Violet Evergarden: The Movie

Last night, I finally got to watching something I’ve been putting off for a few years. Because on one hand, Violet Evergarden is one of my favorite anime and on another, the synapses suggest a box of tissues potentially required. Which is kind of true of the series as well, but also well worth it.

I kind of love how Violet’s story is overlaid with the future. A young woman named Daisy learns how her recently deceased grandmother Anne had received a letter from her own mother every year on her birthday for fifty years, and that they were penned by who at the time was a very famous Auto Memory Doll named Violet Evergarden. Reading them, she understands so much more about the one she’s lost and then she sets out to discover just who this Violet Evergarden was, and in turn manages to put her own feelings into a letter to her parents once she reaches the end of her journey.

Violet, I think is a superb case of character development and the movie finally brings it full circle both as a character and as a story. In the series when we’re introduced to Violet, she’s like a void; an empty slate where human emotion should be. By helping other people express their true feelings, she grows as a person and manages to do some very good things along the way. The side story of the boy Yuris serves to show just how special the CH Postal Company is compared to simply scribing and delivering mail, and serves as a great close to the era of the Auto Memory Doll.

When unexpected means brings Violet and Hodgins to the Island of Ekarte in search of Gilbert, Violet very much captures human emotion and how much the character has grown since we first met her at the beginning of her story. Violet’s feelings about seeing Gilbert again, and her reaction when she finally does are beautiful renditions of what it’s like to be a human being. Violet’s reaction when a young boy on the island describes the nice man that serves as their teacher, who happens to be missing both an arm and an eye, are perhaps some of the best renderings of the character’s expressions–as she becomes certain that the one she loves still yet lives.

I mostly think of Violet Evergreen’s story as one about people’s true feelings reaching the people they wish to express them to and that’s why it’s so poignant. And with the movie, we finally have the chance to see Violet and Gilbert’s true feelings reach each other rather than being cut by loss.

Plus, the story deals with the most important words of all, 愛してる (I love you), so what isn’t there to enjoy? 🙂

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

It’s only taken 36 years, but it’s finally happening!

Considering I hauled my ass out to the theater some years back for the anniversary showing of Beetlejuice, I have a feeling the long overdue sequel will probably get me to go. But the real question is, will we see a Hawaiian cameo as a nod to one of the old script ideas? 😀

When I heard about Hocus Pocus 2, I was some what skeptical but also hopeful. As a kid, I greatly enjoyed the original as far as halloween family friendly films go.

The sequel, in a great many ways rehashes bits but also comes into its own. I’m glad that the three reprised their roles, as the antics just wouldn’t be the same. I also love that moments after being resurrected for the second time that they break out a musical number, “The witches are back”.
In the original, the Sanderson sisters are always portrayed as villains. Silly and slapstick in moments, but villains never the less. Needless to say the old formula of fools bring witches back from the dead and they run amuck in Salem is still integral to the story. But it’s also nice to see the different directions taken by the new group of young fools, and look back at what made the sisters into villains in the first place.
And then there’s the ending. It was beautiful and awesome sauce, and in light of how the Sanderson sisters and the young fools get along, I think it was a great finish. Not to mention the book got a bigger role and after running amuck in ’93, it seems that they were incorporated into the local festivities, lol.
I really loved the ending. The film as a whole was enjoyable enough, having grown up watching the original. But the finale is what really made the movie, IMHO.

Watching The First Avenger for the first time in a while, I can’t help but suspect the blonde that goes, “Hi” during the war bonds sequence; in light of She-Hulk’s recent end-cap comment about his time with the USO.

I also can’t help but think about the classic style shield fitting into the story. Just how much would a guy have to be tossing that thing around between shows to end up carting it along on his daring rescue mission. That, and that in context it would have likely been a slab of wood. The only reason I can imagine it being made of metal, as seen when Red Skull punches an indent in it, is consideration for the Italian campaign being far more at risk than state side.

I.e., I have a rather hard time imagining someone making such a fine metal “Stage prop” given the extent of war time rationing and prioritization. The only thing I can imagine is someone deciding, “Yeah, if artillery shells start bursting or something, let’s try and avoid shrapnel going through it like a hot knife through butter.” Somehow, I doubt Roger’s would have appreciated that treatment.

For a while now, I’ve resisted Disney+. Often, just barely. I kind of recognized immediately when it launched: if my mother had been alive there would have been no choice in the matter from the beginning. With Star Wars and Marvel joining the house of mouse, that beelines it straight into my interests. I already grew up in front of Disney’s content library being the son of Disney fanatic. Throwing in the franchises that most interest me: that just makes a dangerous recipe for a streaming service, lol.

The way I’ve largely resisted is the notion that I have enough of my budget devoted to such subscriptions, and don’t need another. Less about the cost, more about the principal.

And then I notice how cheaply this can expand my existing Hulu package….and darn it.

For bonus points, not only does this allow me to catch up on recent SW/MCU series, it has quite the back catalog. Including filling in the gaps in my Blu-ray collection. Seeing the back catalog has the old ewoks movies and Spiderman and His Amazing Friends series from the ’80s listed, somehow just makes me feel old more than tempted. But I’m pretty sure we’ve long since passed the point of “Pass the popcorn”. Sigh.

Scary Stores to Tell in the Dark (2019) is probably the best scary movie that I’ve seen in a while. Not quite Drag Me to Hell kind of scary but rather close.

Fairly quickly the film comes off as a period piece. The home made Halloween costumes, Night of the Living Dead at a drive through, and racial slurs that you shouldn’t hear out of a sheriff, all quickly begin to paint the scene. Thorough the film if you pay attention: you’ll notice the 1968 setting. I really liked the opening: while I grew up in the era of commercial Halloween costumes and shopping malls, my mother grew up in an era when kinds made their own costumes and went around the neighborhood. My mom and dad would have been in their early 20s at the time the film is set, making it more apparent to me. some of my mom’s stories of course had to do with her Halloween experiences as a kid.

The various stories are superb twists of horror. Often grisly, yet classic. But it’s painted over with a modern varnish. Sarah’s story is the kind that would often be skipped over or down played. Her chilling tales of terror on the other hand are ones you’d sell in the horror isle of a bookstore (remember when those were a thing?). Stella and her dad, and friends serve a stark contrast. In many ways, I’d say Stella is rather modern despite the film pelting us with ‘60s vibes.

In some ways, I have mixed feelings about the ending. I kind of agree with the way it plays out android The more positive tone. It’s not the kind of “Oh, shit!” Twist at the end that horror stories often train us to expect. Instead it’s rather hopeful and determined. Most of all it sets the stage for a sequel :).

Been hearing bits and pieces for a while now, and anxiously wondering when we’d see a release. Sounds like the new Dune fil is due in October, and one can hope ^_^.

My introduction to Dune was the 1984 film. One late night, my mother invited me to watch it with her, but warned that you’ll probably have to watch it twice to understand it. And of course, I did, lol. Some years later, she would also lend me her copy of the book, and House Atreides. I think Dune still holds my personal record for most pages read in a sitting, since I basically sat on my ass and inhaled about the first 100 pages–after reading the four appendices! I remember seeing the novel had appendices with information about its world, and just knowing that it would be my kind of book.

Oddly, ironically, or fated, the other night I started reading Dune again. It’s been maybe eight or ten years since I last read it.

Since reading the novel as a kid, I’ve come to have a cautious view of anyone attempting to make a movie out of the story. It’s just to big and multifaceted. The cluster-hells aside, the ’84 film basically cut out 30 – 60 % of the novel, literally an entire cast of characters worth. But it still managed to tell the important pieces of the story, and is far from a short film. Much like the Lord of the Rings, I try to respect the fact that no one can watch a 12-hour long movie without taking multiple bathroom breaks unless you’re wearing a still suit or diapers.

IHMO, unless you’re prepared to make a film trilogy out of it I think Dune lends itself more to a miniseries than a theatrical film. So at best, I can hope to enjoy Villeneuve and cie’s efforts. Sounds like he has the good sense to make it more than one movie, hopefully that pans out. The novel itself, as I recall: was not only followed by four appendices, but also divided the story into three “Books”. Which is well reflective of how long a story Dune is, regardless of the publishing history that lead to it being so.

I remember hearing about Bill & Ted 3 some years back, and thinking skeptically: “Why the heck would they want to make another one after so many years?”. And, kind of happy I was wrong, lol. Face the Music is an awesome movie!

The notion that after twenty five years, Bill & Ted are still trying to write the song that will unite the world is pretty spot-on for a concept. Very happy to see how that played out with Bill & Ted & the princesses. Since I grew up watching the first two films, the continuity of spirit is kind of awesome. Excellent Adventure is almost as old as I am, and I probably watched Bogus Journey most times I came across it.

Totally loved the time hopping and universe imploding. But especially how the most excellent daughters fit into it all. As they face the music, it was quite a spectacular end to a journey.