Shows 'N Tunes: Movie, Music, and Game Reviews

Yesterday

For anyone out there who is a Beatles fan, is it even possible to not enjoy watching the movie, Yesterday (2019, rated PG-13)? It's jam packed with one great tune after another, with some of the best pop music ever written. In fact, there's even a deleted scene with George Harrison's "Something" that should have been included in the movie. The scenes that could have been created around all the fabulous music from The Beatles is probably endless and the movie would be five hours long.

And for the younger generation of music listeners, I hope they will also enjoy this romance/comedy and appreciate some of the music these four guys from Liverpool, England, brought to the world.

Listen to the soundtrack on Hoopla and check out the movie.

Jennifer is also a fan. Read her review.


Appalachian Trail

National Geographic made this documentary about the Appalachian Trail. This hiking trail is over 2,000 miles long, running from Georgia to Maine (cutting through 14 states). There are many day hikers that do portions of the trail, but also thru-hikers that can take up to 6 months to complete the entire trail. 1 in 4 succeed with over 2,000 hikers trying each year to complete the trail.

It is known as the "people's trail" because it was created by Americans and is completely cared for by an army of volunteers. It is truly an American experience, and the journey changes lives. This is the ultimate challenge for hikers who have an adventurous side. Watch Appalachian Trail (2009) on Hoopla today.


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.

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Live at the Checkerboard Lounge by Muddy Waters

On November 22, 1981, The Rolling Stones were in Chicago for a concert and stopped at Buddy Guy's Checkerboard Lounge to hear Muddy Waters and get back to their blues roots. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Ian Stewart joined in with Muddy Waters, the father of modern Chicago blues. Buddy Guy and Lefty Dizz are also featured. Junior Wells is excellent on the harmonica.

Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones turned the song "Baby Please Don't Go" into an eleven-minute jam session. The Rolling Stones were named after the Muddy Waters song, "Rollin' Stone."

Listen to Live at the Checkerboard Lounge (2017) on Hoopla today. Place a hold on the Live at the Checkerboard Lounge DVD (2012) to watch a young Mick Jagger singing and interacting with Muddy Waters and Keith Richards jamming on the guitar.


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Samurai Jack

Jack, a young prince of the emperor, is sent to fight the demon Aku. As he is about to emerge victorious, he is sent to the future by Aku and is trapped there. Now he must find a way to return to the past while surviving in a future that is ruled by Aku. Samurai Jack (2001, rated TV-14) has a great story filled with memorable characters and settings. It is always interesting to see how Jack will solve various issues that the natives of the future have.

Check out season 1 of Samurai Jack on Hoopla today.


Songs for the Saints by Kenny Chesney

I enjoyed Kenny Chesney's album Songs for the Saints (2018). My favorite song was "Get Along," as I'm sure it was for many because it was featured on the radio quite a bit. For those Chesney fans, you know he has a unique sound to country music, combining country roots with his love for the seas, boating, and warm weather. Chesney primarily brings to attention the damage caused from a recent hurricane and brings in some friends for other recordings. These make nice additions to what I think is a very good album.

Listen to Songs for the Saints on Hoopla today.


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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.



Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven is a cooperative board game set in a fantasy world. Players take on the role of adventurers as they set off on quests defending the land or searching out treasure. Gloomhaven's story format makes each time you play unique while building on the last time you played. You will have the opportunity during play to equip new items and buy special resources to make your character unique to your style of play.

Gloomhaven is good for players who enjoy Dungeons and Dragons or those who have interest in roleplaying games, but are still not sure about where to begin. The game will guide your path with story and flavor text, and give you a feel for how to get started with other roleplaying games.


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Safety

Inspirational sports movies are one of my favorite feel-good comfort watches. And there's a new movie that fits this theme perfectly: Safety (2020, PG). Set in 2008 and inspired by a true story, it follows a Clemson freshman who juggles school, football, and family. After his mother enters a drug rehabilitation facility, Ray takes in his younger brother Fay. He hides him on campus, refusing help, trying to do it all on his own.

His Clemson family teaches him that accepting help is not the same as taking charity. Throw in a fight with the NCAA about legalities and you'll enjoy a film that will have you rooting for Ray, Fay, and the rest of his teammates aka brothers.

For fans of Remember the Titans, The Blind Side, Million Dollar Arm, and Bend It Like Beckham. If you want to learn the story behind the movie, check out this ESPN article.

Check out one of our Rokus with Disney Plus to watch the film.


Fisherman’s Friends

This feel good story is based on the singing phenomena that were ten small town lobster fishermen and close friends from Cornwall, UK. They would meet at the local pub and sing traditional sea shanties. After they were discovered by a London music management company, their music cd was the biggest selling traditional folk album of all time. 

Fisherman's Friends (2019, PG-13), a slightly fictionalized version, is great entertainment. There are lots of laughs, great songs, and some heartwarming performances from familiar British actors. It is a charming, funny story that will have your toes-a-tapping.

Listen to the music from the film on Hoopla.

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.


Key & Peele. Season 1

Key & Peele is a sketch comedy show starringyou guessed itKey and Peele (aka Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele), two comedic geniuses who combined their talents to create a memorable show. Their sketches range from relationships, to wacky characters, and they even sometime tackle systematic racism from everyday life. The episodes usually contain several sketches. If a comparison could be made, it is similar to the Chapelle Show in style. Both comedians featured are very funny. Key & Peele (2012, TV-14) is worth a look if you want to look at society from an exaggerated point of view.

Watch Season 1 of Key & Peele on Hoopla today.


LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special

In true LEGO fashion, the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020, TV-G) combines adventure, humor, and fun for kids and adults alike. Star Wars fans will appreciate the time hops between all of the franchise's major moments. We go on this "Life Day" journey with Rey and BB-8 to learn from some of the best and most powerful Jedi masters and meet lots of other favorite characters along the way. With nods to the live-action Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), life-long followers will have some extra Easter Eggs to look forward to.

Check out the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special on one of our Rokus with Disney+.