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Old June 13th, 2005, 11:05 PM   #1
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Howl's Moving Castle

Yeah this film is worth seeing in a theatre. It's the closest thing to a real fairy tale that you're likely to see on the big screen. Miyazaki's animation is very unique and special.

Despite the fantastic back drops and inventiveness of the artist, the main focus is still the relationships of the characters to each other. You quickly forget you're watching a cartoon, and the illusion remains very solid through to the end of the movie. Miyazaki is also able to pack more fluid emotion into his animated characters in one shot, than most filmmakers/actors can pack into a scene.

As the reviews have already pointed out, it's not as good as Spirited Away, but it's still way better than any other animated movie out there.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 09:46 AM   #2
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i've seen this about 3 times now =). if you really like Miyazaki's work, check out his fansite:

http://nausicaa.net/

i'm very disappointed in Disney's sabotage of Miyazaki's works since Princess and Spirited Away. Disney is very jealous of Miyazaki so they barely show Howl's movie trailers. i just saw star wars 7 times recently and never once did i see Howl's trailer attached to that or any other movie for the past 6 months. it's very sad.

anyway, i hope it gets its own life on the DVD. i checked out ebay and even the Japanese releases didn't have Dolby Digital versions of Miyazaki films. very disappointing, imho.

anyway, at Miyazaki's worst, it still falls into the realm of a masterpiece. do check out his other films like Nausicaa, Totoro, Laputa Castle in the Sky, Porco Rosso, etc. they are all masterpieces in their own rite.

i also think part of the problem is cultural understanding of foreign films. the people i brought to see the film with me don't like to watch subtitled films. but they enjoyed it nonetheless. films like Howl don't have heavy-handed expositions like American films that are geared for talking to the audience. show instead of tell.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 01:56 PM   #3
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Yi Fong is there a sub-titled version? The version I saw was dubbed in English with Billy Crystal playing Calcifer. I was wondering if they changed the sound track too, the sound track I heard suited the film wonderfully, and the actors did a good job, but I do remember watching the sub-titled version of Spirited Away and it had a more Japanese sound track.

Here in New York, Howl is only playing at one theatre. Though it is playing in an Imax theatre.

I agree about the cultural problem, Americans see animated films as children's movies, unlike the Japanese who have a more serious attitude about it. But, I noticed that both adults and children reacted very positively while the movie was playing. There was a lot of laughter and amazement from the adults and a lot of oohing, aahing, and giggling from the children.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 10:22 PM   #4
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hi michael,

there is a subtitle showing in NYC here:

Howl's Moving Castle (Subtitled)
7:00 9:40 12:10
Dolby Digital, Downstairs, Stadium Seating, Sub-Titled

http://www.landmarktheatres.com/Index.htm

you HAVE to check out the movie in Japanese w/subtitles. i would hope you definitely watch only the Japanese language w/subtitles because all the nuances of the voice acting is present whereas the american ones are terrible (imho). for example, billy crystal's new york thug accent was terrible compared to the original. it's like any foreign film (such as life is beautiful), please watch it in the original language + subtitles cause anything else is terrible no matter how good the voice matching is.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:42 AM   #5
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Yeah I'll definitely check out the other version as well.
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