The Student Newspaper of Edison High School

2021’s Early Bird Entertainment Guide

By KASHISH VARSHNEY ‘21 & VALLIKA NAYAK ’21

February is here, so love is in the air. Chocolates, roses and couples galore. If you’re like me, and you don’t do romance, then you’re in luck! This edition’s movies and shows don’t focus only on romance. Instead, there’s a movie for everyone! So get watching, and be sure to tell us about the movies and shows that you watched and liked.


Movies

Valentine’s Day Selections

Love Guaranteed (2020)

  • Genre: Comedy/Romance
  • Rating: 
  • Platform: 
  • 3 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: This is an everyday, cutesy romance movie. It’s about this guy who uses a dating website. The website guarantees that if you go on a thousand dates through their website, you will eventually fall in love. He goes on 998 dates but still doesn’t fall in love. So, he decides to sue the dating company. The acting in this movie isn’t great, but it’s not horrible either. All in all, it’s a decent movie, but sometimes cringey. It is appropriate for younger viewers (family movie). – Vallika Nayak ‘21

The Sound of Music (1965)

  • Genre: Musical/Romance
  • Rating: G
  • Platform: Disney +
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: The Sound of Music really is the “happiest sound in all the world;” this movie is one of the best and most loved classics you could ever watch. It is a musical and all of the songs are famous. This movie is so old–considering the recent passing of the lead actor Christopher Plummer at 91 and the fact that Julie Andrews who was 20 during filming is now 85;, but even so, I still love this movie. The basic plot is that there is a girl, Maria, who grew up in a convent. She becomes the nanny to a Captain’s children, and starts to fall for him. It’s very dramatic, but it’s such a good movie (it’s in color and with sound, in case you were wondering). It is a great family movie to bond over. – Vallika Nayak ‘21

West Side Story (1961)

  • Genre: Musical/Romance
  • Rating: G
  • Platform: Netflix
  • 3 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: This was a good movie. I’ve never read the book in English class, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but the movie wasn’t bad. The songs are cute, and the story was probably original at the time (1961), but is now trite. The movie is lengthy, so at the end, I felt like I had wasted my time (except for the fact that this movie is a classic). In terms of plot, a Puerto Rican immigrant girl named Maria falls in love with a white gang member. Of course, there’s a turf war and tragic love story to match. It’s a good movie, and it is mostly family-friendly (there is a little violence). – Vallika Nayak ‘21


Other

Casino Royale (2006)

  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Platform: Netflix
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: This was the first time I have ever watched a James Bond movie. Before this movie, I was a strict Mission Impossible girl. When watching this movie, I was pleasantly surprised at how different it was from Mission Impossible, yet how similar it was at the same time. Bond and Hunt are surprisingly similar characters. They’re both suave, well-spoken and of course, ladies men. What I found interesting about the ending is that it sets up the next couple of movies. It becomes a revenge tale, something I didn’t really see when I watched Mission Impossible. I enjoyed Bond’s dark, gritty character more than Hunt’s more optimistic personality. I like characters that understand the dark reality we live in. I also appreciated that the dealer in the poker game was calling out the moves and hands that the players had. In a high stakes game that Bond was playing, a dealer wouldn’t do that, so I appreciated that the director decided to forgo authenticity and help the audience follow the game, since it’s an important part of the movie. I can’t wait to rewatch this movie! – Kashish Varshney ‘21

Enola Holmes (2020)

  • Genre: Crime/Adventure
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Platform: Netflix
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: Enola Holmes is about Sherlock and Mycroft’s younger sister, Enola. It’s basically a coming of age story told in a breaking-the-fourth-wall narration style. As a Sherlock watcher myself, it’s always intriguing to see the next take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. I found this movie quite refreshing because most interpretations of Sherlock Holmes are about the character himself, never about a side character and never about his sister. Although BBC’s Sherlock introduces Eurus Holmes, another interpretation of Sherlock having a younger sister, Enola Holmes does a better job of giving Sherlock’s sister a character arc. Eurus had so much potential like Enola, but Eurus just didn’t pan out, unlike Enola. Enola is depicted as a free-spirited, stubborn feminist who believes she can be just as brilliant as her brothers. Consequently, she sets out on a journey to show the world what she is capable of.  Unlike many heroines, Enola’s story doesn’t revolve around a romance. A romantic interest for Enola is introduced, but her story doesn’t revolve around it. The movie does an amazing job of demonstrating the change from girl to young woman as Enola finds her place in society. I recommend this movie to everyone to watch. – Kashish Varshney ‘21

Get Smart (2008)

  • Genre: Comedy/Action
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Platform: Amazon Prime
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: Here’s a spy movie like none other! We’ve seen the parodies, but I’ve seen no other film like Get Smart. Unlike James Bond and Ethan Hunt, Maxwell Smart is an intelligent, yet clumsy agent who works at CONTROL. My favorite scene is when he’s in the bathroom of a plane, and he tries to use his mini crossbow and end up shooting himself in his forehead, cheek, thigh, hand and butt. Truly comedic gold! Although this movie has many action-packed scenes, these scenes also include “well-timed” (not well tied for the characters) hilarity to offset the tension. If that isn’t enough, then look at the cast! You’ve got Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson,  Steve Carrell, Anne Hathaway, Terry Crews and Bill Murray! All in all, I would recommend this film to all, especially those who don’t enjoy a purely action based movie. – Kashish Varshney ‘21

Ocean’s Eleven Movies (2001, 2004, 2007)

  • Genre: Comedy/Crime
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Platform: Netflix
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: This is the only series included on our list, that is about heist movies. If you haven’t already watched these movies, then let me tempt you. The cast consists of Geroge Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia and many more. But, if the cast can’t tempt you, then the plot definitely will! The movies are about three different heists that are only minutely related; the first heist is the best  ( in my opinion of course). A warning while watching these movies– all is not what it seems. – Kashish Varshney ‘21

Stalin is Dead (2016)

  • Genre: Political Satire
  • Rating: R
  • Platform: Netflix
  • 20 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly High)

Review: This is the number one movie I watched in 2020. This movie is so amazing that I can’t put it into words. The title explains the plot: Stalin is dead, so his cabinet now must sort out what will happen to the Soviet Union. This movie demonstrates the power struggle that took place when Stalin’s seat became vacant and narrates how Stalin’s successor became a puppet to the other ministers and their agendas. What I truly loved about this movie is just how much it relates to the political climate of today and how this movie could apply to any nation, not just the Soviet Union or Russia. Furthermore, the movie is highly comedic, and much of its comedy comes from dark humor. (You have been warned). My favorite moment is when one of the monsters is called to Stalin’s room and sees his dead body on the ground. He sits on the couch to wait for the other ministers and then another walks in and asks the minister sitting on the couch if they should call a doctor. The other minister replies that Stalin killed all the doctors. Overall, I HIGHLY recommend you watch this movie. – Kashish Varshney ‘21

V for Vendetta (2005)

  • Genre: Action/Thriller
  • Rating: R
  • Platform: Netflix
  • 10 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly High)

Review: This is another one of my favorite movies that I watched in 2020. This movie is about revolution, freedom, and how easily this right can be taken from us. In hindsight, this movie reminds me a lot of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Specifically, I draw a connection between the faith the animals had in Napoleon, their leader, their easy oppression, and their ignorance. This movie is a dire warning to our society about where we are headed. A key element to this movie is the news and how the news and reporters were all controlled by the oppressive regime of Britain. The people of Britain were fed “fake news,” that they believed quite easily. This happens in today’s “democracies.” Our world is riddled by the lies that are told to us by the people we trust. I won’t disclose further information on the movie because it truly is a movie you have to watch to understand the full message; however, I will say this: this movie does an excellent job depicting a dystopian society that we could evolve into and does a wonderful job reflecting our current political climate. – Kashish Varshney ‘21


TV Shows

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-PRESENT)

  • Genre: Sitcom
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Platform: Hulu, NBC, Sling
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: This isn’t your typical crime-drama. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show like none other. Its theme song is iconic and its characters even more so. It follows the stories of seven detectives and their chief on a journey to becoming a family. The show does a brilliant job in talking about current events and issues in society and the criminal justice world. It illuminates the inner-drama that the colleagues go through and what unites them as friends and family. And of course, you have the cold opens. You can’t forget about the cold opens. My personal favorite is when Jake Peralta, one of the main detectives, is asking a witness to identify a murderer in a witness line-up and asks them to sing “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. Overall, the show is light-hearted and fun, so I highly recommend you all watch it. The episodes are not long. They’re about 25 minutes long. – Kashish Varshney ‘21

Dynasty (2017-PRESENT)

  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: TV-14 
  • Platform: Netflix, the CW
  • 10 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly High)

Review: Dynasty is such a good show! It’s kind of like Gossip Girl where everyone’s insanely rich and there’s scandals and affairs and it’s so good! The characters are really well developed and the plot is realistic enough that everyone can relate. Super funny, but not appropriate for younger viewers (age sixteen and above, I say).

– Shikha Agarwal ‘22

Hawaii Five-0 (2010-2020)

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Platform: CBS All Access
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: I absolutely loved this show! This show is about Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett and his partner Detective Daniel “Danny” Williams and their crime-task force called Five-0. Although the show follows each member of the team, it heavily focuses on McGarrett and Williams’ relationship, the development of their relationship, and how this bond affects their family and work life. The show isn’t a totally accurate procedural show, but with high-stakes chases, shootouts and family drama. This show is bound to keep you entertained and glued to the edge of the seat! – Kashish Varshney ‘21

Heartland (2007-PRESENT)

  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Platform: Netflix
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: I’ve been watching this show for almost six years. They have eleven seasons on Netflix right now (but this show is Canadian so they are actually airing season fourteen at the moment). The basic story is that there’s a girl named Amy Fleming whose mother dies trying to help an abused horse named Spartan. She then has to take over her family’s “horse-whispering” business (really, she figures out what is wrong with horses and tries to help them, but there’s no other word for her talent). It is a REALLY GOOD show, and the characters become like family. I learned a lot about animals, ranches, and rodeos (basically how rural life is) from this show. Mostly appropriate for younger audiences (I would say twelve and above). – Vallika Nayak ‘21

Madam Secretary (2014-2020)

  • Genre: Political Drama
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Platform: Netflix, CBS All Access
  • 6 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: This show is SO GOOD. Of all the political shows I have watched (or tried to watch), this one is by far the coolest. Basically, in the show, the Secretary of State dies, and the President chooses Elizabeth McCord to be the next Secretary. The story is about her evolution as the Secretary and the effect of her job on her family life. This show taught me a lot about how the government works, so it was really interesting for me. The acting is incredible and the situations are very realistic. This is a must – watch show if you’re into politics. – Vallika Nayak ‘21

Money Heist (2017-PRESENT)

  • Genre: Crime
  • Rating: TV-MA 
  • Platform: Netflix
  • Language: Spanish (with English subtitles)
  • ∞ out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly High)

Review: A group of thieves rob the Royal Mint of Spain in the first two parts and then the gold vault in the second two parts. I LOVE THIS SHOW! The leader of the group (professor) is insanely smart (and kinda hot) and the characters are well developed. Furthermore, the relationships are so cute! And the main relationship (Tokyo and Río) is SO CUTE! I binged it in like two weeks so I ten out of ten recommend it. – Shikha Agarwal ‘22

NCIS (2003-PRESENT)

  • Genre: Crime/Action
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Platform: Netflix, CBS All Access
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: This is one of my all time favorite crime shows! Although it is a procedural show, it is also so much more. It’s about family and having a set of guidelines/rules/beliefs to follow (Rule twelve: Never date a coworker). The show follows Agent Leory Jethro Gibbs’ MCRT team as they battle terrorists and their not-so-great fathers and try to trust each other. In the end, this show captures your heart, as you feel a part of their little family. – Kashish Varshney ‘21

The Chef Show (2019-PRESENT)

  • Genre: Food & Travel/Lifestyle/Social & Cultural Docs
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Platform: Netflix
  • 5 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: This is like no other cooking show I’ve ever seen. (I know I’ve been saying this quite a lot this edition, but it’s true!) It has no script, no plot. It’s just a-drive-and-let’s-see-where-the-road-leads us type of movie. This show is hosted by Jon Favereau–he was in the movies Chef and in the Iron Man movies–and Roy Choi, owner and chef of the Kogi Truck in Los Angeles. Overall, it’s a wonderful show that doesn’t feel like a cooking show. Ten out of ten would recommend. – Kashish Varshney ‘21

The Umbrella Academy (2019-PRESENT)

  • Genre: Action
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Platform: Netflix
  • 4 out of 5 Eagle Masks (Certified Eagles Fly)

Review: Basically, there are these kids that were all born spontaneously (it’s kind of hard to explain), and they all have super powers. This guy named Sir Reginald adopts these special kids from their parents and names them with numbers (they already had real names). They are meant to be a super team. From there, the story goes crazy. The acting is well done for the most part. Some of the events are weird. It is a very intense sci-fi show. It’s probably not appropriate for younger viewers. There are only two seasons out on Netflix right now, so if you’re looking to binge a show, I would wait for more seasons to come out before diving in.

– Vallika Nayak ‘21

Photo Credit: Alyson Zhang ’22

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