Midweek Movie Review: The Giver (2014)



After reading The Giver Quartet, I decided to watch the 2014 film adaptation. The movie has received mixed reviews and I agree with the average rating of 6.5/10 (according to Amazon) (3.5/5 on Rotten Tomatoes). It’s a middle-of-the-road score for a movie that is neither horrible, nor especially impressive or memorable.


I finally watched Disney’s Tangled

Entertainment, Movies/Shows


Last night I watched the latest DVD I picked up from the library which was Disney’s Tangled. For years my friends have told me to watch this film, but as I wasn’t too impressed with Frozen I felt no rush.

While musicals are not really my thing, I really liked Tangled. This humorous twist on the classic fairy tale of Rapunzel is a cute film that provides good, clean fun.  

The Wind Rises: a fitting end to Miyazaki’s outstanding film career (spoiler-free review)



This week I watched Hayao Miyazaki’s final film before retirement, The Wind Rises. It was also the last of his major works I had yet to see. This charming and inspirational work is a fitting final chapter in a collection and career sure to be celebrated for many years to come.

I finally watched the precious film Ponyo


Last weekend I finally found the time to sit down and watch another Hayao Miyazaki film. Now that I’ve secured a copy of The Wind Rises from my library, I have just one more film to see before I will have watched all of Hayao Miyazaki’s most notable (and some less notable) movies. I should really know by now that it’s very improbable I will dislike anything with Miyazaki’s name on it, but based on the previews, I thought I might not care for Ponyo.

I was wrong. This film is every bit as charming as Studio Ghibli’s other children’s films like Kiki’s Delivery Service or My Neighbor Totoro. And, as always with Miyazaki, the art and story are rich in life lessons, symbolism, and creativity.

Studio Ghibli’s unique animation combined with Miyazaki’s imagination and the masterful music of Joe Hisaishi work together to weave a world of wonder, this time in a spin on the class tale of The Little Mermaid. 

Midweek movie review: Son of Batman



The following is spoiler-free review of the animated movie Son of Batman. 

Last week I took a 4 hour flight from Nashville to Los Angeles, a trip I’ll be talking more about in tomorrow’s post. To kill some time, I rented a movie I’ve been meaning to watch for awhile and downloaded it on my iPad. The first hour and a half of my flight was spent watching Son of Batman from the DC Universe Original Animated Movies. 

Netflix Movie Night: Atlantis: The Lost Empire



The following review contains some spoilers for Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire. 

I’m taking a break from the Hayao Miyazaki films this week to start a new series in which I review movies from Netflix. Today’s review is for Disney’s animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. 

While Atlantis is certainly above average for a kids’ film, the movie does have many shortfalls. These are my thoughts upon viewing Atlantis for the first time.

I finally watched Hayao Miyazaki’s delightful My Neighbor Totoro



The list of Hayao Miyazaki films I’ve yet to see grows shorter this week as I review my eighth Studio Ghibli film, the delightful family film My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ Tonari no Totoro). This heartwarming movie has the magic of Kiki’s Delivery Service combined with the environmental spiritualism found in Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away with a focus on family I’ve yet to see so heavily featured in other Miyazaki creations.

I finally watched the enchanting Studio Ghibli film Howl’s Moving Castle



Last weekend I watched my 7th Studio Ghibli/Hayao Miyazaki film, Howl’s Moving Castle (ハウルの動く城 Hauru no Ugoku Shiro). This film joins the ranks of my favorite Miyazaki films, which is quite an accomplishment as past Ghibli movies I’ve viewed set a very high bar. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this such a wonderful animation.