Corona Comfort Movies

Looking for some movies to watch while you are stuck at home, away from friends and family? Well, fear not, I’ve got the ultimate list of movies that are guaranteed to NOT get you down. These are the movies I turn to when I want to escape from any negativity or sadness, along with where you can find them streaming or on demand now.

What you won’t get in any of these movies: death, violence, sorrow, tragedy or anything depressing.

What you WILL get in each of these movies: sheer joy.

I promise.

All of these can be rented or purchased for as little as $2.99 from many streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, GooglePlay, and VUDU. I’ve noted by each movie if it is available anywhere for free (or included for free in a streaming subscription).

In alphabetical order (even though we all know Tootsie is #1):

Airplane! (1980) Showtime
Almost Famous (2000) DIRECTV
Arthur (1981) HBO, DIRECTV
Back to School (1986) Starz
Best in Show (2000)
Big (1988) HBO, DIRECTV
The Birdcage (1996) Prime, DIRECTV
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) Prime, Hulu, Showtime, DIRECTV
Broadcast News (1987) DIRECTV, Starz
Bull Durham (1988) IMDB TV, DIRECTV, Starz
Defending Your Life (1991) HBO, DIRECTV
Father of the Bride (1991) DIRECTV
La La Land (2016) DIRECTV
L.A. Story (1991)
Nine to Five (1980) Starz
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Paddington (2014)
The Princess Bride (1987) Cinemax
Runaway Bride (1999)
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) HBO, Cinemax
Tootsie (1982) Netflix
The Wedding Singer (1998)
Working Girl (1988) HBO, DIRECTV

Happy streaming!!

The Banker

Apple

Apple had a lot riding on the success of The Banker, an historical race-based drama starring Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson and Nicholas Hoult, directed by George Nolfi. Slated for its world premiere in the coveted closing night slot at the AFI Film Festival last November, The Banker was set for a strong awards push, bolstered by the success the previous year of Green Book, a film similar in style and content. It was not to be, however, as the producers were forced to pull out of the festival at the last minute because of sexual abuse allegations that arose within the family of one of the real-life characters portrayed in the film. Not only were its awards hopes scrapped, but The Banker was pushed from November to March, and it has only just now become available to stream on the Apple TV+ service. Although Green Book managed to overcome its myriad controversies during awards season last year, The Banker seemed to irrevocably suffer and looked destined for the dust heap of history, a devastating blow to Apple, who were looking to compete with Netflix and Amazon, who both have already jumped way ahead in the feature film race.

But Apple and The Banker could reap some unexpected rewards as millions of Americans are now homebound due to the Corona virus and are thirsting for new things to watch on their streaming services. Unfortunately, it may not prove to be the critical or commercial boon that Apple was hoping for, as its old-fashioned and bland style stifles an interesting story, despite a thoroughly delightful performance from Samuel L. Jackson.

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The Whistlers

Magnolia Pictures

The Whistlers, a crime drama from Romanian writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu, is very familiar in a lot of ways. Our hero, Cristi, played by Vlad Ivanov, is a crooked policeman who is caught up with drug-running gangsters who need him to keep them one step ahead of the law. There are double-crosses, betrayals, murders and shoot-outs, all the ingredients of a juicy gangster thriller, but this movie works itself into so many contortions, it can’t even breathe. It plays like a hollowed-out The Departed, but without the setup or satisfaction.

And that’s the biggest problem with The Whistlers. The film feels like episode 5 of a series on Netflix, only you missed episodes 1 through 4. You skipped all the setup, so as all the plots and stories come together, not only are you lost as to who anyone is in relation to each other, you have no vested interest in what happens or why. I will say I loved the idea of jumping right in, skipping all that boring exposition that sometimes bogs a movie down, but it turns out all that exposition actually serves a purpose.

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Wendy

Searchlight Pictures

The words “re-interpretation” or “re-imagining” are often overused in Hollywood. They usually signal that a film is devoid of original ideas and is simply dressing up an existing story to look or sound different, but, in the end, has nothing new to say. In the case of Benh Zeitlin’s new film, Wendy, however, the approach is quite a different one. Instead of focusing on story, Zeitlin focuses on spirit, something we saw profoundly in his staggering debut in 2012, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and we see again in Wendy, a re-imagining of Peter Pan. J. M. Barrie’s famous character and novel have been on screen in many different forms, but Zeitlin still finds a way to approach the famous story in an interesting way, even if the high concept eventually does falter.

Zeitlin came out of nowhere to take the movie world by storm with his bold and breathtaking debut about a young girl living in the bayou. Beasts of the Southern Wild was an examination of place and of the emotional life of a child and Wendy is similar in all the right ways. The emotional heart of this film is also a young girl, Wendy (Devin France), who dreams of far off places and wild adventures while living with her mother and twin brothers above the family-owned small-town diner which they run. The restaurant sits right next to railroad tracks and Wendy daydreams about the excitement the train represents. One night, Wendy sees a mysterious figure riding the top of the train, beckoning to her. Bewildered but excited, she wakes her brothers, and, in a moment of childhood abandon, they jump onto the train, giving themselves over to their daydreams.

Read moreWendy