Showing posts with label kirsten dunst. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kirsten dunst. Show all posts

2 July 2013

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) Blu-Ray Review

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Rating: U
BD Release Date:
1st July 2013 (UK)

CastKirsten DunstPhil HartmanMatthew LawrenceJaneane Garofalo
Buy Kiki's Deliver Service:
Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)
Win Kiki's Deliver Service/Grave Of The FirefliesEnter Here

Whilst many have attempted and failed to deliver a coming of age story with sincerity as well as charm it seems the masters of animation Studio Ghibli seem to have found that winning formula. Once again they show the world how it's done with broomsticks, talking cats, deliveries, growing pains and been independent, step forward Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) the latest Studio Ghibli animation to be adapted to Blu Ray (in a double play with The Grave Of The Fireflies).Proving Hayao Miyzaki's animation is an timeless classic in animation legacy that would make the so called big boys of animation jealous with envy.

Based on Eiko Kadano's 1985 novel we meet Kiki a 13 year old teen witch determined to make it own her own despite been second rate at spells and poor at making potions. She moves to a new town with the aide of her broom she sets herself up as a courier service delivery, delivering everything from bread to pets.At first her only company is her sarcastic talking cat Jiji se soon discovers she has more friends than she ever thought on her long road of self discovery.

Whilst Kiki's Delivery Service may not have the array of mythical creatures or kindred spirits like in Spirited Away in the studio's film nor is there an villainous character, if anything life itself is Kiki's only enemy. With magic and everyday life living in unison this make's Kiki a more grounded realistic animation (1950's Sweden) that is vibrant, electric and it's probably the only Ghibli animation that resembles a Disney animationminus the over indulgent songs. If you are looking for fantasy elements Kiki herself been a witch, her potions, her talking cat provide that substance without forgetting this film is purely a coming of age tale.

Whilst the premise maybe light hearted giving the animation a nicely pace episodic feel breaking down each part of Kiki's tribulations into nice equally entertaining parts. Miyazaki does continue his use of  strong positive Female protagonists however with  Kiki we do learn she is not picture perfect which opens the door for older, wiser stronger character , strong female role model such as Ursula (voice by Janine Garofalo) to guide Kiki. Some critics say Ursula brings an feminist element to the story and it's probably why Kiki's Delivery Service finds itself paired with The Grave Of The Fireflies both roughly similar targeted age groups both with an message that may not appeal to younger pre-teen audience but never looses the magic we associate with Studio Ghibli. As for Kiki been a feminist film, every child boy or girl needs a good strong positive role model and what Kiki does addresses some of that imbalance of lack of female role models in film.

It's taken myself over a year to finally appreciate the power of bluray, the colour, the crisp detail are second to none. You really getting a real true feel of the film's detail when we see Kiki flying her broomstick in and around the her town, all thanks to Miyazaki's passion for flying bringing more depth to the feature. I always say watch the film as it was meant to be watched in its original language but I know not everyone likes subtitles so this release comes with a dubbed version too. Kiki is voiced by then a unknown young Kirsten Dunst, the late Phil Hartmann (Troy McClure of The Simpsons fame) voicing the sardonic Jiji, Debbie Reynolds, Jeanine Garofalo, Matthew Lawrence too.

Kiki's Delivery Service might provide and unique take on the coming of age tale but at no time does it lose track of what makes it essential Studio Ghibli. It's a warm, sweet entertaining tale that still holds well against today's modern Kids films which is credit to the films as it's amazing 24 years old!


Paul Devine

7 October 2012

On The Road Review

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Sam Riley channels Jack Kerouac in Walter Salles's adaptation of the author's cult book, On The Road, loosely based upon Kerouac's own jaunt across 40's USA.

Often considered a prime example of that most tantalising of literature, the "unfilmable" novel; Salles has succeeded in bringing Kerouac's vision of travelling excess to the screen in a manner which is both laudable for it's visual impact, and excruciating for it's navel-gazing pomposity.

Living in New York in the 1940's and, having just lost his father , Sal (Sam Riley) finds himself in limbo as he struggles to put pen to paper and begin in earnest his life as a writer; spending his time with wittering junkie-poet pal Carlo (Tom Sturbridge), and waiting for inspiration to strike.

This changes with the arrival of the enigmatic Dean Moriarty, a restless, carefree sort, with a girl in every port, an in unquenchable lust for adventure; who immediately charms Sal, and instills in him that same yearning for life on the open road.

Salles's adaptation of the source material is nothing if not visually stunning. Sal's tramp cross-country gives Eric Gautier the perfect chance to plaster the screen in the best that the vast, beautiful country has to offer.

Garrett Hedlund's performance as the responsibility-dodging, serial shagger, Moriarty, is spectacular; brimming with confidence and more than a hint of passive-aggressive arrogance. A realisation of a character who is both endearing for his naive, lust-for-life energy; and terrifying for his total inability, or unwillingness, to cease his wanton trail of emotional destruction.

Riley's Sal has much less to do, too often he's relegated to the role of standby fag-smoker, or backing singer on some tedious bout of improv-jazz. But Riley's performance is laudable too; dripping with tar and croaking along with a twenty-a-day drawl that sounds caked in coffee and ash.

All that visual beauty, and those performances cant', however, save the film from it's crushing sense of pointlessness. On The Road meanders across the screen while it's characters swagger across the country in a state of perpetual aimlessness. Too often the piece descends into orgies of self-reverential beat-influenced poetry, or laughing, preening sessions of tiresome jazz.

For all its visual clout, and individual brilliance; On The Road will make you wish you had the same laissez-faire , drug-induced outlook as it's characters. That way you could just drift away too.

Chris Banks (@Chris_in_2D)

UK Release Date: 12th October 2012 Directed By:Walter Salles
Cast:Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams