The Up Series


Movie: 4 out of 4 stars

Disc: 3 and 1/2 out of 4 stars

Quite simply the most ambitious franchise in feature movie history, director Michael Apted's eight film series of "Up" documentaries is unlike anything you will ever see. Beginning with "Seven Up" nearly 50 years ago, the movies chronicle the lives of a dozen or so British citizens as they travel life's path with cinematic updates every seven years. Covering a wide swath of social and economic backgrounds, the individuals -- that all grow older and less interested in the project with each subsequent installment -- are never less than enthralling, even though most of them would rather Apted just turn off is camera. Human interest was never as interesting as it is here.

Technical specs: aspect ratio: Mixed Full screen and Widescreen, audio: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), subtitles: none.

Special features include:

-- Text/on-screen filmmaker biography

-- Photo galleries

-- Roger Ebert interview with Apted

-- Filmmaker commentary

(First Run Features, $79.95)