Flick picks: Movies to watch during quarantine

Trust us, we know you are probably bored out of your skull right now, wanting to hang out with your friends. Maybe you’ve succumbed to cabin fever so much, you even crave to go to Walmart. Well, don’t fear. We have this under control and we can beat the Coronavirus boredom… with a few movie recommendations, of course.

My name is Meaghan and my film fanatic friend is Meredith, who also works for The Pine Log. We host a podcast about movies called Reely? Podcast. So, we promise our recommendations will be top notch and worthy of your view.

Meaghan’s Flick Picks

I’m a sucker for an indie documentary or really anything to do with cool Texas culture, so that’s what I’m sending your way. A professor once told me something along the lines of, “Texas is a cult.” He’s kind of right, so these films were either made in Texas or have some Texan element.

“Sweethearts of the Gridiron”

This movie is a documentary that follows the tryout process of the world-famous Kilgore College Rangerettes. If Kilgore sounds familiar, it’s because the community college is located an hour away from SFA. The East Texas phenomenon is a drill team; in fact, it was the first drill team ever. “Borned” from the mind of Gussie Nell Davis, the first director of the ’Rettes, groups of young women have been trying out to be part of the team for almost 80 years. The documentary, directed by Chip Hale, a former Rangerette manager, brought tears to my eyes as I watched the perseverance and determination in these women. One candidate tries out again after not making it the first time, another falls under the pressure of her older sister being a Rangerette and another woman battled for her spot on the team after being sent to the hospital. Another perk of this movie is that it is free to watch on YouTube. But, my favorite part is the local history and even the girl power that radiates from the screen.

“Bernie” –

This true crime-based movie will be one of your favorites. This film follows Bernie Tiede, a perceived angel and assistant funeral director in Carthage, (just about one hour away from SFA) who forms a special interest in one of the widows in town played by Shirley Maclaine. And one of the best parts about it is the background trivia and how relatable this movie is for East Texans. First of all, Bernie is played by Jack Black, who actually went to the prison to visit with Bernie so he could get the character perfect. Then, Matthew McConaughey, who graduated from Longview High School is in this movie along with his mother, Kay McCabe. And believe it or not, Bernie was released on bond under the condition he live with “Bernie” director, Richard Linklater. You can find a lot of interesting information about that in this article here. The mixing of real life and art is surreal, and the locals in the movie are accurate as to what a lot of East Texas is. As someone who lived in this area most of their life, I was slingshot back home.

“Steel Magnolias” –

I might be cheating a little bit since “Steel Magnolias” is based in Louisiana, but this movie also has Shirley MacLaine, so I’m letting it slide. Typically, I do not like movies that just show people living life. Meaning, “a year in the life of” movies. I need there to be a mission and for it to be accomplished at the end. However, the star-studded cast of Sally Fields, Julia Roberts and DOLLY – freaking – PARTON will have you saying “bless your heart,” even if you are from one of the most northern states in America. It’s a beautiful story of friendship, life and loss. To be honest, I’m having to protect my keyboard from the waterworks just thinking about it. If you want to know what makes a southern woman tick, watch this movie. If you want to hear some of the best quotes and colloquialisms, please watch this movie. Ouiser, a fan-favorite character constantly flings out one-liners like: “I'm not crazy, M'Lynn, I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!”

And I will never forget this exchange:

Ouiser: “Yes, Annelle, I pray! Well, I do! There, I said it, I hope you're satisfied.”

Annelle: “I suspected this all along!”

Ouiser: “Oh! Well, don't you expect me to come to one of your churches or one of those tent-revivals with all those Bible-beaters doin' God-only-knows-what! They'd probably make me eat a live chicken!”

Annelle: “Not on your first visit!”

Clairee: “Very good, Annelle! You've spoken like a true smart-ass!”

If you like The Golden Girls, you will love “Steel Magnolias.”

Meredith’s Flick Picks

For me, the best kind of movie to watch when you’re stuck at home is the not-quite-horror kind. While I love a good horror movie – classic slashers are my favorite – there’s something about an almost horror movie that’s comforting, in a way.

So, in case you need something to watch, I’ve compiled three suggestions to make your quarantine a little spookier.

“They Live” -

I watched this 1988 flick for the first time almost a week ago, and I’ve been dying to tell people to watch it since. It follows John Nada (Roddy Piper) as he finds out the media and government are really just subliminal messages telling the world to obey. With a pair of sunglasses, he sees the elite members of society are aliens who are set on controlling the world. This movie is a little slow at times, with a lot of panoramic shots and staring off into the distance. But, the story is such a cool concept that it makes it worth it. If you have 94 minutes to spare, this is a good choice.

“Night of the Creeps” -

This film, from 1986, is the epitome of 80s party movies. It tells the story of two college dweebs trying to pledge into a frat to impress a girl. But, as part of their hazing, they accidentally defrost a science experiment from the 1950s who had been cryogenically frozen. There are all kinds of weird elements in this one: an axe murderer, aliens, a cop with cool one-liners… Well, you get the idea. But unlike “They Live,” this film is more vibrant and fun, like other party movies of the decade. It’s funny, witty and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun-filled fright-night.

“Clue” -

If you haven’t already seen this board-game-turned-mystery-film, then you are missing out on the greatest quarantine movie in pop culture history. Six strangers get together for a dinner party, only to find their host dead. Led by the butler (played by Tim Curry, of course), they spend the evening trapped in the host’s mansion looking for the culprit. This movie was so inventive that when it was released in 1985, it had three different endings, and different theaters received different endings. Now, of course, the endings play one after the other, so you get the full experience. “Clue” is such an interesting piece of cinema history, and if you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for?

Have any more movies we should watch? Let us know by messaging us on The Pine Log social media.


Meredith Janning has worked on The Pine Log since her second semester at Stephen F. Austin. During her time at The Pine Log, Meredith has held the positions of staff writer and news editor.

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