Miyazaki, director/writer of "Howl's Moving Castle" (2004) and "Princess Mononoke" (1997), brings his top game in "Spirited Away." Studio Ghibli, the studio responsible for this piece of art, outdid themselves with this movie, and it is possibly one of the best movies that they have made. It has won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. "Spirited Away" follows a young girl, Chihiro, as she journeys into a strange magical world filled with witches, spirits, and a magical bathhouse.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" takes a step away from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Entertaining, humorous, with a surprising amount of heart, this movie is one wild ride. Written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, the first women to be given credit for working on a screenplay of a Marvel film, and directed by Gunn, "Guardians of the Galaxy" stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voice the two main CGI characters, and arguably the most lovable two characters. Other well-known actors such as Lee Pace, Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Benicio del Toro, and Stan Lee (in his usual brief cameo) help bring the movie to life. The storyline of a band of misfits coming together for the greater good is hardly original but "Guardians of the Galaxy" is fresh, exciting, and filled with charming characters who steal your heart.
Director Wes Anderson's latest movie, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," is in theaters right now, but his unique filmography is well worth watching in entirety. Anderson has released eight full-length films. He tends to re-use actors: the Wilson brothers, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman show up in nearly every one of his movies, his films' scores are all written by either Alexandre Desplat or Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh, and once he snags an actor, it is likely that actor will show up again in a later film, even if only in a cameo role. While the subject matter varies widely, his movies share a fascinating cinematographic style and a quirky, funny, slightly dark but heartwarming mood.
"Italian Spiderman" is a 2007 parody of Italian action-adventure films produced in the 1960's and '70s and was produced by Alrugo Entertainment, an Australian filmmaking collective. Originally, the film began as a fake trailer on Youtube, but was later expanded into a full length film made up of ten short episodes released on Youtube along with the trailer. While the planned sequel never occurred and Alrugo was disbanded shortly after the end of the first film, a spiritual successor was made in the form of the Dinosaur production company and the spy film parody "Danger 5."
The movie "The Host" is a movie adaptation of the book with the same title by Stephanie Meyer. Some people may question how anything created by the same woman that made the Twilight Saga can be good. Those people should be prepared to be surprised. "The Host" is a surprisingly good movie.