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The Secret World of Arrietty

14 Mar

Last night I was Tuesday again, so I went with my family t0 the cheap movie theater; on Tuesdays a movie is only a dollar. We saw the newest English released Studio Ghibli film, The Secret World of Arrietty.

The Secret World of Arrietty the newest adaptation of The Borrowers. Borrowers are the main cast in a series of books written in the mind 1900s by Mary Norton. The Borrowers are a race of little people that live in the walls and floorboards of houses and “borrow” from humans. A mythical way to explain away missing socks, needles, bits of food; little things in a house that constantly go missing and are never found.

The Borrowers have had a few adaptations, but the only other one I know is a 1997 film with John Goodman playing the lead villain. I haven’t seen it in years, but I remember it fondly. I was excited to see the Ghibli version, it seemed like a perfect subject material for them.

In The Secret World of Arrietty a Japanese boy with a heart problem is sent to the country side for some rest and quiet before a major operation. While there he encounters and tries to befriend Arrietty, a young Borrower who lives in the house with her parents.The story follows there interaction, and reveals myths and ways of the Borrowers and how they handle humans.

The movie was good, the art and color just blew me away sometimes. Studio Ghibli really knows how to animate. Disney also did the usual great job on dubbing the film with a few big names. My only complaint is I wish there were a bit more plot. The movie was very much a slice of life piece, with an inconclusive ending.

I still would recommend the film to any Studio Ghibli fans, the work is up to par. Also to any Borrow fans.

Arrietty encountering the boy in the garden.


Back to the Future

5 Mar

Just recently I got the bug again to watch the Back to the Future trilogy. These movies are always as good as the first time I watched them. The movies are timeless and will always be watched.

For anyone living under a rock the Back to the Future trilogy are three movies released in 1985, 1989, and 1990 respectively. The movies follow the adventures of Marty McFly, played by a very young Micheal J. Fox, and Dr. Emmit Brown (Doc), played by Christopher Lloyd. Doc has invented a time machine out of a DeLorean. Once the car reaches 88 mph it is sent to whatever time designated. They both end up getting in all kinds of trouble with it.

Their main timeline in the movie is 1985. In the first movie Marty goes back in time while trying to escape people Doc had upset while building his time machine. Doc had needed plutonium to run it, and stole some from some terrorists who gave it to him to build a bomb. Marty ends up in 1955 with no way to get back without plutonium. Marty finds the Doc of 1955 and convinces him to help send him back to the future. Though along the way Marty accidentally meets up with his own parents and alters the timeline that may erase his very existence. Marty and Doc must fix the time line and get him back to 1985.

In the second movie Doc come rushing back to Marty in 1985 and tells him to come with him quickly. Doc whisks him away to the future to the year 2015 to fix some problem with his future kids. While here Marty gets the idea to get a sport almanac and make some money when he gets back by betting. Doc finds out and stops him, but the villain of the series, Biff, overhears it. He steals the time machine and goes back to 1955 to give his younger self the book to make money. Marty and Doc then have to go back to get the book from young Biff in order to restore the timeline.

In the third movie Doc is struck by lightning and the time machine is sent back to 1885, to the old west. Doc tells Marty not to go after him and to destroy the time machine. However, Marty finds out Doc is shot and killed in the old west. To save him he goes back in time to the old west. As he enters 1885 though the gas tank of the car is punctured. With no gasoline the car can not get to the required 88mph to return. They must find a way to get it to 88mph in the old west.

Anyone and everyone should watch these movies. They are near perfect in execution and never get old. I will be watching for the rest of my life and showing my kids. I’m sure anyone else will do the same.

Back to the Future

The Lord of the Rings

25 Feb

Well my family was talking a bit about the Lord of the Rings movies and how good they are, and how we haven’t seen them in ages. So with a free Saturday for all we decided on a Lord of the Rings marathon!

God I love these movies so much. I remember the first time I saw the Fellowship of the Ring in theaters. After we went out to dinner and I couldn’t calm down, it was such an experience. The acting, the costumes, make-up, special effects, fights, everything was so perfect.

At this point I had not read the books, though I had read the Hobbit several times.  After seeing this movie though I got right on it. They are by far the best books I’ve ever read. J.R.R. Tolkien was a genius author and storyteller. He wove words into pure art. I’m very glad I read them before the rest of the movies came out. The movies had a lot more meaning after reading the books.

We have just finished the first movie and are taking a quick break to get lunch. We’re all very excited to keep going. We’re all enjoying it greatly! Short post today cause I’m anxious to get back to the movies! I highly recommend the books and movies to anyone and everyone, they are both enduring masterpieces.

The Lord of the Rings

Castle in the Sky

13 Feb

Obviously I’ve been in a Ghibli mood lately. After My Neighbors the Yamadas we watched Castle in the Sky. It seems this always happens for the Ghibli movies, but when I watch them I always say, “wow, that was better than I remember it.”

Castle in the Sky is about a young girl who is a descendant of an ancient, technologically advanced, people. These people lived in a floating city above the clouds, Laputa, but they decided to come live on earth. The girl has a family heirloom, a small crystal on a necklace. This crystal is the key of finding Laputa, and so a lot of people want it.

The girl meets with a young boy, these two band together and are the heroes of the movie. The main enemy is another descendant of the ancient race, and he wants the city for it’s power, and to become the ruler of the world. The two young kids team up with a band of rambunctious pirates and set off to save the world.

The movie is good and lots of fun. The plot is solid and makes sense, and it keeps you interested the whole time. The english dub is good, and the characters are great. People will especially fall in love with the pirate crew. Like for My Neighbors the Yamadas I recommend this movie to anyone to enjoy.

Castle in the Sky

My Neighbors the Yamadas

12 Feb

Goodness I love this movie. I watched it again for like the tenth time last night. My Neighbors the Yamadas is a Studio Ghibli film unlike any other they have made. It’s a comedy about a family and follows more of a 4-koma style. The art style is also very abstract, like watercolor sketches.

I watch the english dub of course, with Molly Shannon and Jim Belushi as the parents. The english cast does so well, the timing and tones are hysterical. I laugh every time I watch this movie. The family consists of a mother, father, grandmother, a high school aged son and an elementary school aged daughter.

The show follows their various family life adventures. How they forgot the youngest girl at the mall, about the husbands and wife relationship, the boys blossoming interest in girls. I could always watch this movie. It’s extremely quotable, my sister and I nearly recite the movie while we watch it.

I recommend anyone to watch this movie if you want a good laugh, anime lover or not. It’s a unique movie that everyone will love.

The Yamada Family


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

8 Feb

(spoiler alert!)

I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, I have read all the short stories, though still need to read all the novels. I love mysteries, and the detectives who solve them. I was excited about the first Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downy Jr. and was rewarded by the excellent movie. For anyone who is familiar with the Holmes stories it was obvious the character portrayed was, mostly, accurate.

However, I was not as impressed with this second movie. In my opinion they packed too much humor into it, and it seemed more of a action/adventure than a mystery. For every situation it seemed Holmes had to be a clown more than a mastermind. Even in the final moment of him taking down Moriarty it was a joke, “Be careful what you fish for.” Instead of some classy line like “The game is up.”

I like humor mixed in with my shows, but it made the whole movie seem less serious. The first movie did have humor, yes, but you saw Holmes working and investigating more than clowning around. Holmes isn’t really supposed to have a sense of humor, he’s supposed to be eccentric.

The only real part I liked in the movie was the conclusion, the final conflict between Holmes and Moriarty. But it seemed the whole movie was too long of a buildup just for the one reveal. I would have liked more smaller reveals during the movie. More examples of Holmes’ intellectual prowess.

Now I really loved the way Holmes fell over a cliff with Moriarty, because that is exactly the way it happened in the short stories. Both Holmes and Moriarty are master martial artists and they have a final face to face confrontation on a cliff edge. They both fall off, and Holmes actually dies. But by popular demand Doyle had to bring Holmes back to life for more adventures.

Original drawing of their final fight