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A wonderful 'Christmas Chronicles' sequel and 'Hillbilly Elegy' Oscar hopeful hits streamer: 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 Christmas Chronicles: Part Two

Crashing into the holiday season comes this lovely sequel to the amazing original Netflix title.

The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two picks up where the last left off, with precocious Kate Pierce in her bratty teenage year. She and brother Teddy are doing Christmas in the tropics, much to their dismay.

Kate is not happy to be spending her days with her mom’s new boyfriend, but when she meets Santa Claus again for another mission, things begin to change.

Directed by Home Alone’s Chris Columbus, the sequel made me fall even further in love with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. They are absolutely adorable in this, and I love it.

Darby Camp and Judah Lewis are lovely to see again as Kate and Teddy, but the best thing is the new edition of Deadpool 2’s Julian Dennison as our antagonist.

Some of the special effects look silly, but there’s enough spirit here to keep you entertained.

3.5/5 Stars

Hillbilly Elegy

One of the absolute worst-reviewed movies of the year happens to be one that affected me the most.

Director Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy may diverge from J.D. Vance’s book heavily, but it contains some of the best performances of the year.

Yale law student J.D. is brought back to his hometown when his mother overdoses, leaving him grappling with a difficult past.

Glenn Close and Amy Adams give Oscar-worthy performances as a grandmother and mother with different ways of raising children.

Gabriel Basso would be the only weak point — as he’s just serviceable as J.D. — but the film itself will truly leave you in tears.

4/5 Stars

Halloween (2018)

In a horror franchise chock-full of mistakes and missteps, Halloween (2018) takes it back to basics.

It ignores every film in the canon except for Carpenter’s 1978 original, and because of this, manages to tell a fresh, unique story featuring the iconic villain.

Director David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride — who worked together on Pineapple Express — come together for something entirely new.

They get serious here, with a story of Laurie Strode still dealing with the mayhem of 40 years prior. She is haunted by her past, and her family around her suffers.

But when Michael Myers returns, she’s ready and must protect those she loves. Halloween (2018) is a crowning jewel in this franchise and has spawned two more sequels to be released.

For all you horror hounds, don’t sleep on this one.

4/5 Stars

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

This Best Animated Feature winner at last year’s Oscars is one of the most colourful, playful films I’ve seen in years.

It centres on young teen Miles Morales, who becomes Spider-Man in his universe. But he opens a portal to other dimensions and must team with Spideys from other dimensions to stop an overwhelming villain.

With a killer soundtrack (Post Malone’s "Sunflower" plays heavily), incredible visuals, a psychedelic feel and a fun plotline, this is a hit.

Phil Lord — behind Clone High and 21 Jump Street — serves as a co-writer for this incredible tilt.

Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali and so many more stars lend their voices to this amazing film.

It truly is a spectacular, hilarious work of art.

4.5/5 Stars

Shawn Mendes: In Wonder

Love him or hate him, Shawn Mendes is a pop sensation, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the rise of Justin Bieber.

He’s an impeccable guitar player with insane talent and a love of his craft. His music isn’t for everyone, but you’ll find yourself impressed if you watch this documentary.

It shows his life, his apartment, his relationship with Camila Cabello, his family and the things he loves. Featuring performance footage and behind-the-scenes looks, Mendes pulls back the curtain here.

It’s not one of the best music documentaries ever, but it’s an honest, poignant portrayal of what drives this superstar, and I was happy for the insight.

If you want to get to know Shawn Mendes just a little better, give this one a chance.

3.5/5 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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