Just like you I to enjoy kicking back with some functional glass, some snacks, and my buddies to watch a film but what happens after we watch all of those essentials like The Big Lebowski and The Union too many times? Well I’m here to start giving you some recommendations that not only spark your interests but also keep your whole crew entertained. Wether it’s a twisted plot line or a visual spectacle I’ve taken the time to find some great films that hopefully will drive you away from the mundane and routine list of movies you usually watch.
If you haven’t tread into the world of Anime yet you’re missing out. Japanese Anime offers a wide variety of visually stunning tales, and usually the storytelling is just as prolific. While many Anime series do not intrest the average american (with the exception of Pokémon and a few others) The American public tends to favor anime films, many having major succes when released in the United States. One of these films Summer Wars (2009) grossed more than 18 million dollars when it came to the US but thats far from what makes this film great…
The story begins with the introduction and explanation of the OZ online community which becomes a major focal point to the film’s story and the many characters in it. OZ was explained as an on-line, social networking community which has become so ingrained in the world community that everything anyone does was done through it’s portals. Think of OZ was an amalgamation of Facebook, Second Life, iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, and just about every other aspect of our lives rolled into one. It’s a virtual world where people just don’t socially interact through games and chat lobbies, but also a place where every real-world store has a portal where people could purchase things online. It’s also become a palce where governments from local cities to whole countries have set-up their own areas that would control their cities and countries’ infrastructures. It’s Facebook on steroids.
A full explanation of OZ…
The film’s main character happens to work as a part-time moderator for OZ. Koiso Keiji also happens to be a 17-year old math whiz who would become instrumental in the story to come. The bulk of the story has Keiji being employed by a high school friend in Shinohara Natsuki. With the offer of a summer job, Natsuki persuades Keiji to come with her to her family estate where he ends up meeting the rest of Natsuki’s very extended family and also it’s soon-to-be 90-year old matriarch in Jinnouich Sakae. This part of the film makes up the romance and it’s comedic aspect as Keiji gets introduced by Natsuki to her great grandmother Sakae as her boyfriend and future fiance much to Keiji’s surprise. As Keiji tries to awkwardly play along with Natsuki’s plan the second part of the film’s story kick’s in as he inadvertently assist someone or something into hacking into OZ and begin a sequence of events which threatens every account in OZ, but later on even threaten the world.
Another shot from the film: Keiji and Natuski about to kiss.
I won’t ruin what else happens in the film but the directors ability to juggle all of these plots and even sub-plots makes the film very interesting as well as it’s “Facebook on roids gone bad” message asks us to look at the current state of society. Asking questions like should we be putting all of our information out online? should we have every aspect of our lives synced in one place?
And if the plot hasn’t gotten you interested yet the films animation is truly amazing. Taking a lot of inspiration from famed Japanese Artist Takashi Murakami, whose work has been featured at almost every major art museum in the world and the artist behind Kanye West’s Graduation.
Some of Murakami’s work
Here’s the English Trailer: