Isolation films

What to watch when you’re social distancing?

So many streaming platforms, so little much time. And yet, it’s still tough to choose what to watch. Regularly updated: here’s my quick take on the films I have been watching, if it helps.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime UK

Much better than I remembered, hard not to enjoy that cast just chatting to each other. Great fun. Bit sexist.

Verdict: a fun caper for a Friday night

It Chapter II (2019) – First Time.

Available to rent and buy on Sky Store

Had much too high expectations. Cast great just doing the exact same thing as the first film – no original plot whatsoever. Scares not as scary.

Verdict: watch on Sunday morning and only if you are bored

Wreck-It Ralph (2012) – First Time.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

Good hearted & fun. Would have been nice to see other classic games a bit more. That bit where he breaks the car though.

Verdict: Friday night arcade fun

Ratatouille (2007) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

Also enjoyed this much more the second time round, much funnier than I remembered. IRL this would be a horror though.

Verdict: Sunday night switch off and watch the funny rat cook

WALL•E (2008) – First Time.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

Don’t know how I went this long without seeing it, what a great sci-fi. Beautiful, near-silent movie – I now love this as much as everyone else.

Verdict: Saturday night film to watch for art house snobs who also want the feels

Pocahontas (1995) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

Didn’t have this one on VHS so had obviously forgotten all the songs. Even with the story completely white washed the English are the worst and Mel Gibson makes it weirder.

Verdict: Tuesday afternoon at best

Moana (2016) – First Time (at least all the way through).

Available to stream on Disney Plus

Probably the best songs of the modern Disney films – good twist too. Love Alan Tudyk.

Verdict: Sunday afternoon happy family adventure

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

My favourite Disney animation. Boy, was this a tonal shift from Moana but this is one of their best. God Help the Outcasts is one of the greatest Disney songs.

Verdict: Sunday night film that you should go back and watch

Zodiac (2007) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Netflix UK

Always thought of this as a lesser Fincher but it looks different in a post-Mindhunter light. Still think the second half loses momentum. BUT The Hulk, Iron Man and Mysterio!

Verdict: Friday night movie to scratch your true crime itch

The AristoCats (1970) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

I used to cry at the bit where “Everybody Wants to be a Cat” gets trippy. Managed not to cry as an adult.

Verdict: Cute and short, for Saturday morning with the kids

Aladdin (1992) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

I miss Robin Williams.

Verdict: Saturday afternoon go-to classic

101 Dalmatians (1961) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

Considering this came out 10 years before AristoCats, it really puts that pet film to shame. That start scene where Pongo is trying to find Roger a mate is well ahead of its time.

Verdict: Also Saturday-afternoon quality. Double bill, why not?

Invisible Man (2020) – First Time.

Available to buy on Sky Store and other platforms

Tense on Quiet Place levels and actually a good sensory companion piece to that film. Good script, clever effects, interesting message. Gave me weird dreams.

Verdict: Saturday night, worth paying the cinema-price to stream

Les Misérables (2012) – Rewatch.

Available to rent on Sky Store

The film I always think is on Netflix… but isn’t. Maybe overly long but you can’t help but wonder at how many brilliant songs are crammed in there. Just about managed not to cry. Worth the price to rent.

Verdict: Sunday afternoon, a way to experience all of the emotions at home

Hustlers (2019) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime UK

Saw in the cinema last year, still think it’s great. Complex characters, interesting story, great soundtrack.

Verdict: Saturday night popcorn film

Booksmart (2019) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime UK

CONFIRMED this was the best film of last year. I am predisposed to a coming of age story but this is masterclass from Olivia Wilde. I’m also now (re)obsessed with the soundtrack, which is conveniently located on Spotify. Just watch it, you’ll love it.

Verdict: As fun as any regular Friday night plans

Tully (2018) – First Time.

Available to stream on Netflix

I went into this film with zero background and that is probably the best way to watch it. I am not sure what genre it fits into… motherhood horror? Don’t watch if you are expecting.

Verdict: Saturday night before a disturbed sleep

Captain Marvel (2019) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

#12 in my ranking of the MCU, this is a solid mid-table entry. Larson is great as Captain Marvel but the more I watch this film the more I appreciate Ben Mendelsohn, who brings a lot of the comic relief. And of course, Goose

Verdict: Weekend binge

Captain America: Civil War (2016) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

#2 in my MCU ranking! This top table entry wins points for the best plot, best action sequence, best new characters and best character crossovers in the MCU.

Verdict: Weekend binge

21 Jump Street (2012) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Netflix

Look how young Captain Marvel is! Not really *my* type of film but Lord and Miller (obviously) wrote a good script and you have to appreciate a film that is knowingly silly.

Verdict: Sunday night easy watch

Hercules (1997) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

Maybe my second favourite Disney animation. Doesn’t make a lick of sense that there is a gospel choir narrating in Ancient Greece, but it works and now as an adult I get the Classics puns.

Verdict: Saturday afternoon chill

Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Netflix

For my money the last great Tarantino film. This scene is one of the greatest.

Verdict: Friday night, movie night

Thunder Road (2018) – First Time.

Available to stream on Netflix

I really liked this film which is equal parts funny, sad, and moving. It also has one of the best dance scenes on film. One of the best films I have seen in a while and I don’t think that many people have seen it. I urge you to watch this, especially if you like films like Marriage Story.

Verdict: Saturday night film treat

Rogue One (2016) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

I chose the best modern Star Wars to celebrate May the 4th. Take away this “Star Wars” and this is still just a great film.

Verdict: Saturday night blockbuster

X-Men (2000) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

The X-Men franchise was hit and miss but this first outing deserves credit. It has an interesting baddie with complex motives, his plan is to do more than destroy humanity/the world, and it has a seriously dark vibe.

Verdict: Mid-week mindless entertainment

The Phantom Menace (1999) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

A child of the prequels, I still love them because of the childhood excitement of seeing a lightsaber or droids being shoved over by the force. Beyond the trade treaties, a baddie that struggles to get in three lines, and Jar Jar, there are some great bits of The Phantom Menace.

But I also love the terrible lines like this:

Verdict: Weekend binge-watch

Attack of the Clones (2002) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

I don’t think I appreciated the complexity of the prequels’ politics as a child. Palpatine started the war himself? It all makes sense now! Anakin’s creepy chat up lines and possessiveness haven’t aged well but in a lot of ways the attack on the Tuskens lays the ground work for his path to Darth Vader for more than anything in the third film. Like Phantom, there is a lot to like in this one: the city chase at the beginning, Obi-Wan vs Jango Fett, and the colosseum scene.

Best, worst line:

Verdict: Weekend binge-watch

Revenge of the Sith (2005) – Rewatch.

Available to stream on Disney Plus

As a child I honestly didn’t suspect Palpatine until he mutters “do it”. Then I got suspicious. I have niggles with the path of Anakin to Darth Vader. It’s a bit of a leap from a bad haircut, a darker wardrobe, and wanting to save your wife’s life to killing kids. But despite this – and some of the shakiest dialogue in the prequels – objectively this is clearly the best film of the three and lots of the scenes still give me chills.

How can you choose one best, worst line in this one? This simple gem for the creepiest fucking delivery of a line:

Verdict: Weekend binge-watch

Did you enjoy this blog, a film that features on it, or have any viewing tips of your own? Please share on your social medium of choice! @Shoot_thePoets

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