🎬 "Fasten your seatbelts."





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🎬 "Fasten your seatbelts."
By Eric Johnson • Issue #64 • View online
Hey folks. One really important thing before we get to the reviews: This week, I helped launch a website for coronavirus relief called Split The Check.
The goal is to redirect the individual stimulus funding from the CARES Act to the people who need it most; in other words, if you don’t need your forthcoming stimulus check, join me in donating some or all of that money to the people who need it more.
To learn more about some non-profits that are worthy of your donations, visit SplitTheCheck.org. While you’re there, you can calculate how much you should expect to receive when stimulus checks are mailed out, and pledge to donate some or all of that total for relief efforts. Please check it out and share the site with your friends/family/coworkers. Thank you!
OK, on with the show…

This week in quarantine: All About Eve, 13 Assassins, and another installment of “Other Stuff I Liked This Week,” featuring Captain America and a 30-inch pizza.
📫 Reply to this email with your reactions and recommendations for what I should watch in the future.
👗 All About Eve
I had basically no expectations for All About Eve except that I knew Bette Davis was in it, and that she delivers the line, “Fasten your seatbelts: It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
I always love to discover that there’s so much more to movie or an actor than the one thing they’re famous for, and both are true here. As the newly-40 theater actress Margot Channing, Davis is a revelation; her costar, Anne Baxter as the ingenue Eve Harrington, similarly contains layers that slowly unfold over the course of the gripping film’s runtime.
I loved this movie, and am so happy I finally saw it. The script, narrated from several characters’ points of view, rings with clever turns and shifting allegiances, and the colorful supporting cast — including George Sanders as a snobby critic and Celeste Holm as Margot’s best friend — never overstays its welcome.
It’s also kind of wild to see Marilyn Monroe, not yet famous but unmissable and memorable, in a small supporting role:
All About Eve (1/5) Movie CLIP - Fasten Your Seatbelts (1950) HD
All About Eve (1/5) Movie CLIP - Fasten Your Seatbelts (1950) HD
All About Eve is available on all the big video platforms —$3.99 to rent, and $4.99 to $14.99 to buy (Apple currently has the lowest price).
⚔️ 13 Assassins
Set in the waning years of Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate, 13 Assassins is an action-revenge film that reaches for prestige but unfortunately falls short.
It under-invests in its protagonists — most of whom are samurai in name only who have never had a real purpose — and pits them against the sadistic shogun’s brother Naritsugu, played by Gorô Inagaki, whose cruelty is so over the top that he makes Ramsay Snow from Game of Thrones more sympathetic by comparison.
The first half of the movie mostly didn’t work for me, setting up the gang and the villain, and setting them on a collision course; the second half is dominated by a long fight scene with good choreography and enough cool moments to hold my interest, but not enough variety to prevent me pausing to check on how much time was left, repeatedly.
It didn’t escape my notice that the women in this film have nothing to do except get assaulted, murdered, or assaulted and then murdered. Like many American westerns and other Japanese samurai media, 13 Assassins seems to pine for a time when “men were real men,” a nostalgic myth I have little interest in entertaining.
13 Assassins (2/11) Movie CLIP - Akashi Henchmen (2010) HD
13 Assassins (2/11) Movie CLIP - Akashi Henchmen (2010) HD
13 Assassins is currently streaming on Hulu and Hoopla, or you can find it on all the big video platforms —$3.99 to rent, and $11.99 to $12.99 to buy.
Other Stuff I Liked This Week
Fans of the popular comedy podcast My Brother, My Brother, and Me already know that one of the titular brothers — Justin McElroy — regularly does a “podcast within a podcast” called Munch Squad, where he interrupts the show to read off a ridiculous press release from a fast food restaurant. This week, however, he read a 1993 article from the Baltimore Sun about Domino’s releasing a 30-inch pizza called the Dominator, and it is incredible. Here is a relatively less-bonkers-than-the-rest excerpt:
But what really accounts for this mega-pizza trend? Have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles multiplied? Is President Clinton’s White House staff pulling too many all-nighters for ordinary pizzas?
“It would go a long way toward sating the hunger of the health care task force,” said a spokesman in the White House press office, who asked to be identified only as “assistant to the president in charge of pizza control.”
The only problem, he said, is security.
“It’s dangerous. You could fit a lot of stuff on a pizza that big,” he said.
And finally, I won’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this clip from Avengers: Endgame that someone posted to Twitter this week, but it’s a lot. It’s a crucial moment near the end from Captain America’s fight with Thanos that I think would be considered a spoiler, but I’d also say that if you’ve skipped the Marvel movies to date, the clip will make basically no sense. Anyway, the clip combines that scene with the audio of an opening night crowd seeing it for the first time, and the glee is contagious. When it’s safe to go back to movie theaters again, I am looking forward to seeing a lot of movies with big crowds.
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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