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Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Two Movies in One Day!

I ended up watching two movies today.  One of which was supposed to be my sister's birthday present but we ended up "testing" it for faults by watching it.

The first movie I watched today (which was incidentally my sister's birthday present) was: TALES FROM EARTHSEA.  I was randomly browsing around Tesco and noticed it and my immediate reaction was: 'Hey... I've never heard of this film before.  Buy.'  And so that is what happened.

Enjoy this trailer (Japanese with subs):

Yes, there are dragons in the movie.  BIG-ASS DRAGONS.  FIGHTING.

Yup, Ghibli have still got it.  And by the looks of things they'll have it for a long time still.

Although I'm unsure what "it" stands for in this context... maybe it's like the special ingredient that pushes a film from mediocre to awesome.   I guess we'll never know.

Oh, and for those of you who haven't heard of Ghibli (shame on you) I wouldn't be surprised if you've watched one of their animated films already.  Ghibli's art style is unique and even if the front of the DVD box-art didn't say: "MADE BY GHIBLI STUDIOS" and "FROM THE CREATORS OF SPIRITED AWAY"  I would still know that Ghibli made it.  The amount of in-jokes and cameos by other people rival even those found in Pixar films!

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it has this nice adventure storyline that while may sound slightly generic plays out majestically.  And for older and more mature users, there is a dark undertone meaning to the whole thing which really puts things in retrospect.  Since I'm too lazy to do anything like a review here's oneI found on the IMDB.

After watching this film I was pleased with the overall feel and look the production. Most notably I was impressed with the studio's visual creation of Earthsea. While the artistry and animation quality does not entirely measure up to other recent Ghibli studio films, I felt it did create a rich and colorful setting in which the story unfolds. A solid score also helps to shape the vibrant world that the movie conveys. However, I wouldn't consider all this to be a faithful representation of Ursula k. Le Guin's literary Earthsea, but rather something unique on to itself. One thing in particular that I think separates the film setting from that of the books' is the absence of the sea. I'm not saying its not there, just that it seems to mostly be in the background.
As for the story I don't think it stands out as anything great. It was limited from the start. The movie like the book is a single episode in a much larger tale. In no way could it possibly encompass the magnitude of the Earthsea series, let alone the main events in The Farthest Shore. It would simply be too much to present in a canvass of its length. As a result It lacks the epic feel of Princess Mononoke or the closure that comes at the end of Spirited Away. In other respects though, the film borrows heavily from Ghibli's previous works, mainly with the characters. They are shadows of former Ghibli creations, but due to their interaction and set of circumstances they retain some originality. I might also add that they come off as serious, and are far removed from the playful personalities that give other Ghibli films their charm. This said they still manage to play out their given roles and drive the story forward. From beginning to end the film holds up in large part because the setting never loses its feel.
I enjoyed this picture in spite of its flaws, again because of it's look and feel. For once I could see winged dragons clash and wizards face off in a Ghibli film. In my opinion Goro Miyazaki did a decent job bringing it all to life. At the same time, I hope he will learn from this experience and strive to do better next time. After my seeing Gedo Senki he has my support.

Obviously, seeing as the film was the debut of a new director it lacked the general sheen and polish applied to previous films.  But it's still pretty awesome in my book.  Watching it really brought me back to reminiscing about the old Ghibli films and how enjoyable they were.  I recommend this a watch if you liked previous Ghibli films.

Next movie I saw turned out to be the Animal Crossing movie.  LOL

No, seriously it was.  I didn't know they made an AC movie until a few months ago and from what I heard it was pretty good.  And since a friendly forum member pointed me towards this YT account with the whole film subbed I thought:  "What the heck.  It's not like I have anything better to do... except my college work... but that doesn't count."

I won't spoil too much for you, but I quite enjoyed it.  It's based on the DS game (I think) and people who have played the games will enjoy the music that is put in and the amount of references to the game is staggering!  I won't say anymore but if you want to watch it, I'll make it more convenient for you (aren't I nice?) and post all the videos in a list below:


Hope you've enjoyed that.  :D


Until next time!

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