Friday, August 26, 2005

Unfair review #2

Went to Howl's Moving Castle at the Film Festival on Tuesday night.

I'm not sure if you know this about me, but I'm fairly new to the Anime (or whatever you young bastards call it) genre. In fact, I was always biased against it, relying solely on what I imagined it to be like. I was particularly annoyed by the terrible animation (i.e. seemingly 1 or 2 frames a second) that is a feature.

Thankfully, a more enlightened and pretentious person forced their Cowboy Bebop DVDs (the series) on me. These are fantastic, and have opened up a whole new world to me.

So, I bought my tickets for HMC and Steamboy (you can read what I thought about that in the previous post) at this year's Film Festival.

I'd sat behind a guy at a film earlier in the week, whose answer to a friend's, "What was HMC like?" was, "Weeeell . . . it looked nice." He then added that Disney had fucked it, particularly with the voice talent, and that the last half was pure Hollywood bullshit.

He was a dick (obviously), although he was at least partly right. HMC looks fantastic! The opening scenes of the lumbering castle are pure CGI magic, and their immediate juxtaposition with a hideously animated scene (of a flock of blob-like sheep) only make them better.

I can't speak for whether Disney shat all over it - by lucky mistaken coincidence, I had booked tickets for the non-overdubbed version.

The last five minutes are most definitely the low point of the film though, in terms of plot at least, but despite being tied up all too neatly and quickly, those few scenes aren't enough to detract from the film as a whole.

The characters in HMC are great - interesting, flawed, contradictory. I tend to compare everything to Cowboy Bebop as it's my first real point of reference, but the characters are similar.

I went into the cinema feeling tired, and expecting something pretty and vacuous, but emerged feeling refreshed, energised and entertained. I think there must be something wrong with me.

1 comment:

afraid said...

Very interesting. I was going to go to this in our Fest, but it was sold out by the time I went to book tickets... bugger. I'll get it when it comes back though.

Studio Ghibli are an enormous animation institution; I recommend My Neighbour Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, The Cat Returns, and Spirited Away.