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Showing posts from February, 2013

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #339: Spirited Away

The United-States has Pixar and Disney, but Japan has Studio Ghibli. Its founder Hayao Miyazaki has directed many of its most successful titles, including 2001’s “Spirited Away” which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and became the highest grossing film in Japan. Like many of the studio’s greatest hits, it uses hand-drawn animation to create a fantasy world filled with creatures you can only dream of and then animate. The title is appropriate, as “Spirited Away” takes you for a ride into a spirit world.
I first saw this Ghibli creation in January of 2012, as my brother had received it for Christmas. That’s pretty much how it has been going during Christmastime for the past few years in my family: we buy each other movies or TV shows, watch a few in the days after December 25 and then we move on into the new year. It’s nice to take a few hours out of the busy holiday season to just sit in front of the television and watch a movie as a family, even if we don’t always have …

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #343: Monsters, Inc.

The writers at Pixar have this ability to take ordinary concepts or objects and turn them upside down. What if children’s toys sprang to life when you left the room? What if cars could talk? With “Monsters, Inc.” (2001) they asked the question “what if the monsters in your closet were average guys trying to make a living?”
I first saw Pixar’s fourth film while living in Lima, Peru, with my brother and my mom. American movies in South America are usually released in English with Spanish subtitles, but they make an exception for kids’ movies and dub them in Spanish. I would have preferred to hear the voices of John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, but as with all Pixar films this is more about story and visuals than dialogue. Besides, once they get to that scene where Mike and Sully enter the room with a million doors, who cares what language they speak? Only one word comes to mind: WOW!
In the city of Monstropolis, power is generated by capturing the screams of little children who live in our…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #344: The Last Wlatz

When people hear the name “Martin Scorsese” the first thing they tend to think of is gangster movies. Making gems such as “Mean Streets,” “Goodfellas,” “Casino” and “The Departed” will do that. Apart from the gangster element, all of these movies have another thing in common: kick-ass soundtracks. Having lived through the 1960s, Scorsese knows good music, which he has shown in documentaries such as “Shine a Light,” “The Blues” and “The Last Waltz.” That last one was shot in 1978 and features the final concert of The Band who were accompanied on stage by performers such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Ringo Starr. Here is a movie for lovers of rock history and great filmmaking.
The original plan was for me to watch this great rock doc during one of the showings of the film club in the university of Sherbrooke in 2010. It would have been perfect since it was supposed to be the last evening. We would watch “The Last Waltz” before waltzing out of university and going our separat…