Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca.
The Old Guard
This Netflix original works as well as it does because an absolutely game cast takes this well-worn plot and push to make it worthwhile.
The story of immortal people who become mercenaries and try to help those who need it run into trouble when they’re exposed.
Based on the graphic novel by Greg Rucka, this stylized, hard-R rated film is the perfect adult actioner.
Charlize Theron is – as always – wonderful here and brings it all. With supporting turns from Matthias Schoenaerts, Chiwetel Ejiofor and a great turn from relative newcomer Kiki Layne, everyone commits.
The Old Guard doesn’t present many new ideas, but it’s entertaining, progressive – with an LGBTQ+ storyline that doesn’t feel contrived – and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Color Out Of Space
By far one of the strangest films on the streamer, this acclaimed sci-fi film is unlike anything you’ll see this year.
When a farm is hit by a meteorite, the residing family soon begins to feel changes in their everyday lives, and inside themselves. This apocalyptic horror tilt isn’t for everyone, but those who come all in will be rewarded.
Director Richard Stanley is perhaps most famous for being fired from the box-office bomb The Island Of Doctor Moreau, a film that failed in an epic manner despite Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando’s involvement.
Here, he makes good and his vision gives both Nicolas Cage a forum to go hugely off-kilter, and time to create some unforgettable visuals.
With anyone else as the lead, this doesn’t work. But if you miss the committed, crazy Cage of old, this one is most definitely for you.
Crazy Rich Asians
This film was an absolute sensation when it came out, and it absolutely deserved to be. It was the first big studio film in 20 years to feature an entirely Asian-American cast.
The film began huge discussions about diversity in Hollywood, and to top it off, director Jon M. Chu’s romantic comedy was absolutely hilarious.
Crazy Rich Asians is both a satire of the expensive taste of wealthy families and the romantic comedy. It’s incredibly funny, and is based on a bestseller about a New Yorker who goes to Singapore with her boyfriend to meet his traditional family.
The screenplay is absolute gold, and the film launched the careers of Constance Wu and Henry Golding, who play incredibly well opposite each other.
However, this film absolutely belongs to Michelle Yeoh, long-time actress in the industry who gets a meaty role as the doting but materialistic mother.
This is a great comfort movie, and one I can always turn to for a laugh.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
This August will mark the 10th anniversary of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, a film that has become the ultimate cult classic for this generation.
Upon its release, Pilgrim was underserved and underseen, but is now considered a comedic force.
The simple concept – about an awkward man who must defeat his new girlfriend’s seven ex-boyfriends to have her – hoped to capitalize on the insane popularity of Superbad’s Michael Cera, but fell short.
The shame is that Scott Pilgrim is an absolutely adorable movie, with some amazing special effects.
The cast is incredible, and includes Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman, Chris Evans, and Brie Larson.
Perhaps the best part is Rory Culkin – brother to Macauley – as Wallace, Scott Pilgrim’s hilarious gay best friend. He truly steals the show.
Director Edgar Wright is known for Shaun Of The Dead, but this may just be his unsung masterpiece.
One of the most entertaining parts of my job is finding shows that have potential.
Breaking Bad was kind of boring at first, and The Office needed to grow to be the juggernaut it was. My point is, a show with potential could become a new favourite.
I see a lot of upside in the uneven White Lines, a show about a woman trying to solve the decades-old murder of her brother, once a young DJ in Ibiza.
The incredible Australian locations, interesting plot and dark humour make this show a worthwhile – if not entirely must-see – endeavour.
It’s not perfect yet, but it has an interesting first season, an incredible soundtrack and a cast with a whole lot of chemistry. This is one to watch out for.
Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.