Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ponyo and Miyazaki

Okay, I was going to tackle Airbender, but I love this movie not to do this.

Ponyo is a gorgeously charming film about a sea princess in love with a human boy and longs to become human. Yes, it's an adaptation of the little mermaid, but it is a beautiful re-interpretation of it, from the master of anime Hayao Miyazaki.

It's actually really hard to separate this film from Miyazaki's other masterpiece works. So, let's put them together. NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle are just some of the movies he's done and are considered anime classics by many, myself included.

All of his works are full of imagination and magic, usually with very thoughtful children characters that go on quests, not for self-discovery, but to explore and ultimately do good for the world. There is often a very subtle, yet very meaningful environmental theme to his works that while is present, does not distract from the unfolding story.

What also is remarkable about his works is that there often are no villains; each film explores the views of opposing sides, with one seeming to be the obvious villain. However, through the stories, both the characters and the audience discovers the humanity of each character, even the non-human characters. This delightful character development illustrates that evil often depends on a point of view and that a lot of the time, what we see are good people trying to do good with the resources and information they have.

In some works, there are scenes of violence, however, Miyazaki's films are lovely classics suitable for families, adults and movies lovers alike. And in conclusion, I highly recommend and encourage my readers to watch, if you already haven't done so.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Ah yes, Percy Jackson, the better written sequel to the Clash of the Titans remake....

I'm only partly joking. 

Based on the same mythology, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a cross between a modern day remake and a sequel to the events in Clash of the Titans (both versions).  I say sequel because they mention Perseus and reference the other demi-gods, and I say remake because it seems that Percy does almost the exact same things as Perseus. 

Except that this is a modern, teen-self-discovery-quest story, the movie being based on a book, apparently, and so the characters have more character than the Clash of the Titans remake.  As far as I can make out, that and the special effects is all that this movie has going for it.  The plot is quite disjointed at points, with too many awkwardly placed information blurbs and conveniently placed knowledge, not to mention some rather flat characters.

My conclusion: while not the worse teen fantasy flick I've seen, it's definitely not the best, and to be honest, I think some of the trailers were better than the actual movie.  I have to say, leave this one for the teens; maybe they'll get a little interested in mythology from it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


oooooh goodness, Inception.  Okay, yes, I'm finally getting around to reviewing it. 

Inception is an action paced sci-fi mystery thriller about these operatives that specialize in dream hacking and stealing information from people's minds.  That's the premise.  Now take that premise, and imagine an action movie set in someone's dreams.  Because that is the mind-bending thrill-ride of film this is. 

Seriously, I'm ignoring grammar rules to try and review this one.  It's that freaking good.

Now, the plot is mind-blender twisted, so for viewers who prefer more simple plots, this might not be for you.  However, I would recommend this one for those of you who want to try complicated plots, because Inception is beautifully and solidly written. 

It also is superbly acted, with an incredible cast, music and special effects.  I really can't go into this one too much, due to sheer mind-blown awesomeness.  This film goes onto my favourites shelf, and I'm hoping that it goes on yours too.