Calvin College Chimes

What to stream: Oscars Edition

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It’s more fun to watch the Oscars when you’ve actually seen, and care about, a few of the top contenders. Here are a few of our favorites and where to watch them. If you have these streaming services, our choices are all free to watch.  

Black Panther (Where: Netflix) 

You’ve probably already seen the ninth highest grossing movie of all time, but if you haven’t, it’s on Netflix. And if you have, well, you know it’s worth a rewatch. “Black Panther,” Marvel Studios’ first film of 2018, brought to life the fictional African country Wakanda and starred its first non-white male lead, Chadwick Boseman, who sat at the forefront of an African political thriller. But, it was also nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Production Design and Original Score. It’s worth the watch.  -Joshua Polanski

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Where: Netflix)

Maybe you love Westerns. Maybe you hate Westerns. Maybe you’ve never even seen a Western. Either way, you should see “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” The film is a collection of short stories written and adapted by Joel and Ethan Coen, each of which uses its Western setting and themes to explore themes ranging from simple to profound, to create stories ranging from downright silly to achingly tragic. Packed with cameos and performances from recognizable actors, this film has something for everyone. -Garrett Strpko

Ready Player One (Where: HBO)

“Ready Player One” was one of the biggest blockbusters in theaters last spring. It got crowds buzzing with its incredible visuals and many pop culture references helping to get the 90’s crowds into theaters. The setting is 2045 and society has immersed itself into the OASIS — a virtual haven where players are represented by their avatars. The main character, Wade Watts, joins his friends to find the Golden Easter Egg which gives the finder control of the OASIS. The Academy nominated “Ready Player One” for Best Visual Effects, and this is where the film really shines. There are some incredible sequences in the movie that really immerse the viewer in the movie and makes the viewer feel like they’re in the virtual universe. – Dan VandenBerge

First Man (Where: Amazon Prime)

Calvin College SAO showed “First Man” earlier this year, and Chimes reviewed it as well, so I hope the point is clear: you should watch this movie. It’s the story of the trials Neil Armstrong and others went through to land on the moon — in the process, Armstrong is demythologized. He is no longer the man of American myth, but one whom we can all relate to. In the words of Kyle Smith of the National Review, “First Man is why we go to the movies.” -Joshua Polanski

First Reformed (Where: Free on Amazon Prime)  

A film of epic spiritual proportions, this film was written and directed by Calvin’s own Paul Schrader. In contrast to the mainstream Hollywood film, “First Reformed” takes its inspiration from European filmmakers such as Robert Bresson and Ingmar Bergman. The film follows Reverend Toller, the pastor of an under-attended “museum church” in upstate New York as he undergoes a crisis of faith instigated by the suicide of a congregant concerned about the inevitable impact of climate change. Assuredly a tour de force for the religious and non-religious alike, the film is one of the most unique that the Academy has honored in recent years. -Garrett Strpko

And of course you should watch “Roma,” which Chimes recommended during the snow days. Many critics believe “Roma,” the Netflix original, is the current favorite for Best Picture.

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