Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Upside Down

Upside DownImagine my surprise when this movie showed up this weekend out of nowhere, without any advance advertizing, on a single screen for all of Greater Cincinnati. I figured this wasn't going to play very long here so I went to see it right away.

"Upside Down" has a very intruiging premise: there are two worlds very close together but each with their own gravity. As the movie opens, we are informed of the basic three rules: 1. All matter is pulled by the gravity of the world that it comes from, and not the other. 2. An object's weight can be offset by matter from the opposite world (inverse matter). 3. After some time in contact, matter in contact with inverse matter burns. Wow, get your head around that! As the movie opens, we see young/eventual teenagers Adam (played by Jim Sturgess) and Eden (played by Kirsten Dunst) find each other in striking distance from opposing sides of a high mountain. Adam pulls in Eden with a rope, and as Eden is hanging/resting upside down in a rock, they kiss (hello, Spiderman upside-down kiss replay, anyone?). Eventually they are found out and as Eden is trying to get back to her "Up" world, the rope is shot and she takes a bad tumble, causing amnesia. Fast forward 10 years, and by complete chance Adam (from the "Down" world) see that Eden is now working at TransWorld, the 'evil' company that controls everything. Adam is developing an "anti-gravity" matter that also serves as an "anti-aging" creme. That appeals to TransWorld and he gets hired. Adam is bent on finding Eden and reconnecting with her, even though she has no memory of him and her teenage romance with him. At this point we are not even half-way into the movie, but to tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several commments: first and foremost, this movie is the most visual original movie that I have seen in a long, long time. It is slightly reminiscent of "Inception" in its visuals, but then does it one or two times better than that, just outstanding. I just couldn't stop marveling at how the images of the two "upside down" worlds were presented to us. That said, I thought that Sturgess was badly miscast as Adam. Even though he is in reality older than Dunst, he just looked like a boy next to her. On the other hand, Dunst just shines in this movie, continuing her strong streak in recent movies like Melancholia and Bachelorette. Kudos also for the nice soundtrack, scored by Mark Isham, a favorite of mine. The screening that I saw this at today here in Cincinnati was poorly attended (only 2 people besides myself), so if you get a chance to see this in the theatre, do not wait, or otherwise catch it on DVD. The plot lacks some emotional pull but the visuals will win you over.

Just wanted to say that if you are a sci-fi fan and enjoy outstanding visuals, like me, you must see this.

They probably got the visuals concept from "Inception" but actually used them in the plot instead of just for show (not that I didn't like Inception I did).

For me and I guess I can say I've probably seen it all this is the most artistic outstandng visual movie I've seen in, say, the last 2 years or so.

It has got an interesting uplifting love story with a rather uncommon arc that might keep you guessing until the very end.

Get ready for something... different.

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Eschewing the physics of reality, this film weaves a wonderfully fascinating tale of two young people in love. An astrophysics tale of Romeo and Juliet as the star-crossed lovers separated by a complex Escher-esque world of haves and have-nots.

Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst portray Adam and Eden respectively.

Adam lives in the frigid, dirty, and dank oily world of Downbelow. While Eden's home is Uptop, a dreamlike existence of warm bright air and glittering palaces of light. Two planets who share every basic elemental aspect, but are divided by an unspoken social and fiscal chasm. But there are special places, natural features of great height, where the two worlds almost touch one another. A place like the Sage Mountains.

A chance encounter between a thoughtful young boy and a young girl searching for her lost dog, accidentally bumping into one another at their respective peaks, begins a desperate dance as two halves of the same soul find, then lose one another.

Like all children, they're born without hate in their hearts. Eden and Adam become friends. And as the years pass, become more than friends. Despite the monstrous illegality of their relationship, love blossoms in secret. Until one fateful day as the teen couple encounters a group of angry Downbelowers who attack the pair for their illicit romance. While helping Eden make her escape, Adam is shot. Losing his grip while attempting to lower her "up", the freefall drop ends with a sickening crunch. Striking solid stone as she crashes back onto her world, a widening pool of blood is the last image he has of her.

Ten years pass.

Now working as an electronics repairman with asides as an inventor, Adam unknowingly stands at the brink of a discovery that will revolutionize both worlds. Believing that his soulmate died on that fateful day, he goes through the motions of an infinitely empty existence. Until a pirated television program from Uptop catches his eye. It's her she's alive. And he will do anything to again be with his one true love. Anything. Even prostitute his incredible creation to the corporate slave masters of Uptop's largest corporation, Transworld, for that single solitary chance.

Finagling his way into and through Transworld he's stunned and horrified to discover Eden doesn't know him.

Nearly beyond words, he learns that the fall all those years ago caused blunt force amnesia; she has no memory of her childhood and teen years except when she sleeps and dreams.

Undaunted, Adam undertakes the ultimate risk.

The twin worlds' equivalent of a terrorist attack is to cross over without permission. A strictly forbidden act, permission is never ever granted. But he's going to cross over repeatedly. His only hope is to encourage her memories to return by consistent re-association. But a Downbelower noticeably, and literally, stands out (up) from the crowd. As Uptop's gravity slowly burns through his illicit Up-gravity weights, Adam has to manage and mask his increasingly uncomfortable state while his custom bodysuit tips at the verge of combustion. And in a world full of Up citizenry, desperately has to avoid drawing public scrutiny to the fact that he's threatening immolation with every passing moment.

Authorities from both sides are in hot pursuit, no pun intended, and closing in on the repetitious violator.

A very entertaining romance for a 21st century audience. And, uncommonly, a good fit for both men and women, as this film captures the emotional aspects of a chick flick while carefully balancing the taut scifi and adventure aspects of a guy movie.

There were a couple of very small weaknesses that prevents a full five stars, but this incredible visual feast is as strong a four as I can imagine.

Movie Note:

Despite the fact the two planets share an equal orbit, I thought it cleverly profound that Director Juan Solanas never shows Downbelow as "up" when viewing the two worlds in the context of right and wrong, or even good and evil.

Read Best Reviews of Upside Down Here

"What if love was stronger then gravity." Adam (Sturgess) and Eden (Dunst) have been friends since they were kids. They only thing that keeps them apart is gravity. The world they live in has two separate gravities and they live in two separate "worlds". After an accident leaves Adam thinking Eden is gone he moves on with his life. After seeing Eden on TV one day he decides to risk everything by finding her again. This is a movie that is very hard to explain without giving anything away. I have said that I'm tired of the same 5 movies being remade over and over again with nothing original coming out. This is one of the most original and visually stunning movies that I have ever seen. The only downside I have with this movie is that they seemed to spend more time on the effects then the actually story. While the story is really good it does seem to drag and repeat itself a few times but overall I would recommend this. Overall, worth seeing and one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen, very neat effects. I give it a B.

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Interesting premise. Very cool special effects to make both worlds interactive with each other yet opposite of each other. Love story could have been better developed.

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