Blindspotting

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Blindspotting had been placed on my “to watch” list for the summer after I saw Dan Murrell’s video featuring all of his blu-rays.  It sounded interesting, but it was not until I watched Hamilton on Disney + and was awed by the performance of Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson that this film bumped to the front of the list.

Long time friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal wrote and starred in this film that dealt with some big time racial issues as well as a friendship and how far a friendship can be pushed.

Collin (Daveed Diggs) has just gotten out of prison and is on probation.  He met up with his lifelong friend Miles (Rafael Casal), whose volatile nature threatened to place Collin back in trouble.

When Collin witnessed a police shooting, the pressures of his life began to engulf him.

Daveed Diggs is a superstar in the making.  He is just spontaneous, quick-witted, charismatic and simply glows on the screen.  He is one of those actors who you cannot wait for what he does next and his performance here is powerful and poignant.

The story has so much going on that you can feel the weight each moment places on Collin.  As an audience member, you can sense how each situation drags Collin down more and more.  You are just as frustrated with Miles because you see how destructive he can be, but you know the connection between them is special.

There are some uncomfortable moments that range from feeling uncertain to downright fearful and these moments work extremely well.  You are never quite sure what was going to happen next and, while you are on this path, you are remarkably entertained.

I’m not sure how I missed this film in 2018 because I thought it was fantastic.  I remember seeing trailers for this, but it is possible that it did not come to any of the local theaters I attended.  Either way, if you have a chance to watch this, the film is tremendous and amazingly relevant.

vintage

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Into the Dark: Delivered

Into the Dark (TV Series 2018– ) - IMDb

As I was searching for the movie to watch this afternoon, I came across a Hulu original called Delivered.  It turned out to be from the Hulu horror movie series “Into the Dark” and I had really enjoyed one (Pooka Lives) from earlier in the year.  I gave this one a chance.  Unfortunately, this one did not turn out as fun as Pooka was.

Delivered did not have the humorous tone of Pooka Lives!, which is fine.  Horror does not have to be comedic to work in a series like this.  However, there is just not much more here either outside of gross shocks and disgusting imagery.

Val (Natalie Paul) is very pregnant and she is preparing, with her husband Tom (Michael Cassidy), for a difficult birth.  Val does not seem to be excited about the pregnancy.  They meet another pregnant woman at a birthing class named Jenny (Tina Majorino) and they become friends.  However, when Jenny invites the couple over to her isolated house for dinner, she kills Tom and kidnaps Jenny, chaining her to the floor.

We know almost nothing about Val before she is taken captive, except that she had another man named Riley (Micah Joe Parker) who has been hanging around.  We discover the basic story between them later, but it is such an afterthought that it is just included here to try and gain some plot points instead of developing character.

We learn a little more about Jenny and why she was so bat-crap crazy.  He back story is horrible, but also really does not feature into the film outside of a moment or two.  It is very surface level for the motivation and she feels fake in the end.

It did not help that there was one moment in the movie that Val had knocked Jenny out.  I was screaming at the screen to finish her off, but Val chose to run off instead.  From that point on, I was more upset about her own failure and stupidity than her current situation.

Then, the final act was as gross and unnecessary of a scene as you are going to find in a movie.  It also made so little sense that when the film tries to get this past you, it is so ridiculous and obnoxious that it would have ruined a good movie, which this already was not.  There was so much wrong with that scene, both from a logical point of view to a moral point of view that it is hard to not feel either offended or stupider.  Legitimately,  this was a massive failure.

Val had been having these dreams throughout the movie, which stopped being surprising very early.  They were so obvious that they served zero purpose.  Then the film practically ripped off the cringe-inducing scene from Misery, but truthfully, even that did not create difficulty for Val.

There were just so many times that I wanted Val to try and do something to escape, but she always just seemed to be on the bed and cry.  The one time she found something was just a waste as she luckily found the details of Jenny’s past.  Nice of Jenny to keep those newspaper clippings in the same room that she was keeping Jenny.

The more I write and reflect on what I saw, the more upset I become.  This is on Hulu, but do not go searching for it.  There are so many other, much better films to watch than this crapfest.

1.5 stars

1776 (1972)

1776 (1972) - IMDb

Happy Fourth of July to everyone.

I had decided to revisit a film that I saw years ago, but that fit perfectly in with the intention of the day.  1776 was a comedy/drama/musical that adapted a Broadway stage play of the same name.  I can remember seeing this as a younger man and not truly understanding what was going on.

The musical details the days proceeding the approval of the resolution of independence up until the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Of course, the film takes plenty of liberties with the actual facts involved in the Continental Congress, but none of these historical inaccuracies should be worrisome.  This is not a documentary.  It is a piece of entertainment and thus is more concerned with the drama of the situation than the complete truth.

However, it was stated that much of the dialogue in the film came, over the years, from letters and correspondences from the individuals in the Congress.  Some of the characters were given traits and characteristics derived from these notes.

Our main characters involved here include John Adams (William Daniels), Dr. Benjamin Franklin (Howard Da Silva) and Thomas Jefferson (Ken Howard).  Adams, considered “obnoxious and disliked,” was the driving force behind the resolution for independence.  Adams and Franklin seemed to have a fascinating relationship played through the film with some good humor.

In opposition to the resolution was Pennsylvania Congressman John Dickinson (Donald Madden).  The film does a very good job of creating an air of conflict within the body that builds tension throughout.  I found myself unsure of the outcome despite clearly knowing my American history.

As a musical. I would venture to say that most, if not all, of the songs are catchy and entertaining, yet very unmemorable.  In fact, as I type this up, none of them are songs that remain in my head.  I did enjoy the humorous song “But, Mr. Adams”  as performed by Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Roger Sherman (Rex Robbins), and Robert Livingston (John Myhers).

With today’s world as it is, the sequence involving the debate over the slave trade language in the Declaration of Independence was an uncomfortable section to watch.  The song, “Molasses to Rum” as sung by South Carolina Congressman Edward Rutledge (John Cullum) was legitimately tragic and spoke to the long time basis for the systematic racism included in the very birth of the USA.  While this is one of the scenes that the timing of in history is inaccurate, the movie scene is undoubtedly compelling and powerful and one where the general humor found throughout most of the movie is appropriately suspended.

1776 is engaging and light-hearted, until it isn’t.  It does a solid job of balancing these tones and keeping the movie moving at a solid pace.  Unfortunately, the music is pedestrian, especially when compared to other musicals (such as Hamilton, a film placed in the same general time frame).  Still, much of the film provides a smile and a fun time.

funtime

1776 (1972) - IMDb

Hamilton

New Movie Posters for "Hamilton" Shared Ahead of Disney+ Release ...

Reportedly, Disney won the rights to Hamilton, the Broadway play which becomes a pop culture phenomenon, with a bid of $75 million dollars.  Disney had intended on releasing this film in 2021, but, with the issues of COVID-19, they chose to drop it on Disney + over the 2020 Fourth of July weekend.

I have been very excited about seeing this since the release news came out.  The only knowledge I have about Hamilton is the use by Weird Al in his “Hamilton Polka” from a couple years ago.  Besides that, I had not had any exposure to the show.  What made me even more excited was the fact that this was going to be a recording of a live stage performance, filmed over three days, in 2016 instead of a big screen adaptation.

The play’s story is about the American Revolution and the initial days of the forming of the United States, focusing in on the contributions of Alexander Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda).  The rivalry between Hamilton and Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr) is specifically at the heart of the play.

I found myself more engaged with each passing scene and by the conclusion of the story, I had tears in my eyes from the powerhouse performances and the amazing music.

Speaking of the music, the play was nearly completely music and the lyrics were clever and downright genius.  I loved the compilation of the musical styles that Hamilton blended throughout the narrative, despite the music not being a historically accurate interpretation.  If you complain that the Founding Fathers do not rap or drop rhymes  then you are simply looking for something to complain about.  It’s fine if that is a style of music that you do not prefer, but do not use it as an excuse.

The choreography is out of this world and the stage set up works beautifully.  There is a rotating circle in the middle of the stage that is used to provide extremely wondrous shots.

Lin-Manuel Miranda does a great job in the role of Hamilton, but his level of singing comes up just a little shorter than the rest of the cast.  I am not saying that I hated every minute Miranda opened his mouth to sing, because that is not true.  He does a very admirable job, but the rest of the voices are so angelic it is difficult in comparison.

There is a major story thread with Alexander and his wife Eliza (Phillipa Soo) and her sister Angelica (Renée Elise Goldsberry) that provides a deep emotional drive of the film.  Both Soo and Goldsberry deliver songs that are some of the best of the soundtrack.

The true standout was Daveed Diggs, who played Thomas Jefferson (and actually also Marquis de Lafayette).  Diggs stole every scene he was in and brought a sincere arrogance to Thomas Jefferson.

The film was shot with an audience and it certainly showed.  The applause after songs helped provide the movie with a feeling of the energy that had to be powerful inside that theater.  It gave the home viewer an opportunity to get the feeling of what it was like inside the room where it happened.  I remember thinking while watching it that the energy in the theater must have been off the charts.

This is a brilliant musical that I am very pleased that I now have a chance to see.  I wish there were other musicals that would be filmed in this manner and find its way onto streaming services.  Hamilton is on Disney + and makes a great watch during the Fourth of July weekend.

4.75 stars

Cabaret (1972)

Cabaret (1972) - IMDb

One more musical tonight before the big Hamilton release tomorrow is one that I had not seen before, but had a couple of great songs that I had always liked.  It was a multiple Oscar winning musical called Cabaret.

Berlin, 1931.  Weimar Republic.  Cambridge University student Brian Roberts (Michael York) arrived to complete his German studies.  He rents a room in an inexpensive rooming house where he can teach English.  At this rooming house, Brian meets Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli), a performer at the Kit Kat Club, a cabaret club run by the all-knowing Master of Ceremonies (Joel Grey).  Brian and Sally hook up and drama ensues.

Liza Minnelli staked her claim in the lead role as she was just brilliant.  She showed such range and an unbelievable amount of talent.  Then, Joel Grey, who played his role on Broadway, is the Greek muse of the 1930 German with the MoC.

The film deals with a ton of topics as well, from abortion to Nazism to antisemitism.  Plus, all kinds of sexual issues.  The controversy was gigantic for Cabaret and it did not shy away from anything.

Bob Fosse directed the film in his defining style.  He did win the Academy Award for Best Director for his work.  Both Minnelli and Grey won Oscars too.  Cabaret won 8 Academy Awards and became the film to have won the most Oscars without winning the Best Picture.

I enjoyed the film considerably and I was really impressed with the talent involved.

classic

Cabaret (1972) - IMDb

Chicago (2002)

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I have been looking forward to the arrival of Hamilton on Disney +, which is coming tomorrow and, to get in the mood, I chose to pick out a musical to watch.  After scanning through the list of musicals on Vudu, I stopped at the Academy Award nominated Chicago from 2002.

I had enjoyed Chicago when I saw it when it first came out and I especially enjoyed much of the soundtrack.  Although I prefer the version performed on the stage by Bebe Neuwirth, All That Jazz is a centerpiece of the show, here sung by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) was a wannabe star who attempted to use her body and sex to get ahead.  On the night that headliner Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) killed her sister and husband, Roxie began an affair with Fred (Dominic West), who said he had connections.  When she found out that he was lying about that, she ends up shooting him dead.

Roxie wound up on Death Row with Velma.  While there, she pilfered Velma’s famous attorney Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), as they battled with each other over which case could be more big time..

The music in Chicago is fantastic and the dance routines are amazingly choreographed.  The design of the sets and each musical number was spectacular.  The film has a definite feel of a stage show.  The costumes were stand out and worked in every scene.

The three main stars of the film were on fire.  Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere were amazing together and entertaining as these over-the-top characters.  There was also a impressive performances from John C. Reilly as Roxie’s sad sack husband Amos and Queen Latifah as prison guard Matron “Mama” Morton.

I did not expect to like this as much as I did the first time I saw it and this time was just as entertaining.  It certainly Razzle Dazzled me.

vintage

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Ocean Waves (1993)

Poster for Ocean Waves | Flicks.co.nz

The next film in the Studio Ghibli watch is one listed as a TV movie and it was one that did not have the English dub.  Ocean Waves was the first Studio Ghibli film that was directed by someone other than Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata.  It was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki and, according to Wikipedia, it was meant to be done by the younger crowd at Studio Ghibli.

The story focuses on two friends, Taku and Yutaka.  They had been friends for years, but they both fell for the same transfer student, Rikako.  As the triangle progressed, the friends found themselves pitted against each other for Rikako’s affection.

I was not fond of this film.  Of course, the animation is beautiful as always, so that gives these animated films a plus no matter what.  However, the character of Rikako was unlikable and irritating.  I had a difficult time buying the fact that she would be someone that either of the boys would give two hoots about.

The story was simple, but I had a hard time investing into the relationship.  Since I did not accept the relationship within the triangle, there was not much else here for me to care about.

The music was nice as this was the first score that I was able to hear in the original form (since I have been doing the English dub versions of these films).  It was nothing that really stood out, but it effectively created the tone.

This was a fine film, but way under the level that I have come to expect from Studio Ghibli.  This feels like a typical Lifetime movie.

meh

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Nobody Knows I’m Here

Nobody Knows I'm Here (2020) - IMDb

I love the TV show LOST so much.  I’ve written about that before.  I also love the character of Hugo “Hurley” Reyes and the actor Jorge Garcia, who portrayed the Oceanic 815 survivor.  When I saw that he was the lead of a new Netflix film, I was excited to see it.

At first, it was in dubbed English and I gave it a try in that way, but Jorge Garcia’s voice was not his own and I knew that was going to be distracting for me.  I do not like dubbed voices over a film anyway, but hearing a different voice coming out of Garcia’s body was just not going to work.  Thankfully, I was able to find a way to change back to the Spanish language with English subtitles.

Jorge Garcia played a man named Memo who was living with his uncle on an isolated Chilean sheep farm.  Memo rarely spoke and just went about his isolated life, showing a proclivity for a sparkly design.  However, he had a secret from his childhood.

Memo was a child singer, but when his father (Alejandro Goic) took Memo to an agent, they decided that Memo did not have the look they were looking for.  Instead, they had Memo be a ghost singer for Angelo (young Angelo- Vicente Alvarez, older Angelo-Gastón Pauls), a blonde-haired, blue eyed pretty young boy.  Memo had a bad reaction to what was going on.

As an adult Memo hid out with his uncle, a woman named Marta (Millaray Lobos) met Memo and started to get through his walls.  This would lead to a developing problem.

I was really impressed with the acting performance from Jorge Garcia.  He had a difficult job to do here as his amount of dialogue was going to be limited.  A lot of his emotions had to come from his face and his actions.  And he had a pretty good singing voice too.

The early part of the movie slowly built to the reveal of why Memo was where he was and why he was doing what he was doing.  The character of Memo is simple but broken.  There are some deep seeded issues inside of him making him more complex than you think.

There are some satisfying moments in the third act, but there feels like I wanted more than what they tell me.

This is a small story of a broken man whose past has affected his life and people around him.  Jorge Reyes is great in this movie, very impressive with his acting skills.  He takes it past Hurley, dude.

3.8 stars

 

 

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Movie Poster Image

I considered skipping this.  I am not much of a fan of Will Farrell comedies.  They all are pretty much repetitive and unfunny.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is, unfortunately, not an exception.

Lars (Will Farrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) are childhood friends, who grew up together in Iceland with one dream:  to win the Eurovision Song Contest.

Forget the fact that Will Farrell looks 15 years older than Rachel McAdams, despite the characters supposedly being the same age, and how there is a ridiculous conspiracy theory part of the story to prevent Iceland from winning the contest, this movie does not know what it is supposed to be.  There are some scenes that are played totally for comedy but also some scenes that are played straight out of Pitch Perfect.  It this meant to be a satire of these types of music contests or are they celebrating them?

There were some good parts to the film.  Dan Stevens is great as the Russian competitor Alexander Lemtov.  He is easily the best part, standing out every moment he gets on screen.  Rachel McAdams is always good.

Some of the music is fun too.

Other than that… not much here.

The movie is over two hours long and absolutely does not need to be.  This is at least 25 minutes too long.  The extra time is not used effectively.

Pierce Brosnan’s character, Lars’ father, is poorly constructed and makes a total flip at a point in the narrative that makes no sense at all.  Brosnan is always charming, but this character has no redeeming value.

As a Netflix original, I’ve seen worse.  There are a few moments of fun.  Of course, there are also boat explosions, Icelandic elves, shots at America tourists, insane driving, and an oversized hamster wheel.  So much idiocy and not enough laughs from it.  If you are a fan of Will Farrell, you’ll probably like this because the framework of the film is basically the same.

2.4 stars 

Porco Rosso (1992)

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You’ve heard the one about when pigs fly, right?

Well, now I have seen everything.

Yes, the next Studio Ghibli film, once again from Hayao Miyazaki, is Porco Rosso, a film about an Italian World War I flying ace who has been cursed by being turned into an anthropomorphic pig.

That is what I said.

Porco Rosso is now a hired bounty hunter to track down air pirates.  Porco flies his recognizable red plane.  He winds up in a dogfight with an American pilot named Curtis.

I loved this movie.  It was the weirdest thing I have seen in a long time and it was funny, energetic and well written.  It has a feel of the old series called “Tales of the Golden Monkey.”

And to make it all the more awesome… the English dubbing on the Porco Rosso character was done by none other than Michael Keaton.  Seriously, could that be any cooler?

The flying scenes in this animation are just beautiful. The entire animation is amazing, much like all of the Studio Ghibli movies.

This one caught me off guard and I really had a lot of fun with this one.  There is a lot to this, even more than what you might guess about a sea plane flying pig.  If you have not seen this one, check it out.

paragon

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Only Yesterday (1991)

Only Yesterday | Studio ghibli movies, Ghibli, Studio ghibli

The next Studio Ghibli film is one that is quite different than the others.  This was not a magical fantasy with magical creatures.  No Tartaro.  No witches.  No Pandas.  It is just a story of memories, from a 27-year old girl to her younger years.  Memories that were basic, universal.

Unfortunately, again, the DVD was having issues with this movie.  It caused some glitches and skips around the one hour mark so I did miss a chunk of the story.

What I did see was an artistic masterpiece.  The animation was gorgeous and different than any of the previous films.  It fit the more realistic tone of the movie and was less of the style of anime.

It was a much more adult story and told a reflective story.  It is a coming of age story as well as a human drama.

Too bad I could not see the uninterrupted movie.

goodstuff

Only Yesterday | Studio ghibli movies, Ghibli, Studio ghibli

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

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Hayao Miyazaki’s next film for Studio Ghibli turned out to be a charming and breezy film featuring a young witch named Kiki.

In Kiki’s Delivery Service, Kiki is a 13-year old witch and, in tradition with witch training, she leaves home to survive by herself for a year.  Accompanied by her black cat Jiji, Kiki finds a new town in which to live and, since she can fly exceptionally well on her broom,  starts up her own delivery business.  Unfortunately, Kiki has some problems with her own self-image and it causes her to struggle with her power.

This film is fun and very light-spirited.  While it is still a film targeting a younger audience, I actually found this much more entertaining , unlike the other Miyazaki films meant for young children.

Probably the reason behind that is the charming and friendly character of Kiki.  She is remarkably likable and filled with honesty and heart.  The new English dubbing version of the film has Kirsten Dunst voicing Kiki.  It also has Phil Hartman providing the voice of Jiji the black cat.

Here comes the regular animation comment.  It is absolutely beautifully rendered and could be considered a piece of art.  The animation seems to be getting better with every movie released by Studio Ghibli, which is saying something.

The plot of this movie is not that important.  This is a character piece, zeroing in on Kiki and her path to becoming a successful witch.  She has to deal with such problems as Tombo, a boy who takes an immediate shine to Kiki, weather challenging her delivery business and other kids who are keeping her an outsider.

Some of the supporting characters in this film are just sweet.  Osono and her bakery provides room and board for Kiki while her first delivery customer Melanie MacQueen becomes a close friend.

Kiki’s Delivery Service does not dive too deeply in the mythology of the world.  Everybody knows about witches and they are not seen as a negative thing.  In fact, most of the regular people look at Kiki with awe and amazement when she flies.   Most of the witch ideas such as the apprenticeship when she turned 13 are dealt with as if it is a known commodity.  That is not a bad thing, but it does not provide a world that is deep.

The film is sweet and charming.  The characters are enjoyable and easy to watch and the movie has some very positive messages of self-worth and friendship.

vintage

AFS Presents: KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE in Austin at AFS Cinema

My Neighbor Tortoro (1988)

Has Satsuki always had pigtails on Totoro movie posters and I just ...

The next Studio Ghibli film on the list in Hayao Miyazaki classic My Neighbor Tortoro.  This is one of the most beloved anime films in international cinema and, after seeing what had come before this on my DVDs, I was excited about seeing it.

Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed with this movie.

Yes, the animation is beautiful.  I have a feeling that when looking at all of these Studio Ghibli films, that is a statement that I can include in every review.

The story was sweet and I think that children would love this movie.  There is a touch of magic in the film and the two girl characters, Satsuki and Mei, are very relatable.  The story was simple and is more about the two girls than any plot points that happen in the film.  There was a fun moment at the bus stop, but other than that, I was unimpressed.

Much like Panda, Go Panda, I found Mr Neighbor Tortoro to be too much targeted toward the very young children and that there was not much here for the adult in me.

I also found what plot points there was here were fairly dumb.  I had a definite issue with Satsuki and Mei’s father, university professor Tatsuo Kusakabe.  He was one of the worst parents I have seen in a long time.  Things were happening right under his nose, as he was too involved in his work.  His children were disappearing and he just went about his business.

The whole plot point where Mei gets lost was so inane as well.  There were so many spots where I was just laughing at what was happening and the people’s reaction to the situation.

Beautiful to look at, great to listen to (with a wonderful score) but unengaging for me.  My Neighbor Tortoro was not what I had hoped it was going to be.

overrated

Has Satsuki always had pigtails on Totoro movie posters and I just ...

 

 

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

GhbbliThe Truth About The Poster Of “Graves Of Fireflies”

I’m not crying…you’re crying…

Whoa, that was an experience.  Grave of the Fireflies was the next film in the list of Studio Ghibli movies, written and directed by Isao Takahata, and this one was a heart-aching tale of two young kids in Japan trying to survive the final few months of World War II.

Grave of the Fireflies tells the story of two young siblings, Seita and Setsuko, whose father was fighting the war and whose mother was killed in an enemy firebombing of their village.  This put brother and sister alone to face the struggles of life compromised by war.

We know what type of story this is going to be with the heart-wrenching opening to the film.  After that, the remainder of the movie is told in flashback, showing us how the situation arrived at what it did.

Older brother Seita took his little sister Setsuko to live with their aunt after the bombing.  The aunt was not a very empathetic individual towards the children.  In fact, there were not very many adults portrayed in this movie as being kind or helpful.  The adults could not find the time to help these children, showing that their own personal problems outweighed the needs of others.

Isao Takahata has claimed that this movie is not an “anti-war” film, but it would be difficult to argue that the themes of Grave of the Fireflies are not directly influenced from the consequences of the war and its effects on society and its point of view of the results.

The animation is haunting throughout the movie.  There were a couple of moments (Setsuko at the doctor) where I literally gasped at the images shown me.  The metaphor of the fireflies was both beautifully and painfully portrayed.

Grave of the Fireflies is unlike most animated movies you see.  It usually shows you the power of the underdog overcoming odds planted before them.  This film gives you the anguish of seeing the other side of that coin.  This is a masterpiece.

paragon

GhbbliThe Truth About The Poster Of “Graves Of Fireflies”

Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

CASTLE IN THE SKY (Studio Ghibli Fest 2018) | The Ridgefield ...

Laputa: Castle in the Sky was the first official animated film from Studio Ghibli, and it was one that I had a difficult time following, though it was not the film’s fault.

The DVD that I had had multiple glitches on it when I was watching this movie, especially about the first 20 minutes or so of the film.  That caused a real problem with understanding exactly what was happening and who these characters were.

Directed by EYG Hall of Famer Hayao Miyazaki, Castle in the Sky is a beautiful looking film, with amazing artistic animation and cool character design.

Once again, I have been watching these movies with the English dubbing done when Disney released these Studio Ghibli movies in the early 2000’s.  This film included the voice work of Mark Hamill, James van Der Beek, Anna Paquin, Cloris Leachman, Mandy Patinkin, Andy Dick, and the iconic Jim Cummings.

This tells the story of an orphan girl named Sheeta, kidnapped by government agent Muska, but rescued by young boy named Pazu.  Sheeta has a magical amulet that will lead her back to her ancestors home, a floating city of Laputa.  There is a race to find the city among a group of characters to gain the powers of the land.

Colonel Muska is a top notch villain in this film.  I love the work of Mark Hamill, who brings such a menace to his voice work.  I know that he was not the original voice, but he is such a great voice over actor that I cannot imagine that he did not make this better.

The film is beautiful to watch and has a lot of amazing action here too.  The finale is excellent and filled with drama.

It is unfortunate that the DVD did not work properly for me because this seemed to be another great animated film.

classic

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