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Showing posts from April, 2015

What We Talk About When We Talk About Great Movies: The 10 Best Films of 2014 - Part II

And here's (finally) part two of my list of the best from last year, along with the full list at the bottom.


5. The Wind Rises - The worst thing I can honestly say about this gorgeous animated feature is that, at 126 minutes, it wasn't long enough. I could get lost in Hayao Miyazaki's final effort for hours and not get bored. The writer-director-animator is a master of whisking us away to new worlds of his own creation, but how fitting that his last masterwork is where we're rooted into the past as Miyazaki tells the story of real-life Jiro Horikoshi as he lives out his dreams of building airplanes, despite them being used for the Imperial Army back in World War II. Every last frame of this film - from Jiro's dreams with fellow designer Giovanni Caproni and his brief romance with Nahoko, to showing the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1932 and his journey to Nazi Germany several years later - is painstakingly beautiful and artfully crafted to within an inch of his life. An…

Is It (the Force) In You?

Sorry for the long absence, but life keeps interfering. There are several things I need to get to (in particular, the end of my 10 best list of last year, reviews of Furious 7, Wild Tales and my guide to what to watch or skip this summer. For now, let's get to the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (due out December 17), which, par the course for J.J. Abrams, hasn't revealed much of anything about the newest installment of the space opera franchise. In fact, the most I know about the story is that it takes place 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi. Basically, Abrams is going back to his "mystery box" shtick again. Hopefully, he doesn't pull another Khan. 


What I can infer from the trailer, is that Abrams and the filmmakers have shot this film to within an inch of their life to please the fanboys (like myself), which might be a good thing. The last time we were this excited to see the Star Wars universe  was in 1999 with The Phantom Menace, and w…