Tag Archives: movies

Candyman: Film Review

By Karissa Meno

Candyman (2021) a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Monkeypaw Production, and Bron Creative Production.

•Director: Nia DaCosta. •Producers: Ian Cooper, Win Rosenfeld, and Jordan Peele. 

•Cast: Tony Todd (Candyman), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Anthony McCoy), Teyonah Parris (Brianna Cartwright), Coleman Domingo (William Burke), Nathan Stewart Jarrett (Troy Cartwright), and Vanessa Estelle Williams (Anne-Marie McCoy)

I started off my Saturday night with the sequel to the original 1992 Candyman. This movie gave me high hopes but I started to slowly become less and less invested. The movie did have some ominous visuals, and great paper-craft like puppet storytelling. The plot and story of the movie were very clear laying all out on the table, but the movie itself was still missing something. The movie did not give me that horror and suspense that I was looking for. The gore scenes were pretty eventful, but not as horrifying as I wished.  

The movie begins with a puppet show recap of the 1992 Candyman with Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen, the story of Helen becoming insane and taking baby Anthony into a giant bonfire under the attack and terrorism of Candyman (Tony Todd). This is the story of Anthony McCoy, a struggling painter who finds inspiration from his girlfriend Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris) and her brother Troy Cartwright (Nathan Stewart Jarretr) and the story of Helen and Candyman one night as they all drank together. Anthony gets inspiration from the neighborhood where Candyman was originally found or where he lives.

This movie tries to involve the arts like painting along with the story of Candyman; that just doesn’t sit right. The movie does, however, make a clear reference to the mirror scene in the original, showing what’s behind the mirror. Much of Anthony’s story relates to much of Helen’s story, but instead of being a more eventful story, Anthony’s story feels more like trying your best to make a five paragraph essay sound smart without any background information. I found that the original provided a more eventful story than the sequel did.

The movie shows the slow process of the transformation for Anthony to become Candyman himself. Even if the Candyman story didn’t make sense, how simple it is to turn a normal person into a bee-infested, hook-for-a-hand killer doesn’t make sense. Anthony starts his research on Candyman at the abandoned building where the 1992 Candyman was set, and at an almost-always-empty laundromat, Anthony runs into William Burke (Colman Domingo) who explains to Anthony the story of his run-in with Candyman. Anthony is having trouble creating new paintings to express his racially-involved emotions. With his piece of a mirror with a description of how to “summon” Candyman, many people follow with this “legend” or “rumor,” with both a couple and a few teenage girls being slaughtered in the bathroom. During this, Anthony continues his research on Candyman in what seems to be a library with a chilling and horrific elevator scene.

Throughout the movie, we see the process that Anthony and Helen both experience with the terrorism of Candyman, as we watch Anthony become horrifically involved with Candyman affecting his relationship with Brianna and causing her to leave. Later, Brianna converses with her brother Troy as he convinces her to go to Anthony. On her way to see Anthony she is taken as the sacrifice for Anthony to become the Candyman. Resulting in a very fatal and mysterious ending.
This movie isn’t slow-paced, but is still uneventful. The horrific and halfway suspenseful scenes are fun to look at but were not keeping me on the edge of my seat. Even the ending felt unnecessary and was also possibly teasing yet another Candyman movie. I wouldn’t completely recommend this movie to others, but I would recommend the original 1992 Candyman over 2021 Candyman. This movie, along with many others, can’t grab my attention like older ones can.

Shang-Chi: Film Review

By Karissa Meno

•Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton

•Cast: Simu Liu (Shang-Chi), Awkwafina (Katy), Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Mandarin), Fala Chen (Leiko Wu), Meng’ er Zhang (Xialing), Michelle Yech (Jiang Nan), and Benedict Wong (Wong).

Shang-Chi was the perfect Labor Day plan. The phase 4 of Marvel continues to get better and better with the release of Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Marvel Studios and the cast are what made Shang-Chi perfect. The film offers amazing visuals as well as an incredible storyline. The beautiful scenery and visuals gave me chills along with the incredible fight scenes; and it even offers a little comedy.

The movie shows the story of the man known as the Mandarin and his Ten Rings organization, with the story of Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and his sister Xialing (Meng’ er Zhang) who grew up at the Ten Rings compound. After losing something important, Shang-Chi and Xialing must face their father alone as he goes on an impactful investigation to regain that important thing. This movie offers the symbolism of letting go of who you were made to be and to become who you are. The importance of family, home, and the people with the meaning of aiming for something much bigger.

Shang-Chi begins with the story of their father, Mandarin, who is looking rich in power and all of the above, but he is looking for more. While looking for more riches he meets Leiko Wu, Shang-Chi and Xialing’s mother. Years later Shang-Chi and Xialing are left with the Mandarin after the loss of their mother. As the years go on, we see Shang-Chi training with the rest of the soldiers while Xialing watches from the sidelines training herself and being better than the boys. On an important mission Shang-Chi is sent to finish, he runs away leaving Xialing behind.

Six years later, Shang-Chi is living a normal life with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina). After an attack with the Ten Rings men, Shang-Chi is obligated to find Xialing and help their father to regain his consciousness after he has come to believe Leiko Wu is being hidden away by her family in a secret civilization. A trip back home made Xialing and Shang-Chi realize they have to find their mothers hidden home. Once arriving at their home, Shang-Chi is taught to fight with nature and not violence, while giving Katy and Shang-Chi a meaning of becoming more mature. Shang-Chi is forced to fight his father, leading him to gain the Ten Rings and restore peace to his home. 

Shang-Chi is one of the best movies in the phase four MCU or MCM now. Shang-Chi has beautiful graphics and visuals along with interesting animals and new and exotic places. The fight scenes were well played out and incredible to watch. Shang-Chi has great promise to future films, hopefully bringing back Shang-Chi, Katy, and Xialing in other films, along with the continuation and investigation of the Ten Rings.

Shang-Chi was the perfect plan for my Labor Day weekend. Audiences agreed, as Disney once again reached the No.1 spot over the Labor Day weekend with an astonishing $90 million in ticket sales in both the U.S. and Canada.

Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Drops

By Karissa Meno

The Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer is finally out after many months of asking. This Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studio, and Pascal Pictures production is directed by Jon Watts, written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal.

The trailer includes important appearances from Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spiderman), Zendaya (Mary-Jane Watson), Benedict Cumberbatch (Steven Strange/Dr. Strange), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Jacob Batalon (Ned), Benedict Wong (Wong), with a special appearance from Alfred Molina who plays Dr. Octavius/Dr. Octopus from the 2004 Spider-Man 2 film. With theoretical and hopeful appearances from both Toby Maguire (Spider-Man 1, 2, & 3) and Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2).

The trailer offers so much leaving you with so many questions and theories. It also has a beautiful way of opening up the multiverse while providing a combination of Doctor Strange visuals and aspects, while offering an overwhelming amount of action creating a very exotic and eventful trailer.

With many theories going around about the possible characters and events in the movie, it’s hard to determine who the whole cast might be or what most scenes in the trailer might be. The trailer gives a lot of information just from little snippets of a scene, you get the general plot of what the movie will contain giving you that excitement and shocking feeling every trailer and Marvel movie should.

The trailer begins with how Spider-Man: Far From Home ended, revealing the true identity of Spider-Man with challenging tribulations to Peter Parker and his family and friends. Peter Parker contemplates the thought of what life would have been like if people didn’t know he was Spider-Man, and thinks to consider and seeks help from Dr. Strange. When arriving at the Sanctum, Dr. Strange tells Peter about a certain spell that could help Peter to regain his normal life back, even though Wong encourages Dr. Strange not to use the spell. But Dr. Strange goes against Wong’s wishes. As Dr. Strange performs the spell Peter continues to blab about those who should know about him being Spider-Man and the spell is ruined. The spell was a much bigger part of the timeline and everything is affected by the disruption of the spell, bringing in the Dr. Strange aspects into the trailer. With the troubled spell, much of Peter Parker’s world is turned upside down, figuratively and literally. The rest of the trailer and movie is up for elaboration until December 17, 2021.

This trailer gives some hopeful and exciting view into what No Way Home is about, with the trailer raking in over 355 million views, beating 2019’s Avengers: Endgame trailer. Much of the trailer and events in the movie are being theorized. As more and more theories and rumors are coming in, it’s hard to tell exactly what the movie is going to offer or who it’s going to offer. Spider-Man: No Way Home will open a month and a half after Marvel Studios’ Eternals and Disney+ Series Hawkeye in theaters. Don’t forget to stick around for the post-credit scene and even the after-credit scene.

Movies to watch before you graduate high school

By Angelica Moreno

I recently came to the realization that once I graduate high school, I will not relate to movies that surround themselves around a high school plot. Yes, you can watch Superbad in your late 20s or whatever but you won’t be able to say, “Oh yeah; I’m in high school just like them.” Only now can you watch these movies before it’s too late to semi relate to them. (I also recommended when to watch them because every movie has a place and time.)

Girl-Centered Movies

The Edge of Seventeen, dir. Kelly Fremon (Hulu premium subscription): Protagonist Nadine’s brother decides to date her best friend; and although that’s a common trope in movies, they make good use of it. It drives the plot of Nadine (Haliee Steinfeld) having no friends or social life because of that relationship. 

When to watch: the year you’re seventeen years of age, or when you “feel” like you have no friends.


Easy A, dir. Will Gluck: Olive, played by Emma Stone, is a nobody, ghost, does not exist to her peers around her at school and an acquaintance begs her to fix his reputation by pretending to sleep with him. People finally notice her and now like the hypothetical bad reputation she’s created for herself. 

When to watch: Junior to senior year, or before you want to do something to make yourself “popular.”


Ladybird, dir. Greta Gerwig (Netflix): Ladybird, played by Saoirse Ronan, is a teen girl whose life you get to experience with her. She doesn’t have the biggest presence in school or feels like she lives in the right house but she is just a teenager living her life. She has big dreams for her future and nothing too big happens, but everything that does happen is just enough. Her love-hate relationship with her mom was finally something that felt real in any movie I’ve seen and her first boyfriend is my favorite character, played by Lucas Hedges (an under-appreciated actor!)

When to watch: Senior year (I’m thinking winter break).


The To-Do List, dir. Maggie Carey (Hulu premium subscription, Amazon Prime: premium subscription, Showtime): Brandy Clark, played by Aubrey Plaza, is a straight-A student who didn’t do anything promiscuous all of her high school career but when she’s graduated, the tables have turned. She decides to “to-do” everything she missed out on, the summer before going to college.

When to watch: The weekend after graduation. 


Boy-Centered Movies

The New Guy, dir. Ed Decter (Hulu premium subscription, Amazon Prime: premium subscription, Starz): Self explanatory. It’s so bad it’s good. Okay that’s harsh but some moments feel so cringe-worthy that they are enough to make you laugh from second-hand embarrassment. It felt like an off brand Disney movie.

When to watch: Any time in high school.


Charlie Bartlett, dir. Jon Poll (Pluto TV, Tubi, Amazon Prime): Charlie, played by the late Anton Yelchin, is a privileged private school white boy who desperately wants to be liked. He gets kicked out of every private school he goes to for doing something “cool” to make people like him, like making fake I.D’s for everyone and now he’s forced to go to public school for the first time. He becomes the public school’s psychiatrist and is able to help the kids while also building bonds with everyone.

When to watch: Any time in high school.


17 Again, dir. Burr Steers (Netflix): You’re watching the wrong Zac Efron movie if you’re not watching this one. Mike O’Donnell (Efron) wishes he were “17 again” and his wish comes true while everyone in his life stays the same age. Mike needs to realize why he chose to stay with his pregnant girlfriend at 17 rather than become a pro basketball player because the burden and regret of not choosing his dreams derive from thinking he chose the wrong life.

When to watch: Summer before senior year.


Rushmore (1998), dir. Wes Anderson: Max Fisher, played by Jason Schwartzman, is a pretentious, passionate, creative boy who has the privilege of a private school’s fine arts department budget. He fails every common, core subject class, but excels at after school extracurricular activities–most of which he started himself. It’s a story-like movie that is quirky and enjoyable.

When to watch: On an uneventful Wednesday night.


Donnie Darko, dir. Richard Kelly (Tubi, Pluto TV, Amazon Prime): Young Jake Gylennhal struck the landing with this one and every movie after; he always makes a movie better. You don’t know whether Donnie is crazy, eccentric, or advantaged to the average person. A demonic rabbit tells him the world is going to end in 28 days and I think Donnie believes it. It felt like it was in the same universe as American Beauty.

When to watch: Any time in high school.


The Dynamic Duo

Back to the Future (1985) dir. Robert Zemeckis (Amazon Prime and Netflix): A must see ‘80’s classic. You need to understand every Marty McFly and Doc Brown reference future media might bring you. It’s actually not self-explanatory because most of the movie is Marty, played by Michael J. Fox, going to the past, which then changes his dad’s future for the better.

When to watch: Any Sunday morning of high school.

Ghost World, dir. Terry Zwigoff (Hulu premium subscription, Amazon Prime: premium subscription, Starz): Your only friend is your best friend and all you do is bully people and make fun of stuff. Enid, played by Thora Birch, and Rebecca, played by Scarlett Johansson, just graduated high school and both are on job hunts to fund the apartment they want to get together. Rebecca sticks to the plan but Enid fans out into a different venture, having to take a summer class and not fully graduating, and creating a new friendship out of her bullying habits.

When to watch: Summer after graduation or any Thursday night.


The Infamous Trio 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, dir. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon: Greg, played by Thomas Mann, has no “friends” except his buddy that he hangs out with every day. Greg refers to him as a co-worker because in their free time they like to make short films about the movies they’ve watched. Greg’s mom forces him to hang out with the girl who has cancer; and even though they initially dislike each other, after forcefully hanging out for weeks on end they become friends… there’s no romance in this one (they actually just stay friends the whole time!). As the title suggests, she does die in the end (but that’s not the point so still watch it).

When to watch: Any Monday through Wednesday afternoon when you have free time.


Dope, dir. Rick Famuyiwa: Malcolm, played by Shameik Moore, is a straight-A student with perfect SAT scores and he feels like he’s ruined his life in one night. His backpack is filled with illegal substances as blackmail for dancing with someone’s girlfriend; and now, this boyfriend character dude has a reason to seek out Malcolm and beat him up.

When to watch: Any Monday after school when you have free time.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) dir. John Hughes: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Everyone loves him but his principal hates him. Ferris, played by Matthew Broderick, decides to skip school one day. Everyone in town learns he’s “sick” and campaigns for Ferris to get better soon but he’s actually out and about living his ditch day to the fullest. From a baseball game to a parade float performance, it’s just enough entertainment to take in. Cameron’s character, played by Alan Ruck, is my favorite in the movie.

When to watch: Any Saturday morning.


Superbad, dir. Greg Mottola (Netflix): “I am McLovin”

Hopefully you’ve seen it already, but if not, it’s a 2000’s must-see classic. Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, and the other dude (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) are simply trying to get beer to Julie’s party (played by Emma Stone). The world is against them but it might be for good reason because it’s an awesome movie by the end.

When to watch: Any Friday night.


Group Movies 

The Virgin Suicides (1999) dir. Sofia Coppola (Pluto TV, Amazon Prime: premium subscription): The Lisbon girls live in a strict household where their rebellious nature only causes more harm than good. The boys on their block never get to be close to them but they daydream of being with the Lisbon girls, as friends, as boyfriends, as someone they would talk to. The title itself is revealing. Also, what a great soundtrack.

When to watch: On an uneventful Saturday night.


Detroit Rock City (1999), dir. Adam Rifkin (Tubi): A friend-group of four have undying love for the band Kiss. They get tickets to the upcoming Kiss concert but one of their moms finds the tickets and burns them because she thinks Kiss is against Christian values. The group still goes to the concert because nothing stands against them and their idols, even without proof of entry.

When to watch: Any Sunday night. 


Breaking Away (1979), dir. Peter Yates: Dave thinks he’s Italian and wants to be in competitive bicycle racing, dreaming of one day being in the “Tour de France.” In reality, he’s American and lives in Bloomington, Indiana. He trains every day and with the support of his friend group, his dream doesn’t die.

When to watch: On an uneventful Sunday.


TV Shows 

Freaks and Geeks, 1999 (Hulu premium subscription): Many big names who got their first big part are featured here like James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segal, and Busy Phillips. There’s a lot of small cameos from young actors who also got big. A very high school show (teens being teens doing teen things). There’s a relatable aspect you’ll attach to no matter who you are.

When to watch: Any time in high school.


Sex Education (Netflix): Finally characters who aren’t bland and have life to them as a whole person in a show about teenagers. Who knew what good writing could do for a show? A show for everyone; you can’t hate it. I’m serious–you can’t hate it.

When to watch: Junior year.


The End of the F***ing World (Netflix): James, played by Alex Lawther, thinks he’s a psychopath from not feeling emotions his whole life, and Alyssa, played by Jessica Barden, wants to live a different life (one where she doesn’t live with her weird stepdad). They make a pact to run away together to find Alyssa’s dad. Someone kills someone and the story unravels itself on two teenagers not knowing what to do but Alyssa’s confidence leads the way.

When to watch: Any time in high school.

The Problems with the 93rd Academy Awards

By Angelica Moreno

The 93rd Academy Awards show, ‘The Oscars,’ took place on Sunday, April 25. Now that we have our story’s basics aside, there are some things I’d like to say about this year’s Oscar winners.

I am a ‘quickly fixated’ and ‘prone to micro obsessions’ type of person. Once I like something, I love it and when I hate something, I just hate it. So when I got the final and complete list of Oscar winners, I was taken back. Why didn’t any of my favorite movies get awarded?

The movies I hoped to get awarded were: The Trial of the Chicago 7, Promising Young Woman and (shamefully mumbles under her breath) Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. An odd trio, but I’m not at my peak of pretentiousness to have picked the other movies to love, yet. I waited 364 days for this very award show and didn’t get exactly what I wanted. Wow; just wow. It’s like they don’t even know that I exist– because they don’t.

After a few minutes of sitting on this year’s winner list, (because I keep my phone in my back pocket) it all made sense why each movie got the award they got. All respect to The Trial of the Chicago 7 (below), but I guess they had their field day at The Golden Globes. You’ll get them next time, Aaron Sorkin.

Our most hated winner of the night was Anthony Hopkins for best actor in The Father (below). I didn’t hate it initially but the manipulative buildup of the show to have the viewers and audience think the late Chadwick Boseman would win for the big bang of an outro (and that did not happen), did rile some people up. To be fair, the director of the Academy Awards broadcast, Steven Soderbergh, came out to say he did not know who would win. He just directs the show to go smoothly, and that’s all. He made the personal choice to switch best actor to be last announced in case of Chadwick Boseman winning. You are absolved of your sin, Steven Soderbergh, but only from me personally. You made a lot of people mad.

Movie of the night Nomadland won major categories including best picture, best actress, and best director (pictured below). It is an Oscar-worthy movie but was it even a great movie? The Academy, people who vote for the winners, would go on the route to choose this. It has everything a pretentious person needs–minutes of no dialogue and taking in the environment, substantial acting for the part, only three good lines of dialogue that are #deep. Even with a lesson at the end of every movie, pretentious films feel like they barely had a lesson. It’s not pretentious enough, if I knew what it was about. Maybe I’m confusing pretentious with arthouse but they’re in the same ballpark.

There are many factors as to why Nomadland was the ‘movie of the night,’ but the part that strikes me dirty is the uplift and spotlight that Amazon Prime received. Jeff Bezos got free promotion in best picture Nomadland and that just makes me think someone high ranking in the Academy got paid to skew the votes to promote capitalist propaganda to us. Nomadland dashingly enlightened the idea of Amazon being a good thing in society (as if Jeff Bezos has created the perfect working environment and the gap between us and the top 1% isnt getting bigger by the day). All respect to Nomadland though–with art comes capitalism planted propaganda.

With the pandemic, not every movie got to be made and or released but every other category of the award show gave me the reaction of “Eh, that makes sense.” A big win for Promising Young Woman (original screenplay) that didn’t get recognition all award season other than many nominees and Minari (actress in supporting role) for bringing new talent into the spotlight (pictured below).

Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield from Judas and the Black Messiah (pictured below) continue to go under-appreciated for their talents but their time will come. The film was nominated for best picture and best supporting actor, but did win best original song.

That’s all I want to say about this year’s Oscars with the lesson being: always be cautious of the media you digest because sometimes it just might be American-powered propaganda.

Best Movies & Shows To Watch Over The Summer

By Carter Balbuena

With a lot of time on our hands over the summer and with various streaming services, what better way to spend all of that free time than watching something on TV, your phone, or computer? If you find yourself with nothing to watch, then refer to this list of movies and shows you should give a try even if they don’t seem to be your style of entertainment. There will be alternatives to all if you have a different streaming service.

*CW = Content Warning (forgive me if I miss some)

Nezha (2019)

Available (with purchase) on Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV.

A movie that tells it’s own story about Nezha, a teenage protective deity who protects teenagers and professional drivers. As believed in Chinese mythology, Nezha was carried by his mother for 3 years and 6 months until he was finally born with superhuman strength and ability to speak. To learn more about the deity, visit this website.

The movie starts with a bit of background information that tells us about a Mixed Yuan Bead that is split into 2 beads, a spirit bead and a demon bead. Before being born, Nezha was to receive the spirit bead, but instead was birthed with the demon bead. Having the beads switched, Nezha grew to be feared and was isolated from the rest of the village. After being persuaded by his mother, he seeks to learn how to protect the village in hopes of painting himself in a new light.

Supernatural

Available on TNT; also (with purchase) on Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, iTunes, Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video.

CW: Violence and language. Following two brothers on a journey to find their father as they meet supernatural creatures along the way, Supernatural starts off with Sam and Dean Winchester who were both trained to become hunters and protect the public from the supernatural. However, Sam wanted to go on his own path and went to college, wanting a normal life away from it all. Unfortunately, Dean shows up to his dorm and tells him that their father has gone missing to which he needs his help. This starts their adventure as  they look for their father in various states and ask those that work with him.

Rango

Available (with purchase) on Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and Apple TV.

After falling out of his owner’s car, Rango, who is a chameleon, is left to adventure on his own which lands him in a desert. He quickly adapts to his new life, but runs into trouble along the way

Black Mirror

Available (with purchase) on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

CW: Violence and language. In a world full of high-tech inventions, Black Mirror is a show where each episode is about technology in a dystopian world and its effects. The episodes also include different casts each time.

Soul Eater

Available (with purchase) on Netflix.

Soul Eater is a classic anime that is about three teams that consist of a meister and their weapons that are also humans. Maka Alburn and Soul Evans go on adventures with their friends at the Death Weapons Meister Academy. Black Star, Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, Death the Kid, Patty, and Liz.

The story Behind Falcon and the Winter Soldier

by Arlene Perez

The Marvel Cinematic Universe fanbase is growing due to the popularity of its phenomenal hit miniseries WandaVision. And with the March 19th release of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, newcomers have a lot of catching up to do. 

So, if you’re new to the MCU family, but you want to watch this hot new show because you don’t want to experience FOMO, there are a few things you need to know. So strap on your seatbelt because we’re going for a wild ride back to the 1940s!

How it All Began

Captain America: The First Avenger is the 2011 Marvel hit that explores this American hero’s origin story.

Steve Rogers was a young kid from Brooklyn who had tried enlisting in the army several times because he wanted to do his patriotic duty and help his country defeat the Nazis. But sadly, he kept getting rejected due to his poor physical health and small stature. 

Though he faced rejection over and over again, Steve never gave up. Eventually, his perseverance and determination paid off when he was hand selected by Dr. Abraham Erskine to take part in a very experimental procedure.

I could tell you all about what happened, but I don’t want to ruin the experience for you. Check out this movie before tuning into the new Disney Plus series, or you’ll be lost for sure!

Why Should I Watch the Older Movies? 

Why, you ask? Well, the two main characters in the new series– Sam Wilson (aka Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier)–are  people that you meet along the MCU journey, and both of them have strong ties to Steve Rogers. 

You meet Bucky in the first Captain America movie, but you don’t meet Sam until the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So if you haven’t watched these films, then you won’t really understand the backstory needed to be able to fully follow the plot and understand the connection between these two guys.

My Suggestion? Watch These Films. 

You should at least watch the Captain America series before grabbing the remote and  going to Disney Plus’ newest series. Here they are: 

  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier
  • Captain America: Civil War

However, if you have the time, energy, and patience to learn all there is to know about these Marvel heroes, go back and watch all of these incredible movies from the beginning to end so that you can catch up on all that you’ve missed!

Besides, what else do you have to do during Spring Break in this pandemic? So grab some snacks, and let the adventure begin!

Best Romantic Movies for Valentine’s Day

By Angelica Moreno

Even if you’re anti-Valentine’s, movies are still awesome no matter what they’re about. There is always a story to tell and actors trying their best to act. So here are some romantic movies to watch before the month is over.

Before Sunrise (1995), dir. Richard Linklater

With a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is a must see. Two strangers meet on a train and decide to spend the day together from the instant connection they feel from one another. They only have just one day to get to know each other because our main character is leaving for America the next day. The heartbreak sticks with you days after watching. It’s been with me for two years. P.S.: It’s also a trilogy, so the two additional movies connected to this one are just as good (Before Sunset-2004 and Before Midnight-2013).

Pride and Prejudice (2005), dir. Joe Wright

The story of enemies turned lovers, but they were in love the whole time and just pretended to hate each other. Innocent, sincere, poetic love is the only way to describe it. You don’t see stuff like this anymore unless you’re reading Shakespeare, but this one you can more easily understand.

About Time (2013), dir. Richard Curtis

Our main character can time travel, and he meets the love of his life. Every time something goes wrong, he can go back and do it over. He learns a life lesson by the end.

When Harry Met Sally (1989), dir. Rob Reiner

A rom-com classic. Almost an enemies-turned-lovers arc but they never had sincere hatred for each other, just dislike. Instead, friends become lovers as Harry and Sally bump into each other several times over the years. They never thought they would date because it was strictly platonic, but something just happens overnight.

Love, Rosie (2014), dir. Christian Ditter

The main characters have been friends since they were teens. They have an accidental kiss and it is never talked about after. Both pretend as if it didn’t happen, but time goes on without confessing their love for one another. Later, the girl gets pregnant–not by the love interest, but she keeps it a secret from him for most of the movie.

Sixteen Candles (1984), dir. John Hughes

She’s sixteen and crushing hard on the popular kid at school. He takes notice and somehow things are never in their favor for them to meet. A cute teen romance and ‘80s classic.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012), dir. Lorene Scafaria

Just about a week left until the world ends, everyone on earth is living life to the fullest. Ending relationships, drinking to oblivion, and other promiscuous things are going on, and the main character gets dumped. His neighbor brings him three-month-old mail and he discovers he has received a love letter from his high school sweetheart. The neighbor then makes it her last mission on earth to have them meet once more… but there’s another plot twist…

Elizabethtown (2005), dir. Cameron Crowe

Right before Orlando Bloom’s main character hilariously fails at a “suicide attempt,” he gets a call from home that his father is dead. He goes back home to Kentucky to arrange the funeral and meets the love interest on his flight, the flight attendant played by Kirsten Dunst. She’s the quirky, go getting, interesting girl who changes his life. It’s an easy watch. Sort of in the dark and quirky comedy style of 500 Days of Summer, if that helps.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012), dir. Wes Anderson

A cute, young romance. Two preteens run away together because they are in love but are soon found by a search party. Their romance is sweet and innocent.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), dir. David Fincher

A peculiar and interesting story based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story. Benjamin is born at old age. His bones and body are that of an 80-year-old on the brink of death as a newborn; but as he gets older, his body gets younger as he ages in reverse. He also meets the love of his life at fifty-seven years old but nobody wants them being friends because he looks like an old man. From there, the story unravels itself. Although being last on the list, this one made me cry the hardest and longest (for a good thirty minutes, I believe!).

Film Review: Why Coraline is a Good Movie

by Eliza Rodrigueza

Coraline is about a young girl named Coraline Jones who moves into a house called the Pink Palace. The Pink Palace was originally a single house but was made into an apartment after strange events took place with the previous owners. 

The movie is known for a wide range of reasons. First, it is often considered a scary movie, but this is mostly because it is watched by young children. Some other reasons include the weird character known as The Other Mother, the fact that all of the characters have buttons for eyes,  and the use of a tunnel to this “perfect” world.

The Other Mother is supposed to be this monster or “other being” that leads children to believe that they have another set of parents, and she gives them all their desires and affection they want. However, the children must sew buttons to replace their actual eyes in order to stay there. In reality, the children are trapped and never return home.

Coraline is the only child who was ever able to escape. She did this by trapping The Other Mother in her own world. Through the course of the movie, Coraline learns that nothing is more important than the things she has now, including her own parents.

I also learned that lesson by watching how sad and alone Coraline felt when her parents had been trapped by The Other Mother. I’ve watched this movie many times growing up and it’s still my absolute favorite!

Coraline is a movie that teaches you an important life lesson. If you pay close attention to the characters’ actions and the storyline, it teaches you gratitude and about why you should be grateful for what you have.

While it may seem scary to some, if you watch and try to understand the concept of the storyline, things make more sense, and it becomes much more enjoyable.

Coraline is an amazing movie!

Christmas Movie List

By Angelica Moreno

Maybe you’ve seen all of them or seen one of them, or you’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t seen at least one. Nothing is wrong with a yearly re-watch of holiday movies, especially a Christmas one. So, to get into the Christmas spirit here are some feel good movies to watch in the month of December and yes, these are in “my own” ranking order.

Elf, dir. Jon Favreau (Hulu premium subscription): Will Ferrell is a 6’3″ elf who was abandoned as a child then turned working elf. He goes to New York to find his biological father and meets the beauty, Zooey Deschanel, by chance.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) dir. Chuck Jones (dailymotion.com): A classic. How could you go wrong with the Grinch? The other versions are good too (in a newer generation sense) but sometimes the original is timeless.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) dir. Frank Capra (Amazon Prime video subscription): A tearjerker (for sensitive people). Good people are good people and usually stay good people unless something leads them to corruption and their lives are on the brink of being ruined. I guess guardian angels only exist in movies to help you make the right choice.

Home Alone (1990) dir. Chris Columbus (Disney Plus): Another classic, in a sense. Young Macaulay Culkin was a certified cool kid in this movie.

The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974) dir. Arthur Rankin Jr and Jules Bass: “I’m Mr. White Christmas. I’m Mr. Snow. I’m Mr. Icicle. I’m Mr. Ten Below.”

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) dir. Bill Melendez: Come on now, “Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi Trio during the dancing sequence is the cutest thing ever.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999) dir. Alex Mann, Bradley Raymond, Jun Falkenstein, Toby Shelton, Bill Speers (Disney Plus): I have to add something Mickey Mouse or else Disney will sue me.

The Nightmare Before Christmas, dir. Henry Selick (Disney Plus): Jack Skellington and the music, duh.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) dir. George Seaton (Disney plus): Santa Claus is real, believe me.

Noelle, dir. Marc Lawrence (Disney plus): Santa Claus has kids, apparently–Bill Hader and Anna Kendrick. Heavily Christmas themed.

Honorable mentions: 

Phineas and Ferb: season 2 episode 22 and season 3 episode 17

Spongebob Squarepants: season 2 episode 8 

“OOoo, Santa’s coming tonight tonight, Santas coming tonight…”

« Older Entries