Thursday, August 24, 2017

your name. | 君の名は。Movie Review

The Pitch

your name. ( 君の名は.) first caught my attention with it's miraculous records on the Japanese Box Office. This anime stayed on the top of Japanese Box Office for 12 non consecutive weekends and was the second largest domestic film in Japan (behind Spirited Away). This movie kept getting mentioned on the Japanese News sites that I frequent and I am curious why did this anime about body switch would fare so well.

Later on, I found out that the director Makoto Shinkai also directed the Garden of Words. Garden of Words was one of my fave anime that I saw in recent years and that made my anticipation for this movie grow even more.

The Plot

Taki, a Tokyo city boy woke up in an unfamiliar room and in a body of a girl. Meanwhile Mitsuha, a teenage girl from a mountain village wished that she living a life of a handsome Tokyo boy instead and got her wish. They soon realized that they are not dreaming and they have been switching bodies intermittently. The problem was that their memories of each other fade away like dreams. They begin to communicate by leaving notes to each other, helping each other tide over the mysterious phenomenon.

As the bright blue comet passes Earth, their body switch comes to a sudden end. Taki tried to call Mitsuha for the first time but wasn't able to reach her. He decides to visit her hometown but he doesn't know his name and his memories are fading away. Will this star crossed lovers ever get to meet each other?

The Perspective

 your name. was an enjoyable anime. It started off as a fun body switch movie that kept me glued to the screen while subtly setting up the foundation for an unexpected twist in the middle of the movie. The twist worked as it accelerated the pace of the anime and the desire to see the two main characters get their happy endings.

But however the final resolution of the movie was a little let down. It came rather suddenly and lacked the grandeur that it seemed to be promising through out the movie. The emotional draw for the two main characters was also slightly weaker than The Garden of Words. It could had been the anime of the year for me but it just lacked something in the end to make it a home run.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Anabelle: Creation Movie Review

The Pitch

I was a fan of The Conjuring but I had very little interest to catch it's spin off, Annabelle. It felt like a cash grab for the company that is behind The Conjuring series. The critical reaction to the first Annabelle movies seemed to confirm my gut instinct about this spin off. I wasn't expecting another prequel to the first Annabelle movie (but it made a lot of money) and I wasn't expecting to hear so many praises for Annabelle Creation (from both the critics and my friend).

The good vibes made me curious about Annabelle: Creation and I heard good things about Annabelle: Creation director's previous movie (Lights Out). You know what they say ... Curiosity kill the cat.

The Plot

A doll marker and his wife lost their daughter in a tragic accident. 12 years later, they invite a group of young orphans girls and their nun from a shuttered orphanage into their home.  They soon realized that there is something sinister going on the new place and the doll marker's creation.

The Perspective

Annabelle Creation was a freaking disappointment. If this is an improvement over its predecessor, I am staying the hell away from the first Annabelle movie.

What went wrong with Annabelle Creation?

For someone who watched one too many scary movie, it was plodding along with cliche scare scenes and this movie seem genuinely afraid to tell a good origin scare story. Annabelle Creation was skimming through it's origin that when it was finally revealed, it was short and failed to have any impact. In fact the movie felt like it was just created to snitch some scare scenes together and they had to hasty slap a  origin story to this demonic doll saga. Or perhaps they want the audience to buy another ticket to watch another prequel to the Annabelle series.

The next issue I had with this movie was how the characters were handled in this movie. The characters felt disposable and it's really hard to root for them or feel for them when they are in a terrible situation. The six orphan girls could be reduced to two and the movie could focus on making them relatable (instead of setting up another meaningless scare scenes with one of their character).

Last but not least, I been told that Annabelle Creation was "wickedly terrifying" and it "manages to conjure some effective scares". The cliche scare scenes were quite boring for me. They offers no genuine surprises or decent scares at all. They were predictable and I found myself listening to the next boo scare. For a real scary atmosphere in a horror movie, it's still the Conjuring and Insidious that tops that category in recent horror movies.   


Annabelle: Creation (2017) on IMDb