This documentary tells the story of the first all-female crew to participate in the grueling Whitbread round-the-world yacht race in 1989. Englishwoman Tracy Edwards skippers Maiden over nine months and 33,000 miles. With tons of footage from the time, current recollections from most of the team's members, and interviews with the male-dominated media and other yachtsmen, Maiden (2018, PG) is an exciting view into the women's incredible journey.
Shows 'N Tunes: Movie, Music, and Game Reviews
Disney+ has finally arrived! Based on cast alone, my first viewing selection was Noelle (2019, G) which was originally intended for theatrical release, but was later reserved for the launch of Disney+. It stars Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader as Kris Kringle's kids, Noelle and Nick. Also in the cast are long-time actors Shirley MacLaine and Julie Hagerty, with comedians, Billy Eichner and Ron Funches.
Nick has trained his whole life to take over for his father as Santa, but as the pressure builds, he takes a vacation on his sister's recommendation. Unfortunately, Nick took that to mean a one-way trip to the southwest. Noelle has to venture out from the North Pole to find him, all while learning that Christmas is more meaningful when you focus on giving instead of getting.
Overall, this light-hearted film, albeit slightly predictable, will bring laughter and maybe even some tears to you and your family. Find other Christmas movies to watch with the family on our website.
View Noelle and everything else Disney you can imagine with a Roku featuring Disney+.
Though not your typical road trip movie, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was a huge hit in Australia back in the 90s and quickly became a cult movie with its outrageous costumes and classic disco music. Featuring veteran actors, Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, and Bill Hunter, this film follows the adventures of a group of drag queens who take their show on the road to the Australian outback. In need of money, they accept a job to perform in Alice Springs, quite a journey from their hometown of Sydney.
Traveling in a fantastically repainted school bus, they head out on a road trip through the outback, bringing us comedy and drama as they interact with the locals along the way. The flamboyant crossdressers raise a few eyebrows in the country towns they pass through and while there is some intolerance, there is also education and tenderness.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994, R) is a highly entertaining lighthearted film, but be warned that it does include a lot of coarse language and will have you humming disco hits for days afterward.
This movie is on our list of favorite LGBTQ films. Discover more on our website.
Have you ever wanted to plunder all the treasures on the open sea? If you find that the letter "R" rolls off your tongue as "Arrr," then Loot is the game for you.
In Loot, take on the role of a pirate captain and guide your crew to merchant ships full of treasure, but watch out for your pirate friends who want some loot too and will fight you for every bit of it.
The objective of the card game is simple, collect the most gold by the end of the game. The gameplay is quick and takes about 20 minutes. The game is for ages 6 and up, some simple math skills and color matching are needed. If you want the thrill of the high seas matched with the fun of playing with friends, check out Loot.
After breaking up with her boyfriend, Dr. Ruby Walker (Amrita Asharia) decides to connect with her roots and accepts a job in India. What she expected to be a thriving urban clinic turns out to be a rural hospital, chaotic, overflowing with patients, and short on both staff and supplies. Good Karma Hospital is run by brusque Dr. Lydia Fonseca (Amanda Redman, who starred in New Tricks). Ruby constantly clashes with the arrogant, handsome Dr. Gabriel Varna (James Krishna Floyd). Her skills are tested by having to diagnose and treat all sorts of illnesses and injuries.
The Good Karma Hospital (2017) is entertaining, filled with colorful characters, picturesque views, and a soundtrack full of Bollywood music. Check out the soundtrack on Hoopla. This TV show will appeal to fans of the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
You can't go wrong with a movie starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling. I adored the workplace comedy Late Night. Katherine Newbury (Thompson) is a seasoned talk show who is being replaced. Molly Patel (Kaling) is a rookie writer who shakes up the status quo in the previously all-white male writers' room. The humor in this 2019 film written by Mindy Kaling was spot on and relevant (rated R).
If you are a devoted Disney fan like me, you may be reluctant about the company's recent foray into live-action remakes of their classic animated movies. In this 2019 live-action version of Aladdin (rated PG), I went in with low expectations, especially for Will Smith in the role of Genie, because Robin Williams' performance as the 1992 animated Genie was so outstanding. Smith ultimately does not try to mimic Williams' style and interpretation, but rather adds his own flair to the part. Genie even gets an expanded storyline in the live-action. I also appreciated that Jasmine was a more developed character, expressing a desire to break down the oppression of her society and voice her opinions as a leader.
Composer and songwriter Alan Menken returns to score the live-action film, enhancing his original music and adding additional songs not part of the 1992 version. So perhaps Disney can, in fact, be successful in livening up their animated classics after all!
Living with roommates is hard. Living for hundreds of years with immature, dirty, narcissistic vampire roommates is even worse. What We Do in the Shadows is a hilarious mockumentary (think The Office) focusing on the lives of four vampire housemates living in Staten Island as they try to deal with the changing world and fighting over who has to do the dishes. Things become more complicated when one of their meals is turned into a vampire and brings the modern world even closer.
What We Do in the Shadows (2014, R) is one of my all-time favorite movies, never failing to make me laugh. Each character is more outrageous than the last and the situations they find themselves in, even more so. Director Taika Waititi, who is also a main character, brings a comedic quirk that is hard to explain but irresistible once you experience it.
If you enjoy the movie, check out the new TV show on Hulu by the same name. Arguably even better than the movie, it's not to be missed. You can check out a Roku from our tech takeout for access to Hulu.
This game will hit all the marks for fans of horror and H. P. Lovecraft. In the game, you play Charles Reed, an ex-navy man and current hardboiled detective, who just arrived in the city of Oakmont. The town flooded a decade ago and ever since strange events have been happening in the lives of the people who live in the town. Life in Oakmont is even stranger as you discover that creatures lurk in almost every home.
Sinking City (2019, rated M for mature) is story-driven with half of your time spent in action and the other half spent hunting down clues and doing research through public records at places like the old newspaper offices and the library. The other dynamic of the game that lends well to the Lovecraft theme is that of the sanity meter. As your character looks upon the horrors that lurk in the shadows, he must be careful not to go insane himself.
Stricken with grief after a tragic family loss, Dani Ardor goes on a spontaneous trip to Sweden with her boyfriend and his classmates. Classmate Pelle is from Sweden and has invited his friends to join his family for their annual Midsommar festival to celebrate the changing of the seasons and give back to mother nature. Unbeknownst to Dani and the rest of the group, the festival follows many sinister traditions that leave them questioning whether they should leave or stay.
Director Ari Aster has proven his place in the world of contemporary horror with his latest masterpiece. Midsommar (2019, rated R) is at once a very unnerving and beautiful film, set in a very believable Swedish community with traditions and beliefs that feel just as real as they are unsettling. The film features gorgeous cinematography, showcasing the beautiful landscape and transcendental music that lifts the viewer into another world full of wonder and intrigue.
While Midsommar is classified as a horror film, horror is more so the tool through which the movie's message is communicated: out with the old, in with the new.
This delightful album focused on being kind will fill you up with happiness! Grownups might recognize covers of popular songs on a couple of tracks, but the majority are fresh new tunes for your family to enjoy together. My son and I have already listened to Under the Big Umbrella several times, and our favorite songs are "Under the Big Umbrella" and "Drop in the Bucket."
Check out this 2019 release from Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could.
Set in the late 1980s New York, Pose (rated TV-MA) looks at ballroom culture and the height of the AIDS epidemic. Not familiar with ball culture? A major tenant of the LGBTQ community and especially popular with African-American, Latinx, and gender-nonconforming people, balls were where marginalized LGBTQ individuals could be wholly themselves while also competing in runway challenges. Competitors would show off their elaborate costumes, dance skills, voguing, and, yes, posing, promising jaw-dropping realness in every episode of Pose.
The series revolves around a trans Latina woman, Blanca (MJ Rodriguez), who has decided to make a name for herself by starting the House of Evangelista and taking in some lost souls to join her in competing for top prizes. She starts by recruiting Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain), saving him from a life on the streets and pushing him to attend a top dance school, and Angel (Indya Moore), a transwoman and prostitute, who begins a secret affair with Wall Street exec, Stan (Evan Peters).
Full of drama, fashion, glamour, vicious wordplay, heartbreak, and hope, this Golden Globe-winning series is not to be missed. Catch the first season of Pose (2018), now on Netflix, by checking out one of our Rokus.
The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is a professional slacker who spends his days bowling and drinking white Russians. He lives his life avoiding responsibility and conflict until one day conflict shows up on his doorstep and pees on his rug. After being mistaken for a millionaire with the same name, The Dude sets out to find the other Jeff Lebowski and get him to replace his rug. Millionaire Jeff "The Big Lebowski" is in considerable debt. Soon after The Dude visits his new wife Bunny is kidnapped for ransom. Lebowski manages to convince The Dude to deliver the money in exchange for a large sum of cash that would let him continue his go with the flow lifestyle. It only takes 10 minutes of watching The Dude and his friends to know that it all goes terribly wrong.
The Big Lebowski (1998, rated R) is a cult classic and considered one of the best Joel and Ethan Coen's films. Filled with hilarious situations and quotable lines, it's a go to for a movie night with friends.
In this hilarious and relatable coming-of-age comedy, two academically gifted best friends Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) find themselves at the end of their high school career without having ever partied. After realizing that their peers managed to get into good schools and still enjoy themselves, they set out to prove that they could get down with the best of them. In an attempt to make up for missed time, they try to cram four years of experiences into one chaotic night. Not surprisingly, they are soon in over their heads.
I was impressed with Booksmart. It was much more than the buddy comedy I expected. The cinematography is amazing, the comedy witty, and the characters well rounded and believably flawed. The friendship between the two leads is tangible and made me want to hang out with them, wear fanny packs, and watch documentaries. In today's age where everyone is pressured to constantly do their best, it preaches an idea of balance and self-care. This 2019 film (rated R) is Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, and I'm excited to see what her career will bring.
When I think of A Few Good Men, the first thing that comes to mind is the iconic scene of Jack Nicholson shouting, "You can't handle the truth!" But since that was about all I could remember, I decided it was time to re-watch the classic 1992 film.
Tom Cruise is Lt. Daniel Kaffee, a young and cocky Navy lawyer assigned to defend two Marines accused of murder while on duty at Guantanamo Bay. The film includes conspiracies, political machinations, and many shades of gray.
Featuring that signature Aaron Sorkin dialogue (it's his first movie screenplay), A Few Good Men was directed by Rob Reiner (rated R). Costarring Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, and Kevin Pollak. You'll also spot a young Kiefer Sutherland, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Noah Wyle.
If you enjoy films featuring lawyers, check out Great Movies: Lawyers in the Movies and Great Movies: More Lawyers in the Movies to discover what to watch next. A Few Good Men is also on the American Film Institute's list of top courtroom dramas.