July 9, 2019
It is strange when some random comic that I read in my younger days becomes a blockbuster, especially when it is not a prominent title from an established universe. In fact, I don’t remember why I even read this series. I don’t think it’s by a prominent writer so maybe I just read it because I had access to it! Curious as to the reasons why they made a movie about this, I watched Alita.
From the beginning, I felt this was not a movie that I would enjoy. The world had an anime feel with the Utopia/normal world divide (or maybe just because I knew of its origins). And I didn’t like the coming of age story for Alita. It made it feel like I was watching a kid movie complete with a budding teen romance. Then the fighting started and it was clearly not a kid movie – the bad guys are the basis of nightmares! So, why make the beginning of the movie so juvenile? Alita also looks like a CG creation which is jarring (especially when she is being played by a real actress).
However, once the plot (fighting) started, it ended up being ok. Stylistically, the idea of the battle angel, mechs, and sword fighting is fun. So this movie claws its way back to three stars. In the credits, I was surprised with all the big names tied to this film (James Cameron et al)
January 10, 2011
On our first trip to Japan, we wanted to visit the Ghibli Museum and visited several Lawson’s to buy tickets. Unfortunately, the tickets were all sold out. On this trip, we were smarter and bought tickets in advance and were finally able to visit the museum.
The Ghibli Museum is the museum of anime director Hayao Miyazaki who has created Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and many other Western recognized anime films to his name (thanks to being released by Disney). Earlier in this decade, I watched and enjoyed several of his films but have not watched all of them (and not what you considered an active fan). I was probably more of a fan 2 years ago, but he hasn’t been on my radar since.
Because of that, I don’t think I got a full experience out of my trip to the museum. There were lots of decorations and exhibits which I didn’t recognize or relate to. However, one can still enjoy the museum as a museum on animation. There are several exhibits which demonstrate how animation works and in-progress art that depicts how the animation on film is created.
When you are admitted to the museum, you get an admission ticket for a 15-minute short produced by Ghibli. It seems they produce a new short each year (so that people will pay for recurring visits). The ticket is unique in that it is a film strip with an actual negative embedded. Here’s the one that I got:
It doesn’t look like a filmstrip with the sun shining through, but this is what it looks in normal light.
That was the best part of our trip to the museum, and a great momento!