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During a period before Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds’ career was in a serious slump.
He was the marquee name on universally-hated Green Lantern, and followed it up with R.I.P.D., an even worse effort.
During that period, though, he showed some serious chops in little-known pictures, and Self/Less is an incredible sci-fi tilt that’s one of his best.
It’s the story of real estate mogul Damian, who is dying of inoperable cancer. Through a new program, he transfers his consciousness into a younger host, not realizing the consequences.
As he inhabits a new body, in the form of Reynolds, it’s quickly learned neither the procedure or the company behind it can be trusted.
Ben Kingsley stars as older Damian, and he’s wonderful, but the film truly belongs to a passionate, driven Reynolds.
It’s a really cool, interesting action movie with a unique premise, and one you should definitely enjoy.
The Leisure Seeker
Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland team up for this frankly emotional film about a couple coping with illnesses who go on one last hurrah in their RV.
The pairing of Mirren and Sutherland is what makes this film work. They’re both individually so good, but also work in tandem so well together.
Mirren earned a Golden Globe nod for the film, and it really is some hugely inspired work.
It’s an acting powerhouse, the type that doesn’t come along every day, and that makes up for the pacing issues the film suffers from.
It’s uproarious and sad at the same time, bringing the viewer on a deep emotional journey with these two lovers.
Watch for Dick Gregory, who shot his final film with The Leisure Seeker before his passing in 2017. He’s hilarious and steals his lengthy scene.
This splendid little indie about three men and a guide who head into the jungle is completely underrated.
As the men search for an Indian village, they face creatures and the elements, and realize the journey isn’t as easy as they thought.
Daniel Radcliffe – who has been entirely, remarkably stellar since the Harry Potter films – is truly impressive here as Yossi, who finds himself in over his head.
The cast is entirely stellar, even if Radcliffe is the only marquee name, and the tone is pitch-perfect.
This true story adaptation hits the screen from horror auteur Greg McLean – known for Wolf Creek – but this is his most mature effort to date.
It’s a wild trip, but you’ll be glad you took it.
This nifty little marvel of a thriller is one of the most inventively-shot, inspired films of the last decade.
Shot on drones, a GoPro, mini dv cameras and mainly the director Aneesh Chaganty’s IPhone, it’s a total smash hit technically, and one of the coolest films I’ve seen in a while.
It follows a man’s relentless quest to find his missing 16-year-old daughter, and his attempt to find her by breaking into her laptop and seeking clues. But in the information age, he finds more than he bargained for.
John Cho is wonderful here as the ailing father – and proves he’s worth a whole lot more than his schtick from Harold and Kumar and American Pie.
Alongside him is Debra Messing, who likewise, shows she’s capable of some serious dramatics in a role way outside her Will & Grace comfort zone.
Searching will surprise you, in all the best ways. This $900,000 movie entertained me more than a Transformers entry ever could, and this debut filmmaker just absolutely stuns here.
This summer, I watched The Sopranos start-to-finish, and I’ve been a little bit of a television elitist ever since.
I hadn’t seen a show that could catch my attention like Sopranos, Breaking Bad or Sons Of Anarchy in a long time.
But then came a little boxing show called Kingdom, and I was gobsmacked. To say it’s on par with the shows above is silly, but if you’re looking for some seriously gritty, addictive entertainment, this is for you.
It follows a gym owner father and his two sons – one a wild child and one just a bit too tame – as they navigate the professional boxing world. But with the release of an old ally from prison, things begin to change for everyone.
It’s an intense family drama with boxing infused, and the cast is to die for. Frank Grillo is wonderful as a conflicted father with a checkered past, and a surprising Nick Jonas and the always-welcome Jonathan Tucker play his sons.
With Kiele Sanchez as Grillo’s doting – but firm – wife, and Matt Lauria playing the released convict and former phenom boxer, things don’t get much better than this.
It’s only three seasons and 40 episodes, but I started Tuesday and I’m already nine in. It’s addictive and will grip you.
A READER NOTE: THE FOLLOWING TRAILER IS NOT CENSORED, AND CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE.
Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.