🎬 “I like my blood. I’ve grown accustomed to it.”





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🎬 “I like my blood. I’ve grown accustomed to it.”
By Eric Johnson • Issue #94 • View online
God help me, I’m at risk of starting another newsletter. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I regularly post podcast recommendations there; if I ported those over to a free email newsletter, would you read it? Reply to this email and let me know.
Also: If you like this newsletter and have the means, you can support it with a donation at Buy Me a Coffee. Big thank you to Cale for buying three coffees last week! They wrote, “I look forward to this every Friday!”, which made my day.

🌎 Elysium
I liked the visual design of Elysium and I didn’t mind its simplistic politics — but this is a movie with a lot of unrealized potential that misses too many opportunities to ignore.
In 2154, we’re told, Earth’s wealthy people have fled their polluted home planet to an exclusive bougie satellite, leaving poor factory workers like Max (Matt Damon) behind, and denying them access to magically futuristic medical care. The similarities to our own world are subtle with a capital B, but I wish the movie had leaned harder into the philosophical question of what to do about this inequality, which it does only briefly.
Instead, it falls back on mustache-twirlingly evil villains (Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley, although only the latter has an actual mustache) and devolves in its third act into an over-loud action-packed showdown. I didn’t hate this movie, but … agh! I hate to see a good premise go to waste. ★★★
ELYSIUM - Official Trailer
ELYSIUM - Official Trailer
I watched Elysium on Blu-Ray, but it’s currently streaming on fuboTV, Epix, and Sling TV.
🤲 Manos: The Hands of Fate
Manos: The Hands of Fate is one of those really rare, special movies that has absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It is the worst movie I’ve seen this year, and I have seen M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender.
I watched the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of this notorious film, and the funny commentary made the movie more bearable. Nevertheless, I greeted the ending with a big sigh of relief. Sometimes, a bad movie like The Room or Troll 2 can be enjoyable on its own momentum; I can’t imagine myself watching through this one without the commentary.
The acting, editing, soundtrack, and everything else is so bad, that it’s only right that this movie is one of MST3K’s most famous episodes. Skip it, unless you’re also watching that version. 𝟎 ½
Manos: The Hands of Fate - "I Am Torgo" HD
Manos: The Hands of Fate - "I Am Torgo" HD
Manos: The Hands of Fate is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Hoopla. The MST3K version, which I watched on DVD, is currently available on YouTube.
😵 Dick Johnson Is Dead
On the complete opposite end of the quality spectrum: Dick Johnson is Dead is a brilliant documentary that confronts the ultimate taboo with both honesty and deception.
Here, longtime documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson chronicles her father’s deepening dementia and gradual loss of independence, filming him with his permission over several years as he closes up his psychiatry practice and moves in with her family in New York. She also uses Hollywood tricks to visualize his death — and in one charmingly weird scene, his afterlife.
Although she doesn’t sugarcoat the reality of what’s happening in front of the camera, Johnson reclaims her wonderful father’s legacy by making this film so entertaining. This is pointedly not misery porn; it’s something far more difficult, far more specific, and I loved it for that. This movie may make you cry, but it will also make you laugh, and, in a brisk 90 minutes, fall in love with the world’s cutest 80-something-year-old man. Highly recommended. ★★★★★
Dick Johnson Is Dead | Official Trailer | Netflix
Dick Johnson Is Dead | Official Trailer | Netflix
Dick Johnson is Dead is currently streaming on Netflix.
💥 The Irishman
The Irishman starts off strong and finishes even stronger — in fact, I’d go so far as to say the last half hour is damn near perfect. But on this re-viewing, I felt much the same about the movie as I did the first time around: This is a beautifully shot and directed movie that probably shouldn’t be a movie.
Featuring dozens of characters over three-and-a-half-hours, it’s stuck in an uncanny valley between film and television; everyone involved (including director Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci) turns in great work, but the epic story frequently loses focus and gets bogged down in minutiae in a way that makes its runtime a liability.
On Netflix, you can pause the movie when it has 90 minutes left and return to it the next day. This time, I did, and I enjoyed the movie’s final act much more as a result. But then that leads me to wonder: If this was meant to be watched with interruptions, why not push it to five hour-long episodes? As it is, I recommend The Irishman … but maybe not all at once. ★★★½
The Irishman | Official Trailer | Netflix
The Irishman | Official Trailer | Netflix
The Irishman is currently streaming on Netflix.
🔢 Every Movie I've Seen in 2020, Ranked
(new additions in bold)
  1. The Godfather
  2. 12 Angry Men
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  4. Do the Right Thing
  5. Knives Out
  6. Parasite
  7. Arrival
  8. My Neighbor Totoro
  9. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  10. Airplane!
  11. Dick Johnson Is Dead
  12. The Lives of Others
  13. Hot Fuzz
  14. Boys State
  15. Hamilton
  16. Groundhog Day
  17. All About Eve
  18. West Side Story
  19. The Farewell
  20. 12 Years a Slave
  21. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  22. What We Do in the Shadows
  23. Spotlight
  24. Booksmart
  25. Her
  26. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
  27. Moonrise Kingdom
  28. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  29. Your Name.
  30. North by Northwest
  31. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  32. The Incredibles
  33. Looper
  34. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  35. The Wrong Trousers
  36. The Old Guard
  37. American Psycho
  38. Thank You For Smoking
  39. Little Women
  40. Marriage Story
  41. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  42. La La Land
  43. Sunset Boulevard
  44. Ford v Ferrari
  45. A Fish Called Wanda
  46. Bringing Up Baby
  47. Gremlins
  48. Apocalypse Now
  49. The Hidden Fortress
  50. Hell or High Water
  51. Moneyball
  52. Hacksaw Ridge
  53. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  54. The Lunchbox
  55. Heat
  56. Little Miss Sunshine
  57. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  58. Coming to America
  59. Hustlers
  60. Shrek
  61. Wet Hot American Summer
  62. Dolemite Is My Name
  63. Good Will Hunting
  64. Palm Springs
  65. The Grapes of Wrath
  66. Fantasia 2000
  67. First Cow
  68. Kedi
  69. Honey Boy
  70. The Great Escape
  71. Ed Wood
  72. Isle of Dogs
  73. Annihilation
  74. The Hunt for Red October
  75. Wordplay
  76. Boyhood
  77. 1917
  78. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  79. The Philadelphia Story
  80. Dark Waters
  81. Hail, Caesar!
  82. The Death of Stalin
  83. The Irishman
  84. Zoolander
  85. 50/50
  86. Hannah and Her Sisters
  87. Horse Feathers
  88. Enemy of the State
  89. Captain Phillips
  90. Uncut Gems
  91. Independence Day
  92. 9 to 5
  93. Frost/Nixon
  94. The Incredibles 2
  95. How the West Was Won
  96. Almost Famous
  97. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  98. Bad Education
  99. Godzilla
  100. Just Mercy
  101. Midnight in Paris
  102. Da 5 Bloods
  103. High Fidelity
  104. Guardians of the Galaxy
  105. My Fair Lady
  106. The Invisible Man
  107. The Hateful Eight
  108. Happy Gilmore
  109. Gates of Heaven
  110. Emma.
  111. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
  112. Home Alone
  113. Gremlins 2: The New Batch
  114. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
  115. Braveheart
  116. Bicycle Thieves
  117. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  118. Frankenstein
  119. Hugo
  120. All the Money in the World
  121. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  122. Live From the Space Stage: A Halyx Story
  123. John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch
  124. Onward
  125. Hidden Figures
  126. Pain and Glory
  127. Bambi
  128. The Great Dictator
  129. Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events
  130. Anastasia
  131. Hot Rod
  132. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
  133. Animal House
  134. You’ve Got Mail
  135. The 39 Steps
  136. Elysium
  137. (500) Days of Summer
  138. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  139. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  140. Modern Romance
  141. Shakespeare in Love
  142. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
  143. 3:10 to Yuma
  144. The Big Country
  145. Ghost
  146. 28 Weeks Later
  147. History of the World: Part I
  148. The African Queen
  149. Greyhound
  150. Bamboozled
  151. Bullitt
  152. Dracula
  153. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
  154. Bride of Frankenstein
  155. Howard the Duck
  156. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  157. The Descendants
  158. The Hangover
  159. Joker
  160. Kingpin
  161. 28 Days Later
  162. Bridesmaids
  163. The Great Gatsby
  164. 13 Assassins
  165. Creature From the Black Lagoon
  166. Bad Moms
  167. High Anxiety
  168. Kentucky Fried Movie
  169. Hang ‘Em High
  170. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  171. Ice Age
  172. Romancing the Stone
  173. Crocodile Dundee
  174. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
  175. Hard Ticket to Hawaii
  176. Gods of Egypt
  177. The Gentlemen
  178. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  179. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  180. The Last Airbender
  181. Manos: The Hands of Fate
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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