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A RuPaul comedy-drama and Adam Sandler’s Oscar-worthy performance: This week’s best and biggest on Netflix

Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca
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Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca.

The Patriot

Before the drunken ramblings and voicemails left to his ex-wife was a magnificent, A-list Mel Gibson. For a long time, everything the man touched was gold.

With 2000’s The Patriot, Gibson gives a strong performance as a farmer forced to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution. Driven by vengeance for a British officer who kills his son, this is a beautiful war film.

Directed – surprisingly – by Roland Emmerich, the man behind Independence Day, 2012, and The Day After Tomorrow, this is his most mature and muted affair.

On board are Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper, Tom Wilkinson and an incredibly young Heath Ledger, and the ensemble makes it all worth it.

4/5 Stars

Wonder

This wonderful film based on the best-selling book is an inspiring, beautiful work about August Pullman, a boy born disfigured who tries to make friends as he goes into his first year of school – in the fifth grade.

Guided by his supportive, but nervous parents (Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson), the boy tries to get through the bullying children face and make friends for life.

This is one of the most adorable films of the last five years, with a fantastic central performance from an unrecognizable Jacob Tremblay in the lead. Sometimes we just need to feel good at the movies, and this is one of the most wonderful, tear-jerking movies I’ve seen.

4/5 Stars

Good Time

Three years ago, brother directors Benny and Josh Safdie made people sit up and take notice of oft-ridiculed Twilight star Robert Pattinson.

Starring as a bank robber whose mentally disabled brother lands in prison following a botched heist, Connie (Pattinson) goes to great measures through New York’s seedy underbelly to get his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) freed.

Pattinson is pure gold here, and along with Lost City of Z, released the same year, it sealed his transition from teen heartthrob to serious actor.

This is a film with a killer soundtrack and performances that are off-kilter and unforgettable. It’s a must-see.

4/5 Stars

Uncut Gems

This follow-up from the Safdie brothers to the aforementioned Good Time is better by a longshot, and I hardly thought that could be possible.

Starring a completely turned around Adam Sandler as a gambling addict New York jeweller always looking for his next big score, this film underlines the issues addiction causes and how far people will go to make a dollar.

Sandler is completely unhinged as Howard Ratner, and he carries this near-perfect film. The desperation in his eyes, becoming more arresting each frame, show how his whole life begins to fall apart after he buys gems from Africa and attempts to sell them.

But with bookies on his back, a marriage falling apart, employees tired of picking up after him and a world of issues, his final score may not be as lucrative or easy as he hoped.

This isn’t just Sandler’s best movie and performance, but he’s absolutely transformative. The fact he didn’t get an Oscar nomination is a travesty.

For all intents and purposes, he carries this incredible film, and Uncut Gems is better for it.

5/5 Stars

AJ And The Queen: Season One

This hilarious gem of a show, created by Sex & The City scribe Michael Patrick King and RuPaul caught me by complete surprise.

Starring Ru as a passionate, fierce drag queen ready to move on and build his own club, he’s raised $100,000 over 20 years and his businessman partner is set to help him renovate and move on with his life.

But when his partner turns out to be a fraudster and scams him of his life savings, the drag queen must go on a cross-country tour to earn some cash. Little does he know his homeless, stowaway teen neighbour is hiding in the back of the RV.

It becomes a dual mission, to hit as many drag shows as possible and get the wayward girl to her grandfather – and get her away from her absentee mother. The show is the perfect blend of funny and dramatic and is a great road trip.

RuPaul is hilarious, as is young Izzy G, but it’s roommate Michael-Leon Wooley as the blind drag queen Louis who steals the show.

4/5 Stars

Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.


About the Author: Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist and runs entertainment firm Parker PR. He's been a movie nerd since he was old enough to walk.
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