ESJ's Movie Project - Big-screen kawaii edition





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ESJ's Movie Project - Big-screen kawaii edition
By Eric Johnson • Issue #28 • View online
Returning to normal life after a lot of travel, I haven’t yet had a chance to catch up on the films in theaters I want to see — top of list right now is Ready Or Not, followed by Blinded By the Light and The Peanut Butter Falcon — but I did make time for one impulse visit to the cineplex this week: To see the anime classic My Neighbor Totoro for the first time. This was one of those movie-going experiences that reminded me of how lucky I am to live in a place with access to several good theaters; it’s a movie with gorgeous visuals, so seeing it on a big screen made a difference.
I do have one complaint about that trip, though. My Neighbor Totoro was being presented as part of a program called Studio Ghibli Fest, which I guess was aimed at fans of Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki’s animation studio) who’ve seen movies like Totoro 100 times already; as a result, the movie was introduced by an American animator who talked at length about all the things he liked about My Neighbor Totoro — including several lengthy clips and some light plot details that would have been nice surprises. I don’t feel strongly enough about this to cry “spoilers!” and let slip the dogs of war, but come on. We’re about to see the movie. Let us watch it on our own terms!

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
Pictured: A doozy of a day.
Pictured: A doozy of a day.
TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL is a strange, subversive, and fitfully funny horror-comedy. The title characters, played by Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, carry the film on their backs, but the supporting cast is hit or miss and the film’s resolution feels more predictable than the set-up.‬ A good movie to watch with friends who have never seen it before, which I did.
My Neighbor Totoro
Pictured: A doozy of a night.
Pictured: A doozy of a night.
I watched MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO for the first time this week and I think the theater was dusty because there’s … something in my eye. The animation is tremendous and the score feels like I’ve known it my whole life. I knew it would be cute, but wow. This movie is an adorable knockout.
Every New Movie I've Seen in 2019 (So Far), Ranked
(no new additions this week)
  1. Booksmart
  2. If Beale Street Could Talk
  3. The Farewell
  4. Us
  5. Free Solo
  6. Avengers: Endgame
  7. Amazing Grace
  8. The Favourite
  9. Long Shot
  10. The Wife
  11. The Art of Self-Defense
  12. Toy Story 4
  13. Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood
  14. Apollo 11
  15. Shoplifters
  16. The Last Black Man In San Francisco
  17. Aladdin
  18. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  19. Green Book
  20. Slut in a Good Way
  21. Always Be My Maybe
  22. Cold War
  23. Rocketman
  24. Roma
  25. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  26. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  27. On the Basis of Sex
  28. Shazam!
  29. The Lion King
  30. Fighting With My Family
  31. They Shall Not Grow Old
  32. Yesterday
  33. Mary Poppins Returns
  34. Captain Marvel
  35. Minding the Gap
  36. Tolkien
  37. The Biggest Little Farm
  38. Alita: Battle Angel
  39. The Dead Don’t Die
  40. The Great Hack
  41. Stan & Ollie
  42. Vice
  43. Bohemian Rhapsody
  44. Aquaman
Did you enjoy this issue?
Eric Johnson

I'm reviewing every movie I watch, and watching every movie I own. Settle in, this is going to take a while.

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