Only Yesterday (1991) Review

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Only Yesterday is a drama film directed by Isao Takahata, it is based on a Manga of the same title.

Taeko is a 27 year old woman who has decided to take a trip to the countryside.

While travelling to her destination on a train she remembers memories of her childhood and her school days.

The main focus of the story is these flash backs. It shows Taeko growing up and learning to live with strict parents, how to deal with bullies and discovering her body when she first has a period.

A lot goes on this film in reality this film is about a child struggling to gain an understanding from her family about why she behaves the way she does and why she is not as good as her siblings when it comes to her school grades.

I normally I don’t like this type of film but I really resonated with this one, I had a good childhood growing up and was luckier than most other children that I knew but so many of the struggles that this little girl went through was very similar to things I had to go through when I was younger. I won’t go into details of my past but I found this film emotional as it reminded me of myself.

Daisy Ridley who plays Rey in the new star wars trilogy voices Taeko in the film and she and everyone else does a great job.

I don’t have too much to say about this film, nothing really was that memorable and I think that if I didn’t resonate with it as much I don’t think I would have enjoyed it, but with that being said in 1991 this was the highest grossing film in Japan so there is obviously an audience for it.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Only Yesterday

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Kiki’s Delivery Service 1989 Review

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Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Kiki’s Delivery Service is a coming of age story about a young Witch who moves to the big city.

1008714Kiki is a young witch who has just turned 13, traditionally witches leave home at this age, Kiki leaves her parents and heads to the city of Koriko where she eventually lives after helping out the local baker who gives her a room, Kiki sets up a delivery service to earn a little money to buy food and supplies for herself and her cat Jiji.

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Similar to my Neighbour Totoro not a lot goes on in this film but its the small things that do happen that makes it so memorable, the main plot focuses on a semi love interest for Kiki named Tombo, Tombo is fascinated by Kiki because of her ability to fly on her broom stick, he loves aviation and is keen to fly on his bicycle.

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There are a few things that happen in the film but one of the most memorable was Kiki meeting the painter named Ursula, Ursula has the ability to get close to birds without scaring them, she is a very passionate painter and becomes a good friend of Kiki in the film and later on helps her out when she is upset.

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There are so many great characters in the film but my favourite is Jiji. Jiji is Kiki’s pet cat who joins her on her delivery’s he is able to communicate with Kiki and has some of funniest lines and jokes in the film.

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I really like movies like this where not a lot happens but you really do get hooked on the story and Kiki’s Delivery Service is the perfect example of this. It’s a simple movie with a basic plot but an amazing atmosphere and a cast of characters that will make your heart melt. Kirsten Dunst does and excellent job at voicing Kiki and Phil Hartman stands out as Jiji but all of the cast members did a great job. There is something about the atmosphere of the world of this movie that really draws you in, I would love to visit this city and just just walk around and see all of the great sights.

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I did some research and found out that there is a bakery in Japan that is based on Kiki’s Delivery service, apparently they even sell themed baked goods, I will leave the link below so you check out the article for yourself.

https://www.boredpanda.com/kiki-bakery-studio-ghibli-hayao-miyazaki-yufuin-floral-village-japan/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

I love Kiki’s Delivery Service, its one of favourite films and I try to watch it every year, it truly is magical and is sure to find a special place in your heart. I think it’s one of Miyazaki’s best work and it will always be a very important film to me, its definitely worth giving it a viewing.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Kiki’s Delivery Service

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Castle in the Sky (1986) Review

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Castle in the Sky is technically the first movie under the Studio Ghibli name but it is recognised by the company as their second film after Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind.

Its a fantasy-adventure film which was written and Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

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After an attack on an airship a young girl named Sheeta falls slowly and lands in a small town where she is discovered by an adventurous orphan boy called Pazu, who takes her into his home to take of her, not long after this they are attacked by the pirates who want to steal Sheetas necklace which holds mysterious powers.

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The Pirates are my favourite part of the film they are really funny and often cause epic and comedic chase sequences between them and the two protagonists, another reason I like these characters is because they are not just typical villain characters they do have hearts and at times even help the two children in their adventure to keep Sheeta safe.

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The main antagonist of the film is agent Muska who had originally abducted Sheeta in the beginning of the movie and hunts her down throughout the adventure, like the Pirates he also wants the necklace but his intentions are to use it to take over Laputa (Sheeta’s home land) he is voiced by Mark Hamill in the English Dub of the movie.

While I do like the animation of the film I much prefer its soundtrack, the music was composed by Joe Hisaishi.

The soundtrack is beautiful and matches the theme and pacing of the film extremely well, it has hints of adventure with hidden moments of sadness and wonder which works to emphasise the films emotions.

Castle in the Sky is a fantastic movie it blends various genres together, fantasy, science fiction, steam punk, comedy, action and adventure and it does thsi extremely well for an animated feature, its intense but also charming and romantic, its a film that I feel that no matter what age you are you will love it, its one my favourite animated films and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fast paced movies with a lot of heart and imagination.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Castle in the Sky

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Nausicaa of the valley of the wind (1984) Review

Welcome to an unusual Christmas series, this year I have decided to discuss the Studio Ghibli feature films collection, some of these films I have already discussed on this website many years ago but I feel its time to update those older reviews. The reason I have decided on this series is because while they don’t have anything to with the holidays I find myself watching them every Christmas and I think they will be more interesting than regular Christmas movies so without further ado lets begin with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

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Based on a Manga of the same name Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is a fantasy-science fiction movie based in a post apocalyptic world. The film was directed by Hayao Miyazaki a true legend of film making and animation. This was Miyazaki’s second film after The Castle of Cagliostro in 1979

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A thousand years after an apocalyptic war the land has been turned into a toxic jungle with giant and deadly bugs roaming around and causing trouble for the humans that remain.

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Nausicca the Princess of the Valley of the Wind has the ability to befriend various animals and creatures, she is able to calm the angry bugs that are causing trouble for the humans and her main goal is to find a way for the humans and the bugs to exist side by side in peace.

The Vallley of the Wind is one of most peaceful places left on earth, the rest of the planet are at war with eachother and fighting to gain power and resources after the effects of the war, unfortunately one of these of these other lands decides to attack the Valley of the Wind and kills Nausicca’s father leaving Nausicca to try and keep peace and prevent any other person or bug from being needlessly killed.

 

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I really enjoyed Nausicca’s character, she is a great warrior who also has a plan of action when she needs too, shes emotional and cares a lot about the people and creatures around her but she wasn’t my favourite character in the film that would have to be Lord Yupa a swordsman and secondary father figure to Nausicca, he’s voiced by Patrick Stewart in the English dub and that might be why I like him so much, other noticeable names are Shia LeBouf, Uma Thurman, Frank Welker, Jodi Benson and Mark Hamill.

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I love the art style and colouring used in this film, its dark and gritty with a style of animation that looks like a mixture of anime and a comic book, the rough design of the bugs are my absolute favourite part of the film but I enjoy the beauty of the world in which this film takes place especially the jungle with its plants and trees that are imaginative and full of creativity and are one of the films most standout features.

Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind is an excellent film that takes a world of wonder and throws into land of a chaos, its a tragic movie that shows the effects of humankind and its greed and selfishness that ultimately causes nothing but heartache, corruption and pain to the world that we often take for granted and Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind shows this in ways that will be remembered forever making it a very important part of the history of animation.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind

If you would like to help support the website please use the donation button at the top of the page, your donations will help to improve the website by allowing me to afford products to review and to be able to execute any costly updates and changes, any amount in donations are welcome.

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The Polar Express (2004) Review

polar-express-onesheetThe Polar Express is a 2004 animated Christmas movie that stars Tom Hanks and is based on a children’s book from 1985, the film was written and directed by Robert Zemeckis who is known for directing classic films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Back to the Future trilogy, Cast Away and Forrest Gump.

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On Christmas Eve night a train pulls up outside of a young boys house and the conductor offers him a free full round trip to the North Pole, the boy was chosen especially to take the train ride as he had become skeptical of the existence of Father Christmas, like most people would he at first declines the offer to ride the train with the strange man but quickly changes his mind when the train starts leaving without him and he quickly boards the train before it is too late, on the train are many other children who have also been chosen to take the trip.
the-polar-express-586393lYou could say that there are four main children in the film, our lead child is not named at all through out the movie and the same goes for our only female lead they are both listed as Hero Boy and Hero Girl in the cast the other two male children who get a lot of screen time are Billy a poor boy who lacks trust in other people and a know it all kid who is named Know it all, the reason I believe for the lead male and female characters not being named is so that the viewer can identify better with the characters, children can watch the movie and can see themselves in the role of these children.

The only other character that I would say is worth mentioning is the Train Conductor who is voiced by Tom Hanks, the conductor seems to be a magical being that has planned everything that has happened on the trip, he even knows what lesson each child needs to learn on the journey to the North Pole causing many to believe that the children were all chosen especially by the conductor as a means of teaching them life lessons and to help guide them in the best directions for once the journey is over.

00000004There are a lot of moments in the film that may leave you asking a lot questions one of the most asked is what was up with the hobo on top of the train?

Many have speculated that this strange character who helps the lead male in various unusual ways is Jack Frost due to his endurance to the cold and his various ice and snow related powers and abilities, this makes a lot of sense and I tend to agree that it is the most logical theory for the character.

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The film could be classed as a musical as it does have a few original songs which in my opinion are nothing special however they are charming and suit the film nicely, if I was to pick a favorite it would have to be the simple yet fun hot chocolate song.

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The Polar Express is a wonderful Christmas film, it has good morales and it doesn’t rely much on Father Christmas as a character which I think is over done in a lot of Christmas films, it will leave you scratching your head after watching it but the the things that are left to speculation make a fun debate and some theories people have come up with for un-answered questions are really interesting, the animation is very good however it mostly shines on smaller details such as the snow and details of the trains architecture than it does the characters but all of the animation is very well done, with a great voice cast and a very creative premise for a Christmas movie the Polar Express is a film that is a must watch around the holiday season.

I hope you enjoyed this holiday review of The Polar Express (2004) if you respect my opinion I will respect yours.

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Trading Places (1983) Review

IMG_6811-482x707Trading Places is a Christmas comedy directed by John Landis who directed classics such as an American Werewolf in London, Animal House and the Blues Brothers before this popular flick.

Trading Places Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy ©Paramount PicturesThe film stars Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche as the lead actors in the film who work along side a supporting cast consisting of Denholm Elliot and Jamie Lee Curtis.

09132013_Trading_PlacesA homeless man and a rich stock broker have their lives switched due to cruel one dollar bet set up by two sleezy rich business men Randolph and Mortimer Duke, the two comedy legends Murphy and Aykroyd give of some hilarious performances while the rest of the cast do an excellent job portraying their characters.

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I particularly enjoyed Jamie Lee Curtis in her role as Orphelia the prostitute that offers to help aykroyds character seek revenge on the Duke brothers and to get his fortune and dignity back, but the entire cast did a great job none the less.

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There are a lot of jokes and references in the film that wouldn’t sit well with some viewers including a lot of racial slangs, racist jokes and a scene with a gorilla that would leave some people very unimpressed however if you are not offended by anything like this then I am sure you will love the film.

Its one of my favorite movies to watch around the holidays and I am sure it could become a favorite for some of you guys too.

I hope you enjoyed this holiday review of Trading Places (1983) if you respect my opinion I will respect yours.

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Bayonetta 2 (2014) Review

The Witch is back !!!

After the success of the first game a sequel to Bayonetta was inevitable but unfortunately it never happened and Sega soon lost focus on the franchise that is until Nintendo of all companies bought the rights and made the series their own and released a trailer for a new game exclusive to their systems, of course this upset a lot of people who don’t play Nintendo but from the companies point of view this was a brilliant marketing stunt forcing people who desperately wanted to play the new Bayonetta game to buy their systems and it worked so good for them Bayonetta 2 was released on the Wii U in 2014 along side the original game before it was re-released in a similar package this year for the Switch.

Thankfully the plot this time around is fairly straight foward, Bayonetta and Jeanne are out doing some Christmas shopping with the pathetic Enzo carrying all of their new stuff, Angels attack an aeroplane stunt show so Bayonetta and Jeanne suit up to take them out and with a new set of guns from the merchant Rodin this should be easy but unfortunately during the fight one of Bayonettas monsters escapes from its master and knocks Jeannes soul from her body which then gets dragged into Inferno, Bayonetta kills the monster but now has to get to the Gates of Hell to rescue Jeanne before her soul is completely consumed.

The game play is essentially the same as the original with a few changes, for those who don’t know Bayonetta is a hack and slash game series inspired by the Devil May Cry games, the first game follows the adventure of an Umbra Witch who kills Angels by shooting them with guns she holds in her hands and the heels of her shoes, she can use multiple weapons and items to help her survive and upgrades can be bought from Rodin through out the games, some supple changes in this game compared to the original is Bayonettas slightly different fashion choice in both Witch and Panther form, local multiplayer and a much easier gameplay experience which is still challenging and fun.

There is only one thing I hate about this game and that’s the character Loki, he has an extremely important role in the game but he is just so annoying, he wines a lot, he has an annoying voice and some of his dialogue is straight up cringe worthy

The soundtrack is just as great as the first game, it has a lot of orchestral and vocal tracks which are all a lot of fun to listen too, use the link above to check it out

 

Bayonetta 2 is an epic game, it controls perfectly, it has a great sound track, beautiful graphics and plenty of extra content to keep you busy many would agree that it’s better the original and even though I hate Loki I have too agree, Bayonetta 2 is an excellent sequel and hopefully it’s influence will effect future games in the series 9.7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch

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