Orange County

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Orange County

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) is a former surf-bro turned aspiring writer who is hellbent on getting out of the vapid, artificial confines of Orange County, California so he can go to Stanford University and study under his favorite writer. But when his guidance counselor accidentally sends the wrong transcript and he’s rejected from the school, he’s willing to try almost anything to get accepted, prompting a series of misadventures and mishaps.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: When Orange County arrived in 2002, it didn’t make much of a splash, disregarded as another average high school teen comedy among the likes American Pie. It was a box office success, largely thanks to the promotion by MTV, but with a critical score on Rotten Tomatoes that stands at 46%, it’s clear that it wasn’t received very well. But I’m here to put Orange County on the pedestal that it deserves, because if this movie had played the Sundance Film Festival, it would have been an indie sensation, and that vibe along with a fantastic ensemble cast makes it a movie that deserves much more respect. Read More »

the conjuring

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: The Conjuring

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max and Netflix

The Pitch: Meet Ed and Lorraine Warren, ghost hunters who agree to help the very large Perron family after they move into a haunted house.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It arrives this week, so why not go back to where it all started?

Read More »

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

Where You Can Stream It: Disney+

The Pitch: The students at East High School, where Disney filmed the wildly popular High School Musical movies, prepare to stage a production of High School Musical: The Musical for their winter theater show at the urging of their ambitious new drama teacher Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders), who had appeared in the original movie as a background dancer. In this mockumentary-style series, the drama club members navigate teenage love and drama, most of which centers around Olivia Rodrigo‘s protagonist, Nini Salazar-Roberts, who is cast as Gabrielle in the stage play.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: On May 21, Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album Sour, and I was one of the many geriatric millennials who listened and related far too deeply to it. How did this 18-year-old baby feel so much? And who was the white boy who broke Rodrigo’s heart? As someone who was now far too invested in this Disney teenybopper’s career (I just want good things for her!) and has fallen down the rabbit hole of previous Disney love triangles before, I had to find out. So I switched on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series to see where it all started.

Read More »

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: Haikyu!!

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll

The Pitch: Shoyo Hinata is a first year high schooler who dreams of becoming the ace of his volleyball team. But there’s one problem: he’s only 5’4″. He joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball club, where he becomes teammates with his middle school rival, Tobio Kageyama, a prodigy player with an antisocial streak. But they’re forced to work together and become an unexpected dream team amid a colorful cast of characters who all unite to become the best team in the country.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: What’s better than this? Just guys being dudes.

Read More »

Marvel's M.O.D.O.K.

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.

Where You Can Stream It: Hulu

The Pitch: In Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., the megalomaniacal supervillain M.O.D.O.K. (Patton Oswalt) has long pursued his dream of one day conquering the world. But after years of setbacks and failures fighting Earth’s mightiest heroes, M.O.D.O.K. has run his evil organization A.I.M. into the ground. Ousted as A.I.M.’s leader, while also dealing with his crumbling marriage and family life, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing is set to confront his greatest challenge yet!

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Even though the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are full of quips and funny banter, they’re only allowed to go so far with the comedy before it would overpower the comic book action and high stakes of it all. Then you have something like Deadpool, which mixes sharp and silly R-rated comedy and violence for a fun blockbuster package. But what happens when you combine that with the stop-motion animation style of Robot Chicken and bring in a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing with a massive head, a taste for world domination, and a whiny inferiority complex? You get the off-the-wall, raunchy, violent, and wholly entertaining M.O.D.O.K. Read More »

the quarantine stream communion

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Communion

Where You Can Stream It: Amazon Prime Video and Tubi

The Pitch: The “true” story of how author Whitley Strieber was abducted by aliens!

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Christopher Walken has a reputation for being a bit kooky and out-there. But his work in Communion has to be the weirdest performance of his entire career, and that’s saying something. Walken seems genuinely unhinged here, playing his role as if he never even bothered to look at the script and is instead just winging it, thrashing his way through the production, consequences be damned.

Read More »

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The MovieSummertime

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: The great Katharine Hepburn plays Jane Hudson, a middle-aged single woman from Akron, Ohio who travels to Venice, Italy for a lengthy summer vacation. She has a gnawing sense that something is missing in her life, but finds herself yearning for adventure and being overly cautious at the same time. That’s when she meets Renato (Rossano Brazzi), an Italian shop owner, and eventually throws caution to the wind and embraces a summer romance.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Hepburn is a big draw, of course, but the film’s biggest selling point is that the entire thing was shot on location in Venice, and it looks absolutely beautiful. Director David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) infuses the movie with an intoxicating sense of wonder and exploration, and the real locations mixed with the summer setting often make it seem as if you can feel and smell the city as the characters walk through it.  Read More »

Clifford

Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Clifford

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: Smart, hyperactive and dangerous 10-year-old Clifford (Martin Short) has a lifelong dream: to visit the Dinosaur World theme park, no matter what it takes to get there. Luckily, his Uncle Martin (Charles Grodin) has agreed to take him in an effort to impress his girlfriend who doesn’t believe he has any desire to have kids. But when Martin suddenly reneges on his promise, Clifford hatches a devious plan to get even and teach his uncle a lesson.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Clifford was a critical and box office failure, making only $7.4 million and earning a half-star review from Roger Ebert. What else would you expect from a film that sat on a shelf for a few years when Orion Pictures was in rough financial waters? But for me, Clifford is an obnoxious, oddball comedy that works better than most give it credit for, and it’s all because of how Charles Grodin and Martin Short make such fantastic foils for each other. Read More »

quarantine stream greenland

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Greenland

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: It’s the end of the world as we know it and Gerad Butler does not feel fine.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: When Greenland came out last year, I didn’t pay it much mind due to both preconceived notions and willful ignorance. I knew it was a disaster movie about a comet hurtling toward Earth, and I knew it starred Gerard Butler. “Ah,” I thought. “That’ll be dumb!” Not dumb in a bad way, mind you. But dumb in a way that didn’t inspire me to rush to see it. But I’m always the first to admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong here. Greenland is not what you expect.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: Invincible

Where You Can Stream It: Amazon Prime Video

The Pitch: Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun) is just like any 17-year-old kid: he deals with school bullies and school crushes, and he worships superheroes. Except that his father is actually one: the strongest superhero on Earth, Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). After years of waiting, Mark finally gets the powers he was supposed to inherit — super strength, power of flight, and super speed — and can begin his training to be a superhero with his dad. But after Omni-Man is found near-death alongside the bodies of the Guardians of the Globe, Mark has to step up to become a superhero outside of his father’s shadow.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Let’s face it: brutal, hyperviolent superhero re-imaginings are a dime a dozen. Comics have been doing it since the ’80s, movies have been doing it since adapting those self-same comics from the ’80s, and it’s all the rage on TV now with notoriously bloody shows like The Boys and Preacher. Now Invincible, based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series of the same name, is here to fill the gap on the animation side.

Read More »