2010s Animated Movies, Animated Movies, Animation - Anime

Animated Movies of 2010s – #03: Toy Story 4, How to Train Your Dragon 3 & Missing Link

Out of all the categories in Oscars, I personally feel the most positive about Best Animated Race. Well, the recent change regarding “all Academy members will vote for the nominees instead of Animation branch” is silly, which is another topic altogether so I won’t delve into it this time, but more than any other categories, and more than any Animated Season Awards, the committees do expand their view to champion films that are outside of the US, and pick films based on the merits of quality itself instead of big names big campaigns. Pixar still dominates the category and they still ignore many worthy anime films, which hurts. As for the 2019 race, I’m quite happy with the nominees with each film has its merits to be there. The only surprise is HTTYD edges out Frozen 2 but consider how HTTYD is always a strong franchise, and this 3rd film closes off that franchise on a conclusive note, I have no complaints whatsoever. Next one, we delve one more time to 2019 releases before we head to more theme-specific, or region-specific animated movies. Enjoy for now. 

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2010s Animated Movies, Animated Movies, Animation - Anime

Animated Movies of 2010s – #02: I Lost My Body, Klaus & Ruben Brandt, Collector

For this #2, we are heading to Western Animation to truly appreciate animation as an artform. This batch includes all install-classic offerings, with innovative and unique hand-drawn art styles that not only rare to find in the age (where CG dominates the box-office), but the styles integrate strongly to the story it’s telling. Two 4-star ratings (little spoilers, as far as all the films I’ve seen this decade I only awarded 14 movies with perfect 4-star, with this third film being the latest addition) and a hard 3-star, that alone speaks to the quality of this second batch. For the next batch we will have a look at other 3 Best Animated nominees from the year 2019. Enjoy.

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2010s Animated Movies, Animated Movies, Animation - Anime

Animated Movies of 2010s – #01: Weathering With You, Ride Your Wave & Promare

Let’s start with some anime big boys of the last year of the last decade where they all basically establish their house styles. Shinkai with his obsessions for both background arts and teen romance, Yuusa for his distinctive and unconventional vision and Studio Trigger for their colorful, loud and rush-of-adrenaline qualities. Not all of them are successful, but it’s clear that their ambitions alone make them a worthy watch already. Check the reviews out below:

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New Projects Announcement

Alright, for the next few weeks I’ll be checking out animated movies in the 2010s. The plan is to watch all the films I have missed out, as well as re-watch some in the early years of the decade, then I will make a top 10 list for each year and eventually the masterlist Animated Movies of the Decade. I’m looking around 40-50 films at this moment, range from anime to Hollywood fares to indie films around the world (and the list keeps growing), but since it’s animation it’s less of a demand watch than live-action films (well, at least in my case). I’ll also do short reviews in a batch of three films, so make sure to check back often to see my thoughts on these films. Another thing, for this project I’m gonna use a different, simpler grading system. 4 stars is awarded for modern classic films, 3 stars for good, 2 for decent and 1 for mixed. Also while at it, I’ll post the top 10 Anime Series of each year for the 2010s, and then onto the top 50 Anime of the Decade. Stay tune and I hope you enjoy reading.

2019 Oscar Best Picture, Oscars Best Pictures

2019 Oscar Best Picture

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Update after the ceremony:

This might be one of the first years where I completed the Oscar Best Picture nominees before the ceremony starts. Well, it just proves how out of touch I am when it comes to awards season. I’ve long passed the stage where I anticipating every single Oscar’s hopeful films, and those that are made specifically for Oscar aren’t my cup of tea anyways. 2019 Best Pictures crop is solid in general.

2019 Best Pictures race will be mostly remembered for Parasite winning the Best Film. This not only marks the first time a film in foreign language wins the top prize (the One-Inch Barrier as Bong himself put it – the subtitles), the Academy voters pick out one of the best choices in recent years. And the field of 2019 BP nominees was already solid to begin with, but with Parasite as the winner, it is on another level. For me the Best Picture and Best Director picks this year justify everything else they had made, and my rating up there reflects that. Except from the last spot (which I still enjoyed), the remains are worthy choice for the top race, and there isn’t a film that I am personally against (unlike Green Book last year). I’m holding up the overall rating for now until we get the actual winner, Check out below for my thoughts on these Oscar-nominated films, from worst to best:

Obvious Snubs: none

Too edgy/ artsy for Oscar: Uncut Gems, The Farewell, Us (the lack of hype regarding Us’s chance really baffled me, as I consider Us just as good and inventive as Get Out)

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Looking back at 2019

Well, I know it has been a while since my last post – more than 6 months to be exact, but I’m still here. 2019 has been a strange year for me, and if I can associate the year with something, that would be “a year of Fire”. During 2019, I had a passionate relationship that came and went like a flash of lightning (as much as I try to act normal, it still stings), many anime involving fire (Promare, Fire Force, Ride Your Wave), an actual anime studio which I have lots of respect for were on fire. And for the last few months , Australia has gone through one of our worst bushfires in history. One of the best films screened in Cannes is titled “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”. In 2019, I discovered a really great shoegaze band Galaxy 500 and guess what my favorite album from them is? On Fire.

As for blogging, after a really busy six months to sort out my real life stuff, I’m in a freer stage now so I will probably chase after many projects now. As this moment I don’t feel like doing full movie review anymore, instead I will give a paragraph or two on the films I watched. The next post regarding a new (short) project is coming soon.

2019 certainly wasn’t a dull year by any means. Here’s hoping for the new year 2020, and the new decade, to be better. Finally, enjoy this wonderful piece of music:

2019 Cannes, Cannes, Site Updates

My Top 10 Films in Cannes that don’t Compete for Palme d’Or

Well, the title says it all. The Palme d’Or lineup has gathered a lot of media attention, but one of the joy in Cannes is that they have varied choices beyond that, many of them take us by surprise and gain more traction as the year goes. This year is no exception as there are plenty titles worth raving about. With this list, let’s see some alternatives from the big titles that rarely get cover anywhere else, from wide range of medium, genres from all over the world.

note: there are 2 films that were originally on my watchlist but I couldn’t find the time to watch. Sight-unseen mention to The Lighthouse (Director’s Fortnight) and the animated feature The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily (Un Certain Regard)

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2019 Cannes, Cannes

2019 Cannes Palme d’Or

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

All things considered, 2019 offers another strong lineup that stay very well in conversation for the whole year. Only 5 films make it to my “Silver Moon in Full Bloom” status, but this is a year stack full of worthy films that all bring something interesting to the table. If you look closely into this year’s lineup, you can draw some major underlying themes that lead the discussion. First, SOCIAL SATIRE becomes as relevant as ever, outlined by Parasite winning Palme d’Or that touch on the class inequality in a smartly twisted way. The Dead Don’t Die opens the Festival with its dry satire on the world that has gone mad, not unlike the real world. Bacurau and It Must Be Heaven fall into this spectrum as well with their fresh (and funny) take on social identities. Second, POLICE THRILLER roars like a lion this year, with many films, especially French titles Les Miserables, Oh Mercy, using this format to suggest the ongoing tension between the law and the suppressed citizen. Neo-noir police genre also is on the rise with The Whistlers and The Wild Goose Lake. Lastly, this is a year where movies about film-making, film-within-a-film gain some attraction with the likes of Once upon a Time in Hollywood, Sibyl, Pain & Glory and Frankie. This year also offer wide range of other subject matters, from friendship (Matthias & Maxime), to benefits (The Wild Goose Lake) to friends with benefit (Mektoub Intermezzo). Amongst serious social issues, class conflict (Parasite, Bacurau, Sorry We Missed You, Atlantique), Muslim crisis (The Young Ahmed, Les Miserables) and personal crisis (Pain & Glory, A Hidden Life, Frankie) and queer romance (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Matthias & Maxime) are hot topics.

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