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Rating History

MirrorMask
MirrorMask (2005)
7 years ago via Flixster
½

The plot was somewhat lacking, but still better than I expected, and the visuals point the way to how GCI graphics /should/ be used. Not perfect, but still rather under appreciated.

Azur et Asmar (Azur and Asmar: The Princes' Quest)
7 years ago via Movies on Facebook
½

Ocelot's most visually sumptuous yet but weakest in terms of story - for the most part, it is merely a sideshow of one stunningly beautiful background painting after another - and not up there with Princes et princesses in any other respect. It does, however, stand head and shoulders above other CGI animation - or rather, it doesn't stand in the same place at all. The characters are the opposite in style to recent Pixar films, more akin to JRPG cut-scenes but more sensitively animated, with realistic proportions but pure, porcelain-like skin (though a couple are more caricatured) and, perhaps owing to CGI allowing the whole feature to be made in Paris, the exquisiteness of Ocelot's own drawings ironically comes through much stronger here than in his drawn features and the expression of non-verbal communication through facial moments is also stronger than in the Kirikou films. There is much more dialogue than there needs to be in some scenes because so much is already told through this non-verbal communication. The excellent comic timing also deserves a mention, as does the subtly spiking wit with which it attacks not so much racism in particular but all kinds of superstitious and presumptive misconceptions - this is it does not by telling the viewer what to do but by showing through example how people might come to think that way or not. My main wish is that these techniques could have been used to tell as engaging a story as other Ocelot films but perhaps this is because I had looked at so many reviews and stills that I knew the whole narrative before seeing it. I would still urge eveyone to go out and experience it if it is showing anywhere near them but I would recommend not seeing any trailers or summaries of the story beforehand.

The Lady Vanishes
8 years ago via Flixster
½

Surprisingly fluffy; there are a few interesting ideas, at least as much in the screenplay as the direction, but just as many which are gratingly predictable, so I was surprised to find something that is more a nostalgic, good old fashioned diversion than some great and moving classic of cinematography. Worth catching if it shows near you and you're not too busy, simply for the experience of seeing something of this era in a cinema, but though it's a fine example of its time and genre it's no biggie if you miss it. Now I'm no expert on this and only theorising here, but perhaps the main problem in really appreciating the masters of early sound film is that the techniques they pioneered have been so influential that they're now taken for granted - it is only in comparison with the works of lesser filmmakers, still struggling to make even a coherent narrative in this new medium, that works such as this really shine.