Song of The Sea (2014)

Year: 2014sots5
Rating: G
Duration: 1h 34m

Song of the Sea is a 2014 Irish animated fantasy film by Cartoon Saloon that is directed by Tomm Moore. The story is based on the ancient Celtic myth of the Selkie and concerns two children, older brother Ben and a mute Saoirse, who live in a lighthouse by the sea with their father, Conor, who remains distraught over the loss of his wife several years earlier.

On Saoirse’s birthday, things start to go into motion when she starts playing a seashell flute previously owned by her mother and passed on to her older brother Ben. Turns out that Saoirse is a selkie (no surprise there) who must find her voice and get her seal coat to free supernatural creatures from the spell of a Celtic witch. It gets tougher when their city folk serious grandmother decides to bring them with her to the city.

So what do two kids do when bedtime is at 4PM? Well they try to get home with the use of a handmade map and some magical and found again friends.

Watch the trailer below…

It was a friend of mine who shared this trailer and suggested I watch it and I was enthralled by the animation (with printscreens included of course). Beautifully done.  The story was a tear jerker and it made me all warm and gooey inside considering that I watched exactly on Mother’s Day not on purpose.
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What is a Selkie?  They are mythological creatures found in Scottish, Irish, and Faroese folklore. The word derives from earlier Scots selich, (from Old English seolh meaning seal). Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. At the full of the moon the selkie rises from the water in foam and spray, takes off its seal skin, throws it aside on the rocks, and dances around mystic fires on the shore. Selkie women are very beautiful and the men very handsome. That is why when humans in legends happen upon the shore at full moon and see the selkie-people. If their seal skin has been stolen a selkie can never return back to the ocean and becomes a prisoner.

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Still a cute seal though!sots1
As you can see for yourselves, it is beautifully drawn with a hind of mystery to it. To think that this was a traditionally drawn animation. I love how it distinctly looks like a story laden tapestry.

 

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno

Rurouni-Kenshin-Main-1sheet-2Now before I start this review to which I will do my very best not to spoil you, watch the exciting trailer first! This is the first of a two part movie based on the Rurouni Kenshin manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The movie follows our favorite wandering swordsman Kenshin (Takeru Satoh) living peacefully where we last saw him which would be the Kamiya Dojo owned by peace loving swordswoman Kaoru Kamiya. We get to see the other characters such as the comedic street fighter Sanosuke (Munetaka Aoki) and eager student Yahiko (Kaito Ōyagi). Takani Megumi (Yu Aoi) arrives accompanied by men in official looking suits asking for the Kenshin’s presence.

Reluctantly he goes with them and  tells him of the unfortunate story of Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara) from how bloodthirsty he was and up to his resurrection with the intent of overthrowing the new goverment. Kenshin eventually accepts the covert operation to kill Shishio. A lot of things happen in between from  the connection between Kaoru and Kenshin with their gazes, subtle comedic instances and eye-gawking sword action. Hajime Saito (Yosuke Eguchi) remains tough and true to their intimidating as as he casually kills enemies while smoking a cigarette.

Kenshin’s first heart stomping non-bloody encounter with Shishio’s men especially causes his sakabato (reverse-edged sword) to break. This leads him to The Watchers who help search for the maker of the sword Shakkai Arai while learning of another foe, Aoshi Shinomori (Yusuke Iseya). Upon discovering that Shakkai has already died he learns that there is a supposed last sword he made to which he fights with the ridiculously punk coiffed Cho (Ryosuke Miura), another henchmen of Shishio’s.

Everything leads to them learning that Shishio plans to attack Kyoto which turns out to be something else. Kenshin catches up to the Shishio’s right hand man Seta Sōjirō (Ryunosuke Kamiki) aboard a stormy ship surrounded by the 10 Swords (Shishio’s chosen and strongest men). He then jumps overboard overboard which stops the action. The movie then ends with Kenshin unconscious ashore who is then picked up by a someone from his past…

I must say the director was very true to the heart of the story and tried to squeeze it into this movie saga. don’t be surprised when there have been slight changes in the story or sequence of events since the movie runs at about more than two hours which can be a challenge considering when you’re trying to fit a lot of information within that duration.

The OST titled “Mighty Long Fall” was by One Ok Rock and it perfectly fit the movie. We can’t wait for the final part!

TRAILER: Dracula Untold

Universal has added yet another addition to its list of vampire movies and “Dracula Untold” is the latest.

Luke Evans (known as the dude with harpoons Girion, from The Hobbit) stars as a Vlad Tepes. The story rotates around Vlad wanting to become stronger to protect his family after  a Turkish sultan (played by Dominic Cooper) threatens them. He then climbs a perilous mountain to visit an ancient vampire (Charles Dance a.k.a Tywin Lannister from GoT) where he transforms into a child of the night and everyones most liked vampire, Dracula.

The horror-action film marks director GaryShore’s feature debut. “Dracula Untold” is set to release on Oct. 17. The soundtrack originally “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” originally by Tears for Fears was eerily performed by Lorde.

Di Ingon Nato

Now this Visayan film is quite something especially for indie film lovers of horror with the zombie craze in their system. I personally was compelled to watch this out of curiousity for a rockstar’s acting skills since the protagonist was Franco Reyes (of Franco). It’s a movie about how the local townsfolk would deal with the so-called ‘zombie apocalypse’ scenario.

The movie starts off showing Dario (Franco Reyes), in an eerie scene and cuts to him waking up. We see that he is a farmer living at a far off province in Cebu and doing his everyday routine from morning till dawn. We get to see his wife Yenna (Mercedes Cabral), their oh so adorable kid and buddies. Take note this is the part where you notice how wonderful the scenery is and how the simple life looks very inviting. One day while Yenna does the laundry something awful happens resulting in Dario murdering someone.

As the story progresses on, other characters are introduced like Lauro (Rez Cortez), the police captain, his daughter-turned doctor  Maribel (Donna Gimeno)and many more. Lauro gets called to investigate a crime scene and hears a rumour about evil spirits but continues on with his job and interrogates the people involved. The film then shifts to Maribel getting the short on of the stick when she visits the local clinic with a sudden ‘rabies’ epidemic.

Returning to Dario’s unsettling situation he tries to get seek help from the village healer through his son. Along the way things don’t appear right when the people are walking peculiarly in a dragging manner. This then is the start of the suspense and the horror, but I don’t want to spoil it for you so it’s better if I end midway.

All in all it wasn’t quite bad and I surely did not regret watching it. Franco’s acting skills were really good along with the other main characters but the dialogue wasn’t much ( I was left wanting more!). The level of gore was warm enough that the zombies looked like ‘Pinoy Walkers’ up to the point that they got killed. The ending was a bit predictable which was unfortunate. The movie gave me the impression that Cebuano films do have the potential to become big with the help of young and aspiring minds in the movie industry. Over-all the movie wasn’t so bad and there a few amusing parts here and there. I still recommend you watch it for those fond of non-mainstream films.

A Childhood Favorite: Totoro!

Year: 1988
Rating: G
Duration: 88 minutes

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While reminiscing through baby photo books I came upon these tiny stickers of random and old cartoons and a vague memory of sticking on a particular set I got as a mystery prize from a noodles pack when I was about five years old caught my attention. I had to ask my mom about it and it surprised her how could I ever forget  THAT movie when I was practically watching it almost everyday at the toddling age of two! I guess mothers expect us to remember something like that. I definitely had to rewatch this again and boy did I not regret doing that. It has become one of the most beloved of all family films without ever having been much promoted or advertised.

To-to-ro? You’re Totoro!… I bet you’re Totoro…

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