Hayao Miyazaki tagged posts

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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Big Hero 6

Big-Hero-6---posterDirector: Don Hall, Chris Williams

Writer: Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, Jordan Roberts

Cast: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, T.J. Miller, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph, Genesis Rodriguez

Cert: PG

Running time: 102mins

Year: 2014

The lowdown: A superhero movie based on a Marvel comic book almost as obscure to filmgoers as Guardians of the Galaxy works a second time around in this sci-fi family adventure. When tragedy strikes teenager Hiro, his big brother’s robotic “health care companion” Baymax is there to help him pick up the pieces. But, a mysterious masked man begins terrorising the city San Fransokyo, meaning Hiro, Baymax and their goofy robotic engineering pals must suit up to protect the city...

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2014 – Rewind and Re-View

With 2015 fast becoming a reality, what better time to look back at movies in the year that was 2014?

As is tradition, let’s begin with…

WORST FILM OF THE YEAR – TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
Transformers - Age of Extinction - Dinobot, Optimus Prime

Having sex and accidentally crying out your mum’s name. Going for a bowel movement only to look down and see blood. Jelly wrestling Eamonn Holmes. The only thing worse than these is watching all 165 minutes of the fourth instalment of the over-heated, overlong, mean-spirited toy advert franchise. It cost $210m and no-one could transform the idea into a decent script?


ONGOING INDICATIONS THESE ARE THE END OF DAYS – TRANSFORMERS & MRS BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE’S BOX OFFICE

2014-Review---Mrs-Brown's-Boys-D'Movie
The only thing more depressing than a fourth Transformers movie is the fact it was 2014’s box office champion, with o...

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Blu-Ray Review: Spirited Away

Spirited Away - Blu-ray cover artDirector: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki

Cert: PG

Running time: 124mins

Year: 2001

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The lowdown: Still the only anime movie to win (and have been nominated for) the Best Animated Feature Oscar, Spirited Away has lost none of its power to surprise and charm in the years since it was released. Telling the story of Chihiro, a young girl trapped in a fantastical realm working in a bathhouse for the Gods, it is a treasure trove of rich visuals and fairy tale storytelling, and a delight from beginning to majestic end.

Spirited Away - Chihiro, flowersSpirited Away - Chihiro, No Face

The full verdict: Watching Spirited Away an astonishing thirteen years after initial release, three things hit you.

Protagonist Chihiro would now be 23 years old...

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Mizuho Nishikubo talks Giovanni’s Island

Giovanni's Island - Junpei, KantaTwo brothers’ experiences on an island off the North tip of Japan in the year’s after World War 2 form the core of Mizuho Nishikubo’s Giovanni’s Island. When the Soviet army lay claim to the island of Shitokan, Junpei and Kanta find themselves forced to share their home with a Soviet family and their school with Soviet children before seismic decisions jeopardise the fragile peace and send the boys on a terrifying journey.

We caught up with director Nishikubo and associate producer Francesco Prandoni to discuss the film.

Mr. Nishikubo, this is your first film in five years. How did it come about?

Mizuho Nishikubo: Giovanni’s Island’s writer, Shigemichi Sugita, told me he had come across an interesting, or not interesting maybe I should say unusual war story that he wanted to...

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Giovanni’s Island

Giovanni's Island - posterDirector: Mizuho Nishikubo

Writer: Shigemichi Sugita, Yoshiki Sakurai

Cast: Kota Yokoyama, Masachika Ichimura, Yusuke Santamaria, Saburo Kitajima, Polina Ilyushenko, Tatsuya Nakadai

Cert: PG  Running time: 102mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: Recounting the story of the tiny Shikotan island off the north of Japan, claimed as part of Russia in the aftermath of World War 2. Two brothers’ worlds change forever when Soviet troops land on the island, and later forces above them threaten the fragile peace the Japanese and Russian islanders share. A touching, beautifully animated account of a little known chapter in post-WW2 history, although suffering the same lack of context that blights many Japanese accounts of WW2.

Giovanni's Island - Tanya, Junpei, KantaGiovanni's Island - Tanya, picture

The full verdict: Inevitably destined to be compared to Studio Ghibli’s cher...

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How To Train Your Dragon 2

How To Train Your Dragon 2 - posterDirector: Dean DeBlois

Writer: Dean DeBlois, Cressida Cowell (book)

Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harrington, Djimon Hounsou, America Ferrara, Jonah Hill, Kirsten Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Cert: PG

Running time: 102mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: Spirited sequel to the surprise 2010 hit, adding more adventure, more danger and a whole lot more dragons. Five years since uniting Vikings and dragons in his village of Berk, Hiccup and trusty sidekick Toothless, once more find themselves in danger when dragon hating warlord Drago threatens both humans and winged serpents. And then there is the mysterious Dragon Rider, with special ties to Hiccup...

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The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises - poster, MiyazakiDirector: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Hideaki Anno (Japanese language), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Werner Herzog, Stanley Tucci (English language dub)

Cert: PG

Running time: 126mins

Year: 2013

 

The lowdown: Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki has declared The Wind Rises, his 11th feature film, to be his last. Miyazaki has made this claim six times before, but this latest work seems like the grace note of a remarkable career. His themes of nature, love, war, pacifism and, above all, flying form the core of this fictionalised (romanticised) account of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi and his dream to build Japan’s finest plane...

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From Up On Poppy Hill

From Up On Poppy Hill - quad posterDirector: Goro Miyazaki

Stars: Masami Nasagawa, Jun’ichi Okada

Cert: U

Running time: 91mins

Year: 2011

 

The lowdown: After the misfire of 2006’s Tales from Earthsea, Goro Miyazaki has more success with his sophomoric directorial outing.  Adapted from a popular girl’s comic, it’s a gentle tale of high school romance and youthful exuberance set against the upcoming 1964 Olympics.  A second tier Studio Ghibli offering, but with its pleasantly relaxed tempo and gorgeous pastel animation it sits comfortably alongside the animation house’s finer movies.

From Up On Poppy Hill - Shun and Umi after jumpFrom Up On Poppy Hill - Shun and Umi umbrella

The full verdict: Much like Disney in the late 60s, Studio Ghibli execs must be pondering their future when genius co-founder Hayao Miyazaki is no longer there to pick up the pencil.

The Ghibli heir apparent, Yoshifumi Kondo, die...

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