Tag Archives: movies

Spider-Man No Way Home: Movie Review

By: Karissa Meno

Spider-Man No Way Home was the most spectacular Marvel movie that “phase four” has produced. We expected so much of the film and it very well delivered that expectation. 

WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS!
With many speculations and accusations going around about the movie, it was hard to tell exactly what would happen even though the cast and crew tried their hardest to keep Spider-Man No Way Home the most secretive movie to appear in Marvel. This web-slinging adventure hit theaters December 17, 2021 and was the greatest end to this year of Marvel movies. Directed by Jon Watts, produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal, and with music by Micheal Giacchino, this $200-million-budget movie along with it’s amazing graphics and visuals comes with an amazing cast.

Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Zendaya (MJ or Michelle Jones), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Jacob Batalon (Ned Leeds), Alfred Molina (Dr. Otto Octavius), Willem Dafoe (Norman Osborn), Jon Favreau (Happy), Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange), Jamie Foxx (Electro), and with the incredible Tobey Maguire (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), and Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil).

This incredible cast made an unforgettable and even incredible movie. 

Spider-Man No Way Home picks up where Spider-man Far From Home left off with Peter and MJ swinging through the city together and is stopped by a news report with incriminating evidence of Spider-Man and the reveal of Spider-Man’s identity with a video left by Mysterio. After this, Peter Parker’s life is turned upside down when he is made “public enemy #1” all around the world. With the support of MJ, Aunt May, Ned, and Happy they help to try and clear Peter’s name. All Peter needed was “a really good lawyer.”

Along with fighting the public opinion, Peter, MJ, and Ned send in college applications hoping to get into their dream school, MIT. After a devastating rejection from MIT, Peter hopes to change things to help MJ and Ned get into MIT. He asks for help from Dr. Strange to cast a spell that can make the world forget Peter Parker is Spider-Man. With an intense spell contained from getting out into the world, Peter hopes to talk to the MIT Chancellor on her way to the airport. The freeway is crowded as Peter starts to sense a strange presence. The appearance of Spider-Man’s villains begin to appear due to the fact the villains know who Spider-Man is. 

Instead of sending the villains home, which was Dr. Strange’s intention, Peter wants to help them become better people in an attempt to change their fate. Peter begins to help each of the villains to either help contain or control their powers in good ways. With Peter’s spider senses it unleashes multiple conflicts with all villians causing Peter to have a period of contemplation with himself. Wanting to put an end to the multiverse conflicts, MJ and Ned are met with two very important people to help Peter on his adventure. With the help of Peter’s metaphorical “brothers” he plans to do what he intended and help the villains. With the final battle in place everyone is back in a good place, but Peter is faced with another huge conflict when he decides to make everyone forget who Peter Parker is, including sending all of the” intruders” home. Peter starts a new chapter and begins to live life on his own with his name cleared and his identity secret again. 

Spider-Man No Way Home was possibly one of the most illuminating and has many people wondering what this “multiverse” will do for the MCU. Even though I felt the movie was moving fast they were still able to fit in all the important and creative scenes. The fight scenes were incredibly set up; even though some parts felt awkward, the fight scenes kept me interested. Peter shows a clear reflection of being a kid and being ready to take on the responsibility it takes to be a hero. The story felt off at certain points and felt almost random but it made sense to the movie’s importance. The movie had me mostly excited and amazed as I was watching. The movie gave me so many emotions at once: excited, amazed, and as they say, “on the edge of my seat.” 

Audiences are very excited to see what the adventures for Spider-Man are after this. Of course if you stayed for the end-credit scene you would have seen the special sneak peek at Dr. Strange Multiverse of Madness.
Dr. Strange Multiverse of Madness shows a glimpse of what releasing the multiverse has done for Dr. Strange. We also see a very special appearance from Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch/ Wanda Maxinoff) and Xochitl Gomez (America Chavez) who are very important characters to be seen alongside Dr. Strange. Even though the trailer shows a lot, it’s hard to tell exactly what this movie will have in store for us. Dr. Strange could be on an adventure to fix what the multiverse’s effects have on the world around them. After seeing Spider-Man No Way Home and seeing the trailer for Dr. Strange Multiverse of Madness, everyone is very excited to see exactly what the multiverse is going to do for future Marvel movies.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One): First Look at New Trailer

By: Yael Ventura

After the box office hit: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, released to theaters on December 1st, 2018 and grossing over $375.5 million world wide, the movie introduced non-comic book readers to the Spider-Man multiverse. The movie brought along characters like: Penny Parker, Spider-Women, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, Miguel O’ Hara and the protagonist, Miles Morales. The movie left viewers amazed with its animation, soundtrack, and references, cementing Miles Morales as a household name among new and old fans alike.

It is now three years later, and both Marvel and Sony released a teaser for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) on December 4th, 2021 giving the fans a first look into the new movie.

The trailer starts off with Miles laying in bed as a portal opens with Spider-Woman (Gwen Stacy) coming out and having a conversation with Miles. They decide to go out, cutting to Miles as he zooms through the web of multiverses and lands into a new universe and a new visual style for the movie. As he’s catching his breath, a portal behind him opens up as Spider Man 2099 (Miguel O’ Hara) comes lunging at Miles, catching him. As both Spider-Men are falling, Miguel opens another portal, bringing the two into a new universe along with a new visual style change. Miguel catches up with Miles as the teaser cuts off introducing the name of the film: Spider Man: Across the Spider-Verse as the title glitches to show that this film is only part one. Yet another glitch and the release date is shown, October 7th, 2022.

It appears that a long wait is ahead for fans as they excitedly wait for the release of the new film.

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission–Movie Review

By Yael Ventura

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When a sinister organization threatens to wipe out all superhuman powers, the fate of the world is on the line. With two hours until the collapse of civilization, Deku, Bakugo, and Todoroki manage to work as a team, but there’s still one problem. Deku’s on the run for murder.

Crew:

Original Creator: Kohei Horikoshi. 

Director: Kenji Nagasaki 

Screenplay: Yosuke Kuroda. 

Music: Yuki Hayashi. 

Character Designer: Yoshihiko Umakoshi. 

Animation Production: BONES. 

Cast: 

Izuku Midoriya – Japanese: Daiki Yamashita, English: Justin Briner

Katsuki Bakugou – Japanese: Nobuhiko Okamoto, English: Clifford Chapin

Shoto Todoroki: Japanese: Yuki Kaji, English: David Matranga

Rody Soul – Japanese: Ryo Yoshizawa, English: Ryan Colt Levy 

Pino – Japanese: Megumi Hayashibara, English: Cristina Vee Valenzuela

Flect Turn – Japanese: Kazuya Naki, English: Robbie Daymond

In a world where 80% of the population has a super power known as quirks, Izuku Midoriya is born without a quirk. His life goal to become the world’s greatest hero just like his idol and the symbol of peace, All Might, is cut short by the revelation. When Izuku comes across his idol on his way home, his life changes forever. Now with his new quirk of One for All, he attends U.A. High School with his classmates as they train to become pro heroes.

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission brings out what fans love about the original anime series. A compelling story, unique original characters, high octane fights and stellar animation. The movie introduces new heroes with unique quirks and of course villains with powerful quirks. 

The first act starts off with an introduction to this movie’s villain, Flect Turn, and his cult, Humarise. Their goal is to erase the world’s quirk and leave only the quirkless humans. The cults release a smoke that causes civilians to act on their own, killing many. The movie then cuts to the film’s three protagonists as they engage on a stealth mission. The three heroes are shown rocking their new sleek stealth suits.

The second act then slows down as the heroes are positioned in different areas around the world. Newcomer Rody Soul is introduced and how he and his little siblings live in poverty. He does jobs for the bar owner and during one job, he runs into Izuku and his trio. Izuku, hero name Deku, follows Rody and is held at gunpoint with Rody. They escape and Izuku is wanted by the world as a mass murderer. This act slows down and has a road-trip-film like feel as the “wanted” duo make it to a safe point.

The final act and climax is where the movie really starts kicking into high gear. Bombs with quirk erasing smoke begin to count down all over the world. The three heroes: Deku, Bakugo and Todorki have located the headquarters of Humarise and come up with a plan. After being given a chip that can stop all the bombs around the world, they decide to break into the headquarters to stop the end of the world, within only two hours. Piloted by Rody, the three heroes make it off the plane and begin to break in. The movie then splits into three major fights. The first fight consists of Bakugo vs new villains Serpenters. Second fight consists of Todoroki vs new-commer Leviathan. The final and most important fight features Izuku vs the headmaster, Flect Turn. The final fight goes all out with the animation and emotional aspect of the film.

Everything fans love is here and on the big screen. The music really fits the vibe of the scenes, especially during very stressful situations during the final act. The animation is also stellar throughout the whole movie, especially during a fight scene where there are no cuts and all in one perspective. Emotionally, the movie does that really great as well. The viewers can feel the stress and thrill from fights. The film is an amazing addition to the anime series, a must watch for the fans.

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.

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.

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.

« Older Entries