Doc T.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Pom Poko (Heisei tanuki gassen pompoko) (The Raccoon War)
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Bizarre doesn't even begin to cover this movie. First of all, the animation is excellent, and how can you go wrong with Ghibli. The fact that this is animated allows for insurmountable masses of distracting, wacky, surreal, and hilariously disturbing imagery that the film exploits to no end.

Perhaps if I were more familiar with Japanese folklore, or if I could watch the Japanese language version with direct translation in subtitles, I would understand better what the flippin' heck is going on. The English dub I feel has to change a lot to fit the character's mouths and to appeal to an audience of English speakers. There's definitely a story to follow, but the unprepared will constantly be scratching their heads and going "Whaaaaaaat" and "Why." It's just that bizarre to witness.

Overall, it's an inspired art piece. I love the visuals, but I can't love it all the way through, although for the imagery, I'm up for multiple viewings.

I've always believed that some things can only be experienced by watching movies, and no doubt, 'Pom Poko' is one of the most one-of-a-kind experiences I've ever seen.

Secrets & Lies
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

'Secrets & Lies' is a literary piece of original work in cinema, showcasing director-writer Mike Leigh's unrivaled style of storytelling, that is as much a human comedy as it is a high quality drama.

I never knew of Mike Leigh's famous 'improvisation-acting' technique prior to watching this, and the more I look back, the more I realize that's what allowed me to fall in love with the film in the first place.

We're faced with characters so natural and substantial, they could easily be people in our lives. They face completely human dramas, things like keeping secrets, coping with death and mediating between relatives who don't get along - and with these elements coming together perfectly, the story is told from beginning to end without needing to catch a breath. Every scenario tells us more about each character, each dilemma, and in doing so, allows us to care more how everything turns out.

I've joked that there's enough content in 'Secrets & Lies' that it could've been a miniseries, but I'm glad it's this instead. I'm convinced this is Mike Leigh's masterpiece and it's definitely one of my favorite movies of all time.