You could find worse ways to spend the next 6-7 hours than by watching the entire trilogy. (You could probably find much, much worse ways to spend the next 6-7 hours, actually. But why are you looking for really, really bad ways to spend the next 6-7 hours, anyway?)
It's much more light-hearted and far easier to stomach than the other fantastic film I've seen from Majidi, the wrenching (yet wonderful, in its own way) The Color of Paradise, yet it displays the same immersive "fly-on-the-wall" approach, the same extraordinary social and cultural nuances, and an absolutely astonishing set of child actors.
Before you take this too negatively, today's recommendation is most of all a reminder that Shane Acker needs to make another feature, because he's a visual genius. The fact that his only feature film to date isn't as good as the astonishing short that inspired it says more about the original than it does about the full-blown version.
Sean (Second Son) told me that I should watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood because he thought it was great and he was pretty sure I'd like it. And he was right, on both counts. ...the storytelling and worldbuilding are top-notch, and it's also quite a bit darker than the style would suggest, which is definitely a "Joseph's Wheelhouse" thing.
Turning to the animation itself, the opening is a spectacular on that score—especially in the way it compresses the openings of the story into a visually-engaging yet easily-digestible prologue. The Red Sea sequence is powerful stuff, as well (for which I must reiterate that Zimmer shoulders much of the blame), and the last plague remains one of the most creatively imaginative and stunning, deeply unsettling, and profoundly sorrowful things I've ever seen.
Wise words from Jeffrey Overstreet: "If there's been anything lacking on the big screen in recent years, it's fun. And this may not amount to more than the sum of its genre-crazy parts, but it felt like seeing a glorious big-screen rendition of one of the stories I wrote when I was a kid. And for that, I'm grateful."
I don't think I appreciated the precision (and power) of Kon's manipulations the first time I saw this one...And I surely did not recognize just how emotionally resonant it was, or that its resonance (and relevance) would increase over the years. That's true of all his works, really, since the question(s) of how we live out our "multiplicity of lives" grow(s) keener as technology progresses(?)
I find myself enjoying the setting and individual sections of it quite a bit more than the overall package. Mostly, I'm looking at you, Jemaine Clement and "Shiny;" and you, Dwayne Johnson and nearly every moment of your screen time; and you, Lin-Manuel Miranda and your lyrical gymnastics in such charming, ear-wormy songs as "Opetaia Foa'i (We Know The Way);" and you, Crazy Alan Tudyk's crazy rooster; and you, entire first act. So, yeah, lots of things to enjoy.
A wonderful examination of the ever-shifting relationship between a father and son, it's based on "The Last Hippie" (the second story in renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks' "An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales" anthology), and it features the subtlest, finest J.K. Simmons' performance I've ever seen.