14 movies and shows to help you stop doom’s rolling election results

EAfter the exhausting and maddening news cycle of the past four years, the election news cycle has become a class of its own. Donald Trump has already started raising money on the idea – read: lie – that an election that hasn’t even been decided has been stolen for Joe Biden. Russian state media are apparently eagerly awaiting the outbreak of violence. And crazy MAGA twerps flooded a skinning site. (Picture this writer screaming into a pillow here.)

For months since the start of the pandemic, many of us have melted our brains as we marched relentlessly throughout the day and night – and in the presidential race we have now found our Olympics . After all, until this thing is over, what else is there to do but helplessly refresh Twitter and make your way down the snack aisle of our local grocery store? But every once in a while, maybe – just perhaps– it would be nice to take a break. If it’s time to distract yourself, try one of these movies and shows, all of which have just arrived on their respective streaming platforms.

Ocean’s Eleven

It’s hard to think of a more calming balm for our current hell landscape than the Steven Soderbergh classic that made a new generation obsessed with heist movies. How can you go wrong with a devastatingly charming George Clooney and an endlessly nibbling Brad Pitt? And that says nothing about the perfect performances of Andy Garcia, Matt Damon, Carl Reiner, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac and … the list goes on. I’m not a doctor, but I’m sure the last photo of the crew group hanging in front of the Bellagio Fountain still lowers my blood pressure. (Now on Netflix)

The Blair Witch Project

Or maybe you would like to be terrified of something that is not our democracy? After all, it wasn’t this long since Halloween. So what about the snot-filled, camera-shaking indie film that reshaped horror for decades to come? Join Heather Donahue and her cheerful trio of film students as they roam the woods panicked by cairns and sticks hanging from trees, and let those concerns about the Electoral College melt away. (Now on Hulu)

Practical magic

Like the Alice Hoffman novel on which it is based, Practical magic is like a warm blanket in the fall, a witchy romance based on family love. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman shine as two supernaturally gifted sisters whose Aunts Frances and Jet – delightfully played by Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest – have raised them to embrace their savagery and quirkiness. Grab a midnight margarita and immerse yourself in magical realism. (Now on HBO Max)


Another option: a scathing, harsh-funny comedy starring not only early career Emma Stone as Olive, the steadfast girl who claims to flout all the boys in her high school, but also the brilliantly portrayed Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson like her parents. Add to that a better career performance of Amanda Bynes as her biblical nemesis, Marianne, and you have a solid escape watch. (Now on Netflix)


Who needs Principle when we have the funniest Christopher Nolan movie here? Besides, who needs nothing else when Nolan gave us a film about dueling Victorian magicians – guest starring David Bowie as Nikola Tesla! – in 2006? (Now on Hulu)

Rick and Morty Season 4

Maybe TV’s favorite mad, drunken scientist can transport us all to another dimension – but then again, the adventures of Rick and his shy grandson often don’t end up in places we’d like. go. Either way, the irreverent and surreal sci-fi show is certainly captivating enough to keep even the most anxious mind elsewhere for at least a few hours. (Now on Hulu)

13 Continue 30

Just you try and frown as she watched a hyper bubbly Jennifer Garner show her Razzle red tongue to an incredibly adorable Mark Ruffalo! It will not work. Everything on 13 Continue 30—from blinding fashion from the start to quoted lines like “I want to be 30, attractive and successful!” – has become more and more fun with age. Add in the spectacularly manic performances of Andy Serkis and Judy Greer and you have the makings of a fun good night’s sleep. (Now on HBO Max)

I know what you did last summer

Does anyone even remember a moment before Johnny Galecki was inextricably linked in our minds to The Big Bang Theory? Although he never reached the heights of his screenwriter Kevin Williamson’s previous version, Yell, the film brought together teen icons Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr. for a perfectly fun, albeit more conventional, slasher game. For those with a nostalgic connection to the film, it’s an endlessly revolving, brain-numbing triumph – and for those who haven’t, a warning: you’ll never look at crabs the same way again. (Now on Amazon Prime)

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

There is also something to be said, in these ugliest times, to immerse yourself in pure beauty – and for that, there are few better choices than Ang Lee. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The award-winning film – which won, among many other accolades, Best Foreign Language Film at the 2001 Oscars – sparked Hollywood’s fascination with wuxia films in the decade that followed, as Zhang Yimou targeted. hero, House of flying daggers, and Curse of the Golden Flower in the international market. Plus, why not spend a few hours with a flywheel and fight Michelle Yeoh? (Now on Amazon Prime)

Romance of stone

Danny DeVito single-handedly makes this Robert Zemeckis romance spoof worth watching – and if he doesn’t, Michael Douglas’s ass certainly will. Kathleen Turner’s throaty and lustful performance as hopeless loving and devout cat person Joan Wilder is superb – as is Holland Taylor, albeit briefly, as editor. From Joan’s addiction to airplane-sized liquor bottles to the very specific way that mustached Zack Norman of saying “Look at those snappers,” it’s worth revisiting over and over again. (Now on Amazon Prime)

Friday 13

Just in case you are really Not finished with Halloween, you can always revisit Camp Crystal Lake, one of the most common sources of horror season marathon fodder. (Now on HBO Max)

28 days later

And for those who prefer zombies to machete-wielding dudes (and mothers) wearing hockey masks, there’s also the movie that dared to ask, “How about we do them fast?” (Now on Amazon Prime)

The fast and the furious

At this point, aren’t we all living our lives a quarter of a mile at a time? Of course, the original Quickly the movie is downright quaint next to the sequels that would follow – but from the start Vin Diesel knew what he was doing. Seriousness and a relatively small scale The fast and the furious are, in fact, what makes it such a warm and fascinating watch in retrospect, given the leaping heights of skyscrapers and globetrotters the franchise would reach later on. (Now on HBO Max)

We bought a zoo

It is there, dear readers, that I make a confession. I am almost positive I saw We bought a zoo; at the mention of the title, my mind’s eye can conjure a faint memory of maybe (maybe ?!) watching it from my mom’s couch. But for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you a single thing that’s going on – other than, well, the obvious. And frankly, in these absurd and horrific times, it seems like a good time to find out what happens when Matt Damon buys a zoo. So I … think I’m about to watch We bought a zoo?! If you want, you can too. (Now on HBO Max)

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