June 2020 Issue
Reel Corner by Donne Paine
With movie theaters closed and blockbusters-in-waiting being postponed all the way to next year, it's a lot for a film fan to take in. Thankfully, there are many, many films, ranging from the fantastic to the fantastically bad, that offer some escape and comfort in a storm of distressing news.
In other words, the Reel Corner’s got you.
Here are a few movies to watch (or perhaps, revisit) that you may have overlooked while we have been sheltering in place. They are perfect for every mood you might be feeling.
Be Strong…Stay well …and wear your mask!
When you need something out of this world
1) Aliens: (1986) Our queen Sigourney Weaver vs. a cosmic queen is a sci-fi all-timer.
2) E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial: (1982) Honestly, hanging out with E.T. sounds cool until the little guy eats all your Reese’s Pieces.
3) Galaxy Quest: (1999) Like “Star Trek” if it was funny.
4) Star Wars: (1977): Because who doesn’t want to learn the ways of the Force with Han, Luke and Leia?
When you need a change in scenery
5) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: (2001) Kids going off to a magical school and dealing with seriously dark stuff is somehow not child endangerment.
6) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: (2001) A three-movie, 11-hour trudge through Middle-earth to drop a ring into a volcano needs to start somewhere.
7) Mad Max: Fury Road: (2015) Ride eternal, shiny and chrome into a splendiferous post-apocalyptic wasteland with Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy.
8) The Matrix: (1999) You’ll want to choose the red pill because Keanu Reeves’ cyberpunk kung fu is top notch.
9) The Princess Bride: (1987) Head to Florin, save Princess Buttercup and, most importantly, have fun storming the castle!
When you need family bonding time
10) Back to the Future: (1985) Teenage kid travels back to the 1950s to make sure his parents fall in love.
11) Father of the Bride: (1991) Steve Martin’s overprotective patriarch is a must-see for the dads with daughters out there.
12) The Godfather: (1972) Don’t forget about the Corleone family, whose business involves betrayal, crime and murder.
13) Little Miss Sunshine: (2006) The Hoover family is crazy dysfunctional, but man, can they bust up a pretentious kid beauty pageant.
14) “Meet the Parents”: (2000) No one’s in-law circle of trust can compare to Robert De Niro whipping out a lie detector.
When you need a good scare
15) A Nightmare on Elm Street: (1984) Slasher villain math: Freddy Krueger > Michael Myers > Jason Voorhees.
16) Psycho: (1960) Still an effective deterrent to showering, six decades later.
17) The Shining: (1980) OK, maaaaaaybe not the greatest film to watch in a time of self-isolation.
When you need a belly laugh
18) The Blues Brothers: (1980) While the guys in the suits and shades get the title love, praise the gods of country and western for a scene-stealing Carrie Fisher, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles.
19) Groundhog Day: (1993) Bill Murray refuses to let a bucktoothed critter upstage him. Respect.
20) The Hangover: (2009) Mike Tyson singing Phil Collins isn’t even in the top five nuttiest moments in this bachelor-party-gone-wrong classic.
21) Foul Play: (1978) Comedy Thriller with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase at their best.
When you need a super-duper hero
22) Black Panther: (2018) Wakanda—and Chadwick Boseman’s phenomenal royal warrior—forever!
23) Captain America: The Winter Soldier: (2014) A well-crafted, outstanding political thriller.
24) The Dark Knight: (2008) Heath Ledger’s Joker for the absolute win. (Christian Bale’s Batman is all right, too.)
25) Rocky IV: (1985) Sure, Sylvester Stallone’s first “Rocky” was “the good one.” He pretty much has to take on the whole Soviet Union in this one, though!
26) Wonder Woman: (2017) Gal Gadot is a ridiculously powerful Amazon princess.
When you need a history lesson
27) All the President’s Men: (1976) Whether you see shades of the past now or not, crusading journalists taking on a corrupt administration is simply riveting.
28) Lincoln: (2012) Man of many hats Daniel Day Lewis rocks the stovepipe headwear of the 16th president especially well.
29) RBG: (2018) This documentary shows the notorious Supreme Court justice is made of the sternest stuff.
When you need a great movie
30) Casablanca: (1942) Hey, kids! If you ever wondered why Humphrey Bogart was a thing, watch this.
31) Chinatown: (1974) L.A. film noir at its finest.
32) Jaws: (1975) “We need a bigger boat” says it all
33) North by Northwest: (1959) Getting embroiled in a case of mistaken identity and getting chased by a crop-dusting plane equals a very bad day for Cary Grant.
34) Raiders of the Lost Ark: (1981) The perfect action film with an imperfectly flawed, square-jawed protagonist.
When you need your heart warmed
35) Field of Dreams: (1989) The magnificent baseball film embraces the power of faith, belief and having one last catch with your dad.
36) “Notting Hill: (1999) You, too, will believe a regular schmo could date Julia Roberts.
37) You’ve Got Mail: (1998) The swoon-worthy Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan jam that feels ancient with the AOL email chime, yet is oh-so-timeless.
Missing theater popcorn? Special shout out to the Mann’s (Lucie and Larry) for offering curb side popcorn pick up at Park Plaza Theater every Friday and Saturday evening.
References: www.usatoday.com, www.imbd.com