recent movies

Little Miss Sunshine

    This movie is awesome. It's National Lampoon's Vacation if you replaced the poop jokes with existential angst and suicide. Very dark, very funny, great pacing. Go see it immediately.

Dark Water

    God dammit, it was The Ring, The Grudge, and a dozen other American remakes of Japanese movies that all have the same plot, villain, and look! What the fuck! And how do I keep getting suckered into watching these?

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds

    This movie is kind of hard to describe; there's a small village living on the edge of a toxic wasteland protected by these hundred-foot-tall semi-intelligent potato bugs. Our heroine has to fend off an invasion from a neighboring kingdom in order to prevent the giant bugs from wiping out both sides. It's deeply weird, but very cool.

    IFC played all of Miyazaki's movies a couple months ago, so I've been slowly working my way through the ones I hadn't seen. Nausicaä is my favorite so far, but I've yet to see one of his that wasn't great. (For calibration purposes: I think that almost all of the anime that I've ever seen has been relentlessly terrible. It's very rare that I see one that I like.)

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25 Responses:

  1. mackys says:

    Nausicaä is my favorite so far, but I've yet to see one of his that wasn't great.

    Have you already seen Howl's Moving Castle? That's ranked highly in my personal Miyazaki scale.

    • anti_tim says:

      For a tissue bonanza I highly recommend Grave of the Fireflies.....

      • mackys says:

        note that although Grave of the Fireflies was produced by Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki's studio, this movie was not a product of the mind of Miyazaki, and it shows. Directed by Isao Takahata, the other Ghibli master who specializes in personal scale and minute detail, the visual style might be familiar, but Kiki's Delivery Service this is not, and you should brace yourself before you start watching.


        I heard about an anime club that advertised free candy for anyone who could get through GotFF without crying... the candy was the same kind that the kids in the movie had.

      • Grave of the Fireflies didn't even make me flinch, but Howl's Moving Castle, holy crap. I was all BOO HOO A BLOO BLAH BLOO BLOO

    • jwz says:

      Haven't watched that one yet.

    • benediktus says:

      i really liked the industrial-revolution-style of castle in the sky. same is with steamboy by otomo (also highly recommendable).
      porco rosso is strange, but somehow cool.... in a pigs-can-fly way. kiki's delivery service is caries-sweet... heidi-flavoured. nevertheless arsene lupin sucked.

      also grave of the fireflies always gets me drowned in tears...

  2. agentcooper says:

    Dark Water: the original (2002) version is excellent, and well worth Netflixing.

    • jwz says:

      Does it include a 9-year-old drowned-little-girl ghost with her hair in her face? If so, I've seen that movie like six god damned times and I'm never watching it again!

      • agentcooper says:

        I'm just saying - it was extremely well-done. True horror. But I feel your pain.

      • panarchist says:

        I even saw this subgenre being described as "hair horror".

      • taffer says:

        We (my wife and I) thought the Japanese Ju-on (The Grudge) was much better than the remake, even though they were nearly identicle. We still haven't figured out why.

        As for Dark Water, we found both versions equally "meh". We had the same, "WTF, Japan, why do you fear kids so and how many damn movies are you going to make about it?" reaction.

        Didn't find The Ring scary at all (a bit boring, actually), and The Ring 2 was pretty pointless. We haven't tracked down a copy of Ringu yet to see if it's any better in the original version.

        I want Hollywood to pay some writers who have actual ideas, instead of remaking shit, regardless of the source. Surely there are talented writers out there with their own ideas/visions/stories.

    • starjewel says:

      So far, I've preferred all of the originals... the remake of Dark Water seemed much more like a drama at times than a horror.

  3. phs says:

    If you're open to graphic novels, I'd recommend reading the Nausicaä one. Miyazaki's art is exquisitely detailed, and like most source novels it's better and more detailed than the movie. (The movie is a heavily modified version of parts of books 1, 2, and 6 of the manga.)

    • figg says:


      • arn says:

        Thirded. After reading the graphic novel I had trouble understanding the movie, as it misses quite a lot of the story.

        • roterkater says:

          ...and what's great about the manga is that it consists of intensely detailed pen and ink drawings rather than a more polished color/photoshopped sort of look; very personal, quirky, and gorgeous. i haven't enjoyed a work as much before or since this one...

  4. nelc says:

    I hear tell that Miyazaki's working on an Ursula K. LeGuin story at the moment. I can't wait!

  5. matrixhax0r says:

    How did you like a scanner darkly?

  6. aylan says:

    just saw little miss sunshine last night. i don't think i've laughed that hard in ages!

  7. cacepi says:

    And how do I keep getting suckered into watching these?

    Because there was an outside chance of seeing Jennifer Connelly's boobies, that's why.

  8. taffer says:

    Nausicaä is freakin' awesome, I've loved that movie ever since I saw it in the late 80s. I've got a bunch of black and white graphic-novel bits of it from the original(?) English print run in the late 80s/early 90s, never managed to track down all the ones I'm missing...