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My Neighbours the Yamadas

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Going into this movie I had virtually no expectations. Same with Zach. So when we sat down to see this movie, neither of us were really sure what we were going to get out of it. But I can definitely tell you what Zach got out of it because half way through the movie he turned to me and said, “I hate you!” and I don’t blame him. My Neighbours the Yamadas is a wierd movie in the way that it is not really a movie. It is basically a collection of a bunch of really small shorts about this family the Yamadas and their rather boring lives. Allow me to describe it this way: imagine the comic Marmaduke which at is funniest gets a rare chuckle out of me. Now imagine you took about 27 Marmaduke comics, animated them and stuck them in a movie (granted that would probably be better than the real Marmaduke movie). It’s not very entertaining overall. And most of that has to do with the fact that the characters are unbelievably boring. The father is an extremely boring guy, as is the mother, and I actually didn’t really like the grandmother at the beginning and eventually I grew indiffferent to her. The only two characters I genuinely grew to like was the son who would have a funny line once in a while, and the daughter who is so unbelievably adorable, I think it would be a crime against humanity not to like her.

I will admit that the movie gets indredibly repetitive and feels feverishly slow - which is rare for a Miyazaki movie because no matter how long they are, they usually feel very fast-paced. Still, Zachary can probably give you a better argument about the boring nature of this film because he actualy fell asleep during the movie, which is a much better argument than I could ever make.

It’s funny because Zach happened to fall asleep just before one of the best shorts in the movie. Actually its a series of shorts where (spoiler alert) the son gets a girlfriend, which I have to admit was fairly cute. Oh yeah and the son tried to buy porn in this short. It turns out that the porn section and the history section are one and the same in this bookstore, which is flawless design right there.

Overall there isn’t much to say about it because there isn’t that much in this movie. It is mostly just a bunch of shorts most of which end with a haiku by an ancient Japanese poet – which there needed to be a lot more of in this movie because that was the only way I could tell when one short ended and the other began, and without them I was completely lost. But overall, can I recommend his movie?

Well, I can tell you Zach hated it. But I will say that he animation is very nice at times, and though I didn’t find the movie that funny, it did get a few chuckles out of me. I guess if you are the kind of person who can watch Chi’s Sweet Home for hours on end and still have a good time, you’ll enjoy his movie just fine. And I guess considering this is one of the first films Sudio Ghibli ever did, that alone makes it worth a watch.

Stay tuned for more Miyazaki Mania.




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