kennethd-3

IMDb member since December 2008
    Lifetime Total
    5+
    IMDb Member
    12 years

Reviews

Hoshi o ou kodomo
(2011)

Flawed but with immense beauty
Since Hoshi no koe I've been a big fan of Makoto Shinkai and I always find his movies so beautiful that make him the only anime producer who is comparable with Miyazaki Hayao. For his latest work "Children who chase voice from deep below", the story settings and the characters are quite different from his previous works. The idea is likely inspired by the many old myths like the story of Orpheus, who traveled to the underworld and by his music softened the hearts of Gods. Yet "Children who chase voice from deep below" keeps on the track with Shinkai's previous works in discussing loneliness of human beings, but unlike "5 centimetres per second", with hope and love this time.

The music, once again, is perfect and the scenes are delicate and tender. When watching this you find yourself immersed in a dream-like situation where the sky and the trees and the world are of the beauty that far beyond your imagination. Shinkai created perfect environments, the moving wind and the colourful insects, every single detail in every single scene is fantastic. The plot line is a romantic imagination. It portrays a journey of finding hope and love after the every loss throughout our life. It's a reflection of life with fantasy elements. To recover from immense sorrow and stand up again and look forward to the future. I love the message the movie brought to me. However, the story does have flaws. The pace of some parts is too slow while of some parts is too fast. It can be explained by looking at the length of the movie, which is of the longest in Shinkai's works. And obviously, he still has to look for better ways to deal with a "long" movie. Besides it is a pity that Shinkai abandons his talent on talking about modern city life but tries to give a tribute to Miyazaki Hayao by duplicating many elements in Ghibli's anime movies. I have this impression because while watching I thought of Miyazaki Hayao's works like "Princess Mononoke" and "Laputa" in several occasions, yet not as good as those works. A good try with rooms for improvement. After all,however, I still love this film. It reminds me of the beauty in our life. I am particularly touched while on the edge of death the girl Asuna recounts every person in her life she is loved by and says, "After all it was only because of my loneliness." It moves me so much that how our every day will be if we treasure the people still beside us instead of looking for someone or something that is so abstract and beyond our reach. If you love Shinkai, go watch it. It is, definitely, a touching piece for all of us.

Never Let Me Go
(2010)

Beautiful Portrait of Love and Life
Haunting and dark, but at the same time the most beautiful and delicate artwork I've watched since Million Dollar Baby. The novel is a modern classic, considered by many as one of the best books in the past decade. Adaptations of literary pieces are definitely a challenge for directors and screenwriters. Norwegian Wood disappointed me, so did Love in the Time of Cholera, but not this time, Never Let Me Go by Mark Romanek. As a fan of the novel, while watching the movie, I do agree that somehow the first half of the film ran too fast while the relationship between the characters was portrayed in a too-brief way. However, when finished seeing the film, I was stunned in my seat, with tears rolling down on my face. How can people blame such a beautiful visual poetry and claim that it's empty and full of gaps??? The perfect casting has to be given a tribute. Carey Mulligan is undoubtedly the most decent actress who could win the Oscar one day, having matureness and sadness on her face that never match her child-like look. Music is soft and depressing, make me rush to HMV and look for the original soundtrack. Above all, what move me in the deepest way is the beautiful quietness in the movie. The quiet passion truly means to be human. Forget the novel, think of this as an original, it could easily be one of the best films in this year.

She, a Chinese
(2009)

Fine Enough for a Prize
This international film festival award winner did not disappoint me, not particularly impressive but still inspiring. The film is a beautiful and delicate work. It revolves the story of a Chinese girl who moved from one place to another and tried to pursue something invisible and uncatchable. I read Xiaolu Guo's books before. Guo truly got talent in portraying and conveying the sense of loneliness deep inside the hearts of modern people. I love movies, every movie to me is a unique journey to different places. And this time Xiaolu Guo took me travelling from city to city, letting me have reflections on my own identity and a thorough thinking of what I am running after. The film covers quite a lot of topics, from love to hate, discussing what really matters to us, what a life we are looking for. Having the story developing in a believable way is a tribute to the director and actors. Huang Lu gave a solid performance this time, successfully making the character alive in audience's mind.It is a film about people and people, about people and city. Not a must-see one, but won't regret if you watch it.

Kirschblüten - Hanami
(2008)

A Beautiful And Delicate Poem About Mourning
I will not say 'Cherry Bloosoms' perfectly flawless. The first half of the movie is a bit too plain, beautiful though. It is easy for audience to find traces of 'Tokyo Story' (Ozu's 1953 work) in the film. The filmmaker attempted a large amount of 'pillow shot'. Audience may feel like she was trying to replicate what Ozu did. It may not be a bad idea,especially young generation nowadays has not even spent a minute on watching old films like Ozu's work. But to me, 'Tokyo Story' is too perfect, and the movie I am talking now is not anywhere near it in the case when both of them are critiquing the relationship between parents and grown-up children.

Yet I did experience a sublime journey throughout the course of this beautiful film. What really moved me is the second half of the movie- its delicate description on 'mourning', on how a man copes with the mourning with all kinds of valuable memories of the dead. Beyond doubt the filmmaker did a great work on conveying the feeling of loss. The character'Yu' is impressive enough I still thought of her face that night after watching the movie. She is not the kind of girl with a beautiful face. We the audiences know nearly nothing about the character, but she really hit my heart in a deep way. She is lonely and sad, easily grabs the heart of audiences.Thanks to the soundtrack also. The film is soft, slow, sad, but at the same time it taught me a lesson. To treasure every single person besides me, and to pursue what really matters to me, as can life be ever predicted.

Ai no mukidashi
(2008)

Stunning and incredible artwork
Even after the light on I cannot utter a single word in the theatre. I clutched my heart and it beat incredibly fast. There is no point one should criticize an artwork like Love Exposure, with all elements a good film should consist of. Perfect plot, stunning music, touching ending. I cannot help crying on the last scene. This is just a pure love movie. So true. A romance in a crazy and nonsense world. Sion Sono is simply a genius. He shows us how a movie can take audiences to an amazing journey. I am not going to write a formal review on the movie. There is no way I can sum up the movie with words but never can I say one day I would forget the movie by a bit. This is one of the best movies I've ever watched, if not the best. Go watch it! You will be moved, definitely.

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