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what i watched last week

Only Yesterday. Some years ago, a friend gave me a lovely set of Studio Ghibli films on DVD. I’ve never been sure of the legal status of the box set, but it gave me a chance to look at some of the finest films of all time without worrying about dubbing or editing. I’ve spread the movies out over time … I’ve seen all but a couple now … Only Yesterday is one of the last on the list. It’s the kind of movie that resonates after the fact … the animated spell it creates works in such a way that for the most part, you don’t think “this is a great animated film,” you think “this is an interesting character study of a young woman.” I liked it quite a lot, but it was afterwards, when reading the praise of its many fans (who like it more than a lot), that I started thinking back and realized I had sat through something special without truly realizing it. Even now, I’d hold back on too much praise … I suspect it seems even better on a second viewing … but this is a very good movie, at the least. 8/10.

Star Trek. I’m certainly not the one to judge this. I’ve never really watched any of the TV series, and only saw one of the movies prior to this one. But I’ve also never hated the show … was mostly indifferent, except that many friends loved various versions, and that seemed like a good thing. But I approached this as I would any other sci-fi epic, or at least, I thought that’s what I did. When the movie started, I understood that even a non-fan is aware of the basics … I knew the names of the main characters, knew some catch phrases, stuff like that. So it’s silly to say I’m totally outside the Trek universe. How did I like the movie? It was OK … the science part of the plot didn’t reward any deep consideration, so I avoided that. The action scenes were ok, nothing special, the acting reasonable. I’ve always hated Zachary Quinto’s' eyebrows … stupid, I know … so his arched Vulcan brows worked wonders for me, since I thought they were an improvement. It was a nice way to spend two hours; don’t think I’d go farther than that. 6/10.

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