Author Topic: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon  (Read 23493 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #75 on: December 05, 2015, 06:03:53 AM »


Night on the Galactic Railroad (Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru)
Year of Release: 1985
Directed By: Gizaburo Sugii
Starring: Mayumi Tanaka, Chika Sakamoto
Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Overview:
Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Giovanni, whose life was filled with hardship. He toiled late into the night, caring for his ill mother, and he was scorned by the other children. But Giovanni's life is about to change. As he gazes into the starry sky, a mysterious galactic train appears! Giovanni is about to embark on a magical adventure through the Milky Way!

My Thoughts:
This is a beautiful, traditional hand-drawn animated film.  It's a film that rewards patience and contemplation, a film of quiet moments, friendship, and philosophy rather than action and adventure.  It is definitely not for those with a short attention span.  Some might say that it's not for children ... even though it's a children's film.  I'd disagree, because I think we don't give kids enough credit  either for being able to sit still or for grasping tough concepts.  This is a film about death, and as such it has a lot to say about life.  Highly recommended as a masterpiece of anime, but it's a slow, sad, beautiful film, so be prepared for that.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #76 on: December 07, 2015, 05:23:04 AM »


Watership Down
Year of Release: 1978
Directed By: Martin Rosen
Starring: John Hurt, Richard Briers, Michael Graham-Cox, John Bennett
Genre: Drama

Overview:
With this passion project, screenwriter-producer-director Martin Rosen brilliantly achieved what had been thought nearly impossible: a faithful big-screen adaptation of Richard Adams's classic British dystopian novel about a community of rabbits under terrible threat from modern forces. With its naturalistic hand-drawn animation, dreamily expressionistic touches, gorgeously bucolic background design, and elegant voice work from such superb English actors as John Hurt, Ralph Richardson, Richard Briers, and Denholm Elliott, Watership Down is an emotionally arresting, dark-toned allegory about freedom amid political turmoil.

My Thoughts:
You know, I mentioned to two of my co-workers that I planned to watch this film over the weekend, and both remembered it vividly as being "fucking terrifying." I suppose it could be. It doesn't pull any punches. The world is harsh, brutal and uncaring, and death is a fact of life, and it comes suddenly, or brutally, or both. Yet there is also beauty in the world, and with friendship, cleverness, hope and determination you can achieve happiness.

This is a good adaptation of an excellent book. Rosen does move some of the events around, simplify things, eliminate characters and events, and kill off some rabbits that don't die in the novel. Yet he stays true to the characters and spirit of the book, and keeps the essential messages intact. There's a few technical flaws in the animation, but it's beautifully done, too, in a messy, painterly kind of way. It's a film that could only be made in the 70's, there's nothing else like it, and likely never will be.

It's a mature animated film that may not be exactly for children. Yet I wouldn't hesitate to show it to one. I'm likely biased though. Watership Down has been my favorite book since I was 7 years old.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #77 on: December 08, 2015, 04:01:21 AM »


Kwaidan
Year of Release: 1965
Directed By: Masaki Kobayashi
Starring: Michiyo Aratama, Rentaro Mikuni, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiko Kishi, Katsuo Nakamura
Genre: Horror

Overview:
Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Kwaidan features four nightmarish tales in which terror thrives and demons lurk. Adapted from traditional Japanese ghost stories, this lavish, widescreen production drew extensively on Kobayashi’s own training as a student of painting and fine arts. Criterion is proud to present Kwaidan in a new ravishing color transfer.

My Thoughts:
This is a lyrical, poetic piece of horror, if you want to call it horror. It's horror only in the sense of it being stories of ghosts and spirits. The stories are actually tragedies, especially the first two which deal with the loss of love. It's a haunting film, but not a scary one.

It's a film of deep, rich color, in places almost more like a painting than a film. This is an artistic film, a film of elegiac beauty. Yet it is not just an art-house film, it's a film that would appeal to anyone who enjoyed old style horror. I think if you like Vincent Price's horror films you'd enjoy Kwaidan. The only thing I didn't like about the film was the framing story of "In a Cup of Tea."  I wish they had simply removed the section about the writer and gone forward with telling the story of the tea spirit.  Aside from that, excellent film. Highly recommended.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #78 on: December 09, 2015, 05:14:07 AM »


All the President's Men
Year of Release: 1976
Directed By: Alan J. Pakula
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook
Genre: Drama

Overview:
In the Watergate Building, lights go on and five burglars are caught in the act. The night triggered revelations that drove a U.S. President from office. Washington reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) grabbed the story and stayed with it through doubts, denials and discouragement. All the President's Men is their story. Directed by Alan J. Pakula and based on the Woodward/Bernstein book, the film won four 1976 Academy Awards® (Best Supporting Actor/Jason Robards, Adapted Screenplay/William Goldman, Art Direction and Sound). It also explores a working newspaper, where the mission is to get the story – and get it right.

My Thoughts:
Knowing the history here doesn't diminish the power of this film. Though we know the outcome, it doesn't make the film less tense, or make us less worried for the two reporters investigating. Perhaps that speaks of the great screenplay, excellent acting and direction that make this one of the greatest American films. Perhaps it speaks of modern experience of government secrets and conspiracies since Watergate; of watching this film in a post-Manning, post-Snowden, post-black ops & Guantanemo world. Perhaps it's both.

A toast to the tenacity and courage of Woodward and Bernstein, and a highly recommended film.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #79 on: December 11, 2015, 06:14:10 AM »


The Santa Clause
Year of Release: 1994
Directed By: John Pasquin
Starring: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz
Genre: Comedy

Overview:
Superstar comedian and Golden Globe winner Tim Allen shines bright in Disney's magical, larger-than-life hit comedy that People Magazine dubbed "the most playfully amusing, inventive cinematic...fable in several decades!"

Rooftop clatter leads to merry adventure after Santa falls down on the job, and Scott Calvin's son Charlie convinces dad to try on the red suit. Eight reindeer pilot the pair to the North Pole, where they soon discover that by donning the famous suit, dad must now accept all of Santa's duties! Over the next year, a surprised, not-so-jolly Scott grows a Santa-sized tummy and beard, causing friends, family and business associates to wonder if he's lost his marbles. All except Charlie, who thinks his dad is perfectly suited for his new job!

Each well-kept secret of the North Pole is revealed in Disney's hilarious and heartwarming tale that's "destined to become a holiday classic" (New York Post). Now you can unwrap all the magic of the holidays any day of the year!

My Thoughts:
This is a fun, light-hearted film that I can easily see adding to my semi-annual rotation of Christmas films. I was honestly surprised to enjoy this as much as I did. I've never been a big fan of Tim Allen; he's always come off very bland to me. He totally works in a Christmas movie, however! He comes off as an average, basically decent guy with everyday sorts of problems trying to adjust to this increasingly fantastic world he gets sucked into. Family-friendly and easily recommended for any audience.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 3.25/5
« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 06:25:03 AM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #80 on: December 27, 2015, 05:31:49 AM »


Beauty and the Beast
Year of Release: 1991
Directed By: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Starring: Robby Benson, Jesse Corti, Rex Everhart, Angela Lansbury, Paige O'Hara
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Animation

Overview:
Acclaimed and treasured like no other, Disney's beloved modern classic—the first animated feature film in the history of the Oscars® nominated for Best Picture (1991) — is brilliantly transformed to a new level of entertainment through the magic of Blu-ray™ High Definition. The music you'll never forget, the characters who will fill your heart and the magical adventure about finding beauty within all come to spectacular life in Blu-ray. Plus, all-new, immersive bonus features will transport you even further into Belle's enchanted world. So be our guest and join the beloved, independent Belle and the Beast with the soul of a prince as they cast an enchanting spell like never before.

My Thoughts:
It's been a number of years since I've watched this one, and it's still one of the best Disney films. I'll stand by Belle still being one of my favorite Disney princesses as well. While she's pretty, that isn't all that she is and it isn't what she wants to be valued for. She dreams of adventure and doesn't want to be the "little wife." Now, yes, she does say it would be nice to have "someone understand" but that could just as easily apply to having a good friend. For all the talk of "Stockholm Syndrome" with this film, the love story is a lot better than most Disney films - it isn't love at first sight here. Doesn't hurt, of course, that the animation is gorgeous and the character designs are very appealing. Great film.

Bechdel Test: Might pass barely

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #81 on: December 27, 2015, 05:33:28 AM »
OMG!  We did it!!! 
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline dfmorgan

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Re: Within My (Mom's) Lifetime Marathon
« Reply #82 on: December 27, 2015, 07:44:34 PM »
Dave

Life? - Who needs a life when you have anime!

My DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray Collection
My Library
My CD Collection - sorry I use readerware for that and it doesn't have an online component.