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Whisper Of The Heart Review


Good
One of Studio Ghibli's strangest productions has to be this, Whisper of the Heart. Not because of any crazy morphing creatures -- though the film has a few of those -- but because of its subject matter. Here's a movie about teen romance, set largely in a library. There are no rakish adventurers, no ghosts, no forest creatures. Just a boy and a girl and only one magical cat to speak of. The film is generally charming, though its love story is strange to the point of inaccesibility: A girl who writes alternate lyrics to "Take Me Home, Country Roads"? Whoa, now that's weird.

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Howl's Moving Castle Review


Very Good
Similar to Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle is a sumptuously illustrated fairy tale with a pro-environment and anti-war slant, though unlike those modern classics, the animé titan's latest suffers from a narrative confusion that bogs down its initially effervescent spirit. A gloriously animated fantasia blessed by familiar Miyazaki hallmarks - vibrant, ethereal artwork, whimsical creatures, a rural world in which mysticism and technology happily coexist - the film (being released in both subtitled and dubbed versions, the latter of which I saw) has a light aura of juvenile romanticism and a manic, tangible physicality that stands head and shoulders above anything previously crafted by the maestros at Japan's legendary Studio Ghibli (including Katsuhiro Otomo's recent Steamboy).

The story of a young girl who, after being changed into an elderly woman by an evil witch, joins forces with a petulant playboy wizard against a nefarious sorcerer, Howl's is akin to a cluttered, cacophonous childhood dream come to life. However, as with dreams, Miyazaki's film is also far-too-often a bewildering jumble of intriguing ideas and ingenious images that never fully coalesce into a moving or compelling whole.

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Green Man 2016 - Live Review

Green Man 2016 - Live Review

Green Man has become a festival season highlight.

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Howl's Moving Castle Movie Review

Howl's Moving Castle Movie Review

Similar to Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle is a sumptuously...

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