Soundtracks//Hans Zimmer


When I first discovered as a teenager that I could listen to movie soundtracks by themselves, one of the first composers whose work I went to find was Hans Zimmer. He and John Williams were two names I knew whose work I loved, even at that point when I was quite clueless when it came the composers who score film soundtracks. So, as a sort of filler post which I’m needing at the moment, here are four tracks by Hans Zimmer that I instantly think of when I hear his name.

The Chariot Race || The Prince of Egypt: The Prince of Egypt left a strong impression on me when I first saw it as a kid, most specifically its songs and musical score. The animation was enchanting and the story well-told, but Hans Zimmer’s stirring, emotionally moving score was what stuck with me for years in my head. When I at last found and eventually bought the soundtrack, it was liking finding a piece of my being that had been missing. (One of these days, I will have to rank my favorite musical scores just so to see where this one falls!)

The Might of Rome || Gladiator: I heard the soundtrack for The Gladiator before I saw it, and I think that’s why I was left kinda disappointed by the film. The music swept me and my expectations so far away by its wonder that the film itself paled when I finally saw it, which is why I now highlight this soundtrack. The power of music, people! (This track specifically is my personal favorite because I have an old book scene completely mapped to this track by. the. note.)

An Argument/You’re Mufasa’s Boy/Remember || The Lion King: I love the music in this film, especially when watching the movie, as it adds an entire extra layer of amazing. The Lion King film is also incredibly important to me emotionally; my mom and I think it’s because she saw The Lion King in theaters when she was eight months pregnant with me and the music reached me through her belly–at least, that’s what I like to think. 😄

Final Credits || Inception: Finally, there is no way one can end this list without mentioning Inception. Inception’s music is one of the highlights of the film–even though the film is pretty much a highlight in and of itself. Definitely love the level of intensity the score reaches. Hans Zimmer is definitely awesome.

~Jamie

My Summer with Studio Ghibli


studio-ghibliWhat sets this Japanese animation company apart from most other studios is their ability to perfectly capture the precious moments in life; like good food, affection between friends and family, and respect for neighbors and nature. If you are into movies or animation, then most of these films I saw this summer are must-sees, all drawn in the most enchanting animation style!

This summer, I got introduced to Studio Ghibli’s anime films; I ended up watching nearly all of them too fast because they were so good! Even the overrated ones displayed some of the most beautiful animation. I want to bring more attention to these movies, so I’ve compiled single paragraph thoughts on the ones I’ve seen below. they’re presented in the order I watched them and are spoiler-free! I’m also incredibly proud of this post as it took about a month to create, write and design! I don’t do this for everything, so consider this a demonstration of my strong feelings for these films (many of which I now own on DVD!)

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A strong shout out and thank you needs to be said to my best friend, James, for suggesting I give Studio Ghibli a try, and for recommending Whisper of the Heart so many times. 😉 Ghibli has definitely been a big highlight of my 2014 summer! The studio definitely changed how I look at anime and animation in general and greatly expanded my film world (and Top 100 Favorite Movies list!) Thank you so much, James!

Notes: The only Ghibli films I haven’t seen include Only Yesterday, Ocean Waves, and Tales from Earthsea. I have seen Nausicaa, but since it’s technically not Ghibli, I opted to leave it out. Just a personal choice on my part.

arrietty-disneyscreencaps.com-1368The Secret World of Arrietty || 2010 || G 

“Human beings are dangerous. If we’re seen, we have to leave. My parents said so.”

My first Studio Ghibli film. It appealed to a childhood love of mine for tiny people, so it turned out to be perfect starting point. Arrietty was whimsical, breathtakingly beautiful, and quite endearing. I found it very enjoyable, even though it wasn’t a rousing epic or a heart stopping adventure. It was a very sweet tale that elevated your boring objects like sugar cubes and sewing pins to a completely new perspective within the hands of a Borrower. Everything was just very delightful, from endearing heroine Arrietty (many of Ghibli’s films are filled with some of the most wonderful female leads!) and her unique little family, to the most gorgeous animation. A highlight for me was the original score that was a very gentle Celtic. It definitely lifted the story to special heights as it guided story’s emotion. Overall, this is personally special to me because it was my first Ghibli film, so I give it an extra half a star. 🙂

Final Comment: A Whimsical Wonder || 5/5  stars

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mimiWhisper of the Heart || 1995 || PG 

“Take me home, concrete roads!”

This was highly recommended to me, a beautifully told coming-of-age story. Set at the point when the libraries were preparing to computerized their systems, Shizuku’s interest in piqued by seeing a familiar name on all her checkout cards-she eventually meet the person and their stories become entwined. The atmosphere of Tokyo’s neighborhoods, antique shops, apartment complexes, and the people who pass by them, made for a very comforting backdrop for the story to unfold and one that I was fascinated to watch. The film handles young romance exceptionally well, never once feeling awkward or weird–a gigantic plus! I loved Shizuku as a female lead and would certainly love to revisit her life in a sequel if it could be handled well. At times, Whisper of the Heart can feel rather slow at the beginning but do not let your impatience get in the way of the perfect character handling and atmosphere. By the end of this movie, I was in puddle of tears from happiness and I’m still trying to figure out how they made such a small ending feel so monumental.

Final Comment: Sneak Attack On The Emotional Zone|| 5/5 stars

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216299-the-wind-rises-1The Wind Rises || 2013 || PG-13 

“Airplanes are beautiful, cursed dreams, waiting for the sky to swallow them up.”

This is one of Ghibli’s most beautiful films to date! I consider it almost a “sin” that Frozen took the Oscar this past year instead of The Wind Rises, especially when I saw how the Academy voted. A loose biopic, the film beautifully depicts the a life of Jiro Hirikoshi, who helped develop aircraft for the Japanese right before World War II and how his life’s passion was taken and used for harm. Airplanes have never been so interesting to me as they were throughout the running time of this film. The romance that developed during the second half  was so heartbreakingly beautiful that I ended up crying from the pure emotion. The animation in and of itself was basically flawless (especially character designs; for the most part, Ghibli creates some of the most pleasant and innocent looking characters I’ve ever seen that’s refreshing to the eyes!) A surprise was hearing John Karinski’s voice in this film (Jim Halpert of The Office, people!) and I actually liked Joseph Gordan Levitt’s acting too! The highlight of this film was simply the entire story and how it was presented. It was incredibly enjoyable and moving to behold in its entirety. Personally, I am still battling my temper that this film is so unknown compared to Disney’s very lacking ice and princess flick.

Final Comment: Oscar Worthy || 5/5 stars

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QualitŽ: deuxime gŽnŽration.   Titre: Le Royaume Des Chats.The Cat Returns || 2002 || G 

“Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear.”

As this film is loosely connected to Whisper of the Heart, which I loved terribly, I ended up watching this sooner than later. Sadly, it does not live up to what Whisper of the Heart delivered. The cat, The Baron, who originated in Whisper, was the best part; sadly, the rest of the film I didn’t enjoy half as much. It was a decent kids film, it simply tasted different from the previous three Ghibli films I’d seen. It wandered into more children’s stereotypical territory in a hit and miss type fashion. Overall, it was alright but I probably won’t watch again. (I should note that it is still better than some of America’s extremely cheesy and crude kids movies.)

Final Comment: Meh, Kids Will Like It || 3/5 stars

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Howl’s Moving Castle || 2004 || PG 

“Here’s another curse for you – may all your bacon burn!”

Very imaginative and fantastical, Howl’s Moving Castle is one of Studio Ghibli’s more popular films with a very large fan base, which at points has caused me to scratch my head to a degree. Frankly, I think it’s rather overrated but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an enjoyable watch. I did love the fantasy elements a lot; for example, the magical walking castle was really neat. The cast of characters was great; the fire demon Calcifer (English voice done by none other than Mike Wazowski’s voice, Billy Crystal!) was an imaginative fantasy creature and entertaining without being too silly. Christian Bale was great as the wizard Howl too! The film starts out quite strong, but gets too busy with different story threads during the last half, ultimately failing to resolve a major problem set up in the beginning. So, sadly I was left rather disappointed when the film ended. Still, it’s a good watch, especially for fantasy lovers.

Final Comment: Fantastical but Overrated || 4/5 stars

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neighbor-totoro-disneyscreencaps.com-3771My Neighbor Totoro || 1988 || G 

“There was a great big Totoro!”

Easily one of Ghibli’s most recognizable films, this is one of the best animated films I have ever seen in my life. Not only is it a timeless classic, but it’s depiction of family and sisterhood was pulled off better than in nearly any Disney film I’ve ever seen. This is by far the best and most realistic set of fictional sisters ever and that definitely made the film for me–they were so endearing! Little moments in the girls lives as they moved into a new house, settled into a new community, and glimpsed the forest spirits, was what made the film so monumental in heart and soul–it’s a quiet movie with massive heart. It’s also very entertaining, as little Mei is incredibly adorable and says and does some humorous things. The animation is a little old but it doesn’t hurt the film at all–in fact it has a charming, timeless quality to it that adds to the film’s quaint, sweet atmosphere of childhood. I’ve rewatched this film many times now with my seven-year-old brother and have teared up nearly every time by end. In short, this is a must-see.

Final Comment: Definition of Your Timeless Classic || 5/5 stars

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Ponyo || 2008 || G 

“That’s the most boring goldfish I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”

I fell in love with this movie almost instantly and I would rank it highly among one of my top favorite Studio Ghibli films. The animation of the water blew me away, as it looked so fluid and soft! The world of and above the sea, and their meeting together, was captured in perfect detail, charm, and awe through the story of two little children. Title character Ponyo was enthusiastic and strong-willed without being obnoxious, while the little boy Sosuke was adorably mature, bright, and kindhearted for his age; with such lovable leads, it was very hard not to adore this film! I absolutely loved the flow of the story’s plot and the level of emotion it took me to. The cast of characters was relatively small but also incredibly enjoyable and memorable; Ponyo’s wizard father and Sosuke’s spunky mother were both especially fun characters. In many ways, words fail me to describe how beautiful this movie was. From thrilling adventure, heart-tugging moments of joy, breathtaking animation, and a beautiful score, this was simply a masterpiece. Talk about going above and beyond for a children’s movie!

Final Comment: Favorite Tale From The Sea || 5/5 stars

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Spirited AwaySpirited Away || 2001 || PG 

“I finally get a bouquet and it’s a goodbye present. That’s depressing.”

Boy, this movie is loved to insane heights but I didn’t click with it on the first watch. While I was sick, I gave it a second try. While I still hold to my opinion that it’s kinda overrated, I did enjoy it more the second time through. It is a great feat in the animation universe. Incredibly bizarre yet solid, we get to follow human Chihiro as she becomes stuck in the nighttime world of a bathhouse for spirits, separated from her parents. Yep, this film is your classic fantasy adventure! Although some of the characters are a little ugly to look at, mostly the animation is fascinatingly interesting and hard to look away from. Spirited Away also manages to communicate emotion that gives the adventure some gravity, which overall helped it while on my second watch. I did have a problem with a poorly presented back story of one character, but I cannot go into detail without spoiling things. Overall, it’s… an interesting movie; it will probably grow on me a little bit at a time with each rewatch.

Final Comment: Crazy but Worth The Time|| 4 /5 stars

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kikis-delivery-serviceKiki’s Delivery Service || 1989 || G 

“You’d think they’d never seen a girl and a cat on a broom before.”

Kiki’s Delivery Service perfectly captured what a family film should feel like, hitting a well-balanced mark that some animated films miss; it was not too silly yet also not too serious. It was deliciously delightful and quaint, thoroughly soaked in a nostalgia for a simpler time. Kiki was a fantastic character to get behind as her simple journey of becoming an independent young adult unfolded through adventures, mishaps, and lots of heart. Her talking cat Jiji was adorable and funny without being ridiculous or weighing down the film with too much silly dialog. In fact, the whole cast of supporting characters were great! Kiki herself was a big highlight; I really wanted my younger brother to watch this film as she displayed an optimistic, strong will to work hard for herself, without seeming perfect or unrealistic. The film continues to grow on me with each rewatch, of which I’m very happy!

Final Comment: Wonderful Family Film || 4.5/5 stars

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960__castle_in_the_sky_blu-ray_x04_Laputa: Castle in the Sky || 1986 || PG 

“Oh, no! There goes my crystal!”

Laputa: Castle in the Sky is Ghibli’s first film and it’s a great children’s fantasy adventure, packed with space pirates, a lost civilization, a magical necklace, puzzles needing solving and a roller coaster of adventures that almost never stop. However, in some ways, it felt a little young for me, so I didn’t enjoy it  quite as much as, say, Kiki (my brother would LOVE this film though, and I need to show it to him soon!) There was just a tad more silliness mixed in–not in a bad way; it just felt a little hit and miss to me personally. However, for Ghibli’s first official film, it’s pretty decent! Lead characters Sheeta and Pazu are easy to get behind and were fun to follow throughout the story. Mark Hamill’s voice acting as a certain character was a pleasure to hear, too! I’m probably ranking this a little too low but until I can give a proper rewatch, I’ll have to stick with how I feel right now.

Final Comment: Decent Kids Adventure || 3.5/5 stars

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Princess Mononoke || 1997 || PG-13 

“You cannot change fate. However, you can rise to meet it, if you so choose.”

The versatility Ghibli has to tell so many different types of stories is amazing–from children’s adventures to bizarre fantasy to heartfelt drama. Ghibli is a master at their craft of storytelling! This versatility is especially clear in this rather mature epic, Princess Mononoke. Although the environmental theme became so overpowering that it felt more a sermon than a plot theme, the film still delivered a solid fantasy epic. Led by the likable but doomed Ashitaka, we get to watch as he’s caught up in a battle over the forest, some fighting to keep it safe and others wanting what it can give them, with little regard of the spirits that live within it. An extremely fascinating part of this film was that there practically no ‘bad’ side. Nearly all the characters were cast in shades of grey, each having good and bad motivates that gave a very large, telling image of humanity. I hope to revisit this film in the future, to form a more solid opinion of it, and to enjoy the animation, of course.

Final Comment: Preachy yet Epicly Beautiful || 4.5/5 stars

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poppy-hill-disneyscreencaps.com-3998From Up on Poppy Hill || 2011 || PG 

“There’s no future for people who worship the future and forget the past.”

This made me think of Whisper of The Heart, in a small ways. Poppy Hill, for some reason, isn’t that popular, so I’m among the few who really enjoyed this movie. As a high school attempts to save their clubhouse, we get to peek into the private lives of a couple of students in particular and their budding relationship; all with the backdrop of Japan’s struggle to move forward after WWII without loosing touch with their heritage. Like most Ghibli films, it handles the sweet beginnings of romance wonderfully. As a period piece, the bits of drama throughout the film were enjoyable to watch, as was the look into the Japanese culture. My only complaint was that the end felt a bit abrupt–but only because I wanted see more! Like Whisper, I could have sat for hours watching the lives of these characters if the movie had kept going! So, overall, this was a very pleasant animation!

Final Comment: A Precious Throwback to What Was “Whisper” || 4.5/5 stars

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Porco-Rosso-porco-rosso-29177479-1200-713Porco Rosso || 1992 || PG 

“I’d rather be a pig than a fascist.”

Drenched in playful romanticism of yesteryear and accompanied by sea planes, air bandits, big Italian families, hidden coves, lost loves, and oh! a man cursed to have the face of a pig? Yes, you read that right; while that part felt random, somehow it still managed to work. Porco was an endearing yet serious character; I found myself drawn into his story and really enjoyed the stay, watching him handle pirates, his delicate sea plane, and eventually fight for honor. The plot, once it got going, was a fantastic ride and beautifully delivered. A special highlight was the smart and optimistic young engineer Fio and I consider her one of Ghibli’s most underrated characters. She was an absolute joy to watch, but I never see her mentioned by most fans.  Overall, except for a less than satisfactory last ten minutes, I was pleasantly surprised by this film and almost instantly in love!

Final Comment: Yes! The Pig Thing Does Work!|| 5/5 stars

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968full-my-neighbors-the-yamadas-screenshotMy Neighbors The Yamadas || 1999 || PG 

“The reason the Yamadas get along fine is because all three adults are nuts. If one of you were normal it would unbalance the rest.”

Very different from Ghilbi’s other films, this film was a comical commentary on your regular, middle class family. Although it’s almost two hours, it plays out like a bunch of shorts, and not your typical, single overarching plot. It was a sweet film, with some fun moments and some wonderful watercolor-like animation, perfectly capturing each family member’s perspective of life. Although I wouldn’t consider it a favorite of mine, I would consider it worth watching if you consider yourself a Studio Ghibli fan or an animation buff in general. It had a very unique feel to how it’s told and how it looks and even its own sense of humor. Being an animation geek myself, I did make the effort to watch this one.

Final Comment: Had Some Good Moments || 3.5/5 stars

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pompoko-4592Pom Poko || 1994 || PG 

“I have no face!”

Of all the Studio Ghibli films I’ve watched, this is the one I’ve liked least of all, and I think it’s almost universally unpopular. Following shape shifting raccoon-dogs fighting for their forest, those shape shifting moments were pretty much the only enjoyable parts for me. Sadly, I didn’t like the rest, as it was unbelievably strange and weird to say the least. You would not believe what part of the male anatomy they decided to animate in this film–I did not care for that part. 😯 The all-too familiar environmental message was quite in-your-face, which I always find intrusive of my mental personal space–if that make sense? Overall, the film felt very odd. It’s the only Ghibli film I actually completely dislike.

Final Comment: I Shoulda Skipped It || 2.5/5 stars

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la-tumba-de-las-luciernagasGrave of the Fireflies || 1988 || NR 

Once again, Ghibli’s ability to deliver a variety of stories is shown by this epicly devastating yet somehow beautiful piece of animation. Following two siblings and their will to survive after their city is bombed near the end of WWII, the price of war is depicted very clearly through their struggles, nothing sugar-coated to say the least. The two main characters are breathtakingly realistic, endearing, and well-balanced. Little Setsuko is a heart-stealer, unbelievably cute and sympathetic. Seita, the older brother, is also an easy hero to get behind as he attempts to shelter his sister from the effects of war. On an overall scale, everything is fantastic in this film, from voice acting, to animation, to story flow. However, I must note that the film got so depressing that I had to stop near the end before finishing it later. The fact that I never want to watch this film ever again lowers the score just a bit. I think everyone should see this at some point in their lifetime but it should not be expected to be an easy watch and rightfully so. Well done, Ghibli, well done.

Final Comment: The Definition of a Tear-Jerker || 4.5/5

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Shall we tally the scores? Out of sixteen movies, there are four that are marked under 3.5 and two the acceptable 4. With the remaining ten films all being above average/raising the bar of the animation genre, with four gaining near perfect 4.5, and six claiming 5 out of 5 stars, I say, where have you been all my life, Studio Ghibli?! Sure, they’re not perfect, just like every other film, but that’s not why they’re marked so high. What they are is genuine. Imaginative. Relate-able. Gorgeous. Touching. In the end, to me, they’re priceless and well worth the time to share.

This summer will definitely be one I’ll remember as the year I realized I could watch anime and love it. I now happily own (yes, I put my money where my mouth is) My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, Porco Rosso, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Whisper of the Heart, The Secret World of Arriety, and even Howl’s Moving Castle on DVD. I hope to buy The Wind Rises, From Up On Poppy Hill, and maybe even Spirited Away in the near future! That’s how much I love them and need them accessible, right at my fingertips!

If even one of these films piqued your interest, I strongly recommend you find a way to watch it! Hopefully Studio Ghibli can bring happiness to your life as it did mine! If you’ve already seen some (or all!) of these films, what did you think of them? Did you like them as much as I did? I surely hope that you did!

~Jamie

Blocks.


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I despise writer’s block. I have so many post drafts begun but nothing is coming to me to write. It’s extremely annoying, especially since I dislike letting my blog sit for longer than a few days. I also dislike dwelling on negatives–but that sentence sound so ironic now!

Anyway, the only big thing I have to share at the moment (that my brain isn’t trying to stop me from writing) is that I saw The Lego Movie on Friday! I took my seven year old brother with me since legos are his thing and I thought it would be a great way for him to re-experience the theater since seeing Winnie The Pooh in 2011. We both really liked it and I think we’ll be buying it when the price is right for the family film collection. But gosh, I can’t believe anyone was not looking forward for this film to some degree or another.

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It was so fun! The animation was fantastic and the detail that was poured into the lego universe was mind blowing.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie with such perfect casting as well–Chris Pratt’s voice was exactly what I would expect to hear from that familiar, regular yellow face! Will Arnett, who’s character from Arrested Development is hysterical, was perfect for the spoofy Batman. And how do you go wrong with Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson or Elizabeth Banks?!

The film’s plot took some surprising twists and turns and there were so many delightful cameos.  The dialogue and humor was ridiculously fun and yet the film was still able to get you attached to the characters and communicate a few good messages.

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If you’ve ever had anything to do with legos in any part of your life, then you need to see this movie because you will love it.

Well, that is all that I can think to say right now… I need to find a cure for this writer’s block. Hey, maybe it’s a LEGO writer’s block, made of lego bricks! That makes for some fun images for the old noodle!

~Jamie

Of Tears and Hurts | Some Self Discovery on Films and Fandoms


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The past month I’ve come to some awareness to certain aspects of my life in regards to movies and TV, and writing about my thoughts is great therapy for me, so I thought I’d write this post up and share it.

Well, the last week was brutal fandom-wise for me; The Walking Dead mid season finale was devastating; I had tears in my eyes the entire last half of that episode and was very distressed. And as all my Twitter followers should know 😉 I flew through Season Four of Doctor Who and had to say goodbye to Ten, David Tenant’s Doctor. Through three seasons I got attached to him and his last farewell was very sad. I didn’t want to see him go. I did cry but it was after I shut down Netflix and walked away because Eleven’s sudden appearance broke the build of emotion (which I did not appreciate, by the way.)

But when I did cry, I cried hard because I felt I had once again lost another friend and that’s a very devastating feeling to me. I cried and cried in the bathroom for probably two solid minutes and then came out all red eyed. Kayla was very supportive of me that night and I ate sugar and watched Downton Abbey with Mom.

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But it felt good to cry. And I’ve been crying more over movies and TV recently, which for a while I thought was rather weird. But I’ve realized that I feel better afterwards when I do. It’s because I am acknowledging that I am sad and am expressing it in a healthy way. It doesn’t stay pent up in me forever; I grieve because I care and when I’m done grieving I can pick myself up and move on. I think it’s been a healthy step for my emotional side, to become more in tune with my feelings and let them come out more.

That’s not the only thing I’ve realized in regards to myself with movies and TV the past few weeks. I’ve realized how I feel about Christian critical ‘thinking and sharing’ about films and TV, especially here on the Internet, for me personally. I’ve come to some conclusions.

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For most of my teen years, my family spent all it’s time in a very conservative, small church circle. Movies and talking about movies didn’t really mix there. One of the reasons was because it was considered good thing to ‘think critically’ when it came to films. In many ways talking or sharing about movies with those kids became a very distasteful thing; it felt as though, if I or my sister spent more time talking about what we liked about a movie and not what we discovered was wrong about a movie, it felt like we weren’t quite as up to par as the rest of the children. This was part of the problem, of course, that I felt like I had to be up to par compared to other children who were being raised differently then we were.

And ‘thinking critically’–or rather ‘sharing critical thoughts out loud‘ rubs me the wrong way now because of those experiences, which includes experiences with my dad when he still lived with us because he really liked tearing movies apart. He nearly ruined our first viewing of Iron Man because of how much critical speech came out of his mouth the next day. It made watching movies almost a dread because I felt like I couldn’t enjoy the experience when I was going to have to tear it apart right afterwards.

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Even though I’ve been away from that atmosphere-that more extreme thinking-for quite some time, I still sometimes feel that I must include with my movie reviews ‘warnings’ and/or proof that I still am up to snuff. And that’s burdensome. It weighs down on my spirit, being busy worrying if I’m spiritual enough for some people. I feel as though I am still stuck in the old even though I’m not.

And so I recently came to to the conclusion that from now, until I feel better about the entire matter, I will no longer write anything about a movie unless I want too. I won’t include or acknowledge un-biblical issues in movies on my blog UNTIL I have been able to recover or unless I really want to. But at this point I don’t want too for most cases because I feel like when I do, I’m only doing what some people expect me to do, or prove myself worth something in some sort of twisted sense that is not biblical at all.

I feel as though the only way I’ll ever be able to get back to real, biblical, proper critical ‘sharing’ is to not do it at all.

(This would include me feeling responsible for warning people of anything distasteful in a movie; do your own research on a movie before watching! Everyone’s standards are different and what I might find except-able might not be in your book.)

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Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the importance of thinking critically in regards to media and entertainment. But feeling like I HAVE to share my critical thoughts is horrible. I need to get back to just talking about movies and enjoying the good in them without an unhealthy old burden from three years ago still weighing on my head.

Coming to this realization has been very freeing. My mom is very supportive of my discovery of this and with support, I hope to be on a road to real recovery in this area in my life in the future.

In conclusion: I would like to encourage anyone who hasn’t done so already, to do some soul searching of your own. Come to grips with some things that you might be doing only out a fear and see if you can get to the place where you can either stop doing them or can do them for the right reasons. It’s very freeing, lemme tell you!

PS Short movie reviews  now coming!

~Jamie

Childhood Must-Sees


There are several animated movies I’ve seen and grown up with that I would consider ‘Childhood Must-Sees’– or at least my kids will certainly grow up watching them. 🙂 I don’t have kids right now, so I instead make sure my six (almost seven) year old brother is properly introduced. I have lots of films but these are my top eight (in no particular order.)

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The Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. I’m so glad I grew up with this film. It’s pretty much the most innocent film you could ever watch. I think this is the first movie I remember seeing. It’s cute and adorable yet rather clever. I still like watching this movie and I have so many good feelings and memories tied up in it. There’s no way in heck my kids are growing up without Winnie The Pooh and his friends.

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Winnie the Pooh. This movie only came out a few years ago but it is just as pure and beautiful as The Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. I actually bought this movie for my brother for one of his birthdays and we watch it together from time to time. I’m not sure if it’s more for him or for me but it’s great fun.

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The Toy Story Trilogy. (I am including all three together.) I would consider these staple to a child’s film diet. Ya think? I didn’t get to see any of these until after my seventeenth birthday and I consider that a real shame. I’m making sure my little brother grows up with these stories and my kids will grow up with them too.

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The Lion King. CLASSSIC. I have memories seeing this movie when I was really little but I didn’t really “grow up” with it.  But it left a strong impression on me; a good one. I recently rewatched it and was left with chills, smiles and tears all at the same time. It’s a fantastic film. At first my brother was too scared to finish it but he sat through it with me and now really likes it. So, this is another must-watch.

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101 Dalmatians. I didn’t really get to “grow up” with this film either but it was one of my favorites and still is. I love the music and the animals and Roger and Anita and Cruella was and is hysterical–although more sensitive kids might get scared of her. So, depending on my kids’ temperaments, I definitely want to them grow up with this movie.

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Monsters Inc. I wish I had seen this growing up, at least when I was around eight years old or something. It’s a fun movie, very heart touching yet hilarious and clever. I’m a huge fan now, I sleep with my stuffed animal Sully and I have a poster of the two on my wall. It’s a personal favorite of mine now, so of course the ids will get to see it!

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How To Train Your Dragon. Everybody needs to see this movie anyway. But I really like this story so I was sure to introduce it to Nathan and he likes. Anyway, I don’t know one person who doesn’t like this movie, including kids. I really don’t even have to explain why this movie is on this list. 😉

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A Bugs Life. I didn’t see this till I was eighteen but I still liked it. It’s a great kids movie and I’m disappointed that it’s so underrated! It’s brilliant and so clever, just like the rest of Pixar’s movies. I think Flick and his story is a great model to present to kids. It sure makes insects a lot ‘nicer’. 🙂

Well, there’s my top eight childhood must-sees. So, what animated movies did you grew up with that you remember really liking? What movies do you wish you could have grown up seeing? What animated movies will you introduce to future children if you have any?

~Jamie