Blog

The Founder

I highly recommend this film about the true story of the founding of McDonald's Corporation. It's about an ambitious malt shake mixer salesman, Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) and his chance encounter with Mac and Dick McDonald in 1954.

Mac and Dick have a highly successful hamburger stand in San Bernardino, CA. These two brothers have developed a speedy assembly line for producing hamburgers at a rate of 30 seconds from beginning to end. They changed the idea of a food stand or drive-in and came up with a cost-efficient model that is highly effective in reducing overhead costs. Ray Kroc sees the potential of this and goes into partnership with franchising the company, McDonald's.

The Founder (2016, rated PG-13) is the story of how Ray Kroc turned this concept into the billion-dollar empire that we have today. Check out the DVD today.


Tags:

Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind is by far, the BEST movie ever made. Each scene could be an oil painting, a work of art! The story is so fascinating, and it has been impeccably transferred to the screen. By the end of my first viewing, I wanted to see it again. I thoroughly enjoy it every time that I watch it. One is completely transported back to this point in time.

Check out Gone with the Wind (1939) today. Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Hattie McDaniel, this film won 8 Oscars. You can also listen to the soundtrack on Hoopla.




Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is the coolest kid in his suburban school, and he has decided to take a day off with his best friend and girlfriend. After scheming their way out of attending school for the day, they sneak into Chicago for an adventure. Everything seems to go Ferris's way, but the principal is on to him and determined to put an end to the fun. This John Hughes film, with Ferris's signature soliloquies, is a classic 80s comedy.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986, PG-13) is part of the "1980s Radical Adventures" binge box along with E.T., Ghostbusters, Goonies, and Better Off Dead. And for more films set in Chicago, check out our list Location: Chicago.


Tags:

Tremors

Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward) have decided to leave the small, isolated town of "Perfection" for greener pastures. Unfortunately, they are a little too late. There's something under the ground, and it's killing people one by one. Now they are trapped. This comedy-horror film will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Tremors (1990, PG-13) also stars Michael Gross and Reba McEntire. This film is available on DVD in the Binge Box "Funny and Scary Collection" along with Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Cabin in the Woods, and What We Do in the Shadows.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975, rated R) is a great film that brilliantly illustrates the tyranny of authoritarian care, scary institutional stations, and social support systems. It depicts how they can trap people into dependency whilst robbing them of their dignity and independence. The film shows how the labeling or "statementing" of minds regardless of age can remove all sense of responsibility, adulthood, control, and accountability for their actions. 

This movie featuring Jack Nicholson shows how in life, one has to take risks to reap rewards and that 'flying over a cuckoo's nest' implies that taking some lesser risks are better avoided as they can lead to far greater dangers namely to risk being consumed like the hatching fledglings eaten by the young cuckoo laid in the bird's nest.

The film won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. 

Check out One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest today. Based on the novel by Ken Kesey.

Tags:

1945

I recommend the black and white film 1945. Set in a small village in Hungary in 1945 just as World War II finished, it opens on a summer day as the town prepares for a wedding. Two Jewish men get off the train with two large crates and go through town. The town's residents are wondering who these two men are and why they have returned. Some of the town's people were part of a coverup in getting a prominent Jewish family deported and taking over their possessions. Many of these people have such profound guilt, leading to irrational decisions while they think these two strangers are there to take back what was taken from this family. What happens in the town all takes place in a few hours.

This film was released in 2017, winning several awards at film festivals. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Watch 1945 on Hoopla today.


The Philadelphia Story

This gem has a script that is so well written, you could almost close your eyes and just listen to the movie and come away entertained by the romantic comedy. Dexter (Cary Grant) shows up a few days before his rich ex-wife Tracy's (Katharine Hepburn) wedding to George Kittredge (John Howard) with two tabloid reporters, Mike (James Stewart) and Liz (Ruth Hussey), in tow. Dexter, a recovering alcoholic, confronts Tracy about her role in their divorce, while she belittles him for his addiction. The movie exhibits a series of sharp-witted confrontations between Dexter and Tracy, but beneath the seeming malice is a deep-seated love they still feel for one another. Will she go through with wedding another man?

The Philadelphia Story (1940) is a must-see for the star-studded cast alone. You can find it in the "Weddings—Classic Films" binge box along with The Bride Came C.O.D., The Father of the Bride, and Princess O'Rourke. And for more classic romantic comedies, check out our lists that cover the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.



Die Hard

John McClane (Bruce Willis), currently separated from his wife, is an NYPD cop invited to her company Christmas party in a Los Angeles skyscraper. When terrorists seize the building and a group of hostages, McClane is their only chance of escape. Die Hard (1988, R) sets the standard for action/hostage movies and catapulted Willis into becoming an action hero movie megastar. Also starring Alan Rickman as his nemesis. Get the "Die Hard Collection" binge box to watch the entire series. It is also featured in the "Christmas Gone Wrong" binge box.


It’s a Wonderful Life

This is the quintessential Christmas movie that everyone has seen or should see. George Bailey (James Stewart) has seen his life's dreams dashed one after another, and in a moment of despair, contemplates taking his own life. An angel is sent to show George just how different the world would be if he were never born. Check out this timeless classic directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart and Donna Reed.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946, PG) is available as a part of the binge box called "A Classic Christmas Collection" which also includes Christmas in Connecticut, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, and White Christmas.

Also, take a look at our list of Family Christmas Movies.


The Great Alaskan Race

I highly recommend the movie, The Great Alaskan Race (2019, rated PG). It is the heroic true story of a race against time during an arctic blizzard. In 1925, there was a diphtheria epidemic that made all the children of Nome, Alaska, deathly ill. The town desperately needed the anti-toxin serum to stop this epidemic. This is the story of the Serum Run.

Twenty brave mushers and 150 courageous dogs traveled 700 miles through -80 temperatures to bring the serum back to Nome to save the children. What should have taken 25 days to travel by dogsled was done in a record of 5.5 days by these heroic mushers and dogs. This proved that anything was possible with hope and courage. The Iditarod Race is done in remembrance of the 1925 Serum Run.

Watch The Great Alaskan Race on Hoopla today or check out the Dvd.



Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Imagination and reality come together in the beautifully arranged musical, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020, PG)Featuring Forest Whitaker as the once famous toy maker, Jernonicus Jangle, we see how one man with the help of his enthusiastic and intelligent granddaughter, Journey, overcomes what seems to be the impossible: reigniting his creativity and reuniting his family. The film begins in the present with Grandmother Journey (Phylicia Rashad) introducing her grandchildren to the story of the Jangle family and their friend-turned-foe, Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key). In a year filled with what seems like one hardship after another, join this diverse and accomplished cast to inspire your sense of wonder and joy this winter.

Experience the magic of Jingle Jangle on Netflix with one of our Rokus.



Apollo 13

"Houston, we have a problem." In April 1970, three astronauts were headed for the moon when an oxygen tank exploded, affecting life support and propulsion. With an all-star cast, Apollo 13 (1995, PG) puts you right there in the lunar module as well as in the room at Houston flight control as the engineers work frantically to bring these men home alive. Apollo 13 was directed by Ron Howard and stars Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, and Gary Sinise.

Fans of Apollo 13 may also enjoy The Martian with Matt Damon. Apollo 13 is available as a DVD as a part of the Binge Box called "Never Travel with Tom Hanks," which includes three other movies: Cast Away, Captain Phillips, and Sully.


All Good Things

I recommend the movie All Good Things (2010, rated R), based on a true story from the early 80s about New York real estate heir David Marks (Ryan Gosling) and the disappearance of his wife Katie (Kirsten Dunst). Gosling does an amazing job with the transformation of his character in how he changes over the years of his marriage. He tries to outrun his past, but his family and wealth bring him back into the family business.

Watch All Good Things on Hoopla today or check out the DVD. The inspiration for the movie may be stranger than fiction: read about the strange case of Robert Durst.

The Blair Witch Project

Filmed on a very low budget The Blair Witch Project (1999, R) does a superb job of creating an eerie atmosphere without expensive special effects. The viewer is led to believe that the movie is actually footage from a documentary that three film students created when they ventured into the Maryland woods to document the local Blair Witch legend. This home-video quality film is all that was recovered. After watching the film read this interesting article, "The Blair Witch Project at 20: Why it can't be replicated." 

The movie is available on dvd or as a part of a Halloween binge box called "The Footage Found Collection" which also includes Paranormal ActivityCloverfieldV/H/SCreepThe Visit, and As Above, So Below.


Tags:

Finding Neverland

When I heard Finding Neverland (2004, rated PG) was nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture, I hoped it would win--but it did not. Nevertheless, it is a terrific movie. Johnny Depp who portrays James M. Barrie and Kate Winslet are equally great together. All of the fantasy is typical Johnny Depp and had me wondering if there was any truth to this story about how James Barrie created Peter Pan.

As the movie progresses, a more serious tone emerges with a climactic ending befitting Academy Award worthiness. Heaven is a real place don't you know, and I for one can only imagine just how beautiful it will be.

Watch Finding Neverland on Hoopla today or on DVD. While it didn't win Best Picture, the film did nab an Oscar for Best Original Score. Listen to it on Hoopla. For more of the true story behind the film, read this New York Times article.