VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOONS: ANIME: REVIEW: Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) (Japan)

Clint: 3.6/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 3.4/5 stars, 7/10. “Good. No Howl’s Castle or Princess Mononoke, but still.” And that’s about how I feel.
Native ratings: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.8/10.

Hayao Miyazaki. Great animator. Great director. Good writer. Huge body of work.

The plot wasn’t super exciting and full of jam-packed action, as it was more character-driven than plot-driven. There was no “bad guy” for example. Just a 13 year old girl trying to live independently for a year, as is the custom with witches.

And if you can fly on a broomstick, why not start a delivery service?

I do feel like it puttered out at the end a bit, which is a trope among anime. Anime is often more about the voyage than the destination, and that remains true here. But less frustratingly so than usual.

This was so lighthearted!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097814/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: CARTOON: Brave (2012)

Clint: 3.4/5 stars, 7.2/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 7.6/10.
Native: 4.2/5 stars, 7.4/10.

Good–but not as good as the other Pixar/etc current-day animated movies.

We don’t face huge evil threats like in How I Trained My Dragon, we don’t face anything as ridiculously creative as Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and we don’t face anything as emotionally poingnant as Up.

But it’s still good. Just not great. It was perhaps a tad cliche.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217209/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012) (anim)

3/5 stars, 7/10 from the both of us.
Native rating: Netflix 3.2/5 stars, IMDB 5.8/10.

A nice coda to the movies & the Roughnecks animated series.

This really opens up possibilities for the story to progress much further than it ever has… But will we ever see anything out of the Starship Troopers franchise again?

After watching all 3 movies, the 40 episodes of the Roughnecks cgi series, and even the shitty anime version — how much more steam can Starship Troopers have?

Time for a reboot?

Hell no, I’d much rather then continue the story further, beyond the realm the books ever went to.

Actually… Instead of making this fucking movie, they should have concluded the final unfinished story arc of the Roughnecks series. In a way, this movie is like spitting in our faces, spitefully saying “we could have finished Rougnecks, but no, fuck you, we’ll make this instead”.

But it’s still better than nothing. And to many, better than Starship Troopers 2 & 3.

But not to us — we LIKED the sequels, especially Starship Troopers 3.

I would like to know more.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2085930/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Treasure Planet (2002)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars (Netflix guess for us=3.1), 6.7/10.

I enjoyed it — though not as much as Carolyn…

…but it was still a Disney KIDS movie, with little adult in it at all.

It was kind of hokey and family and predictable and watered down — no blood during wounds, off-screen deaths only.

Still, I’m glad I finally got around to watching this, and the animation was definitely Disney quality.

Pretty funny that as of 2011, this flim is Disney’s greatest financial loss — still $79M down. Taking 10 years to make it probably didn’t help. And did they really have to censor the fact that the dog (voiced by Niles Crane from Frasier) was the one who gave birth? Too controversial for a male to give birth? C’mon, Disney!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133240/

VIDEO: MOVIE: CARTOON: ANIME: The Secret World of Arrietty aka Arrietty The Borrower aka Kari-gurashiNoArietti (2010)

Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native rating: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix incorrectly guessed we’d rate this lower–3.7/5), 7.7/10.

Hayao Miyazaki FTW!
Almost everything he touches is gold!
Can studio Ghibli do wrong?

This is really good!

Based on The Borrowers, which is something we were utterly unfamiliar with — making it more enjoyable by depriving us of any bullshit rose-colored nostalgia for the “original”.

We actually watched the English (US, not UK) dub with Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and Carol Burnett. Normally we watch Japanese, but we ran into “technical difficulties”.

Carolyn still likes Ponyo better, but not me. I was a bit disappointed with Ponyo, despite really liking it.If I had to rank Miyazaki-involved films in order from my favorite to least, it would probably be:
Howl’s Moving Castle
Princess Mononoke
Arietty
Ponyo
Spirited Away
The Cat Returns (he was just a producer for this one)

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568921/

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Superman vs. The Elite (2012) (animated)

5/5 stars, 9/10 from both of us.
Native rating is 4.0/5 stars, 7.2/10.

Pragmatism clashes with idealism in a battle that is as much about current-world 2012 politics as it is about superheroes.

When the hell did Superman become politically relevant in a post-911 world?

Among other things, Bialya == Libya, and The Elite are pretty much a direct metahpor to the post-911 way of thinking and handling criminals, while Superman represents the pre-911 way of handling criminals.

The so-called Bruce Timm-verse of animated DC comics has been an amazing thing to experience over the past 20 years, but he is only one of 4 executive producers. He didn’t get directly involved with this one, and it has a very different (incongruous to Timm’s direct productions) feel because of that. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Variety is nice.

Seeing a whole new team of superpowered individuals that I’d never heard of was pretty cool too. The character design for Managerie was awesome!

It’s hard to fail us with these animated comic movies. They are a good substitute for the three superhero cartoons we miss the most: Batman:TAS (1990s), Superman:TAS (1990s), and Justice League (2000s).

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2224455/

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: RE-REVIEW: Mind Game (2004)

Clint:::::: 3.8/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.

THIS IS A SERIOUS DOWNGRADE from my previous rating of 5/5 stars, 10/10, after watching it 7 yrs ago in 2005, where I reviewed it on my blog at https://clintjcl.wordpress.com/2005/08/09/best-movie-ive-seen-in-a-long-long-long-time/

… Simply put, I didn’t like this as much as the first time. I wasn’t as impressed by the crazy, style-changing animation as I was the first time around (perhaps).

The film won Japan’s most prestigous anime award, and is pretty inspiring and very unique… But it just doesn’t hold up to a rewatching as well as we’d hoped.

Sucks to have to downgrade from a 10 to a 7! 50% of people who watch this movie give it 9-10/10, so it’s still quite good, and better than 95% of anime out there. Perhaps one’s enjoyment of this movie is based on one’s mood?

Studio 4oC is an awesome studio, though, and I automatically pay more attention to something if “4oC” is attached to it.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0452039/