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Imagine 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.
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on March 18, 2013
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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on February 15, 2013
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.
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on April 30, 2015
Sadly, I wasn't all that blown away with this movie. Don't get me wrong. The visuals and special effects were gorgeous and nothing short of breathtaking. But the overall story line was pretty weak. It has the effect of looking like some really groovy MT music video. When I first saw the previews of this movie I got the impression that Kirsten Dunst had a 50/50 role shared with Jim Sturgess. But as you watch the movie you soon learn that it's really pretty much about Jim's character as the protagonist and quite frankly, he's kinda flat and borders uninteresting. Kirsten's lines were weak and insignificant (actually the dialogue throughout from everyone's role was pretty much uninteresting). I think this movie could have really done a lot better if she were allowed to shine like she normally does. You Kirsten fans know what I'm talking about, right? I thought this role for her in this movie was be a bit stifling.

I left with the impression that the writers, director, producers and/or whoever else relied too heavily on beautiful cinematography and computer animation and not nearly enough on a thought provoking or, quite simply, compelling dialogue to complement the beautiful visuals.

I purchased this movie when it was on sale but quite honestly I don't think I will ever care to watch it again. I kinda wish I just rented it and not paid the money for it. I would like to give it two and a half stars because I found it to be less than "okay" but I don't dislike it, per se. I'm more disappointed and it's unfortunate as I thought, from the well executed previews, that I would love this film. It simply didn't deliver.
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on August 3, 2013
This movies was visually interesting, even beautiful at times. That's the only thing holding it together. Barely. In the beginning of the movie, we get a short explanation of the physics of this world. Then the script goes on to trample wantonly on everything we've been told at the beginning. There are so many inconsistencies for convenience sake, you'll spend the entire movie remarking on them. Maybe that's the most fun you'll get out of this flick. Watch it with someone else so you can enjoy being snarky. Anything difficult to explain happens automagically off camera. The script is dismal. There are multiple long make out scenes to fill in the time. I mean looonnnng scenes of making out. Just making out. Long. It feels like the director just doesn't care. One of the 5 worst movies I've ever seen, except for how it looks. It could have been really interesting if a different director had made it as the premise is promising. Oh well.
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on May 25, 2013
"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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on November 25, 2015
A Very Unique concept...And extremely likable characters...make up for a thin plot. The romance, while I liked it I will admit could have been developed a bit more. Likewise, there's wasn't quite enough going on in the plot....really needed some subplots or more backstory. But the concept was so unique and the characters down to earth (ironically, lol)...(even Kirsten Dunst's Eden is likable....Generally she tends to play unlikable or annoying or crazy characters. Not this time thankfully)
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on June 17, 2013
I enjoyed this a lot. It's not a shoot 'em up space-ship type sci-fi movie. More on the lines of Ursula LeGuin.

Such a crazy idea and cool special effects make up for the main actor's lame voice-over and inexperienced performance. Plus, more Kirsten Dunst! She's under-used here, and she's always great whatever she does. The visuals make this film worth a second look. Really different.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 26, 2013
There may be spoilers...

Not having read anything about this movie, the premise seemed interesting and I'm always up for some science fiction nonsense. Unfortunately this film by Juan Solanas has the visual gravitas but lacks interesting leads and a script that led me to shaking my head.

Actually more of a fantasy than sci-fi, there are two worlds, twins if you will, that apparently rotate together in orbit but a few feet apart. Each has its own gravity, so in a common office scene, the people above you appear upside down. Each world has its own political and cultural system as well. One world is inhabited by the working class. It is ugly, mostly barren and in need of an influx of capital. The other world in controlled by a giant corporation and is where the wealthy live.

Travel between the two worlds is prohibited and physically problematic otherwise. Young Adam (Jim Sturgess) likes to scramble to the highest peak, never mind how he manages to get there. He meets a young woman named...wait for it...Eden (Kirsten Dunst) who also likes to hike to this same peak but on the wealthy world. Recalling Dunst's upside down kiss with Spider-Man, the couple manages to hook up this way until they are discovered by the authorities.

As the years pass, Adam discovers that Eden was working for the corporation bad guys. He had thought she was killed during that earlier confrontation with the cops. Nope. Just lost her memory. As luck would have it, Adam is also a top notch chemist and has discovered an anti-aging cream that gets him a slot at the corporation. This of course, gives him the opportunity to reconnect with Eden.

While this might sound interesting, it isn't. Dunst and Sturgess do what they can with the lame script but their relationship is boring as hell. At the end of the film Eden tells Adam that she is having twins, I'm thinking when the hell did that happen? I actually think there's a good movie in there somewhere, but this isn't it.
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on June 29, 2013
I was captivated by this movie from the start of it. It began with a wonderful narration and visuals. Two worlds on top of each other, sort of the haves and have nots kind of story. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks falls for the girl on the Top side. The visual sci-fi/fantasy element was really well done. I'm a huge sci-fi fan so I knew I was at least going to like the concept of this movie and I was drawn in by the image on the cover, I hadn't even heard of this film or if I had seen a preview, I'd forgotten. The romantic in me loved the soul mates theme, I think it was very well-acted, I have not seen Jim Sturgess's other films yet but he was really good and Kirsten Dunst is great as always in my opinion. I think if you like the preview you'll like the movie.
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