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Tired of rewatching 'Harry Potter'? Marathon these movies

One series to stream in quarantine is "High School Musical." Vanessa Hudgens recently shared that some members of the cast joined each other for a video chat.   – Photo by Instagram

With platforms like Netflix Party, Discord and Zoom enabling friends and family to get together for films and fetes, a large number of people are virtually getting together for fun movie marathons. 

Science-fiction fans are indulging themselves in re-runs of “Star Wars” films. Many millennials and Generation Zers who grew up during the apex of Young Adult fiction novels being turned to films —think “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games” and even the “Twilight” saga — are revisiting a distant, simpler time in our collective youth. Film series like “Fast & Furious,” “Rocky” and “Mission: Impossible” are all packed with action that fills a void in a very sedentary era for many thrillseekers.

Here are some potential movie marathons you can partake in during quarantine. Note that not every film in a marathon list is good, which makes the post-film banter and critique among friends all the more enjoyable.

"High School Musical"

For our generation, no other 21st century Disney Channel franchise has been so pervasive in popular culture and quite as nostalgic and ridiculously entertaining as “High School Musical.” The trilogy of High School Musical films takes normal aspects of American high school life: prom, graduation, college admissions, extracurricular activities and summer plans, and turns them into an experience we cannot help but look back and vie for. 

Easy-to-follow, idealistic yet interesting enough coming-of-age storylines are accompanied by some of the most lovable characters in the early noughts Disney universe. The soundtrack of each film is filled with unbeatably good bops, pun intended. 

Last week, the original cast of the film got together for the Disney Family Singalong, available on Hulu and ABC, to sing an anthem of unity from the films: “We’re All in This Together.” Ashley Tisdale, who stole the scene in 2007 as the queen of East High, embodied her character Sharpay Evans in a TikTok of the song that she posted in March. 

For the nationwide singalong, Tisdale and her co-stars Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel, Monique Coleman and Vanessa Hudgens even did the original catchy choreography to “We’re All in This Together.” The cast of the film's great modern reiteration, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” also chimed in for the joyous and star-studded performance. 

Garry Marshall’s last three films

Late director Garry Marshall is loved for creating the two amazing “The Princess Diaries” films and the cult classic “Pretty Woman.” His last three films are all movies with ensemble casts consisting of the biggest names in Hollywood today: “Valentine’s Day” (2010), “New Year’s Eve” (2011) and “Mother’s Day” (2016). 

These temporal films revolve around special days in the calendar year and showcase interconnected, colliding human relationships in adorable and sometimes very cheesy ways. They’re fairly predictable, feel-good films for anyone who is familiar with the romantic-comedy genre and can transport one to a better time. 

The last film can be a great finale to a pre-finals movie marathon with family on May 10, which is Mother’s Day in America.

"Home Alone"

The title of this film series possibly hits a little too close to home right now. Nevertheless, the “Home Alone” films are American Christmas classics that take us back to our childhood in the wackiest ways. 

The first two films, “Home Alone” (1990) and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992), are by far the best and actor Macaulay Culkin stars as the beloved and infamous Kevin McCallister. The first film earned Culkin a Golden Globe nomination in the “Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy” category in 1990, when he was only 11 years old. Culkin is now 39 years old and dating Brenda Song, who played London Tipton on Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”

The first two films and “Home Alone 3” (1997) were written by screenwriting legend John Hughes, of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “The Breakfast Club” fame. But, “Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House” (2002) and “Home Alone: The Holiday Heist” (2012) did prove that one can have too much of a good thing and none of these latter films achieved the same sort of critical acclaim and financial success as the first two films. 

In late 2019, it was announced that entertainment giant Disney+ is set to reboot an untitled “Home Alone” sixth film starring Ellie Kemper, Archie Yates and Rob Delaney.

Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

To complete this exhaustive movie marathon successfully is a small but significant way to win at life in 2020. It all begins with “Iron Man” (2008) and 22 films later, you’re on “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (2019). 

To watch the nearly 50 hours of screen-time action in MCU while taking relatively few breaks requires commitment, patience and a level of desperate boredom that will change your social distancing game forever. To simplify the process, consider watching only the trilogies of the “Captain America,” “Thor” or “Iron Man” storylines, or the four “Avengers” films for a relatively painless sense of continuity and accomplishment during your Marvel movie marathon.

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