anime tagged posts

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Director: Rupert Sanders

Writer: William Wheeler, Jamie Moss (screenplay), Masamune Shirow (manga), Kazunori Ito (1995 movie)

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Chin Han, Peter Ferdinando, Danusia Samal, Michael Pitt, Rila Fukashima

Cert: 12

Running time: 107 mins

Year: 2017



What’s the story: In an unnamed Far Eastern city of the future, Major (Johansson), a human brain planted into a cyborg shell after a terrorist attack, is a front-line soldier in the city’s counter terrorism unit. A cyberhacker killing high ranking personnel at technology company Hanka is her greatest threat to date.

What’s the verdict: Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime Ghost in the Shell, based on Masamune Shirow’s manga, hit Hollywood influencers with a double-barrelled wallop ...

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A Silent Voice

Director: Naoko Yamada

Writer: Reiko Yoshida (screenplay), Yoshitoki Oima (manga)

Cast: Mayu Matsuoka, Saori Hayami

Cert: 12

Running time: 129mins

Year: 2016 



What’s the story: Deaf schoolgirl Shōko moves to a new elementary school, but the bullying she receives, particularly from class delinquent Shōya, causes her to transfer. Years later in high school, Shōya vows to make amends with Shōko.

What’s the verdict: A smash hit in Japan, A Silent Voice may have a harder time winning over us cynical Brits. But stick with it and you’ll be charmed long before the luxurious 129-minute running time has elapsed.

For those who balk at excessive displays of sentiment, the opening twenty minutes will be toughest to traverse...

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2016 – Rewind And Re-View

2016. We’ll not dwell on what an awful year it was. Suffice to say there was a lot happening in the movie world, some of it bad, some of it rather wonderful. Here is Electric Shadows’ take on the year in film.

As is customary, we’ll begin with…


WORST FILM OF THE YEAR – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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OfAllTheFilmSites.com editor Rob Wallis and myself begun The Electric Shadows’ podcast this year. For said podcast we have spent approximately 12 hours watching or discussing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. “Visionary” director Zack Snyder’s superhero magnus stinkus is mean-spirited, miserable, ugly, incoherent and fundamentally misunderstands its two titular heroes...

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The Best Films of 2016

The-Witch---family-gathering

Oh 2016, you terrible year. What general miserableness was foisted upon us these past 12 months. Providing a light in the gloom were movies released this year; a great selection from which it was difficult to draw a top 10. But, we managed it and proudly present what we regard as the year’s best releases.

Before we get to that list, firstly a shout-out to those films that skirted the Top 10 but which didn’t make it in.  Ironically, we couldn’t find room for Room, Green Room, or The Keeping RoomCaptain America: Civil War was the only summer blockbuster worth bothering with, but again didn’t make the grade. Elvis & Nixon, The Nice Guys, Bone Tomahawk, The Hateful Eight, Creed. We salute you, but there were still 10 movies we placed above them.

Here they are – in reverse order as is cus...

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The Best Films of the 2016 BFI London Film Festival

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Another BFI London Film Festival belongs to the ages. And this 60th anniversary festival was done proud by some of the best cinema you will see this year (or next dependent upon UK release patterns).

Below is Electric Shadows’ Top 10 of this year’s LFF. Please note that in Brexit Britain immune systems seem to have fallen as low as the pound. With a heavy cold racking this gutsy scribe’s constitution, part days and bed rest replaced full film indulgence. This meant Personal Shopper, Certain Women (the LFF’s Best Film winner), The Birth of a Nation, Dog Eat Dog and Ethel and Ernest were all missed in favour of Lemsip and blankets.

All the above movies seem like Top 10 contenders.

Press screening scheduling clashes meant Elle was chosen over Manchester By the Sea and Your Name over ...

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Miss Hokusai

Miss-Hokusai-posterDirector: Keiichi Hara

Writer: Miho Maruo, Hinako Suguira (comic)

Cast: Anne Watanabe, Yutaka Matsushige, Shion Shimizu, Kumiko Aso

Cert: 12

Running time: 93mins

Year: 2015



What’s the story: In 1814 Edo (now Tokyo) 50 year old artist Tetsuzo casually produces masterpieces, assisted by his daughter O-Ei. Using the vibrant city, its inhabitants, the seasons and superstitions they create works of art revered to this day.

Miss-Hokusai---O-Ei,-magic-hourMiss-Hokusai---O-Ei,-painting-society-woman

What’s the verdict: Don’t worry if you have never heard of Japanese artist Tetsuzo, or his most famous assumed name Katsushika Hokusai. You will be familiar with his wood block print The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. It’s that striking flat perspective view of a giant blue wave engulfing fishing boats that adorns everything from mugs to mouse pads to many a student bed...

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The Boy and the Beast

The-Boy-and-the-Beast-posterDirector: Mamoru Hosoda

Writer: Mamoru Hosoda

Cast: Kôji Yakusho, Shôta Sometani, Aoi Miyazaki, Kazuhiro Yamaji

Cert: TBC

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2015



The lowdown: Wolf Children and Summer Wars director Mamoru Hosoda delivers another beautifully told fable, blending Japanese folktales with cutting edge technology. Spirited Away with a male lead, The Boy and the Beast focusses on Kyuta, a young boy who flees to the magical animal realm of Jutengai when his mother dies. There he becomes apprentice to Kumatetsu, a bear-like creature looking to become lord of the land. But, does the young lad have a thing or two to teach? Fast-paced and funny, a family film to treasure.

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The full verdict: Once courted by Studio Ghibli to direct Howl’s Moving Castle before being unceremoniously dumpe...

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When Marnie Was There

When-Marnie-Was-There-posterDirector: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Writer: Keiko Niwa, Masashi Ando, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Joan G. Robinson (book)

Cast: Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura, Nanako Matsushima, Susumu Terajima (Japanese version) / Hailee Steinfeld, Kiernan Shipka, Geena Davis, John C. Reilly (American version)

Cert: PG

Running time: 103mins

Year: 2014




The lowdown: Studio Ghibli’s final film before their “indefinite hiatus” is a warm coming of age movie with a gentle supernatural wrapping. Troubled 12-year-old Anna spends a summer recovering from an asthma attack with her aunt and uncle in their coastal town. Withdrawn, she nonetheless befriends Marnie, a mysterious girl living in a peculiar mansion...

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Exhilarating Tale of Princess Kaguya sneak peek!

The-Tale-of-Princess-Kaguya---Isao-Takhata,-falling-cherry-blossomThe Tale of Princess Kaguya is out in UK cinemas from Friday 20th March and the good folk at Studiocanal have made available a clip from one of the film’s best moments.

Possibly the final movie from legendary Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, it harks back 1,000 years into Japanese folklore for its enchanting story. A bamboo cutter discovers the Thumbelina-like Princess Kaguya in a bamboo tree and he and his kindly wife adopt her. Bestowed with riches from the magical forest, the bamboo cutter vows to provide Kaguya with a life fit for a princess, moving her into a palatial home and inviting seemingly the best of society to woo her.

But, like the best Ghibli heroines, the headstrong and independent Kaguya fights against society’s constraints...

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The Tale of Princess Kaguya

The-Tale-of-Princess-Kaguya---Isao-Takhata,posterDirector: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata, Riko Sakaguchi

Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Lucy Liu, Darren Criss (English language version), Aki Asakura, Tatasuya Nakadai, Takeo Chii, Nobuko Miyamoto

Cert: U

Running time: 137mins

Year: 2013

    

The lowdown: 80 year old Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata’s probable swansong happens to be his finest movie. A bold, enchanting, retelling of the one thousand year old Japanese folktale The Bamboo Cutter, it’s as fresh as Frozen and as visually daring as the best of Pixar. Magical, thrilling for all ages and captivating throughout, if Studio Ghibli does shut up shop for good now Hayao Miyazaki has retired, this is a wonderful film to bow out on.

The-Tale-of-Princess-Kaguya---Isao-Takhata,-bamboo-babyThe-Tale-of-Princess-Kaguya---Isao-Takhata,-walking-through-bamboo

The full verdict: Less well-known than Hayao Miyazaki, Isa...

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