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V.23 No.5 |

news

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

In the news: it snowed, Is it legal to drink O'Doul's while driving?, no longer one of the top ten cities, Southwest Chief, Phillip Seymour Hoffman died, a book about Rob Ford, Bill Gates is no longer head of Microsoft, Crazy in-bad-taste two minute long lawyer commercial, Mao's Red Guard are apologizing, Miyazaki Salt, cular manifestation of electrical burn

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V.19 No.36 | 9/9/2010
Ponyo
Ponyo

Couch Potato

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

Notable titles from the Netflix Watch Instantly world

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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V.19 No.22 | 6/3/2010
The Secret of Kells
The Secret of Kells

Animation

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

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

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.)

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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Today's Events

Gov't Mule • Southern rock at Sunshine Theater

Tin House at Bookworks

Mysteries of the Unconscious at North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center

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