I last ranked the Studio Ghibli filmography here in August, 2013. But during my COVID-19 downtime I created a podcast with my friend Trevor where we discussed all of the Studio Ghibli films, with Trevor watching them all for the first time. We also included non-Ghibli films Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro and Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind.
I thought I’d re-present my new list below which I pulled together after my revisit for the podcast. See below to see my 2021 opinion of the best and worst Studio Ghibli films.
I’m not an obsessive Star Wars fan by any margin and I’m no expert when it comes to the minutiae of the expansive mythology of the Star Wars universe, but I think even hardcore fans of the series would tell you that Rogue One does very little tobuild upon the far reaching narrative that started in Episode I and that’s being continued in Episode VII and VIII and beyond. Of course, as a standalone film, this shouldn’t matter as long as the story it tells is a compelling one. But the biggest sin this film commits is that it doesn’t justify its existence as an engaging piece of entertainment, making it no more than a ‘good-enough’ corporately mandated cash grab.
My choices for the best songs of the year have been handily compiled into this Spotify playlist. They’re not in any real order but they’re somewhat themed by genre so that the playlist flows. I’ve decided to include only one song per artist, no matter how transcendent their 2016 output. Full disclaimer: I haven’t properly listened to either album by the Knowles sisters (don’t kill me).
Let’s face it, 2014 was a pretty awful year in music. 2015 may have been a top-heavy affair but there were gems sprinkled throughout. This list is mostly an update of my half yearly list with some new additions and rearrangements.
25-11 (in alphabetical order)
Beach House – Depression Cherry
The first of 2 albums Beach House released this year, Depression Cherry sneaks ahead mostly for the unexpected and welcome shredding on single ‘Sparks’.
It’s that time of year again where I claim that albums I listened to for the first time last week are destined to become future classics and where I very quickly run out of adjectives to describe simple musical terms.
When Marnie Was There follows Anna (Hailee Steinfeld in the English dub) who, due to suffering from increasingly severe social anxiety and depression, is sent away to her Aunt and Uncle’s countryside house over the summer for some fresh air and a change of scenery. While there she becomes transfixed by an old house overlooking the marsh and the golden-locked-girl who resides there, Marnie (Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka).
Can a horror movie get by on atmosphere and filmmaking chops alone? It Follows answers that question with a resounding, ‘yes, kinda’.
The movie follows a young college student Jay (Maika Monroe), who after sleeping with a new boyfriend (Jake Weary) is tied up by said boyfriend and told that he passed something onto her, a curse of sorts. She will be followed by a shape shifting creature that can take the form of anyone. It walks and it follows, and if it catches you, you die. Continue reading →
‘The future is shit, just like the past’ says our favourite imp before throwing up his wine all over his host’s lovely outdoor patio. So begins Season 5 of Game of Thrones. And yes, the world has gone to shit, but that’s a pretty constant state in Westeros. With Tywin dead, there is absolutely no political stability in the seven kingdoms. I mean, when Stannis has the most power in the kingdoms, then you know things have gone sour. But there’s still hope. After all, Tyrion takes another swig. Death by wine is a long, slow process and before he dies he may be able to influence a changing of the tides. Continue reading →
What defines a good rainy day song? Should it be a ray of sunshine cutting through the dreariness? Should it allow you to appreciate the violent dispassion of a storm, the quiet beauty of summer rain or the moody gloom of winter drizzle? Should it be a warm hug of noise getting you through the cold and blustery winter? Should it do a little of each? Does this playlist do any of these things?