Summer Escapes

Stream through Quarantine

We’re all in this together. We’re in a situation no one could have predicted and perhaps one of the most trying times in modern history with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With many of our favorite places being closed (and on the bubble about when and how to re-open) it is important to realize how blessed we are and be aware of everything we take for granted. Many people across the world are dealing with a similar situation, having to work or study from home. In a time where we have streaming services available, we have the chance to watch movies or shows we probably wouldn’t have had a chance to see if not for having to quarantine. This is obviously not as important as the bigger issues in the world at the moment, but if there is a chance to make something out of nothing, it is worth a try. Here are some of the films that I consider quarantine worthy.

Netflix has perhaps the biggest library of quality content available in streaming. Among a variety of great movies is “Hush.” The film’s plot is simple. It tells the story of a woman who has lost the ability to hear and talk. She is living by herself in a house in the woods and falls victim to a man trying to kill her. The film, directed by Mike Flanagan, has little dialogue but is executed in a terrific way as huge tension and suspense is added. The story has the viewer rooting for the woman, hoping she makes it out alive in spite of her physical struggles. It is an underrated film that is worth watching.

Another Netflix film that deserves a look is “Mud.” The film stars Matthew McConaughey as the main character in one of his best performances. The story follows two boys in Arkansas who find a boat intending to take it with them but instead find a man living there. The man who calls himself “Mud” tells the boys that he will give them the boat if they help him with some errands. Shortly after, a turn of events happens and the man might not be as innocent as they thought. The film offers great performances from the cast and is one of the better coming-of-age film this century.

Hulu also carries great content on their service such as the film “Parasite.” Arguably the best film of 2019, the South Korean film follows a family who is struggling and slowly finds a scheme to work for a rich family pretending to be people they are not. Directed by Bong Joon-Ho, the story has various themes of social inequality and capitalism. The director uses comedy as well as suspense and horror as the movie gets going, and has the viewer wondering what will happen next. It is truly a masterpiece that will be remembered for a long time.

Hulu also brings to the table a terrific comedy in “Booksmart.” The 2019 coming-of-age film, directed by first timer Olivia Wilde, tells the story of two best friends who try to have one great end to their senior year before going to college. Knowing they have spent their high-school career focused on studying, they realized they have not had much fun and want to make up for it before graduating. The comedy brings laughter and something original to the genre. Supported by a great cast, the film will soon turn into a comedy classic.

Last but not least, if you have Amazon Prime there is also good content to watch, such as the South Korean film “Train to Busan.” Although technically a “zombie” film, it brings much more than that with a touching story of a workaholic man who intents to take his daughter to see her mom for her birthday. They ride a train to Busan only to realize that a sick passenger got on as well and the train begins to be infected by zombies. For a genre that seems to be used a lot and oversatirized, the film has you rooting for the characters while giving social commentary on the real world and bringing something that the zombie films lack in an emotional story.

While the internet is a crucial tool for work and school while we’re inside, don’t neglect the enjoyment it can bring as we stream together.

By Chris Pena – Writer

 

Agatha Christie takes mystery on flight with ‘Death in the Clouds’

“Death in the Clouds” is a murder mystery novel written by Agatha Christie, a British author who to this day is regarded by many as “The Queen of Mystery.” It was first published in the U.S. on March 10, 1935 (titled “Death in the Air”) and is one of many in her “Hercule Poirot Mysteries” series.  It follows the work of world renowned private investigator Hercule Poirot on a mid-flight murder and is considered one of Christie’s classic “locked-room” mysteries.

The rather bizarre death of a passenger aboard a crowded plane from Paris to Croydon leaves official investigators stumped. The victim, Madame Giselle, has been found dead approaching the end of the flight. It becomes apparent that she has been murdered, but exactly when and how cannot be explained. Although it is believed that the method of murder should have been seen by at least one or two other passengers, there is not enough evidence to definitively decide who is the culprit. Not even the legendary Hercule Poirot can seem to figure it out so quickly, and he himself was one of the passengers!

Now to be very clear, “Death in the Clouds” is my first mystery/crime novel, and I haven’t been one for sitting down and reading a book for a rather long time. However, I believe the author’s reputation speaks for itself. Agatha Christie is one of the most widely published authors of all time. Working as a writer from 1920, up until her death in 1976, she wrote 66 novels and 14 short story collections. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English and over a billion in another hundred foreign languages around the world.

It only took me a couple of days to finish reading it. My favorite aspect of the novel was that, had I paid more attention, I believe I could have solved the murder before the main character did. The way the story is presented allows the reader to investigate alongside Poirot. The beginning of the book includes a layout of the plane where the murder took place and who sat where during the flight. This, as well as paying attention to each deftly-described character, allowed me to draw my own conclusions  – which in turn made reading this book much more involved than others I have previously read. In fact I could actually see myself picking up another of Christie’s novels in the future.

Depsite the fact it is an 85-year-old story, I absolutely recommend “Death in the Clouds” to anyone who wants to get away — and solve a mystery on the side.

By Justin Gill – Staff Writer

 

Medical nightmare turns life into a musical

The show “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”, which features Jane Levy from ABC’s “Suburgatory” and Skylar Astin from “Pitch Perfect”, lures viewers in by giving the main character the power of mind reading. The series opens up with Zoey getting an MRI done for a migraine that she is experiencing. While the test is being run, an earthquake occurs and Zoey receives the gift of mind reading through song.

Now, whenever a person is feeling something that they’re struggling with, they will begin singing a song relating to what they are dealing with and Zoey has to help them get through it. This includes everyone that she works with at SPRQPOINT, a successful technology company with similar products to Apple.

So far, they have covered charted hit songs like ‘Sucker’ by The Jonas Brothers, ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz, ‘Happier’ by Marshmello, and many others.

The show is also relatable. They hit topics like love interests, family problems, work struggles, and unexpected friendships.

Overall, I would give this show 8.5/10 movie reels because the show leaves cliff hangers, in my opinion, at the worst times. When an undirectable event is about to take place, the directors  decide to cut the scene and pick it up in the next episode. Besides the dreadful cliff hangers, this musical keeps you on the edge of your seat through each episode in an entertaining way, which almost makes the cliff hangers worth it.

Unfortunately, there is currently no talk of a season two with the reason being COVID-19, but season one is definitely a must see! The show has officially released it’s season finale, so now would be the best time to start watching! “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” can be found on NBC and the streaming app Hulu.

 

by Tricia Still – Staff Writer

 

Looking for an edge-of-your-seat thriller? This one’s for ‘Us’

Scary movies; you either love them or hate them. I, for one, am not the world’s biggest fan of being scared out of my socks, so it’s no big surprise that I’m not elbows deep in popcorn, always ready to watch the newest horror films. With that being said, I still enjoy a frightful flick every once in a while. Recently I bought the movie, “Us”, and it was phenomenal. At the start of the movie I had my pillows ready to shield my eyes at even the slightest hint of terror but by the time the halfway mark rolled around, I wasgritting my teeth at the edge of my seat.

The movie started out in a scene with a small family at a carnival. Innocent enough. The family are having a good ol’ time and everything seems to be going accordingly, until the little girl wanders off to the edge of Santa Monica Beach and stumbles across an old rickety house of mirrors. She panics and gets lost in the fun house. I loved the way they filmed that scene because it was as if you were the little girl. You never knew which path was mirrors and which paths were real.

The scene quickly cuts short. The girl is back with her parents, while they argue over whose fault it was that she had gone missing in the first place. The girl was unable to speak, giving the person watching the idea that she had gone through some type of traumatic experience in the funhouse.

The scene cuts again, but this time to the girl all grown up with a family of her own. A husband and two children driving to a vacation home in California. The girl’s childhood home. They joke and have a good time, nothing seems wrong until they go to have a fun day out on Santa Monica Beach with some friends. The girl is on edge the entire time, remembering what she had gone through as a child.

When they get back home the woman tells her husband how anxious she has been. It is then that she opens up and confesses what she saw the night she was stuck in the funhouse.

The girl explains that that night she had seen a girl that looked just like her. A twin that she had never had. The memory of this always haunted her. The look in their eyes made me scared even though it was just a movie. The husband jokes and brushes it all off until their son rushes in and tells them that there is an ominous family in their driveway.

From then on, you won’t be able to peel yourself away from the TV. The movie goes to show that everyone has a “twin” made by the government as a project to try and control us. The people created, were tethered to the real ones. These people were there to take the lives of the people they had always wanted to truly be.

The way the movie was written made it seem realistic. It was as if it all could be a real possibility. The movie wasn’t horrific; rather a never-ending thrill ride. The amount of times the story had me at “blow-aways” were uncountable. It had you realizing the plot twist until the very last second of the movie. I suggest you watch this bad boy as soon as possible.

By Dominique Burnett – Staff Writer