An ideal way to enjoy the Fourth of July weekend would have been with some new original titles on Disney+. However, there’s nothing new at the moment, and you’ll probably have to wait another five or six weeks before Lightyear arrives on Disney+. But it’s not all bad news. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Rise, and Trevor: The Musical were all recently added to the service. And if you’ve already made your way through those, there’s a library of films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic waiting for you right here. But if you need some help deciding what’s next for movie night, we’ve got our updated picks for the best movies on Disney+ right now.
If you’ve yet to do so, be sure to check out the Disney Bundle, which will get you Disney+, ESPN+, and a basic Hulu subscription for just $14 a month. You’re essentially getting three streaming services for the price of two, which is one heck of a deal.
Forty -five years ago this week, the original Star Wars hit theaters and changed the movies forever. It was subsequently given the “Episode 4: A New Hope” name, but to the first generation of fans, it all starts here. In a desperate bid to keep Darth Vader (David Prowse with James Earl Jones as Vader’s voice) from retrieving the plans to a super weapon called the Death Star, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) hides them with two droids. From there, destiny awaits a restless young man named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), an exiled Jedi called Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), the Wookie Chewbaca (Peter Mayhew), and the scoundral known as Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Even after all of these years, it’s still a rousing space adventure.
Since May is the 45th anniversary of Star Wars, it’s only fitting that we take a look back at how it all began. Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy is a comprehensive examination of the making of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. George Lucas and numerous cast members and crew share their memories and insight into one of the great sci-fi epics of our time. Fair warning, at two and a half hours, it’s quite long. But it’s also split up into five chapters, which may make for an easier way to break up the viewing experience if you choose to do so.
This week marks the 10th anniversary of Disney’s John Carter movie, an unjustly-maligned box office bomb that is far better than the reviews suggest. This was a passion project for Pixar director Andrew Stanton, and he modernized Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic sci-fi novel, A Princess of Mars. Taylor Kitsch stars as John Carter, a former Confederate captain who finds himself transported to Mars. Although the natives call it Barsoom. John is immediately attracted to the fierce Martian princess, Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). And John’s newfound strength and abilities may be the key to saving the planet from ruin.
The first film in what would become the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, The Curse of the Black Pearl offered audiences their first introduction to Johnny Depp as the pirate Jack Sparrow — an iconic performance that not only led to multiple sequels but also brought the entire pirate movie genre back into the spotlight. Given that the film was based on a classic Disney theme park ride, that’s no small feat. The massive success of the franchise following this initial film turned it into a Hollywood staple for nearly a decade. Depp is joined by Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, and Geoffrey Rush in the dark fantasy film, which also holds the status of being the first PG-13 movie released by Walt Disney Pictures.
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