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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

The Incredibles

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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

Whisper of the Heart

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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]

Whisper of the Heart/Mimi o Sumaseba (耳をすませば | literally If You Listen Closely)

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.

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