Streaming: Newly Added Movies on Major Streaming Platforms

When it comes to streaming services, each major streaming platform offers a large variety of movies and television shows to stream. As things get more and more competitive than ever with streaming viewers on the rise, these platforms are constantly adding more and more content to their platforms to remain up to date with their competitors. Check out these movies coming to the major streaming platforms in June 2020. 

Knives Out 

Available on Amazon Prime to stream June 12th.

Storyline: When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. Written by Lionsgate

 

Ad Astra 

Available on HBO Max to stream June 6th. 

Storyline: Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

 

Shirley

Available to stream on Hulu June 5th. 

Storyline: As renowned for her morose nature as she is for her horror fiction, writer Shirley Jackson (Elizabeth Moss) is crafting yet another masterpiece when the arrival of newlyweds Fred and Rose disrupt her creative process and marriage to a literary critic – and philandering professor – Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg). As Stanley spars to maintain academic dominance over his would-be protégé Fred, Rose attempts to dampen her own ambitions and adjust to married life while living under the roof of their fiery intellectual hosts with quicksilver loyalties and myriad neuroses. When the motives of Shirley’s literary muse prove elusive, Rose’s curiosity and trusting nature make her tender prey for a brilliant author whose only allegiance is to her work. Written by Mae Moreno

 

Lady Bird 

Available to stream on Netflix June 3rd. 

Storyline: Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is a high school senior from the “wrong side of the tracks”. She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. This movie follows the title character’s senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for college. Written by Dehlia

 

Artemis Fowl 

Available to stream on DisneyPlus June 12th. 

Storyline: Artemis Fowl, a young criminal prodigy, hunts down a secret society of fairies to find his missing father. Perfect movie for the family that will be premiering on DisneyPlus! 

 

Home Tips: Brighten Up Your Home Through Florals

Brighten up your summer with these beautiful flowers that will thrive in the summer heat!

Now more than ever we are spending time at home. With vacations on hold, we will be enjoying our homes more than ever. Let’s not let the dry summer heat spoil our enjoyment of our garden and yards, just when we use them the most!  These flowers will add beauty and color to your yard.

Lily of the Nile

Also called blue lily or African lily, Agapanthus praecox is full sun or partial shade flower that thrives in warmer areas, especially in pots. “When it comes to containers and hanging baskets that are showing signs of stress, the best thing you can do is to move them into the shade and check often for dryness,” advises Kate Karam, editorial director at Monrovia. “They may need a deep drink at least once or even twice a day.”

Carnations

A symbol of love and distinction, carnations are known for their bold hues and impressive range of varieties. Certain carnations can grow up to 24 inches, while others range between 9 to 12 inches.

Oriental Lilies

There’s no denying the beauty of Oriental Lilies, which are known for their alluring fragrance and large flowers. They’re also low maintenance, requiring ample sunlight and moist soil.

Yarrow

Leave it to these dainty flowers to add a touch of elegance to your garden. While they can thrive under a bit of shade, they do best with loads of sunlight and well-drained soil.

Foxgloves

If you’re looking for a statement flower to add to your garden, consider foxgloves, which can easily reach up to six feet. They bloom early on in the summer and come in a slew of colors, ranging from pink to white.

Hibiscus

You can find these vibrant, trumpet-shaped blooms in a range of color combinations. Known to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, these flowers need tons of water and fertilizer during their blooming phase.

Gladiolus

This popular summer flower needs well-drained soil, a moderate amount of moisture, and an abundance of sunlight to flourish. Keep in mind that wind can harm certain tall varieties.

Rudbeckia

Some Rudbeckia varieties bloom during the summer months. These cheerful flowers are considered to be low maintenance, needing lots of sunlight along with well-drained soil.

Amaranthus

Also known as amaranth, this flower can grow from 18 inches to 6 feet tall in a variety of colors including red, orange, gold, green, and purple. This direct-sow annual does not tolerate wet soil, shade, or transplanting well.

Spider Flowers

Cleome hassleriana grows to be about 3 to 5 feet in rose, pink, purple, and white. It’s easy to grow from seed and self-sows for future summers.

Begonias

When it comes to begonias, you can find more than 1,000 different types in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes. They like soil that’s moist (rather than soaking wet), humidity, and partial shade.

Guide to the Reopening of Restaurants

Restaurants in Los Angeles County had barely been told they could reopen their doors before they were slammed shut again. Late last week, the county as well as the City of Los Angeles released detailed guidelines outlining how restaurants could again provide dine-in service after being shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. (And after restaurants had been reopened in other counties, including Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange County, which all met health and safety criteria.)

Then, of course, rolling county-wide curfews were implemented in response to the looting and vandalism that sadly spilled out of the protests sparked by the horrific death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. Whenever the curfews are lifted, here are a few of the modifications L.A. restaurants are required to implement:

  • All employees who have contact with the public — as well as other employees during their shifts — must be provided a cloth face covering. Employees must wear them at all times during the workday.
  • Symptom checks need to be administered before workers enter the business. COVID-19 symptoms include coughing, trouble breathing and fever.
  • The maximum indoor seating capacity should be limited to 60 percent.
  • When providing service to customers who are not wearing face coverings, the wait staff and other workers are required to don face shields in addition to their cloth face coverings. The face shields are to be provided by the restaurant.
  • Live music and other entertainment are not permitted.

 

In a news conference, Mayor Eric Garcetti said restaurants in the city should focus on providing outdoor dining and curbside pickup. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, many chefs and restaurant owners were surprised by news of the reopening, with each business left to consider when or if to reopen. Also on the minds of restaurateurs is the chance a resurgence in COVID-19 cases results in another mandated shutdown.

Eats: Outdoor Grilling

It’s summer, so where there’s smoke, there’s probably a grillmaster. But whether you’re tackling steak, chicken, fish or another protein of your choice, to achieve true grilling greatness, you’ll need more than a set of tongs and lofty dreams of impeccably-charred grate marks. Here are a few hot tips (and some helpful suggestions) to consider before you fire things up.

Gas or charcoal?

Any seasoned griller realizes how you cook is as important as what you cook. So which method is better: gas or charcoal? It depends on the griller. Gas is unquestionably cleaner, producing less pollution, while charcoal grills send plumes of particulates into the air. Yet many people swear by charcoal because they believe it steeps the food in headier, smoke-filled flavors. That said, charcoal also takes more time to pre-heat. In other words: the debate rages on.

Keep your grill cleaned

Before and after cooking, clean the grill. Using a wire brush, scrape it down and then wipe it with a paper towel and grease-cutting dish soap. Avoid harsh, toxic chemicals since they could leech into the food. Older brushes can shed their bristles, which could then end up on your plate, so remember to replace them every two or three months.

Skip the skewers

Instead of putting in the painstaking effort to skewer vegetables and bites of meat, consider using a grill pan instead. For one thing, it creates less of a mess since sliced and diced food can easily slip through the grate. For another, it’s simply faster to toss all the food into a pan at once. Just make sure to grease it first, so bits of your meal don’t end up seared to the surface.

Monitor the marinade

Don’t overdo — or in this case, oversaturate. Most marinades are mixtures of oil, sugar, salt, and acids including lemon or vinegar. Marinated for the correct amount of time, tough meat becomes tender and delicious. But meat that has been soaked for too long can just as easily dissolve into unpalatable mush. In general, you shouldn’t marinate meat for more than one or two hours. And the smaller the amount of protein, the less time it requires.

Don’t go in cold

Rather than slapping your steak on the grill when it’s straight out of the fridge, leave it out beforehand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Nearly-frozen meat won’t cook evenly.

Use a thermometer

A veteran griller can tell if meat has been sufficiently cooked by touch. (In case you are wondering, the rule is, when pressed down on, a rare steak feels soft while well-done remains solid; medium falls somewhere between.) If you’re a novice cook or simply want to be certain what you are eating is safe, invest in a thermometer. A rare steak ranges from 130 to 140°F while well-done runs 170°F.

Give it a rest

Once your meat is cooked, resist the urge to immediately dig in. Instead, leave the food alone for about 10 to 15 minutes so the juices can settle. The result should be tender and mouth-watering. All good things to those who wait, after all.

Streaming: Movies to Celebrate Pride Month

With protest comes pride. The L.A. Pride Parade and Festival has been revived to express solidarity with the African-American community following the death of George Floyd. Los Angeles Pride had cancelled the parade due to concerns about COVID-19 and a potential lack of social distancing, but now says they will protest June 14 in Hollywood where the first permitted Pride Parade took place. Face coverings, of course, are recommended. In the meantime, you can commemorate the hard-fought progress that has been made from your own home by streaming any of the following films as we recognize LGBTQ Pride Month.

Moonlight

Streaming on: Netflix

This Oscar-winning drama follows a young man named Chiron from his impoverished childhood to adulthood as he grapples with his sexual identity as well as the consequences of poverty and abuse. All the while he strives to escape a life that appears unavoidable. In addition to winning Best Picture, the film’s director, Barry Jenkins, claimed the screenwriting Oscar while Mahershala Ali was named Best Supporting Actor.

Philadelphia

Streaming on: Netflix

Jonathan Demme’s 1993 drama threw a high-wattage spotlight on the AIDS crisis, earning acclaim and $200 million worldwide. In doing so, it brought the plight of the LGBTQ community into the mainstream like no film before it. Tom Hanks won the Oscar for his portrayal of a lawyer fired from his powerhouse law firm because they realized he was HIV-positive. Denzel Washington is the homophobic lawyer who takes on the David v. Goliath case.

Carol

(L-R) CATE BLANCHETT and ROONEY MARA star in CAROL

Streaming on: Amazon Prime

Legendary writer Patricia Highsmith, who penned the psychological thrillers The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train, also authored The Price of Salt in 1952, adapted decades later by filmmaker Todd Haynes. Cate Blanchett stars as a wealthy woman in a grim, loveless marriage who begins an affair with a young shopgirl (Rooney Mara). Lust, love and loss ensue.

Brokeback Mountain

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Focus/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5884718b)

Streaming on: Hulu

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal star as Wyoming cowboys in the 1960s who fall in love only to discover they can’t ever quit each other — even as the decades wear on and their marriages to Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway crumble. A trailblazer, even though it is only 15 years old, Ang Lee’s tender, thoughtful drama was nominated for multiple Oscars and won for director and screenplay. Controversially and inexplicably, it wasn’t named Best Picture.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch 

Streaming on: Hulu

John Cameron Mitchell directed, adapted and starred in this poignant 2001 film based on the 1998 stage musical he co-wrote. It follows transgender rock singer Hedwig (Mitchell) on a quest to track down the former lover who stole her music and became a star.

Bound 

Streaming on: Amazon Prime

Before they entered The Matrix, the Wachowski siblings wrote and directed this sultry, noirish thriller about lovers (Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon) who conspire to rip off the mob. Twisty, exciting and crammed with style, it rivets with the same sleek, storytelling energy as that aforementioned Keanu Reeves-led science-fiction saga.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Streaming on: Amazon Prime

The movie is named for the bus that drag queen Anthony (Hugo Weaving) uses to transport himself — as well as young drag queen Adam (Guy Pearce) and transsexual Bernadette (Terence Stamp) — across the less-than-welcoming Australian outback for a gig at a casino in a remote town. Released in 1994, the film was a sleeper smash, helping to introduce international audiences to positive LGBTQ characters.

Milk

Streaming on: Hulu

Sean Penn is electrifying as Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in America. In 1977, Milk won a seat on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors — only to be slain a year later. Wisely, the drama, directed by Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho), does not dwell on the murder, choosing instead to chronicle the years of tumult and tenacity that ultimately led Milk to emerge as a national icon for equality.

Beginners

Streaming on: Amazon Prime

Ewan McGregor stars as a man whose father (Christopher Plummer) comes out during the last year of his life. The revelation strengthens the bond between the men, who were never close, as the son reflects on his own childhood, relationships and his father’s closeted past. Plummer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. In addition to Plummer and McGregor, Mike Mills’s tender, affecting film also features a talking (with subtitles) Jack Russell terrier.

Home Tips: Outdoor Living in Style

Quarantine or not, for many people, this will be the summer of the staycation. And if you are planning to spend the next few months at home — rather than hop on a plane or venture to a not-so-socially-distant destination — now may also be the time to update your outdoor living area. With a little work, whatever space you have can be transformed into a modern getaway-at-home with fresh air and style to spare. Here are a few upgrades and current trends to consider:

Fire it up

Who doesn’t love gathering with friends and family around a fire under the stars? So is it any surprise fire pits and outdoor fireplaces continue to endure — and grow — in popularity? First, they provide a center of interest and activity. Second, they give you more time to spend enjoying the outdoors —into the night and throughout the cooler months. And if you don’t want to burn wood and clean up ash, gas-fueled fireplaces eliminate the need altogether. Plus, creative homeowners can customize using different building materials other than simple brick and stone.

Movies al fresco

Drive-in theaters are surging in popularity, but there are also other ways to adapt to shuttered cinemas during what would normally be the kickoff to the summer movie season. One possibility: creating your own outdoor movie theater at home. By investing in a screen and projector, loved ones can gather to thrill to a blockbuster under the stars.

Show your colors

Faced with a concrete patio floor as flat and plain as, well, concrete? Add some life and texture with masonry stain or even resurface it with slate tiles. For a less work-intensive solution, splash some color around — whether with a sustainable, water-proof outdoor rug, pillows for the patio furniture or a deck umbrella to provide both personality and shade. And as always, plants can be relied upon to generate bursts of color and warmth in even the dreariest of spaces.

Take the party outside

With the current emphasis on staying at home as well as maintaining a physical distance from others, it only makes sense homeowners would turn to their own backyards to throw parties and entertain friends and family. Not surprisingly then, online searches for outdoor bars have reportedly more than doubled year over year. As well, online searches for outdoor kitchens have increased. And as we all know, the heart of any great party is the kitchen.

Turn on the lights

Outdoor lighting can be key to creating aura and atmosphere. String lighting, for instance, is an especially popular choice. While there are plug-in kits that are simple to install, you might also want to consider solar lights, which require neither batteries nor wiring. LEDs have made solar lights especially appealing to homeowners because they consume less power and can therefore last for hours on stored-up energy alone.

Mixing and matching

Whether in the form of furniture or as a decorative element, rope has emerged as a hot design trend for outdoor spaces, allowing homeowners to experiment with mixing and matching fabrics and materials — from wood and wicker to string and aluminum. Used judiciously, woven rope can add a touch of warmth and compliment colder materials such as steel. More practically, rope is durable, meaning it can weather wind and rain for years.

Valley Eats: Mexican Cuisine

Whether the beach, pier or hiking trails, these days much of what we love about Southern California appears to be under one restriction or another. That is, until you consider the food — specifically, Mexican fare. You might not be able to sit at a restaurant table to dine, but that shouldn’t stop you from indulging in cuisine that is as ubiquitous to the Valley as the Santa Ana winds themselves. Here are some of the best spots to order from now for takeout and delivery.

Conejo Valley

Casa Escobar Malibu

22969 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu 310-456-1999

Curbside takeout is available Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Steeped in the Sonoran traditions of a bygone era, this family-owned restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway specializes in classic Mexican dishes. While the locale’s ambiance might be off-limits due to the coronavirus, the food continues to provide the expected flavor. Their limited menu includes family-style trays of tacos and enchiladas as well as such favorites as burritos and fajitas. Their always-popular margaritas are also available.

Cisco’s

1712 E Avenida De Los Arboles, Thousand Oaks 805-288-6208

Takeout is available daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Serving authentic Mexican fare for almost 50 years, Cisco’s offers a limited menu for takeout that includes quesadillas (including the roasted pasilla chili and cheese, stuffed with roasted pasilla chili, Monterey jack cheese and green onions), fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, burritos and chimichangas (like the Ultimate, stuffed with white meat chicken, refried beans, Spanish rice and jack cheese, then topped with sauce, cheese, green onions and tomatoes).

San Fernando Valley

Mi Ranchito Veracruz

13363 Saticoy Street, North Hollywood 818-287-6911
Takeout is available Sunday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Delivery is available through Postmates, Grubhub and UberEats.

This North Hollywood eatery remains open for takeout and delivery, meaning you still enjoy everything from their braised beef (with rice, black beans and guacamole) to their carne asada plate (grilled skirt steak with rajas poblanos, rice, beans and guacamole). And then, of course, there are the tamales, served Veracruz-style, and now including a bean and cheese vegan option.

Casa Vega

13301 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks 818-788-4868
Call ahead to order takeout or delivery.

A Sherman Oaks institution for more than 60 years, Casa Vega continues to operate from their Ventura Boulevard spot with a contactless drive-on-thru menu featuring house combos, street tacos, enchiladas, and family trays. Additionally, you can pick up eggs, bread, milk, tortillas, avocados, yellow onions, limes and tomatoes from among their marketplace items.

Santa Clarita Valley

Sabor Cocina Mexicana

23953 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia 661-259-9002
Curbside pickup, takeout and delivery via Doordash are available Monday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Serving Santa Clarita since 2000, Sabor Cocina Mexicana continues to be open for curbside, takeout and delivery. Dishes on their to-go menu include taquitos (shredded chicken, guacamole, salsa verde, crema and queso fresco), tacos (stuffed with choices of spicy pork, ribeye steak or grilled filet mignon) and chile relleno (crispy Anaheim chile with cheese, crema and roasted chile-tomato sauce). Their family kits include a dozen tortillas, guacamole, salsa, chips, rice and beans. And to finish your meal off, try some vanilla flan or churros for dessert.

Medrano’s Mexican Restaurant 

19319 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita 661-367-4945
Takeout and delivery daily from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dishes on their to-go menu range from soups (Albondigas or chicken tortilla) to salads (including the seafood salad with Abalone, octopus, cold shrimp and crab) to such favorites as burritos, tacos and taquitos. Items ordered from the junior menu, aimed at ages three to 10, come with rice and refried beans or French fries. If you wish to feed a lot of people (say, 15 to 20), you can choose from their selection of (very) large family platters.

 

 

LA Eats: Mexican Cuisine

Whether the beach, the pier or the hiking trails near the Hollywood sign, everything Angelinos adore about Los Angeles seems to be under one restriction or another. That is, until you consider the food — specifically, the Mexican food. True, you might not be able to sit at a restaurant table to dine, but that shouldn’t stop you from indulging in cuisine that is as ubiquitous to the region as the Santa Ana winds themselves. Here are some of the best Mexican restaurants to order from now for takeout and delivery.

Tallula’s

118 Entrada Drive, Santa Monica  310-526-0027
Open for curbside pickup, takeout and delivery. Dinner runs daily from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Weekend brunch goes Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

With or without dine-in, this beachside cantina continues to serve up such inspired Mexican fare as its signature burritos and tacos, stuffed with meats like organic chicken verde, sauteed chili shrimp and curried beef. Also on the menu: family-sized taco platters, along with enchiladas, chilaquiles, as well as margaritas, beer and wine. They take phone orders from Friday to Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m., and from Sunday to Thursday, starting at 2 p.m.

Guelaguetza

3014 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles  213-427-0608
Curbside pickup and takeout: Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For delivery, order through Grubhub or Doordash.

This authentic Oaxacan restaurant is famed for its moles ranging from the coloradito (sweet, served with chicken breast, thigh or spare pork ribs) to the amarillo (yellow mole stew offered with chicken, beef or spare pork ribs) to the rojo (spicier red mole with smacks of chocolate, served with chicken breast, thigh or spare pork ribs). Their Guelaguetza tamal de mole, cooked with banana leaves and filled with mole and shredded chicken, is one of their most popular dishes. As well, they are currently offering family-style meals and kits for takeout and delivery.

Petty Cash Taqueria

7360 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles 323-933-5300
Pick-up and delivery is available through their website and Tock.

Along with the build-your-own-taco kits, quesadillas have returned at this taqueria. Among the ones available: pork ahumada, beef brisket, jidori chicken adobo, and portobello mushroom and sweet potato. Or simply enjoy their traditional cheese quesadilla. The taco kits, by the way, include such options as beef brisket and jidori chicken as well as poblano rice and beans.

Toca Madera

8450 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles 323-852-9400
Curbside pickup and takeout: Monday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Delivery is offered through Postmates, DoorDash, UberEats and Caviar.

This upscale cantina’s menu for curbside includes the build-your-own taco box, which serves four to six people (with chicken tinga, carne asada, cilantro lime rice, black beans, street corn, shaved cabbage, chihuahua cheese and 12 tortillas); the grande familia, serving up to six (with American wagyu sirloin, chicken al pastor, pozole rojo soup, salad, and sides including cilantro lime rice along with a dozen tortillas); and the enchilada meal, serving four (with such options as chicken tinga, chipotle-smattered tofu and cheese-only).

 

Streaming: Classic Summer Movies

If summer is a state of mind, it can’t truly be cancelled. So despite the uncertainty surrounding the next few months, what better way to rekindle the mood and possibly a few memories of summers past than by sitting down to enjoy a classic summer movie? From camp counselors to amusement parks to kids (and parents) facing the prospect of those dreaded family vacations, it’s the next best thing to lugging the surf, sand and hot sun into your home.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Streaming On: Netflix

“Righteous dude” Ferris Bueller gives Matthew Broderick his signature role as a slick suburban slacker with everything: a wise, beautiful girlfriend, a loyal best friend, a penchant for cutting classes, and the near-superhuman ability to never suffer the consequences. With graduation nearing, Ferris takes one last day off to enjoy the city of Chicago in a “borrowed” Ferrari. The late director John Hughes is known for deeply-felt teen films like The Breakfast Club, but with this clever, fourth-wall-breaking comedy, he delivered his masterwork. FOR AGES: 12 and up

Stand By Me

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

Adapted from Stephen King’s short story The Body, Rob Reiner’s coming-of-age drama finds four friends confronting life, death and their own demons during the 1959 Labor Day weekend — after which they will be set on different paths as young men. To paraphrase the film’s narrator, “I never had friends like the ones I had at 12. Does anyone?” FOR AGES: 13 and up

Dirty Dancing

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

A drowsy resort in the Catskills becomes the unlikely stage for a sweaty, salsa-stepping romance between spoiled teenager Baby (Jennifer Grey) and roguish dance instructor Johnny (Patrick Swayze). The movie’s iconic moments continue to be referenced elsewhere — from the climatic “Lift” to Johnny’s declaration, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” FOR AGES: 12 and up

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

Hapless family man Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) insists on driving his wife and kids from Chicago to Los Angeles only to have his well-intended attempt at “quality time” go horribly wrong at every turn. Directed by Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters), the humor is broad and crude, but for anyone who has ever endured a forced summer getaway with their family, it’s impossible not to relate — and laugh. FOR AGES: 13 and up

Wet Hot American Summer

Streaming On: Hulu

This raunch-a-thon about summer camp counselors in the 1980s bombed when it was released in 2001, but developed such a cult following that Netflix revived it as a series in 2015. Of course, it helps when your largely-unknown cast includes such now-A-listers as Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler. As the title suggests, it aims to spoof the teen sex comedies of the era. FOR AGES: 16 and up

Dazed and Confused

Streaming On: Hulu

“Alright, alright, alright” — this 1993 Richard Linklater film is best remembered for Matthew McConaughey’s breakout turn as 20-something, high school hanger-on David Wooderson, who observes of high school girls, “I get older, they stay the same age.” Set during the last day of school in 1976, the film also counts a pre-fame Ben Affleck among its ensemble. FOR AGES: 16 and up 

Adventureland

Streaming On: Hulu

When his parents tell him that he needs to get a summer job instead of traveling to Europe, James (Jesse Eisenberg) winds up working at a run-down amusement park where he meets — and bonds with — a co-worker named Emily (Kristen Stewart). Ryan Reynolds turns up in a supporting role as the park’s sleazy maintenance man. FOR AGES: 16 and up

Now and Then

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

Four childhood friends — played by Demi Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Melanie Griffith and Rita Wilson — reunite to recall a pivotal summer in their lives. Although a critical flop in 1995, this sentimental, female-led, coming-of-age story has developed a loyal following in the decades since its release. FOR AGES: 12 and up

Out and About: Road Trips

It’s the journey, not the destination. Words to live by when planning a road trip — especially when social distancing is a must. With summer vacation plans possibly curtailed or scrapped altogether by COVID-19­ — and with outdoor activities still restricted — you may be tempted to hit the highways to embrace California’s ubiquitous road culture. Here are a few to consider enjoying from behind the wheel. And remember, if you do park to take a picture or explore, do so while wearing a mask and maintaining a physical distance from other like-minded roadsters.

Angeles Crest Highway

Constructed between 1929 and 1956, the Angeles Crest Highway boasts awe-inspiring Alpine views within a short drive of downtown Los Angeles. Starting from La Canada Flintridge near Pasadena, it spans 66 miles through the San Gabriel Mountains to State Highway 138 east of Wrightwood. At the Dawson Saddle, the road ascends to a summit of almost 8,000 feet.

Joshua Tree National Park

About 140 miles from Los Angeles, this 800,000-acre protected space derives its name from the distinctive, bent succulents that populate the area. Conjoining the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree National Park is famed for its desolate, rugged beauty. On May 22, the park began a phased reopening, collecting fees at entrance booths. However, visitor centers and group campsites remain temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mulholland Highway

Although sections of the highway have been closed since 2018’s Woosley Fire, this 55-mile stretch remains one of the most iconic roads in popular culture. Snaking its way through the Santa Monica Mountains, Mulholland Highway reveals breathtaking views of downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley while skimming past the homes of such Hollywood legends as Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty.

Lake Arrowhead

For a relatively short 86-mile drive to clear your mind, consider heading to this gorgeous town set on a pristine azure mountain lake. Located about 23 miles from San Bernardino, it’s no wonder this area is known as “the Alps of Southern California.” While much of the shoreline is dotted by private homes, there remains plenty of stunning outdoor space to unwind in.

National Old Trails Highway

Also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway, this roadway was part of the famed Route 66 until the construction of Interstate 40. Since 1985, it has been called the National Old Trails Highway. Mostly abandoned these days, it spans 175 miles through the Mojave Desert from Victorville to Needles. If you do choose to drive this chapter of American history, remember it offers little in the way of services.

Highway 126 Heritage Valley

Not far from Six Flags Magic Mountain is Highway 126, which links Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita to U.S. Route 101 in Ventura, running west through the towns of Piru, Fillmore, Santa Paula and the national landmark of Spanish Rancho Camulos. Along the way, expect roadside farm stands and vintage railroad landmarks as well as citrus and avocado orchards.