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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film Of The Year
THIS REVIEW IS FROM MY BLOG: [...]

To call a movie released in May "film of the year" is a somewhat risky move. However, given that The Wind Rises currently sits as my favourite movie of the ten-nies (?), it's a fair assumption. Make no mistake, The Wind Rises is a masterpiece. A movie that comes along once every five years (or so) that changes the way we look...
Published 4 months ago by Greg Hill-Turner

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9 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars what a shame
I have loved the whole Gibli output for a long time- the whimsy, the humour, and most of all the serene and gentle pace of well told stories. I found little to love here - the WInd Rises, itself an anaemic aphorism, has one or two midlly interesting characters and a couple of "wow here we go" skyscapes, all of which develop into.... really very little. As a eulogy...
Published 1 month ago by Dr. M. Brennan


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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film Of The Year, 23 May 2014
THIS REVIEW IS FROM MY BLOG: [...]

To call a movie released in May "film of the year" is a somewhat risky move. However, given that The Wind Rises currently sits as my favourite movie of the ten-nies (?), it's a fair assumption. Make no mistake, The Wind Rises is a masterpiece. A movie that comes along once every five years (or so) that changes the way we look at movies and, well, life in general. It takes a lot to achieve that level of power and majesty. As it turns out, it takes Hayao Miyazaki...

The Wind Rises is a highly fictionalised tribute to the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II. Miyazaki also draws heavily from the works of Tatsuo Hori, whose prose inspired the title and serves as a prelude to the story. Along the way, Jiro experiences the Kanto earthquake, economic depression, the tuberculosis epidemic, the breakout of WW2 and the tragic reality of first love. So, no lovable woodland creatures this time...

The first thing I must mention is that fans of Miyazaki's earlier work may be put off by the serious, meditative tone he brings to his final film. When soot gremlins hit the fan, they hit it hard. Thankfully, Miyazaki has lost none of the awe and wonderment that makes his work stand out. He is perhaps the only director alive today who could make you delight in the curvature of a fish bone or emotionally invest in a vehicle (take note Cars, just don't come back).

This sense of majesty is mirrored in Joe Hisaishi truly breathtaking score. Hisaishi perfectly captures Jiro's childlike energy, as well as complementing the dramatic moments with virtuoso skill. His score, along with Miyazaki's ever-stunning imagery create a superb blend of solemnity and playfulness.

The voice cast, too, is extremely impressive. In the English dub, Joseph Gordon-Levitt provides his usual blend of likability and vulnerability that makes him the perfect star. Emily Blunt, as Jiro's lover Nahoko, makes a compelling case that Edge of Tomorrow may not, you know, suck. Stanley Tucci is on top form as the deliciously flamboyant Caproni, the Italian engineer who corresponds with Jiro through a series of wonderously realised dream sequences. Martin Short is genuinely hilarious as comic-relief Kurokawa, Jiro's grumpy and overbearing boss; who happens to be a dwarf. Special mention must go to Werner Herzog as Castorp, whose soothing tones and welcoming voice are sure to make him a fan-favourite.

Luckily, all are dealt a pack of aces in Miyazaki's most realistic and sombre screenplay to date. Jiro, for instance, isn't your typical hero. He isn't particularly charismatic or even special, other than his naive and uncynical worldview. He's simply a good man, trying to do the right thing. The supporting players are a richly-drawn and memorable gathering of well rounded, deeply human individuals. Even for a movie filled with daydreams and pure happen chance, The Wind Rises is the most natural and emotionally resonant animated movie I've ever seen.

A lot has been made about the supposed politics behind the movie, with some claiming Miyazaki glorifies the Japanese military. This is, for lack of a better term, utter bollocks. The film isn't about World War II, or even Jiro's inventions. It is the tale of one man's dream and the growth he must go through to achieve it. It is an ode to creativity, the rush of invention and the thrill of seeing your creations take shape. Caproni even says: "Airplanes are not tools for war. They're not for making money. Airplanes are beautiful dreams. Engineers turn dreams into reality" Saying this movie is about World War II is like saying 2001 is about a giant fetus floating in space.

The Wind Rises is also the director's most personal film to date. There does seem to be a autobiographical element, with Caproni telling Jiro before his retirement "Artists are only creative for 10 years" If you know the background of the production, this line registers as an interesting nod. Miyazaki at first didn't want to make an 11th feature, planning to create a manga version of The Wind Rises. It took producer Toshio Suzuki to convince him to make it into the film we have now. Perhaps Miyazaki is saying filmmakers are only creative for 10 movies? If so, he couldn' be more wrong...

The Wind Rises is an indisputable masterpiece, a heartbreaking tale of the cost of creativity. It's a movie you'll walk out of wanting to do something, even if that something is sitting on your arse and writing a review of it. A beautiful, philosophical movie that truly transcends its format, becoming something else entirely: art. If this is to be Hayao Miyazaki's final film, it is the perfect swansong to a perfect director...

Five Word Verdict: A powerful, essential modern masterpiece
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful picture, and so much emotion., 28 May 2014
By 
Marco Rossini "Marco" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
First of all, I found this film extremely beautiful in many senses. Especially the way blue skies and clouds, where aeroplanes fly through, are pictured is so impressive that it was almost real. The latest graphics have enabled Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli to achieve this depth and the height in the sky - simply breathtaking.

It's a shame that some people are totally missing out the point in this film, that is the emotions, the relationship and the love the main two young people had between them. But some people just saw the surrounding elements such as Jiro Horikoshi's occupation, his dedication to work, the war time, etc etc, and complain that no mystical creatures like Totoro or a wizard appeared. This is partly based on the novel, also called 'Kaze Tachinu' or the Wind Rises, which is a serious nevertheless amazing love story and not some kind of phantasy. It's also based on a true story of Jiro Horikoshi, so this film is an amalgamation of two completely different stories around the same time in 1930s, so you can't expect some animal that talks or some castle that flies.

I don't really want to spoil your joy if you haven't watched it yet, but I really want to ask you for just one thing - please remember that the most important part is the inner, quiet part of Jiro's and Naoko's hearts and the overwhelming love between them. So try to leave your judgements aside for a couple of hours and try to live at the same difficult times as those beautiful people (and if possible, watch it with the original Japanese soundtrack with subtitles instead of watching it with the English (American) dubs.

The pictures and the soundtrack are also brilliant. I'd like to watch it again.

Hope you, all the Ghibli films fans, agree with me.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As the wind blows, you must strive to live, 13 May 2014
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
This "final" animated cartoon from the revered Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki is by turns visually striking, shocking, humorous and moving, providing an insider's insight into Japanese culture and history in the period leading up to World War Two. It is loosely based on the life of the designer of Zero fighter planes, Jiro Horikoshi, who was determined to match Western technical expertise, but appalled by the devastation of war: he was fascinated by the birdlike speed and beauty of flight, and in the process turned a blind eye to the destructive power of bombs until it was too late. Like other geniuses whose skills have been harnessed for evil ends, it was perhaps too much to expect him not to pursue his research.

In a touch of magic realism, the young Horikoshi meets in his dreams the earlier pioneering Italian aeronautical designer Gianni Caproni, who acts as his mentor and inspiration. There are breathtaking images of a major earthquake with the ensuing fire that destroyed much of Tokyo in the early 1920s, fanciful ideas of planes, developed through painstaking research into real prototypes, and the beauty of the green countryside with sudden bursts of rain and wind.

Although long, this film is completely absorbing, as the director's fertile imagination keeps one feasting on each scene before it vanishes. Above all, it provides a more sympathetic appreciation of the chain of events which dragged Japan into the war which destroyed it for a while, and enables one to perceive the Japanese of that time as people with real emotions and aspirations. As one watches the progress in developing planes, there lurks in the background the knowledge of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki disasters to come. Yet, the film contrives to end on a constructive note: "Le vent se lève et il faut tenter de vivre".
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moved me to tears A powerhouse film and a fitting ..., 10 July 2014
This review is from: The Wind Rises [DVD] (DVD)
Moved me to tears
A powerhouse film and a fitting finale for Miyazaki
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great finish for a great director!, 30 May 2014
This review is from: Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
This is said to be Hayao Miyazaki's final film. If that's the case, this was a great way to finish his career at Studio Ghibli. The animation is stunning, as you would expect from Studio Ghibli, the characters are memorable, the voice acting is great, the music is nice and the overall story and message is great. Unlike most of Miyazaki's work, this is much more grounded in reality and it's a very interesting and fresh approach. While it isn't my favourite Studio Ghibli film, it still is a great film. I definitely recommend it!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As the wind blows, you must strive to live, 13 May 2014
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Wind Rises [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
This "final" animated cartoon from the revered Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki is by turns visually striking, shocking, humorous and moving, providing an insider's insight into Japanese culture and history in the period leading up to World War Two. It is loosely based on the life of the designer of Zero fighter planes, Jiro Horikoshi, who was determined to match Western technical expertise, but appalled by the devastation of war: he was fascinated by the birdlike speed and beauty of flight, and in the process turned a blind eye to the destructive power of bombs until it was too late. Like other geniuses whose skills have been harnessed for evil ends, it was perhaps too much to expect him not to pursue his research.

In a touch of magic realism, the young Horikoshi meets in his dreams the earlier pioneering Italian aeronautical designer Gianni Caproni, who acts as his mentor and inspiration. There are breathtaking images of a major earthquake with the ensuing fire that destroyed much of Tokyo in the early 1920s, fanciful ideas of planes, developed through painstaking research into real prototypes, and the beauty of the green countryside with sudden bursts of rain and wind.

Although long, this film is completely absorbing, as the director's fertile imagination keeps one feasting on each scene before it vanishes. Above all, it provides a more sympathetic appreciation of the chain of events which dragged Japan into the war which destroyed it for a while, and enables one to perceive the Japanese of that time as people with real emotions and aspirations. As one watches the progress in developing planes, there lurks in the background the knowledge of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki disasters to come. Yet, the film contrives to end on a constructive note: "Le vent se lève et il faut tenter de vivre".
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!!!!, 8 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Wind Rises [DVD] (DVD)
What a wonderful film this was. A pure delight from start to end. This is meant to be the last from this director and it is a shame as all his films are charming and lovely too watch. Highly reccomend this
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9 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars what a shame, 25 July 2014
This review is from: The Wind Rises [DVD] (DVD)
I have loved the whole Gibli output for a long time- the whimsy, the humour, and most of all the serene and gentle pace of well told stories. I found little to love here - the WInd Rises, itself an anaemic aphorism, has one or two midlly interesting characters and a couple of "wow here we go" skyscapes, all of which develop into.... really very little. As a eulogy to the Japanese aviation industry it merits little interest outside of, well, those who are interested in the Japanese aviation industry. The characters are realistic, the pace is acceptable, but I was left waiting for something to differentiate it from a live action TV drama... and in end, it was boring and irrelevant.
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10 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Wind Rises, 18 May 2014
By 
R. Morley (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
This has received some good reviews, but personally I don't think it lives up to them. A young Japanese man follows his ambition of creating beautiful aircraft, and so trains as an aeronautical engineer during the inter-war years. His dreams are, however, overshadowed by the possibility that his creations could be used for destructive purposes during World War II.

But despite having these serious undertones the film winds up feeling rather slight. The central character is dull, and rather one-dimensional in his tireless good temper and complete self-assurance. There is also an unnecessary love story, which could not be more saccharine if the two lovers were to sleep on a bed of sugarcane at night. The story around the aeroplanes is of more interest and there is some nice visual design, but sadly the script feels somewhat stale and lacking in maturity - making you wonder how effectively the translation from Japanese has been carried out.

Unfortunately, for me The Wind Rises is not so much a full-blown hurricane, but a mere rustling of the leaves.
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10 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Zero Marks For History, 22 Jun 2014
By 
This review is from: Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
Ok, so we have the story an engineer - Jiro Horikoshi - who loves the idea of flight, but is brought down to earth by the military who realise the potential of air power. Although this IS a beautiful movie, like most (or all) of Ghibli, this is revisionist history at its worst. To say that Horikoshi just wanted to make beautiful flying machines and not weapons of death is just possibly true but it really smacks of a defeated enemy romantically cherry picking from history.
I love the fantasies of Ghibli, but I cannot understand why they would make such a dangerous fantasy story about such a serious subject.
The Japanese Empire was a truly evil empire which used mass genocide and slavery to further it ends. The Zero aeroplane was one of the tools used by the military to further their ambitions. To make it an object of romantic fiction is an act tantamount to pissing on the victims graves.
Wikipedia has an article devoted to Japan's attempted whitewash of history entitled "Japanese history textbook controversies." Mariko Oi has written an article for the BBC entitled "What Japanese history lessons leave out" which is available online and I think shows, how even today, there is something like a "holocaust denial" syndrome going on. Ordinary Japanese people simply don't understand their neighbours' (China and Korea) aggressive feelings towards them because they have no historical context.
Recently Japan has made moves to renounce its pacifist defence policy and their use of force in international disputes as a response to what is seen as Chinese territorial aggression. My point is that unless we really learn from history rather than fantasise about it we will never have peace and understanding. This film does nothing to help todays youth understand the great wrongs their ancestors perpetrated.
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Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD]
Wind Rises - Double Play [Blu-ray + DVD] by Hayao Miyazaki (Blu-ray - 2014)
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