*** 1/2 /****
Dir: Hayao Miyazaki
2004 Color Japanese 119 min.
Rated PG for frightening images and brief mild language.
One thing I enjoy about Miyazaki’s films is that you always hit the ground running. Sometimes it takes you awhile to get your bearings, but when you do, you are usually in for a good solid film. This one is no difference, though skimming through the list of actors who dubbed the movie into English, I am glad I watched the movie in Japanese with subtitles. This movie has something for everyone.
Now let me tell you about my experience seeing this film. Daniel and I raced to the Beverly Center from OC on a Thursday towards the end of the films run. There were very few places playing the film and this was one of the last places to see it. At first I had doubts that it was the right place and from a distance it looked like the theater was abandoned. We got to the ticket counter and thankfully we were able to see the film. The lady behind the counter warned us that the air conditioning had gone out in the theater and it was a tad hot. After some deliberation, we decided to go for it anyways since we were here. The lady rewarded us with a free small soda. When we got into the theater I was amazed. This was by far the smallest theater I had ever been in. The screen was maybe 70″ and there was maybe 30 seats in the auditorium. And it was hot.
Thankfully the film was wonderful and the AC was working in the mall when we were done so we were able to survive the rest of the day.