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Mark Wahlberg hunts criminals with his brothers and Will Smith battles mutants: 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.

Love, Guaranteed

Netflix has an incredibly pleasing habit of making adorable, just-above-Hallmark level rom-coms with the most loveable stars on the planet.

With Love, Guaranteed, they’ve done it again, pitting Damon Wayans Jr. and She’s All That’s Rachel Leigh Cook, they’ve found a pairing from early 2000’s heaven.

When a man comes to a small-time lawyer Susan wanting to sue dating site Love, Guaranteed over the fact he had not, in fact, found love through their site, she dismisses him.

Thinking client Nick is in it for a cash grab, she begrudgingly goes through the motions in order to get her sinking firm paid, but the more she discovers about him, the more she grows to like Nick.

In this opposites attract, silly-premise romcom, I have to say I felt like I was in the 2000s again, watching Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock movies with sheer glee. Four Weddings & A Funeral it is not, but I have to say I got a little nostalgic.

Leigh Cook and Wayans Jr. are hilarious leads with huge chemistry, and some hilarious supporting turns from Heather Graham and Brendan Taylor just make the movie shine brighter.

If you enjoy the genre, you’re guaranteed to find something to love about Love, Guaranteed.

4/5 Stars

Four Brothers

Ah, Mark Wahlberg. One of the most bankable, reliable stars in Hollywood made this little film in 2005, and who would have thought it would be one of the most rewatchable cuts in his catalogue.

He stars as Bobby Mercer, who searches for the man who killed his elderly adoptive mother during a convenience store robbery along with his other brothers.

Despite not being born from her, Bobby, Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin), and Jack (Garrett Hedlund) have a bond stronger than blood.

It’s the wonderful interplay between these perfectly cast actors that makes this movie so great.

With Terrence Howard and The Good Wife alum Josh Charles as detectives on the case, Taraji P. Henson and Sofia Vergara as the women in Angel and Jeremiah’s lives, and a winning villainous performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor, this cast is stacked.

It’s one of John Singleton’s lesser appreciated films, but the Oscar-nominated late director really hit the mark with this fantastic action-drama.

4.5/5 Stars

Captain Fantastic

Viggo Mortensen has been what I’d consider a consistent draw since 2005’s A History Of Violence, and this is one of his best films that no one paid attention to.

This film about a father raising his children in the forests of the Pacific Northwest who has to go back to civilization is one of the most entrancing, emotionally evocative movies I’ve experienced in years.

Mortensen was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of doting patriarch of six Ben, who also has a huge stubborn streak. Among the child actors are 1917 break-out George MacKay, Snowpiercer series actress Annalise Basso and IT’s Nicholas Hamilton.

The adult cast is stellar, including Steve Zahn, Kathryn Hahn, and Frank Langella, who all contribute hugely to this character piece.

It’s an incredible film experience, and one you’re unlikely to forget once you’ve delved in.

4/5 Stars

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

Before Matthew McConaughey was one of the biggest, most talented stars in the world, he was a Texan accent, a set of abs and a placeholder in sequential romcoms for years.

But among all the trite blotches on his filmography, this movie stands out as one of his funniest, most charismatic performances.

He’s wonderful as Benjamin Barry, an ad executive with an ego who bets two female co-workers he can make a woman of their choosing fall in love with him in just 10 days.

Their choice? Gossip columnist Andie, a beautiful, intelligent woman with higher aspirations than writing ‘Top 10 Sex Tips’ for rags.

The two meet, and Andie decides she’s going to use Ben as her test subject for her new column, ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days’, meant to show women the common missteps early in a relationship that make men bolt.

As Andie (Kate Hudson in one of her most hilarious performances) does all she can to make Ben bolt, and as he refuses to let go, the two find themselves both on the losing end of their goals, but on the winning end of true love.

It’s fair enough to say you know how this one ends, but there are some sequences in this film so funny I quote them to this day.

4/5 Stars

I Am Legend

Now, onto a movie that I absolutely hated upon its 2007 release, but which has grown on me in the intervening years.

At the height of his fame, Will Smith starred in this post-apocalyptic film about a researcher – the last man in New York – attempting to find a cure after most of the people who used to inhabit the city have become nocturnal monsters.

Smith is incredible in this dark, hugely entertaining film with an ending that will hit you harder than you expect.

The bombastic visual style and dark tone aren’t what a Smith fan would be used to, but I Am Legend has become one of his more enduring hits over the years.

It’s an interesting thrill-ride with a brain, and that doesn’t happen often.

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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