My Neighbor Totoro - Miyazaki films always portray a sense of child-like imagination, and this film focuses on seeing the world through a child's eyes. As such there isn't much story and it wanders - just like a child's short attention span and sense of adventure and wonder about the world around them. Good art, but not as astounding as Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle (below). I enjoyed it, but the children in the movie were a bit much for me. Dakota Fanning does a good job voicing the lead character, but after a while the frequent outbursts of the two girls got on my nerves (but that's how kids are). My kids enjoyed the movie and laughed a lot. Once was enough for me, but a very good movie for kids.
Howl's Moving Castle - Wow! The art in this movie is stunning. Maybe even better than Spirited Away. It was fascinating to watch. I'm astounded to think how long it must take to hand draw animation of this quality to fill an entire movie. The story is odd, but that's Miyazaki and I like his out-there ideas. The story seems to ramble, but it all ties together and makes more sense as it goes on. There's even a point or message in the movie. I appreciate Miyazaki's creativity and imagination. Sure Miyazaki's films are kinda weird, but I get tired of the same old Hollywood retreaded ideas and these films are like a breathe of fresh air.
I went for a road ride with Mark today. He was working from home so we met up and rode around Herriman. As I layered up I questioned the sense of riding in the winter, but once I got on the bike I was happy to be riding. It was windy, but warm (for December). On the way back we got a few rain drops and it turned colder. I haven't been on the road bike in over a month and it felt good to cruise the black top. We chatted some as we went. A good 28 miles of rolling road.