Movie Review: Ponyo

Hello dear readers and watchers, welcome back to my third review of a Studio Ghibli movie.

I started this journey a few weeks back with my review of Spirited Away, and continued last week with My Neighbor Totoro.

I plan on reviewing a new Studio Ghibli movie every week until I no longer enjoy it, so if you have a favourite movie of theirs you want me to watch and review, let me know in the comments, or shoot me a message on social media.

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Title: Ponyo
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Rating: ★★★☆☆

During a forbidden excursion to see the surface world, a goldfish princess encounters a human boy named Sosuke, who gives her the name Ponyo. Ponyo longs to become human, and as her friendship with Sosuke grows, she becomes more humanlike. Ponyo’s father brings her back to their ocean kingdom, but so strong is Ponyo’s wish to live on the surface that she breaks free, and in the process, spills a collection of magical elixirs that endanger Sosuke’s village.


Lowering My Standards

I think I started this journey incorrectly. I started with what is often considered the best Ghibli movie; Spirited Away, and then started going down the list.

Spirited Away blew me away, and I haven’t been quite impressed since. I’m not saying Ponyo is bad, I just don’t think it was a movie I would want to watch again.

Others might think this is one of the greatest movies ever made, but the story didn’t do it for me. I was often guessing what would happen before they happened and coming up with better plot points.

Ghibli movies go for very simple stories, so it’s not hard to follow along. They also seem to mainly be focused on coming of age stories for young children, or at least the ones I have seen are.

This can be nice because they’re simple to follow along with, and they are fun the whole family can enjoy, but I guess sometimes they are a bit too simple for me.


Lost in Translation

I’ve read online that Ghibli movies can be watched in its natural Japanese or in your native language and enjoyed to the same extent.

I appreciated that when I watched Spirited Away and My Neighbor, because I was able to multi-task while I was watching the movies.

This didn’t seem to be the case so much with Ponyo. It just seemed like the English language wasn’t as playful and fun as the Japanese language is, or at least it is in my experience.

Also, I haven’t looked it up to confirm it, but I am pretty sure Liam Neeson was in this movie and that kind of threw me off. Maybe I am paranoid, but it felt weird to have a man who has killed hundreds of people in other movies play a cartoon character.


Beautiful Artwork

Though I found the story a bit lacking, I loved looking at the artwork. If Ghibli did nothing right, they definitely know how to match their visuals with the story.

It’s almost as if the story is written around the artwork, not the other way around.

Ponyo was colorful, playful, and happy, which is how most would probably describe the movie.


Final Thoughts

I didn’t dislike Ponyo at all, I just found it a bit predictable and boring. If I had watched it when I was a kid, maybe I would think differently, but as a mid-twenties adult, it was too childish for me.


What did you think of Ponyo, and what Ghibli movie should I watch next? Let me know in the comments!
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2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review

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Title: 2001: A SPace Odyssey
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Hello sci-fi lovers, I hope I don’t ruin your day today. Since I reviewed the book of this movie earlier this week, I thought it would make sense to review the movie.

Well…I regret this decision 100%

To sum up this entire review in one sentence, this movie was BORING!

I read the book, very recently, so I know what happens pretty much every minute. I know the story that should appear on screen, I know how exciting it could be.

The problem is that there is too much happening, but at the same time, nothing happens.

Shots linger far too long. There’s probably half the movie that could be cut out because a shot that should be 10-15 seconds lingers for two minutes. It’s not even done for cinematic purpose, no cool acting moments, nothing. They’re just boring shots that hang for far too long.

Keir Dullea in a scene from the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, 1968. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)

The story itself was fine. It followed the book as well as it could, and didn’t skip the good stuff.

I think the story in general is lacking. I wanted more of a struggle with HAL, I wanted there to be tension, but there wasn’t.

I’ve found out there are other Space Odyssey books, so maybe there is more depth to the storyline.

The acting wasn’t amazing, but I’ll allow it because it is more than 50 years old.


I tried imagining that the reason the movie is so boring is because it was made so long ago, but I don’t think thats the case.

I just think that there wasn’t enough of a story to be adapted to a feature length film, and Kubrik wanted to show off the “cool new space movie” to people by prolonging shots.

I wish I could have experienced it back in the day, with a fresh perspective, but I don’t get that luxury.

Maybe it was the visual marvel I imagine it to be, or maybe not. It’s hard to say.

What I can say is that I was disappointed with the movie.


What did you think of 2001: A Space Odyssey? Maybe I am just the outlier that hates the movie. Let’s talk about it in the comments or on the social media the kids love these days.
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Movie Review: Leap Year

Hello movie lovers. It’s February 29, so what movie is better to review than Leap Year!

It made sense to me, so its making sense to you too, but don’t get your hopes up about this review, because I really didn’t enjoy this movie at all.

The entire premise of this movie is the only reason that it’s interesting at all. It’s another Rom-Com, and even that isn’t entirely true.

I didn’t see a sense of romance in this movie. I didn’t see or feel the love, the passion, the chemistry.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I wasn’t in the right head space, or maybe its because I’m really not a fan of Amy Adams, but I didn’t like this movie.

That has nothing to do with how predictable it was too.

As soon as Anna meets Declan, you know they are going to fall in love. Why would she propose to the man she’s been in love with for the past four years?


It’s my biggest issue with Rom-Coms. Too often the people in love are really just infatuated with each other.

They would make a terrible couple, but because they had moments of flirting and a bit of sexual tension.

I don’t have much else to say honestly. I could talk about casting, pick apart the plot, examine the acting skills, but I honestly don’t care to.

I disliked this movie so much that I don’t even want to spend more time on it than I need to.


Let’s not talk about Leap Year any more. Instead why don’t you suggest some other Romantic Comedies that I should watch that are actually good!

Let me know in the comments, or shoot me a message on social media.
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Manga Review: Pygmalion

Title: Pygmalion
Story & Art: Chihiro Watanabe
Rating: 4.5 / 5

At the National Local Mascot Festival, children all across Japan can meet their favorite local mascots. But as the festival gets underway, it becomes clear that what’s inside these costumes aren’t people – they’re something much darker, with a taste for human flesh. Amid the chaos spreading through the entire country, Keigo Ayahara, his little brother Makoto, and his friend Ako must now fight for their survival and their humanity.

I found out about Pygmalion from a fellow book blogger; Brunette Reads, and I am so happy that I found it.

It’s a gory, horrific, fast-paced thrill ride that keeps readers hooked enough to fly through its 19 chapters in one sitting.

It’s very short, like I said its only 19 chapters, and each chapter can probably be read in about 5-10 minutes, depending on how long you want to look at the artwork.


The story is pretty simple, and with only 19 chapters, there are no moments that feel out of place or part of a side story.

We follow Keigo Ayahara as he fights for survival in this now mass murdering mascot world.

That’s the brilliant part of the story too. We get very few moments that don’t follow Keigo or his group, because this story isn’t supposed to be about the entire world, or all of Japan where it is taking place. The story is meant to focus on one guy, and what he discovers and goes through during the killings.

I’m glad this story was so short, because I didn’t want a word-wide story. I didn’t want a huge world-ending survival story that takes hundreds of chapters to be resolved. I wanted a quick, down in the dirt story.


If you can handle kids being exploded into bits, heads being ripped off, and men being impaled by a giant mascot …thing… then this is the manga for you.

It hasn’t been turned into an anime yet, and I’m not sure it ever will, but I think living its life as a manga is worth it.

The artwork fits well with the story too. It’s scary, without being nightmare inducing. It’s graphic, without being sickening. It’s detailed, without being complicated or busy.


Overall, Pygmalion is a great read if you don’t mind the gore. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re a manga fan.

What manga have you enjoyed recently, I’m always looking for more to read. Any suggestions? Let me know in the comments or on social media.
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Movie Review: 1917

Hello movie lovers, I hope you’ve seen this movie, because if you haven’t then you’re definitely missing out.

During World War I, two British soldiers — Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake — receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades — including Blake’s own brother.

I saw 1917 in theaters with my brother and dad, and I wish I had seen it sooner. It is a fast-paced thrill ride.

As you all know, I am a history buff, and love a good true story movie from the 20th century.

I find them interesting and riveting, and that’s not even to speak of the historical significance to the story.

This movie isn’t about the conflict between good and evil, it’s not about a soldier’s struggle in the heat of a major battle, or their fight for survival behind enemy lines.

It’s not like a lot of other war movies, because it is the two soldiers we follow on their race against time.

I heard this movie being compared to Saving Private Ryan, and I definitely agree. It has the same sense of stress and anxiety throughout the movie. It builds up, slowly, over time. It has moments of fleeting, and it has moments that hit you harder.


The thing that jumped out at me within minutes of this movie starting was the camera work. The entire movie looked like it was shot in one attempt.

I know that’s not true, but the way it was edited to look like it was one attempt really helped tell the story.

It’s almost poetic how perfectly the camera work fits into the movie itself.

These two soldiers only have one shot. One chance to make it across battlefields to warn their allies of their impending doom. One misstep, one wrong action, one hesitation could mean that nearly 2,000 troops die in a pointless assault.

That’s why the camera work is so fitting. The one shot so perfectly captures the journey they are taking to warn their allies.


People have been raving about how brilliant this movie is, and there are moments that I agree are gorgeous.

Some shots of the two of them running from a plane, running across a mortar hole, or traveling through an abandoned city using only the light from flares to find your way around.

These moments are breathtaking and it makes sense as to why the movie has such high praise.

There is one major issue I have with the movie though, and that is the ending.

I felt so unsatisfied with how it ended.

Not to spoil the ending, but what happens doesn’t evoke the emotions I think it intended to.

It felt empty and I didn’t really care. It didn’t have that emotional punch that I was hoping for.


Have you seen 1917, what did you think about it? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
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Movie Review: Ready Player One

Hello dear movie lovers, welcome to a Movie Review of Ready Player One. The book was written by Ernest Cline in 2011, and released in 2018 as a movie.

After the death of James Halliday, the creator of the virtual reality world, his pre-recorded message reveals the hidden fortune, which makes Wade Watts, a teenager, embark on a quest.

An action, adventure Sci-fi movie is something I will usually want to watch, and Ready Player One was on my list for a while.

I heard good things about it after it came out, but I kept pushing it back because I was never in the mood for it.

Well past me, I am blaming you for missing out on this movie, because it was truly something amazing.

At first, it was a movie I threw on in the background, but it didn’t take long at all before I was hooked.

The story: above average.
The nostalgia: awesome.
The Special Effects: jaw dropping.

Ready Player One’s story isn’t something new or overly interesting. We see the hero and his allies going on a journey to find the ultimate treasure.

We’ve seen the story before, and we will see it again and again. It’s not a bad story at all, but its not ground breaking.

Wade Watts dives into the Oasis to find the treasure left behind by a tech mogul. The treasure in question: shares equalling half a trillion dollars and complete control over the virtual reality world the Oasis.

It was an interesting enough story to keep me hooked, and I think that was all the movie needed; a simple story that is easy enough to follow.

Now let’s get to the nostalgia, because that was on a whole new level.

Some of it went over my head, because I was only a small kid when the movies would have come out, or I don’t get the same feeling of nostalgia as others when The Shining is referenced.

There was still plenty of references that I did understand, and many that were made about modern geek interests like Overwatch and Halo.

It was cool seeing childhood interests in a modern sci-fi movie being used in different ways. Whether it was the Delorean from Back to the Future, the Iron Giant, or even something simple like a Rubik’s cube.

Those were some of the more obvious call backs, but there were plenty of frames in the movie where you could pause it and see a half-dozen different “geek culture” references.

I’m sure someone has gone through the movie frame by frame to see all the nostalgic references, and I’m sure there are too many to count.

The visual effects were also something to be amazed by. When we are in the regular world, the effects were minimal but they were present as they are in any movie.

It’s when we got to step inside the Oasis that the effects took over.

Every inch of the screen was covered in special effects, and every inch looked spectacular.

The sheer number of different character designs, the environment, and the overall effects and feel to the movie were inspiring and beautiful.

I don’t know what beat it in the awards shows in that year, but this movie was more than worth it.

I mean it must have taken a lot of man hours to do each scene, and the movie is over two hours long.

As much as I enjoyed the effects, the ones that really stood out to me were the moments where it was entirely computer generated; like the cars being built around the players, the mecha-godzilla vs. Gundam fight scene, and even the player’s displays that would pop up.

Overall, I recommend this movie to anyone who likes an action movie and is older than 5 years-old. It is fun, exciting, and full of a lot of “ohh look its the ninja turtles” moments.

Did you enjoy Ready Player One? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or message me on social media.
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TV Show Review: Chernobyl

Hello again dear watchers, and welcome to another TV show review. This week I am going to take a look at Chernobyl, a 2019 HBO original that was both awe inspiring and dreadful at the same time.


I watched Chernobyl over a number of months, which didn’t affect my review in any way, other than maybe benefiting it.

I knew the general story of Chernobyl because of being a history nerd, or at least I thought I knew about it.

It only took one episode, but I quickly learned how much I didn’t know about the event. I sat there with a sense of anxiety in my chest that I had never felt before. Even though I knew things ended up fairly okay after the event, I was stressed and worried over what was happening.

Most “based off of a true story” shows or movies are good because you probably haven’t heard of the true story, so it’s all new to you. In Chernobyl’s case, it’s a true story that I had heard about, but the show still managed to make me feel stress and anxiety during some scenes that weren’t that stressful.

That was the biggest reason I kept watching the show (other than my internal need to finish anything I start).

Whoever wrote the scripts for Chernobyl, my hat goes off to you because you did a fantastic job.


There was one emotion that I never felt during any of the six episodes, and that was happiness.

There was not one moment in the show that I was happy something had happened, or didn’t happen, and I think that was intentional.

There was nothing happy about that event, and the show did a good job of making viewers feel anything but.

There was moments of relief, where a big threat was overcome, but I wasn’t happy about it per se, because there was so much more going on that was awful.

The whole season you just feel a sense of dread hanging over you because of the pain, suffering, and death that is happening around the characters.

People are sent into areas that should kill them in an instant, others are climbing onto rooftops, knowing they will likely die, and pilots fly over radiated smoke, all right before your eyes.


I think what makes part of the show so dreadful, but captivating, is that I didn’t quite understand what radiation could do to someone.

I knew it could be harmful, and cause countless forms of mutations, diseases, and who knows what other health problems, but I never really understood the scale or the science to it.

Reading articles and watching videos after the fact, I know that what the show portrayed is different than what actually happened.

People didn’t really turn into fleshy goop people, but that’s what people who were involved with Chernobyl perceived them to be.

It was a terrifying event that nobody had ever seen before, and to a lot of people, the worst thing they had ever experienced.


Overall, I loved the show, and there wasn’t a whole lot wrong with it. I could nit-pick about small things here and there, but my only real issue was that it was in English.

I didn’t want British actors who looked like they were Russian, I wanted Russians that were speaking the language. I wanted to read the subtitles, I wanted to be submerged into the story more fully.

I’m not sure if that would have made the show better, worse, or not changed anything, but I think that the story deserved it.


Did you enjoy Chernobyl? Have you seen it yet? If not I definitely recommend it. If you want to talk about it, hit me up in the comments or follow me on social media!
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