The movie is better than the book. The book is better than the movie. Which is better? The debate for whether a film adaptation of a popular novel (or any novel, for that matter) can meet or exceed expectations of its fans has been one for the ages. For sure, numerous film studios (live action and animation) have hunkered down and spewed films that draw from pre-existing material. The advantages of this include many: having an original source to draw inspiration from, having pre-existing marketing material or ideas for fans to get excited about (therefore increasing revenue based purely on anticipation), and being able to work with your favorite childhood (or adulthood) characters and bring them to life. Many risks accompany such a decision, as well, however, ranging from total crashing and burning of the movie fails (Golden Compass and Animal Farm come to mind) to being completely forgotten in the voids of film making (not sure which is better). Read More
Sengoku Basara is pretty simple and easy to understand. It’s far from being complex in nature and it’s wonderful that it doesn’t try to be. Each character epitomizes very general personality characterizations, and with artistic license that appeals to most fans of the fantasy/sci-fi fans genre, the series gives each character a theme color. Such decisions really tickle your insides due to how it makes complicated, epic fight scenes more streamlined, crazy, and fun to watch. Read More
Star Wars fans are some of the most passionate (and oldest) in the world. It’s why George Lucas could go from being a hero to science-fiction fans everywhere to one of the most demonized people on the planet following the release of the special editions and prequels. But that’s the negative side of freedom. There’s a wonderfully positive side to this situation: Star Wars continues to inspire generations. Creativity and dreaming imaginations take flight in a new video online that is one of the greatest examples of fan appreciation that…basically exists. Read More
With the advent of franchises like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, popular memes that ‘quiz’ you on your personality have have sprouted all over the interweb, and as meaningless as they may seem, the fact that there is a system that will help you determine what you’re most like is intriguing all the same. For those who are fans of either the Boy-Who-Lived or the Ring-That-Cannot-Be-Destroyed-Except-for-In-Mount-Doom, who wouldn’t want to know how their own person could potentially fit into said fantasy world? Read More
Hiromasa Yonebayashi, close friend of Hayao Miyazaki, founder of Studio Ghilbi, brings his very first movie to the screen and what a treat it is. Studio Ghibli well known for it’s rather large portfolio of family movies and Karigurashi no Arrietty ( The Borrower Arrietty) deserves no less to be on that list. Though this is Yonebayashi’s first time directing his own film, the Studio Ghibli art and Miyazaki-style of storytelling are present and familiar. Ghibli movies range in both scale and theme, ranging from fantasy adventure to family slice-of-life and though the film definitely cannot be considered a grand epic (maybe one of miniature proportions) like Princess Mononoke or Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Karigurashi no Arrietty is a movie full of heart and quiet charm. Read More
The Harry Potter movies were never really about making the best piece of film, they were about bringing a fantastical world to live and invigorating the dreams and thoughts of those who read the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling. When the books initially came out, the magical world where Hogwarts existed felt, at times, more tangible than our own world. So confident and fleshed was all the lore and history in Rowling’s universe (undoutedely inspired by a great wealth and ancient myths and mythology) that slipping into the magical wizard or witch slippers was as easy as picking up the book and reading from page one. This all started 14 years ago and the Harry Potter series, books and movies, have spread throughout the world like no other, capturing the hearts and imaginations of people young and old. But sadly, as Rowling had to put down the pen for her closing chapter, so must the long saga about The Boy Who Lived draw to a close with its eighth and final film installment in the Harry Potter franchise.
[warning; minor spoilers] Read More
Pixar Animation Studios is a studio that I have loved ever since I was little, and to show my intense enthusiasm and love, have always attempted to haul all my friends to every movie release since A Bug’s Life. I was even ballsy enough to apply for Pixar’s undergraduate program, which was met with limited success. Animation studios like DreamWorks and Blue Sky pale in comparison to Pixar in almost anyway (though DreamWorks did produce one of my favorite movies of all time, How To Train Your Dragon), but Pixar’s seemingly permanent position as perhaps the most well known animation studio in the world was not easily achieved. This year, Pixar celebrates their 25th anniversary this year with a Cars 2, with director John Lasseter (Toy Story 1, 2 and Cars) back at the helm.
Pixar may have dug itself into a hole when it began its reputation of making gorgeous animated films that packed great story, tangible emotional value, and appeal to both children and adults. Though these expectation for Pixar are wonderful, it acts as a double-edged sword, having recently caused Cars 2 to have abysmal reviews on RottenTomatoes and overtaking its predecessor, Cars (2006), as the runt of Pixar’s collection of films. I find most upsetting is that most people who have hopped on the Pixar Bandwagon of recent years are completely disillusioned to what makes Pixar so great.
Based on the one shot manga, Amon Game by Uki Atsuya, Cencoroll is a unique movie that confidently deviates from the standard anime practices in a range of elements, ranging from plot to production. There are numerous titles that showcase extremely original plot, cutting edge animation, or some other production aspect that aides in the art of effective storytelling. I recently mentioned in my Japanese ANIME post several series actually exemplify these characteristics (while many titles that do not), however, rarely do you see a series like Cencoroll balance all of these aspects and do it with such a unique twist that criticizing it becomes difficult.
I happened across Cencoroll while I was searching for popular anime torrents on bakaBT and was instantly attracted to the promotional poster. Intrigued, I downloaded the movie and jumped right into it and was pleasantly surprised with what I had found. Read More
Pixar is known for their quality productions ever since Toy Story made it’s debut. While their animation style and animation technology are at the forefront in it’s discipline, Pixar excels at another, if not many more, thing: story telling.
With every film, Pixar releases a digitally rendered movie that is not only perfect eye candy, but also possibly a masterpiece. After the debut of UP, their tenth feature film, Pixar remains the only studio to produce such high grossing consecutive movies. Even Toy Story 2, a sequel to Toy Story, may have beat it’s predecessor in money and popularity. What I will talk about today is Pixar’s The Incredibles.
The Incredibles is no exception. While The Incredibles is not Pixar’s most recent movie, I decided to have a second viewing since it had been a while. It was written and directed by Brad Bird, a former director and executive consultant of The Simpsons. It stars an ensemble cast including Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Pena. The film stars the Parr family, who each have superpowers. After the government orders superheroes to live a normal life, Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson – who also starred in The Family Stone <- must see movie for the holidays), who formerly went under the superhero alias “Mr. Incredible” secretly relives his days as a superhero, behind his family’s back. The Incredibles was originally developed as a traditionally-animated film for Warner Bros., but after the studio shut down its division for fully animated theatrical features, Bird took the story with him to Pixar, where he reunited with John Lassater. The Incredibles turns out to be Pixar’s sixth feature film, and is the first feature film by Pixar to have an entire human cast of characters. First were toys, then bugs, then toys again. Most people would think that movies that don’t have humans as main characters would take away from the movie, but I find this assumption wrongly placed. I find that when Pixar chooses these non-human protagonists and antagonists, we discover the limitless potential and creativity that Pixar is known for.
I recently watched a special feature film called “The Pixar Story,” which was on Disc 2 of 3 in the retail packaging of WALL-E. About an hour and a half, the documentary shed light on so many things that Pixar does, for example, the number of people and the details that are channeled into producing a Pixar film is mind-boggling. They have entire teams of people just to work on the dust that floats by for a couple of seconds in the movie. Read More
I spent maybe 5 minutes trying to think of a witty title and witty catch-phrase that was interesting, but my uncreativeness reigned supreme and left me dissapointed (not that I expected much anyway).
So here I am, flipping through my video folder, trying to decide what movie I would lament about for my debut post on “the sighs of efuzzy n’ zuangster.” Of course, I had to pick something meaningful, since it would be difficult to put as much meaning, purpose, and information in a movie review post as a “Pentatonic Scales.”
So I picked “WHISPER OF THE HEART.” [please disregard the CAPITALIZATION – it’s probably the only way to emphasize something important in notepad]
Produced by Toshio Suzuki and Directed by Yoshifumi Kondou, I was pleasantly suprised after viewing this anime feature film. After being pleaded to watch this movie by efuzzy in earnest, I could not believe that I put off watching this movie. Of course, Studio Ghibli has always, is already, and will always continue to pioneer wonderfully colorful, moving, and meaningful films, but I was always sort of partial to Mr. Hayao Miyazaki; and so after finding out that Whisper was not directed by the aforementioned master of animation (of course, i.m.o.), I didn’t really summon much interest.
O.K. Enough chit-chat. On to the not-so-serious stuff.