TL;DR – The Pilot combines a great story, with fascinating animation, and a
voice cast that is here for it, so much fun to watch.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
A while back there was some mention of Michael B. Jordan staring in an animated
mecha series from Rooster Teeth, and you have to believe that this immediately caught
my attention. This of course was added to when we got the little hints as to
what the series is going to be about and the sheer bonkers voice cast that was
coming on board. Well, today we get to
see the final product, and well it does not disappoint.
So to set the scene, in 2068 the world is a very different place with a
totalitarian government The Union rising up and slowly taking over the world
with their nano-tech. There are very few governments left to stop them and all
attempts to find a diplomatic resolution have failed. As The Polity trains for
the coming war, Julian Chase (Michael B.
Jordan) and Miranda Worth (Dakota Fanning) take some time away from The Anvil,
their base of operations, to visit Chase’ mum Roberta (Shari Belafonte) in Brooklyn,
New York. However, they are not visiting in person but through VR Holograms.
After the prerequisite embarrassing
stories about Chase’s childhood, the pair leaves
just as The Union start their main attack on New York. The team race to defend
the city but sometimes the only option left is a sacrifice. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a
whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS]
TL;DR – Mirai is a film that ricochets from one emotion to the next, from joy, to despair, from excitement, to an existential crisis, but at no point does it lose its heart, and that is such a tough act to get right.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Have you ever walking into a film with absolutely no idea what it was going to be about? No TV ads, no trailers, no opinion peaches, a complete blind experience. For me, it has only truly happened once with The Forbidden Kingdom. Well, today I have another entry for that list with Mirai. Not only did I have no idea what it was going to be about, I had no idea it was about to hit me in the feels in a very complex way.
TL;DR – While it can be frustrating at times, it is a beautifully created animated film with an emotionally resonate heart that will punch you right in the feels at times.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a final frame after the credits
‘Animation’ is a genre that does not get the credit it deserves, for many it is just the purview of children and as such it is not something of quality. However, this is a real shame because we have seen with films like Coco (see review), Moana (see review) and Studio Ghibli that even when aimed at children, they can still be works of art. As well as this, there are more and more fascinating animated films that are targeted at adults and today we are looking at one such with Maquia.
TL;DR – This feels like a very respectful translation of the manga, but that also shows that what works on the page does not always work on the screen.
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene near the start of the credits
Have you ever watched an adaption of something and gone “this looks like a faithful adaption but it just not for me”? Well, I had that experience this week with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. I should start by saying that I am coming to this film not having read the Manga or seen the Anime, so beyond the name recognition I had no idea what I was walking into. As such, this is a review coming from a first-time entrant into the world of Stands, and how well the film did bringing me into this universe. Manga and Anime are one of the areas that have yet to really find its feet when adapted to live action on the big screen, especially when it is Hollywood doing the adaptation, see Ghost in the Shell (see review), and the less said about Dragonball Evolution the better. Like video game adaptations it just feels like it is missing it moment genres like comic books have had. With that in mind, today we are going to take a look at what things translated well into film and what aspects really didn’t.
TL;DR – A beautifully realised world that blends the magical and the real, and while it needed a bit more work structurally it was a joy to watch.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – No
Back in 2014, there was one of those announcements that come up every now and again that rocked the cinematic community, Studio Ghibli was halting production after the notice that Hayao Miyazaki one of its founders was retiring. Now in the preceding years, Miyazaki has returned to Studio Ghibli, but with the studio being in a state of flux many of its animators struck out on their own and formed Studio Ponoc. Well, today we are taking a look at this new studio’s first feature film Mary and the Witch’s Flower.
So it has been an amazing few weeks here in the great Down Under as local cinemas have brought all of Studio Ghibli’s (株式会社スタジオジブリ) films back to the big screen. This has meant that for the first time I got to see some of my favourite films on the big screen and it has had me thinking, what is it about these films that has engendered so much love around the world? For many people in the world, Studio Ghibli films are their first introduction into the world of Japanese animation or anime, and what an introduction they are. After much thought as to why they work as well as they do, for me, I think it distils down to one factor, on the whole, Studio Ghibli films are full of beauty. So today we are going to look at the different factors that make that so, by taking a broad brush stroke across Studio Ghibli’s entire catalogue from Nausicaä of the Valleyof the Wind¹ (風の谷のナウシカ) to today. To do this we are going to look at the stories, art, and music. Now while we will be talking about these components there may be some minor [SPOILERS] ahead for some of the films.
TL;DR – This is a difficult film to review as it excels in so many different ways, the music, visuals, and it really nails the aesthetics, but something is missing and it just felt more ‘safe’ than anything else.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
So it’s the future and the world has moved towards merging the biological and the machine with people adapting themselves with cybernetic implants. However, this is only augmentation, but now the supposed next step in human development is here, with a human brain inserted into a robot body, a ghost within the shell. Is this the next stage in human existence or simply a weapon being released into the world, a saviour or a curse? This is the set up for Ghost in the Shell a movie adaption of the original manga series of the same name. Well it has been a rocky launch for Ghost in the Shell, and we’ll get to that issue in a moment, but first I need to take a moment to explain my relationship with Ghost in the Shell before talking about its positives, and then we’ll get into what didn’t work.