Blu-ray/DVD Deal: Studio Ghibli Films 55% Off Including SPIRITED AWAY, PONYO, CASTLE IN THE SKY, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 104 days ago

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Today’s deal on Amazon is great for fans of Studio Ghibli.  Many of the studio’s animated features are 55% off right now on Blu-ray and DVD, including Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, The Secret World of Arrietty, and many many more.  If you’re missing a couple for your collection or have yet to start snatching these up, now’s the perfect time.  Click here to check out the deals.

Geek Gifts: Studio Ghibli Zippo Lighters Feature Characters from PRINCESS MONONOKE, HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO and PONYO

by     Posted 1 year, 239 days ago

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Have you ever been watching one of the fine animated films from Studio Ghibli and thought to yourself, “Man, I really wish I could light this Djarum Black or start a small brush fire while showing off my appreciation for My Neighbor Totoro?”  I know I have.  Well now you can add a little flair to your smoker’s/arsonist’s lifestyle with these new Zippo lighters featuring notable characters from Studio Ghibli’s storied resume of films.  Show your friends you still pine for Princess Mononoke, or that Ponyo and The Cat Returns remain unfairly underrated.  Hit the jump to find out where you can buy them, along with more than 25 images of the various lighters for sale.

Weekend Box Office – SAFE HOUSE Barely Tops THE VOW in Competitive President’s Day Race

by     Posted 2 years, 191 days ago

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Those of you who like a side of certainty with your box office entrée may want to dine elsewhere this morning. That’s because we’re witnessing an extremely close race between Safe House and The Vow for number one. As estimates currently stand, Safe House seems to have the edge – $23.9 million to The Vow’s $23.6 million. But the real news is how none of the new President’s Day releases – including the 3D sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – could threaten the holdovers in their fight for first.

Title Weekend Total
1 Safe House $23,900,000 $78.2
2 The Vow $23,600,000 $85.5
3 Ghost Rider 2 $22,000,000 $22
4 Journey 2 $20,085,000 $53.2
5 This Means War $17,550,000 $19.1
6 Phantom Menace $7,865,000 $33.7
7 Chronicle $7,500,000 $50.9
8 Woman in Black $6,645,000 $45.2
9 Secret World Arrietty $6,375,000 $6.3
10 The Grey $3,000,000 $47.9

KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE 2-Disc Special Edition DVD Review

by     Posted 4 years, 152 days ago

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Deceptively simple and sweet, Hayao Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service has still managed to linger in the hearts of movie lovers, and now it’s finally gotten the proper DVD treatment it deserves from Disney and Studio Ghibli.

Kiki, voiced by a young Kirsten Dunst in this Western version of the story, is a 13-year-old witch who – as is the custom – is sent to live away from her parents for a year to figure out what her talent is. Kiki eventually settles on  Koriko, which resembles a seaside European village in the 1950s, and sets up her titular delivery service.

Hit the jump to find out why I still think the first Ghibli/Disney collaboration is the best one, and what kind of extras make this special edition worth buying.

Hayao Miyazaki’s PONYO Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 4 years, 157 days ago

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It’s hard not to describe Hayao Miyazaki’s films as anything but magical. To be critical (when you’re dealing with a master it’s going to skew positive), one can only compare his best work against his minor work. But then there’s minor like Princess Monoke, which is still an epic pro-environment film, or maybe Howl’s Moving Castle, which was slightly disappointing… still great, only suffering in comparison to Spirited Away. Ponyo is one of his better films, one of the best films of last year, and another in his chain of masterpieces. What Ponyo has over his other films right now is minor: it’s the only one of his films on Blu-ray. My review of Ponyo after the jump.

Peter Debruge’s Top 10 of 2009

by     Posted 4 years, 242 days ago

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A rough year, you say? Maybe for your 401(k). Hollywood raked it in, enjoying record box office numbers, while the indie and foreign lineup (though spread between fewer companies perhaps) yielded an unprecedented number of treasures. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I had such a hard time cutting my best-of list off at 10. Surveying my choices, I’m hard-pressed to find a common theme. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I might even wonder what kind of critic can love a G-rated Japanese-animated cartoon and Lars von Trier’s genital-mutilation opus in the same breath, or reconcile the esoteric with the popcorn populism of James Cameron’s Avatar. But there you have it. Of the 274 first-run and festival films I saw last year (that’s as many movies as qualified for Oscar consideration in 2009 – though not the same ones), the 10 best are listed after the jump:

Weekend Box Office – DISTRICT 9 Easily Takes Number One with $37 Million

by     Posted 5 years, 13 days ago

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It’s all good news for director Neill Blomkamp’s once-mysterious sci-fi movie “District 9″.  The film, produced by Peter Jackson, rounded out its first three days with a remarkable $37 million from 3,049 dates.  While that total certainly isn’t anywhere near the top weekends of the summer, when the film’s budget of $30 million is weighed along with the fact that most Americans had never heard of either Blomkamp or “District 9″ a couple of weeks ago, the term ‘remarkable’ may even be an understatement.

Title Weekend Total
1 District 9 $37,000,000 $37,000,000
2 GI Joe $22,500,000 $98,800,000
3 Time Traveler’s Wife $19,205,000 $19,205,000
4 Julie & Julia $12,400,000 $43,684,000
5 G-Force $6,908,000 $99,049,000
6 The Goods $5,300,000 $5,300,000
7 Harry Potter 6 $5,155,000 $283,893,000
8 The Ugly Truth $4,500,000 $77,502,000
9 Ponyo $3,500,000 $3,500,000
10 (500) Days of Summer $3,025,000 $17,955,000

Hayao Miyazaki Interview PONYO

by     Posted 5 years, 20 days ago

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If you know the work of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, you don’t need to guess my reaction when Disney offered me an interview with the legendary filmmaker here in Los Angeles last week. As one of Japan’s greatest animation directors, his work is known the world over and his films have inspired millions. “Howl’s Moving Castle”, “Spirited Away”, and “Princess Mononoke” are some of his most recent films in an artistically rich and prolific career.  Hayao Miyazaki is a living legend and it was a dream for me to sit down and ask him some questions.

Here’s what you need to know: Since Hayao had limited time, Disney offered Alex from FirstShowing and I a combined interview, so it was just the two of us taking turns asking questions. While we were given 15 minutes, Miyazaki uses a translator, so the interview isn’t as long as a typical 15-minute interview. I didn’t care. Just getting a few minutes was an amazing experience and one I will never forget.

Finally, since Hayao Miyazaki went to Comic-Con and has been doing a lot of press recently, Alex and I agreed to try and ask some questions that we hadn’t read online or heard him already answer. If you want to read about why he wanted to make Ponyo or the standard Q&A, there’s plenty of places to find it elsewhere. For questions you haven’t read or heard anywhere else, you’re in the right place. Read our conversation after the jump:

Disney/Pixar Comic-Con Animation Panel Part 2 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 3D, PRINCESS AND THE FROG, PONYO and PREP & LANDING

by     Posted 5 years, 33 days ago

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A few minutes ago I posted part one of my Disney/Pixar Comic-Con animation panel report which featured my thoughts on “Toy Story 3D”, “Toy Story 2 3D” and “Toy Story 3″. Now it’s time for part two which features “Beauty and the Beast 3D”, “The Princess and the Frog”, “Ponyo” and “Prep & Landing”. If you’re a fan of Disney animation you’ll want to read this. Take a look after the jump:

John Lasseter and Hayao Miyazaki Comic-Con Interview

by     Posted 5 years, 36 days ago

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Every generation has but a few filmmakers who change the very nature of the medium. People like Orson Wells, Robert Altman, and Francis Ford Coppola are far and few between. Today, I was lucky enough to meet not just one, but two filmmakers in this rarified field. After the jump is the complete transcript of my interview with John Lasseter and Hayao Miyazaki.

2009 San Diego Comic-Con Schedule for FRIDAY Featuring WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, SHERLOCK HOLMES, JONAH HEX, DISTRICT 9, TOY STORY 3 and MORE!

by     Posted 5 years, 50 days ago

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After the draining events of Thursday (the bloody slap-fest between “Twilight” fans and all the other nerds will surely be exhausting to all), Friday is a moderate reprieve in terms of the Movies/TV arena.  Oh, there are still massive events happening, but basically you can just sit down in Hall H and enjoy the proceedings rather than making “Sophie’s Choice”-level decisions about which line to stand in (unless you’re a Joss Whedon fan; then you’re screwed).

Panel highlights from Day 2 of Comic-Con include the thankfully-early-in-the-day Warner Bros. (which will feature “Where The Wild Things Are”, Sherlock Holmes”, “Jonah Hex”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “The Box”, and “The Book of Eli”),  the Disney-Pixar Animation (the “Toy Story” trilogy, “Princess and the Frog”, “Ponyo”, and “Prep & Landing”), “9″, “Legion”, “District 9″, and an in-depth conversation between Peter Jackson and James Cameron.

However, should you choose to venture forth, away from the comfort of Hall H (where all those panels are), you can swim in the waters of television with panels for “The Prisoner”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “Dollhouse”, TV Guide’s Sci-Fi Hot List, and a Q&A with Joss Whedon.

Hit the jump for the full schedule and to see what events I’ve highlighted because that’s everywhere I want to be.  Now excuse me while I fetch my time-turner.  Click here for Thursday.

Walt Disney Announces Comic-Con Schedule – TRON, Miyazaki, Tim Buton, TOY STORY, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and a lot more

by     Posted 5 years, 51 days ago

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Walt Disney Studios has just announced their 2009 Comic-Con plans and it’s filled with “firsts”. That’s because Hayao Miyazaki, John Lasseter, Robert Zemeckis and Tim Burton will take part in their first ever Comic-Con. If you’re a fan of any of these guys, it should be a hell of a presentation.

Also, with the abundance of great projects at Disney right now, their footage is going to be some of the highlights of the convention. According to the press release, they’re showing footage from “Ponyo”, all the “Toy Story” movies, “A Christmas Carol”, “The Princess and the Frog”, “Beauty and the Beast in 3D”, “Alice in Wonderland”, and “TRON”! If you thought last year’s “Tron” footage was cool, I promise you this year is going to blow you away.

For more details on what Disney is planning on doing, the full press release is after the jump:

Click Here