REVIEWS

SPIKE JONZE     
Where the Wild Things Are     
By RON BARBAGALLO I
Where the Wild Things Are
© 2009 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
REVIEW
Where the Wild Things Are
By Ron Barbagallo - October 26, 2009

At first glance, Where the Wild Things Are might not strike you as what you were expecting but in this case, that's a good thing. We've been pre-programmed to slapstick humor, exaggerated facial expressions and topical gags from our kids’ films. While Where the Wild Things Are is reverend to both the 338 words of Maurice Sendak's book of the same name and the look of the characters he created, David Eggers and Spike Jonze have updated this film genre with a twist by imbuing character traits, personalities and even neurosis to Sendak's furry, dysfunctional family.

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HAYAO MIYAZAKI    
Ponyo   
By RON BARBAGALLO I
Ponyo
© 2009 Nibariki-GNDHDDT.
REVIEW
Ponyo
By Ron Barbagallo - July 16, 2009

Any discussion of Hayao Miyazaki's work needs to acknowledge that within the world of Japanese anime, Miyazaki's films are nearly unique. Many anime films use a similar visual style and their directors frequently traffic within storylines of revenge or apocalypse. While the works of Miyazaki do owe their visual lineage to the aesthetics of anime, it's Miyzaki's sensitive portraits of children, girls in particular, and his morality plays that more closely align his films with the type of narratives normally written by children's book authors Lewis Carroll, Hans Christian Andersen or J.R.R. Tolkien. Whether grounded here on Earth or heralding from some mythical place of Miyazaki's creation, Hayao Miyazaki stories are told with the precision of a master filmmaker. As a director, his visual vocabulary and specialized storytelling are like fellow stylistic auteurs Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton or Quentin Tarantino -- directors whose aesthetic sense is so strong and storytelling so unique that every film they make, even the small ones, are worth exploring.

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