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The Daily Word in Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Rob Ford and a leadership change at Microsoft

And on the 44th day, it snowed.

Is it legal to drink O'Doul's while driving? Probably. Should you? Maybe not.

Albuquerque is no longer one of the top ten cities for film making.

The Southwest Chief may cease running through Northern New Mexico.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman died of a heroin overdose.

There is now a book about Rob Ford.

Bill Gates is no longer head of Microsoft.

Crazy in-bad-taste two minute long lawyer commercial that ran in parts of Georgia during Superbowl.

Some former members of Mao's Red Guard are apologizing for their actions.

Miyazaki Salt.

Ocular manifestation of electrical burn.

Couch Potato

I Like to Watch (Instantly): Ponyo, Astro Boy

Notable titles from the Netflix Watch Instantly world

Ponyo
Ponyo

Ponyo (2008)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, Betty White

Ponyo is a great film. Some have dismissed it as sub-par Miyazaki, but those people are wrong. The intrusion of a cosmic magical force into an everyday community could be terrifying, but here it is only a source of joy and playfulness as the normal rules of reality are temporarily suspended. I saw this film five times in the theater, mostly just so I could watch the scene where Sosuke’s toy pop-pop boat grows big enough to carry him (and Ponyo) on a journey through a flooded town as prehistoric fish prowl through the water below. Wow.

So I have mixed feelings about Ponyo being on Netflix WI. On the one hand, this criminally-underrated and under-seen film should be viewed by as many people as possible. On the other hand, the delicate seaside pastels and fluid animation gets short shrift from the non-HD version available. Actually, it probably looks fine on the Roku, so go for it.

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Animation

Howl’s Moving Castle, Secret of Kells Guild Double-Feature

Oscar-nominated features show back-to-back this weekend

The Secret of Kells
The Secret of Kells

Big-screen animation is a cinematic pleasure like no other, an alchemical transmutation of ideas into forms, a way to share visions that otherwise could not exist. At its best, it’s like stepping into someone else’s dream. Hayao Miyazaki’s films achieve this Stendahl-syndrome-like effect, and while I would personally rate 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle as somewhat overstuffed and unengaging as a whole (it’s adapted from a 1986 British novel), there are nevertheless moments of such jaw-dropping awesomeness, that any flaws are immediately forgiven. (From a “Mom’s Matinee” POV, know this this film is (a) two hours long and (b) a little heady. I’ll be bringing my 6-and-under posse, though.)

Play Youtube Video
Howl’s Moving Castle

Last month I road-tripped to Santa Fe to see The Secret of Kells, which the Guild Cinema has wisely picked up as its main attraction this Memorial Day weekend. The film is a stylish delight with another idea-heavy, dark (and dare I say psychedelic?) story interwoven with delightful kid-friendly inventiveness. (This film isn’t a “Mom’s Matinee” per se, but could be. If your kids can hack a (highly stylized) Viking massacre scene and some other scary bits, their new favorite cartoon cat will definitely be Pangur Bán.)

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Tomorrow's Events

Poetry 'n Beer at Blackbird Buvette

Free Wednesday: Film Series at Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Corrales Growers' Market at Corrales Growers' Market

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