My favorite Miyazaki's movie is "Princess Mononoke" on a graphical scale. But on a "charming scale", this one is really the best.
Even the Disney movies are not so charming than this movie. Poetic, charming, cute, I can't find the words to describe the good this movie made to me. Miyazaki brings us into the wonderlands of the children, better than "Alice in wonderland" or "Peter pan".
In fact, Miyazaki makes us loving children. In the movie, the children run, shout all time, laugh, cry, and so on. In the real world, I hate this. In normal movies I hate this too. But, here, every actions of the two little girls touch us deep in our heart. We learn to love children's world.
Every one of us will have a smile on this face, from the beginning to the end of this movie.
My favorite scene is the first encounter between Mei and Totoro. It's fun, poetic, and charming. Miyazaki succeeds to make a movie enjoyable for the very little kids (4 y.o.) and for the adult audience. It's very rare to succeed doing that !
In my point of view, war is bad. So I prefer movies which criticize this activity.
This is not the intend of this movie. Nevertheless, I must admit it doesn't contain too much "patriotic-propaganda", like I was fearing it.
Like someone said : it's a "pop-corn movie" with no ideological purposes. Except of course, the soldier's macho friendship as the ultimate life value. In the movie, every soldier is obsessed to be useful and says : "Yes Sarge, I can't fight ! I want to go back to fight !". And the classical "war cliché" (present in every war movie since the 50's) : "Say to my wife I was courageous ! - You will say it to her yourself !" and the soldier dies.
Frankly, where is the originality ? Some say the movie is almost a documentary. Are you kidding ? The historical frame is ejected in one minute after the movie starts. The enemy ? End titles say there were 19 killed US soldiers , and about 1000 killed Somalis. And what this movie shows us about the Somalis warriors ? Nothing ! They are just targets, with no personality, no humanity, they are "objects", like in a shoot-them-up video game. Like the monsters in "Aliens" or "Starship troopers". Soldiers US are the goods, the others are the villains. But the reality is more complex.
Don't misunderstand me ! I'm french, but I'm not giving a judgment about American policy, but about a movie. And the base of this movie is stereotypes. Sometimes, I like stereotypes ! Like everybody. I like "Rambo" (really !) but it's fictional ! And if BHD would have been a fiction, directed by Peter McDonald or Roland Emmerich, I would be OK. But I was waiting a little more from a director like Ridley Scott and more from a movie about a real event.
So it's really a very good action movie, (among the bests, I admit it) but it's not a "great philosophical analysis" about the war or about an historical event.
I know and love all the movies with the famous "Sinbad" (from the Ray Harryhausen time). But I find the recent remakes (TV production) are always boring because off the lack of imagination from the directors.
So I hesitated a long time before watching this one. (above all with a "DISNEY" movie ! I feared to fall asleep.)
But I love this one ! The story is absolutely new, surprising and imaginative. The runtime's movie is short, so no time to bore. The charactere way of talking is really fun and modern, with hilarious quotes. My favourite one is when the Sinbad's ship arrives at the end of the sea, and someone says : "Well, at least, that proves earth is flat !" (LOL !)
Not a masterpiece, but a really good entertainment !
What a disappointment ! Of course, I was ready for that. When I saw : "Walt Disney Home Video presents" in place of "Walt Disney presents", and the fact that the wonderful musical composers of the first "Pocahontas" were not in this movie, I KNEW this sequel will be a disappointment.
But I still hoped the continuation of the beautiful love story between Pocahontas and Smith. <SPOILER ALERT>
At the beginning of the movie, I was glad to see that all characters were still there, even the famous villain Radclif. The new main character John Rolfe, seemed to play "double-game" with John Smith, but I thought he would be just the "good friend". But no ! He becomes the new Pocahonta's lover ! Pocahontas drops his "eternal love" John Smith, who seems now to be a dump adventurer only obsessed by conquering America.
Why Disney had destroyed such a beautiful romantic story ?!!
It's like if Disney have made a sequel called "ROMEO AND JULIET N°2 : THE DIVORCE". !!! Anti-romantic, no ?
Why ? Now, I know why. I found the real story of "Pocahontas" (in Europe nobody knows the real story), and yes, it's true, Pocahontas didn't marry John Smith, but John Rolfe. But the real Pocahontas thought Smith was dead ! And anyway, Disney, since the first "Pocahontas" had decided to modify the real story. Why didn't he continue in this way ? Why to return to the real story ? And maybe, to show us Pocahontas dying of smallpox like the real one did ? (why not after all !)
It's crazy ! "Disney's Pocahontas" was a NEW story, just "inspired" by the true story. So, why boring us now with the "real events" ?!! We don't care ! We just want a beautiful story ! We want romanticism ! Sorry, this movie doesn't give us that. For Disney, it's the greatest mistake he can do.
Yes, of course, the animation are still good, many funny moments, but the conclusion is so sad : Pocahontas drops Smith !
I prefer to forget this, and return viewing to the first "Pocahontas".
Sorry : 4/10 (the ballroom sequence is great and fun)
When this movie came out (in 1995), I thought : "Another one "big stupid kiddy Disney American colonialist propaganda movie" ! Nobody thinks no more about a love story between an Indian girl and a colonialist ! The indians were exterminated by the colonialists ! Not loved by them ! Everybody knows that !"
And I didn't watch such of silly movie, of course ! I'm not a stupid man !
BUT, there's a week ago, the daughter of my sister (9 years old), forgot that DVD in my home. I thought : "Let's see this stupidity, just to laugh at the most ridiculous Disney's movie !"
I watched it. And I cryed. This is the best Disney's movie, and maybe the best movie, I've ever watched !
How can you criticize it ? Have you lost your children soul ?!!
Of course, just after watched it, I thought : "Well, that's good. Better than I thought. But that's all".
But the next day, the song of the old "mother witch" remains in my mind ! I decided to watch it again, and again. Now, I've seen this movie about 20 times in one week. That's incredible, I think I'm a fan !!!!
For me, in general, the worst part of a Disney movie, was the songs. I've always hated them. For the first time, I found the songs were the best part of this movie ! I listened to every songs of this movie, and I think, they are all good, and even, great ! Also the music ! It's an Mozart's opera !
Graphics are good, but the editing is better ! The first encounter between Pocahontas and Smith at the falls is a pure master-piece ! And the movie's references are plenty ! The "3-voices song" of "savages", reminds me the "rumbles" of "West Side Story", and the final "goodbye" reminds me the final of Spielberg's "E.T.".
I don't know if this movie was done "for children", but I know I cry every time I watch it !
Thanks for Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg, Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, and the Disney Company to have kept their "children soul". I was wrong and they were right. And I'm happy of that.
Well, I quit you now, I need to watch this movie again... Goodbye ! :-))
Melting Disney's and Burton's styles (Christmas and Halloween).
In this movie, we find the great style accomplished by Tim Burton in "BeetleJuice", with his musical alter ego Danny Elfman. This is really beautiful.
The characters (I love the mad scientist), the humour, are good and typical from Burton. The plot is also pretty good, Some of it seems to have inspired the "Monsters Inc" (The uglies are all in one world, with reversed values).
Unfortunatly, the Disney's influence spoils the movie. SONGS ! Songs ! Songs ! A lot of songs. Too much of songs ! (boring, despite the fact I love the Elfman's music). And in contrary of "Beetlejuice" there is not a single moment with real fear. It's like "Monsters Inc", only for the kids. But "Monsters Inc", at least, had the good idea to avoid "songs" to reach the adult audience.
The "style" remains the only reason to watch this movie (for an adult). But this is a movie to watch, if you can keep a childhood spirit. Because I think this is more about "Christmas" than "Halloween" !
The logic of a "zombie movie" is not to have a good plot, but to have lot of gore. Like a porno : who cares the script since we watch sex ? But, if we have no sex and no interesting plot, it's really boring.
The plot : A virus transforms deads in zombies. The computer says "These zombies must eat !" . But it doesn't say why they must eat human flesh. And zombies can't eat each other, they need to eat the flesh of the living. So our heroes must fight against them. Ho, I forgot : a monster chases them and he mutates when he eats "fresh DNA" (lol). So, as you see, a very intelligent science plot. (Sorry not to have mentioned "SPOILERS", you'll miss the pleasure to discover this beautiful and unpredictable story).
Let's see now the fun gore : as the movie begins, when the first gore scene is missed (the girl in the elevator), I knew this puritan style will spoil the only good thing of this movie. And I was right ! How many "let's look elsewhere" to avoid a bad scene. "A zombie must be shot in the head" ? Yeah... but in Romero's movies, the head explodes, in this one, there is just a little red spot on the front. It's ridiculous !
Apparently, the director wanted to make an horror movie for the little kids.
So, Okay, if you are a little kid, run to watch this movie ! Otherwise, return to watch "Dawn of the dead" which knows what gore means.
The story is good, but I didn't really care about it. The best I appreciated in this movie was its wonderful graphic style. There is a long time I haven't find a Disney movie simply "beautiful". Despite this "old style", the movie succeeds to give us a good use of modern technologies during the famous great battle.
And more, Disney rarely gives the music to be done by a great composer like Jerry Goldsmith. The music is really good. Of course, we can hear some reminiscence of the "Rambo" music during the great battle, but the main theme is original and impressive.
I don't know if it is a "classic Disney" since it doesn't really use the "Disney design". But I know it's a "rare Disney". So let's enjoy it !
8 out of 10 (the few songs are probably the only weakness of this movie).
The advertisement said : "21 grams : the weight of a soul". So, I was waiting for a fantasy movie about the controversial theories on the "after-death". (A movie like "Poltergeist" or "Brainstorm").
What a disappointment ! The "21 grams theory" is evoked only during the last minute and I must say I don't see any link between this theory and this movie.
In fact, the story is about the relationship between 1/ a man who has been transplanted with the heart of a man, 2/ the wife of his "saver" and 3/ the man who has killed his "saver". The beginning of this story is boring and conventional, but the director have the good idea to use the flash-backs method to give suspense and interest to his story. The flash-backs work like "trailers", and I really was unable to stop viewing the movie !
But when the movie ends, I asked to myself : "So what ? What's the fuzz about the "21 grams" ? What happens to Jack ? Where is the conclusion ? Is Christina forgiving to him ? Is Jack forgiving to himself, and finding the force to live ?...". No answers ! What a frustration !
Well, I'm disappointed by this movie, but only at the very end. During all the movie, I must confess my interest was very high and strong.
That proves a good editing can save a movie !
And that proves also that a good provocative (but stupid) title can bring peoples (like me) to watch a movie they don't use to watch.
This is exactly the kind of story I'd wish to see when I was a kid. Action, horror, lady to save, and so on... SFX are good and surprising. Acting are good (great Geoffrey Bush !) except for Johnny Depp and his character.
His character : a teenage-looking pirate who is SUPPOSED to be an old friend of the father of a man. But the son (Will Turner) looks older than him ! Unbelievable ! And more : this kid-pirate is supposed to have been the great chief of the worst pirates of Caribbean, twelve or twenty years before ! Sorry, I can't swallow that !
It's clear : Johnny Depp is really too young for this part ! I know, it's a sex symbol. But what for ? He's not the one who got the girl at the end ! I think a more mature man (like "Jack Nicholson" for example) would be a better choice.
And what about his make-up ? He looks like a "transvestite", he just missed the lipstick. That's a bad choice, again.
To fight all these bad choices, this poor Johnny overacts loudly to gain credibility. But in vain !
So, for those who can forgets an enormous casting mistake, the movie is pretty good. For those who thinks that a casting mistake can sink a movie, avoid this one.
Since "TOTAL RECALL" and "MATRIX", we can easily predict the "surprises" ("Wow ? Was it real or not ?") of movies talking about "virtual reality".
<SPOILERS> As soon as I saw the little two-head monsters at the gas station, I knew that all the story was a dream. And like it has been said : "Because the movie takes place in a game, we don't really care about what's going on.". I agree. Even the last "surprise" was predictable.
The only unpredictable thing is "Cronenberg style". Bad taste, ugly eroticism, and so on. At each seconds I asked to myself : "what hell Cronenberg will find to surprise us ?". I was not disappointed on that.
But I was in hope of a better story. In that movie, "virtual reality" is again (one more time) a Doomlike arcade game ("bang bang you're dead !"). I'm waiting for a movie which would talk us about "virtual reality" without gunfights (more like "BRAINSTORM" by Trumbull for instance).
In two words : Too classical story, but unusual and great directing. Well, it's not bad. 7/10.
I'm surprised that nobody noticed the religious background. Anyway, that explains why everybody discuss of the scientific values of the movie. Let be clear : There is no scientific plots in this movie ! It's a TALE ! Like "Alice in Wonderland", where nobody thinks to tell us "A rabbit can't talk ! This is a scientific nonsense !"
Who cares the evil capitalistics didn't need to nuke the forrest ? This is just a conventional point of view to build a story, not the center of the story. For me the story talks about a man who becomes mad because of his loneliness, and think he is God.
First, Lowell is alone in a psychologic matter. As someone said : "he's the last man alive, even when his team mates are alive". And I add my own precision : "The last forrest dome, is the last world !". So, Lowell feels very big responsibilities toward this world. He works on it. This forrest becomes his "creation" (Lowell lets the other domes being destroyed, but refuses to let the "evils" touching his own world).
Second, Lowell is so lonely when his team mates are dead, that he creates new friends ! That explains another scientific question frequently asked : Why the drones have no wheels, no real arms and don't talk ? This is because originally, these drones are not robots for protocol ! They are specialized tools to mend the spaceship, that's all. They are "things", not "beeings". But Lowell modifys them. As he says : "Now, you'll work for me guys !". He teached them to become surgeons, poker players, gardeners, and so on... and he gave them a personality and human names. These drones are HIS creation, like the last forrest.
Do you begin to understand where I want to go ? "Eden's gardens", "two creatures".... Mmmm.... A bible genesis alike, no ? (Too bad he didn't name "Adam" and "Eve" his last two drones). And like God, he gave his creation to his creature and disappeared.
So the environementalist theme is not very important, this is the psychological draft of a lonely man who becomes crazy and think (unconsciousnessly) he's God.
The best similar reference to recommend is "DARK STAR" by John Carpenter with a similar ending : "SPOILER ALERT" the lonely computer-bomb finished to think he was God and said "Let there be light !" (hopping to create a world by exploding).
In "SILENT RUNNING", the lack of action scenes is a good thing, because that gives us time to think. "MATRIX", for example, had religious background too, but who cares ? We are flooded with action scenes, no time to think ! (particulary in sequel 2 and 3). So the slow action gives to this movie his beauty. And, after all, "2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY", have no "jumping action scenes" either. It's still a masterpiece.
"SILENT RUNNING" is also a masterpiece. A movie like we'll never see again one.