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Screener Squad: Suzume

Suzume Movie Review


Following up the international success of his 2019 films Weathering with You and the 2018 anime classic Your Name, writer/director Makoto Shinkai is bringing back the magic and beauty of Japan’s ancient culture with Suzume. The title is the name of an adventurous teenage girl brought up by her reserved and cautious aunt Tamaki. Suzume sees a giant worm from legend floating in the sky and being pursued by a mysterious boy named Souta. She follows the two to a door that seems to go nowhere. Souta explains that his family for generations has been “closers” and keep catastrophes at bay by closing doors that lead to the great beyond. When worms escape from the other side, they curl up into a big spiral above Japan and free fall to earth causing massive devastation, like the Tokyo-Yokohama earthquake of 1923. Suzume agrees to accompany Souta on his quest to close the doors but they hit a stumbling block when a talking cat named Daijin turns Souta into a three legged chair. Not allowing such a minor setback like losing his human form get in the way of his family duty and obligation, Souta chases the cat and continues his mission with Suzume in tow, who has a bit of a crush on the boy. Meanwhile, aunt Tamaki takes a road trip to find her missing niece and heal the wounds of the past. Bradly, Lewayne, Frank, and Melina discuss the gorgeously animated world, share some profound thoughts about Suzume’s journey, and remark on how relevant cats are on the internet.


DIRECTED BY: Makoto Shinkai

STARRING: Japanese Cast: Nanoka Hara, Akari Miura, Hokuto Matsumura, Eri Fukatsu, Shota Sometani, Sairi Ito, Kotone Hanase, Kana Hanazawa, Matsumoto Hakuō II, Ryūnosuke Kamiki, Ann Yamane, Aimi. English Cast: Nichole Sakura, Bennet Hetrick, Josh Keaton, Jennifer Sun Bell, Roger Craig Smith, Amanda C. Miller, Rosalie Chiang, Allegra Clark, Cam Clarke, Joe Zieja, Lena Josephine Marano, Mela Lee




Bradly Martin (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub)

Bradly Martin was born in the united states and grew up on a healthy diet of sports, films, and books. A rather shy lad who kept to himself, Bradly soon discovered the best way to know a person was to know what people liked. Throughout the years Bradly became a fan of many things and a fanatic of none. From Doctor Dre, to Doctor Strange and the who’s who of Whos. From Playstation to the Dreamcast and Marvel to DC. From LeBron James to James Bond and Lord of the Rings to Lord Palmerston (or Pitt the Elder if you agree with Wade Boggs) and is a huge fan of dad jokes and randomly obscure Simpsons references. Armed with a vast knowledge of comics, films, and pop culture. Bradly traveled the world making friends and sharing takes. As a young man Bradly married the love of his life young and grew older every year with each new child brought into the brood. If trends continue, Scientists predict that .2% of Canada (where Bradly and family reside) will be populated by Bradly’s children by the year 2029. You can hear him leading and listening to his favorite critics on the Screener Squad and Eye on the prize and maybe even provide some comments of his own.



Lewayne White (Screener Squad)

Lewayne’s earliest memories are of watching movies and reading comics, which instilled in him a sense of wonder, a vivid imagination, and unrealistic expectations. It also means he spends a lot of time watching movies, writing scripts for them, and trying to get them made. He lives in the middle of middle America after landing there as a child, and has remained there mainly because he hates packing.




Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)

Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.



Melina Eames (Screener Squad)

Melina first discovered that she carried the nerd gene at the tender age of four following her exposure to a little film called A New Hope. In the twenty-some years that followed, Melina continued to grow into her geek identity through the discovery of Batman, Mst3k, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Mandalorian. But perhaps her most significant discovery came at the age of fourteen when a night of YouTube mining led her to the review site of Melina became a devoted follower whose fandom did not end with the site’s demise. By then, it had worked its dark magic and left her with a love and appreciation for film criticism that she has yet to shrug.



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