The setting is Yokohama in 1963, and the filmmakers bring to life the bustling seaside town, with its misty harbor, sun-drenched gardens, shops and markets, and some of the most mouthwatering Japanese home-cooking set to film. The story centers on an innocent romance beginning to bud between Umi and Shun, two high school kids caught up in the changing times. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics - and the mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past. While the children work together to save a dilapidated Meiji era club house from demolition, their tentative relationship begins to blossom. But - in an unexpected twist that parallels what the country itself is facing - a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart.
||March 15th, 2013 (Limited) by GKIDS, released as From Up on Poppy Hill|
||September 3rd, 2013 by Cinedigm|
||PG for mild thematic elements and some incidental smoking images.|
(Rating bulletin 2252, 12/12/2012)
||Olympics, Coming of Age, Romance, First Love, Anime, Voiceover/Narration, Young Child Dealing with the Death of a Parent, Korean War, World War II, Intertitle|
|Source:||Based on Comic/Graphic Novel|
|Production Method:||Hand Animation|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
It's a really slow week on the home market. There's only one first-run release of note, Now You See Me, while the best-selling TV on DVD release is from the CW, The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season. That doesn't mean there are no new releases worth picking up. In fact, there are a couple of contenders for Pick of the Week. Blancanieves is one such contender, but while the DVD or Blu-ray is worth picking up, I think the target audience is a little too limited for Pick of the Week. Instead, that honor goes to From Up on Poppy Hill on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
From Up on Poppy Hill is the latest film from Studio Ghibli to reach our shores. The film opened in limited release earlier this year and became the first film released by GKIDS to cross $1 million. Can the film live up to Studio Ghibli's previous films? If not, is it still good in its own regard?
The Bling Ring's reviews didn't hurt its opening as it scored an average of $42,597 in five theaters. Given this start, reaching at least one major milestone seems likely, even with its reviews. Man of Steel took second place on the per theater chart with an average of $27,720. 20 Feet from Stardom earned an average of $18,199 in three theaters. This is a great start for a documentary.
It is a pretty busy week for limited releases with a number of them that could do well. Blancanieves should do well in art house cinemas, but it is too out there for mainstream success. Likewise, From Up on Poppy Hill should draw in fans of Anime, but there are not enough of them to allow the film to expand significantly. Ginger and Rosa has more appeal to mainstream audiences and strong buzz, but its reviews are only good and not great. Spring Breakers is also earning reviews that are good, but not great. However, it has a planned wide opening next week, so unless that falls apart, it will be the biggest hit on this week's list.
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