Tuesday, July 05, 2005

"Howl's Moving Castle"

Subject: Cinema
I did a rare thing on Saturday: I actually went to a movie theater to see a film. The one release that was able to get me out of the house was Miyazaki's latest.

If you haven't seen anything about it yet, it's adapted from an English novel of the same name, about a young woman who suddenly becomes cursed to be an old woman because of her encounter with a young playboy of a wizard named Howl. Who apparently lives in a big castle-like contraption on legs, which wanders the countryside. Looking for a way to break the curse, she sets out to find Howl.

It's truly a fabulous gem of a film, which, really, you kind of expect from Miyazaki. The characters are alive and interesting, the atmosphere is lush and exquisitely detailed, and the neat little bits of imagination transposed on to "real" world add his signature touch. In fact, with most all of it, you can kind of see bits of his previous works scattered about. So while not a particularly bold departure for him, it was still very enjoyable.

Even though this was the American cut with dubbed voices (including Billy Crystal), it did a very good job. I suppose I'm really only a subtitle-snob when I've seen the Japanese version first, and I'm greatly looking forward to the DVD release so I can finally see it and have it open up for me a little more.

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