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La La Land, The Age of Adaline and Queer Eye : The 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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Hey there folks. You may have seen my name gracing arts & entertainment stories on HalifaxToday for the last year.

I'm a reporter & film critic in the city, and I got lucky enough to partner with the publication for this new column.

I'll be appearing every weekend to recommend the newest and best films for you to binge.

Whether they're hidden gems, storied classics or modern blockbusters, there'll be something for everyone each week.

Check me out every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca.

La La Land 

This romance-fueled ode to the Hollywood heyday is a magnificent examination of two star-crossed lovers, and the challenges they face in staying together. 

A grinning, monosyllabic pianist named Sebastian falls for the wannabe Hollywood starlet Mia in this toe-tapping throwback to the movie classics. 

It’s an atmospheric, nostalgic, beautiful picture, flawlessly executed by Oscar-winning writer-director Damien Chazelle. 

Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone – appearing together for the third time – are captivating, and give career-best turns. 

It’s one of the most emotionally satisfying films I’ve ever experienced, and with every beat, the actors come back in perfect harmony. 

4.5/5 Stars 

The Age of Adaline 

One of the most surprising & refreshing films of 2015, this romantic vehicle is a good old-fashioned love story. 

A woman (Blake Lively) born at the beginning of the 20th century becomes immortal after an accident, and decides to live her life in solitude. 

But when she meets the man of her dreams, all bets are off, and her secrets begin to unravel. 

Lively – previously relegated to CW drama Gossip Girl and artificial roles – gives an elegant leading performance worth cherishing. 

Director Lee Toland Krieger injects the film with enough amusement to make it worthwhile. Finally, an uncharacteristically sympathetic performance from Harrison Ford brings this film to life. 

3.5/5 Stars 

Alpha Dog 

Writer-director Nick Cassavetes has been a chameleon on the film scene for years, bringing is heavy dramas like John Q and modern romantic classics like The Notebook. 

With Alpha Dog, he spins a true story into a immersive, twisted crime drama, and it blows me away each time I watch it. 

Based on the real-life kidnapping of the 15-year-old brother of a man who owed big-time drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood money, this is a film about what happens when circumstances fly beyond the control of those involved. 

Key performances from Emile Hirsch, the late Anton Yelchin, Ben Foster, Bruce Willis & Sharon Stone propel this drama into an unforgettable experience. 

But of all the talent on display, a tatted up Justin Timberlake steals the show as a kidnapper with a conscience.  

This is, by far, one of the most underappreciated films of all time.  

4.75/5  

Triple Frontier 

Okay, maybe I’m cheating a little bit. I haven’t seen this Netflix original yet, but as I head on March Break on the weekend, I suggest you watch it along with me. 

The actioner currently sits with a 75 per cent from discerning critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and with lauded director J.C. Chandor behind the camera, I’m ready to gamble on audiences loving this one. 

It follows former Special Forces men who come together to plain a heist in a desolate area of South America. 

With Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Sons Of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal starring, this is one of the most talented casts assembled for a thriller in a long time. 

Take a chance this weekend. I know I will be. 

Queer Eye 

At first I thought that maybe this show is best enjoyed by those of us within the LGBTQ+ community. 

But as the show debuts its third season this week, it’s become clear the masses are falling just as in love with the fab five as the gay fans are. 

This revamp of the Emmy-winning original series has brought Antoni, Bobby, Karamo, Jonathan and Tan to the forefront of pop culture, and this reality show about them making over regular people is a hoot. 

They’re a talented group, and the comradery and love they show each other might just remind the rest of us that a little kindness can go a long way. 

Grab some tissues, get the popcorn ready and prepare yourself to ride around the U.S. with these five fantastic men. The trip is such a great experience. 

5/5 Stars 

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




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About the Author: Jordan Parker

Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist & public relations student. He's been a movie nerd since he was old enough to walk, and the first movie he saw in theatres was Beauty & the Beast.
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