Another masterful Murakami novel that you can simply immerse yourself in. Props also to the translator, Jay Rubin, who conveys the Japanese atmosphere well. The novel isn't perfect, but fulfilling.
coming of age
I thought that the acting in the first half was borderline poor. The older Pi is singularly unconvincing. The second half, on the other hand, has above-par acting and fantastic CGI. The star of the show? The Royal Bengal Tiger. The twist is worth the wait.
Surfing movies are invariably great, albeit with not much of a plot. This one does have a semblance of a plot but is let down by the screenplay and direction. However, eventually I was well entertained.
+1 for stunning visuals
+1 for Ms. Shue
A movie that could have been far, far better if it had a better cast. Emma Watson was singularly poor. While I didn't think that she or any of the Harry Potter cast could ever plumb new depths, apparently, they have been reached. The screenplay and direction were just about par.
A bonus star for music and literary references.
While it has a number of positives, they are overwhelmed by the negatives. One of the former is the presence of Tom Hardy who is one cool fscker. One of the latter is the plot which is a little wishy-washy. The script is also not really all that great with the characters coming across as too hollow. However, what I really did not like about this movie was the presence of Shia LaBeouf who is probably the most annoying actor on the planet.
I would have given it one more star if it wasn't for Shiat.
This book by Stieg Larsson is an entertaining mystery-thriller and something of a coming-of-age story as well. The reader is always rooting for the female protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, who is a reclusive, reticent, abused woman with hidden "superpowers". A good read without any major holes in its plot as long as you suspend a little sense of disbelief in the build-up. The setting in Sweden gives it that extra something as well.
So, thanks to a lot of hype, I ... acquired this anime and watched it all in a couple of sittings. I'm a real sucker for anything that revolves around music and the fact that this is directed by Watanabe Shinichirō (director of Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, etc., who is known for blending music in really well) with music taken care of by Kanno Yōko (who is a bloody legend), is about as big a recommendation as any anime can get.
A production with Miyazaki Hayao handling the screenplay and his son Goro directing, 'From up on Poppy Hill' has all the qualities of a vintage Ghibli wonder. In many ways, this coming of age story is similar to that of one of my favourites from this studio, 'Whisper of my heart', with a school + home setting, two very earnest and driven young teens, and puppy love. Unfortunately, something is amiss as the finished product does not hit home.