Quarantine streaming picks to help pass the time


Binge away on all these streaming streaming services.

As COVID-19 continues to keep everyone at home, this is the perfect opportunity to explore all those streaming services available and see what they have to offer. No money for new subscriptions? No problem! Streaming services such as Crackle, Tubi and Vudu offer a variety of their content for free (with ads) while these stay-at-home orders are in effect. This quarantine life might not be so bad while catching up on some of these entertainment picks.

“Revenge” – streaming on Shudder

First off, Shudder streaming service offers a variety of horror-genre movies and series for a week-free trial and then $6 monthly. Here you will find the movie “Revenge”; full disclosure, this is not for the light-hearted as the film is very graphic and there is a disturbing scene towards the beginning of the film. Once you get past that, is where the movie takes off. Without any major spoilers, Jen, played by Matilda Lutz, is the obvious standout of the movie as she seeks vengeance on her “boyfriend” Richard, played by Kevin Janssens, and his two dirty friends after they leave her for dead. French director, Coralie Fargeat, does an astonishing job capturing all the essential shots of gory-action as well as making Matilda Lutz, stand-out as a heroine for future movies. Blood, gore, action are all elements present in “Revenge” and it’s a breath of fresh-air in film-making.

“Monos” – streaming on Hulu (Spanish with English subtitles)

Here you can find the 2019 movie “Monos”, directed by Alejandro Landes.  The film’s premise surrounds a group of trained militia kids looking after their American hostage, Doctora or “Doctor”, in a remote mountain in Latin America. After an ambush drives the group into the jungle, is where tensions really start to rise and the group is left wondering what’s their next move. The film is beautifully shot and the score is just as good. The main draw here is the chemistry the kids have with one another and the bigger issue of the realities of child soldiers in parts of the world. “Monos” has a “Lord of the Flies” feel to it towards the second half of the movie and it’s emphasized by a specific shot you will recognize in the movie. The slowly built tension among the group of kids and how that conflict is resolved is worth the watch for this film.

“The Farewell” – streaming on Prime Video (Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles)

Directed by Lulu Wang, “The Farewell” is a great choice for the lovers of the non-fiction genre. The movie is based on true events and features actress and comedian, Awkwafina as Billi. In the film, Billi’s Chinese family finds out her grandmother only has a limited time to live. As they decided to conjure up a lie to go visit her and spend time with her in China. There is a powerful moment between Billi and her dad  that leaves the viewer speechless. As we see Billi spending time with her grandmother and the struggles facing them, we can’t help to think about what Billi’s father said. Awkwafina’s performance is a must-see here and the story of how the family deals with this situation is worthy of a viewing.

“Train to Busan” – streaming on Netflix, Prime Video, also on Vudu and Tubi (Korean with English subtitles)

Fit for today’s times, “Train to Busan”, is a Korean movie directed by Yeon Sang-ho, which delivers in every way possible. As a zombie outbreak occurs throughout the country, a dad and his daughter decide to take a train ride to the city of Busan, where it is supposed to be one of the safest cities. Sure the zombie-horror genre is nothing new with movies like, “World War Z,” “Zombieland,” and franchises like, “28 Days,” “Night of the Living Dead,” and “Resident Evil.” But, “Train to Busan” offers more of an emotional attachment to a couple of characters as well as an allegorical message of previous events that happened in Korea. On top of that, the music score, the fun gory action, and the clever shots in the movie are other reasons why this movie stands out as a gem in the genre.

“Can’t Hardly Wait” – streaming on Netflix

Back in 1998, Co-directors, Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, introduced teenage comedy “Can’t Hardly Wait”. The film stars Ethan Embry as Preston, Seth Green as Kenny, and Jennifer Love-Hewitt as Amanda. In this film, recent high-school graduates come together for one more night at a party to contemplate their future. The movie includes high-school stereotypical roles such as the beauty, the jock, the nerds, etc., but the whole cast comes together perfectly and there is this charming element we see with Preston’s  persistence. This film also includes a well put together soundtrack and makes the audience reminisce about their own teenage experiences. The story does get out of hand throughout the movie but it still poses credibility when it deals with issues like love, destiny, fate, crushes, and fitting-in. A movie that wasn’t critically received, “Can’t Hardly Wait”, years later has become a cult-classic and is another film worth watching.

Honorable mentions: “Onward” on Disney + , “Assassination Nation,” “50/50,” on Hulu, “The Report,” “Searching,” on Amazon Prime Video, “Friday the 13th” movies marathon, and “Crystal Lake Memories: The complete History of Friday the 13th” on Shudder.