We’re all about to be stuck in the house for a few weeks, if not more, so the crew of PCU decided to make a list of our favorite films to watch when you just need a break from everything. We’ll also be dropping our television series picks in a few days! Check it out and let us know if some of these are your favorites or if you have a film you want to add!
The Batman The Animated Series Unofficial Trilogy:
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
Batman: Under The Red Hood
As I said when we started talking about this, these films are what the DCEU’s Batman films, including the Nolan Trilogy, wished they were. The level of heart, acting and plot are worlds beyond anything we’ve seen for Bruce Wayne on film since the first Batman with Michael Keaton. That’s not even counting the continuity. One of the reasons I picked these specific films and called them an Unofficial trilogy is that they all focus on two very important things: the relationship between Batman and the Joker and how that has adversely affected Bruce Wayne’s relationship with each of his children. On top of that, each film daisy chains off the other with themes and characters from each directly affecting the plot of the next film.
Then there is the epic voice work of Kevin Conroy and Bruce Greenwood as Bruce Wayne and Mark Hamill and John DiMaggio as The Joker. Each actor brings everything they can to the characters, which is one of the reasons these iterations of the characters are honestly the most iconic and beloved. However this series also touches on something that’s become even more blatant in recent years: Bruce Wayne is a terrible and abusive parent. It’s honestly disgusting that it’s become the status quo of the comics that Batman values the lives of the Joker and other rogues over his own children and no, I will never forgive him for stabbing his own son to save the Clown. Ever.
It’s here that Neil Patrick Harris as Dick Grayson; Jensen Ackles as Jason Todd; Matthew Valencia and Dean Stockwell as Tim Drake and Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis come in. The actors bring both trademark character traits – the quips, oh the quips – and pathos to the children of Bruce Wayne who, instead of being allowed to be children and heal from their traumas, are conscripted into his army.
These films show the benefits and the drawbacks to being a Child Of The Bat without whitewashing it while allowing Bruce to be a fully rounded person with flaws that are actually called out and have long term consequences not just for Bruce but everyone around him. It’s masterful storytelling that no recent version of the character in films or comics have come even remotely close to and one of the reasons this is a series I can watch over and over.
Stuck inside for a while? It’s time for some Star Wars!
For real, my “comfort food” of movies and television is everything from Lucas and Disney. We’ll watch any (or all) of the films, from Episodes I through IX (when it comes out), plus the sidequels. No matter what mood we’re in, I’m always down for some Space Opera action.
Haters be damned, nothing makes me pause what I’m doing more than re-watching a Star Wars film. It could be the Attack on the Death Star (either one), the duel with Darth Maul, or the banter between Finn and Poe. The second I see the movies on the TV, I either watch the rest or find the Blu-Ray for the full experience.
The American President – This movie is a romantic comedy-drama written by Aaron Sorkin. Widowed President Andrew Shepherd meets lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade and is instantly smitten. Their courtship plays out against the backdrop of Shepard’s reelection. With politics and love playing out with superb performances by all, this film is just a fun watch.
Let me have a brief love affair with Bette Davis. All About Eve and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Different roles for Davis, however, she is brilliant in both. In All About Eve, she plays Margo Channing, a Broadway Diva who takes on Eve Harrington, an aspiring and conniving fan to be her personal assistant. Jealousy, opportunism, snobbery about what is entertainment are just some of the themes that permeate throughout this film. Marilyn Monroe makes one of her earliest film appearances in this movie. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Blanche is a paraplegic ex-movie star who is dependent on her ex-child star sister Baby Jane. Jane resents Blanche and slowly tortures her throughout the film. This movie created a subgenre of horror films called psycho-biddy, which has several films that could also be watched during the quarantine. Hush… Hush Sweet Charlotte anyone?
This is for those who haven’t done it yet, since we have the time, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe collection of films is available for streaming. Most are on Disney+ or Netflix, and what cannot be found there is on Amazon Prime for rent. This watch order from Looper.com ignores release dates and when the events took place. Looper’s order logically builds the story plus viewing them in this order one can really make some additional connections.
My next two choices are from Great Oscar Snubs of 2019, The Farewell (Amazon Prime) is a magnificent movie. It’s a peek inside Chinese culture around death, caring for elders and grieving. Billie’s family is told that the matriarch only has a few weeks left to live so they gather for a wedding so they all can say their goodbyes. The grandmother is blissfully unaware of her prognosis. The movie is about family and grief with everyone turning in stellar performances.
My Name is Dolemite (Netflix) Eddie Murphy’s passion project about Rudy Ray Moore’s rise to fame as Dolemite and the subsequent filming of 1975 blaxploitation film of the same name. Murphy tapped into his comedic roots, displayed all his acting chops and had the time of his life in this film.
I’ll close out my movies with Hustlers and Knives Out. These two I haven’t watched but the reviews were excellent so I’ll take some time and watch these.
I feel like I fall in love with Blade Runner everytime I watch it. Directed by Ridley Scott and adapted from Phil K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep?, Blade Runner is one of the most influential films of all time. Rutger Hauer, Darryl Hannah, Sean Young, and a fresh from Indiana Jones and Star Wars Harrison Ford. The 1982 film predicts the dystopian future that fills today’s news.
On an ecologically depleted Earth Ford’s Deckard, a former policeman, is forced against his will to hunt down four androids who’ve come to Earth seeking to extend their four year life spans. What follows is one of the most visually stunning noir films of all times. There are multiple versions, but unless you’re a fan I’d recommend you watch “The Final Cut” which is Scott’s definitive version of the film. As an added bonus this is the version currently available on Netflix.
GIVE ME ALL OF THE BAD HORROR MOVIES! If you’ve been reading my writing since my tenure here at PCU began, you’ll know that I absolutely love cheesy horror movies. We’re talking about the ones that are so “bad” that they actually become comical when you watch them. I’m not kidding here, people; I’ll even sit through the Casper Van Dien flop that is Starship Troopers if there’s not another one on – or if I don’t have one in my collection.
Still, the ones that get me are really the low-budget, independently-produced schlock-fests. My favorite will now and forever be Killer Klowns From Outer Space. In this wonderfully tongue-in-cheek 80s cult classic, Mike Tobacco (Grant Cramer) and his girlfriend Debbie Stone (Suzanne Snyder) witness what they believe to be a meteorite crash on earth, only to investigate the area and find what appears to be a big-top circus tent. The madness & hilarity gets going as they discover that this “tent” is really a spaceship piloted by grotesque creatures resembling circus clowns, bent on harvesting humanity for food. Seriously, folks: this one is really worth a watch.
I’ll never turn down recommendations from friends. If someone comes to me & says, “Hey Doug! I saw this horrible horror movie the other day, and I feel like you need to check it out,” you can bet your ass that I’m going to watch it. That being said, I recently watched a little-known gem called Attack of the Killer Donuts, as well as the always fun Beasterday: Here Comes Peter Cottonhell.
These are movies that I can not only watch over and over, but ones that I will inflict upon my friends, and laugh every time.
Based on a true story Cherries aka Yingtao is set in the village of Aicun, Yunnan province, the pic begins in the early ’80s, with poor, lame farmer Ge Wang pressured by his family to marry the mentally and emotionally stunted Cherry. Ge weds the unkempt but harmless woman, who spends most of her time chasing children and offering them the fruit that is her namesake.
Once married, the shamelessly sexual and embarrassingly naive Cherry shows an insatiable desire to have her own child. Fate intervenes in the second act when Cherry finds an abandoned baby girl in the woods. Though the sprig, named Scarlet, comes complete with a handful of bank notes, Ge panics, thinking he can’t afford to raise a child, and reacts in callous fashion. Eventually we see a pre-pubescent Scarlet take center stage as she deals with the stigma of having a mentally handicapped mother whose affection is both infinite and frequently inappropriate.
This movie is well acted, beautifully shot and an incredibly heartwarming story.
A Moment To Remember
A Korean love story about a young couple’s enduring love, which is tested when 27 year old Sun-Jin is diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s. It is beautiful and I think I cried more than The Notebook. It’s funny and sweet and then grabs your heartstrings and yanks hard. It’s beautiful and was unexpected at the time as I didn’t know the premise at all. It was a wonderful surprise.
These are just a few of your choices for films you should take a gander at while stuck inside, what about you? Any films that are you go to? Let us know in the comments!