Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa (screenplay)
Edited by: Takeshi Seyama
Cinematography by: Atsuhi Okui
Music by: Satoshi Takebe
Starring: Masami Nagasawa, Sarah Bolger, Junichi Okada, Anton Yelchin, Keiko Takeshita, Christina Hendricks, Jun Fubuki, Jamie Lee Curtis, Yuriko Ishida, Gillian Anderson, Takashi Naito, Bruce Dern, Shunsuke Kazama, Charlie Saxton, Teruyuki Kagawa, Beau Bridges, Rumi HIiragi, Aubrey Plaza, Emily Osment, Goro Miyazaki, Ronan Farrow, Ron Howard
Based on the manga by Tetsuro Sayama and Chiziru Takahasi
Year: 2011 (Japan), 2013 (US)
A friend of mine pointed out soon after he read this review that it’s important that I specify that I watched the English dub — not due to the dub’s inherent inferiority (it is very good), but due to a stylistic choice in the English dub’s voice casting of a character during a pivotal dream sequence. I will not spoil it here, but after having this brought to light, I feel it is necessary that I point this out. I actually really like the thematic depth the English dub adds, whereas he did not. Either way, my rating stands.
I’m normally an admirer of his reviews, but I must say that it’s a shame that Roger Ebert regarded From Up on Poppy Hill as a disappointment, especially as he was such a notable fan of Studio Ghibli’s, and this would, sadly, be the last film of theirs that he would ever review. While it may not reach the same sort of visual spectacle of the studio’s more fantastic and popular films – Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind among the studio’s most notable – From Up on Poppy Hill is no less a visual masterpiece and is one of the more touching, quieter films that have come out of the studio. It may not go on to be their most memorable or most favorited film among the studio’s throngs of fans, but as director Goro Miyazaki’s second film after the disappointing Tales from Earthsea, which actually was more like what you would expect from an anime studio, to criticize this dramatically superior but more intimate film for being something that it never aspired to be in the first place feels like doing the film a disservice. Read more…
Produced by: Debra Hill, John Carpenter, Kool Lusby, Irwin Yablans, Moustapha Akkad
Written by: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles, Nancy Loomis
Music by: John Carpenter
The original Halloween was a low budget affair. Extras were barely paid and culled from those who were already living on site in South Pasadena, California. The actors themselves were receiving significantly lower paychecks compared to what they could have made in some other production.
Despite being a fairly well-known actress today, Jamie Lee Curtis was a young, relatively unknown TV actress when this movie was made, best known possibly for being the daughter of Psycho scream queen Janet Leigh and Some Like it Hot icon Tony Curtis. Naturally, this meant a significantly smaller paycheck than what she’d get in just a few years’ time. The prolific Donald Pleasence, a name I had known but needed to look up, was the best known actor in the film at the time, known for his roles on TV and his role as the first Ernst Blofeld in You Only Live Twice, but even he had to take on a significant pay cut compared to his usual for his role as Dr. Loomis in this film. Read more…