After living in quarantine for the last couple of months, most of us are in desperate need of some form of escape. I’ve enjoyed losing myself in board games, books, and video games, and I’ve even rekindled my love of comics. Streaming movies and TV series is always a great option, but at times, the countless streaming options feels overwhelming, and it’s easier to dive back into an old issue of Ultimate Spider-Man.
In my quest to find new ways to pass the time I’ve been keeping track of Hollywood Suite, and I’ve been impressed with their film library, which is more refined than most streaming services. The service’s hook is that they serve up classic movies from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s along with Golden Age classics. And after going over their weekly programming, one thing is clear: Hollywood Suite is loaded with titles that make for the best kind of cinematic comfort food.
I’m a horror guy, and Hollywood Suite is offering a few titles that have piqued my interest. But the most exciting one is the horror/sci-fi mashup, Event Horizon. I remember Event Horizon freaking me the fuck out when teenage me watched it alone in a theatre way back in 1997. I haven’t seen Event Horizon in two decades and I’m overdue for a rewatch. Even though critics panned the movie, I want to see how it holds up.
If you don’t feel like scaring yourself senseless, then I have the perfect film for you.
The Iron Giant is a criminally underseen movie that came out in 1999, right before the majority of animated features went digital. It’s an unassailable classic and one of the all-time great heart-warming family movies that will also leave you in tears. If you’ve never seen The Iron Giant, I have to ask what you’re doing with your life? And if you have seen it, I promise that it holds up to countless rewatches.
Speaking of underrated movies, Hollywood Suite is running The Wolverine (extended cut). A comic book movie with a strange legacy. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a major disappointment, and one of the worst comic book movies to hit theatres since superheroes went mainstream. The stink coming off that turd was so rancid that it hung over the franchise’s next entry, The Wolverine. But here’s the thing, The Wolverine is a solid comic book movie and head and shoulders above most of the X-Men releases.
The Wolverine doesn’t get the respect it deserves because it’s overshadowed by Logan, which is the better movie by far (and one of the comic book movie genre’s high-points). But if you head in without high expectations The Wolverine has a lot going for it. First off, it’s directed by James Mangold and written by Scott Frank, the guys who directed and wrote Logan. The film also takes place in Japan, which makes a sensational comic book movie setting that looks fantastic. On top of that, the film features some stylish action sequences (Logan fights gangs of ninjas), and it’s all anchored by another stellar Hugh Jackman performance. I’m telling you that The Wolverine makes a great double feature with Logan. Go check it out.
And if you’re in the mood for action, you can’t go wrong with Escape from New York and Man on Fire, two films I could drop 1500 words on right now. Escape from New York has one of cinema’s all-time smartest premises for a dumb movie. Seriously, read the synopsis.
In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.
Man on Fire features Denzel Washington in a role so badass it makes his character in The Equalizer look as intimidating as a TikTok dancer. If you need an action flick fix, you can’t go wrong with either movie.
There’s plenty of good stuff in this week’s Hollywood Suite line-up that I want to revisit – and even a few classics that I’m sad to admit that I haven’t seen. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of streaming choices, many TV service providers are offering free Hollywood Suite previews this month. That means all you have to do is tune in, sit back, and enjoy the ride. Titles are also available for streaming on the Hollywood Suite Go app and at HSGO.ca.
Hollywood Suite’s programming line-up for May 18th-24th
Hits for the Whole Household:
· Uncle Buck (1989) Tuesday, May 19 at 10:55 am on HS80 – Magic happens when the heart and charm of John Candy unites with the humour and tenderness of writer/director John Hughes. Candy plays an unlikely babysitter for his brother’s rebellious teenage daughter and two younger children.
· The Iron Giant (1999) Tuesday, May 19 at 7:25 pm ET on HS90 – Expect to laugh and cry during Brad Bird’s directorial debut. In this animated modern fairy tale, a young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy. Available On Demand and on Hollywood Suite GO all month.
· Planet of the Apes (1968) Thursday, May 21 at 9:00 pm ET on HS70 – It’s a Madhouse! An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet 2000 years in the future, where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species and humans are enslaved. Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall lead the cast. Available On Demand and on Hollywood Suite GO all month.
· Pitch Perfect (2012) Saturday, May 23 at 9:00 pm ET on HS00 – Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, Anna Camp and Adam DeVine try to win singing glory in this musical comedy about the cutthroat world of college acapella competitions.
Get Chilled to the Bone:
· Red Dragon (2002) Tuesday, May 19 at 9:00 pm ET on HS00 – Anthony Hopkins reprises his role as cannibalistic killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In this prequel to Silence of the Lambs, Edward Norton plays an FBI agent called out of early retirement to catch a serial killer and asks for help from his arch-nemesis. Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Harvey Keitel and Mary-Louise Parker headline.
· The Omen (1976) Thursday, May 21 at 12:25 am ET on HS70 – In this unnerving horror, Gregory Peck and Lee Remick play the proud parents of a boy who is literally the antichrist.
· Event Horizon (1997) Friday, May 22 at 7:20 pm ET on HS90 – Infinite space equals Infinite terror. Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill and Joely Richardson are a rescue crew sent to investigate a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned… but they are not alone. Available On Demand and on Hollywood Suite GO all month.
· Stephen King’s Silver Bullet (1985) Friday, May 22 at 9:00 pm ET on HS80 – Werewolves don’t exist… or do they? Corey Haim plays a 11-year-old who uses a wheelchair and Gary Busey is his uncle. Both are on a mission to put an end to the grisly, unexplained murders in their town. Available On Demand and on Hollywood Suite GO all month.
Dramas to Inspire You
· The Boy in The Plastic Bubble (1976) Tuesday, May 19 at 9:00 pm ET on HS70 – John Travolta stars as Tod Lubitch, a young man suffering from a deficient immune system, who has to live in a sterile environment to avoid contracting bacteria. His life changes when he meets his attractive next-door neighbour and must decide between his heart and his health. Available On Demand and on Hollywood Suite GO all month.
· Born on the Fourth of July (1989) Wednesday, May 20 at 6:30 pm ET on HS80 – Oliver Stone won the Best Director Oscar for his gritty war drama based on the autobiography of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic. The film chronicles the evolution of Kovic, played by Tom Cruise, from patriotic soldier to paraplegic antiwar activist.
· Good Will Hunting (1997) Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00 pm ET on HS90 – Gus Van Sant directs this touching drama from virtually unknown screenwriters and young actors, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The movie tells the story of Will Hunting, a young MIT janitor who is a headstrong, working-class genius failing at life. Robin Williams won an Academy Award for his performance as a sensitive therapist who may be the only one to reach Will. How do you like them apples?
· 8 Mile (2002) Sunday, May 24 at 12:40 am ET on HS00 – If you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, would you capture it or just let it slip? That’s the question Eminem has to answer in Curtis Hanson’s drama set against Detroit’s hip-hop scene in 1995. The story centers on Jimmy Smith Jr., a young white rapper, who struggles to rise above poverty and his past to find his voice.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
· Cat Ballou (1965) Saturday, May 23 at 4:35 pm on HS70 –This western spoof tells the story of Cat Ballou, played by Jane Fonda, a school teacher turned gun-slinging train robber, out to avenge her father’s death.
· Mean Girls (2004) Sunday, May 24 at 3:15 pm ET on HS00 – An ensemble cast featuring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried in Tina Fey’s comedy about a home-schooled teen who enters high school for the first time and must navigate the terrifying pecking order of teenage girl cliques. While the popular “plastics” embrace her things take a cruel turn when she breaks girl code and dates the queen bee’s former boyfriend.
· Clueless (1995) Sunday, May 24 at 9:00 pm ET on HS90 – It’s Jane Austen’s “Emma” set in 90s Beverly Hills. Alicia Silverstone is totally buggin’ as the well-intentioned Cher, a spoiled high schooler whose attempts at matchmaking fail miserably.
· The Slums of Beverly Hills (1998) Sunday, May 24 at 10:40 pm on HS90 – Alan Arkin, Natasha Lyonne, Rita Moreno, Marisa Tomei headline this cult-hit about growing up broke in one of America’s richest postal codes.
Holding out for a Hero:
· The Wolverine: The Extended Cut (2013) Thursday, May 21 at 6:40 pm on HS00 – There is more action, more blood and more violence in director James Mangold’s harsher, extended version of the in-theatre film. Hugh Jackman plays The Wolverine who travels to Japan to meet an old friend whose life he saved years ago, and gets embroiled in a conspiracy involving the yakuza and mutants. Available On Demand and on Hollywood Suite GO all month.
· Escape from New York (1981) Thursday, May 21 at 9:00 pm on HS80 – Kurt Russell has badass-itude as Snake Plissken, an ex-soldier turned convict, sent to Manhattan, now a maximum-security prison, to rescue the stranded US President.
· Man on Fire (2004) Thursday, May 21 at 11:40 pm on HS00 – In Mexico City a former CIA operative, played by Denzel Washington, swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.
Many titles are also available on Hollywood Suite On Demand, the Hollywood Suite GO app and hsgo.ca.
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