TR Robertson — Part II of how to pass time at home, as we deal with self-imposed isolation due to the coronavirus, deals with the opportunity to watch a variety of movies and series, new and old, that we now have time to see. Part I dealt with a variety of television shows you could sample. Now I will take you thru a short journey on some recommended movies I have seen or want to see and a number of episodic series that are available on various television outlets.
I imagine most of you, if you could, would prefer to not have to spend your days cooped up at home trying to find things to keep busy and occupied. But, until this unimaginable situation reaches a point where we can return to some sort of normalcy, each day is filled with finding ways to keep our minds busy. I think we have gone thru every drawer, filing cabinet, closet, and shelf in our house as we are tossing, refiling, and organizing what we come across. It is amazing how much you find that you kept for some unknown reason. Daily walks, time with your children (if they still are living with you), video chats, internet searches, an occasional trip to the grocery store and the list goes on and on as we try to stay busy. When you finally reach a point where you need to take a break and watching “normal” television shows and the repetitive news “gets to you”; it’s time to watch a movie that allows you to escape for an hour or two.
The movies I will be recommending are all available or will soon be available on Netflix, if you subscribe. Red Box is available at various locations, make sure you wipe the cases down with sanitizers. The movies listed range from PG to R. You can go to Netflix, type in the name of the movie and get a short summation as well as the movie rating. You can also channel search and find a variety of movies available. If you subscribe to HBO, Starz, Showtime, CBS Access, Amazon Prime and other pay-to-watch channels and internet spots, your movie options grow.
Disney+ has an unbelievable selection of movies, old and new, as well as some of the classic cartoons they are famous for. You can watch classics like the original “Cinderella”, “Bambi” or “Sword & the Stone” or newer movies like “Frozen II”, “Onward”, “Lion King” or “Lady and the Tramp”. Hundreds of titles are available. The animated “Mulan” is available until the new live action version is released and theatres are back-up and running. Disney+ also has all of the Marvel movies currently available as well as the popular series “Mandalorian” that started the Baby Yoda craze.
Here’s some of the movies I recommend and a short description. These are mostly newer films you may have recently missed:
- “Knives Out” – a bizarre whodunit starring Daniel Craig
- “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” – set in 1969 involving a declining movie star and his stunt double – Brad Pitt won the Best Supporting Actor for his role.
- “21 Bridges” – a New York City detective tries to track down cop killers
- “Downton Abbey the Movie” – the Crawley Family prepares to host the King & Queen of England
- “The Goldfinch” – a movie that deals with the loss of a loved one and all the complications
- “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” – Angelina Jolie brings back the evil witch and she’s not happy
- “Jojo Rabbit” – a young German boy and a Jewish girl and the boy’s imaginary friend – Adolf Hitler – set in WW II Germany
- “Harriet” – the movie story of Harriet Tubman’s underground railroad during the Civil War
- “Joker” – Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar winning role of how the evil villain became a manic psychopath
- “John Wick 3” – tons of action, violent, story of Wick’s attempt to fight his exile
- “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” – Tom Hanks in the story of the beloved children’s T.V. personality Mr. Rogers.
- “Hobbs and Shaw” – an action packed romp with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham fighting bad guys. The chase scene in Hawaii is wild
- “Spiderman Far From Home” – the DC action hero returns to try and save the world again
- “47 Meters Down” – trapped below the ocean by a man/woman eating shark
- “Yesterday” – what if no one knew who the Beatles were and their music became available
- “1917” – an incredibly filmed story of a WW I mission two friends embark on to save British soldiers
- “Star Wars – Rise & Fall of Skywalker” – the final film (for a while) of the Star Wars story
- “Little Women” – English sisters growing up during the Victorian period trying to become more than what society has planned for them.
- “Midway” – a realistic look at the battle that helped turn the tide in WW II in the Pacific campaign, great action scenes.
- “A Star is Born” – a classic remake starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper and amazing music
- As well as movies, there are a number of episodic series available on Amazon Prime, Netflix and other outlets. You have to be careful with many of these series as for the most part they are R rated with nudity, sexual suggestive, language and violence. Each of them will give you the rating and tell you a little of what the episodes contain. I recommend the following:
- “Locke & Key” – a scary fantasy story involving 3 teens, “Jack Ryan” S 1 & 2 – an action packed politically set thriller, “Agatha Christie Pale Horse” – witches and a murder set in England, “Mozart in the Jungle” – a comedy about finding love in New York, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – a 1950’s woman tries stand-up comedy, “Expanse” S 1 & 2 – a conspiracy mystery set in an asteroid belt, “Lost in Space” S 1 & 2 – the Robinson Family searches for a way to return to their home in space, “The Man in High Castle” S 1-4 – what would society be like if the Nazi’s won?, “Carnival Row” – set in a fantasy world in England filled with fairies and other creatures, “Goliath” – a down and out lawyer seeking redemption, “Good Omens” – a demon and an angel working together to save the world, “Fortitude” S 1 & 2 – a psychological thriller set in an artic town, “Modern Love” – 8 stories of people seeking love, “Narcos” S 1-3 and “Narcos Mexico” S 1-3 – fighting the narcotics traffic issues in the 70’s and beyond, “The English Game” – a story of how English soccer pitted aristocracy vs mill workers at the turn of the 1900’s
There is also an amazing assortment of other features and documentaries available. If you like pubs, whiskey distilleries and travelling to England, Scotland and Ireland (hopefully again someday) there is a wonderful set of films about the villages and establishments in these countries. There are also documentaries on castles, food around the world, wars and history from almost every country in the world, archeological studies and the list goes on and on. Don’t forget PBS shows as well. PBS has a series called “Jamestown” about the early establishment of the city in the colonies.
If you subscribe to Showtime, Season 8 of the popular spy thriller “Homeland” is in its final season. HBO currently has Season 3 of “Westworld”.
I just saw a list of the top 10 Historical Films, according to one source, everyone should watch. Starting with the #1 movie “Saving Private Ryan”, “Master and Commander”, “Wolf of Wall Street”, “Spartacus” (Stanley Kubrick version), “Gangs of New York”, “All the President’s Men”, “12 Years a Slave”, “Apollo 13”, “Downfall” and “Selma”.
So much to watch, but it seems like we have a little time to do this. Don’t stay glued to the T.V, but set some time to watch some of these amazing films. We are all having to make changes in our daily lives. As we look for things to keep us busy, sometimes television can play a role in helping us lose ourselves for a while in adventure, make believe and education. I hope you will try some of these suggestions, find ones you enjoy and please stay safe if you do venture from home. Hopefully, over the next few months, our lives will slowly return to some sense of normalcy, do your part to make this happen. Stay safe, wash your hands and don’t hoard. This is going to make an amazing movie someday.