both. Is it just me or was she massively holding him back? It might seem like the message of this film is to live your dreams before it’s too late but perhaps it’s more bluntly to just cut the rope and ditch anything that’s dragging you down. Sure they loved each other more than I could possibly understand, but fuck it- he replaces her with a talking dog and who wouldn’t want one of those? 

Despite the basic concept being quite creepy, I think that for me, Pixar's best film is unquestionably Toy Story. Although if toys could come to life, then knowing what the ones in my room must have seen, I can understand how poor Chucky might have ended up as twisted as he did. Having said that, I’m pretty sure that Pixar has had a pretty flawless output of movies since the early days of Woody and Buzz… both of whom must have been named after a boner and a dildo? Surely that can’t have been coincidence? Anyway, I know people say that Cars, Cars 2 and Brave are a little disappointing but fuck it, I haven’t seen them so my view of the company is fairly untainted. With that in mind, Up deserves to be mentioned with such other modern classics as Wall-E, Ratatouille and The Incredibles because it was just brilliant! Personally I can’t think of a single thing to criticise it over which is saying something because as being both male and British, I’ve essentially been bred to express only cynicism and to moan at an Olympic level. Along with its heart, Up is also beautiful to look at and fucking full-on funny. This might be a film about coping with grief and depression but it’s also not above doing jokes like a fat kid having a shit in a bush. I might not have been as sad as everybody else at the beginning but I was certainly just as enthusiastic by the end. If you have an elderly relative that you don’t feel you’ve visited enough then maybe you should pop this film on… It’ll take your mind off the guilt for a couple of hours and at the end of the day you’ll have much more fun. Anyway, thanks for reading motherfuckers and see you next time!


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