Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield give such beautifully subtle and emotionally devastating performances that I’m always surprised by how little if at all they’re discussed. Even with these stars and based on a best-selling novel, Never Let Me Go didn’t seem to attract much attention when it came or since for that matter. But it’s one of those films were almost every element comes together perfectly. It’s the type of quiet powerful drama that deserves to stand amongst the best. I say go watch it if you haven’t, it’s a great film that will the depress the hell out of you, but you won’t regret it for a second.

(Source: jimmytfallon)

Studio Ghibli Reportedly To Quit Making Feature Films


Why You Shouldn’t Buy Those Nasty Fake 20 in 1 Ghibli Film Box Sets On EBay…

This summer, there’s a new Studio Ghibli movie. According to one reported insider, it could be Ghibli’s last.

Studio Ghibli is best known for iconic anime like My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Last year, the creator of many of Ghibli’s best known works, Hayao Miyazaki, retired from making feature animated films.

The purported insider told Japanese site News Cafe that Ghibli’s latest release, When Marnie Was There, “seems like it will be the last [from Studio Ghibli].” The article appeared on Rakuten, one of Japan’s largest web portals. That being said, this is an unconfirmed rumor.

As the insider explained, there was scuttlebutt of the studio’s dissolution last year after Miyazaki retired once completing The Wind Rises. Then, this past spring, longtime Ghibli producer and studio co-founder Toshio Suzuki also stepped down from producing films. He is now Ghibli’s general manager.

“From here on, it appears as though this won’t be a studio that makes new works, but instead, manages its copyrights.”

So, Studio Ghibli won’t be creating new animated works, but rather, making money off the anime its created so far.

The insider added animated films required tremendous amounts of money, so there is pressure for the films to be successful so Ghibli can cover its costly production expenses as well as, I’d imagine, remain healthy and profitable. By the insider’s count, each film apparently needs to make at least ten billion yen (US$100 million) to cover all its production costs as well as, I’d imagine, turn a healthy profit. Even with a relatively small staff, the insider puts Ghibli’s annual labor expenses at supposedly two billion yen ($19.7 million). Note: These numbers are unconfirmed.

Last fall, the Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s largest papers, reported that while other animation studios have shipped jobs overseas to save money, Studio Ghibli had hired more permanent full-time employees in Japan, making the films incredibly expensive to make. Asahi reports that even though The Wind Rises had made 9.23 billion yen ($91 million), the film had apparently yet to turn a profit. The Tale of Princess Kaguya, apparently, cost even more to create.

"The Tale of Princess Kaguya from director Isao Takahata made 5.1 billion yen ($50 million), and for the studio, it was a flop," the source told News Cafe. "There’s no choice but to dissolve the studio, because it’s unable cross the high hurdle of announcing a new film on an annual basis."

A bright point is that Goro Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki’s son, is directing Ghibli’s first animated TV series, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter. The computer animated series is a co-production, however, with Polygon Pictures and will debut this fall. The dark cloud is that back in 2010, Hayao Miyazaki did mention breaking up the studio.

"Suzuki-san is making a dissolution program for Ghibli," Miyazaki told Cut Magazine (via Bleeding Cool and "No joke, we talked about it the other day. For example, Ghibli should be able to continue with about five staff members as a copyright management company even if we smash the studio. So, Ghibli can say ‘We stop film production. Goodbye’. I do not have to be there."

The latest Studio Ghibli film When Marnie Was There was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and recently released in Japan. Let’s hope it’s not the last Studio Ghibli film.

Kotaku has reached out to Studio Ghibli regarding this latest rumor and will update this story should the studio comment.

マーニーがラスト? ジブリが解散?! [Infoseek].

Even though I wanted to buy ALL the Studio Ghibli soundtracks now available in iTunes, I ended up buying the two essentials. Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle are my absolute two favourite Ghibli films, and in true Ghibli fashion both their soundtracks are majestic. They’ve been on repeat all day.

Film Review: Jason Momoa Impresses with Directorial Debut ‘Road to Paloma’.

In Road to Paloma, Jason Momoa plays Wolf a Native American on the run from the feds. Wolf killed the man responsible for raping his mother after that man was freed without a trial. Unable to remain in one place for long, Wolf rides through the land on his motorcycle encountering various individuals from fellow biker Cash to the beautiful Magdalena (Lisa Bonet). With a Federal Agent hunting him down, Wolf races to spread his mother’s ashes in a special place before it is too late.


Co-writen and directed by Jason Momoa, Road to Paloma is a film that works much better than I excepted and a lot of that is thanks to Momoa. His direction is efficient and thoughtful. With the help of his D.P., Momoa captures numerous striking and beautiful landscapes. One of the reason why I enjoy road trip films is that the constant movement allows for a constant change of scenery. It keeps things fresh and it’s cool to see Momoa and co. actively pushing themselves not only to present the land in different ways, but to also form a connection between the environment and the protagonist. And this is done to such a extent where the land itself sort of becomes the inner psyche of Wolf. There is an overwhelming sense of freedom and possibility, but the wilderness will eat you whole if you let it.

The cast is pretty good throughout although my one complain is Timothy V. Murphy who plays FBI Agent Williams. He is the villain of the film and he is a villain who gets progressively cartoonish. Murphy’s over-the-top performance is constantly clashing with the naturalistic style of the rest of the performances. Murphy’s villain would’ve really work if Road to Paloma was a straight-up action film, which it isn’t in the slightest. Jason Momoa’s real-life wife Lisa Bonet is in the film and she is fantastic. Now I say this as someone who’s had a crush on Lisa Bonet since discovering the Cosby show in 1998. I think she is absolutely beautiful and seeing her on film brought me so much joy. Her scenes with Jason Momoa are amongst the best in the film. Their chemistry, obviously, is incredible and hot, and I was sad they were only together briefly.


It all comes down to Jason Momoa and if you had any doubt about his leading man capabilities, you need to watch this film. Momoa is a great actor, but more importantly he is an actor with undeniable charisma. He instills such a palpable energy into the proceedings that you can tell the supporting cast is not only enjoying themselves playing off of him, but they are also bringing their A-game in order to mesh better with Momoa’s presence. What I found really interesting is that this character allowed Momoa to deliver a more dramatic and grounded character. Most of us know Momoa for his genre work, so it’s refreshing to see him in this type of film. Momoa displays great control and is capable of getting us invested in the character.

Road to Paloma is easily one of the biggest surprises of 2014. I didn’t really know what to expect from this film and while I don’t think it’s one of the best of the year, Road to Paloma is an effective, astute and entertaining road trip film. It demonstrates that Jason Momoa is not only a great actor, but also a capable director. His handle on story is a bit flawed, but as a whole Road to Paloma works. Moreover, the film spotlights a social issue that continues to grow which is the US government’s continual negligence and victimization towards rape victims. This is especially troublesome when it comes to Native Americans as the government actively rejects trying their reported sexual assaults. The government fails to enact justice but it takes offence when citizens enact their own brand of justice. I also have to commend Road to Paloma for being a film with an ethnically diverse cast. I like that with just one hand I can count the number of white people in the film. You can tell this was a conscious choice by Jason Momoa and I hope this is something he continues to do with his next film.

Rating: B