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A Brendan Fraser cult trilogy and the best high school-set movie ever: The biggest and best 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.

Jumanji

Robin Williams was an enigma of an actor: a man who could entertain the whole family, and in the next year, give a soulful Oscar-worthy performance. He was a beautiful, evocative performer.

But here, in this friendly tale of a board game gone rogue, he’s at his comic best. He’s hilarious, daring and truly spectacular in Jumanji.

This 1995 original follows two kids who release Williams’ character after dusting off old board game Jumanji, thus leaving them having to finish the magical game to get back to normal.

Starring Williams and a young Kirsten Dunst, it’s a classic and has recently spawned a nostalgic trip of a continuation film starring Dwayne Johnson.

But if you want to see some true movie magic at work, check out the original. It’s an unbelievable ride.

4/5 Stars

Dazed and Confused

Lovingly known as the film that launched the careers of stars Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey and more, this throwback to the 1970’s is a cult classic.

It chronicles the final day of school and after-parties for a group of students in 1976, and it’s director Richard Linklater’s claim to fame, despite his Oscar recognition for Boyhood.

This film and it’s glorious ensemble cover bullying, rocking out, cliques and high school clichés, and the film boasts one of the best soundtracks ever put together.

Also starring Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, Milla Jovovich, Rory Cochrane, Anthony Rapp and more, it’s an endlessly re-watchable, quotable feature.

5/5 Stars

The Kingdom

Director Peter Berg is known primarily for feature and series Friday Night Lights, as well as his multiple recent Mark Wahlberg collaborations, but this one is his most underrated.

It pits United States agents against untold terror in the Middle East as they investigate the bombing of an American facility in the area.

It’s the debut screenplay from a man who went on to adapt World War Z and write the screenplay for based-on-a-true-story Deepwater Horizon, and it’s a drama of depth and great action sequences.

The cast is stellar, featuring Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper and Jennifer Garner, and it’s a tense thriller with more intelligence than the genre generally concedes.

4/5 Stars

The Mummy Trilogy

The Mummy movies that marked the late-90’s and early 2000’s were Canadian-born Brendan Fraser favourites.

Fraser – himself enjoying more time on the small screen lately – stars with Oscar winner Rachel Weisz in these adaptations of the original creepy mummy flicks of old.

Filled with spooky sequences, high-flying heroics and a whole lot of fun, they’re great for families whose kids have outgrown some animated fare.

I know with villains including Dwayne Johnson and Jet Li, they’re still in my lexicon for easy, fun popcorn fare. They do get worse as they go along though, so don’t hold the third instalment against me!

3.5/5 Stars

Mary Poppins Returns

One of my favourites of 2018, Mary Poppins Returns reinvigorated an old Disney classic, and brought it to a new audience.

Filled with nostalgia trips, fantastic original cast cameos and an air of genuine delight, it was a toe-tapping joy for this review.

Emily Blunt takes on Julie Andrews’ role as Mary Poppins, returning decades later to the Banks siblings to help them through a difficult time.

Blunt is perfectly cast, and the Chicago director Rob Marshall hits all the right notes. This isn’t just one for the family. Everyone can truly enjoy this one, start to finish.

4/5 Stars

New Releases To July 9:

  • The Blues Brothers
  • The Scorpion King
  • Sea Of Love
  • Vox Lux
  • Stranger Things: Season Three
  • The Emoji Movie

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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