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Arnie’s back in class and an Al Pacino favourite: 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.

Kindergarten Cop

Okay, before you say anything, just hear me out. Alright?

When Kindergarten Cop was released in 1990, Arnold Schwarzenegger was known for exactly one thing: kicking everyone’s butt he crossed.

He was big, mean, and inhabited some of the most iconic action heroes ever. But that came with one problem: save for Twins, which was a bit of a misfire, the Austrian bodybuilder didn’t show much range.

Enter the endlessly silly, fun comedy from sure-handed director Ivan Reitman. The same man who gave us Ghostbusters, Strips and so much more also managed to prove Arnold had a soft, hilarious spot.

He plays a tough cop who has to go undercover as a schoolteacher to flush out the ex-wife of a criminal. How, you might ask? By posing as a somehow non-threatening kindergarten teacher for her son.

This is an innocuous, fun little ride. Sure, it’s not insanely memorable, but it’s a whole lot of fun, and it’s nice to see this side of my favourite action hero of old.

4/5 Stars

Scarface

This is a movie that bouncing on and off Netflix’s streaming site more often than it should.

As far as how I feel, there’s always an appetite to watch Al Pacino go into full Tony Montana mode.

Brian De Palma directs this incredible, classic take on the 1932 gangster film. In this version, a Cuban immigrant comes to Miami and takes over the drug trade.

In spectacular, Shakespearean fashion, his malice and greed threaten to overcome the fortune he’s amassed.

Pacino is absolutely brilliant here, and the firecracker script from Oliver Stone is a revelation.

With Michelle Pfeiffer and Steven Bauer also turning in lauded performances, Scarface is a masterclass of the genre.

4.5/5 Stars

The Bucket List

Director Rob Reiner’s wonderful, heartfelt film was panned upon its release, but has maintained a steady following – and raked in the dollars as well.

It was a crowd-pleaser that proved critic-proof, and it’s really stood the test of time.

This story of two terminally ill men who decide to leave the cancer ward to go do everything they always wanted to do, but always said they didn’t have time for.

The pair – played by venerable greats Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman – form an incredible bond along the way, and this is a film that will make you laugh and tug your heartstrings in equal measure.

Nicholson and Freeman are a delight, and it’s nice to see them get to lighten up for once.

This one will make you chuckle and cry the whole way, guaranteed.

4/5 Stars

S.W.A.T

It’s not particularly memorable, and yet when I’m looking for a solid actioner, S.W.A.T is always top-of-mind.

It follows a group of high-level trainees who find themselves in over their heads when the transport of an imprisoned drug kingpin goes awry.

He offers a huge reward for anyone who can get him free, and the team ends up with far more enemies than they ever imagined.

Though people may not have recognized it at the time, this is an all-star cast when looked at from today’s lens. Colin Farrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Jeremy Renner, Josh Charles and Olivier Martinez all have a big part in this one.

It’s a rollicking good time, and action lovers will be entirely pleased.

4/5 Stars

The Mask Of Zorro

People often forget about this little gem when discussing intense, enjoyable adventure fare.

This well-known story of a young thief, who goes out for revenge for the death of his brother, makes for a bombastic flick. He’s trained by an aging Zorro, who also has some scores to settle.

The cast is top-notch. It’s some of star Antonio Banderas’ most charming, effective work, and Anthony Hopkins brings so much to the table. That’s no surprise, but he’s a lot of fun here.

A revelation here is Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is a great match for Banderas. She really shows just how talented she is here. I wish she was still regularly acting, as seeing her here made me miss her.

It’s a great, well-known story with a new twist and some fresh set-pieces, and it’s a beautiful film for it.

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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