The Pioneer’s Best “Not For School/Bored in Quarantine” Films

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Justin Peters, Arts and Entertainment Editor

With all of these problems and thoughts swarming our brain (quarantine, graduation, final grades, etc.), sometimes all we need is a good movie. But more often than not, a good movie isn’t exactly a great movie. The image you see in this article is a collection of all of those “good movies” (and Sex in the City), movies that don’t have anything to say, movies that just get from Point A to Point B, movies that star Seth Rogen. This list comprises movies that have some of the most meaningful messages in all of cinema (and for the record shouldn’t be watched with uptight parents).

Animal House (1978)

Yes, this movie is just a 70’s-college romp (technically it takes place in the 60’s) but it’s the best, most intellectually-processed college romp you will ever watch. There really isn’t one coherent plot line. As screenwriter Douglas Kenney put it, the movie is “slobs versus snobs.” The fictional Faber University is turned on its head and pushed to its limits when the war between two fraternities (the snooty, uptight Omega, and the wild and reckless Delta) comes to its climax. The movie focuses more on Delta and it’s list of nutjobs. The suave and sexy leader, Eric Straton (played by Tim Matheson), socially inept freshmen Larry (Tom Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst), and of course, the drunkest, fattest, funniest man in the frat, Bluto (John Belushi). The film is based on the college experiences of story/screenwriter, Chris Miller, and previously mentioned screenwriter/Harvard-alumni, Douglas Kenny. I can honestly say that it has changed the way comedies are made and changed college-life forever. Much like Bluto himself, it’s wild, shameless, and downright hilarious.

(Animal House is available on YouTube, iTunes, VUDU, Google Play Movies, Prime Video, and Hulu)

  • If you liked this movie and you want to learn more about Douglas Kenney and National Lampoon, watch A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018) [available on Netflix] or Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (2018))

The Lobster (2015)

If you’re a fan of the darkest comedies, the weirdest plots, and people getting turned into animals because they can’t find a suitable relationship, then Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster is perfect for you. After a brutal divorce, David (a.k.a. the only named character in the film) is sent to “The Hotel,” a place where single people must develop a stable relationship with someone within 45 days, or they are turned into an animal of their choosing, while a group of asexual rebels that live in the woods plan an uprising against the hotel. The movie is a hidden gem, with fantastic performances, a ton of off-the-wall comedy, and some great thriller aspects as well.

(The Lobster is available on YouTube, iTunes, VUDU, Google Play Movies, Prime Video, and Netflix)

  • If you liked this movie, you’ll like Lanthimos’ next movie The Favourite (2018) which is available on Hulu

Parasite (2019)

This movie had a ton of hype since it was released in theaters, and the hype is real. Parasite is one of most interesting think-pieces of the century. When the barely functional Kim family all find new jobs working for the rich, well-off Park family, they lie, steal, and fight their way to keep their jobs and keep the Park family naive and blind to their symbiotic methods (hence the title). The themes of greed and class discrimination are pushed to their creative limits and it keeps you on the edge of your seat from minute one. The performances from Song Kang-ho, Cho Yeo-jong, and Jeong Ji-so are ones for the record books, the score is electrifying, and the set design and cinematography is killer. The movie’s dialogue is spoken in Korean, but English subtitles are available and it doesn’t even matter because this movie is amazing.

Parasite is available on YouTube, VUDU, Google Play Movies, Prime Video, and Hulu

  • If you liked this movie [and the direction of Bong Joon-ho], check out Snowpiercer (2013) [available on Netflix], The Host (2006) [available on Hulu], and Okja (2017) which is available on Netflix

Almost Famous (2000)

Want to go on the greatest rock ‘n’ roll journey of your life? Almost Famous is the perfect amalgamation of poignancy, comedy, and music in cinematic history. Set in 1973, the death of classic rock is upon the world. Wannabe rock journalist William (Patrick Fugit) gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is offered to interview Black Sabbath, but instead, he winds up touring around the country with the up-and-coming Stillwater, led by the adventurous guitarist, Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and whiny lead singer Jeff Bebe William (Jason Lee) in an effort to get his article in the Rolling Stone. What follows is a heartfelt adventure across the country, filled with epic concerts, comradery, and a roadie (Kate Hudson) that will change William’s life. The film is also semi-autobiographical, as director Cameron Crowe wrote for the Stone and toured with bands like Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Eagles. It’s a perfect movie for any fans of 70’s rock and anyone who likes a feel-good comedy.

Almost Famous is available on YouTube, VUDU, Google Play Movies, Prime Video, and Hulu

  • If you liked this movie (and the direction of Cameron Crowe), check out Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) [available on Hulu], a mix of Animal House and Almost Famous

Boyhood (2014)

Richard Linklater’s magnum opus, Boyhood, is the most relatable coming-of-age story you could possibly ask for. Follow Mason (Ellar Coltrane), his divorced parents (Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke), and his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) over the course of twelve real years as they move from city to city, passing through all of the important milestones a boy can experience from age six to eighteen. See the growth of humanity grow with the worldwide headlines, the advancements in the cinematography, and the no-coherent-style soundtrack. I can’t say anything else about this film without crying, you must go watch it for yourself, as well as all of the other films we’ve recommended to you.

Boyhood is available on YouTube, VUDU, Google Play Movies, Prime Video, and Sling TV

  • (no side-recommendation for this one, it’s truly one-of-a-kind.)