Grave of the Fireflies (1988) Review

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Directed by Isao Takahata Grave of the Fireflies is an Animated war film that is based on a story from 1967 with the same title.

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This is by far the most tragic film in the Studio Ghibli Collection it starts with the corpse of the main character Seita being searched by a Janitor in a train station, he takes a candy tin and throws it into a field and this releases the memory of Seita’s younger sister Setsuko who is joined by the memory of her brother,  they both board a train and then the film shows the struggle they went through during the end World War 2 that eventually lead to both of them dying.

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Even though the beginning the film shows that the outcome of these characters is not good, what makes the film worth watching is the message that it gives, throughout the journey audiences will be rooting for Seita and Setsuko to survive because of how well they get along and how much they truly love each-other.

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The tragedy of the film is truly Seita’s character, he wants the be the protector of his sister after their mother dies, but he doesn’t have a lot of experience doing this eventually pushing away everyone who tries to help them. Its his stubborn nature that causes the downfall in their story but he means so well and only wants the best. This makes the film extremely difficult and sad to watch its a really good movie with excellent animation and characters, I actually think that these are some of the best characters the studio has ever produced because they seem so real.

Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most hard to watch animated films ever made, its a great piece of cinema that shows that cartoons and animation really is not just for children and families, this film is not suitable for children and it definitely wasn’t made for them its a story that will cause emotion and pain for all who see it, its fantastically tragic.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Grave of the Fireflies

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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

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Aliens (1986) Review

Aliens_posternine years after the first movie, a sequel to Alien was made and this time James Cameron took the directors chair, before writing and directing aliens, James Cameron had done the same for the Terminator two years prior.

aliens_05Fifty seven years after the first movie Ellen Ripley is discovered sleeping in status in a shuttle that is floating through space, after being rescued her employers do not believe her claims that an Alien slaughtered her entire crew and left her with no choice but too blow up the ship.

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A colony has been set up where the alien eggs were found in the first movie,  when contact with the colony is lost Ripley is asked to go with a group of marines to check out the disturbance, while at first unsure Ripley eventually agrees and goes along after it is confirmed to her that the mission is to completely destroy the Xenomorphs.

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Aliens is more of a cheesy action movie when compared to the dark and creepy horror film which was the original, this film is crazy fun and has all of the cliches to go with it, you have a sarcastic sergeant who always has a cigar in his mouth, a bad ass child character who is way more useful than any of the adults and some crazy marines that are full of banter and funny one liners, this may seem strange when compared to the first movie but the silly nature works surprisingly well here and the combination of scares, action and silliness helps to make this my favourite film in the franchise.

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Speaking of our child actor I want to give some credit to Carrie Henn that played Rebecca Jordan aka Newt, Newt was discovered by Ripley and the marines during the mission, Newt is an orphan who lost her brother and mother to the aliens and once she finds trust in Ripley she helps her and the marines with the mission. Newt is a great character and it adds more tension to the movie when there is a child involved and she is just fairly bad ass throughout making the audience root for her survival.

Alien-Sigourney-WeaverThe set for Aliens is very similar to the first movie however there are more of them and since more lights are used in the film they help to show more details of the architecture. In my personal opinion I think the sets in Aliens are cooler,way more interesting and way more scary, the first film was scary because you couldn’t see much of the Alien but here there are loads of them and you get to see all of the grisly details up close including a horrific cocooning scene where the aliens cocoon their victims next to a non hatched Face Hugger egg leaving the victim forced into a grizzly fate.

Aliens is an amazing sequel to one of the scariest movies of all time, the first film created a genre while this one expanded on that and  gave us a different take on the series, this the alien movie where aliens get blasted, flattened, burned alive and blown to bits and its awesome, the movie once again ended on a cliff hanger leaving audience desperate for more.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Aliens (1986) if you respect my opinion I will respect yours.

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