REVIEW: 思い出のマーニー [Omoide no Mânî] [When Marnie Was There] [2014]

“I wish for a normal life everyday” If Studio Ghibli ends up closing shop as announced, we can be glad their final film is a winner with the heart and soul we’ve come to love from Hayao Miyazaki and the team. I’m surely in the minority, but I’d even say Hiromasa Yonebayaski‘s When Marnie Was There is better than last year’s Oscar nominee The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. While bringing the aesthetic back to the studio’s customary style a la Spirited Away does remove some of the awe Isao…

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REVIEW: Song of the Sea [2014]

“You’re going to be the best big brother in the world” Writer/director Tomm Moore received the okay to contemporize his peoples’ folklore from the seanachai he listened to while growing up in Ireland, Eddie Lenihan. A traditional storyteller known for modernizing these same archetypes, Lenihan explained to Moore that adapting them to our time might be the only way for us to keep them alive now that new technology has forced the oral custom of passing down history moot. He’s right too as the two films Moore has thus crafted…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2014: ‘RoboCop’, ‘The LEGO Movie’, ‘Non-Stop’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. February is here, January dump month is over, and 2014 is officially ready to take control with only a few more festival holdovers from last Fall. A couple summer-caliber flicks…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2013: ‘Stoker,’ ‘Place Beyond the Pines,’ ‘Spring Breakers’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. I’m honestly not sure if it is possible to cram more movies in one 31-day period (five Fridays!). Let’s just say the dump month doldrums have ceased and we’ve moved…

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REVIEW: L’illusionniste [The Illusionist] [2010]

“Magicians don’t exist” There are three names in animation today: Pixar, Miyazaki, and Sylvain Chomet. The first is a major branch of Disney and the second is a Japanese staple, always making its way stateside with help from the Mouse House too. The Frenchman, Chomet, could be the most intriguing and quite possibly the best of the group. With only two feature length films to his name—and a live action segment in Paris, je t’aime, disappointing only because it wasn’t animated—too much praise may be premature, but if you saw…

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REVIEW: Gake no ue no Ponyo [Ponyo] [2008]

“Is he an evil wizard?” Being in Toronto for a convention that deals with anime meant I couldn’t leave the city without actually seeing an anime film, right? Lucky for us, the new Hayao Miyazaki film Gake no ue no Ponyo was playing at the local multiplex just minutes from our hotel. Distributed like his previous few films in the United States by Disney, from its Japanese Studio Ghibli origins, Ponyo ports the vision of its creator in beautiful animation and color with the inclusion of new Hollywood actors to…

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REVIEW: Ratatouille [2007]

“He calls it his Tiny Chef” Brad Bird is by far the best writer/director of animated films coming out of America in a long time. Besides Hayao Miyazaki, there is no one else with the track record that this guy has. From The Iron Giant to The Incredibles to now Ratatouille, Bird just gets better and better with each new move. This new Pixar installment is definitely the most intellectually stimulating yet, but really which of his films haven’t been intelligent first, kiddie-catering second? Ratatouille is by all means cinematic…

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Top 25 Films of 2005

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 93 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Hauru no ugoku shiro[Howl’s Moving Castle] directed by Hayao Miyazaki #24: Good Night,and Good Luck directed by George Clooney #23: Joyeux Noël[Merry Christmas] directed by Christian Carion #22: The Descent directed by Neil Marshall #21: Kingdom of Heaven directed by Ridley Scott #20: 13 Tzameti directed by Géla Babluani #19: Batman Begins directed byChristopher Nolan #18: The Girl in the Café…

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Top 25 Films of 2001

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 90 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Monsters, Inc. directed by Pete Docter #24: Tape directed by Richard Linklater #23: Bandits directed by Barry Levinson #22: Session 9 directed by Brad Anderson. #21: Super Troopers directed byJay Chandrasekhar #20: Spy Game directed by Tony Scott. #19: Le Pacte des loups[Brotherhood of the Wolf] directed by Christophe Gans #18: AI: Artificial Intelligence directed by Steven Spielberg. #17: A Beautiful…

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Top 20 Films of 1997

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 57 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #20: Suicide Kings directed by Peter O’Fallon #19: The Fifth Element directed by Luc Besson #18: Titanic directed by James Cameron #17: Grosse Pointe Blank directed by George Armitage. #16: Mononoke-hime[Princess Mononoke] directed by Hayao Miyazaki #15: Deconstructing Harry directed by Woody Allen. #14: Jackie Brown directed byQuentin Tarantino #13: Funny Games directed by Michael Haneke. #12: A Life Less Ordinary directed…

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