COVID 19 is keeping us home, but fortunately there are plenty of good films to enjoy from the comfort of our living rooms. Following are a few that I’ve watched recently.
Mighty Oak (2020)
MIGHTY OAK was released July 7th on most digital platforms, including Amazon Prime, Vudu, FandangoNow, and i-Tunes. It tells the story of Gina (played by Janel Parrish of “Pretty Little Liars”), a band manager who struggles after losing her brother in a car accident somewhere in a Los Angeles freeway. After a decade struggling, she meets a 10-year-old amazing guitarist named Oak (played by real-life music prodigy Tommy Ragen), and he inspires Gina back into action not only in her personal life but also in reuniting the old band with him at its front.
MIGHTY OAK was directed by Sean McNamara. The cast includes husband and wife Carlos and Alexa PenaVega, Raven-Symone, and Rodney Hicks. It is rated PG-13 for content that involves substance abuse and adult language. It is 102 minutes long.
If you believe in reincarnation, this movie will be right up your alley. For viewers in Los Angeles, it’ll be fun figuring out where the scenes were shot, plus expect a couple of sweet moments that will pull on your heart strings.
A Simple Wedding (2020)
If you’re looking for a fun and entertaining movie, consider A SIMPLE WEDDING, which is now available on VOD.
Nousha (played by Tara Grammy) is a young Iranian-American attorney who has a great job, supportive friends, and a comfortable life. Still, she is unable to please her conservative Persian parents. So when Nousha falls for the charming but unorthodox (and American) Alex (Christopher O’Shea), it brings instant chaos into her traditional family life, leading to a wedding that will be anything but simple.
Rita Wilson is part of the cast, as well as the Executive Producer of the film. The beautiful Iranian-American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo is also in this film, as is the Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani.
Right now, it is available to watch for free, with ads, on Prime Video.
This very cute movie was released on VOD just yesterday (June 1, 2020). It’s about a 12-year-old kid named Abe who likes to cook and wants to use food to unite his quirky family. Abe is played by Noah Schnapp, whom you may already know from Stranger Things on Netflix.
Abe is half-Israeli, half-Palestinian. Both sides of the family want to instill culture and religion on him, but there isn’t a meal that doesn’t end in a fight. Looking to fuse the foods from both sides, he finds encouragement in a chef named Chico, played by Brazilian actor and singer – Seu Jorge.
A bit of trouble ensues from the way that Abe goes about accomplishing his goal, but this is a feel-good movie that will leave you heart happy, though perhaps a bit hungry.
You can rent or buy ABE from Amazon by clicking this link.
Lucky Grandma (2019)
LUCKY GRANDMA is a funny film in English, Mandarin, Cantonese (and English subtitles) that is now available for streaming.
Set in New York’s Chinatown, LUCKY GRANDMA tells the story of an 80-year-old grandma (played wonderfully by Tsai Chin) who decides to try her luck at Foxwoods Casino after her fortune teller predicted a most auspicious day for her. Instead of making any money, she gets in trouble with some local gangsters. Needing protection, she employs the services of a bodyguard (Corey Ha) and soon finds herself in the middle of a Chinatown gang war.
A $12 ticket gives you a five-day pass to watch the movie. You can support your favorite virtual theater out of the many listed on this page. In Los Angeles, you may want to support Laemmle Theatre’s directly from this page.
Working Man (2020)
WORKING MAN feels eerily familiar in our times of COVID. The film tells of an unlikely hero, Allery Parkes (played by Peter Gerety), who can’t figure out how to stay at home doing nothing when the factory that he’s worked for most of his life closes its doors. Instead, he forms a friendship with a charismatic, and complicated, co-worker (Billy Brown) and sets to revive the defunct factory, although he does it against the wishes of his wife Iola (played by Talia Shire, whom you’ll remember as Adrian Balboa in the ROCKY series). As corporate bosses try to stop him, and the community rallies around him, Allery surprises himself when he starts becoming a leader.
WORKING MAN will leave you feeling good as it resolves its conflicts nicely and the main characters dance to “Chan Chan,” the beautiful famous Cuban tune performed by Compay Segundo y su Grupo.
WORKING MAN is now available on VOD, including Apple TV, Prime Video, FandangoNow, and Vudu. It’s 108 minutes long, in English. Enjoy the trailer below.
Chichinette – The Accidental Spy (2019)
This documentary film was going to be released at various Laemmle Theaters at the end of March but, as you know, COVID had different plans. However, you can now see it on multiple platforms, including at KinoNow.com, for $4.99. (Check also VUDU, Google Play, iTunes, FandangoNow.)
Chichinette is the story of Marthe Cohn, a feisty woman who in her youth joined the French Army during WWII after Hitler’s rise to power. After keeping silent for almost 60 years, she now shares how she managed to beat the odds and fight the Nazis as a spy after her family fled to the south of France and a sister was sent to Auschwitz. She used her German accent & blond hair to pose as a German nurse and slipped behind enemy lines to gather essential information about Nazi movements for Allied commanders. Now, at the age of 100, she still tours the world for lectures and promotes her message to people of all generations.
This is a perfect film to see this week since Holocaust Remembrance Day will be observed this Monday, April 20. Enjoy the trailer below.
Del Amor y Otros Demonios (2010)
Directed by Costa Rican filmmaker Hilda Hidalgo, this movie is based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book by the same title. It’s in Spanish with English subtitles. Really a nice love story at a time when the Catholic Church had lots of power. It’s available free of charge (as well as the movie below) during the COVID crisis with the intention of making your #stayhome efforts easier. Watch it by following THIS LINK. Password: costarica2020
Violeta Al Fin (2017)
Violeta Al Fin is a 2017 movie (Spanish only) by Costa Rican filmmaker Hilda Hidalgo. It’s about an older lady who finds herself between the rock and the hard place while deciding the future of the home in which she raised her family. The movie is available HERE. Password: costarica2020