Something that we’ve all had to learn by the end of this semester is that being a UC Berkeley student is time-consuming. From class to club meetings to tests to office hours to, oh god, another midterm, it’s a miracle that we can find any free time. Because of this lack of time, though, many of us fall short on things we do for fun — say, movies.
Now that we’re about to enter winter break, it feels like prime time to think back on the flicks that we didn’t get to watch. Here are just a few titles that dropped this year that you may want to peep before we come back for the spring!
The first “Toy Story” is a classic, and usually, by the fourth installment of a series, the movies stop losing their charm. Not at all with “Toy Story 4,” it seems. For those of us who grew up through the 2000s and 2010s, the “Toy Story” series is some serious nostalgia-factor content.
In my opinion, the correct way to watch “Toy Story 4” is to wear a onesie, with a nice mug of hot chocolate in one’s hands and surrounded by stuffed animals. Maybe at a sleepover with some childhood friends, using the winter break to catch up for the first time since high school — considering the last time we saw the “Toy Story” franchise was the beginning of this decade, “Toy Story 4” is going to feel like meeting up with a long distant friend.
There were many animated movies out this year, yes, but there were also a substantial number of live-action movies, as well as movies based on true events. “Rocketman” is a fluid combination of real events and musical numbers, as it tells the true story of Elton John’s life.
This movie feels like it’ll tickle your inner music enthusiast, as well as fulfill your desires to kick back and simply consume flashy content. Maybe it’d be best watched with a group of people with similar music tastes and a wine glass of orange juice to make yourself feel fancy while you take yourself down the music memory lane. And, just to follow up, maybe watch “Bohemian Rhapsody” as well. Freddie Mercury, the biographical focus of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” was real-life friends with Elton John, so the movies would be good to watch one after another.
If something more pensive is more up your alley, then “The Farewell” is where you want to look. The story follows a woman who faces an incredibly difficult question about truth and the permissibility of lies. Despite the heavy subject matter, the movie allegedly manages to have pockets of undefeatable comedy, swinging the audience’s heart on a pendulum of sobbing and laughter.
Maybe have a tissue box at the ready when you watch this movie, because you truly will not know when you need it, and hold a loved one’s hand. Snuggle up on the couch in some comfy clothes, since crying can be one jump-cut away when watching “The Farewell.”
Simply calling “Us” a horror movie is doing it a disservice. Ever since the release of “Get Out,” folks have been suggesting that you keep an eye on director Jordan Peele’s movies. From what I’ve heard out of the plethora of friends suggesting “Us,” it’s a psychological thriller that you have to watch at least twice to truly appreciate.
If you handle fear well, then good for you! Maybe you’d like a bucket of homemade popcorn to go with this movie. Even if you’re like me, though, and get scared easily, you should still watch it. Ball your hands up in a fuzzy blanket, grip your chip bowl of popcorn tight to your chest and watch with the knowledge that you might be terrified. It’s the same kind of terror that comes before a roller coaster drop. You know it’s going to be a ride.
Honorary mention: “Toy Story 3”
If we’re suggesting that you watch “Toy Story 4,” then it only feels just that you close out the decade by watching the third installment as well. With nine years in between, it feels as though the audience grew alongside Woody, Buzz and their entourage of toys, making these past few years feel just as long as the time they spent in the toy chest.
The end of a year is a time to reflect, as always, but this is also the end of the decade. Definitely catch up on the movies you’ve missed this year, and if you have time, don’t forget to check up on the movies you’ve missed this past decade. A nice movie night with friends is a great way to welcome in the 2020s.