Your New Favorite Holiday Movies

Your New Favorite Holiday Movies

8 holidays. 8 perfect movies.

This past July 4th, I realized that my family likes to watch certain movies for almost every holiday. There's something about coming together and making time to watch the same, classic movies year after year. Here's a list of movies that you may not have thought to watch during the holidays, but are sure to become your new favorites!

1. Valentine's Day - The Lakehouse

This is a suspenseful and intriguing romance movie in which a super significant event happens to take place on Valentine's Day. Plus, it has Sandra Bullock in it. How can you not like Sandra Bullock?

2. St. Patrick's Day - The Fugitive

So, the only reason I have for watching this on St. Patrick's Day is because there is a St. Patty's Day parade in the movie. Even if crime thriller movies aren't your thing, at least skip to this scene where you get to see Harrison Ford in a leprechaun hat.

3. Mother's Day - The Blind Side

I know, this is another Sandra Bullock movie - sue me. But it's definitely one of those heartwarming, "feel good" movies that is perfect to watch on Mother's Day.

4. Father's Day - Enchanted

This is another great family movie that showcases a really cute relationship between Patrick Dempsey's character and his daughter.

5. The Fourth of July/Independence Day - The Patriot

I don't want to spoil anything about this movie for those who haven't seen it, but I'll say that it's guaranteed to make you cry at least 15 times.

6. Halloween - A Cinderella Story

This movie isn't about Halloween at all, but it has a Halloween dance in it - that's good enough for me! A Cinderella Story is literally the #GOAT, and if you've never seen it, I'm begging you to rent it this Halloween.

7. Thanksgiving Day - Soul Surfer

This movie isn't focused on a holiday either, but it does focus on the importance of family and remind you of everything that you have to be thankful for. There's a Thanksgiving dinner scene in the movie so that kind of counts, right?

8. Christmas Day - It's A Wonderful Life

Words can't describe how beautiful this movie is. All I need to say is that, if you want to get in the Christmas spirit, you need to put It's A Wonderful Life on your list of movies to watch this Christmas. Lucky for you, Christmas in July gives you an excuse to watch it right now!

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A Review of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

"This is not going to go the way you think!"

After a long time of waiting and avoiding spoilers, I was finally able to watch “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.” Going into the film, I honestly didn't know what to expect. Fans have been very vocally split on it, with some calling it “The best Star Wars movie”, while others have vehemently disagreed and think of it as the worst one. On top of that, I had a million questions left from “The Force Awakens”, including one of the most discussed questions over the two-year wait: “Who are Rey’s parents?” However, all of my confusion quickly dissipated when I started watching, and was met with a beautifully-delivered story about love, forgiveness and, in true Star Wars fashion, hope.

The story revolves around Rey attempting to enlist the legendary Luke Skywalker to train her and aid the rebellion in taking down the First Order. However, the once kind-hearted and compassionate Jedi has grown cynical in the wake of his failure as a mentor to Kylo Ren. Despite Luke’s reluctance to teach her, Rey becomes stronger with the force as she slowly learns that the light side and the dark side aren't as clear-cut as she originally assumed them to be.

From a storytelling standpoint, I really enjoyed the movie. It has a lot of parallels to the original trilogy (particularly episodes V and VI), but it still manages to make the storyline fresh with its own twists and turns. There was disappointment surrounding the revelation of Rey’s parents, but I believed this was very well done. I won't say who her parents are, but given that's she's been desperately trying to find her place in this story, the truth was heartbreaking but fitting. There was also some anger surrounding the new force abilities, but I personally found them to be a non-issue since those abilities are in the lore. The movies need to be kept fresh to keep interest, and Rian Johnson did an excellent job of this.

From an acting perspective, the main cast were all amazing, just as I expected them to be. The two performances that stuck out to me the most were Mark Hamil’s and Adam Driver’s. They were able to flawlessly juxtapose the pain of failing someone you love vs. the pain of someone you love failing you, and convey that both of these feelings are valid and understandable. Additionally, this plays very interestingly in Kylo’s storyline, since he still feels the call to the light despite the pain that he's endured. Driver expresses this confusion and conflict extremely well.

Despite how good “The Last Jedi” is, it can't be perfect. The one issue I had with it was Luke’s metaphorical character assassination. At one point,we find out what Luke did on the night that Kylo slaughtered Luke’s students. Although I understand that this was needed to further the plot and show the complexity of the situation, it bothered me how extremely out of character Luke was written during this scene #NotMyLuke.

Overall, "The Last Jedi" is an amazing film that you should definitely see, if you haven't already. It's a beautiful film that's worth your time and consideration, no matter what the haters might say.

Cover Image Credit: Slash Film

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Top 9 Best 'Black Mirror' Episodes

You have to watch this!

Odds are you probably know someone obsessed with the Netflix show "Black Mirror". The show portrays alternate versions of our world, featuring advanced technology and reflecting horrifying realities about how we relate to our own technology currently.

It's an anthology, with each episode centering around different characters and settings, so you can watch it in any order you like. However most people advise to skip the first episode, as it can turn new viewers off and is not representative of what the other episodes are like.

1. "Shut Up and Dance"

This episode centers around a teen named Kenny, who, after downloading a virus on his computer and not covering his webcam while looking at porn, gets blackmailed into doing whatever a mysterious texter commands.

2. "Arkangel"

Arkangel raises the issue of monitoring children, how sheltering them too much can do more harm than good.

3. "The Waldo Moment"

Many journalists have said that this episode predicted the 2016 presidential election and they're right to some degree. In "The Waldo Moment", a cartoon bear named Waldo, who interviews politicians on a late night comedy show, runs in a political race himself. Even though he mainly makes crass jokes and insults who he's running against, he voters like him because "more real" than the actual politicians running against him, even though he's just a cartoon.

4. "Hang the DJ"

Frank and Amy fall in love in a world where a dating app controls who you date and how long the relationship lasts.

5. "Fifteen Million Merits"

This episode has elements inspired by reality shows such as "American Idol" and "The X Factor." Through the character of Abi, it brings up how, especially for female singers, looks and sexual appeal are focused on more than their actual talent. There's also a subtler message about the ability of video games to condition people to hate certain groups by making them shooting targets in the game.

6. "Playtest"

An American traveler agrees to test a stimulated reality game designed to scare a person with their worst fears. There's foreshadowing towards the beginning that you won't realize until you've seen the whole thing.

7. "Nosedive"

In Lacie's world, social media "ratings" determine status. She gets a chance to get a higher score when her old friend with a seemingly perfect life invites her to her wedding.

8. "White Bear"

White Bear has so many twists. No matter how terrible a crime someone committed, some punishments are worse than death.

9. "San Junipero"

Yorkie and Kelly are relationship goals.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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