Up in the Air was one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2009. It was nominated for 6 Academy Awards (didn’t win any), had a great screenplay, and a talented cast led modern Cary Grant incarnate George Clooney. With so many good things to offer Up in the Air seems like a logical and wise selection to add to anyone’s DVD collection.

The Players:

The Plot:

Up in the Air follows Ryan Bingham, a man who fires people for a living. He travels the majority of the year and has an estranged relationship with his family because of it. As one of his company’s top employees he’s asked to mentor a recent college graduate named Natalie, but he’s reluctant to do so. The duo are polar opposites and aren’t very fond of each other. Throughout their trip across the country they learn multiple things from one another that end up changing their lives forever. Natalie shows Ryan that love and family isn’t such a bad thing, and he shows her how to live a little.

The Good:

  • Opening Montage: The editing, the music, and the visuals used for the opening sequence in the film gets you in the mindset of the journey you’re about to take with the characters. It establishes the setting in an entertaining way that sticks with you even after the movie has ended.
  • ShadowPlay: Before the Story: In the special features section of the DVD there’s a short featurette highlighting the company who did the opening credit sequence for the film. They’re called Shadowplay and they’ve worked on the openings for all three of Reitman’s movies (Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air).
  • Screenplay: This story is unpredictable. The majority of the film you think it’s going in one direction and it turns and becomes something else. It’s rooted in reality, where things don’t always go according to plan. That random action is what makes the screenplay so refreshing.
  • Commentary: Jason Reitman, Eric Steelberg (Director of Photography), and Jason Blumenfeld (First Assistant Director) give the listening/viewing audience plenty of background info on how they shot certain scenes. It’s one of the best commentary’s we’ve ever heard. They make you feel like you’re sitting in on a production meeting with them.

The Bad:

Deleted Scenes: There are five extra scenes under the special features and after watching them you realize that they were cut for a reason. One of them included a spacesuit montage that ended up online shortly after the DVD’s release. There was nothing particularly amazing about any of them.


The Up in the Air DVD is definitely worth your money because not only do you get a great film but the commentary is hilarious and informative. Other than that, the extras are pretty standard and don’t include anything groundbreaking. The major selling point here is the film itself.

Rating: 9/10

Up in the Air is on sale now at Amazon.com.



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