Discuss and Rate the Last Film You Watched

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Johnny Novgorod

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I finally got around to watching 12 Angry Men (1957) for the first time, and you know what? It's really good.

The scene opens with the jury for a murder trial being prepared to deliberate their verdict, with the instructions that a verdict of guilty comes with a mandatory sentence of death because of state law (of the time the film was set), that if they believe that the evidence proved guilt, then they must vote guilty but if they had a reasonable doubt then they must vote not guilty. And moreover, that whatever the verdict is it must be unanimous.

Once the principle cast gets settled in the jury room, they take a preliminary vote and the results are 11 Guilty votes and one Not Guilty. Juror #8 (played by Henry Fonda) admits that he's not convinced of the defendant's innocence, but is just not comfortable sending him to his death without at least talking the case out first. And thus the central conflict is set up, as the 12 jurors go through the case and reexamine the evidence.

It's a very well done legal drama, and surprisingly compelling for a movie that is almost entirely shot in one room and consists of little more than a bunch of guys arguing amongst themselves. Definitely give this one a watch.
Sidney Lumet is one of America's finest directors, unfairly overlooked because he didn't stylize his movies in an era where great filmmakers were expected to be auteurs. It also doesn't help that he had a string of whatever movies, prolific as he was. But I don't know how many directors can claim to direct the perfect movie 50 years apart (12 Angry Men > Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) or achieve cult, critical and commercial success with films of the magnitude of Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Equus, Network, Murder on the Orient Express and The Verdict all more of less created in a row.
 
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thebobmaster

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The amazing thing about 12 Angry Men, to me, is that they manage to give the jurors such good characterization that it isn't even until the end of the movie you realize that you just spent the entire movie not knowing a single character's name, until they actually have one of the jurors introduce themselves to another. Masterful direction and writing, even if in reality, there would be a mistrial declared as soon as Juror #8 busted out the knife to disprove the "unique knife" claim.
 

Piscian

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I finally got around to watching 12 Angry Men (1957) for the first time, and you know what? It's really good.

The scene opens with the jury for a murder trial being prepared to deliberate their verdict, with the instructions that a verdict of guilty comes with a mandatory sentence of death because of state law (of the time the film was set), that if they believe that the evidence proved guilt, then they must vote guilty but if they had a reasonable doubt then they must vote not guilty. And moreover, that whatever the verdict is it must be unanimous.

Once the principle cast gets settled in the jury room, they take a preliminary vote and the results are 11 Guilty votes and one Not Guilty. Juror #8 (played by Henry Fonda) admits that he's not convinced of the defendant's innocence, but is just not comfortable sending him to his death without at least talking the case out first. And thus the central conflict is set up, as the 12 jurors go through the case and reexamine the evidence.

It's a very well done legal drama, and surprisingly compelling for a movie that is almost entirely shot in one room and consists of little more than a bunch of guys arguing amongst themselves. Definitely give this one a watch.
It's arguably one of, if not my favorite film of all time. I think something that's been lost in the endless culture wars we've faced over the last 20-30 years is that life is full of gray areas and people are complicated animals. I really enjoyed watching the stereotypes of each character broken down and each individual is shown to be more than just the demographics we see in polls and the 24 houre news cycle.

I will go out on a limb here and recommend watching the 1990s remake as well. It's not quite as derivative as people may think, at least in my mind. There's a subtle addition of exploration on systemic racism and cultural phobia with the addition of african-american cast members who each have their struggles with xenophobia, this in turn adds an additional layer to the story. Both films really give the viewer a lens into the mindset of joeblow america. I'm almost embarrassed to say between school and home viewing I've probably watch those two versions 20 times. There's a few other versions out there and I keep meaning to make time for those, but have not yet.
 

BrawlMan

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I'm almost embarrassed to say between school and home viewing I've probably watch those two versions 20 times. There's a few other versions out there and I keep meaning to make time for those, but have not yet.
Nothing embarrassing about it. You love what you love, and both versions are awesome for the same and different reasons.
 
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Piscian

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Back to Hollywood I watched Five Nights At Freddy's.

I really have to applaud the choice to make an actual film here. Up until the 3rd act, you could mistake this for being a horror movie somebody actually wanted to make and cared about quality. It's very competently shot. It looks very good. The surprisingly low 20mil budget (oh hi marvel) is shown on screen in every detail. The story is actually good.

I'm probably just regurgitated the plot someone else posted, but adult orphan Josh Hutchinson is down on his luck, about to be evicted and having his little sister lost in a custody battle as he cant afford to take care of her on his own. His sister is about 12, but has some developmental issues which furthers his plight. Lastly he spends is dreaming hours obsessing over the details of a car which adducted his toddler brother 8 or so years ago. His life sucked, but it's treated seriously and comes off as especially tragic. This film follows him taking his last shot at a security job for the abandoned freddys and the film, as expected, follows an escalated thriller adventure with the animatronics.

I put it off quite a while because I just don't care. You know it's one of those things where FNAF is so saturated in games media that I find it pretty tiresome. I tend to get that way with anything, the more I have to hear about it the less interested I am. I also don't care for jump scares. I finally talked myself into it because I heard it was good. Kinda wish I'd read the reviews and not the audience on this one though.

As much as I enjoyed the competency of the production and the writing in the first two acts the film really falls apart in the 3rd. Ironically the blame is left on the fans doorstep as most of the 3rd act is fan service and exposition all the down to the villain screaming "I always come back!!" and which point I lept out of my chair and whooped and clapped because he said a thing I recognize.

...wait let me check my notes...no sorry I was playing mtga on my phone distractedly and only noticed because the film actually paused for claps when he said it.

I was thinking as I was typing this that maybe I was being unfair. Could I expect anyone to enjoy TMNT (1990) if they don't get any of the references and I remember why it was so popular and lasting, much like Gremlins or Blade Runner? No it's because of the writing, TMNT was actually endearing and funny. It in turn caused quite a bit of turtle mania. Where as here we have a mostly competent horror struck low in trying to deliver fan service.

I would give it a 5/10, but it doesn't really matter what I think it made like spider-man money, on 20mil. Sheesh.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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I just watched the Darren Aronofsky Noah movie, and I actually kinda liked it. For one thing it was nice to see a rather sizeable fantasy movie that not only had some grit and teeth, but lacked the usual Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter/Narnia style as well. There's a nice depressing and barren visual palette to this movie that I could appreciate.

And it handles the whole Old Testament Wrath of God angle in a surprisingly nuanced way. There's no personalization of God, nor does the movie try and paint what happens as justified. All we really have to go on is Noah's word, and at many points his view on the situation is framed as very questionable. When the world floods it's pretty fucking gruesome, and Noah denying anyone else entry while his family is forced to hear thousands of people crying as the raging sea kills them doesn't exactly paint a similar picture as other renditions that I've seen of this story. There's a decent sense of 'oh yeah, these people lived through this horror, and they'll carry it with them for the rest of their lives'.

It can be a bit pompous and I wished it had ended on as dreary of a note as it would seem to - not the 'Noah killing his own grandkids', but the 'he spares his grandkids, they find land, but the family is irrevocably broken' - before it decided to go for a more typical happy ending, but I quite enjoyed myself with this movie nonetheless.

Oh, and Anthony Hopkins plays an important old man in this because ofcourse he does.
 

BrawlMan

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The Boy and the Heron (Kimitachi wa Dō Ikiru ka, lit. 'How Do You Live?') - Excellent. A great slow burn movie, and a beautiful 2D animated movie. I am getting this on Blu-Ray when it releases. The film is about loss, acceptance, and appreciating the family you do have. Some twists you might see coming, but they're done and executed so well, that it is a non-issue.

 
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PsychedelicDiamond

Wild at Heart and weird on top
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The Day of the Beast (1995)

There are many great movies, but very rarely do you come across a truly great premise. So, The Day of the Beast is a dark comedy from Spain about a catholic priest, a boorish metalhead and a fake psychic trying to stop the Apocalypse by preventing the birth of the antichrist on Christmas Eve in 90's Madrid.

It's kind of like a self aware exploitation movie version of Pratchett and Gaimans Good Omens, turning Madrid into a cesspool of violence and debauchery as the three bumbling protagonists try to find a way to contact the devil to pinpoint the birth place of the antichrist. It's Alex Angulo's hilariously guileless portrayal of a priest who has resolved to commit enough sins to be able to summon satan that holds the movie together, but what fundamentally makes Day of the Beast funny is just how casually fucked up everyone and everything is.

It's the end of days, and the world is going mad in a frenzy of violent slapstick and casual cruelty. Director Alex de la Iglesia turns Madrid into into a sort of spanish Tromaville of violent hooligans, apocalyptic cults and angry bystanders and the three protagonists get to do plenty of stealing, kidnapping, punching and shooting on their way to save the world.

It's all very physical, very low brow humor, but it is really funny. The stuntwork is better than you'd expect from this sort of production and the comedic timing is on point.

It feels somewhat like Rob Zombie directing Ghostbusters, more crass and foul mouthed, but coming from a similar place in deriving humor from pitting a bunch of simple guys against apocalyptic odds. Also has some fun visual references to 70's and 80's low budget occult horror movies during the climax.

It's a pretty good time. Definitely not a bad movie to watch now, with christmas coming up. It's definitely gonna make my christmas movie rotation, that's for sure.
 

hanselthecaretaker2

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Leave the World Behind. It's fine, but I'm completely unsatisfied with the explanations I've been able to find regarding the strange animal behaviour. Feels like a lazy way to add spooky flavour without worrying about it making sense.
If I had to guess maybe it was the radiation they mentioned from the ear-shattering frequencies that scrambled their brains? That wouldn’t explain why the son was the only one who started losing his teeth though either.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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Leave the World Behind


First eyebrow raising thing I noticed was it’s executive produced by both Michelle and Barack Obama. The next thing is…well let’s just say it really had me thinking by the end a simple, “Are they fucking with us?” Because really there’s only two ways about it. Either it’s a tongue-in-cheek omen or they’re just having a good laugh.

Maybe both.

Maybe if they didn’t go into so much detail about how shitty our world has become via human greed and consumption. Or how many enemies we’ve created, and are creating currently. Or detail a step by step plan on how a foreign government(s) might decide to pull the plug on us via satellite to topple us from within, without even leaving their comfort zone. Guess anyone without a stockaded oh shit bunker will be screwed if/when that day arrives.

Overall a pretty good flick though; slightly above average for this type of gig. The tone was sorta Peele-esque, while flirting with Shyamalan here and there but thankfully stopping short of a full-on tango. Julia Robert’s gets down, which I’m sure B & M got a kick out of. Me…not so much. Also if I ever had access to a bunker with a shit ton of movies and TV shows, Friends would be staying on the shelf in favor of rewatching Curb or something else that’s actually funny.
I just found out about this movie last night and so far I'm getting similar vibes about is place in pop culture like Years and Years or Nomadland or Don't Look Up- the sort of liberal-ish big POLITCS thing that's going to bit off more than it can chew. (I personally enjoyed those three shows/movies but did NOT enjoyt any of the dIscOURse).

I'll probably spite-watch it at some point.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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I finally got around to watching 12 Angry Men (1957) for the first time, and you know what? It's really good.

The scene opens with the jury for a murder trial being prepared to deliberate their verdict, with the instructions that a verdict of guilty comes with a mandatory sentence of death because of state law (of the time the film was set), that if they believe that the evidence proved guilt, then they must vote guilty but if they had a reasonable doubt then they must vote not guilty. And moreover, that whatever the verdict is it must be unanimous.

Once the principle cast gets settled in the jury room, they take a preliminary vote and the results are 11 Guilty votes and one Not Guilty. Juror #8 (played by Henry Fonda) admits that he's not convinced of the defendant's innocence, but is just not comfortable sending him to his death without at least talking the case out first. And thus the central conflict is set up, as the 12 jurors go through the case and reexamine the evidence.

It's a very well done legal drama, and surprisingly compelling for a movie that is almost entirely shot in one room and consists of little more than a bunch of guys arguing amongst themselves. Definitely give this one a watch.
I love seeing folks dipping into the old stuff.

12 Angry Men is one of the few- maybe only- example of a Hollywood movie this is making a grand political point and using an extremely hokey, simple way to do it- but is actually effective. The combination of the intense but human focused directing of those verbal wars in the jury room and of course Henry Fonda's ability to convey quite strength are most remembered but I also always wanna credit the "villains" in this case Lee J. Cobb as the most hardcore pro-guilty guy, acting as the fulcrum for the conflict. Master class film-making this.
 

Old_Hunter_77

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The Killing of a Sacred Dear (2017)
Beguiled (1971)


I kind of went back down a Colin Farrell rabbit hole these past few days...

My current favorite TV show is The Curse which co-stars Emma Stone. She has been really out there basically moving into the Amy Adams spot of "Hollywood actress down for anything to prove how brilliant she is" and I'm here for it.

Her latest film is Poor Things which is like Barbie meets Frankenstein meets American Pie meets Willie Wonka or something- watch the trailer, it's wild. It's also getting CONTROVERSY which I love..

In an article about it I read "from the director of The Lobster and The Favourite" and I'm like, woa, that's the same dude? Those movies are a trip.. ok what else did he do.
Well he did something in between called The Killing of a Sacred Dear which start Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman and a weird creepy teenager and weird creepy kids and it's inspired by an ancient Greek tragedy about a daughter sacrificing her life to help a war. The movie is definitely more in the fuxwityou vein of Lobster but the actual plot is a lot simpler and more straightforward focusing more on a "psychological horror" feel.

I genuinely can't tell if Yargos Lanthimos' films are good, or even if I like them. Lobster and Deer have this very deliberately stilted dialogue cadence where everyone just stands around and "I am curtly stating the thing I'm stating next" robotic thing. Maybe he's trying to do this distance from humanity thing that Kubrick went for, or maybe he's incompetent, I dunno. Check these movies about if you're down for a head-trip but I'm not recommending them per se.

My research also made me aware of another 2017 psychological film with both Kidman and Ferrell called The Beguiled, directed by Sophia Coppola. Now she is someone who I and many admire for her debut The Virgin Suicides so everything about this movie caught my interest. Turns out it's the 2nd movie based on the same book; the first one in 1971 was directed by Don Siegal and starred Clint Eastwood (the two also made the original Dirty Harry in the same year and later Escape From Alcatraz and other films).

So I watched the old one and I could see why Coppola would want to take a stab at the story and I'm sure it will be wildly different lol. The premise is Union soldier injured and brought to convalescence in an antebellum all girls school. The girls and women are so cloistered and suppressed that they all try to jump his bones and he tries to use that avoid getting sent to prison. So it's this psycho-sexual fantasy and this being a movie directed by a man based on a novel written by a man with a case of mostly women and girls and Clint Eastwood you get to hear all kinds of things about "what it means to be a woman" and it's pretty great. Horrific, and great, really a window into how some men were trying to deal with feminism at the time. You also get to hear words like "hussy" and see a lot of awkward kissing and bright red fake blood. Good stuff.
I'll likely watch Coppola's version next weekend with my wife (we usually reserve weekends for movies so we can stay up later).
 

Bartholen

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The Boy and the Heron, 6/10

This is the latest film from anime legend Hayao Miyazaki after not having released a movie for 10 years since The Wind Rises. It's about a boy named Mahito who loses his mother to World War 2, and moves to the countryside with his father to meet his new stepmother. Immediately on arrival a mysterious heron seems to start to form a connection to Mahito. The movie deals with his survivor's guilt, trauma and loss, and feeling out of place in the world. As expected of Miyazaki, the production here is stellar: the animation, visuals and music are all breathtaking. Narratively it's a bit of a mess though, but I'd say it's worth seeing, if only for the fact that we're still getting a new Miyazaki movie in 2023.

And that's as far as I can discuss it without spoilers. This movie is best experienced knowing as little about it as possible, as can be demonstrated by Ghibli doing literally zero marketing for this film. I'd even go as far to say that it's vital to know as little as possible on your first viewing.
Pfft, you thought that description of the plot was in any way representative of the film? SIKE! It's actually about other worlds, blunt environmental and war allegories, man-eating parrots and becoming god. What Ghibli have done here is nothing short of one of the biggest cinematic bait and switches in history. What the trailers painted as a somber, downbeat and serious film is instead easily Ghibli's most fantastical film since Spirited Away. That stylized animation with the city on fire in the trailer? That's the only scene it shows up in. Those shots you thought might be dream sequences? Those are real and completely literal. Mahito isn't in a coma or a dream, he's literally, physically transported to another world to deal with giant fish, a girl with magical powers, a kingdom of man-eating giant parrots and all sorts of nonsense.

It's easily the most nonsensical and incoherent movie Miyazaki has ever made, beating out even Howl's Moving Castle by a mile. Miyazaki has never had the strongest grasp on scripts with clear throughlines, but here he's gotten completely lost in the sauce. After the first third which is very grounded, serious and slow-paced, the film becomes a series of increasingly surreal and ludicrous fantasy setpieces, introducing new concepts and ideas at such a rapid fire pace that you can only let it wash over you. The first act sets up "Grave of the Fireflies - Less Suicidally Depressing edition", and then completely pulls the rug to give you a mashup of Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and Ni No Kuni on acid instead. It's almost like Ghibli doing a Greatest Hits album (or you could say a circlejerk), because there are so many references and homages to other Ghibli films.

But the film still retains an identity of its own, if only for it going further into outright surrealism than any Ghibli film before it. This reminded me of things like the Lovecraft Mythos, Annihilation and 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I would not say about other Miyazaki films in a million years. The storytelling is almost Dark Soulsian in how little it introduces or explains anything, and expects you to just keep up. Based on how the film begins you could never even dream of the places it's going to go. Mahito gets literally offered to become God at the end. There are some scenes that are so strange that Dark Souls NPC conversations were the only point of comparison I could think of. After a point I just gave up trying to parse it as some sort of allegory for grief, loss or trauma, and was just along for the ride. This is why knowing about it so little is IMO essential: the film simply won't have the same impact if you know what's coming.

The fantasticality can only carry a film so far however, and this has some serious issues. It's completely nonsensical as I said, but the main character's also a pretty blank slate and we don't know that much about him, and the ending is incredibly abrupt for such a bizarre film. You could easily make the case that this is just Miyazaki seeing what he can get away with in his old age with this giant troll of a movie, and just laughing his way to the bank. As for this being his final film (again), I certainly wouldn't be upset if that were the case. I've gotten used to the idea that the truly great, visionary Miyazaki passed away with Ponyo, and what we're left with is a kooky weirdo who just does whatever the fuck he likes.
 
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Bartholen

At age 6 I was born without a face
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I finally got around to watching 12 Angry Men (1957) for the first time, and you know what? It's really good.

The scene opens with the jury for a murder trial being prepared to deliberate their verdict, with the instructions that a verdict of guilty comes with a mandatory sentence of death because of state law (of the time the film was set), that if they believe that the evidence proved guilt, then they must vote guilty but if they had a reasonable doubt then they must vote not guilty. And moreover, that whatever the verdict is it must be unanimous.

Once the principle cast gets settled in the jury room, they take a preliminary vote and the results are 11 Guilty votes and one Not Guilty. Juror #8 (played by Henry Fonda) admits that he's not convinced of the defendant's innocence, but is just not comfortable sending him to his death without at least talking the case out first. And thus the central conflict is set up, as the 12 jurors go through the case and reexamine the evidence.

It's a very well done legal drama, and surprisingly compelling for a movie that is almost entirely shot in one room and consists of little more than a bunch of guys arguing amongst themselves. Definitely give this one a watch.
I watched it for the first time a couple years back, and I just had to admit that it's probably the best movie I've ever seen. In the sense that I could find literally nothing to criticize in it. The script is perfect down the last syllable, the characterization is extremely well done and varied, and it manages to squeeze out and immense level of tension and drama from just 12 guys talking in a room. One of the rare cases where its place in the IMDB top 10 is completely deserved.
 

BrawlMan

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The Boy and the Heron, 6/10

This is the latest film from anime legend Hayao Miyazaki after not having released a movie for 10 years since The Wind Rises. It's about a boy named Mahito who loses his mother to World War 2, and moves to the countryside with his father to meet his new stepmother. Immediately on arrival a mysterious heron seems to start to form a connection to Mahito. The movie deals with his survivor's guilt, trauma and loss, and feeling out of place in the world. As expected of Miyazaki, the production here is stellar: the animation, visuals and music are all breathtaking. Narratively it's a bit of a mess though, but I'd say it's worth seeing, if only for the fact that we're still getting a new Miyazaki movie in 2023.

And that's as far as I can discuss it without spoilers. This movie is best experienced knowing as little about it as possible, as can be demonstrated by Ghibli doing literally zero marketing for this film. I'd even go as far to say that it's vital to know as little as possible on your first viewing.
Pfft, you thought that description of the plot was in any way representative of the film? SIKE! It's actually about other worlds, blunt environmental and war allegories, man-eating parrots and becoming god. What Ghibli have done here is nothing short of one of the biggest cinematic bait and switches in history. What the trailers painted as a somber, downbeat and serious film is instead easily Ghibli's most fantastical film since Spirited Away. That stylized animation with the city on fire in the trailer? That's the only scene it shows up in. Those shots you thought might be dream sequences? Those are real and completely literal. Mahito isn't in a coma or a dream, he's literally, physically transported to another world to deal with giant fish, a girl with magical powers, a kingdom of man-eating giant parrots and all sorts of nonsense.

It's easily the most nonsensical and incoherent movie Miyazaki has ever made, beating out even Howl's Moving Castle by a mile. Miyazaki has never had the strongest grasp on scripts with clear throughlines, but here he's gotten completely lost in the sauce. After the first third which is very grounded, serious and slow-paced, the film becomes a series of increasingly surreal and ludicrous fantasy setpieces, introducing new concepts and ideas at such a rapid fire pace that you can only let it wash over you. The first act sets up "Grave of the Fireflies - Less Suicidally Depressing edition", and then completely pulls the rug to give you a mashup of Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and Ni No Kuni on acid instead. It's almost like Ghibli doing a Greatest Hits album (or you could say a circlejerk), because there are so many references and homages to other Ghibli films.

But the film still retains an identity of its own, if only for it going further into outright surrealism than any Ghibli film before it. This reminded me of things like the Lovecraft Mythos, Annihilation and 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I would not say about other Miyazaki films in a million years. The storytelling is almost Dark Soulsian in how little it introduces or explains anything, and expects you to just keep up. Based on how the film begins you could never even dream of the places it's going to go. Mahito gets literally offered to become God at the end. There are some scenes that are so strange that Dark Souls NPC conversations were the only point of comparison I could think of. After a point I just gave up trying to parse it as some sort of allegory for grief, loss or trauma, and was just along for the ride. This is why knowing about it so little is IMO essential: the film simply won't have the same impact if you know what's coming.

The fantasticality can only carry a film so far however, and this has some serious issues. It's completely nonsensical as I said, but the main character's also a pretty blank slate and we don't know that much about him, and the ending is incredibly abrupt for such a bizarre film. You could easily make the case that this is just Miyazaki seeing what he can get away with in his old age with this giant troll of a movie, and just laughing his way to the bank. As for this being his final film (again), I've gotten used to the idea that the truly great, visionary Miyazaki passed away with Ponyo, and what we're left with is a kooky weirdo who just does whatever the fuck he likes. I certainly wouldn't be upset if that were the case.
More of an 8/10 for me. While Miyazaki's works can get whimsical and not make sense at times, depending on the movie, I found it mostly easy to follow, and movie dropped proper hints with all of its twist. Of course, certain things are played with a bit ambiguity, but that is nothing new for the man. I'd still say his best works are Princess Mononoke and Castle in the Sky. The Boy and The Heron would easily be in my top 10.
 

Bartholen

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More of an 8/10 for me. While Miyazaki's works can get whimsical and not make sense at times, depending on the movie, I found it mostly easy to follow, and movie dropped proper hints with all of its twist. Of course, certain things are played with a bit ambiguity, but that is nothing new for the man. I'd still say his best works are Princess Mononoke and Castle in the Sky. The Boy and The Heron would easily be in my top 10.
For me it just went way overboard. Let's not forget all the stuff the movie introduces and then just forgets about:
  • What was that cave whose gate the pelicans pushed Mahito through? Why were they in such a hurry to get there?
  • Why did Natsuko go to the other world to give birth, and why was she so angry at Mahito for showing up?
  • What was the heron's deal? Why did he draw Mahito into the other world in the first place? Why did he pretend he could bring his mother back by creating a fake duplicate?
  • Why was Mahito told not to touch the dolls when staying with Kiriko?
As for the twist, I'm assuming you're referring to the reveal that Himi is Mahito's mother traveling in time. To me that didn't even register as a twist, because there was so little setup or foreshadowing for it. IMO one of Spirited Away's weakest points is how the ending reveal about Haku is handled, and Himi's reveal had even less setup. It came almost completely out of left field, and was dwelt on so little that I just went "oh, okay I guess".

And while we're making comparisons to Spirited Away, because it's IMO clearly the closest to this, The Boy and the Heron's worldbuilding is significantly weaker. Spirited Away gave you plenty of time to take in what the world looks like, where things are, their scale, and also hints at a much larger world beyond the bathhouse. TBatH by comparison is basically just a sightseeing tour. We never get an idea how big these places are or what, if anything, else there is in them besides just the things we see. It's all left incredibly vague, because the movie seems to come up with rules as it goes along. When it feels like anything can happen, all meaning and weight disappears from the story, and you're just left waiting for the next ludicrous thing the movie can throw at you.
 

Bartholen

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Godzilla Minus One, 8/10

A Godzilla movie actually made me cry. I'm being serious.

I haven't seen many Godzilla movies, but this has got to rank among the best of the best. It looks "Holy Shit!" stunning for its budget, the human element is incredibly engaging, it's dark and disturbing, Godzilla is a properly villainous force of nature, the music's great, it's just fantastic all around. It uses plot elements that would be tired tropes in lesser films to incredibly satisfying effect. The psychological element with the main character is especially engaging, since he's wrestling with massive survivor's guilt, and just guilt in general, and it's destroying him from the inside. The movie's faults lie mainly with its production values: sometimes the effects aren't the best, Godzilla can look a little goofy sometimes and his movements don't quite hit that proper sense of weight and scale a monster the size of an office building should have.
 

BrawlMan

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  • What was that cave whose gate the pelicans pushed Mahito through? Why were they in such a hurry to get there?
    [*]Why did Natsuko go to the other world to give birth, and why was she so angry at Mahito for showing up?
    [*]What was the heron's deal? Why did he draw Mahito into the other world in the first place? Why did he pretend he could bring his mother back by creating a fake duplicate?
    [*]Why was Mahito told not to touch the dolls when staying with Kiriko?
  1. They were more so focused on Mahito, and they just happened to push through trying to eat him. It's implied and stated that the pelican and parakeets were became man/meat meters, because they couldn't find, nor be allowed proper food for them when they became self-aware.
  2. That one is a riddle for the ages/ambiguity/the audience is supposed make up their own mind. Did she do it out of insecurity, feeling she wasn't worthy to be a good mother? Some resentment in that Mahito is truly not her child, and is her nephew, and that neither could accept at the time?
  3. That was nothing more than ruse, and Heron was following Mahito's great grand uncle's orders. Remeber? The Grand Uncle wanted a proper successor that is pure hearted.
  4. Nothing more than superstition on her part, or a case of your mind makes it real. Putting an old version of herself in doll form and giving herself to Mahito certainly saved her life and kept the timelines in tact.

As for the twist, I'm assuming you're referring to the reveal that Himi is Mahito's mother traveling in time. To me that didn't even register as a twist, because there was so little setup or foreshadowing for it. IMO one of Spirited Away's weakest points is how the ending reveal about Haku is handled, and Himi's reveal had even less setup. It came almost completely out of left field, and was dwelt on so little that I just went "oh, okay I guess".
The hints were there, if you bothered to pay close attention and not get too distracted. The fact that Himi mentions that she's related to Grand Uncle (she never say great grand uncle) is a big hint early on. They share the same uncle. The movie literally dropped hint and practically spelled it out before the big reveal.

As for the rest: Yes, this movie is a spiritual successor to Spirited Away, but that doesn't mean you should expect the same. I know Spirited Away has more focus on the spirit world, but that works for it. The Boy and The Heron is a story more about accepting loss, and appreciating the family you have, the people that still care for you despite those hardships, and be ready for the family that is coming in addition. I am glad the movie wasn't bear for beat like its predecessor. If there was more focus on the world/mystery space rock/time travel, it would distract the story and mess with Mahito's personal journey. What worked for the main girl in SA, wouldn't have worked as well here.

Godzilla Minus One, 8/10

A Godzilla movie actually made me cry. I'm being serious.

I haven't seen many Godzilla movies, but this has got to rank among the best of the best. It looks "Holy Shit!" stunning for its budget, the human element is incredibly engaging, it's dark and disturbing, Godzilla is a properly villainous force of nature, the music's great, it's just fantastic all around. It uses plot elements that would be tired tropes in lesser films to incredibly satisfying effect. The psychological element with the main character is especially engaging, since he's wrestling with massive survivor's guilt, and just guilt in general, and it's destroying him from the inside. The movie's faults lie mainly with its production values: sometimes the effects aren't the best, Godzilla can look a little goofy sometimes and his movements don't quite hit that proper sense of weight and scale a monster the size of an office building should have.
I am seeing Minus One this weekend.
 

Bartholen

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As for the rest: Yes, this movie is a spiritual successor to Spirited Away, but that doesn't mean you should expect the same.
Where did I say anything of the sort? All I want is the same, or at least approximately same level of care when it comes to worldbuilding and storytelling. If Spirited Away is a dish with perfectly considered ingredients and each are allowed to stew for the appropriate time, TBatH just keeps throwing new ingredients into the pot in the hopes something will work out. I'll see the movie again when it comes to home release, but I'm reticent about repeat watches making it feel more cohesive. That didn't happen with Howl's Moving Castle, and I doubt it'll happen with Heron.
 

BrawlMan

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Where did I say anything of the sort? All I want is the same, or at least approximately same level of care when it comes to worldbuilding and storytelling. If Spirited Away is a dish with perfectly considered ingredients and each are allowed to stew for the appropriate time, TBatH just keeps throwing new ingredients into the pot in the hopes something will work out.
Could have fooled me, but I'll go back and reread later. As for dishes TbatH does stew, but for not as long as Spirited Away, and is off doing it's own thing any way (that works). I get some parts didn't work, but not enough for me to give a 6/fine rating.

That didn't happen with Howl's Moving Castle, and I doubt it'll happen with Heron.
More power to you, if that's the case. Howl's Moving Castle is okay, but it's one of the films I watch the least or don't come back towards often. Always felt like a weak sauce Castle in the Sky, though it wasn't trying to do that.