Check out Jordan Parker's "The week's best and biggest on Netflix" every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca.
The Equalizer 2
This Denzel Washington sequel — his first ever — to the jaw-dropping 2014 action vehicle about a mysterious man who tries to rescue a young girl from Russian gangsters is entertaining, even if it doesn’t reach the heights of the original.
Washington and director Antoine Fuqua have worked together four times, including Training Day for which the actor won an Oscar. They have a fantastic working relationship that leads to great films including this one.
Based on the TV series, Robert McCall has gone back to his quiet life following the violent events of the original film, but when someone he loves is put in peril, all bets are off.
Though it loses some lustre with the exclusion of the original’s co-star Chloe Grace-Moretz, we’re given Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) as a great villain, and wonderful supporting performances from Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo.
It’s a gory thrill-ride in the vein of John Wick, only Washington is far more formidable, bringing great charisma to this sequel. Watch both on Netflix today.
10 Cloverfield Lane
As one of few people who wasn’t a fan of Cloverfield, which launched the career of sci-fi auteur J.J. Abrams, I went into this “sequel” with apprehensions.
When I saw this indirect sequel, I was spellbound. Director Dan Trachtenberg creates a claustrophobic master class of a film.
When a woman is involved in a car wreck, she wakes up in a shelter with two men who tell her the outside world has fallen victim to a chemical attack.
Abrams is attached as a producer, but Trachtenberg and writers Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle — the famous director of Whiplash and La La Land — really do some heavy lifting. This script is unbelievable.
The cast is incredible with Mary Elizaebeth Winstead and The Newsroom alum John Gallagher Jr. giving the heavily underrated legend John Goodman a run for his money.
It’s a fantastic endeavour, and one of my favourite films from the decade.
This is one of the loveliest romantic dramas I’ve ever seen. It’s one of those movies that so few people have seen and I absolutely need to highlight it.
One Day follows two best friends who spend the night together after college graduation and find themselves intertwined for life.
The film shows them every year after that on the same day and we get to see if they’re together, separated or something in between. It plays like a modern-day When Harry Met Sally and has a ton of intrigue.
Frankly, Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway are absolutely adorable here, giving the most endearing performances of both their careers.
It’s an unforgettable little film and will become a sure-fire favourite as soon as you finish.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you need some good, old-fashioned brainless entertainment. Who better to get it from than two action legends?
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone have had varying high and low points in both their “comebacks” during the last decade, but their pairing here makes for some great popcorn fodder.
Stallone stars as an authority who breaks out of prisons for a living to test the efficiency of their security and fortification. So when he’s set up and incarcerated for real in the world’s most secure prison, he needs help to get out.
He teams with Arnie’s convict as the two mastermind a plan to escape in a lower-brow riff on Escape From Alcatraz.
With a supporting cast that includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Jim Caviezel, Sam Neill and Amy Ryan, there is plenty of talent. 50 Cent is also involved, but we won’t talk about that.
Overall, it’s an interesting and entertaining little piece of nostalgic cinema that will reignite your love of these two stars’ back-catalogue, while showcasing them as they are now.
The New Romantic
This hilarious, frank meditation on love in the world of online dating won’t be for everyone, but it’s a Canadian production that has the courage to discuss serious things.
For that, I applaud this film. When Blake gets tired of the litany of young men who don’t ever want real relationships, she starts a relationship with an older man who gives her gifts for her companionship.
It’s a great film about having a sugar daddy and all that comes with it without shaming our main character. It’s a movie about the independence of a woman to choose what she does with her body, and in what fashion, and it’s actually a pretty interesting, funny take.
Once again, if you’re squeamish about the topic, you won’t like this movie. But with a fantastic central performance from Jessica Barden — and Riverdale’s Camila Mendes popping up — it’s an interesting, if not classically illuminating, endeavour.
Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.