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ESJ's Movie Project - Irishmen, Russians and Ghosts — Oh My! edition

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I made up for last week's short newsletter by squeezing eight movies into this week. But the list of
 

ESJ's Movie Project

August 9 · Issue #25 · View online
I'm reviewing every movie I watch, and watching every movie I own. Settle in, this is going to take a while.

I made up for last week’s short newsletter by squeezing eight movies into this week. But the list of all the new films I’ve seen this year will stay the same, for once, because all of them were on disc or streaming.
Looking at my shelves of movies right now, I’m really excited for some of the films I have coming up in the next few weeks: The Godfather Trilogy, Goldfinger, Gone with the Wind, Good Will Hunting … OK, need to stop looking now. Can’t get ahead of myself.
I also need to contain my excitement because due to both personal and work commitments, I might not have a newsletter next week — or, if I do, only a short one. Guess we’ll all find out next Friday!

A Face in the Crowd
Pictured: That one guy who always brings a guitar to parties.
“I’m not just an entertainer, I’m an influence, a wielder of opinion.” This is but one of the prescient lines in A FACE IN THE CROWD, an exquisite film about the dark side of mass media. I wish only that Andy Griffith’s captivating Lonesome Rhodes wasn’t so recognizable today.
Galaxy Quest
Pictured: Me calculating how much Star Trek I'd have to watch to catch up before "Picard."
‪Although I’m not much of a Star Trek superfan, I love GALAXY QUEST *because* it was clearly made by people who adore, and more importantly respect, that series. The whole cast is excellent, especially Alan Rickman and Tony Shalhoub, and the script never fails to make me crack up.‬
Gangs of New York
Pictured: Two men in hats that don't suit them, and Daniel Day-Lewis.
‪A superb Daniel Day-Lewis performance elevates the otherwise decent GANGS OF NEW YORK into something more powerful. Well-directed and competently written, I suspect I’ll forget most of the film — save DDL’s menacing glare — by next week, but I enjoyed the ride all the same.‬
Game Night
Pictured: How I feel about actual game nights.
‪GAME NIGHT is a great premise that doesn’t quite justify the size of its cast, but it’s still a lot of fun, especially when Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are playing off each other. It’s also full of tiny, clever details that prove the writers took their silly story seriously.‬
Battleship Potemkin
Pictured: Mustache goals.
‪I had never watched BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, but I can see now why it’s considered a classic among film historians: The story is simple, as one might expect of a movie from 1925, but the craft is way ahead of its time. The direction and editing feel surprisingly modern. I liked it!‬
Get Out
Pictured: Oh, this is from the scene where [redacted]
Every time I see GET OUT, I love it more — the moments of silence, the precisely chosen dialogue, even the occasional scares. Every character and every scene is there for a reason, and the ending feels earned, like the last step of a harrowing journey. Basically, it’s perfect.
Ghostbusters
Pictured: Two men in uniforms that don't suit them, and Dan Aykroyd.
‪Some of the jokes and SFX in GHOSTBUSTERS haven’t aged well, but at its core it’s still an excellent comedy. Having revisited Star Wars recently, I really appreciated anew the power of characters like Venkman/Han who can point out how silly the movie is while still being likable.‬
Gimme Shelter
Pictured: Another hat.
I didn’t know what to expect of The Rolling Stones documentary GIMME SHELTER, until I heard the word “Altamont.” Even knowing the disaster that lay ahead, I was not prepared for the powerful second half of the movie — an awful, accidental marriage of a concert film and a war doc.
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

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