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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Movie Review: Little Women (The Proper One This Time)

Hello dear readers, I have now seen the same movie twice, and have much different opinions on them. Last week, I mistakingly watched and reviewed Little Women (2018) thinking it was the one everyone was going crazy over and I was so confused why Emma Watson wasn’t showing up even though I knew she was in the movie.

It literally took me right until the end till I realized that it was entirely the wrong movie, but once I figured out my mistake, I promised I’d come back for the proper movie review.

Though this movie was a lot longer, I actually enjoyed this movie a lot more, so let’s get into it!

If you’ve seen Little Women, let’s talk about it in the comments, and make sure to follow me on social media for more!
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The March Sisters

I tried my best to keep the 2018 movie out of my head when I was watching this movie. I think I did a good job, but I’m sure I was influenced somewhat.

This movie didn’t have as prominent of a protagonist, but it seemed like Jo was the main character once again. She was going through her struggles as a future author, but I liked that this movie explored all the sisters.

I would argue that Meg and Beth take a backseat to Jo and Amy, but it doesn’t feel forced. We get to explore their individual character arcs as they overlap and separate from each other, and since the movie is about several years of their life, we see them grow up.

SPOILERS HERE. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET SKIP DOWN TO THE NEXT HEADING

Beth dies at the end of the movie, and though she took a back seat this movie, it was a very emotional moment. She dies from an illness, and the emotions are really deep. We feel sad for her, but happy that she still finds a completeness to her life, and I think that’s what really drives the emotions home.

Even though she dies, the March sisters find happiness and completeness to their lives also, and the audience knows that at the end of the day, that is what Beth would have wanted.

SPOILERS FINISHED

The Period Piece

I’m a sucker for a good period piece. I love seeing the women in beautiful, elegant dresses and with proper manners, while the men are dressed to impress and are all proper.

A lot of period pieces are a bit boring though. Because there isn’t a lot of action usually, it can be a bit dull if the dramatic aspects aren’t drawing you in.

I found that Little Women did a good job of keeping me interested. Once I figured out the timelines of the different stories, I was never really bored. It wasn’t the most interesting story, but the strong acting from the lead group working with the beautiful visuals, and detailed story moments kept me interested the entire time.

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The Diversity and Sisterly Bonds

I guess this is more of a credit to the book itself, but partially to the movie also. I found that each of the March sisters were so different from each other, but they also were so obviously sisters.

As someone who grew up with siblings, I know how siblings interact with each other. Each of them had their own interests and had their own dreams in life that they wanted to pursue, but at the end of the day they were there for each other and supported each other.

I haven’t read the book, and I probably won’t at this point, but this movie probably did a wonderful job of adapting the book to the big screen.


What did you think of Little Women 2019? Let’s talk about it in the comments, especially if you’ve read the book!
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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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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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Movie Review: Rise of Skywalker

Hello my dear readers. Since I was lucky enough to go see the new, worldwide sensation that is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker last night, I thought I would give you a review of it this morning.

Obviously, as it is just released in theaters, there is a SPOILER WARNING in effect!

If you don’t want to read spoilers about what happens in the movie, leave now. You continue reading at your own risk.


Going into Episode 9 of the Skywalker Saga, I didn’t have high hopes for the ending. Episode 1, 2 and 3 were good for story purposes, but not very good movies. Episode 4, 5 and 6 were good overall. Episode 7 was good, but just a rehash of 4…and 8 was just pointless in my opinion.

I had lost hope in the Star Wars world. There were so many things that just went wrong through all the movies that I didn’t really care any more.

Honestly, I think my biggest problem with the Star Wars world was the Jedi…but that’s a story for another day.


I was pleasantly surprised by Episode 9 though, and I have to say I enjoyed it thoroughly.

We know some time has passed since Episode 8, and Rey has grown stronger in the force. She is being trained by Leia, who finally has a reason for her Force Powers.

The Resistance is fighting the First Order, who has just received a message from the thought long-dead Emperor Palpatine.

We all know what needs to happen, we just don’t know how they are going to happen yet.


Well, some things might come as a surprise, while others might not.

I remember turning to my brother a few times during the movie pointing out different turn of events, and I can say that about half of them were right, while half of them were things that would have been a lot cooler than what the movie did.

For the focus of this review though, I want to talk about three different moments that made the movie good, before giving you a few issues I had with it.

The three topics are:
1. Kylo
2. Jedi
3. Po


Kylo has been the best part of the new trilogy. He is constantly at war with himself, battling between the Light side and the Dark side of the force.

Well he finally comes back to the light, and in that change of his internal feelings, he finally overcomes Darth Vader, the man he strived to be on the Dark Side of the Force.

He turns on the Emperor and the Final Order, helping Rey defeat him, before bringing her back to life.

Kylo wanted nothing more than to be the next Darth Vader. A true beacon of evil. Darth Vader couldn’t bring back his loved one from Death, which was a major catalyst to his turn to the Dark side. Kylo, in his pure act of selflessness, gives his life for Rey, bringing back his love from Death, something Vader could never do.

I like to think this is an irony in the Force. The act of bringing someone back from the dead is a selfish act, bringing them back to live beside you. It is a very Dark side desire, but it is only in the selfless act of the Light side, giving your life for another, that can truly bring them back.


For the Jedi as a whole, I disagree with what a lot of them believe in. You’re not supposed to have attachments, or feelings, or possessions. There is sense in their beliefs, but their beliefs are unreasonable.

The Sith belief in anger and hatred takes an opposite viewpoint, but theirs is also wrong.

What’s nice is that we get Rey’s way of the Force, and of being a Jedi. She hates herself for using the Dark side, but doesn’t follow the beliefs of the Light side.

She seems to find a sense of balance between the two, with more of a focus towards the Light if anything.

Plenty of people want the Grey Jedi to be real, and Rey would be a candidate if there was ever one.

She isn’t raised under the normal conventions of Jedi, and it is because of that, that I enjoy her beliefs so much. She’s not held to their strict rules, and the Jedi she experiences during the movie don’t force her either.

They understand what has happened, they understand what things have become, and they guide her to the path she needs to go.


Finally Po. I hated Po until this movie. He was arrogant, selfish, and not a very smart commander in the Resistance. In any normal army, he would not be given much responsibility, but he is acting General when Leia dies halfway through the movie.

He finally understands his what it takes to win, to survive, and to lead. I wouldn’t say he makes or breaks the movie, but he is a nice added touch. It’s nice seeing his growth as a character, and his self doubt.


If I had to pick something wrong with this movie, it would be the plot holes. None of them are major. A few character’s lineages come to question, a few Force powers we never learned of before, and a dash of relationship statuses that we are confused about.

Other than that, it’s rather enjoyable. We are left wanting to know more about Rey’s parentage.

We know she is a Palpatine, we just don’t know who her grandmother is…because bless whatever woman would want to parent a child with the Emperor.


A few last notes.

The Emperor’s return was something I was not excited about at first, but the movie does it so brilliantly that it doesn’t feel out of place at all.

I would give the movie an 8 out of 10 overall.

Assuming it is the end. I want this saga to be over with. I want no mention of these people ever again. I don’t want to hear Skywalker, or Emperor, or Resistance ever again.

I don’t want future stories to follow the same story that we’ve heard since the first movie. All 12 movies have focused on this time period, and I don’t want any more of it.

There’s dozens of old-canon books to follow, stories to tell, and movies to make, and I hope we get to explore the greater Star Wars world. Maybe we get a movie trilogy about the start of the Jedi, or about a Jedi hundreds of years after Rey (possibly) restarted the order.


Overall it is a good movie, and I definitely recommend seeing it if you have any interest in the Star Wars storyline at all.

It is a nice end to the story, and wraps things up rather well.