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DiCaprio stars in Spielberg classic and a classic 80s flick: 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 Net

There are some films that, no matter how aged they become, will always be wonderfully rewatchable.

Early Sandra Bullock fare – Speed, While You Were Sleeping, and The Net – are, by definition, completely entertaining.

The flick follows Bullock as a computer programmer who becomes entrenched in a conspiracy, leaving her identity stolen and her on the run.

Bullock’s performance, as always, is splendid, and she’s joined by Jeremy Northam and the wonderful Dennis Miller.

Oscar winner Irwin Winkler makes his second-best film here, behind the Kevin Kline classic Life As A House, and this taut thriller will always keep you entertained.

3.5/5 Stars

Catch Me If You Can

Leonardo DiCaprio is, and always will be, my favourite actor of all time.

Before he began trying out riskier roles, this wonderful turn about the real-life story of grifter Frank Abagnale Jr. was proof he could be taken seriously as an actor.

It follows an FBI agent who pursues the young con artist as he poses as a number of different people – in high-ranking roles in society – and scams millions worth of checks.

This little cat-and-mouse drama is always riveting and one of my favourites of director Steven Spielberg’s career. Consistently forgotten about, I absolutely love this flick and can always watch it over and over.

Pairing DiCaprio with Tom Hanks as the FBI agent is a perfect match, and the two make movie magic. The supporting cast – including Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, a young Amy Adams and James Brolin – is absolutely endearing.

This is a really special movie with a nostalgic feel that you’ll love start-to-finish.

4.5/5 Stars

Lord Of War

This flick is not only one of the most full-tilt, entertaining movies of the 2000s, but it served as undeniable proof that Nic Cage can achieve anything with the right script.

This film about an arms dealer wrestling with the morality of selling guns – during wars and conflicts – while a reckless INTERPOL agent pursues him.

Writer-director Andrew Niccol – known for amazing, innovative fare like Gattaca and Good Kill – brings his own style to this film, and turns in something fantastic.

The performances from Cage, Ethan Hawke and Jared Leto all turn in formidable performances, making this a comeback for Cage and must-see cinema.

4.5/5 Stars

Stand By Me

Emmy darling Carl Reiner died this week, and I wanted to pay tribute to him. However, the funnyman’s best films just aren’t on the platform.

So I did the next best thing: Stand By Me is the best film Carl’s son, Rob Reiner, has ever made.

I’m sure it’s a film that brought the elder Reiner great pride, as it’s been part of the zeitgeist for nearly 40 years.

The coming-of-age film about a group of friends who find the body of a missing boy defined a generation, and it’s beloved.

Based on the Stephen King novel, Reiner directs child stars who all pull their weight. The late River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, and Kiefer Sutherland all come together for this wonderful film.

It’s one of the most wonderful, incredible films of all time, and it always will be.

5/5 Stars

The Hateful Eight

Director Quentin Tarantino is, and always has been, a polarizing figure in the film world.

He has a style all his own, but in a more sensitive world, his dialogue and treatment of women on-screen has become problematic.

His films take place in strange worlds, many of them during difficult time periods in history, and The Hateful Eight is no different. It follows a bounty hunter and his female prisoner in the middle of Wyoming during winter.

They find shelter in a cabin hosting a ton of strange and potentially violent characters.

The greatest part of this film is the Oscar-winning performance of Jennifer Jason Leigh – the centre of conversations during this film’s release for the way the male characters subject her to violence.

Leigh manages to pull a career-best performance out here, despite the controversy, and is endlessly watchable.

There are other great performances from Kurt Russell, the consistently watchable Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir and Bruce Dern.

Watch for an amazing cameo and enjoy it for what it is. Try not to think too hard. Tarantino comes under fire, but he makes films that make sense in the cultural context of the time they’re set.

This flick comes with a violence and sensitive content warning – but if you can get past that – it’s a pretty great ride.

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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