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The Wind Rises
English Language Version/DVD I
DVD + Blu-ray
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From Academy Award(R)-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (Best Animated Feature, SPIRITED AWAY, 2002) comes a spellbinding movie beyond compare. Experience "perhaps the greatest animated film the cinema has ever seen" (David Ehrlich, Film.com) on Blu-ray. Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted and unable to be a pilot, he becomes one of the world's most accomplished airplane designers, experiencing key historical events in an epic tale of love, perseverance and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world. Bring home the film that has dazzled fans and critics around the globe. Bursting off the screen with spectacular picture and sound and featuring fascinating bonus material, Miyazaki's final masterpiece, THE WIND RISES, is breathtaking on Blu-ray and DVD.
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With that said, it will bring feelings out of you, simply put! That's not to say it's a depressing movie, but it's emotionally fulfilling on a level few animated films have been able to express (and to be honest, those few films are mostly Miyazaki films). As you watch the life of a Japanese man building aircrafts for his country and finding love, The Wind Rises does carry a somber tone due to the plain fact that this is Miyazaki's supposed last film. Rather than describing the plot in countless words, it's pivotal to just watch a Miyazaki movie - going into too much detail would spoil the experience of watching a Miyazaki movie! Expect the same childlike imagination and artistry you may have seen in any of his previous films, especially if you get the chance to purchase the Blu-Ray copy.
Personally, I agree with the common notion that this movie was made for adults, but it's not because there's any outlandish content (as a small note, the plot is historically set during a time in Japan as it prepares for WWII, but no war violence is shown). Like Pixar's Up, the main character - whose eyesight relegates him to engineering airplanes rather than flying them - hoists some hardships that aren't explicitly discussed for the audience. Even compared to live-action movies, people should know that there's very little being spoon-fed to them. Limited exposition appears in the dialogue, and the steady pace of the film will most likely bore kids. For that matter, the nostalgic build of The Wind Rises is just not suited for antsy children.
For adults, however, this movie is simply beautiful, and a must-watch to break any premature expectations of an animated film. It won't give you any gimmicks in its storytelling or its many inspiring moments. It's that element of pure, genuine filmmaking that makes Miyazaki films so timeless. Of course, variations of that praise have been said of his works many times before. What's plainly left to say is to just watch it while you can. It just so happens that every aspect of the film reminds you that nothing lasts forever. But some types of nothing can feel endlessly great.
This film encompasses one half of everything that makes Miyazaki great. Miyazaki came out of retirement once before and made Ponyo. That film carried his Speilbergian love of childhood, his whimsey, his environmental political views (its in small doses and does not ruin the film for a second), and dreamlike art on the border between terrifying and heavenly. That is half of all Miyazaki films that appeals to kids. The Wind Rises is the other half. The side of Miyazaki that loves flight and engineering, tides of tragedy, and the little beautiful things lost in plain sight in the lives of his characters and makes you cry with hope.
Beautiful animation and a fitting swan song for the director of the best animated films of this century……..unless he comes out of retirement again just to make a comedy action movie to balance out Ponyo and The Wind Rises, but you can probably watch Castle of Cagliostro instead ;)