Tag Archives: films

20 travel movies to get you through quarantine

Got cabin fever? Take a fictional trip and live vicariously through these movies. While most of us are staying at home when possible, it doesn’t have to feel that way. Here’s a list of movies to watch when you need that extra dose of travel and adventure without actually leaving the house.

Crazy Rich Asians 

Where you can watch it: Amazon Prime, Google Play, and Youtube

What its about: Join Rachel Chu and her fiance as they travel from New York to Singapore to visit his family. With a star-studded cast, immaculate costumes and setting, over the top drama, and the adventure of a lifetime, you can say less!

What a Girl Wants

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime, and Google Play

What its about: An early 2000s rom com with Amanda Bynes on a journey to find her estranged British father, gain a sense of identity, and find love and adventure along the way. 

Black Panther

Where you can watch it; Disney+, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s aout: Okay, we all know Wakanda isn’t even a real place, but don’t we wish it was? Join T’Challa and his journey to becoming leader of Wakanda and exploring his purpose as the Black Panther

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Where you can watch it: Netflix and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: This is a Hindi film so yes, you’ll be reading subtitles, but it’s worth it! Its about three best friends who go on a bachelor party trip to Spain. This movie is full of love, laughter, personal growth, and some fire music you’ll definitely want to dance to.

Sisterhood of the Travelling pants

Where you can watch it: Amazon Prime, Google Play, and Youtube

What its about: Okay, I used to think this movie was corny too, but rewatching it as an adult, it’s such a touching film with an authentic portrayal of girlhood and coming of age. Not to mention, Lena’s trip to Greece is such a dream vacation. 

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

Where you can watch it: Disney+, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: An absolute c l a s s i c. You may not be able to study abroad this semester, but at least you can live vicariously through Lizzie McGuire as she lives a double life during her summer trip to Italy.

Parasite

Where you can watch it: Hulu, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: This movie isn’t as light hearted as the other movies on this list, but is still an excellent film that chronicles wealth disparity in South Korea and very much deserved the Oscar for “Best International Film”.

Spiderman Far From Home

Where you can watch it: Disney+, Amazon Prime, Starz, and Hulu

What it’s about: Zendaya. That’s all the reason you need to watch this movie. But if that’s not enough you also have your friendly neighborhood spiderman and the gang going on adventures in europe!

Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement

Where you can watch it: Disney+, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: A young Anne Hathaway andChris Pine go from enemies to lovers as they  challenge antiquated royalty laws in the beloved state of Genovia… need I say more?

Desperados

Where you can watch it: Netflix

What it’s about: A woman in her 30s, on the brink of her life falling apart, goes on a trip to Mexico with her friends to delete a drunk email she sent to her boyfriend. If you’re a fan of New Girl, you’ll love seeing Nasim Pedrad and Lamorne Morris in this movie. Not to mention, the drone shots of the beaches in Mexico were breathtaking.

Tigertail

Where you can watch it: Netflix

What it’s about: Tigertail highlights the generational divide between a Taiwanese immigrant father and his first generation American daughter. In this movie, you’re taken back and forth between the father’s youth in Taiwan, his immigrant journey to America, and his current life after his children have grown and started their own families. 

Monte Carlo

Where you can watch it: Hulu, HBO, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: Another underrated feature, Monte Carlo has a similar storyline to the Lizzie Mcguire movie but is a bit more realistic. In this feel-good movie, three girls go on a trip to Paris and find love, adventure, closure, and purpose.

Lion

Where you can watch it: Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: Based on the autobiography of Saroo Brierly, a man who was lost from his family in India as a child, was adopted by an Australian couple, and sets out to find his family years later as an adult. The story is gripping, emotional, and really comes alive with the amazing Dev Patel’s portrayal of Saroo.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: An 1980s classic with Harrison Ford, go on an archaeological adventure with Indiana Jones!

Cheetah Girls 2

Where you can watch it: Disney+, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: The Cheetah Girls, an American ICON of the early 2000s and a sequel that didn’t disappoint! Their trip to Barcelona was full of BOPS, adventures, and friendship.

Love Rosie

Where you can watch it: Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: Lily Collins and Sam Claflin excel in a film set in the UK and Boston which tells the story of Alex and Rosie, lifelong friends, who spend their lives searching for their true love: each other.

The Hangover

Where you can watch it: Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: Another 2000s classic. Combining Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, with Zach Galifianakis, and introducing Ken Jeong onto the comedy scene produced an iconic comedy about a bachelor trip gone wild.

The Karate Kid

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime

What it’s about: The original and the remake are both amazing and either are worth the watch. But if you’re a fan of Jackie chan, Jaden Smith, the song “Never Say Never” by Justin Bieber, and you’d rather take the journey from Detroit to Beijing (instead of New Jersey to California in the original), then the 2010 remake is the one for you.

Queen of Katwe

Where you can watch it: Disney+, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime 

What it’s about: This biopic showcases Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan chess player, and her amazing journey becoming an international chess champion. We love to see it! (Of course, we also love to see Lupita Nyong’o) 

Nacho libre

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Play, and Youtube

What it’s about: Another underrated childhood movie with Jack Black playing an aspiring luchador while working as a cook at a church in Mexico. And I promise you, there’s tons of jokes that probably went over your head as a kid.

Hidden Gems on Netflix

Netflix has been a friend to us all while we’ve been stuck inside (because hopefully you HAVE been staying inside and wearing a cloth mask when going out in public, as the CDC demands). Unfortunately, just like most friends from high school, they get old real quick.

Luckily for us, there are some shows and movies on Netflix that do not get nearly as much love as they deserve. Here are some underrated, hidden gems to uncover on Netflix while we’re working/living from home.

(*Note: I know there is already a “Hidden Gems” category on Netflix but I’ve tried to find content that’s not included in that category. Yanno, originality and such.)

Dragula (TV Show)

Source: GIPHY

Directed by: Nathan Noyes & Adrian Varatti

Starring: The Boulet Brothers, Peaches Christ, Alaska Thunderfuck, and so many more!

Plot: Ghouls unite! In the Boulet Brothers’ horror-infused drag competition show, performers face-off in challenges and runways to become America’s next drag “supermonster.”

Why I Like It: RuPaul Charles is controversial and oftentimes problematic. In my opinion, which I seem to share with many others, he has a very limited view on what “true drag” is; and, to him, it doesn’t involve anyone who isn’t a cis-gendered male. This is especially troublesome considering the fact that the ballroom scene of the 70s/80s, made famous by the film “Paris is Burning,” heavily influences RuPaul’s show and it was widely popularized by the talent of many trans women. It’s just…very upsetting, to say the least.


“Dragula” is different. The Boulet Brothers (famous drag duo and hosts of the show) constantly reinforce the idea that all drag is valid, not only on their show but on all their platforms of social media. In fact, they call their contestants “ghouls” rather than “queens” because of the non-binary performers on their show. Through the show, you can see they’re creating a really strong, loving community. In addition to their open-mindedness, “Dragula” is crazy. Rather than having “lipsyncs for their life,” the ghouls have to endure “extermination challenges” if they’re in the bottom, which are grueling physical challenges like a paintball fight/duel or stapling one-dollar bills to their skin! The show is wild, innovative and I’ve been in love with it ever since the episodes got their humble beginnings on YouTube. I was ecstatic to learn they’d moved to Netflix and I hope you are, too.

Unbelievable (TV Miniseries)

Source: Substack

Directed by: Lisa Cholodenko (Ep. 1-3), Michael Dinner (Ep. 4-6) & Susannah Grant (Ep. 7 & 8)

Starring: Toni Collette, Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever

Plot: After a young woman endures a brutal rape, local authorities and those around her become more and more skeptical of her story. Three years later, two female detectives in a different state uncover the pattern of a serial rapist, making his way across the country and using the same MO the young woman described years earlier. Based on the 2015 news article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong.

Why I Like It: This story is so shocking, I was hooked from the first episode. Obviously, I believed the young woman from the get-go, which made the show ten times more frustrating to watch but ten times more satisfying when the detectives start piecing together the truth. All the performances are incredible, especially those of Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever and (one of my favorite actresses EVER) Toni Collette. However, arguably the best part lies in how the showrunners handled the nudity of the show. That sounds strange but female nudity in the media greatly outnumbers male nudity. But “Unbelievable” doesn’t exploit a single naked woman throughout the show. The only nudity that’s shown is when the rapist is finally brought to justice and he’s stripped naked in his jail cell. The camera stays on him, humiliating him and quite literally exposing him. It’s a small taste of justice after spending seven episodes vehemently hating him.

Someone Great (Film)

Source: GIPHY

Directed by: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Starring: Brittany Snow, DeWanda Wise, Lakeith Stanfield

Plot: A music journalist suffers a harsh break up with her long-time boyfriend and calls upon her best girlfriends for one final, incredible night in New York City before she moves to San Francisco.

Why I Like It: Okay yes, unfortunately, Gina Rodriguez is in this. She is awful. BUT, one of my best friends recommended this movie to me and I think she did because it’s such a feel-good buddy movie. The three women featured (DeWanda Wise, Brittany Snow…*sigh* Gina Rodriguez) have such a beautiful bond and they seem like genuine friends. The film is funny, light-hearted and will give you just the right tingly feelings if you’re missing your friends while being stuck in isolation.

Sleepover (Film)

Source: GIPHY

Directed by: Joe Nussbaum

Starring: Alexa PenaVega, Sara Paxton, Evan Peters

Plot: A sleepover with friends turns into a wild scavenger hunt after Julie and her friends make a bet with the most popular girl in school to see who will win a coveted lunch spot when they start high school in the fall.

Why I Like It: Arguably, this would not “qualify” as “cinema.” Yes, it’s a biased pick because it’s a movie I adored when I was a kid and I think it’s underappreciated. But! It’s one of the few great teen flicks from the early 2000s that feels straight out of the blissful 1990s teen flick golden age. (“10 Things I Hate About You,” “She’s All That,” “Clueless,” etc.) It’s so much fun to see beloved actors like Steve Carrell, Jane Lynch and Evan Peters star in this tiny production. Especially Evan Peters; his character is a far cry from his usual moody/creepy/murderous personas on “American Horror Story.”

Pan’s Labryinth (Film)

Source: GIPHY

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Maribel Verdú

Plot: In 1944 civil war-era Spain, a young girl is drawn to a magical labyrinth and must complete three tasks in order to prove she is the reincarnation of an ancient princess, escaping her sadistic step-father, pregnant mother and the raging battles surrounding her.

Why I Like It: I could gush about this film for hours. Guillermo del Toro is one of my absolute favorite directors and this masterpiece was made before he became a household name in the U.S. It’s my favorite of his for many, many reasons. For one, the characters are incredible. The protagonist, Ofelia, is fiercely brave and damnably imaginative. Her only friend in her new household, Mercedes, is a stone-cold badass and unbelievably smart. I freakin’ love women. Then there are the special effects. The creatures! The “Pan” that is referred to in the title is this gigantic, ancient faun that is played by the lovely Doug Jones (You think you don’t know him but he’s played hundreds of monsters, especially for del Toro; look him up!) and is brought to life through incredible practical effects. The most terrifying scene in the whole film, the one that made the king of horror Stephen King squirm in his seat, brought the Pale Man into the horror hall of fame. There are no words to describe the Pale Man; you’ll have to see him for yourself. Overall, it’s a beautiful story of childhood innocence, unadulterated imagination and small acts of resistance that spark a rebellion.

Hook (Film)

Source: tumblr

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Dante Basco

Plot: When his children are kidnapped in the middle of the night, workaholic Peter Banning is shocked to learn he is the legendary Peter Pan and he must save his children from his notorious nemesis, Captain James Hook.

Why I Like It: This is yet another film from my childhood. Unfortunately, it brings a sour taste to my mouth when I remember Dustin Hoffman plays a lead role. The movie itself is really wonderful, though. It’s one of those films I watched recently to see if it held up to my childhood standard and it turns out it did. It’s surprisingly witty, profoundly whimsical and has Robin Williams in what I think is one of his best roles. Goddamn, I really miss Robin Williams. It’s really fun and takes a smart spin on one of the most beloved stories that have ever been told.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (TV Show)

Source: GIPHY

Created by: Rachel Bloom & Aline Brosh McKenna

Starring: Rachel Bloom, Donna Lynne Champlin, Santino Fontana

Plot: Unhappy with her life as a big-shot lawyer in New York City, Rebecca Bunch abandons her life to move to West Covina, California, after running into her childhood love.

Why I Like It: If you love musicals, you will love this show. Rachel Bloom (executive producer and star) is a severely underrated musician and comedian. I’m not going to lie, season one is kind of slow but after that, it’s fantastic. The show is hilarious, witty and some of the songs are actually really catchy. Not to mention every song is a stroke of pure genius; sample songs include: “Let’s Generalize About Men,” “You Stupid Bitch,” “Oh My God, I Think I Like You,” “We Tapped That Ass.” Bloom’s series also talks about important topics such as sexuality, abortions, mental health, postfeminism, and actual feminism. It’s really a home run for me.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (TV Show)

Source: Netflix

Directed by: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Nathalie Emmanuel, Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy

Plot: In this prequel to Jim Henson’s 1982 film “The Dark Crystal,” three Gelfling from different tribes must gather the creatures of Thra in a rebellion after a horrifying secret is discovered about their leaders.

Why I Like It:  I love love love Jim Henson. (If you’re unfamiliar, he’s the one who created the Muppets and that wonderful 1986 film “Labyrinth” starring David Bowie.) Much as I love Henson, I am not the biggest fan of “The Dark Crystal” film, which was a pretty big deal at the time due to its insane puppetry and special effects. To me, this series is SO much better than the film it stems from. The characters are well-rounded and lovable (especially the adorable, warm Deet), the plot is way more fleshed out and there are constant twists and turns that leave the audience wanting more. Even though movie-making magic has come a long way, the puppetry is still absolutely stunning. Not to mention the cast is STAR! STUDDED! The cast includes but is not limited to Taron Egerton, Simon Pegg, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, and Helena Bonham Carter.

Abducted in Plain Sight (Documentary)

Source: Tenor

Directed by: Skye Borgman

Plot: In this shocking documentary, a family describes their anguished journey leading up to and following their 12-year-old daughter’s kidnapping by a family friend…and the second time he kidnapped her several years later.

Why I Like It: I had never heard of this documentary until my boss and one of my co-workers mentioned it to me. I was intrigued and watched it and OH MY GOD. It’s truly insane. This horrible, sociopathic pedophile manipulated this family in every way, shape and form. As the story unravels, you can’t help but scream at your screen because of the f*cked up shit that went on for so long. I still can’t believe he was able to abduct her twice. TWICE! The shock factor is definitely there and I think it serves as a tale of warning to parents everywhere. Keep your kids close and don’t keep your creepy neighbors closer.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (Film)

tucker and dale vs evil | Tumblr
Source: tumblr

Plot: Best friends Tucker and Dale try to escape to their quiet cabin in the woods but they are soon pulled into a giant, grisly misunderstanding when a group of nearby college students mistakes them for crazed murderers. 

Why I Like It: Please don’t be deterred by the fact that it’s a horror movie. I promise it is not scary. The only reason it’s rated R is for violence and language, and all the violence is played for comedy. Anyway, I love this movie. Tucker and Dale look like your run-of-the-mill creepy dudes but they’re actually really sweet and the friendship the two share is so wholesome. The whole concept of the film is a really fun play on the “cabin in the woods/college students getting killed off one by one” trope that is often seen in horror movies. It’s like a funny version of the 2011 film “The Cabin in the Woods,” if you’re familiar with that. (If you’re not, it’s available to stream on Hulu, which I also recommend even though it’s the wrong platform.)

I love these shows/films a lot but I completely…well, kind of understand if they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. As previously mentioned, there is a “Hidden Gems” section of Netflix if you’d like better, more professional recommendations. Call it narcissism but I think mine are pretty damn good.

Stay safe and please please PLEASE follow CDC guidelines and stay safe!