Saturday, June 04, 2005

Howl's Moving Castle

GM. My posts today will be the last until June 13th because I'm going out of town till then. Today is , of course, a slow movie news day so I really had to dig to get these for you. The first is an interesting animated feature by an acclaimed Japanese director. This movie has been a huge success in Japan already:

It is written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and stars: Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, and Josh Hutcherson. This is the English language cast dubbed for release in the west.

The Story: Academy Award®-winning director Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away") takes moviegoers on an amazing new animated adventure that celebrates the power of love to transform and the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Brimming with a blend of imagination, humor, action, and romance, "Howl's Moving Castle" recently played to great acclaim at the 2004 Venice Film Festival, and has become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time in Japan – earning more than $193 million at the box office and still counting.

A distinguished cast of actors, under the direction of Pixar's Pete Docter ("Monsters, Inc."), lend their vocal talents to this English-language version of the film. Sophie (voiced by Emily Mortimer), an average teenage girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome-but-mysterious wizard named Howl (voiced by Christian Bale), and is subsequently turned into a 90-year old woman (voiced by screen legend and two-time Oscar® nominee Jean Simmons) by the vain and conniving Wicked Witch of the Waste (voiced by screen legend and Oscar® nominee Lauren Bacall). Embarking on an incredible odyssey to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl's magical moving castle where she becomes acquainted with Markl, Howl's apprentice, and a hot-headed fire demon named Calcifer (voiced by Billy Crystal). Sophie's love and support comes to have a major impact on Howl, who flies in the face of orders from the palace to become a pawn of war and instead risks his life to help bring peace to the kingdom. Extraordinary characters, inventive imagery, and stunning artistry make this latest masterpiece from the visionary Miyazaki an unforgettable filmgoing experience.


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