Spirited Away.

Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki.


Hello, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy, but I’m glad to be back.

I recently re-watched Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, and I feel reminded more than ever that I love the story of Spirited Away.

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The animation itself is fantastic, the plot, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. This movie actually reminds me of my childhood and my fear of creatures that look like Kamaji or Yubaba.

But the character of Haku and No-Face are the reasons why I’m so compelled to think about Spirited Away after it’s over.

Haku being a Spirit of the Kohaku River, and his love and affection of Chihiro is something I find very unexpected from Hayao Miyazaki.

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The redemption of No-Face is perhaps my favorite part of the movie, that and the character development of Yubaba’s baby.

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Ah, I feel like my thoughts are all over the place…

This movie both frightens and intrigues me, and perhaps that I why I want to discuss it.

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The art style is breathtaking, and I love Miyazaki films because they bring unexpected facets of Japanese culture with the film. I can see the depth of meaning, even if I do not fully understand it. Studying linguistics and cultures I what I do, and what I love to do. While I have not studied Japanese, I have taken Korean. And Russian, of course.

I think it might be interesting to write a post on here in Russian! Just for fun. If anyone can speak/read it, let me know!

안녕히 가새요!

Искренне ваша, Джейми

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Alien: Covenant.

Directed by: Ridley Scott.


Wow, so, huh. I have a lot of feelings.

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I just went and saw Alien: Covenant. First off, I am a massive fan of the Alien franchise. I love the movies, soundtracks, Sig Weav (Sigourney Weaver), Alien: Isolation, merchandise, and xenomorphs in general. Ridley Scott is also pretty cool, as long as his plans for a Gladiator 2 don’t work out.

I was really, really excited for this film, especially when I found out that a new type of Alien, the neomorph was being introduced and featured in Alien: Covenant.

No joke, I actually went and re-watched the whole franchise. And, as I had never seen Alien vs. Predator, I went and watched that. But since I had never seen Predator, and wanted to fully understand AVP, I watched Arnold battle it out in South America. (BTW, I thought Predator was pretty good, though it was the most masculine thing my eyes have ever witnessed). But back to this film.

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There was a lot riding on this film, and I had a lot of expectations. I really wanted to know more about the Creators, my dream is basically to be Elizabeth Shaw (or Noomi Rapace). Like Shaw, I wanted to know why the Creators made us, and why they chose to destroy us. Prometheus left a lot of questions unanswered, and Alien: Covenant‘s solution was to IGNORE ALL OF IT.

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SAME. ^^^

Like, basically all of it.

Ridley Scott, all I wanted was a good plot line.

The premise of Alien: Covenant was almost pulled-off. What they came up with almost worked. Almost. It was still interesting, I enjoyed it. But it was predictable. And this word, predictable, is the downfall of the franchise. It’s become their Achilles’ heel.

More important: David, why are you such a dick?

Also, spoiler alert. Obviously.

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The neomorphs, ya looked weird. Pretty human-looking. Would not want to be buds with you.

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The pros: Danny McBride. Surprisingly fit well in this film, really enjoyed him.

But, David. David! Why? Why?

You dropped a pathogen bomb on the creators. You didn’t properly cite your quotation (Shelley, not Bryon). And, worst of all, YOU KILLED SHAW. You say you loved her, that she showed you the most kindness out of anyone. And, you, what? Opened her up like an experiment? Infected her with one of your experiments? This was so disappointing.

Again, this was almost good. But the entire premise was wrong. This whole plot shouldn’t have happened. Why?

Because: they ignored Prometheus. When filmmakers start developing another addition to a franchise, it’s a red flag when you ignore the past movie.

As a consumer, I was alerted when I saw the title had been changed from Alien: Paradise Lost, to Alien: Covenant. I am pretty knowledgeable regarding this franchise, I know (and have read) a lot about the background of the story. Ridley Scott is really into incorporating a type of religion into the base of the story. Alien is really complex, there is a lot going on in the background. It’s part of the reason why I love the franchise.

I didn’t hate this film. But I was disappointed that instead of answering questions that I’ve been waiting years for, Alien: Covenant went for horror over meaning. Xenomorphs, and the horror they present, cannot be used an infinite number of times. I’m not sure how I feel about this film, but it was nice to revisit the story and setting again.

Shaw, Noomi Rapace, you deserved better. David, fuck you.

Ridley Scott, this franchise deserves more.

Just for fun:

‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

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All the best,

Jamie.

Everything, Everything.

A story of illness and bravery.


Last night I was able to see two movies in one night at the theater. The first was Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, and the second was Everything, Everything.

I thought it was really cute, and was pleasantly surprised overall. I read the novel over Christmas this past year in one night, and thought it was a cute, happy story. One of my favorite things about the novel is the main character, Maddy. She is a POC, half Asian, half Black. Most high-profile teen novels tend to feature a white girl. Which isn’t inherently bad, but diversity is never a bad thing.

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This isn’t going to be an Oscar winner, and it doesn’t try to be. It’s a stand-alone movie that’s goal is to portray a story: one of mental and physical illness. I’ve always compared it to The Fault In Our Stars in my head (I’ve actually really grown to resent that story over time).

They also feature the artwork of Nicola Yoon’s husband in the end credits, which is adorable.

Everything, Everything tackles many parts in life that are more common than we think. Parents who struggle with a hold on their children, illness, and the way teenagers are treated. Maddy’s relationship with Olly is often shrugged-off by many characters due to her age and inexperience. Now, this is going to sound cheesy, but love across all ages and walks of life holds meaning.

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I am a fan of Everything, Everything because it is a story of growth and bravery. It is simple, but cute. If I could sum it up, it would be: ❤

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All the best,

Jamie.

Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Directed by: Tim Burton.


The sequel to Alice in Wonderland came out Memorial Weekend 2016, and got mixed reviews. But I recently watched it, and formed my own opinion of the movie.

I am a giant fan of Mia Wasikowska, and love her performance in Jane Eyre with all my heart. I also enjoy her playing the role of Alice, as her gentleness and soft tone go well with the innocent character.

The movie itself is beautiful, the sets, the colors, and Danny Elfman’s music all bring Carroll’s vibrant world of Underland to the screen. It is visually stunning in all aspects.

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The costumes and makeup are all so amazing and lovely on the eyes. I mean, LOOK AT THIS. It’s stunning.

The plot, hmm. Was a bit lackluster, but I still enjoyed it. Through the Looking Glass is a movie with no consequences and no emotional moments. Every once in a while I like this, because then I don’t get stressed out worrying about the safety of the characters. But I read the books, and this is Disney, so it’s not like they would’ve killed off Alice or the Hatter.

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Over all, I really liked it. I am a fan of the world and characters, and it was a feel-good movie. It was goofy, and a bit overdone, but I am a fan.

Side note: I need to re-watch Alice in Wonderland, I haven’t seen it since it was in theaters!

My favorite line, “I’ve always wondered when ‘soon’ is.” (From the Hatter).

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Have a great weekend!

All the best,

Jamie.