26 - He/Him - Especially love naturalism and Eastern cinema
The Super Mario Bros. Movie 2023
A generous 3 stars because I've spent my life playing and loving Mario games so I'm incredibly familiar with the series and got some enjoyment from the various references (less so background Easter eggs and more the visual throwbacks and audio cues). Technical level, the film is wonderfully animated and has a lot of character to it, the score is well done and appropriately homages the game music, and I personally liked all of the voice work, particularly Jack Black…
The love interest is a talking moving wooden children's chair and it's as fun as it sounds (and meaningful too!). Nice emotional core to the film which although I feel I've seen in a lot of films like this before, was still enjoyable to watch, heartfelt and looked lovely. Will definitely check out Shinkai's other films which have been on the list for a while.
Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions 2016
Nothing here for anyone without interest in the original series. I'm tempted to give this film 5 stars just for how it takes Seto Kaiba's ego to levels I genuinely thought not possible.
Kiki's Delivery Service 1989
A splendid coming-of-age tale about a young witch, Kiki (accompanied by her cute and whimsical cat Jiji), who has to leave home in search of independence. As charming as Ghibli can be, I feel they've reached the pinnacle with this one. It always amazes me the fact Ghibli can take such simple characters, a simple setting and a simple premise and bring them to life so effortlessly. But they never compromise on providing a positive message to the viewers (in this films case, the importance of maturing and pushing on through adversity). One of Miyazaki's finest.