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To briefly explain our one-month inactivity, here are two words for you: "We're tired".

With that out of the way, we believe that it is long overdue for us to rank all of 2017's superhero films. Marvel Studios' latest adventure, Black Panther, is currently out now, and not only has it met our expectations, the feature has surpassed all of them, as the critics say. So for all of you who still have not watched it yet, like me, who is sick at the moment, let us first see as to how the superhero chronicles fared last year. Welcome back to Dateline Movies, and this is our countdown of the Seven Superhero Movies of 2017!

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7. Justice League (November 17, 2017)

We kick-off our countdown with Justice League, the DC Extended Universe's attempt at an Avengers team-up. We have a decent cast, a pretty great marketing campaign, and a promise of a thoroughly entertaining time at the theaters.

There is just one problem: actor Henry Cavill's CGI-ed facial shave. Oh, I almost forgot. There are also other problems, ranging from forgettable characters, and an even more forgettable teaser story. Needless to say, while the actors, specifically Ezra Miller as The Flash, and Jason Momoa as Aquaman did the best that they could, and it is still a slight improvement over previous failures, including an appealing humorous tone, the highly anticipated crossover is still sadly crowded with a mixed bag of flaws. Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon tried everything that they could, but even they are not to be entirely blamed for everything, as corporate meddling, and a muddled timeline has unfortunately doomed Justice League from the start.

Come on Aquaman, you can bring the DCEU back from the dead like Wonder Woman did!



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The first Guardians of the Galaxy was mind-blowing! With an offbeat sense of humor, a killer 80s-themed soundtrack, and an all-star cast, we all wanted to get the exact same things that made the first movie work. Well we did get all of those things, but that is also why Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 did not feel as original as it was at first.

We have twice more enemies, twice more mysteries to crack, and twice the ticklish amounts of cosmic humor, but we also encountered oddly placed, body-related jokes, the exact same gags, and the almost lack of actual stakes. However, what this fun sequel lacked in originality, managed to make it all up with the always likable chemistry between its returning and latest cast members, the colorful, out-of-this-world visuals, and its surprising emotional punches. The best part about this film is its spectacular handling on the father-child theme.

While yes, cliches are aplenty, and a whole lot more of the jokes are plainly recycled from the first film, there is still some to go around for all audiences.


5. The Lego Batman Movie (February 10, 2017)


Are you complaining about the Dark Detective Batman's current status as an overly powerful superhero, despite not having superheroes? Are you tired of seeing him steal the spotlight from all the other interesting DC properties? Warner Bros. Animation has heard all of your complaints, and instead of actually solving any of them, they decided that this is the best opportunity to make a satire.

Introducing the perfect, comedic deconstruction of the Batman mythology, now in the format of your childhood's favorite collectible toy series, The Lego Batman Movie is this year's biggest surprises. While The Lego Movie proved that this film will no doubt be a surefire mega-hit (unless it is The Lego Ninjago Movie), no one technically expected it to be painstakingly magnificent. Ha ha. Just kidding. It was totally expected.

With a near pitch perfect blend of Easter Eggs and clever callbacks to previous on-screen incarnations of the Caped Crusader, and a fitting amount of emotional appeal, plus the ever lively animation, and its charming Will Arnett-lead cast, The Lego Batman Movie is definitely your above average superhero satire!

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4. Wonder Woman (June 2, 2017)

The first, and so far, only DC Extended Universe entry with an actual "Fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is almost every DCEU die-hard fans' worst nightmare, Wonder Woman managed to surprise literally everyone. No seriously. I actually thought this movie was going to bomb much worse than how the world was bombed in the Fallout video game series (which, fun fact, was supposed to have a movie).

What we got instead is thankfully a heartfelt, typical fish-out-of-water, superhero adventure set in World War One, and one that is totally not gritty. Oh wait, that sounds like Captain America: The First Avenger? Well, yeah, but the one thing that Wonder Woman succeeds in is its earnest message on love. It sounds cheesy, but trust me, it is just spellbinding. In addition, this movie finally broke the awful female-led superhero movie curse, after both Catwoman and Elektra sunk down to the depths of Tartarus, giving young female moviegoers an on-screen role model that they deserve.

While it is still not free of any form of flaws, including having generic characters, generic story elements, and generic, oddly placed humor, and let us not forget that slightly underwhelming climactic battle, Wonder Woman, thanks to its superb leads in the forms of Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, its awesome No Man's Land sequence, and its killer theme song, is truly wonderful!


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Three reboots in, and thank God Almighty that the old web-head's homecoming is such a blessing!

Tom Holland absolutely steals the show, and brings the comicbook accurate iteration of the friendly neighborhood hero to full, breathing life! Going toe-to-toe against Michael Keaton's expertly acted winged menace, The Vulture, Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Spider-Man, and the audience, in a much  more distinctive side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: high school. The film takes cues from John Hughes classics, and the story benefits further from the screenwriters' and director Jon Watts' in-depth exploration of the more leveled world, underneath all of the battles up above them, providing us with a different perspective of the inner workings of the universe.

Admittedly, this Spider-Film, much like the Sony-produced predecessor, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, has instances that make the experience feel more like a typical visit through the Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki. However, with a much more focused narrative, and a deeper emphasis on Spider-Man's inner struggles as a newly established hero, as well as some decent action scenes, this one is a doozie!



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2. Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017)

Let us be clear here. The first Thor movies suck. Okay, that is an overstatement. Let us just say "disappointing". And now, after five plus movies, Chris Hemsworth finally gets to shine in his third, and quite possibly last solo adventure.

Ditching Earth, the attempted realism, the trademark haircut and hammer, and Jane Foster, Thor: Ragnarok takes the God of Thunder headfirst into the mythical side, his rightful place in the franchise. The result is your not-so typical cosmic adventure, taking us from one colorful set-piece to another. Packed to the brim with a goofier sense of humor and self-awareness, almost reminiscent to the style featured in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, that one Led Zeppelin song that you just can't get enough of, and some interesting character developments, as well as the ever-enlightening presence of Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster, and of course the stellar supporting cast, director Taika Watiti finally delivers to us the definitive Thor movie.

Fine, Cate Blanchett's Hela still sucks as a character, and you might find it odd that a story about the end of the world is turned into a comedy. But who cares? This film is awesome!


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1. Logan (March 3, 2017)

And finally, we have reached our obvious top-pick. Heck, this one even got itself a nomination for "Best Adapted Screenplay" at the upcoming 90th Oscars Ceremony.

As both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart's ultimate swan song, before finally leaving the X-Men film series for good (or not, since we might be seeing them again in the MCU), Logan wholeheartedly embraces the title character's grittier aspects. Thanks in no small part to Deadpool's success as a mainstream R-Rated adaptation of a Marvel property, with some credit for Wesley Snipes' Blade trilogy, writer-director James Mangold mixes all of the best ingredients that one can wish for a Wolverine movie. Blood and gore. Ultra-violence. An emotionally moving story at its core. An astounding performance from the main lead, and his young co-star. Everything is there.

To sum it all up, Logan is a near-perfect anti-superhero movie that honors the legacy left behind by Hugh Jackman's memorable portrayal, and the original comicbook character whom he portrays. It definitely deserves its spot not only here in our countdown, but also its place among the nominees for the Oscars.


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Before we officially conclude this post, be sure to check-out DesignCap, a simple to use online custom poster maker, from our friends who gave us DesignEvo. 



Not only is it easy to make use of, it is also convenient, you can turn your creativity into stunning posters with absolutely great ease, and above all its free! Do check it out by clicking on this link here.

Black Panther is out now, ladies and gentlemen, and as we have said before, it is awesome, as said by almost everyone universally. So what better way to conclude this post then by leaving a parody video of Jaden Smith's "Icon", with a Marvel twist? Straight from Nerdist, the same guys who made the Spider-Man-themed parody of Bruno Mars' "That's What I Like", this is "Young King". Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!

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My Sister's Keeper is a heart-warming drama movie released in 2009 and stars Cameron DiazAbigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric, David Thornton, Emily Deschanel, E.G. Daily, Lin Shaye and Joan Cusack.  It was directed by Nicholas David Rowland Cassavetes or better known as Nick Cassavetes.  


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It has a running time of 109 minutes and was based on the 2004 novel by New Yorker Jodi Lynn Picoult.   

Caught in a Dilemma (The Gray Area)

What will you do if your own daughter is dying from leukemia? Have a test tube baby and be a supplier of bone marrow, and other vital organs, for your daughter, obviously. That is what the 2008 movie My Sister’s Keeper showed. What a dilemma indeed.


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My Sister’s Keeper follows the Fitzgerald family, as each and every one of them try to cope with the worsening condition of Kate (Sofia Vassilieva). “Dilemma” is the main theme of this movie and we will get to know a little more about it.

The dictionary defines the term “dilemma” as a phenomenon in one’s life when an individual is faced with life-changing decisions that will lead to serious consequences or ramifications.
  
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There are numerous dilemmas tackled in My Sister’s Keeper, but I will only be highlighting the most important ones. First is Sara and Brian’s (Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric, respectively) decision to let science give birth to Anna (Abigail Breslin).

Some parts of the plot revolves around Anna, revealing that she was made only to be Kate’s unwilling donor, much like how spare parts of a car are treated. The parents have to decide: to either let Kate die, or to let mad science work its magic.


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At the end, the couple decided to let Anna live, and for the rest of their lives, they just let Anna get be tested on again and again. Most of the people would view this decision as unethical and heartless, but Sara, and initially Brian, saw this as just.
  
Another is Anna’s decision to file a lawsuit against her parents to gain “medical emancipation”, a means to be free of her duty as a donor. It is eventually revealed that this is partially to delay Kate’s treatment, for her to finally die.


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Midway through the movie, while we take a break from the lawsuit plot thread, we get to see the love of Kate’s life, Taylor Ambrose (Thomas Dekker), whom she met while the latter was undergoing chemotherapy.

Upon learning that Taylor succumbed to his cancer in secret, Kate desired death. Anna is then convinced by Kate to file the lawsuit. From Sara’s perspective, this is a sign of Anna being neglectful of her duty as a sister, but Anna only wants to live normally.
  
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Two more integral dilemmas included are Kate’s decision to finally accept her doomed fate, and Taylor’s choice to keep his eventual death a secret from Kate. These two showcased the two main characters’ developed love for each other.

What interests me the most among the two is Kate’s desire to die. Generally speaking, nobody wants to see anyone die. Kate’s wishes are to be reunited with Taylor, but is mostly her desire to finally spare her family of the prolonged grief.


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Taylor keeping his demise a secret might be cliched, but it is just similar to Kate, as they both do not wish their respective loved ones to mourn for them. Either decision is originally viewed negatively by various characters.
  
What do these all mean? Basically, the world is neither purely black nor white. It has gray areas. A decision can look bad, but be good in nature, and vise versa. Dilemmas teach us that no decisions will not merit “perfect” positive nor negative outcomes.


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With Star Wars: The Last Jedi once more dividing critics and fans again, but not in the way you would think, to Wonder Woman showing audiences a small ray of hope for their franchise, and to The Mummy crashing its own franchise before it even begun, plus Disney actually buying 20th Century Fox, 2017 was sure one heck of a ride. Next year, we will be seeing sequels, spin-offs, and to top it all of, 2018 will be the year of Disney, as they will be releasing a huge bundle of films. Of course, there is some room for newer movies, but we will get to them later. This is Dateline Movies, and for our first post for 2018, also in preparation for the next year, here is our countdown of the Top Seven Most Anticipated Releases of 2018!
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7. The New Mutants (April 13, 2018)

While their major team-up movies are disappointing, on occasion, you have to admit that 20th Century Fox has some serious guts to experiment with some of Marvel Comics' properties. The results did not disappoint. Deadpool and Logan are just stellar, and each have delivered different and fresh takes on the superhero genre. And it looks like that they are not yet finished with exploring uncharted territory. The New Mutants, starring an ensemble of young and coming talents such as Anya Taylor-Joy (Split), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why), and Blu Hunt (The Originals), with Alice Braga (Elysium), the movie is set to mix two genres: superhero, and horror. Well that sounds interesting. Let us hope that this could be another magnificent entry in the X-Men Film Series.


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6. Isle of Dogs (March 23, 2018)

One of the most artistic directors of the generation, Wes Anderson, is back, and once more, he will be using stop-motion animation. Fresh from his award-winning outing last 2014 with The Grand Budapest Hotel, it looks like Anderson is going to deliver yet another visually stunning, and an overall brilliant film that is packed with a story that might sound ridiculous, but in Anderson's hands, it might be the most magical thing on cinematic history. In case you are wondering on what the movie will be about, Isle of Dogs is about a future when all dogs are quarantined in a single island, at a time when a disease of canine origin emerged. We follow the adventures of Chief, voiced by Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Rex, voiced by Edward Norton (Fight Club), Boss, voiced by Bill Murray (The Jungle Book Remake), and King, voiced by Bob Balaban (Moonrise Kingdom), as they aid a boy named Atari Kobayashi, voiced by Koyu Rankin in his first movie role, searching for his dog, Spots, voiced by Liev Schreiber (Spotlight).


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5. Ready Player One (March 30, 2018)

Since when has Steven Spielberg ever disappointed us? (Recalls Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) Oh. Well, at least it is not the worst movie of all time. The latest addition to his mighty fine filmography is basically "Easter Egg: The Movie", Ready Player One! While it might just sound like yet another lackluster Hollywood-ized adaptation of a beloved best seller, just remember that it is in the hands of the legendary Steven Spielberg. Besides, the original writer of the book, Ernest Cline, is also co-writing the script. So yeah, the movie is in good hands. 


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4. Incredibles 2  (June 15, 2018)

Good God. Only now did Disney thought that an Incredibles sequel was a good idea. But hey, better late than never, I suppose. But is it a little too late for this long overdue follow-up? I hope not, because, aside from the original movie being the center of my childhood, The Incredibles is one of the absolute best films that Pixar and Disney has made. Heck, I might even say that it is one of the absolute best films in all of history. 


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3. Black Panther (February 16, 2018)

Black Panther promises to deliver something entirely different, and something entirely awesome! With the success of both Fruitvale Station and Creed, it was bound to happen that writer-director Ryan Coogler would helm a superhero movie. Together with his frequent collaborator Michael B. Jordan (That Awkward Moment), who portrays the film's main antagonist Erik Killmonger, as well as the ever-glowing star power of Chadwick Boseman (Message from the King) in the lead role, we ought to see something truly wonderful next February. Also, did I mention that they have an all-star ensemble cast, composing of but not limited to Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes) and Martin Freeman (Sherlock)? 


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2. Deadpool 2 (June 1, 2018)

And of course, how can we forget about the "Merc with a Mouth" and his highly anticipated follow-up to his successful cinematic debut? (His appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine does not count) We are promised with twice more perfectly choreographed action sequences, twice more comic book characters that all fans crave to see a cinematic debut, such as Cable, played by Thanos ... I mean, Josh Brolin (Sicario), and Domino, played by Zazie Beetz (Geostorm), and twice the R-Rated humor that made the first installment a smash hit. What makes this movie even more interesting is that we have absolutely no idea what the movie has in store for us. In addition, just looking at the funny teaser below is enough to convince you that we are bound for an awesome time at the theaters.


Like this year, there is so much more potentially great movies that we just could not fit them all in this countdown. As such, here are our ...


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Honorable Mentions:

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Sometime Around 2018) - Finally, all of Gilliam's nineteen-year effort and dedication are about to pay off. And what better way to commend all of his hard work than buying a ticket to this film?

Annihilation (February 23, 2018) - With an interesting source material, and a talented cast lead by Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Annihilation might really be something.

Pacific Rim: Uprising (March 23, 2018) - We will be seeing a new story, with a new protagonist in the form of Jake Pentecost, played by John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and a whole new batch of monsters. 

Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25, 2018) - Despite all of the behind-the-scenes drama, it is, after all, a Star Wars film, and anything that is connected to the beloved franchise deserves at least a peek, right?

Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (November 21, 2018) -  It is no surprise that we are about to get another movie about a guy who wrecks it. This time, we are going to the Internet! 

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (December 14, 2018) - Arguably the most surprising thing Sony has to offer, it looks like the said studio is trying to make amends with the awful The Emoji Movie.


Aquaman (December 21, 2018) - Honestly, for me, Justice League killed pretty much every single hype for this movie, as the character himself is not given enough respect. Hopefully his solo outing would deliver.

Bohemian Rhapsody (December 25, 2017) - Another victim of behind-the-scenes drama, the long-awaited Queen biopic is due to be released on Christmas Day, and it stars Mr. Robot's Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.

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1. Avengers: Infinity War (May 4, 2018)

The culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Infinity War is our most anticipated release of 2018! Well, it was obvious that this would be the result, given that we would finally get to see a decade of filmmaking finally come together in a single major crossover. In addition, with both Disney and Fox finally reaching a deal, the many directions that the long running franchise could take are just infinite (Pun intended). There are just so many reasons to list down here. And that trailer? Man, that trailer was the best out of all the trailers released last year.


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And that concludes our countdown of the most anticipated releases of this year.  Disney really is in a roll next year, with various releases of Marvel and Pixar movies here and there. Be sure to also check-out the trailer for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse below, because it really is just awesome! Have a happy 2018 ladies and gentlemen, and stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!


Siargao (2017)



Rated PG: Parental Guidance is Advised



Genre/s: Drama, Romance


Running Time: 104 (1 hour and 44 minutes)

Released on December 25, 2017 (PH Release Date; Limited Release Only)

Presented by Ten17p Films, through Solar Pictures

Writer: Anj Pessumal

Director: Paul Soriano

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Starring:
  • Jericho Rosales as Diego
  • Erich Gonzales as Laura
  • Jasmine Curtis-Smith as Abi
Crew:
  • Produced by Paul Soriano and Mark Victor

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'Tis the season to be jolly! Since it is now Christmas time here in the Philippines as well, that can only mean one thing for our national cinema industry. No, it does not mean we will be having a marathon of a bunch of Christmas movies. Here, we have the annual Metro Manila Film Festival! And that means no Hollywood movies for a couple of weeks, to make way for a little bit of that Filipino cinematic pride. In our latest movie spotlight, although a little late one, Ten17p Films, in partnership with our friends at the appropriately named Solar Pictures, invites you to go surfing under the sun, in one of the most exotic locations in the country, which is ironic considering that this season is anything but warm. Welcome back to Dateline Movies, and this is our spotlight on one of the entries for this particular event, Siargao.

Before we start, we would just like to offer our condolences to those who were affected the NCCC incident in Davao. 36 call center agents were caught in a blaze, a few days before Christmas. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected.



What is the movie about?

Rock musician Diego, played by Rosales (Magpahanggang Wakas) returns home to Siargao, in order to confront both the demons of his past, present, and future.

There, he meets vlogger Laura, played by Gonzales (Once a Princess), who came from Manila in order to seriously mend a broken heart, which resulted from her anxieties of a married life.

As Diego and Laura bond, Diego's old flame, up and coming businesswoman Abi, played by Curtis-Smith (I'm Drunk, I Love You), comes back into the fray, and she is longing to revive their long lost love for one another.

With a love triangle bound to happen, Diego must choose between Laura and Abi, in order for him to have his own happily ever after!

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And that wraps-up our latest movie spotlight. Also, I just want to express my pleasant surprise to hearing Reese Lansangan, one of the great contemporary OPM artists out there. She deserves more attention. Check her out, you guys! Be sure to also check Siargao out, in cinemas now. Hurry, before time runs out. For more updates on the movie, be sure to check-out their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages by clicking here, here, and here, respectively, and for their official website, here. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!
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Your Name / 君の名は (2016)

Rated PG: For Some Language and Sensitive Themes, and Smoking

Running Time: 106 minutes (1 hour and 46 minutes)

Genre/s: Anime, Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Released on August 26, 2016 (JP Release Date; Available For Worldwide Viewing)

Presented by CoMix Wave Films and Toho



Based On "Your Name." By Makoto Shinkai



Writer and Director: Makoto Shinkai

Starring:
  • Ryunosuke Kamiki as Taki Tachibana
  • Mone Kamishiraishi as Mitsuha Miyamizu

Get ready for an anime film that features one of the most unrealistic love stories ever told in cinema, combining coming-of-age drama and comedy with a huge bunch of seeming magical nonsense, but somehow manages to depict love more realistically than most romantic movies? Wow. 

The movie court is now in session! I have been hearing a lot of insights from my school's Twitter-sphere commenting on just how darn powerful this artistic work of animation, with other critics even showering it with the same amount of near-endless praise. We naturally gave in to our curiosity, and watched the "subbed" version. So help us God, we will determine truthfully if this movie lives-up to the word-of-mouth hype. Welcome back to Dateline Movies, and this is the case of Dateline v. Your Name (君の名は).

In case it is still not yet obvious, a spoiler alert is a must! Seriously, if you have not watched this yet, you might want to leave. Some of the plot points we will be discussing are essential to the narrative, and spoiling you might just ruin the entire experience for you.


What is the movie about?


Teenagers with big dreams, workaholic architecture aspirant Taki Tachibana, voiced by Kamiki (Spirited Away), and weary provincial girl Mitsuha Miyamizu, voiced by Kamishiraishi (Wolf Children) are living their lives in search of something vague. Something important. Something that is like a dream.

To their shock and initial confusion, Taki and Mitsuha discover that they have switched bodies, for an unknown cause. With almost no choice but to move along with their lives, in each other's bodies, Taki and Mitsuha decided to help each other with their own personal lives.

What follows Taki and Mitsuha's strange encounters is a journey across time and space that will help them discover what they have been looking for their entire lives. For them to find it, they must go against all odds in order to be by each other's side, and to always never lose sight on who each of them truly are.

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The Defense:
  • A contemporary love story you should actually care about? Finally.
Actually, what we mean is that this film has a love story that is quite unlike everything that we have ever seen before. No cliches will ruin your movie-viewing experience. Admittedly, in structure, it is not exactly original, as all you need to do is watch The Lake House starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock for you to understand the movie, but it will not matter, because like (500) Days of Summer, and La La LandYour Name nevertheless offers a pretty unique take on the genre.

There are only a few movies like Your Name that have really struck the audience so hard. Almost none of most romantic-drama catalogue actually reached the same heights as Your Name did. It is not the usual "you will never know what you have until it is gone" parable. It is not the cheesy, mainstream "guy tries to get girl" story. It does not adhere to typical romantic movie cliches. The almost complete absence of tropes, plus the added twists of mysticism, enable the characters to truly shine, and make them as people that the audience can easily identify with. With exceptionally brilliant voice work from Kamiki and Kamishiraishi, you simply cannot help but root for Taki and Mitsuya to just be together.

In fact, what sets this movie apart from various other romantic movies is its creation of two organically developed characters. As we have said before, neither Taki nor Mitsuya fall under a specific stereotype, and no, neither of them fell in love out of the blue. Instead, they caught feeling for one another after getting to know each other better through their body-swapping antiques. They get to literally live each other's lives, experience each of their respective struggles, and through all of that, they understand each other. All of these culminate into one big weird love story that is neatly wrapped with a beautiful red bow.

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  • RADWIMPS excellently sweeps you away with their heart-tugging songs.
Thank God for RADWIMPS! It is not everyday when you get to hear a movie soundtrack done by a band, instead of a composer, that is surprisingly good. Local Japanese band RADWIMPS' sweet and melodramatic tones perfectly reflect the film's emotional overly sentimental mood. My personal picks for their album, which is currently available in Spotify, are "Dream Lantern", and "Zenzenzense" (Past Past Past Life), which are the two most upbeat tunes in the soundtrack, and the only two that fall under the pop-rock genre. Their instrumentals are also pretty good, but for me, the ones featuring their vocals are absolutely the best. Also, as an honorable mention, the last two tracks that feature vocals, which are also the most sentimental tracks, including "Sparkle", and "Nandemonaiya" (It's Nothing), will surely bring tears to your eyes.

Honestly, the entire album is just golden, and those two aforementioned tracks are not the only ones that are worth listening to. Seriously, you should listen to all of the tracks on Spotify.

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  • The animation is beautifully done, and the end result is just a stunning sight for sore eyes.
Japan is clearly one of the greatest when it comes to animation, and it is no surprise that this little feature is just stunning to look at. The animation is titanium smooth, and crystal clear. The character movements, from the facial expressions, to the designs, everything is breathtaking to behold. I also love the visuals on the background, and all of the colors burst into one grand spectacle at the climactic scenes, when both Taki and Mitsuha finally get to meet. Also, the day-to-night time-lapse transitions, and the animation of the comet, the plot device, are just gorgeous to look at, and every single detail from the scene when both Taki and Mitsuha are altering the past, is just art in motion.

  • The movie is just absolutely bold and thought-provoking in execution and style. Basically, it deserves more than one viewing.
The movie is all about a deeper meaning on the concept of love at first sight. Yes, a lot of other romantic movies, even the great ones, also tackle this idea, but Your Name offers something else: an artistically surreal take on love, which we will be discussing deeper later, and most especially, a non-manipulative way of making viewers shed tears. It simply means that all those times that the movie literally asks you to cry, you will cry, because it does not feel forced.

There is just a lot of emotional moments to mention, from Taki's shocking of discovery of the truth that the Mitsuya he knows died years ago, to Taki and Mitsuya's eventual, and totally expected, and anticipated, reunion five years after the events of the comet. However, if I were to pick among those moments that is the most touching, it would have to be, obviously, Taki and Mitsuya's first ever meeting in the present day (The plot is confusing, but worry not, we will get to that later). It is a beautiful and heartwarming tipping point of the entirety of the movie that will just leave you at the edge of your seat.

But the best thing about this film is, for me, the underlying message of Your Name. Actually, I had to ask Dad, and even subscribing to a few die hard film analysts, about what the entire point of the film is. To my discovery, it is all about dreams. It might sound weird, but yeah, it really is all about dreams. That feeling that you dream of something, or probably someone, so captivating, but due to it being a dream, you barely even remember him or her. In short, the people who are meant for you lie in your dreams. Sad. A really sad message when you think about it, but a very meaningful, and a little bit hopeful, one.

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The Prosecution:
  • Beneath a sweet love story is a series of complex plot threads that might be confusing for some.
This is honestly the only thing that might prevent anyone else from truly enjoying the magic that this movie has. Although this is not to say that the writing is horrible, because it actually is darn magnificent, it is just that people might get swept away with all of the fantasy and romantic elements that the story has. Mind you, I encountered this problem 

To sum it all up though, just imagine the past and present, unbound-to-time communication from the movies  Frequency and The Lake House, which is pretty much the Americanized version of this, but older, and unlike The Lake House, the plot is combined with the body-swapping strangeness of Freaky Friday

Still confused? Fear not! Allow me to explain to you in a more complete manner.

Basically, the entire story is all about Taki and Mitsuha suddenly switching bodies at random. At first, they thought it was just a dream, until they realize that everything is real. Thinking that they have no control over the phenomenon, they decide to live their lives for awhile in each other's shoes. Mitsuha, in Taki's body, decides to help him win over the affection of his co-worker, and also secret admirer, Miki Okudera, voiced by Masami Nagasawa (Our Little Sister), while Taki, taking over Mitsuha, makes her one of the popular kids in school.

Things get complicated, however, when both of them, after a sweet, sweet series of bonding through notes left behind, while they are in each other's bodies, stopped swapping. After an awkward date with Miki, Taki decides to call Mitsuha for the first time in forever, but he does not receive an answer. He tries to find her hometown, only to discover that five years ago, it was crushed under the weight of a giant comet, during the time when Mitsuha and her family were doing a ritual, in honor of their deity, or something. This reveals that Taki was only communicating with the past, now deceased, version of Mitsuha, through some weird time-related phenomenon that runs through Mitsuha's bloodline, in order to prevent disasters that will doom the family tree. For some reason, no one bothers to ask or even explain as to why have Taki be Mitsuha's vessel, of all people in the world. 

Desperate to reunite with her, Taki vows to help her evade that horrifying fate. Taki ventures through the remains of the village, and for some odd reason, Taki thinks that by drinking the sake that was made by him, in Mitsuha's body, for the aforementioned ritual for their god, will have him reconnect with Mitsuha in some way, which strangely enough works. After drinking the potentially rotten sake, Taki's consciousness goes on a psychedelic trip through time, and now, in Mitsuha's body, Taki sets-out to prevent the people living in the village from perishing.

Meanwhile, Mitsuha wanders the present day in Taki's body, and as fate would have it, their respective consciousness meet in a specific crossroad in time, located atop the village mountain. After talking for awhile, with them asking each other to write their names on each other's hands, but instead of doing so, Taki decides to write "I love you", while Mitsuha attempted to do the same, but not before disappearing into time (Sobs), Mitsuha, now in her body, convinces her father, the mayor Toshiki, played by Masaki Terasoma (The Princess and the Pilot).

In the end, they do not meet in the present day, and neither recall the events of that day. To the joy of everyone, myself included, the town was saved. Well, actually, the town itself is still destroyed, but the people are safe and sound. With Mitsuha alive, including her entire family, Taki, now an architect, gets a chance encounter with Mitsuha in the now present future. Taki proceeds to follow her through train, and finally he gets her attention, and both proceed to, at the same time, ask each other's name. The end.

See? I told you it was confusing ... and also wonderful. Very heartwarming, and all that. (Sobs even further) To be straight, that was just me nitpicking. Please just watch this fascinating piece of cinema, right this second! I mean it! Do it!

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The Ruling: Not Gulity

One of the finest anime movies yet, that I know of at the moment, Your Name is easily a must see, thanks to its colorful visuals, spectacular writing, and gut-wrenching emotional gravitas!

And there you have it! Case closed. Now that right there, is one awesome movie! I just cannot see why would its own creator not like it. It is a mystifying masterpiece, I tell you. A masterpiece! But hey, I cannot blame. It is his own assessment of his own work.

I do hope that you watch this, and I do recommend that you do it quickly, because inevitably, Hollywood is aiming to cash-in on the popularity by making a remake, which we have all known by now, never ever ends up well. J.J. Abrams, if you are listening, please do not mess this up! You are a good director, and I trust you do what is best for this movie.

And before we wrap all of this up, here is a piano version of "Zenzenzense" by RADWIMPS, done by Theishter - Anime on Piano. If you thought the vocalized version was great, wait until you hear this one. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!