Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca.
Dolemite Is My Name
Eddie Murphy is back, baby, in this rolling, rollicking, jive-talking good time of a Netflix presentation.
In a life-imitating-art moment, Murphy plays an aging has-been who missed his chance at the big-time. Now a record store manager with a loud mouth, bigger ambitions and no platform, he yearns for the days that got away from him.
It’s no secret Murphy has had his fair share of ups and downs, and he harnesses every bit of criticism and vitriol critics have given him for the better part of a decade. He turns in a performance among the best he’s ever inhabited, and makes Dolemite a name to remember.
Part redemption story, part in-depth comedic look at the entertainment industry, Murphy gets to leave people slackjawed with one-liners while still delivering an emotional wallop to go along with them.
With a cast of familiar players and a fantastic score and fashion sense, this flick is one of the best of the year.
Dolemite is its name, and Eddie Murphy’s comeback was its game. Come back, Murphy has, with this one.
In Ryan Gosling’s first true, muted performance, he plays a mild-mannered stuntman who seems absolutely harmless on the surface.
But at night, he moonlights as a getaway driver for robberies. When he comes to the aid of his beautiful neighbour when her ex gets out of prison, he finds himself in a world of trouble.
As he’s tested from all fronts, he attempts to keep his cover and protect the ones he loves, possibly to his own detriment.
Nicolas Winding Refn provides a glossy, incredible direction here, and the crackerjack script lets Gosling show all emotion with what he does, rather than what he says.
He’s incredible here, as are supporting players Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman and Oscar Isaac.
This is a timeless flick that I could watch over and over.
It Could Happen To You
From the bowels of Nicolas Cage’s terrible filmography comes this rather adorable 1994 romantic comedy.
Not only is he great in it, but he’s paired with a game, resplendent Bridget Fonda for a movie about a cop who promises to share his lottery ticket with his waitress when he comes up short on his tip.
The truth is, they don’t make them like this anymore. The kind-hearted, go-get-her rom-coms of old, the kind that starred Sandra Bullock and didn’t end with a death, were predictable but enjoyable.
Sweet and syrupy, It Could Happen benefits from fantastic leads and a scene-stealing supporting turn from Rosie Perez.
One only wishes we could stay with this couple just a little longer.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Frances MacDormand gives the performance of her career in one of the films of the decade.
She plays a divorced mother who seeks answers for her daughters death, an erects controversial messages on billboards outside her small town taking the local police to task for their inability to crack the case.
She begins to feel pressure and attempts not to crack as police, her ex-husband, her remaining child and the town push back against her quest for the truth, and tries to hold things together.
With a standout performance from Sam Rockwell, who won an Oscar, as well as the Oscar-winning turn from MacDormand, this is an actors’ movie. Woody Harrelson, Lucas Hedges and Caleb Landry Jones round out the rest of the wonderful cast.
Atypical: Season Three
Forget the Good Doctor. This is a really fantastic representation of an autistic character, without ever pandering.
Actor Keir Gilchrist is Emmy-worthy here as Sam, an 18-year-old whose misadventures in dating and his family life are chronicled in this series.
Sometimes tearjerking and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, Gilchrist makes you feel every minute of the show. Joined by Jennifer Jason Leigh and a surprisingly good Michael Rapaport as his parents, the whole cast is top-notch.
If you’ve never seen the show – now on season three – start. If you’ve been keeping up, you have a new season you absolutely must get to.
New Releases To November 4:
- Birth of the Dragon
- Christmas With A View
- Holiday In The Wild
- Sniper: Legacy
- The Prince And Me
- The Star
Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.