7:00 PM, 13th May, 2017
Your Name is not your typical teenage romance. Directed by Makoto Shinkai, this romantic fantasy film has received critical acclaim and broken box office records in Japan, becoming one of the highest grossing films of all time. The story of the film is slightly unconventional, but for those familiar with Shinkai’s previous works (Children Who Chase Lost Voices from the Deep, 5 Centimeters Per Second) this will come as no surprise.
The story centres on two teenagers who, despite being geographically apart, manage to communicate through unorthodox means and in doing so develop a friendship of sorts. Whilst the initial premise of the film is likely to throw some viewers off, Shinkai does a masterful job of storytelling which leaves you wanting more right until the very end. Though it is serious at points it is interlaced with light hearted and whimsical moments resulting in a wonderful balance of emotional depth and comedic fun.
Alongside the unique storyline the film is beautifully animated throughout and certain sequences within the film are extremely pleasurable to watch. Overall this is a must-watch flick and one which will remain with the viewer long after its end.
8:57 PM, 13th May, 2017
Godzilla as a cinematic franchise has been around for a bit over 60 years and 31 films. So you’d think there’s very little else to be said about the creature. It shows up, stomps Tokyo, stomps off again til the next sequel.
But Hideaki Anno (“Neon Genesis Evangelion”) and Shinji Higuchi’s film is different. For a start, it ignores most of that history and starts with the Japanese government facing an apparently brand new, strange radioactive creature which changes forms repeatedly as the story goes on. And gosh does the Japanese Government have a lot of meetings. It’s pretty much “The West Wing” meets Godzilla, with lots of fast-paced discussion scenes, including a fair bit of bureaucratic ineptness before heroic scientists start working together to try to crack what the hell this thing is and how it can be stopped.
Yes, the humans are less interesting than the monster but they’re never particularly dull and the action ratchets along rather well. There’s some distinct anti-Americanism going on here with suspicions about how they may be involved, although this does also give rise to the one big flaw – the mainly subtitled film goes non-subtitled when the characters speak English, and by far the worst English is spoken by a character who’s meant to be an American representative.
Obviously if you’re looking for a particular amount of depth… no, this is still a Godzilla movie, go elsewhere. But if you’re okay with destruction and conspiracy, this is quite an enjoyable flick.