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  • Howl's Moving Castle 2004

    ★★★½ Added

    Some of Miyazaki's greatest animation in the service of a fairly lame script, with mostly forgettable characters (excepting Calcifer and Turnip), occasionally nonsensical plotting, and a finale that feels like the closing reel of a Spielberg movie compressed into about two minutes ("by the way, did you know that {Redacted} is really {Redacted}? Because surprise!!!!"). Too bad, because this could have been something really special, particularly if Miyazaki had bothered to flesh out the character of Howl, like, AT ALL-…

  • Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? 1989

    ★★★★ Added

    I believe the apt word would be "meditative"- in the "akin to meditation" sense if you're into it, and in the "sleepy" sense if you're not (it took me three attempts to make it through this, mostly since the only time I get to watch movies now is late at night). One graceful note on top of another, and I'd be inclined to go higher on the rating if I felt like I was on the film's spiritual wavelength. Also,…

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  • Oz: The Great and Powerful 2013

    ★★★ Added 1

    This is exactly the kind of movie that seems like it'll be ideal for a Yesterday's Hits-style anthropological assessment in a couple of decades. Those elements that have made this so popular- the wall-to-wall CGI-based spectacle, the four-quadrant-skewing reappropriation of one of the classics of Hollywood cinema- will probably be what makes this look quaint and dated over time. Yet it also promises to be fascinating in a number of ways.

    Most noticeably, this might be the first blockbuster I've…

  • My Neighbor Totoro 1988

    ★★★★★ Added

    While I was out driving today I noticed thousands of dandelions alongside the road, creating a blanket of yellow and green. And while part of me acknowledges that we're supposed to think of dandelions as weeds since they're really not supposed to be in the grass, I mostly just flashed back to a time when it didn't occur to me to think this way, and admired the colors and sights that nature has in store for those willing to look.…