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Ryan and I met up to see Howl's Moving Castle over at the Lagoon this afternoon. It's by the same guy who did Spirited Away and based off the book by Diana Wynn Jones. I may have to check this book out pretty soon.

As for the movie...well...eh. It's very pretty, I'll give it that. And the general plot of the story was fun and interesting. But maybe it lost something in the translation (both from book to movie and from Japanese to English). And the voice acting SUCKED. It was very lack luster and that's dissapointing. I almost wish that I could have watched it subtitled. Normally I'm not a stickler for this, but it seems like they just wanted to tack on some big name stars so they could gain some support or something. I don't know - but the acting was maybe a step above Revenge of the Sith. Maybe.

So go see this at matinee price, or go rent it when it comes out on DVD and you can watch it with subtitles.

In other news, we got the preview for MirrorMask - the actual preview and not the teaser. Now, I saw parts of the movie at Fiddler's Green last November. Seeing the trailer leaves me a little uneasy. In movies, there is a fine balance between art and story. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be a beautiful film, and I am positive the story will be delightful. However, I am worried that they might over power each other. The art design will distract from the story. I really don't have a problem with CG art, but I think that sometimes it removes us too far from the movie. Part of why I enjoy movies so much is there is a human quality to them. I worry sometimes about how seperated from that human quality we will get. But that's just me.

And also - the preview for The Brothers Grimm looks AMAZING. It's high time we needed another Terry Gilliam movie and this looks wonderfully up to snuff!
 
 
 
 
 
 
As for the movie...well...eh. It's very pretty, I'll give it that. And the general plot of the story was fun and interesting. But maybe it lost something in the translation (both from book to movie and from Japanese to English). And the voice acting SUCKED. It was very lack luster and that's dissapointing. I almost wish that I could have watched it subtitled.

This is why I never watch the American version of Miyazaki films...they SUCK. The original voice acting on Howl's Moving Castle is very good (Kimura Takuya as Howl....::sigh::). In fact, in the Japanese version, they only have one actress for the part of Sophie. Not only that, but they add ridiculous music to the American versions -- what you hear in a US theater is not what Miyazaki intended. Although Howl is not the best of Miyazaki's films, I highly recommend getting your hands on a subtitled copy if you can, because you might like it a lot better.
I was very disappointed when I realized Howl's was dubbed into English for its US theatrical release. I always prefer to watch movies in their original language because it just sounds right; the pacing, intonation, and rhythm are all slightly off in translation. But I will say that the voice work in Howl's was far superior to that in the dubbed version of Princess Mononoke, which was absolutely excruciating.
See, normally I don't have too much of a preference when it comes to dubbing/subtitles, but a lot of that depends on who they hire as voice actors. I've seen Spirited Away both dubbed and with subtitles, and I feel that both versions are excellent. Of course, when they dubbed it for the American audiences, they actually got people who have DONE voice acting, not just big name stars. I think this is really important. I've also seen both dubbed and subtitled versions of Cowboy Bebop, and personally I like the dubbed version better (I just reeeeeeeeeally like Spike's voice).

So I guess it really depends. Howl's was a bit painful to listen to, and I attribute this to the hiring of people who have NO EXPERIENCE in voice acting. Spirited Away worked because the actors understood how important it is to convey emotion through voice only.