Reel Reviews

Film Reviews by a Real Person, Not a Critic

Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi

Title: ???尋?神隠? (Spirited Away)
Year: 2001
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki (original Japanese version); Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Suzanne Pleshette (American version)
Rated: PG

Reel Reviews Rating:

Ah, now I get to review my FAVORITE Miyazaki film 🙂 This will be my pleasure.

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February 15, 2006 Posted by | Adventure, animation, Fantasy, Foreign, Miyazaki Films | 9 Comments

Mononoke Hime

Title: も???姫 (Princess Mononoke)
Year: 1997
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Yoji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yuko Tanaka (Japanese version); Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver (American version)
Rated: PG-13

Reel Reviews Rating:

Unlike the cute and cuddly Tonari no Totoro, Mononoke Hime is much darker and carries a serious message about the delicate but strained relationship between human technology and nature.

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February 13, 2006 Posted by | Action, animation, Fantasy, Foreign, Miyazaki Films, Social Commentary | Leave a comment

Kaze no Tani no Naushika

Title: 風?谷?ナウシカ (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind)
Year: 1984
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Sumi Shimamoto, Goro Naya, Yoshihiko Sakakibara, Ichiro Nagai (original Japanese version); Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, Edward James Olmos (American version)
Rated: PG

Reel Reviews Rating:

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February 8, 2006 Posted by | Action, Adventure, animation, Drama, Fantasy, Foreign, Miyazaki Films, Sci-Fi, Social Commentary | 2 Comments

Merlin

Title: Merlin
Year: 1998
Director: Steve Barron
Starring Cast: Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Martin Short, Isabella Rossellini, Helena Bonham Carter, Rutger Hauer, James Earl Jones
Rated: PG

Reel Reviews Rating:

Technically speaking, this wasn’t an actual movie that came out in theaters, but a made-for-TV miniseries. This translates into about 4 hours of hell for me. However, because my boyfriend foolishly rented it, and because I stupidly watched it, I’m doing this as a sort of public service announcement so you can avoid my fate.

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January 25, 2006 Posted by | Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 7 Comments

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Title: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Year: 2004
Director: Charlie Kaufman
Starring Cast: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet
Rated: R

Reel Reviews Rating:

What if you could erase painful memories from your mind? Is it possible to completely erase someone from your mind? What are the moral implications involved? These are some of the questions posed by this movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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January 16, 2006 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Relationships, Romance | 10 Comments

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Title: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Year: 2005
Director: Andrew Adamson
Starring Cast: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Tilda Swinton
Rated: PG

Reel Reviews Rating:

I haven’t read the books, so I will be basing my review completely on the movie. Then again, I would have done so anyway since I don’t think it’s fair to compare film adaptations to the media of origin (e.g. book, play, TV show).

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January 4, 2006 Posted by | Action, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Film Adaptation | 23 Comments

Blade: Trinity

Title: Blade: Trinity
Year: 2004
Director: David S. Goyer
Starring Cast: Wesley Snipes, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds
Rated: R

Reel Reviews Rating:

Here’s the thing- I LOVE the first Blade movie. It’s so freaking awesome and badass. Wesley Snipes was so cool with that Brazilian kung-fu thing that he does when he’s killing vampires. Even Stephen Dorff was tolerable. Actually, I thought he was great in it. I especially like the scene where Blade is getting his ass handed to him and is crumpled to the floor, and Stephen Dorff’s character is like, “Look at you. You’re a little BITCH.” Man, that was funny.

(I haven’t seen Blade II.)

So when I heard that Blade: Trinity was featuring two other main characters I thought, “What the hell? Blade works alone!” Yeah I know, he has Whistler with him (played by Kris Kristofferson) but Whistler kind of remains in the background most of the time. And when I realized that one of these characters was be played by Jessica Biel, I thought, “Oh shit. Another one of those pretty actresses trying to jump on the asskicking female bandwagon.” Needless to say, I didn’t expect much from the movie. And I’m glad I didn’t.

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December 7, 2005 Posted by | Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi | Leave a comment

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Year: 2005
Director: Mike Newell
Starring Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes
Rated: PG-13

Reel Reviews Rating:

Yes, I finally actually get to review a current movie. I saw this particular one this weekend.

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I have read all the books more than once and am currently trying to collect first editions and first printings of the books. Naturally I get excited when I hear that the latest film adaptation is coming out. It’s cool to see the scenes that I had visualized in my head come to life on the big screen, not to mention the physical representations of beloved characters. But of course, that is also the most difficult and challenging task that faces filmmakers who adapted books for film.

– First and foremost, you have to stay as true to the original book as possible and not alienate/piss off the loyal fans.

– Second, you have to make it appealing enough to attract people who have never read the book and are just interested in seeing a movie.

– Third, since you obviously can’t translate the entire book scene for scene, you have to take great care in keeping in the most important scenes, stories, and characters while removing the ones not necessary to the plot.

With this in mind, it’s kind of tough for me to review this film separate from the book since there are many differences between the two, but I’ll give it a whirl.

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November 28, 2005 Posted by | Action, Family, Fantasy, Film Adaptation | 1 Comment