In the difficult times, we are living in, one of the beautiful things about the world is how people are turning to art. We often get lost in the struggle to live up society’s standards of work and wealth that we forget the value of art in our lives. Quarantine has reminded us that beauty, romance and poetry is what truly allows for human flourishing.
Here at Cape & Castle, our favorite artistic medium is expression through visual media. Cinema and television series can truly serve as catharses for us to heal from the stress of the world around us. The good thing about quarantine is that you can watch your favorite movies and shows as many times as you want without judgment, and here are three I’m shamelessly watching on repeat.
My Ratatouille watch count is easily in the triple-digit range, but it could be in danger of hitting four digits by the time quarantine is over.
My verse in Tangled‘s “I Have A Dream” musical number would easily have been about cooking. Culinary arts has served as an irreplaceable therapy and liberation for me for years, so my connection to the film is natural. However, the brilliance of Ratatouille is that you do not have to be a cook or artist to love the movie. The film’s central mantra translates directly into the life of anyone with aspirations.
Ratatouille features a beautiful contrast by delivering incredibly realistic themes through an outlandish plot. Anton Ego was Pixar’s easiest villain to write because he exists in the world. In every career. In every avenue of life. A mere food critic with no superhuman power, Ego’s weapon choice of a ballpoint pen represents something we all face in life – criticism. (Is this a good time to bring up that Pixar should make a movie centered around a villain? I love villains, OKAY?!)
Ratatouille serves up a deliciously satisfying ending when Remy’s dish turns Ego from critic into a devoted fan. I mean really devoted. He literally buys stocks in a rat-operated business.
Through the film’s mantra “anyone can cook”, the story conveys an inspiring message of not letting others define your limits, but to be fearless in the pursuit of your dreams. Remy’s desire to make the world a better place through food is a compelling philosophical progression that inspires all. It makes me wonder why Disney+ doesn’t have a loop setting. They should just assume I want to watch Ratatouille again.
Where to watch: Disney+
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
An introduction to the Pirates of the Caribbean universe, The Curse of the Black Pearl is about as close as you can get to a perfect adventure movie. This swashbuckling flick is the perfect balance of comedy, action, and romance with a gentle touch of horror. I wish Disney took more chances like this with their live actions.
Part of the movie’s replay value is rooted in how well the film’s visual effects have aged for being an early 2000s movie. The Curse of the Black Pearl comes out on top in a film era that was just beginning to figure out CGI. And if you’re like me and find the technical wizardry of CGI fascinating, the film’s extras on Disney+ includes a seven-minute featurette of the Moonlight Serenade’s scene progression.
And even if you aren’t a fan of swords and eccentric sea thieves, the cast alone is enough to give the movie a go. I’m not sure what I would do without Keira Knightley’s insistence on playing every female lead in period dramas, and The Curse of the Black Pearl is no exception.
Her portrayal of Elizabeth Swan is a delight from start to finish. The character’s writing rebels against the common arcs of female characters. Elizabeth is a truly empowering woman who serves an irreplaceable role in the story, shows a compassionate belief in others and is allowed a romantic counterpart in Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner.
And, it goes without saying that Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow is one of the best castings in history. It’s wild to think that the part was originally written for Hugh Jackman (hence the name Jack). A character that could have been one-dimensional and forgettable turned into an Academy Award nomination for Depp because of the life he brought to Jack. Jack’s legendary character introduction alone is worthy of an Oscar.
And if you’re not sold on watching the movie this quarantine (or anytime else, for that matter), at least listen to the film’s soundtrack the next time you need some background music. It’s lifechanging.
Where to watch: Disney+
If you’re a Star Wars fan, you fall into one of two categories. You’re either really tired of Luke Skywalker or you’re really tired of the Luke Skywalker discourse. In my case, I fall into the first. I love the mainstream Star Wars movies, but it was incredibly refreshing to not hear a peep about the Skywalkers.
The best part of The Mandolorian is that it gives Star Wars fans a break from the main universe by showing the galaxy from a different angle. We’re dealing with characters who don’t understand the lore of the Jedi or the duality of the light and dark sides of the Force. And for those of you who know nothing about Star Wars – it’s a great way to get invested into the universe without having to worry about catching up with eleven movies.
But The Mandalorian is more than just “The Baby Yoda Show” featuring Pedro Pascal’s voice. Despite wearing a mask for 99.99% of the show, the series manages to make Mando into someone who both emotes and is sympathetic.
Everyone loves a good face reveal, but a character needs to have the depth for the audience to patiently invest in that dimension of them. Mando is a fascinating mystery to watch be explored as the series gradually reveals his childhood background and inner moral conflicts. And thankfully for us, there are eight episodes of content to indulge in.
Fingers crossed that Disney doesn’t continue with their redemptive death trend (e.g. Tony Stark and Ben Solo) and make Mando sacrifice his life for Baby Yoda. It would be a pity to become deeply attached to another masked character just to lose them to the jaws of redemptive death.
Where to watch: Disney+
What are you bingeing this quarantine? Find and follow us on Twitter @capeandcastle to let us know! Be sure to check out our site for more articles on all things Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and more! And if you’re looking for more shows to check out, you can find the rest of our quarantine watchlist articles here!