Monthly Archives: May 2018

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Book Review – Atonement

Category : Book Review

Author: Ian McEwan

Year: 2001

I committed the cardinal sin when it comes to Atonement; I saw the movie before reading the book.  But, in my defense, it was an Oscar-nominated movie, and I did go back and read the book after the fact.  This is actually my second time reading the novel; it was that good the first time around.  It’s one of those rare stories that was captured brilliantly by the film, most likely because it’s not too laden with action, relies heavily on the words, and so filmmakers don’t have to stuff it all into 90 minutes in the editing room.  It somehow works as wordy introspection in book-form and as quick simplicity in movie-form; maybe that just shows how great McEwan did with the writing, it doesn’t matter how you absorb this plot, it’s simply excellent it whatever form.

The story is presented in three acts, with a postscript to tie up the details.  All are excellent, but it’s the first part that sets the stage and the tone, that really feeds us the meat.  The Tallis family live on a beautiful estate in England without a care in the world.  Or at least, they did, before Hitler and his talk of war, but even that is somewhere in the near future, not in the present, which is a hot summer in the country.  Father is at work in the city, Mother is resting with one of her migraines, Leon, the eldest brother, is on his way home, Cecilia, the sister, is back from school, and Briony, the baby, is writing a play for the occasion.  Three cousins are come to stay pending their parents’ divorce, so the house is quite crowded and chaotic.  Briony happens upon three moments between Cecelia and Robbie, a young man whose mother is a servant, that will change the course of all their lives: an exchange by the fountain, a passed note, and a meeting in the library.  Briony’s childish assumptions surrounding these events will lead her to accuse Robbie of a crime later in the evening, sending all of their futures into a downward spiral that there is absolutely no stopping.

So part one is the introduction, but it’s about half the book, and contains most of the action.  Part two is focused on Robbie, part three is Briony grown a bit, and the postscript settles all accounts.  It’s a phenomenally written book, if a bit long-winded and British, if that makes sense, a sweeping melodrama about love and guilt and regret that isn’t exactly easy to read.  But it is beautiful to experience, there is so much more worth that work written here, so much to enjoy despite the melancholy.  Briony is a great character, Robbie allows us to see Dunkirk from an interesting angle, the end will make you weep bitterly when the author reveals the final truths of what happened that night in the country, and what has been ruined by it since.  Read with confidence, especially if you like this period, because you will feel transported there, even though the novel was written in modern times.  And check out the film as well, which is a strong representation of a stellar book.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Category : Movie Review

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Starring: Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent

Year: 2017

Studio Ponoc is an off-shoot of Studio Ghibli, with many former animators and directors coming to work for this new start-up after leaving Ghibli when famed director Hayao Miyazaki retired.  Ghibli halted development, Ponoc was born, and now even with Miyazaki returning for a new film to be released in 2020, Ponoc marches forward with their own designs.  Let’s be honest; they look exactly like what we’ve seen before, the Japanese animation that we’ve grown to love, and I doubt many of us care what the company is called, as long as we still get all the wonderful movies that have come across the sea over the past years.  I love this style, I’ve talked about it ad nauseam, and the magic continues here with Mary and the Witch’s Flower, fantasy done brilliantly.

Mary is a clumsy little British girl who is spending the summer holiday with her great-aunt in the country, having moved to the little village before her parents, who are off working and will follow in due time.  For the present, Mary is bored and feels useless, with nothing to do but explore the surrounding woods and talk to the friendly, neighborhood cats.  One day, she follows a tom named Tib into the forest, where she discovers a lovely, shining, blue flowering plant that accidentally gives her strange powers.  She also finds an old broom, which is also endowed with something magical, and riding it, Mary discovers a strange land she’s never heard of before, where animals talk and students come to learn how to be witches and wizards.  But all is not as it seems, and this special girl will have to keep her wits about her if she ever wants to see home again.

Delightful, simply delightful, which is just how Ghibli films are, and is apparently how Ponoc films will be as well.  First, backstory; this movie is based on a children’s book called The Little Broomstick, written by Mary Stewart in 1971.  I’ve never read the story, but if the movie is any indication, I wouldn’t be surprised if a certain Rowling didn’t get a lot of her ideas from a certain fellow female Brit.  It’s well-documented that Rowling borrowed heavily to write Harry Potter, but that’s no knock on her; Tolkien took a lot that already existed to create his world too.  I’m not sure that what you steal is important, only that you give credit where credit is due and you weave something wonderfully new with the existing parts, which the best authors are able to do with seeming ease.

Anyway, on to Mary and the Witch’s Flower.  The English-dubbed cast is great: Barnhill from BFG, Winslet & Broadbent from virtually everything else.  Their voices are perfectly sonorous, as are those of the side cast, and it’s a pleasure just to listen to them.  The music is also wonderful, which is also a hallmark of this animation, powerful scores every time.  I tend to like the more childish of this genre, the ones based on fairy tales and such, they just seem to resonate with a magical aspect so well, and I watch them with my kids, which I’m sure helps me love them.  But why wouldn’t I; Mary is a great character, the action is fun, the visuals are astounding, the simplicity of the story is something that American animators just don’t understand, and it’s almost more a painting that a film, in a way that’s refreshing and welcomed and lovely.  I can’t get enough of Ghibli, Ponoc, whoever might pop up next, and I hope they keep producing, because I’ll always be here to watch.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Brothers Bloom

Category : Movie Review

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Adrien Brody, Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo

Year: 2008

In hind sight, we should have seen a twist ending coming in The Last Jedi, given Rian Johnson’s penchant for mystery and for tricks.  Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper; those are his only movies, up to The Last Jedi, and they all involve clues, cons, complications, etc.  How that guy got the Star Wars gig I’ll never know; I thought that The Force Awakens was well done, that Abrams should have stayed on, and he is doing Episode IX, so who knows what’s happening.  Anyway, here’s one of Johnson’s earlier works before he became a household name, but the cast sure will ring a bell.  The Brothers Bloom is a lot of fun that could have been a whole lot better had the ending lived up to the beginning, had the movie held on to its unique mood for one more act, long enough to leave us completely happy.

Tossed around between foster homes their entire lives, brothers Stephen and Bloom developed a few unique personality traits, including Stephen’s love of crafting the perfect con and casting Bloom as each one’s antihero.  Bloom goes along with the charades, even though he hates doing it; he doesn’t belong anywhere else but with Stephen.  Now grown, and having developed into world-renowned con artists, Stephen feels on top of his game, while Bloom is tired of it all.  Still, he’s convinced to do one more job; tricking the millionaire Penelope Stamp out of her money.  She’s a lonely, sheltered, awkward woman living alone in a mansion, and this is her chance to experience something for a change, even if she is getting swindled.  For Bloom, it’s a chance to find real love, and maybe even a real purpose.

The first hour and a half of the movie is great; the end is a letdown.  That’s the way it is with too many stories/books/films, and I known audiences have to give them a break sometimes if we want to enjoy what we paid for, but it’s also the artists’ job to take us completely through their tale, not leave us hanging right when we’ve completely invested ourselves and just want the bow to be put on the package.  So be prepared for a less-than-stellar and not very well-directed ending, but other than that The Brothers Bloom is a barrel of fun.  Its comedy is very original, its content is filled with whimsical idiosyncrasies, and it hit me just right, though I can completely understand if it misses the mark with many audiences.  It’s a little bizarre, but hilarious if you connect to it, and I really enjoyed myself most of the way through.  Brody, Weisz, Ruffalo; you couldn’t ask for more, and the con storyline was enjoyable; again, until toward the end when the movie seemed like it should have ended but kept weaving around anyway.  Solid job by Rian, if not a perfect one, and a movie that deserves a little more than to fly where it does pretty far under the radar.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Eyes Wide Shut

Category : Movie Review

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

Year: 1999

Even being able to rattle a few Kubrick films off the top of your head, it’s still impressive to see his filmography across a page or screen: Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut.  Except for some early work, those are his movies, and he died before the last one was released, having only just finished the final cut.  Cruise & Kidman would divorce not long after the movie had its time in the sun, so perhaps there’s a curse that could be associated with the project, if you believe in such things.  It’s definitely a film that holds an edge and forces audiences to uncomfortable places, so although it will probably never be considered one of Kubrick’s masterpieces, it’s still a haunted and haunting feature.

Dr. Bill Harford is wealthy, connected, has a lovely wife, a beautiful daughter, a great apartment in New York City, he’s an attractive man himself, and life couldn’t be much better.  But one night changes everything, when his eyes are opened to possibilities he never imagined.  His wife, Alice, reveals to him that she once almost left him and her child and her security behind for just one night with a handsome sailor.  She didn’t, but just knowing that she might have shatters Bill’s image of his perfect existence.  It also allows him to picture himself with other women, and over the course of a night he is tempted in many different ways: a friend, a young girl, a prostitute, an orgy.  His dabbling in a world he knows nothing about will end poorly, he knows this, but he also can’t stop himself; once the door to infidelity has been cracked, it’s hard not to peak through.

If you’ve seen a Kubrick film, you know how weird he can be.  Weird and genius of course, but weird all the same.  Eyes Wide Shut focuses on sex; how curious we can be, how sheltered we are without knowing it, what lies around us that we might not want to see.  But also how love can be stronger than our sex drives, which is a hopeful message, if one that the characters in this movie don’t always hear.  There’s a lot of nudity, it’s fairly explicit without being shocking, so be prepared if you haven’t already watched.  The style here is very specific, very deliberate, not just long but also long-seeming on purpose, dragging out the pace until audiences aren’t sure what to do.  We spend most of the time feeling awkward and unsure, slightly turned on and mostly confused, but I think that’s what Kubrick was going for, and there’s no doubting that he’s the master of the odd.  This is another strong showing by the legend, his last one, and a good chance to see Cruise & Kidman as a couple in their prime; watch and appreciate.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Preppie Connection

Category : Movie Review

Director: Joseph Castelo

Starring: Thomas Mann, Lucy Fry, Logan Huffman

Year: 2015

Sometimes a true story simply isn’t interesting, despite its honest reality or its past lime light.  That’s the case with The Preppie Connection, a film about true events in the 80s, but a plot so basic and blah that there’s no reason for us to care.  Just because it happened and it was on the news then doesn’t mean we want to see a movie version now, and I almost feel that Castelo forgot to check with anyone else to see if they were at all curious about these characters before he decided to make a feature film about them.  Castelo isn’t even much of a director, and this movie makes me doubt if he ever will be.

The year is 1984 and the place is a prep school in Connecticut.  All the rich kids go there, they all live the same, wealthy, meaningless lives, and they all have the world waiting at their feet when they graduate.  But that’s not the case with Toby, a scholarship kid who will never fit in because his dad is a delivery man, but who is desperate to make friends with all these young Republicans.  Almost accidentally, Toby finds himself the school’s connection for marijuana, and through a friend from Columbia, it’s new source for cocaine. When he falls for a rich girl named Alex, Toby discovers that he’s in way over his head and guaranteed to drown.

That was the biggest problem with The Preppie Connection; I just didn’t care.  Some prep kids in the 80s got cocaine and then got in trouble; big whoop.  Casino, Blow, Sicario; that’s crime, that’s drugs, that’s cartels, that’s interesting.  This story wasn’t, and I’m confused as to who thought it would be.  Next up on the list is the narration by Mann, which was terrible, it had no business being in the movie, or else he needed to have done it so much better.  The entire cast could have been better, should have been better, everyone letting themselves down whenever they had screen time.  The film was more a let down than anything else, a boring waste of time that had no goal and nothing real to give.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Category : Movie Review

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones

Year: 2008

I tried watched Hellboy again after not liking it the first time, and all I can say is that at least I have seen it recently so I can put into words how much I despise it.  Really, I’m so confused that most people think it’s so fun; I get that it’s a comic book movie, but Marvel has shown us how much better that genre can be, we don’t have to have red demons flying through the air after having been punched by an even larger goblin in order to enjoy this style.  Call it a forerunner if you will, say that del Toro’s creatures are cool, love it as a cult classic; I get all that and more power to you, I just can’t get on board.  I rewatched the original, found that it hadn’t changed, but went ahead and checked out the second too, since I hadn’t seen it before.  News flash; it’s just as bad, just in sequel form, and I’m completely over it.

Hellboy is having troubles at home, and they aren’t even supernatural.  He’s now with Liz, their love has been acknowledged, but he’s a bear to live with, and there’s something she’s not telling him that will make matters even more complicated.  Also, he hates being cooped up and told what to do, which has gotten much worse since his father died.  Tom Manning has taken over and a new guy is coming to replace Agent Young Kid That Kinda Liked Liz.  His name is Krauss, he wants things done his way, and that doesn’t sit well with Red.  A new threat has arrived, a prince from the mythical past who wants to raise an army of unbeatable soldiers; not great.  So it’s back to work for the team, and they had better figure out how to get along before it’s too late.

God, I can’t believe I watched another of these movies.  Before I lay into it, I’ve got to say, del Toro is a visionary, a director who crafts his films like no one else has ever before.  That’s cool, I like it, but basically the rest of the movie sucked, and the visuals only kept it afloat, nothing more.  The characters are idiotic, the dialogue is pathetic, the action is silly; I can’t believe anyone thought that the original warranted a sequel.  Hellboy is just such a dumb hero, I can’t possibly root for him, and the story simply meanders wherever it wants to, regardless of plot or purpose or my waning interest level.  The acting is awful too; Selma Blair is terrible at her job.  I’m glad I watched these movies so I could know that my first impression was accurate; they’re not worth watching.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Hellboy

Category : Movie Review

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair

Year: 2004

I’ll always love Ron Perlman for his memorable character in Enemy at the Gates, and I’ve learned over the recent years to warm up to comic book movies, because they do have much more to offer than simple, bloody, kung fu action.  But I’ll never be a fan of Hellboy, no matter how many chances I give it.  I saw the film years ago, I’m not sure when, probably before I was a critic, probably before I began appreciating super hero flicks.  I thought perhaps that I would like it now if I gave it another chance; I have changed, my opinion might as well.  But it was not to be, no matter how much I like Perlman & Hurt, no matter how much I respect del Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth & Shape of Water (honestly, his other movies suck).  And I think it’s basically because Hellboy is a bad, bad, awful movie that does absolutely everything wrong and has no business being as highly rated among audiences and critics as it shockingly is.

Based on the comic book character, a demon from the underworld brought into ours by Nazis forces, this is the story of Hellboy, otherwise known as Red.  When German agents were dabbling in the dark arts, they accidentally summoned Hellboy from another realm, but luckily Allied forces found him and Trevor Bruttenholm, an expert in the paranormal, raised him as his own son.  Now grown, Hellboy fights evil when it takes supernatural form, along with a wise water creature named Abe and a literal firecracker named Liz.  The latest threat is a trio of German and Russian immortals who want to open the gates to hell; umm, no thanks.  Time for Hellboy to go to war, with his big gun and a lot of attitude; that’s just how he rolls.

A dumb premise gets an even dumber film version, and the result is, not surprisingly, two hours of content that burns your brain cells to vapor as you watch.  Not only is this a strange comic book hero, but the sidekicks and the villains are equally insane, and the FBI agents that swarm around like gnats are almost insulting with their mere presence.  You can tell that I don’t care for this movie, so much so that it’s almost hard to explain why.  The acting is awful, the action is silly, the dialogue is ridiculous, and I can’t believe someone as talented as del Toro had a hand in making something so vapid.  His artistry is the saving grace, but that only goes so far, and I’d much rather watch it in the form of the movies I mentioned earlier than in anything to do with a giant red devil who likes beer and cats and guns and nougat.  I have no idea what people see in this movie, apart from a possible corny, culty style that I can appreciate, I just couldn’t possibly agree with.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – All the Money in the World

Category : Movie Review

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Christopher Plummer

Year: 2017

All the Money in the World received most of its publicity for all the wrong reasons.  By now, everyone has heard of Kevin Spacey’s past, the allegations against him, Hollywood’s response, and how basically his career is over.  This film, you most likely know, removed Spacey right before the movie’s release, reshooting necessary scenes with Christopher Plummer and cutting ties with Spacey completely.  In that way, you could say that the film got publicity for the right reasons, for eliminating an abuser from its cast, which was a big step in the right direction, as long as you think Spacey was guilty of the crime.  Not to stir all that up again, I just wanted to mention it, especially because this movie is not good enough for the exposure its scandal brought.  It is mediocre at best, as are the majority of its performances, and we wouldn’t be talking about it if it weren’t for the recast.

At one time, J.P. Getty was the richest man alive, the richest man in history, with an empire that stretched across the globe.  He was an oil man, and prized money above all things, massing a fortune that reached into the billions.  But he was never a family man, keeping his only son at arm’s length, and only noticing his son’s wife and children later in life.  Fast forward a few years and Paul Getty, the grandson, is living in Rome.  While walking the street one night, the 16-year-old boy is kidnapped, held for ransom for 17 millions dollars.  His mother, Gail, is desperate to get him back and asks J.P. for the money, which he declines.  He doesn’t want to spend a nickel of his wealth, but he puts ex-CIA agent Fletcher Chase on the job.  Together, Gail & Fletcher will try to get Paul back home safe, if minus a few body parts.

An early Oscar contender, this film would have gone the way of Downsizing and simply disappeared before the Awards had it not been for the reshoots.  It’s simply not a powerful or fascinating drama, a story about a true event that, really, no one cares about.  We would have let it pass by, and that’s probably what it deserves, as it has nothing else to offer us beyond some star power.  Plummer was a great choice for Getty, much better than Spacey originally was anyway, and he probably deserves his Oscar nod.  Williams was pretty bad; I think she peaked some time ago and just isn’t strong enough to carry a movie like this on her shoulders.  Wahlberg, who I usually defend, was god-awful as Fletcher Chase, private dick, the wheeler dealer man; it was a stupid, stupid character.  The film itself was boring but well-orchestrated; I think that might be all Ridley Scott has to offer any more.  There’s nothing wrong with it, some of the captive scenes were quite good, and Plummer commanded the screen like only he can.  But that’s it, there’s nothing more to report, and there’s no real reason to seek out this movie; it’s fine but never fantastic.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Greatest Showman

Category : Movie Review

Director: Michael Gracey

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron

Year: 2017

You should know that I like musicals.  I’d go so far as to say that I love them.  I like live theatre, I like Broadway shows, I like when they’re adapted into movies, I’m always ready to enjoy musicals in whatever form they take, because it takes a ton of work to create something so full of sound and character.  And I can appreciate a variety; Sondheim, Hamilton, the classics, modern musicals, bring ’em all on.  I want to make this clear so that you know that when I explain to you how much I hated The Greatest Showman, you’ll know that I’m coming from a place of moderate education/experience/exposure, and not despising something that I simply didn’t understand.  No, I’ve seen my fair share of movie musicals, I know how excellent they can be, which made this one’s failure all the more upsetting.

P.T. Barnum grew up with nothing, was treating like nothing, knew that nothing good was coming his way, but was somehow determined to become something special one day, to rise up the ranks and show all those rich snobs born with money that any man can become the figure he dreams of being if only he refuses to quit climbing.  He married a beautiful woman, Charity, had two lovely daughters, scratched for his family’s survival, but always planned something better, something bigger.  He opened a showcase of the exotic and macabre, but it wasn’t until he discovered the unique individuals of the city in which he lived that his show really made it big.  These “freaks” drew in the crowds, and Barnum’s circus was finally the spectacle he envisioned.  But fame comes at a price, and keeping hold of your publicity once you’ve had a taste is harder still.

It’s like a recipe for a dish that should taste good, but when you bite into it you spit it out immediately; no words of mine can describe how awful this movie is, you’d have to taste it for yourself.  But I’ll try my best, and I’m only too eager to give you reasons to stay as far away as possible.  First, the music is terrible.  Every song seems written for the American Idol winner; cheesy, stupid, dramatic, unoriginal.  And then there are the singers.  Remember how Les Miserables attempted to make everything seem more believable by not using a sound studio, by letting the actors really sing right on set so we could feel their emotion?  Well they did the opposite here; every single note was auto-tuned, out of sync with the singers, and felt like it came from a million miles away in some amateur’s garage.

The entire movie felt amateur, that’s the right word, from high school-caliber choreography (step on a stool, step on the bar, turn, jazz hands, brilliant!) to under-developed characters who were absolutely nothing more than their fake beards and bellies, which was exactly what the moral of the story was telling us not to focus on.  And I can’t conclude until I comment on Michelle Williams, who gave perhaps the poorest performance I have ever seen on screen.  Her role was dumb, her singing was bad, her dancing was laughable; if I were her I’d be so embarrassed that I might simply have to call it quits.  The Greatest Showman is everything a musical should not be, and I’d be concerned for the taste level of anyone who thought it was even passable cinema.  Its songs are catchy, that’s what pop does to people, but that doesn’t make anything about this picture something worth watching; in fact, that’s just one more trick from this fraud of a show.

My rating: ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Wind Rises

Category : Movie Review

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski

Year: 2013

My first experience with Studio Ghibli was watching Princess Mononoke.  I had never seen Japanese animation before and was unprepared for the style, the action, and the dubbing.  It was an art form that I wouldn’t appreciate until years later, even though the studio was becoming famous worldwide.  Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, Arrietty, The Wind Rises, When Marnie Was There; these are some of the most widely known and successful animated movies of all-time, though Americans continue to prefer Disney, Pixar, and other local animation studies.  But the power of Ghibli can’t be denied, as their films are an artistic medium all on their own and continue to amaze us with wonderful stories brought to life with dazzling talent.

This is a tale of the Japanese engineer Jiro Horikoshi, a fictitious account of his personal life, layered with historic events leading up to Japan entering WWII.  Jiro was obsessed with airplanes; their beauty, their lines, their power, their creation.  He was inspired by Italian aircraft designer Giovanni Caproni, who would pleasantly haunt his dreams Jiro’s entire life, pushing him to take Japanese aeronautics to places it had never been before.  Jiro worked for Mitsubishi, which worked for the government, and his primary job was creating fighter jets for the military, as war with the West was fast approaching.  During this time of chaos, Jiro fell in love with the wonderful Nahoko, who was ill and not long for this world, but who made him happier than anything else he had experienced in his life.  Jiro’s passion fueled Japan’s advancement, but only toward war and suffering, not toward the freedom of the skies that he always imagined.

The Wind Rises is a variation from typical Ghibli as it’s not made for kids, contains almost no whimsy, uses animation to focus on darker themes, and relates true history, all while still laying back on a support of stellar animation and unbelievable storytelling.  The film touches on a real earthquake, the Great Depression, a tuberculosis epidemic, and WWII, each event seen through the eyes of our main character, audiences guided along through the timeline to experience the reality but also to enjoy the artistic representation.  There are some more-magical elements, mainly Jiro’s dreams, his imagined conversations with the man who inspired his love of aeronautics.  But the movie mainly stays grounded (mind the pun), and therefor doesn’t exactly cast the same magical spell as so many others in the studio’s filmography.  The Hollywood cast is great: JGL, Blunt, Krasinski, Stanly Tucci, Martin Short, Mandy Patinkin, Mae Whitman, Werner Herzog, Jennifer Gray, William H. Macy, Elijah Wood.  And the animation, wow, it will quite literally blow you away.  Perhaps I didn’t love Wind Rises as much as Ponyo or Arrietty, perhaps the kid in me was slightly disappointed.  But there’s no doubt that this film is another great Ghibli feature, that no one else can create movies like this, so beautiful and so minutely perfect, a work of art on our screens that we are lucky to have seen.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆