Genre
Stats
Action & Adventure
Animation
Ballet & Dance
Biography
Comedy
Comic Action
Comic Criminals
Crime
Drama
Foreign
Sci-Fi Action
Science & Technology
Stand-Up
Star Wars
Suspense
Thriller
TV
Director: Nomura Tetsuya
Starring: Takahiro Sakurai, Maaya Sakamoto, Ayumi Ito, Shotaro Morikubo, Keiji Fujiwara, Taiten Kusunoki, Yûji Kishi, Kenji Nomura, Shogo Suzuki, Masahiro Kobayashi
Genre: Animation
Theatrical: 2004   Rated: Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren
Duration: 101
Summary: An ex-mercenary is forced out of isolation when three mysterious men kidnap and brainwash the city's children afflicted with the Geostigma disease.


Director: Satoshi Kon
Starring: Junko Iwao Rica Matsumoto Shinpachi Tsuji Masaaki Ôkura Barry Stigler Bambi Darro Jamieson Price George C. Cole Syd Fontana Carol Stanzione Lia Sargent Mary Elizabeth McGlynn Steven Jay Blum Matt K. Miller Dari MacKenie Steve Bulen Jimmy Theodore Michael Lindsay (II) Wendee Lee Bob Buchholz
Genre: Animation
Theatrical: 1997   Rated: Unrated
Duration: 81
Summary: One of the most ambitious animated films to come out of Japan (or anywhere, for that matter), Perfect Blue is an adult psycho-thriller that uses the freedom of the animated image to create the subjective reality of a young actress haunted by the ghost of her past identity. Mima is a singer who leaves her teeny-bop trio to become an actress in a violent television series, a career move that angers her fans, who prefer to see her as the pert, squeaky-clean pop idol. Plagued by self-doubt and tormented by humiliating compromises, she begins to be stalked, in her waking and sleeping moments, by an accusing alter ego who claims to be "the real Mima," until she collapses into madness as her coworkers are brutally slain around her. Director Satoshi Kon, adapting the novel by Yoshikazu Takeuchi, shows us the world from her schizophrenic perspective: days blur, dreams cross over into the waking world, the TV show blends into her real life, until her life merges with her part and she can't separate the ghosts from the real-life stalkers. Though the pat ending sweeps the psychosis and anxiety away with nary an emotional scar, it remains a smart, stylish thriller and one of the most intelligent and compelling uses of animation in recent years. Though tame by the extreme standards of "adult anime," there is nudity and a few sexually provocative scenes, and the animation is detailed and stylized (if somewhat stiff and jerky by Disney standards). --Sean Axmaker


Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Animated
Genre: Animation
Theatrical: 1997   Rated: PG-13
Duration: 134
Summary: This epic, animated 1997 fantasy has already made history as the top-grossing domestic feature ever released in Japan, where its combination of mythic themes, mystical forces, and ravishing visuals tapped deeply into cultural identity and contemporary, ecological anxieties. For international animation and anime fans, Princess Mononoke represents an auspicious next step for its revered creator, Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service), an acknowledged anime pioneer, whose painterly style, vivid character design, and stylized approach to storytelling take ambitious, evolutionary steps here.
Set in medieval Japan, Miyazaki's original story envisions a struggle between nature and man. The march of technology, embodied in the dark iron forges of the ambitious Tatara clan, threatens the natural forces explicit in the benevolent Great God of the Forest and the wide-eyed, spectral spirits he protects. When Ashitaka, a young warrior from a remote, and endangered, village clan, kills a ravenous, boar-like monster, he discovers the beast is in fact an infectious "demon god," transformed by human anger. Ashitaka's quest to solve the beast's fatal curse brings him into the midst of human political intrigues as well as the more crucial battle between man and nature.
Miyazaki's convoluted fable is clearly not the stuff of kiddie matinees, nor is the often graphic violence depicted during the battles that ensue. If some younger viewers (or less attentive older ones) will wish for a diagram to sort out the players, Miyazaki's atmospheric world and its lush visual design are reasons enough to watch. For the English-language version, Miramax assembled an impressive vocal cast including Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup (as Ashitaka), Claire Danes (as San), Minnie Driver (as Lady Eboshi), Billy Bob Thornton, and Jada Pinkett Smith. They bring added nuance to a very different kind of magic kingdom. Recommended for ages 12 and older. --Sam Sutherland



Director: Vicky Jenson
Starring: Guillaume Aretos (II) Jacquie Barnbrook Bobby Block Cody Cameron Vincent Cassel Jim Cummings Peter Dennis Cameron Diaz Kathleen Freeman Michael Galasso Christopher Knights John Lithgow Chris Miller (VII) Eddie Murphy Mike Myers Clive Pearse Simon J. Smith Conrad Vernon
Genre: Animation
Theatrical: 2001   Rated: PG
Duration: 93
Summary: William Steig's delightfully fractured fairy tale is the right stuff for this computer-animated adaptation full of verve and wit. Our title character (voiced by Mike Myers) is an agreeable enough ogre who wants to live his days in peace. When the diminutive Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) evicts local fairy-tale creatures (including the now-famous Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and the Gingerbread Man), they settle in the ogre's swamp and Shrek wants answers from Farquaad. A quest of sorts starts for Shrek and his new pal, a talking donkey (Eddie Murphy), where battles have to be won and a princess (Cameron Diaz) must be rescued from a dragon lair in a thrilling action sequence. The story is stronger than most animated fare, but it's the humor that makes Shrek a winner. The PG rating is stretched when Murphy and Myers hit their strides. The mild potty humor is fun enough for 10-year-olds but will never embarrass their parents. Shrek is never as warm and inspired as the Toy Story films, but the realistic computer animation and a rollicking soundtrack keep the entertainment in fine form. Produced by DreamWorks, the film also takes several delicious stabs at its crosstown rival, Disney. --Doug Thomas


Director: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson
Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse, Joanna Lumley, Albert Finney, Richard E. Grant, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough
Genre: Animation
Theatrical: 2005   Rated: PG
Duration: 87
Summary: Who else but Tim Burton could make Corpse Bride, a necrophiliac's delight that's fun for the whole family? Returning to the richly imaginative realm of stop-motion animation (after previous successes with The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach), Burton, with codirector Mike Johnson, invites us to visit the dour, ashen, and drearily Victorian mansions of the living, where young Victor Van Dort (voiced by Johnny Depp) is bequeathed to wed the lovely Victoria (Emily Watson). But the wedding rehearsal goes sour and, in the kind of Goth-eerie forest that only exists in Burton-land, Victor suddenly finds himself accidentally married to the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter), a blue-tinted, half-skeletal beauty (how pleasantly full-bosomed she remains!) with a loquacious maggot installed behind one prone-to-popping eyeball. This being a Burton creation, the underworld of the dead is a lively and colorful place indeed, and Danny Elfman's songs and score make it even livelier, presenting Victor with quite a dilemma: Should he return above-ground to Victoria, or remain devoted to his corpse bride? At a brisk 76 minutes, Burton's graveyard whimsy (loosely based on a 19th century Russian folktale) never wears out its welcome, and the voice casting (which includes Tracey Ullman and Albert Finney) is superbly matched the film's gloriously amusing character design, guaranteed to yield a wealth of gruesome toys and action figures for many Halloweens to come. --Jeff Shannon