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THEATRICAL REVIEW: The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ)

March 12, 2014 1 comment
The Wind RisesDirected by: Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by: Toshio Suzuki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki
Edited by: Takeshi Seyama
Cinematography by: Atsushi Okui
Music by: Joe Hisaishi
Starring: (Japanese) Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Steve Alpert, Morio Kazama, Keiko Takeshita, Mirai Shida, Jun Kunimura, Shinobu Otake, Nomura Mansai; (English Disney dub) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Martin Short, Werner Herzog, William H. Macy, Darren Criss, Mae Whitman, Mandy Patinkin, Jennifer Grey, Stanley Tucci, Elijah Wood, Ronan Farrow, Zach Callison
Based on the manga Kaze Tachinu by Hayao Miyazaki, the novel The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori, and inspired by a true story
Year: 2013, 2014 (US)

 

Review is based on the Disney/Touchstone English dub.

Touted as the last film to be directed by legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises understandably will carry a lot of weight with fans of the director, Studio Ghibli, and animation in general, with the film even being nominated recently in the Academy Awards’ Best Animated Feature category. The director has, since the 70s, made a name for himself as a whimsical filmmaker with a fine attention to detail, both visually in the work his crew puts out and within the worlds and personalities of the characters he portrays in his films, which rarely feel anything like the stereotypical animé Western audiences are more familiar with, and yet also so distinctly different from Western animation from any era. Understandably, he’s going to be missed, and while Studio Ghibli has plenty of talent to build off of and directors who have proven to be more than capable of creating films in the same mold as the elder Miyazaki, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing the like of his work ever again (so long as he’s actually serious about staying retired). Read more…

Review: “Dirty Dancing”

May 9, 2013 3 comments
Dirty DancingDirected by: Emile Ardolino
Produced by: Linda Gottlieb
Written by: Eleanor Bergstein
Edited by: Peter C. Frank
Cinematography by: Jeffrey Jur
Music by: John Morris, Erich Bulling
Starring: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Kelly Bishop, Jane Brucker, Jack Weston, Max Cantor, Lonny Price
Year: 1987

 

It speaks to a film’s popularity when a single song can instantly remind you of the film, even if you haven’t seen it. For this movie, the song that most people think of is the Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes duet “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” the declaration of love in the form of a cheesy 80s pop ballad that inexplicably serves as the catalyst for the film’s final dance number, despite the film being set in the early 1960s. Oddly enough, this wasn’t the song that reminded me of this film’s existence and necessitated its inclusion into Girly Movie Month. The credit for that goes to yet another 80s pop song, “Hungry Eyes,” which similarly finds its way into the film as one of many anachronisms that likely served to make the film more palatable to the 80s teen audience the film was aiming for at the time of its release. Read more…

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