I watched Howl’s Moving Castle in the theaters before I launched this site, so I didn’t review it back then. I was too lazy to trek across town to watch the subtitled version, so I went to the theater near my apartment, which was playing the dubbed version.
The film was released on DVD, and I watched it again, this time in Japanese with subtitles.
It’s not hyperbole to call Miyazaki Hayao a magician. The first time you watch one of his films, it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the visuals — so much detail and such great imagination. It’s also easy to overlook any shortcomings in the storyline.
The first time I watched Howl’s Moving Castle, I was taken in by the animation. I wanted to catch all the little things that I didn’t pay much attention to the bigger picture. The second time I watched it, I could pay more attention to the story, and I nearly fell asleep.
The first time I watched My Neighbor Totoro was back in 1998.
It was recommended to me by a co-worker, a single mom with a daughter who was into Pokemon. She told me flat out it was a children’s film, but one with appeal for adults.
My affinity for Japanese indie rock aside, I’m not an anime geek. Fan, yes. Geek, nowhere close. So the name Miyazaki Hayao didn’t resonate with me back then, and it would be another five years before he became an Oscar winner.
I watched My Neighbor Totoro, and I agreed with my co-worker — it was a wonderful film. But like most anime released in the US back then, the English dubbing was seriously dumbed down for a children’s audience.
Making Love was made in the early ’80s — disco wasn’t completely dead yet, and the home video wars were still fought between VHS and Betamax.
So the swell of strings at the start of the film, and the "aw, shucks" dialogue during the exposition are par for the proverbial course.
Michael Ontkean and Kate Jackson play Zack and Claire, a married couple with their careers on the rise. He’s a doctor, and she’s a TV executive. They have no children because they’re waiting to get established in their jobs.
That Don Roos is a pretty hot guy, but as a film director, I’m not sure I’m quite sophisticated enough to get his storytelling.
Happy Endings is one of those multi-plot films with characters separated by only a few degrees from each other. Everybody just about knows everybody else, and in the end, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways.
But to get to the Happy Endings promised in the title, they have to go through a few hurdles.
I started watching Angel because I really liked looking at David Boreanaz. I stuck around till the series finale because I grew to admire Joss Whedon’s writing.
I didn’t, however, catch Firefly when it first broadcast because it was on Fox, and Fox is nowhere near the orbit of my channel surfing. If Firefly had followed, say, Gilmore Girls, I probably would have watched it.
And instinctively, I didn’t really think a Joss Whedon sci-fi story was cut out for TV. Just the pitch alone sounded something better for film. So I promised to watch Serenity when it opened in theaters. It was a smart choice.