John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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Being a story of love, human kindness, and friendship; Tokyo Godfathers seamlessly integrates its themes within a loving, emotional, and spirited Christmas tale. The perfect Christmas movie to watch using boxxy software app surrounded by your relatives.
I’ve been on a run of discovering anime that actually works for me, but Tokyo Godfathers returns to many of the things that I don’t like about the early ones I watched. The animation is kind of messy, the characters are ugly, and everyone overreacts to things with extreme goofy faces. My other big struggle with Tokyo Godfathers was the meandering plot. This movie tries to do way too much in only 90 minutes. There is backstory for 4 or 5 characters, which means we have at least that many who need some kind of resolution to their stories at the end. It all got muddled for me, and I lost track of where the characters were in relation to one another, and what they were hoping to accomplish. Then there are some odd twists and turns with the mother of the baby that confused me even more, to the point where I just wanted it to end. I’m generally inclined to like movies a little more that have a Christmas theme to them, and that was the one saving grace in Tokyo Godfathers. It had some heart at the center of the story. Even though the characters were misguided, and made some stupid choices, they meant to do the right thing. That was enough to at least leave me with a smile on my face when the movie ended, even if the journey to get there was frustrating.
Another gift from Satoshi Kun for this Christmas. I have watched Blue Perfect, Paprika, and I was fascinated by his imagination. However, Toky Godfathers brings me different experiences. It is a nice movie talking about family love, highly recommend for everyone who wants some funny but meaningful things for Holidays!
This film was solid.
Satoshi Kon, again, astonished me after Paprika and Perfect Blue. This time, it follows three homeless who found a baby was dumped by its parents on Christmas Eve. Seems like Christmas movies or family in general, right? The plot involves a realism which results in a coincidental experience of these three homeless. Some of the plots are pretty predictable but there are so many symbolism that Satoshi Kon put into included in this movie. This anime brings a realism approach to a different level from anime in general.
I have decided that Tokyo Godfathers is now a quintessential Christmas movie. Directed, written, and produced by the brilliant Satoshi Kon, this heartwarming tale chronicles the Christmas Eve (or perhaps New Years, it's a little unclear) of three homeless people: Hana-san, a transwoman, Miyuki, a teenage runaway, and Gin, a washed up gambler, as they find a baby abandoned in the trash and attempt to return it to its parents. In the vein of It's a Wonderful Life and a Christmas Carol, the motley crew are confronted with their past and how their departure, sometimes willing sometimes not, from normal society has affected those they left behind.
While I won't tell too much without giving away the plot, the movie does give a stark look at definitions and limits of family in modern(ish) Japan, and what that looks like to individuals with incredibly different backgrounds. And, like Its a Wonderful Life, this movie takes a stark look at suicide and desperation, both increasingly serious problems in Japan. However, unlike Its a Wonderful Life, it doesn't seem to resolve the big question: should I kill myself? Instead, it shows what happens to those you leave behind when someone removes themselves from their lives, either through abandonment or suicide. Despite this, it's an overall happy movie, and I would recommend it for everyone able to understand the depths that desperation can lead to.
While I am wholly ignorant of Japan's treatment of queer people, the inclusion of a transwoman as a main character was particularly striking, especially considering this movie came out in 2003 and not, say, after Laverne Cox rose to stardom. And while the animation and actions of Hana-san are consistent with other representations of gay men in anime, Kon's writing gives this woman a poignancy and realness to her drives, and while her backstory is (surprisingly) probably the least tragic, her desires for bodily womanhood and motherhood are showcased prominently and almost respected by the other characters. And while the treatment of Hana-san isn't great, it's certainly real, in a way that I haven't always seen in more American stories of queer people before.
My only previous experience with Satoshi Kon being Paprika, and this movie was a much more muted affair. Paprika features fantastical characters, bold colours, and surreal dreamscapes, and Tokyo Godfathers most certainly did not. However, Kon's fanciful writing shows true through the script, with several highly improbable events converging to support the protagonists in a way very much in keeping with other Christmas movies. His studio's distinctive animation style was nonetheless showcased in this work of fantastical realism, with mild aspects of Looney Toons and animation humor thrown into a couple action sequences and facial expressions during arguments. Definitely enough to remind you that you weren't watching a drama, but humorous and appropriate.
And I'll let you know, Kiyuki does eventually stop crying.
Gorgeous animation, brilliant editing, a charming down-to-earth story with a bit of a magical aura to it. The music was quirky and uniquely fitting, and the scenes had an incredibly unique composition. The direction of this movie was very impressive, outstandingly creative. The movie felt like an urban fairy tale.
I watched Your Name not too long ago, so it's still fresh in my head, and it was great. Honestly, but boy, when I contrast Your Name with this, it's so apparent that Tokyo Godfathers is in an entirely different league. You can just see his mastery of this art.
Satoshi Kon was a genius, and it's a damn tragedy that he went away so early in his life. If he manages to make a story about 3 homeless people finding an abandoned baby so compelling and unique, he could do anything. Sad that he won't anymore.
So do yourself a favor and check out the work he did leave us.
This movie is pretty weird, and for some people may even be a little off-putting. Behind that façade though, this is really a great movie. At the surface it's about three homeless people who find an abandoned baby, a weird start already but digging deeper it's about these three people who are running from their lives finding a purpose and over the course of their night confronting their pasts. The funny thing is the deeper meanings of this movie are pretty standard, but the way it confronts them is so surreal, so heartfelt, and so much fun. There is such an energy to the whole movie it's hard to get bored. It's wild and original and just great.
The perfect Christmas movie.
An alternative Christmas story with beautiful animation. It feels like taking inspiration from the nativity into a whole new, unconventional level.