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🎬 "You haven't taken a shower once this summer. Not once in 8 weeks."

🎬 "You haven't taken a shower once this summer. Not once in 8 weeks."
By Eric Johnson • Issue #85 • View online

⚾ Moneyball
I think I like Moneyball better than most sports movies because it’s not really about sports, or even the second-order idea of what sports supposedly represents to a community.
Billy Beane, played here by Brad Pitt, seems to spend almost zero time in Oakland and never once indicates that the A’s mean anything special to him. Instead, his efforts to reform the team — by way of data-driven sabremetrics — is a purely personal struggle, an attempt to correct for how his own pro baseball career went horribly wrong.
On paper, that’s a risky proposition, but the screenplay, co-written by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, really delivers. Pitt and his costar Jonah Hill are both in top form here, with Hill providing some excellent comic relief to balance out the darker, nastier sides of Pitt’s character. Recommended.
Moneyball (2011) Movie Trailer - HD - Brad Pitt
Moneyball (2011) Movie Trailer - HD - Brad Pitt
I watched Moneyball on Blu-Ray, but it’s currently streaming on Starz and DirecTV.
😳 The 40-Year-Old Virgin
I remembered liking The 40-Year-Old Virgin when it came out because (to my idiot teenage brain) it felt daring.
And while it did introduce me to several actors I would come to love, including Steve Carell and Catherine Keener, a lot of the edgier jokes have aged like fine milk. Rather than pushing the envelope, the script falls back on misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and rape culture, using humor to make the people who spread that sort of stuff endearing. Unlike Anchorman, which puts misogynistic dialogue in the mouth of an obvious buffoon, this movie advances a warped idea of “normal” masculinity that is more harmful than humorous.
In one scene, a group of bros try to teach Steve Carell’s late-bloomer character how to meet women, and their dialogue is SO similar to what “pick up artists” write in men’s-rights circles, I did a double-take. Although talking frankly about sex ran counter to what conservative groups advocated at the time, the themes and message of the movie are deeply retrograde. Not recommended.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin - Trailer
The 40-Year-Old Virgin - Trailer
I watched The 40-Year-Old Virgin on Blu-Ray, but it’s currently streaming on fuboTV, DirecTV, and Sling TV.
🏕 Wet Hot American Summer
Wet Hot American Summer is a ridiculous movie that never gets old for me. It’s an elaborate send-up of summer camp movies, but you don’t need to have seen any of those to have a good time.
Set at a camp in Maine on the last day of summer 1981, the story bounces among several storylines about the counselors and kids, none of which you should think about too much because they’re all supremely silly. In about 90 minutes, we get teenagers in and out of love, a sci-fi disaster, a “let’s put on a show” theater story, an action movie training montage, a PTSD-riddled veteran coming to terms with his own sexual kinks, a downward spiral into drug addiction, a heroic rescue, a marital drama, and probably more that I’m not remembering.
The other highlight of this movie is seeing all the actors who would go on to be famous, including Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, and Joe Lo Truglio (a.k.a. Charles Boyle on Brooklyn Nine-Nine). This is a crazy talented ensemble cast and a fun, original film; it’s a shame that so many critics misunderstood it.
Wet Hot American Summer - Trailer
Wet Hot American Summer - Trailer
I watched Wet Hot American Summer on Blu-Ray, but it’s currently streaming on Starz and DirecTV.
💵 Hell or High Water
If there’s a canon of great movies about the Great Recession and its aftermath, Hell or High Water deserves to be on it.
It’s a neo-western about cops and bank robbers and when you watch it, you know you are in the careful hands of a writer, director, and cast who know exactly what they’re doing. It’s a simple enough story, but the competence in the execution is refreshing.
Chris Pine and Ben Foster play the bank robbers, while Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham play the Texas rangers on their scent. Each of the four has a quiet, intense desperation at his core; these are people who have run out of options, except to move forward on the track they’re currently on.
Hell or High Water is beautifully shot, empathetic to all, and is one of the few crime movies that doesn’t glorify bloodshed and mayhem. Recommended.
HELL OR HIGH WATER - Official Trailer HD
HELL OR HIGH WATER - Official Trailer HD
I watched Hell or High Water on Blu-Ray, but it’s currently streaming on Sling TV.
🤳 Her
I liked Her the first time I saw it, back in 2013, but I appreciated it even more on a second viewing.
Writer/director Spike Jonze walks a tricky line here between dark satire and earnest warmth, and amazingly, he pulls it off. Scene by scene, you never know quite how the narrative is going to zag, but every beat feels earned and “right.”
This is a story about love and technology taken to an extreme, and yet not implausible, degree. Joaquin Phoenix is in his element as a slightly off-putting but deeply empathetic man who falls in love with a Siri-like operating system, played to breathy excess (in a good way) by Scarlett Johansson.
The largely subtle world-building in this movie has few equals, and the music is sweet and suspenseful in all the right places. Recommended.
Her TRAILER 1 (2013) - Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson Movie HD
Her TRAILER 1 (2013) - Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson Movie HD
I watched Her on Vudu, but it’s currently streaming on Sundance Now.
🚀 Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures is an enjoyable, well-acted movie about an inspiring true story … and yet, it falls a bit short of greatness for me.
Focusing on the Black math prodigy Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), the film argues that history has forgotten some of the most important contributors to the Space Race, including Johnson and her colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe).
I really like all the lead performances, but I wish Vaughan and Jackson’s stories got more screen time because they’re honestly more interesting to me than Johnson’s more cinematic arc. All the characters, in their own ways, are fighting racism and discrimination, but only Johnson’s storyline implies that this is a personal rather than systemic challenge.
Put another way: This movie was filmed in mid-2016, and it shows. Johnson’s boss, a white savior character played by Kevin Costner, rings false in today’s political climate. All that being said, there’s no denying the satisfaction that Hidden Figures delivers when it counts. Recommended.
Hidden Figures | Teaser Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX
Hidden Figures | Teaser Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX
I watched Hidden Figures on Blu-Ray, but it’s currently streaming on FXNow and DirecTV.
🔢 Every Movie I've Seen in 2020, Ranked
(new additions in bold)
  1. 12 Angry Men
  2. Do the Right Thing
  3. Knives Out
  4. Parasite
  5. Arrival
  6. Airplane!
  7. Hot Fuzz
  8. Hamilton
  9. Groundhog Day
  10. All About Eve
  11. The Farewell
  12. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  13. What We Do in the Shadows
  14. Spotlight
  15. Booksmart
  16. Her
  17. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
  18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  19. Your Name.
  20. North by Northwest
  21. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  22. The Old Guard
  23. Thank You For Smoking
  24. Little Women
  25. Marriage Story
  26. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  27. La La Land
  28. Sunset Boulevard
  29. Ford v Ferrari
  30. A Fish Called Wanda
  31. Gremlins
  32. Apocalypse Now
  33. Hell or High Water
  34. Moneyball
  35. Hacksaw Ridge
  36. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  37. The Lunchbox
  38. Heat
  39. Little Miss Sunshine
  40. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  41. Coming to America
  42. Shrek
  43. Wet Hot American Summer
  44. Dolemite Is My Name
  45. Good Will Hunting
  46. Palm Springs
  47. The Grapes of Wrath
  48. Fantasia 2000
  49. First Cow
  50. Kedi
  51. The Great Escape
  52. Annihilation
  53. Wordplay
  54. Boyhood
  55. 1917
  56. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  57. Dark Waters
  58. Hail, Caesar!
  59. The Death of Stalin
  60. 50/50
  61. Hannah and Her Sisters
  62. Enemy of the State
  63. Captain Phillips
  64. Uncut Gems
  65. Frost/Nixon
  66. Almost Famous
  67. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  68. Bad Education
  69. Godzilla
  70. Just Mercy
  71. Da 5 Bloods
  72. Guardians of the Galaxy
  73. My Fair Lady
  74. The Hateful Eight
  75. Happy Gilmore
  76. Gates of Heaven
  77. Emma.
  78. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
  79. Gremlins 2: The New Batch
  80. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
  81. Braveheart
  82. Bicycle Thieves
  83. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  84. Frankenstein
  85. Hugo
  86. All the Money in the World
  87. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  88. John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch
  89. Onward
  90. Hidden Figures
  91. Pain and Glory
  92. Bambi
  93. The Great Dictator
  94. Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events
  95. Anastasia
  96. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
  97. Animal House
  98. You’ve Got Mail
  99. The 39 Steps
  100. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  101. Modern Romance
  102. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
  103. 3:10 to Yuma
  104. The Big Country
  105. Ghost
  106. History of the World: Part I
  107. The African Queen
  108. Greyhound
  109. Bamboozled
  110. Bullitt
  111. Dracula
  112. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
  113. Bride of Frankenstein
  114. The Descendants
  115. The Hangover
  116. Joker
  117. Kingpin
  118. 28 Days Later
  119. Bridesmaids
  120. The Great Gatsby
  121. Hang ‘Em High
  122. 13 Assassins
  123. Creature From the Black Lagoon
  124. Kentucky Fried Movie
  125. Romancing the Stone
  126. Crocodile Dundee
  127. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
  128. Hard Ticket to Hawaii
  129. Gods of Egypt
  130. The Gentlemen
  131. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  132. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  133. The Last Airbender
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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