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Upside Down (2013)

Studio: Millennium Entertainment

Theatrical Release: March 15, 2013

Blu Ray Release: June 25, 2013

Director: Juan Solanas


Review by James Klein

Let me ask you dear readers a question: do you have a friend or know someone that you sometimes see or work with or even hang out with who is overly melodramatic? The person is just born...off? Talking loudly with pauses in between words that will somehow bring some sort of special awakening to what he/she could be saying? Stressing how much he/she likes someone or something to the point of ad nausea? I think we all have this friend or know someone much like this. That's how I felt about seeing Upside Down. This movie is not only made for that type of person but it reminded me of that person's personality; over the top and melodramatic.

I knew I was in trouble once the narration started. The film begins with a lecture. The narrator tells us about two world's or planets where one is upside down due to a different level of gravity. Both planets revolve around one another but in one world the human race is poor while in the other world, the human race is well off. As the narrator explains the history of these world's, he ends it off by saying that "up-top, they always win, and down-below, we always fail." He also adds that love can be stronger than gravity. Oh boy, the cheese is so strong it smells like a Limburger fart.

We are introduced to Adam, an orphan who one day while picking pomegranate (stop laughing and let me finish this review!) throws a paper airplane at the other world, drawing the attention of Eden who like Adam, is a loner and close to his age. The two become friends and suddenly are in love within three minutes. With no character build up at all, the viewer must accept that these two people have known and cared for each other for awhile even though we could care less. After a freak accident where Eden falls to her own world, Adam and Eden are split up with Eden suffering from amnesia. 

Now grown up Adam (Jim Sturgess, who plays Adam like a childish dork) works as a chemist who happens to see Eden (Kirsten Dunst) on television while on a game show. Adam instantly risks his life by trying to go to the other world to see his long lost love who may or may not remember him. Adam goes to work at a patent company that works with employees from both world's. Adam tries to secretly see Eden, forcing her to remember him. Can Adam bring his true love back? Will Eden remember who Adam is? Should you give a shit?

Written and directed by the Argentinean Juan Solanas who has seen too many Spielberg films (not the good ones either, this is the kind of guy who probably ranks Always over Jaws) Upside Down from start to finish is just predictable and beyond sappy for words. The lines of dialog that spew out of these actors mouth's seems like it was lifted from one of George Lucas's Star Wars prequels. I had a hard time buying that Eden would even fall for this schmuck who looks like he just got out of bed let alone the science fiction premise. I couldn't quite understand how these two world's don't just crash into one another. I will say the concept is neat and while I am a sucker for "tortured or forbidden love" films, this one doesn't work on so many levels but mostly because there isn't enough time spent with these characters to believe that they are in love.

The blu ray looks fine but the 3-D I found lacking. Images barely popped and looked flat. I had to turn on and off my 3-D glasses just to make sure they were working. Despite some expensive looking green screen work, the film can be viewed in 2-D and you won't miss a thing. There are deleted scenes and a "making of" feature where everyone seems to be having a good time who also compliment Solanas every chance they get.

Though it is nice to see an original concept instead of the constant remakes and comic book adaptations, Upside Down is just ridiculous and overly sentimental. It's theme of "love conquerors all" is quite simply childish and annoying.

[Rating: 1.5]

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