My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2015

I’ll be posting a list of My Top Ten 2015 Movies (by UK release date) tomorrow but, as always, I also like to do a list of my favorite older films that I watched at home for the first time in the past year. I watch more movies at home in a year than I do in the cinema so it seems silly to ignore them as there are often some great ones that I’ve just seen for the first time.

I keep a full (sadly ranked!) list of what I watch throughout the year HERE and see that I watched 73 films at home in 2015. Yikes! That seems excessive. Well, I’ll admit that I don’t pay attention to half of them as they’re playing in the background while I do other stuff (especially those really shitty movies I’ve ranked at the very bottom of the list of 73). But I loved some of them so I’d like to highlight not just ten but the top fifteen. You should all know by now that I can’t ever make a top ten list only containing ten things! 😉 But I did manage no ties…

So here are My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2015 counting down to my very favorite (including the next five as honorable mentions). I’m proud that I’ve managed to review the full Top Ten other than my number one. Hmm… I really should say something about that one!

Honorable Mentions:

15. Miracle Mile
14. The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
13. The Unbelievable Truth
12. Waxwork
11. Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains

Top Ten:

10. eXistenZ

9. Melancholia

8. Short Term 12

7. Dredd

6. We Are The Best!

5. Road House

4. Escape From Alcatraz

3. The Last Unicorn

2. Grave Of The Fireflies

1. Escape From New York

I wanted to keep this list simple so I’ve said nothing about any of these movies. But feel free to discuss them with me in the comments! 🙂 I’ll say it was pretty easy deciding the order for these but I did have a hard time deciding which movie to put at number one for tomorrow’s list. Number one & two were so close! But I still managed no ties for tomorrow.

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Grave Of The Fireflies (1988) Review

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Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)
Hotaru no haka
Japanese: 火垂るの墓

IMDB Top 250 Rank: 104 as of 01/01/2013

Directed by Isao Takahata

Based on Grave of the Fireflies by Akiyuki Nosaka

Starring Voice Actors:
Tsutomu Tatsumi
Ayano Shiraishi
Yoshiko Shinohara
Akemi Yamaguchi

(English dub voice cast: Adam Gibbs, Emily Neves, Shelley Calene-Black, Marcy Bannor)

Running time: 89 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Set in the city of Kobe, Japan, the film tells the story of two siblings, Seita and Setsuko, and their desperate struggle to survive during the final months of the Second World War.

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My Opinion:

Version watched: Japanese with English subtitles

Okay – here we are with the movie that got second place when I asked you all to vote for which movie I should review next (Spirited Away won – I reviewed that HERE yesterday). Knowing I would be spending January reviewing a bunch of Studio Ghibli films, I actually watched Grave Of The Fireflies late on New Year’s Eve. Do I know how to party or WHAT?!

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And… then I never reviewed it. What can I say about Grave Of The Fireflies that hasn’t been said already? It’s already widely known that it’s one of the saddest & most heartbreaking movies you can watch. I love Studio Ghibli so I knew the time had finally come for me to watch it if I was going to dedicate a bunch of my time to eventually reviewing every Ghibli film on my blog. But I’ve never been one to want to watch a sad movie – I watch movies for their escapism, not to be reminded that humanity sucks. So I had a little bit to drink as it was New Year’s Eve, put on Grave Of The Fireflies, then distracted myself by chatting with a friend through most of it in order to make it a little more bearable (thanks to that person!). It still wasn’t an easy watch although it’s a beautiful film.

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I was happy that Grave Of The Fireflies wasn’t at all political (in my opinion). I wouldn’t even say it’s exactly anti-war – it simply tells the story in a very matter-of-fact manner of a young boy & his little sister in the final months of World War II. I’ve looked but I’m not sure of the ages of the brother & sister – I think she’s around 4 & he’s maybe 14? There are a few times throughout the movie where you start to feel a little frustrated with the brother seeming to not always know the best way to take care of his little sister until you then remember that he’s just a child himself and how difficult it would be to try to survive on your own in a war torn country. These kids have nowhere to go and no one to turn to for help – all they have is each other and the boy does everything he can to take care of his little sister.

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Grave Of The Fireflies is one of those movies that I think everyone should watch at least once (kind of like Schindler’s List – you need to watch it but maybe don’t watch them both on the same night!). There’s just nothing I hate more than seeing little kids suffer, though, and it’s very hard to watch this little girl go through Hell while always maintaining her innocence and joy at life’s little pleasures (like a couple of fruit drop candies or some fireflies) in a way that only the very young can manage. I recommend this to everyone, not just fans of Studio Ghibli as it’s quite unlike the other Ghiblis anyway, but you’ll need to be in the right frame of mind.

My Rating: 8/10

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Which Movie Should I Review Next – Poll Winners

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Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll asking which movie I should review next. Sorry – I was too sick last week to make a start on the winners but the top two are written now and ready to post tomorrow & Thursday. There were a lot that tied for third place so I’ll work my way through those next.

I’m happy to see that it turns out more of you like Studio Ghibli than I thought. Um… I’ve already done a bunch of those recently! 😉

13 votes:
Spirited Away

9 votes:
Grave Of The Fireflies

7 votes:
Attack The Block
Melancholia
Midnight In Paris
Miracle Mile
Primer (oh god. FYI – I really don’t understand this movie! Lol)

6 votes:
Blue Is The Warmest Color

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Oh! I have a load of books I’ve read & never reviewed either. Maybe I should do another poll. Hmm… Anyone want to hear about any of these?

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Martian by Andy Weir

Revival by Stephen King

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Horns by Joe Hill

My Top Ten Studio Ghibli Movies (So Far)

First of all, Happy Birthday to Hayao Miyazaki! Co-founder of Studio Ghibli along with Isao Takahata, Miyazaki has directed the majority of the most well known & highly regarded Ghibli films.

As I said, I’ll be reviewing some Studio Ghibli films throughout January. I don’t have a definite schedule in mind plus I’ll probably post some non-Ghibli reviews as usual as well. So far, I’ve watched 10 of the 20 Ghibli movies I could possibly watch (2 aren’t yet available on DVD). I’ve mostly watched the ones directed by Miyazaki so I’ll first focus on reviewing these ten I’ve seen so far plus the two Miyazaki ones I have left to watch. I may then continue Studio Ghibli Month after January & do the remaining films as well. I’m halfway through writing my review for Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind so that will probably be the review you’ll see here tomorrow.

So, these are My Top Ten Favorite Studio Ghibli Movies (So Far) counting down from ten to one. I’ll update it once I’ve seen the rest of the Ghibli films but I’ll be surprised if the list changes much. 🙂

**List updated 5/1/17. You can see my ranking for all the Ghibli films I’ve now seen HERE**

10. The Cat Returns

9. Howl’s Moving Castle

8. Grave Of The Fireflies

7. Ponyo

6. Kiki’s Delivery Service

5. Princess Mononoke

4. Spirited Away

3. Laputa: Castle In The Sky

2. Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind

1. My Neighbor Totoro

The Tale of Princess Kaguya Trailer: Grave of the Fireflies Director Returns

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See a couple teaser trailers for Isao Takahata’s upcoming The Tale of Princess Kaguya here: SlashFilm

From the article:

For his latest film, however, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Takahata has gone back to ancient Japanese folklore. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is the inpiration for this film, and in keeping with that starting point, Takahata’s animation is inspired by charcoal, watercolor, and sumi-e ink illustration techniques. If you think of Studio Ghibli as having a house style, footage from The Tale of Princess Kaguya will shatter that notion.