Before I begin this article, I wanted to announce that I will be joining Orion Rea in the column “Rea Reviews” for the remainder of the year, writing lists and reviews of movies and television series. I will focus primarily on shows such as the upcoming Moon Knight series.
In 2022 there are a variety of streaming services to choose from, each having thousands of movies and shows to pick from. This can make finding something good to watch a daunting, difficult task. But among the pack, there are some great films: some classics, others newer.
A Few Good Men is one of the most thrilling, well-written legal flicks ever devised. The movie is about Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, a military lawyer tasked with defending two court martialed marines, played by Tom Cruise. A Few Good Men is a complex story about the meaning of truth, justice, and honor. It has great acting from all involved, especially Tom Cruise and his antagonistic co-star Jack Nicholson. According to film columnist for the Spyglass, Orion Rea, “It starts out slow, but it crescendos into a fast thrilling legal climax.” And he is certainly correct, seeing as the screenplay is one of the most fascinating and witty ones ever written. A Few Good Men is highly recommended to those who enjoy courtroom dramas with some more mystery. You can rent it for four bucks on Amazon.
Back to the Future is a classic. It is formed on a simple storyline, yet blossoms into cinematic perfection. A comedic sci-fi romance about a teenage boy named Marty McFly discovering time, the film is about his attempts to get back to the future, as the title would suggest. MBHS freshman Eli Waldman said, “It’s good. That’s all you need to know, it’s a great movie.” Michael Fox’s performance as Marty McFly is an exquisite performance that brings the movie to life. For those wanting an amazing and engaging movie with some great humor, Back to the Future is highly recommended to those who enjoy comedy and the concept of time. You can rent it for $4 on Amazon Prime.
Not only does Dune have some of the best cinematography of all time, it also features a wonderful, mind-boggling storyline and some superb acting. The impressive fight scenes bring in hand-to-hand combat rather than projectile weapons, while still having fantastic sci-fi elements. It makes the world of Arrakis, a desert planet where the film takes place, into a lived-in society with immense culture, customs, and visual flair. Director Denis Villeneuve brings an epic vision to the film that is unparalleled, at least, until “Part II” of the story is released. Orion Rea stated, “from the minute the film begins to the minute the credits roll, the film is technically captivating.” Dune is strongly recommended for everyone who enjoys sci-fi and true cinematic mastery. It’s available on HBO Max.
Enter the Dragon is a classic Bruce Lee kung-fu movie. Lee, one of the greatest martial artists of all time, creates fight scenes of otherworldly quality. Laced with wonderful pieces of martial arts wisdom and philosophy, it has a simple plot and story structure but is nevertheless a very entertaining movie to watch. There is very little to say about this one, but that’s only because it is such a neat, compact package that all are sure to enjoy. You can stream it for free on Amazon Prime.
Ghostbusters is an enormously fun movie to watch. The ensemble is full of amazing comedians that add wonderful humor to the movie. The highlight is Bill Murray, who is truly hilarious. He brings an element of charisma and sarcasm to his pseudoscientific character that is just a joy to watch. Ghostbusters is set in New York in the 80s, where a supernatural phenomenon is occurring. Ghosts are running amok, so Bill Murray and some other excellent characters form a business fighting them off. Spyglass editor Taylor Dewey said that in middle school, her “toxic trait was that I had lines memorized from Ghostbusters. It was a good toxic trait to have!” Ghostbusters is an interesting, hilarious watch and comes highly recommended to those who appreciate quality humor and the supernatural. You can see it on Amazon.
Not many know about Love and Monsters, another amazing supernatural comedy that released just two years ago. Set in an alternate universe in which the Earth’s nations destroyed a meteor with a bunch of missiles, and the subsequent chemical fallout that mutated the planet’s cold-blooded animals into monsters, Love And Monsters follows the teenage Joel Dawson. Dawson is the cook of his cohort’s underground bunker, and makes an irrational decision to travel 80 miles on the surface alone in order to reach a girl whom he loved in high school. The story is a funny, emotional joyride that flows together very well and creates an enormously enjoyable experience. MBHS freshman Nali Milne said, “It was exceedingly entertaining, and the acting was incredible.” Though it’s a rather unknown film, Love and Monsters is one of the best out there. You can stream it on Paramount+.
Ready Player One is based on a popular book of the same name, an excellent sci-fi adventure with incredible world-building. The film’s protagonist Wade Watts lives in a dystopian future where the physical world has essentially given up on itself, and instead the Earth’s population spends its time in a virtual reality world entitled the OASIS. When the OASIS’s founder James Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to whoever can win an epic Easter egg hunt. Watts sets out to find the egg, and gain control of the OASIS before rival corporation IOI does. The film is an exciting adventure. “It wasn’t as good as the book,” Nali Milne said, “but it held my attention for the entire time, and I thought it had a really great storyline.” It’s available to watch on HBO Max.
Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope is one of the most iconic movies of all time. A revolutionary movie that jump-started the whole sci-fi action genre, it’s a masterfully written film that when released, was like nothing ever made before. It’s a funny, emotional, and visually pleasing movie that is captivating in every way. Lastly, it has some of the best pacing of all time – the way scenes flow at the perfect speed, wasting no time in delivering their intended purpose. Spyglass writer Mia Bennett didn’t have much to say about it – “It’s Star Wars. It’s nostalgic and very good.” If you haven’t seen Star Wars already, you really should. It is the best of its kind, and readily available on Disney+.
The French Dispatch is about the last edition of a magazine called The French Dispatch, heavily modeled off of papers such as The New Yorker. An anthology piece, it cycles through three stories happening in an imaginary French city, circa 1975. From a disturbed painter to a passionate youth to a kidnapped son of a police inspector, the film is compelling, comical, and incredibly engaging. The film is directed by Wes Anderson, who has one of the most distinct directorial styles of all time. It deals with meticulously composed shots, always framed and timed down to the millisecond. This is very different from the conventional movie, but is executed perfectly – Mia Bennett said, “I loved the cinematography and the costume design, I just loved the whole vibe.” The French Dispatch is an extraordinary movie, and you can watch it now on HBO Max.
The Social Network is a great intellectual movie. A slightly fictionalized account of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s college experience and subsequent founding of the site, it has an incredible lead performance by Jesse Eisenberg, who embodies the film’s rendition of Zuckerberg expertly. The film requires a greater amount of intellectual and emotional engagement than something like Back to the Future, but it’s a great film when you’re in the mood for something more serious. The characters are written to utter perfection, they all feel incredibly human, with both hate able and lovable elements. “The Social Network is my favorite film of all time. It is a brilliantly written, emotionally compelling masterpiece that nothing will ever top,” said Orion Rea. This incredible film is highly recommended to those who enjoy intellectual movies. It’s even stream able on Netflix.