anime tagged posts

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.

The-Boy-and-the-Beast---Kyuta-and-Kumatetsu-arguingThe-Boy-and-the-Beast---Kyuta-training

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 Withdrawn, she nonetheless befriends Marnie, a mysterious girl living in a peculiar mansion...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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15 Five Star Movies You May Have Forgotten

Lady-Vengeance---feature-image
One of the nicer problems for the first world film fan is not only making time to watch all the movies now available, but also remembering them.

With all year round blockbusters dazzling the eyes it is easy to forget those movies that fired the brain cells and stimulated the imagination in the way the best cinema does.

So, in salute to those special movies that deserve the all five stars yet may have been clouded by a decade of sound and fury or simply slipped under the radar, here are 15 five star movies made since 2000 you may want to reacquaint yourself with.


In the Mood for Love (2000)
The plot: In Hong Kong, 1962 a man and woman living in the same apartment building discover their respective spouses are having an affair and begin a tentative relationship themselves.

Why 5 stars: Cin...

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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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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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The Wild Side of Cinema Hits London!

London Film Festival - Tokyo Tribe - Sion SonoCalling all cult film fans. London is the place to be this October for an embarrassment of riches courtesy of The London Film Festival and FrightFest.

TTDS_01347.NEFBeginning Wednesday 8th October, the London Film Festival boasts a treasure chest of horror, fantasy and cult fare that should whet the appetites of those who know their Golan-Globus from their wire-fu. Click the films below to be taken to the respective festival pages.

Left-field film aficionados must check out Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films...

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