A rare (the third) non-Takahata/Miyazaki Studio Ghibli film, The Cat Returns is an instant classic - warm, fuzzy and pleasantly happy, this (rather short) feature length film has a sweeter moral than Ghibli fans are used to, and is a little faster in pacing than something by Grave of the Fireflies director Isao Takahata. But how does Hiroyuki Morita's directorial debut compare to Goro Miyazaki's? Is the film actually any good? Click read more to find out.
Nearly all reviews of this controversial Studio Ghibli film written, produced and directed by Goro Miyazaki usually boil down to the following two reasons:
1) Goro Miyazaki is the son of the critically acclaimed writer, producer and director Hayao Miyazaki who has achieved, perhaps unwillingly, legendary status as a true storyteller. Obviously only one conclusion follows in these reviews- the son isn't likely to live up to his dad's legacy on his first foray into animation following a career change from landscaping. Add into the mix some rumours that they didn't speak throughout production, and that Hayao was rumoured to have said that Goro wasn't ready to head the film, and these reviews almost unanimously chuck the film into the gutter.
2) The author of the original Tales From Earthsea book series, Ursula K Le Guin, noted on her website that she wasn't involved in the production of the movie and that it heavily deviated from the book, and was a little irritated at Goro for sticking her private opinion about the film onto his public blog. Her dissatisfaction is pretty obvious in her own blog post and so people are already influenced from what they read about the film.
I had to see the film for myself to see if this stuff was actually obvious. So I'm going to try to avoid these two reasons in the following review so you can get a pretty honest look at why this movie didn't really hit the mark for me.
Zombies, Zombies, Zombies. Ever since George A Romero’s brain-hankering, lobotomized chums first hit the silver screen in 1968, debuting in ‘Night of the Living Dead’, us cinema-goers have become somewhat infatuated with their subtle, yet effective charm and amorphous, slightly unnerving groans. As a result, these films inhabit a blood soaked, macabre hole within the heart of every horror fan – young or old – often reusing familiar clichés to great effect. What made the Zombies of yesteryear so brutally effective was the fact that they themselves did not pose any specific threat; but their presence brought out the evil within humans around them in an almost libertine display of morality.
Fast forward 45 years from their conception and the ultra-high budget, ultra hyped ‘World War Z’ hits cinema’s – leaving behind much of the sacred trends that define ‘Zombies’ in favour of adrenaline-pumped action and mayhem. But the question is: doesn’t that just make it another generic action film stagnating an already bloated market?
Something slightly annoying happens here in the UK. Often, when big American films are released in the US, we have to wait a little while for them to find their way to our own cinemas. Of course this does happen the other way around on occasion, with home-grown films particularly, but this summer has not been a good one for us so far on the film front. Some of the most popular films coming out, we have to wait for. Not all, however. One film aspired to something greater… Man of Steel has been widely anticipated since its original announcement and now it’s finally here! Unfortunately, it’s pretty much the only good film available right now in the UK, and due to poor planning in the post-exam party period, and general cosmic oddities, I have now seen Man of Steel, a film I was only ever mildly interested in, a total of three times. In my book that means I am more than properly qualified- nay, obligated- to review it. So here goes…
Director J.J. Abrams has been in the spotlight recently for a number of reasons, including the revelation that he will be the director of the next Star Wars movie.
This time, we are proud to reveal that he is in the 'early planning stages' with Valve to make films based on its game franchises.
After a handful of rumours and faffing, Abrams decided to set the record straight, saying:
"It's as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets. We are really talking to Valve, we're going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas,"
All we know is that there'll be a frenzy of lens-flare expecting audiences waiting for their daily dose of Valve and Abrams mixed into one, and that it's definitely going to happen soon.
Over and out
The lens flare one-liners are flooding the internet in the wake of the news that, despite stating he would not be keen on directing the next Star Wars film (owned by Disney by the way, in case you’ve been living under a rock), JJ Abrams will indeed be taking the helm.
As an aspiring director, I would not personally ever wish to touch Star Wars with a ten foot pole. I have no vendetta against the series, but the danger of desecrating a legacy is just too terrifying to me.
This is part of the reason most will agree JJ Abrams is taking a risk by signing on for the as-yet-unnamed Episode VII. But nothing is certain, after all, Abrams managed to by-and-large avoid butchering the Star Trek franchise which must be a good sign.
You can probably expect a review of the film when it comes out. But that’ll be in 2015 so do something else in the meantime while you’re waiting.
Watch this space
The Lord of the Rings is, to this day, my favourite film series. And the Return of the King is, to this day, my favourite film. So having the first Hobbit film be released this month, 9 years since our last venture to Middle Earth (8 years if you purchase the Extended Editions) was a pretty big deal for me. This review is coming quite late for several reasons; first I did not see the film straight away due to studies, and then a dreadful illness. And second, I needed to digest my opinions about the film, go over them a few times.
I’m glad I never expected the Hobbit to be better or more epic than any Rings film as, at least so far, it most certainly is not. Despite this, I do believe other critics are being a bit harsh on An Unexpected Journey and in this review I hope I’ll be able to give a fairer look at the movie. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Yes, late is the word. Many moons have passed since that venture of mine to the theatre to watch The Avengers.
REPLICA MOVIE. SCRIPTED BY HARRISON COLE DIRECTED FILMED AND EDITED BY SAMUEL DIAMOND ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK BY OLIVER PUCKEY STARRING HARRISON COLE AS HARVEY SETH DAOOD AS JOSH SIMON HALL AS DAMON MATTHEW TULLY AS PROFESSOR CHARLES AIZAZ HUSSAIN AS ACILPER PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH CHRIS FROM FILMFLUX.NET
REPLICA MOVIE. SCRIPTED BY HARRISON COLE DIRECTED FILMED AND EDITED BY SAMUEL DIAMOND ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK BYOLIVER PUCKEY PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH CHRIS FROM FILMFLUX.NET