Things to do this Quarantine: Entertainment

Submitted by Cass Biles on Thu, 04/30/2020 - 22:06 - 0 Comments

Books, Movies, and TV shows galore!

TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS:

Mr. Hooper

“The movie ‘The Big Short’(also on Amazon Prime), based on a book about the financial collapse of 2008 by Michael Lewis.

Ann with an E”, a modern adaptation of the series Anne of Green Gables. It covers so many relevant topics it is worth every minute.”

Mr. Halpern

As Mark Halpern puts simply, “TV has  risen to art four times. The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, and Madmen.”

Availability:

The Sopranos - Hulu, HBO Now, Amazon Prime, and Youtube to rent.

The Wire - Hulu, HBO Now, Amazon Prime and Youtube for rent.

Deadwood - Hulu, HBO Now, Amazon Prime, and Youtube for rent.

Madmen - Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube for rent.

Ms. Lieberman

Lori suggests all students get a library card through www.multcolib.org, and then use the Libby app to check

out and read books digitally for free. 

From there, she suggests, The Year They Fell, a novel surrounding a group of former childhood friends who are now entering their senior year of high school. Pulled back together by a horrible tragedy, they struggle to reconnect, unveiling the secrets, betrayals, and events that drove them apart in the first place. 

She also suggests using Hoopla or Kanopy to borrow and watch movies from the library. Some favorites she recommends are: What we do in the Shadows about vampires, Rounders about gambling, and book-based movies such as A Man Called Ove or Emma.

Rion Roberts

For highbrow cinema, Rion Roberts suggests:

For “trash’ cinema, he suggests:

  • "THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL: a film about Nazi hunters and Hitler clones staring Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier. It's amazing and trashy. (Amazon Prime, Youtube)

  • KUNG FURY: time travel! Vikings! Nazis! Kung fu! Dinosaurs! Hacking so hard! This short film has everything, and it's free online!"

Additionally, he “also has a thing for movies that take place in the mediterannean during the summer, it makes me wish I was in Positano or the beaches in Sicily.” For these types of movies, he suggests:

In terms of reading, Rion suggests novels about the ancient world, including Song of Achillies and Circe, two of my personal favorites. 

  • "The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. A queer love story centered around the Trojan war. It's definitely not the boring Homer that you have to read in Language Arts (jk that's not boring)(well.. a little).

  • Circe also by Madeline Miller. Less of a love story and more a novel of self discovery and also witchcraft. Also, Gods. Also, the Odyssey.

  • Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin is a fun summer read. I believe that it is also the basis for the musical Cabaret, but I wouldn't know. I despise musicals. Although LHS Drama students have been trying to convince me to change my mind for years now. This also centers on the rise of fascism."

Ms. Brown

In a love for the classics, Ms. Brown suggests watching some modern Shakespere adaptations. Afterwards, she suggests reading or watching the classic versions. 

 

Romeo and Juliet:

  •  Romeo Must Die: an action film centered around the American and Chinese mafia (Available on Amazon Prime and Youtube)

  • West Side Story: A 1961 romantic drama musical, this story focuses around two rival immigrant Puerto Rican gangs in Manhattan, New York. Winner of 10 academy awards, it holds more Oscar wins than any other musical film. It has even been declared “culturally significant” by the Library of Congress, and was the highest grossing film of 1961 in the United States. (Available on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Youtube)

 

12th night:

  • She’s the man: After Viola Hasting’s twin brother flees their hometown for London, Viola offers to disguise herself as him, and take his place at Illyria prep boarding school. Chaos ensues. (Available on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Youtube)

 

Othello:

  • O: From Shakespeare's scripts to the basketball court, this high school drama film reenacts a hundred year old plot to explore how jealousy fuels evil, and to question when trust is misplaced. This is a rated R film, so ask for parental permission before watching. (Available on Youtube, Amazon Prime, and Hulu)

 

Taming of the Shrew:

  • 10 Things I Hate About y\You: This film centers around two sisters, Bianca who is sociable and simplistic, and Kat who is ill-tempered and shrewdish. Their father, an obstetrician worried about teen pregnancy, states that sophomore Bianca will not be allowed to date until senior Kat does, knowing that Kat’s antisocial personality makes this unlikely. And so, in a plot to charm Kat’s heart and release Bianca’s, a puzzle of love and identity, aided with a fair amount of intoxication and hilarity, unfolds. (Funny Moments) (Available on Youtube, Amazon Prime)

Mr. Sudermann

As a history teacher, I recommend Robert Greene's Bisbee '17 (2018). It is a hybrid documentary about and reenactment of the deportation of striking mining workers from Bisbee, AZ in 1917. It speaks to a variety of historical and social issues that remain relevant. Available on Kanopy.

 

As a film teacher, I want to call attention to two contemporary films from East Asia that, like Bong Joon-Ho's Parasite engage with class issues, but with wildly different approaches: Burning (Lee Chang-Dong, 2018) and Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018). Burning is a

vailable on Netflix and Kanopy; Shoplifters is on Hulu.

 

As a human being, I recommend John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch on Netflix. An homage to and send-up of kids television shows from an earlier era, it balances the joys and fears of life through the perspective of almost-teenagers, which is not a bad tonic for the time we are living.”

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

 

Video (TV show, Youtube, Movie) 

Silicon Valley / Comedy / TV show

This show follows the fictional startup company “Pied Piper”, who specialize in compression technology. The both hilarious and engaging plot is filled with twists, turns, and a plethora of dark and dirty humor. 

Available on Amazon Prime, HBO Now, Hulu, and Youtube

 

Young Justice / Superheroes, Animation, Adventure / TV show

Based on Todd Dezago and Todd Nauck’s original superhero

trio of Superboy, Robin, and impulse, this adapted series follows the lives of a new super team. Spotlighting Robin, Kid Flash, Auperboy, Aqualad, Arte

mis, and Miss Martian, this show comes with a high recommendation for any superhero

lovers.

Available on DC Universe, Amazon Prime, and Youtube

 

BoJack Horseman / Comedy, Animation / TV show

Filled to the brim with dark humor, alcohol, and underlying philosophy on the nature of happiness and meaning, BoJack Horseman is both a hilarious and hard hitting show surrounding the life of an horse actor in Hollywood. 

 

“Any conversation about the best animated programs on TV has to include Netflix’s Hollywood parody about, well, a depressed talking horse. BoJack Horseman is a difficult show to explain to someone who’s never seen it. It’s a goofy, pun-filled show about an over-the-hill TV star who happens to be a horse, but it’s also an insightful document of mental illness, depression, trauma, and loneliness. All that and a talking dog named Mr. Peanutbutter too.” -Brian Tallerico

Available on Netflix

 

Overly Sarcastic productions / Comedy, Educational / Youtube Channel 

With some favorite series like “Miscellaneous Myths”, “History Summarized”, and “Troupe Talks” this channel combines history nerds with humorous scripts. Some of my favorite videos involve summaries of Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology, packed with confusion and chaos throughout. Videos from the “In a minute” series are also very entertaining, as the speaker attempts to summarize huge parts of history, such as the war of the roses and the mahabharata, in less than a minute. 

This channel is both educational and hilarious, and a great place to binge for history, mythology, and literature nerds alike.

 

minutephysics and MinuteEarth / Educational / Youtube

Two youtube channels with overlapping creators that aim to explain interesting biological, chemical, and physical sciences in concise and simplistic ways. While still maintaining a level of complexity to spark

interest, these channels are a really fun way to learn more about the world surrounding us. Some favorites of mine are playlists such as “Animal Behavior” (MinuteEarth) and videos like “Myths and Facts about Superintelligent IA” (minutephysics) 

 
 

The Rope / Drama, Thriller, Psychological  / Movie

Taking place all in one night, all in one apartment, this movie is set during a dinner party. It explores the recent crime of two upstanding college students, the “perfect murder” by which they plan to escape. Entangled with twisted morals and morbid theory, Hitchock’s “The Rope” again amazes his audience with the use of suspense and cinematography, and manages to keep the viewer on the seat of their chair through subtle choices in dialogue, blocking, and an ever growing anxiety in the minds of the murderers. With the walls closing in, the question is when, and who, will discover the air of death on the scene. 

Available on Amazon prime and Youtube

 

 

JoJo Rabbit / Historical, Comedy, Drama / Movie

Through the eyes of 10 year old Jojo, we are immersed in Nazi Germany. Somehow combining both humor and tears, this film manages to hit the viewer in so many places it’s hard to comprehend it all when it’s finished. A staggering satirical adaptation of Germany during WW2, this film is controversial, dark, and breathtaking.

 

.... And then it kind of hits you: the screaming, weeping, and frenzied youth seen in the footage aren’t watching a performance by the Fab Four, they’re watching Hitler." -Larry Decuers

Available on Youtube and Amazon Prime

 

 

Knives Out / Mystery, Comedy / Movie

A classical spin on a clue-like mystery story, this film focuses around the death of wealthy novelist Harlan Thrombrey. When found with a slit throat, the morning after inviting his family to his estate, a private detective is determined to track down the killer. 

“Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” is one of the most purely entertaining films in years. It is the work of a cinematic magician, one who keeps you so focused on what the left hand is doing that you miss the right. And, in this case, it’s not just a wildly fun mystery to unravel but a scathing bit of social commentary about where America is in 2019. Great mystery writers throughout history have dissected class in ways that were palatable to audiences looking for escapism, and Johnson is clearly doing that here too, using a wonderfully entertaining mystery structure that would make Agatha Christie smile. Directing a wildly charismatic cast who are all-in on what he’s doing, Johnson confidently stays a step or two ahead of his audience, leaving them breathless but satisfied at the end.”

-Brian Tallerico 

Available on Youtube and Amazon Prime

Reading (Books, Graphic Novels, Manga, Webtoons)

Cold Storage by David Koepp / Science Fiction / Novel

Recommended by both Ms. Raczek and Ms. McVay, this novel explores harrowing fear of disease capable of extinction level destruction, and everything people will do to stop it. 

“When Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz was sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he found something far worse: a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. He contained it and buried it in cold storage deep beneath a little-used military repository.Now, after decades of festering in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out and is on a lethal feeding frenzy. Only Diaz knows how to stop it. He races across the country to help two unwitting security guards — one an ex-con, the other a single mother. Over one harrowing night, the unlikely trio must figure out how to quarantine this horror again. All they have is luck, fearlessness and a mordant sense of humor. Will that be enough to save all of humanity?”

- Synopsis by Molly Chenault from the Emporia Public Library

 

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson / Autobiography / Novel

“For an inspiring story of groundbreaking work in science and engineering in the face of adversity and world-wide crisis, I highly recommend Katherine Johnson’s autobiography— Reaching for the Moon...The book was released this past July, just eight months prior to her death in February at the age of 101.” 

-Angela McVay

 

Kathrine Johnson was a critical mathematician for the success of many NASA missions, one being the famous Apollo program. Inspiring excellence, hard work, motivation, and persistence in a world often holding her back, this autobiography weaves together hard-hitting and vital issues with the brilliance of science, technology, and the potential of the mind. 

 

Circe / Fantasy, Greek Mythology / Book

As suggested before by Rion Roberts, Circe is a fantastically beautiful novel that tells the story of the titular witch, Circe, a character that while neglected in her original text, has inspired creativity for millennia. 

 

“In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.”

-Book of the Month

 

Song of Achilles / Fantasy, Greek Mythology / Book

Also previously suggested by Rion Roberts, this novel follows the story of Achillies, and his partner Patroculus. While history has drawn from the tall, bronze stance of the most influential western warrior, it often neglects the story of his right hand man and lover, Patroculus. Song of Achillies looks to retell the story of this ancient epic and romance, from the fertile fields of Phthia, to the treacherous walls of Troy. 

 

Six of Crows / Fantasy / Novel

One of my all time favorite YA novels, this book is the start of a duology series set in a fantastic yet gritty world, filled with struggle, high stakes, and cunning strategy for survival. A must read for lovers of YA fantasy. 

 

“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

 

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”

 

The Name of the Wind / Fantasy / Novel 

This novel is a modern fantasy icon. Published over a decade ago (2007), this book continues to delight and is still read and talked about among fantasy nerds. Possessing one of the most interesting magic systems I’ve seen in a while, this book makes magic seem less like, well magic, and more like science. The detail in world depth is fantastic, and the reader is constantly engaged by the ever evolving plot.

My name is Kvothe.

 

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

 

You may have heard of me.

 

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.”

 

Annarasumanara / Fantasy / Webtoon

“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can.” – Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

 “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As kids, the answer to this question was simple. We could do anything we wanted, from astronaut to truck driver to professional athlete, inspired by our idols with nothing to shatter our naïve hopes and dreams. Yet, as we grow to adulthood, these aspirations don’t grow with us. “Grow up.” “Get serious.” “Welcome to the real world.” Doors close and opportunities pass us by as we narrow our career choices down, because success is defined through money and prestige, not childish desires. But is it really? Annarasumanara challenges this view by taking the reader through a bittersweet story of self-discovery. Yoon Ah-ee, an impoverished high school student, works dead end jobs to barely scrape by for herself and her sister, hoping that one day she can achieve success through money. One day, she winds up in an abandoned theme park where she meets a magician who forces her to confront her views on life. As we follow along on this 27-episode journey, Annarasumanara makes us question what it truly means to live a dream in reality. With its touching storytelling, unique art style, and engaging characters, this webtoon is a captivating experience and a must-read for webtoon enthusiasts.

 

Bastard / Thriller / Webtoon

This webtoon follows the story of Jin Seon, the young son of a charismatic and successful CEO, and reluctant accomplice in that father’s murders. Entangled in the complicated situation of his family and social life, Jin soon finds himself further unwilling to help his father with his crimes, and must carefully plan a way to protect those he cares for- and himself. 

 

 

 

 

 

Vagabond / Epic, Martial Arts, Historical, Action / Manga

This manga follows the life of legendary sword-saint and philosopher Miyamoto Musashi in 1600’s Japan. With an undefeated record of 61 duels in his lifetime, the first one being at 13 against a trained samurai, he is considered one of the greatest Japanese swordsmen, despite never holding any lands or serving as a formula samurai. Showcasing one of Japan’s most interesting historical figures, this manga also features beautiful art, causing many to deemed it unadaptable to the screen. 

 

Buy it on Amazon (better quality), or read it online

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

Cass Biles's picture

Cass is a junior writer and illistrator for the Beyond the Flock. She loves dogs, biology, art, and books. 

"If you don't sin Jesus died for nothing"