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Ip Man 3 (2015)
9/10
I want more!
25 December 2015
Just a short review;

Ip Man movie series is the reason why we love Chinese martial art films. This elegant biographical film that focuses on Ip Man's humble personal life is charming and engaging. It is a lot of fun, has fascinating actions and bittersweet moments!

Ip Man 3 is certainly a must watch if you love martial art film and Chinese culture!

Additional notes for this mini review (since it does not meet minimum length on IMDb) 1. Quite balanced and culturally fair, sorry no spoilers, no more elaboration. 2. Running time is not too long or short. 3. Did not spot any film goofs, even if there is, they are not too obvious. 4. Beautiful settings and props. 5. Those who understand Cantonese will find the whole movie more hilarious.
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9/10
Not your average flick!
12 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Since the day I watch The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013), all of the animated feature's impossible to forget details have permanently ingrained inside my head. The watercolor-like visuals are beautiful, the characters' expressions are genuine and the whole feature is just so captivating.

Not only you will be able to observe Japanese culture, you will also be able to watch helplessly hilarious and sometimes depressing traits of human beings. True that some of the scenes could be strange or even confusing but if we understand the underlying message of this Japanese folktale, we can learn invaluable life lessons from just watching this. Overall, you may find watching The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) a haunting experience due to the nature and the style of the this animated feature.

Nonetheless, I won't say The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) is perfect as there are several aspects I do not like, but there are certainly more aspects to like than dislike. Due to that, this animated feature is possibly one of the best retelling of Japanese folktale in films. Therefore, it is one of my favorite animated feature of all time.

As expected of Studio Ghibli's co-founder director Isao Takahata; The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) is unique in its own charm. I have seen the original Japanese version and I am pleased to report that this animated feature is definitely not your average flick. The ending is slightly weird but you will leave all sorrow behind after watching it.
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5/10
The progression is truly misleading!
12 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I seriously thought When Marnie Was There (2014) was a romance film based around a lesbian relationship. I have no issue with LGBT films (in fact, I love them) but let me explain why I thought this to be the case and why it is necessary to discuss in this review.

When I watch a film, I would instantly evaluate it based on what I actually detect from the viewing. I rarely watch trailers or read a lot about it beforehand so most of the time my mind is clean as I do not want to form preconceptions. That is why I couldn't help thinking Studio Ghibli had made a lesbian film, as it has a misleading story progression.

The main character, Anna, is a shy and lonely girl who is often uncomfortable with people. She hates herself and probably everyone around her, as she could be seen hostile to others at times. However, she bonded so quickly with Marnie, whom she just met. Anna looks so dependent or obsessed with the girl. They secretly see each other for many nights. All of a sudden, Marnie says they would remain a secret. They quickly look like soulmates so after some time I thought they might be lesbians. When Marnie finally says she loves Anna more than any girl she has known, this reinforced the idea!

Lesbian film or not, that is not the issue. The thing is, When Marnie Was There (2014) is quite a letdown because they had attracted my genuine interest; I thought this was going to be a special Studio Ghibli film which celebrates LGBT pride but in the end it is not. It is also not a romance nor a friendship film; it is something else and the progression is truly misleading. I guess they are just trying to make the film feel mysterious but this goes terribly wrong.

Despite this, When Marnie Was There (2014) does have the ability to make us wonder about people from the past and everyone's unique story. There are some sad scenes and the ending is a little satisfying because a mystery is solved but all that cannot make up for rest of the time wasted on something that ends up feeling underdeveloped. I wanted to love When Marnie Was There (2014), but I just can't.
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10/10
Another example that shows Irish animation is world class!
11 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
People, I kid you not. An amazing, animation studio from Ireland by the name of Cartoon Saloon has arisen, and it is bound to have a legendary status. The creators behind Song of the Sea (2014) are undeniably some of the most creative and passionate people in the animation industry. You can tell it from just watching their movies!

Their latest feature Song of the Sea (2014) is yet another example that shows Irish animation is world class. Like their previous works, this animated feature is beautiful and it feels so magical looking at them. What's more about this animated feature is its heartwarming theme and interesting, lovable characters, making it immensely captivating and entertaining.

Honestly, most of the characters (human or not) are gorgeous and it's difficult to not love them! It has plenty of charming Irish mythological figures such as Selkie, Mac Lir the giant, Tír na nÓg, Seanachai and Macha in addition to Ben and Saoirse's cute family!

The protagonists, Ben and Saoirse are also inspiring. They are just children who felt mostly lonely at home but they are very brave. These siblings learned to get along with each other and the elder brother grows up most; he has learned to be more open-minded and on how to be a responsible big brother!

Ending this post, I must say that Song of the Sea (2014) is awesome! With nice music and vivid animations, their adventure in this animated feature is nothing like we've seen before! If you love mythology, I am sure you will love it! Give them a try and I am sure you will love them instantly, as much as I do!

PS. This is my 92th animated movie review and it is one of the very rare that gets a rating of 10 out of 10 stars!
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Minions (2015)
7/10
A letdown as it is not as exciting.
17 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is probably one of the most honest opinion about Minions (2015) that you will ever read. As a fan of Despicable Me franchise, I thought it was a letdown as it is not as exciting. I could not get the hype anymore especially when the trailers have already spoiled most of the fun part of the film. (I don't usually watch trailers but I totally regretted it for making this as an exception)

Exactly one month ago when I watch the Minions (2015) in Asia, some of my friends asked me about the animated film such as "Is Minions Nice" and "Do you like it more or less than Despicable Me 1 and 2". My replies to them; whatever I told my friends, are exactly the contents of this movie review.

Honestly, whether it is nice or not, it depends to individuals. As for me, I liked it less compared to Despicable Me. Although it can be enjoyable, ultimately, it is not going to be listed under my favorite animated films. To me, there is nothing new or surprising at all. I am not being mean or extremely critical here but if you know where I am coming from, you would understand.

Another short note, yes, I am aware that this is a spin off, it should be different than the Despicable Me but I thought I could see more of Minions adorable and funny antics...no, I did not laugh much, but I won't deny I did smile a bit watching this. I have seen over one hundred animation the past one year alone and this is my 89th animated review post for my non-stop animated movie marathon by the way so I am not very impressed...

Therefore, if you are not a huge fan of the minions and if you are not that into family films, then there is a high chance that you might not like Minions (2015). Otherwise, you will find this pleasantly enjoyable and for the die-hard fans, it will be the best movie ever as there are many lovable characters throughout the film.
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5/10
Boring, overrated movie.
13 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It's no secret that Mr. Hayao Miyazaki admired aviation since he was a boy and it is awesome that he turned that into an anime movie once again! However, it is unbelievable even for me to write this but honestly, The Wind Rises (2013) is a boring, overrated movie from the renowned Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli.

The Wind Rises (2013) has received critical acclaim and has been dubbed as the farewell masterpiece of the award winning director Hayao Miyazaki most likely out of respect or marketing strategies but if we truly analyse it, this piece is much inferior even compared to much lower budget foreign animated features especially in the storytelling department.

If you are expecting an inspiring film, there could be some scenes that are inspiring. If you are sensitive, there could be some elements could upset you. Then, there is a good chance that this will not satisfy you at all if you are looking for a good romantic or drama film and even if this might appeal to those who are genuinely in love with everything aviation or engineering, they might just experience frustration as the whole film seems to be a series of underdeveloped scenes put together.

Despite there are some deep messages in the The Wind Rises (2013), both the storyline and characters are very dull even with decent music and animation. Perhaps this is not intended for everyone and not everyone will enjoy this but as a record, I watch this with an open mind, with genuine interest and patience until the very end; it is sad to report that I believe I am watching a poor attempt at a biographical film filled with the littlest dose of drama, romance and war. A weird and disappointing movie indeed.
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7/10
When those complicated scenes sort out themselves, they are actually quite hilarious.
25 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Now, From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) is one film by Gorō Miyazaki that I could ungrudgingly accept that it is a box office success as it was pretty enjoyable. Indeed, the script is made of simple scenes and lines but it does not lack its own charm. I watched the original Japanese version.

A dramatic slice of life and coming of age kind of film with several serious themes and unexpected twists which can be funny or lovely at times, From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) is generally nice. Although the story may feel too slow paced for some, to me it looks a little too fast moving as many of the scenes are very brief. They could have been developed. Still, love the music and the storyline is quite fresh!

In short, From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) is not bad. The twists confuse me at first but when those complicated scenes sort out themselves, they are actually quite hilarious. The major themes include anti demolition, team work, preserving traditional values and fighting for what you love. The message is quite deep coming from teenager's setting but that is all due the characters being so passionate.

PS. So glad that the director did not give up after his infamous first and have improved since!!
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8/10
Quite beautiful and entertaining.
21 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I have not read the book but The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) has awesome concept and tiny humanoid creatures called the borrower. They are a little like ants and there are so many adorable tiny DIY creations such as stamps as wall decors!

Not going to spoil it too much but I think this animated feature could made several if not many innocent, curious children leaving sugars or sweets and double sided tapes for the borrowers! (Borrowing is joy to them but sadly not for all us in reality as it is not a norm!)

Although the animated feature is not entirely realistic, it is still quite beautiful and entertaining. When compared to other previous directorial debuts, this is certainly one of the better ones from Studio Ghibli (unlike Tales of Earthsea) even though there are some illogical scenes.

Finally, this review is based on the Japanese version of The Secret World of Arrietty (2010). The song is moving and the atmosphere could be sad. The short adventure and friendship can be satisfying if you are genuinely interested with fantasy.

If the author of The Borrower is still here with us today, she would be so happy and proud of Hiromasa Yonebayashi's The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) because the anime adaptation directed by the new Studio Ghibli director does not disappoint!
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Ponyo (2008)
9/10
An unusual tale of romance and serendipity!
18 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Another great piece from Hayao Miyazaki, it is difficult to not to love Studio Ghibli productions because Ponyo (2008) is immensely lovely and fantastically magical. This is certainly what happens when imagination meets creativity and animation.

An unusual tale of romance and serendipity, two children from different worlds met and their lives changed forever. It might be unconventional but all of the scenes will only leave us think that the precious entity called life is equally strange and beautiful.

As tradition, the stunning visuals combined with amazing film score and voice casts make the anime story conceivable. With plenty of endearing characters, fictional sea creatures and unexpected scenes including exotic ancient fishes coming to life at various points, one can never help themselves to take delight in watching Ponyo (2008).

However, Ponyo (2008) is also filled with horrific elements even though most of the time it is light-hearted. The many important social and environmental messages might have concealed those but what's sad is that ultimately, the happy ending makes it easy to overlook the damage and disaster caused especially when the absorbing visuals and story has already effectively distract most audiences from thinking about them from the start.

If you love the elements of child-likeness and innocence, these two destined future lovers are surely pleasant. Although Sōsuke is just five, he is very independent just like many Japanese children out there. Then, Ponyo the goldfish with human face might not be familiar with the land but she learns and adapts well. Her transformation is just so magical and she is super adorable and kind-hearted!

As a whole, Ponyo (2008) is charming on its own unique way. Although it has a simplistic ending which I usually do not like, I am sure you will find yourself liking this anime film. Why? Honestly, I am not easily pleased even though I might seem to be lenient in writing movie reviews sometimes but this anime film is terrifyingly good! It is one of my favorite now! If only the ending is not that simple, Ponyo (2008) could easily become my #1 favorite Studio Ghibli film and unthrone Grave of the Fireflies (1988) and Spirited Away (2001) from my top two.
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Home (II) (2015)
8/10
Mostly hilarious or sweet if not genuinely heartwarming!
6 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Home (2015) is surprisingly likable. The vivid animated feature is filled with lovable characters, amazing voice casts and unexpected adventures that are mostly hilarious or sweet if not genuinely heartwarming!

Give and take, don't bother about making sense. You should moar beware of Boov English. Ears bleed but all fun! Then, the mental development and progression of an unlikely friendship between two beings alien to each other are also quite admirable and easy to understand because there are plenty of great messages for everyone who watch it!

Glad I went to watch it despite I was busy because it is actually so good! Love Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez the most, Pig the Cat and all the adorable starfish-like baby Gorgs!! Oops, sorry for the character spoiler but I think you need this lil spoiler to motivate yourself to go watch it!!
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9/10
Still loved it today!
2 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I remember watching Baby Looney Tunes: Eggs-traordinary Adventure (2003) a lot as a child and guess what, I still loved it today! If you asked me why a decade ago, I would probably only able to answer you that this animated special is super adorable but that won't do!

My thoughts on it now? It is still very cute to me as it is filled with plenty of sweet characters, watercolor like visuals and some magical moments but I must add that Baby Looney Tunes: Eggs-traordinary Adventure (2003) also has great uplifting songs and messages!

Lastly, of course I am aware I am not a children anymore; I just can't help to love this Easter special based from Baby Looney Tunes and I only wish they could make more! This is amazing if you need inspiration, want to feel nostalgia or for Easter celebration!
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Tatsumi (2011)
8/10
Undeniably a great tribute and the best from Singapore.
30 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Tatsumi (2011) explores human nature and it is as dark as it is serious. The visuals are simple and straightforward yet everlasting due to its distinctive style. With many experimental narrative scenes in this animated feature, the overall plot can be puzzling but each scenes have their own message on social issues and they are undeniably powerful.

(Those who are not aware that this animated feature is a tribute–a biographical drama film with five fictional short stories based on the life and work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi–might be confused)

In brief, we will get to know a little about the manga master and some of the struggles he has to face until he became a renowned manga artist that coined the term gekiga (dramatic pictures) from the biography part.

As for the short stories, they are mostly sad, tragic, horrific and depressing even though it is psychologically realistic because there are many dark elements such as destruction, pressure, grief, lust and many more!

Ending this review, Tatsumi (2011) is undeniably a great tribute and it is the best from Singapore. There is a little surprise at the end of the animated feature that will leave us all nothing but amazed. If you do watch this, you will agree with me that the whole animation feels like line art or gekiga coming to life due to the impressive drawings by the manga master himself and the direction of this animated feature makes it feel even more surreal.
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5/10
Visually pretty but storytelling wise, it is absolutely boring.
26 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
War of the Worlds: Goliath (2012) is visually pretty but storytelling wise, it is absolutely boring. If it wasn't the awesome concept from the novel and the effort on visuals, this one honestly might end up being the second animated feature I'd rate 1 star. But I rated it 5 stars anyway, as some of you might like it for whatever reasons.

When compared to all older Malaysian animated features, War of the Worlds: Goliath (2012) does has a nice feel to it but the plot is unfortunately quite bad. There are so many illogical scenes that are left unexplained or unfinished even until the end. The backstory? Certainly without much thought as it is not clear or even established in the animated feature itself.

I understand alien invasion and steampunk are interesting but the series of random elements and events here won't make it a great storytelling or an enjoyable, at least for me even though it is the prettiest Malaysian animated film. (Out of four that I have seen.)
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5/10
This one feels inferior than some of the older Malaysian animated feature.
23 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Despite its unusual adventure, it is sad to mention that Geng: The Adventure Begins (2009) is a mess. Its animation is not that great but it is still acceptable.

Unfortunately, what's annoying is that some of the characters are high pitched, terrible at accents or just bad voice acting in general. The mouth movements are also not entirely in sync with the characters' voice, presenting most of the voice casts at their worst.

Fortunately, the animated feature is generally much loved by its intended audience. There are indeed some ridiculous moments that are funny and a variety of characters that can be lovable but since there are too much elements, they can be weird or even be a major turn off.

In brief, Geng: The Adventure Begins (2009) is an interesting adventure and I did find some of the farm animals adorable but not the supernatural ones. I like how they incorporate animals but this one does feel inferior when compared to some of the older Malaysian animated feature in some aspects.
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Budak lapok (2007)
7/10
Can be hilarious and entertaining.
21 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Through this animated feature, we can observe the fictionalised, daily lives of the Malaysian villagers and the characters' antics are comical. In addition to all the silly and funny scenes, Budak Lapok (2007) has a lot of references and parodies to folk tales and popular movies.

However, there are some stereotypes present in this animated feature and the animation is not that great. The voice of the characters seems to be not in sync with the uncommon mouth movements sometimes but still acceptable as they are simple.

In brief, it can be hilarious and entertaining if you love to watch Malay comedy drama! Probably the best animated feature originated from Malaysia. (Out of the four I have seen)
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Putih (2001)
7/10
Shockingly good.
19 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Putih (2001) is shockingly good due to its intense scenes and moral values. They have strong voice casts and the animation is not bad too.

However, it is a disturbing depiction of how cruel an individual can be; resulting the torture involved in the family being much more intense than the surplus plot involving a kingdom's war.

In short, Putih (2001) is a great piece if you want to watch Malay/Indonesian culture.

There are several parts that I do not like such as the prince and the war that appears towards the end but overall, it is an interesting animated movie that you ought not to miss!
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5/10
The animation is quite poor.
7 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Sing to the Dawn (2008) feels like an extremely long music video. Despite having numerous unique characters, from talking animals to the village people, the animation is quite poor. With stiff bodily and out of sync voice-lips movements, the animated feature feels not so animated at times but it does have a great voice actress for the musical part.

This might be mean but I find Sing to the Dawn (2008) one of the weirdest animated movie ever made. Weird not because it is poorly done, it is mostly due to the true origin of the movie being quite uncertain. Audiences from both countries mentioned that it is their very own with rare mentions of the other country despite it is a collaboration. Most confusing, the true director of the film is uncertain as well; unless we all got the wrong guy, the director seems not to acknowledge his own work too.

Nonetheless, Sing to the Dawn (2008) does have some funny moments and noteworthy theme. Even though nothing is fancy here as it is realistically set in a small village, it touches on important issues such as arranged marriage, private ownership and social status.

Overall? Sing to the Dawn (2008) is not a bad attempt since both countries are considered quite new to the animation industry but the origins of this animated feature is weird, making it difficult to analyse. Still, nothing's wrong with girl with dreams right? Some may enjoy this, but I don't...
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RPG Metanoia (2010)
7/10
It is made out of praiseworthy intentions and it tackles present time life issues in an imaginative way.
1 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
RPG Metanoia (2010) is a quite a special one. It is made out of praiseworthy intentions and it tackles present time life issues in an imaginative way. An interesting slice of life film largely about game addictions, this animated feature allows us to see some culture and daily lives of Filipino through the child gamers.

Regarding the animation, it is pretty decent as the first (full CG) in Philippines. The creators of this animated feature are realistic in their visual and demographic choices yet still able to maintain the charms of its people. Although the depictions of game addicts could be an exaggeration, it is quite original and amusing to watch.

What's more interesting is that there are many other characters, not just these child gamers. Some of their parents including their older friends are involved in some ways and there are also plenty of other symbolic characters from the game servers in the animated feature itself such as the Koreans and virtual pets.

Another thing I can't help to notice aside from the message of this animated feature is that the minority, female characters does stand out even though at first RPG Metanoia (2010) seems to be a male-only; most of the characters are male and only wanted to play MMORPG games, especially the latest one!

May, the only girl in the group is quite friendly to play with the boys outdoor and even helped Nico to be confident to play outside more, effectively reducing his game addiction. Nico's mother is also lovely and encouraging; I think she says a lot of wise stuffs as well but I have no idea what due to language issues and it is based on my own comprehension, of course.

In the end, RPG Metanoia (2010) is satisfying as it has a sweet story with a great concept. Learning what's important and what you could be missing in life is certainly one of the best, if not the best message you can get out of movie. If you wanted to watch something foreign and different than the ordinary, you can consider giving this animated feature a chance as it is not bad!
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Dayo (2008)
7/10
It's worth to watch if you love Filipino culture and mythology.
25 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Dayo (2008) is about the simple life of a Filipino orphan boy turned into a once in a lifetime adventure. Although there are too many yet understandable product placements, the story is pleasantly straightforward; the boy went to Elementalia, a fictional location filled with many interesting mythical creatures originated from Philippines because he wanted to rescue his grandparents who means a lot to him!

Lively performance from the voice casts, the characters evidently speak modern Tagalog but too bad I do not understand Tagalog (Filipino language). I wish could understand what the characters talk, laugh and scream about! Unfortunately, the creators of the animated feature has overdone the animation. There are too much distinctive artwork made from over 500 different animators, making the whole thing look quite messy and sometimes weird.

However, like every other Filipino animated features, they do emphasise a lot on colours and it is quite admirable that Filipino animators did not make all their characters to have the same skin colours! Here, even within the family members, different skin shade is noticeable!

Although Dayo (2008) cannot be compared with animated features from major animation studios, it is still a great effort from its creators for the growth of Filipino animation industry. What's most is that it has great lessons while it showcases Filipino culture and mythology. The lessons can be interpreted in various ways but my own interpretation; I feel it means always be kind to nature, even if you don't give back, at least don't destroy them. Otherwise it might take something valuable or someone very important away from you!

In brief, Dayo (2008) may feel lengthy but it's worth to watch if you love Filipino culture and mythology. There are plenty of Filipino fantasy and it is an innovative work from the creators of the animated feature as it is the first mix of traditional and digital animation in Philippines!

PS. If anyone have the full list of the mythical creatures in Dayo (2008), do share with me! ^^
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Urduja (2008)
5/10
It has been unabashedly claimed and promoted as the first ever Filipino animated feature–the first in the nation is actually Adarna (1997) by Gerry Garcia!
22 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Urduja (2008) has decent art, music and voice actors. Some of the characters are quite beautiful and all of the characters are differently colored; noticeable as it is obvious that each characters have different levels of sun burns and skin pigment which is great. The music and performances have a hint of traditional Filipino culture with some foreign elements such as the Chinese and Japanese as well, though the whole animated feature is just a fictional depiction of the Pangasinan warrior princess, Urduja.

Then, although I do not understand Tagalog, the Filipino language; the plot seems to be average. I could tell that the main characters fall in love with each other pretty fast even though there are not much between them. I could be wrong though since I do not understand most words expressed by them but as Urduja (2008) progresses, I came to realise that it is a super fast moving animated feature. I thought less than a week has passed but in actuality, it might be a year or two seeing how fast things changes and moved on. There are also plenty of scenes which made me ask a lot of whys but overall, I guess it is okay as a family film as it can be fun sometimes although there are some frightening action and violence going on.

Another note, I do understand that English is the other official language in Philippines today but the characters especially the talking animals occasionally used some English words in some of the scenes which is not so great. I guess they used modern Tagalog but I find it quite annoying because the whole thing feels not so classic anymore after they mix some English in.

My verdict? Maybe some of you will enjoy watching this. As for me, despite it is fun being able to watch a Filipino production, Urduja (2008) is quite disappointing and frustrating to me. I started off quite excited to watch this one–I love people, culture and history stories in general–but there are just too many turn offs to me. I am also quite frustrated that I do not understand Tagalog since there are no English version of this animated feature out there but the worst turn off is probably the moment I found out that it has been unabashedly claimed and promoted as the first ever Filipino animated feature–the first in the nation is actually Adarna (1997) by Gerry Garcia...Not Urduja (2008)!

PS. Still, I am happy that pinoys are quite good at animation!
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8/10
Dark yet uplifting due to the powerful characters, beautiful friendship and a very gentle ending!
16 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (2014) has better plot, villains and characters compared to most of the previous Pokémon films. Beautifully animated, what's most pleasant about this animated feature is that there are no more pointless just-there-to-be-there supporting characters and the new travelling companion characters are much more interesting and endearing!

Then, there are more villains in this one as well. In fact, it has the most villains by far. Some may find this overwhelming but I find this great! Finally, a typical villain's pursuit of legendary Pokémon makes sense; a lot of villains are after Diancie here because mythical or legendary Pokémon are supposed to be well-known by many! Those creatures aren't supposed to be something so exclusive to the featured villain to the extend that no one else in the entire Pokémon Universe knows about it so in this case, there are four parties which is great!

There are also more mega evolved Pokémon showcased in Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (2014) which is nice. It is fun to see how much Pokémon has evolved over the years. Unfortunately, legendary Pokémon Xerneas and Yveltal are only briefly featured. They are still powerful here in their own ways but I guess this animated feature is ultimately all about Diancie. Those who love these two legendary Pokémon may be delighted to watch them coming to life in animation but they may be disappointed as well since these two are just a minor character with not much purpose; with one giving life and the other doing destruction.

The shiniest part of all, is surely Diancie's scenes. It is a Pokémon Princess, made of diamond and can make diamonds too. She is so pretty, princessy and pinkish! Her charming and adorable personality can be amusing at times but she is always in trouble so too bad she is made a damsel in distress here. Still, there is a great friendship story between the characters, some feminine cosplay for a bit and unexpected turns of situations thus overall Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (2014) certainly is an enjoyable one and it is certainly the most kawaii Pokémon film ever!

As a conclusion, the beautifully animated Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (2014) is not perfect but as a whole, the animated feature is certainly better than many of the previous Pokémon films in many aspects. It can also be dark yet uplifting due to the powerful characters, beautiful friendship and a very gentle ending!

There are six generations of Pokémon to-date and this one is a great start for the sixth generation films! Hopefully, the performance of the next Pokémon films will not go downhill again but it is quite unlikely since the new Pokémon XY series seems to be promising!
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9/10
A true video games to film kind of movie. Epic and we need more of these!
12 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is a shorter version of my review as there is word limit so.... Here's some why you will love Pokémon Origins (2013) and have a great time watching it!

Firstly, there are so much references to the game which is quite unusual and unexpected. Secondly, it feels like playing a Gameboy Color by Nintendo which is creative. Then, a lot of the music, dialogues and scenes are adapted from the games; they are just so priceless! Most of all, it is entertaining to watch the rivalry and friendship between the main characters Red and Blue as each have their own distinctive personality and boyish charm!

Since the animated special is split into four parts and directed by four different anime directors, I have four mini review for each of these too!

The first part, File 1: Red, is about the beginning of Red's and Blue's Pokémon journey. My first impression was a wow as the games are seemingly coming to life! However as the animated special progresses, I realised that it isn't just that. This is seriously a comedy aimed to entertain, it is full of inside joke that Pokémon fans would find them damn funny most of the time but humorous or not, Pokémon Origins (2013) is certainly a tribute to all Pokémon fans!

The second part, File 2: Cubone, is about Red's adventure in one of the towns he visited. Many days have passed since the first part but it does follows the storyline or gameplay. Fortunately, it is still as funny but what's more is that this part is quite heartwarming; there are some aww moments and the relationships between people and Pokémon shown here are just so sentimental. Thus, if you wanted to watch something uplifting with a hilarious plot, this is it!

The third part, File 3: Giovanni, is an interesting arc featuring the Team Rocket's Boss. It is a dramatic one. Although this part also means Pokémon Origins (2013) is coming to an end soon, it is quite satisfying because there are intense actions and a plenty of wise words. You can't help but to feel happy to learn that these characters are moving on, forward!

The fourth and last part, File 4: Charizard, is about Red challenging the Elite Four and the Champion, who happens to be his rival! I find most of the characters adorable and these two rivals especially are good-natured boys after all. Although the plot progresses pretty fast, Pokémon Origins (2013) is never boring. Like all of us who played the Pokémon games, there will always be more Pokémon, mysteries and never-ending surprises!

Nonetheless, it would be a huge lie if I mention that there are no flaws in Pokémon Origins (2013). As I have mentioned in one of my previous movie review before; let it be a common knowledge that there is no one film that is perfect and that all of the people in the world would love it. What is perfect to me might not be perfect to you but for this one, you can trust me that it is extremely different than all of existing Pokémon films and TV anime series out there and it might just be your new favorite anime!

Of course, I won't deny that there could be some flaws such as too little screen time for each gym leaders, all 151 original Pokémon does not appear on screen and that there are certainly plenty of other towns from Kanto which it obviously does not cover but it is about 90 minutes only after all. However, Pokémon Origins (2013) truly does not disappoint because the plot is entertaining and every moment in this animated special is epic!

One note on the directors of Pokémon Origins (2013), I believe each of the directors from the different animation studio have performed well and collaborated perfectly. I did not know that it was a co- production until I read about it as everything is well thought out and the continuity is seamless! The evident is this animated special; it is not difficult to tell that their creativity and efforts have paid off! Kudos to all four of you, if you are reading this by any chance!

Ending this post, Pokémon Origins (2013) is an admirable work. It is a true video games to film kind of movie and it is so awesome and epic that we certainly needed more of these! Please create... for every generation... Arigatougozaimasu!
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8/10
Great themes and settings.. Certainly will not lost in time!
9 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013) is profound. Other than having a compelling backstory, it has great themes and settings too. With many Pokémon in action, we could also have a glimpse of their daily lives. There are just so many symbolic stuffs; if you analyse it.

In this animated feature, the Genesect Army is lead and controlled by its shiny member called the Red Genesect and their nest is actually creepily interesting. As you may have already known (if you have played the games before), restoring Pokémon fossils have been a part of the main series games since the first one but these Genesects, are the first real living fossil Pokémon featured in a Pokémon film so it is quite special! (The ones in Pokémon Heroes are undead!)

However, it is sad to watch them being resurrected just to be lost in time. They are suffering confusion, have trust issues and there is even one feeling severely homesick. Lonely and afraid, these creatures are actually simple and sweet. Although they do resemble an insect that I am not quite fond of, I like one of the Genesects; the gentle one stands out a lot. Might be just me but I felt that particular Genesect is nicely animated; it probably exhibits the best body language by any Pokémon in films to date and I just couldn't help to feel sorry for it! :(

Then, there is one inevitable issue for older fans or those who are die-hard fans of Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) and Mewtwo Returns (2000). The Mewtwo here is seemingly a different one as it obviously has different, much feminine voice and certainly do not know Ash Ketchum personally. Though that could be an issue, it is still refreshing and it is not the major flaw of this animated feature. Instead, Mewtwo fans should rejoice as the Pokémon is back on screen after so many years with its new mega evolution form!

In my opinion, the major flaw of Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013) is that there are several abrupt moments. I find it unsatisfactory but I am happy with what I see overall and what they do with the Genesects in the end. My verdict? Give this anime family film based on video game a chance and you may find yourself entertained especially if you like its genre. After all, it is one of the better Pokémon Films ever made and it certainly will not lost in time!
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7/10
Has interesting rite of passage and friendship plot.
7 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice (2012) marks the return of theatrical Pikachu short with Meloetta's Moonlight Serenade. I like these anime shorts because they are usually without any human characters and have nice graphics. The Pokémon would be on their own, speaking pure Pokénese (with narrator) and though the format seems to be specially made for children; personally I quite enjoy watching them!

As the title suggests, this animated feature is about the battle between the legendary dragon Pokémon Kyurem and the Sword of Justice quartet. It has interesting rite of passage and friendship plot but these featured Pokémon however, speak human language through telepathy (which is understandable) but I thought it was too much to my liking. It is tolerable, though. On a positive note, the plot could be difficult to understand if we have to figure out everything these characters said in Pokénese by ourselves right?

What's different with this animated feature compared to older Pokémon films is that since generation IV Diamond & Pearl series, there are more alternate forms of Pokémon. They are truly interesting but unfortunately, I can't really say I enjoy generation V Best Wishes! series. From my personal Pokémon Movie Marathon, I have realised that this generation could be my least favorite but that won't hinder me from reviewing it just like how I did with the rest of the animated features. It only means that I find them less appealing compared to the rest!

Those aside, Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice (2012) ultimately makes a great family film. Although there are flaws, it promotes great values and has great messages. From fear is our greatest enemy, being reckless is no good and what we learn from defeat (failure) is most important; the animated feature can be inspirational to all.
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5/10
Even if it's two against any one film, they are not as captivating as most of the other Pokémon films in entirety.
4 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram & White—Victini and Zekrom (2011) are quite special as they are the two versions of the fourteenth films, just like the two versions of the game, Pokémon Black & White. Each version has different set of Pokémon that are exclusive to its respective titles and there are indeed some differences in several aspects. Unfortunately, even if it's two against any one film, they are not as captivating as most of the other Pokémon films in entirety.

Firstly, the concept of Victini is quite interesting and it is adorable but that is not enough to make this a good one as the whole backstory and plot is just not compelling. Then, while the designs of Reshiram and Zekrom are quite unique; the concept of Heroes of Truth and Ideals associated with them are awfully laughable. There is just nothing to it because everything here is extremely vague. Talk about philosophy!

There is also nothing much to the flying castle, except that it look grand on the outside, can be moved around by abusing Pokémon's powers and if it lands on the right spot, it can magically stop a powerful energy known as the dragon force. Honestly, nothing much stands out here except the pop up history book scene which is creative and nicely done and probably Ash Ketchum's selfless and reckless actions.

So, if you hate him, it is most likely that you won't like this because the creators of this animated feature decided to make it Ash-centric again with these films by making him, an unknown person to the kingdom as the chosen one. I am neutral towards Ash Ketchum but it is still illogical.

What made it worst is that the villain is also one of the worst there is. He seems to be a good guy but he is not. He is supposed to be a bad guy, but he is not really one too. There is just so many contradiction about this character Damon but I guess in the end he is just a confused guy.

Which one is the better version, is all up to your own liking. There are only slightly different scenes with different side of story and characters but as a whole, the differences are almost unnoticeable except during the People of the Vale scenes and the appearance of Damon's Pokémon as the script and the editing is largely the same.

For me, these makes a bad recycling example. Sure, it is certainly something new but can't deny that it is a very lazy work. I just hope this won't happen again because anyone could do the same to their films by just changing or recreating some stuffs and release it as two versions. Or, worst, even more than that.

So, it is quite sad to conclude that these films are another letdown as it has one of the worst backstory.
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