All entries for Monday 31 December 2007

December 31, 2007

My Day In Review

Today I have mostly been… watching films.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service is the fifth anime film to come out of the Studio Ghibli studio. This was the dubbed version, as opposed to the original Japanese audio, but as it was showing on FilmFour at 1pm this is not wildly surprising0.

Speaking of surprising, this film was certainly that. Having watched some anime previously, I thought I knew what to expect. This was a children’s story with a happy ending, which put it into yet another pigeon hole. Despite my presuppositions, it never strayed into over-sentimentality and there weren’t any vomit-inducingly sweet moments.

I should add the disclaimer that this is the first Miyazaki film1 I’ve (knowingly) watched. If that were not the case, perhaps I would have expected better things of it.

This is a touching film that I wholly recommend to everyone.

Easter Parade

Easter Parade starts with Fred Astaire and Ann Miller’s Broadway stars (Don Hewes and Nadine Hale respectively) breaking a long standing partnership. To prove that he doesn’t need Miller to be successful, Astaire claims he can make a star out of the next dancer he meets. The next dancer he meets is, rather conveniently, Judy Garland’s Hannah Brown.

The plot of the film is a little sparse (though I still found there was enough to keep me going). This is more than made up for, however, by there being 12 numbers (one of them a montage of several numbers) in the 107 minutes of the film.

This was the first of Fred Astaire’s many post-’retirement’ roles. It fell to him as Gene Kelly was injured shortly before filming was to begin. Astaire is, needless to say, incredible in this film. I especially enjoyed his solo dance performance, the very first dance number of the film, “Drum Crazy”.

I also enjoyed Garland’s performance, which was something of a revelation to me, this being the first of her roles I have seen in which she has not been called Dorothy.

I would recommend this film wholeheartedly for musical lovers and, because I love Fred Astaire, probably everyone else as well.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

There’s not really much to be said about this film that hasn’t been said before. I didn’t love this film as much as other people seem to, nor consider it to be as much of a masterpiece though I certainly enjoyed it. However, this suggests to me that I need to give it another chance to sink in when I’m less tired, rather than reflecting negatively on the film.

0 The Wikipedia article on the film suggests that the subbed version is based on the dub script as opposed to the original, so this is perhaps unavoidable without more Japanese lessons than I’m willing to commit to.

1 The second Miyazaki film I intend to see is Princess Mononoke, which is showing at 12:35pm on Channel 4 tomorrow/later today.


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