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Efron impresses as Bundy and an underappreciated movie from Jerry Maguire director: This week’s best and biggest on Netflix

In 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile' Zac Efron sheds his skin with his intimate, up close portrayal of a real-life charming serial killer
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Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Zac Efron, a child star no more, sheds his skin with his intimate, up close portrayal of a real-life charming serial killer.

He’s so strong as 70’s murderer Ted Bundy that this could mark an entirely different direction for the actor.

Choosing a completely different direction than Lars Von Trier’s anthology of a killer, The House That Jack Built, this film shows the way Bundy affects the people around him – including lawyers, media and his loved ones.

The only fascination for Bundy’s crimes comes from the enactments of the real-life media and culture frenzy he created. Director Joe Berlinger does well to pull sensationalism from the characterization, and let the social conscience of the time speak for itself.

Efron is, at the same time, sympathetic and terrifying, and sometimes it seems his character is so intent on his version of the truth that he’s even convinced himself it’s real. Lil Collins, playing long-time Bundy girlfriend, is vulnerable and under the man’s spell. But this only personifies the strange impact he had on the nation.

Perhaps the second-biggest character in the film is society, both mystified and horrified by the gory details of the crimes this everyman committed.

This is an excellent chronicle of the man, his intricacies, and the way his actions changed those around him. This is among Netflix’s best, and most entertaining films, in its history.

4.5/5 Stars

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

It’s safe to say – after a string of flops – that gone are the days when Canadian funnyman Mike Myers was a reliable name.

But in 1997, when this hilarious satire of Britain and spy movies came out, Austin Powers was quite literally the talk of tinseltown for years.

Spawning two sequels and a consistent thread of one-liners, Mike Myers fully embodies a number of characters, including Powers, a groovy spy whose clothes and attitude are stuck in the 70s, and Dr. Evil, his bald arch-nemesis.

This is one of the funniest movies of all time, filled with great physical humour, wonderful gags and a sweet side that’s totally unexpected.

If you’re having a down day and just need a laugh, try this one out. Yeah baby, yeah!

4/5 Stars

Loser

Jason Biggs was a bonafide star after American Pie, so it was a strange choice to follow up the first film with this low-budget rom-com.

And yet, it’s one of the sweetest, most underrated films in the genre. Biggs and Mena Suvari, co-stars from Pie, mesh together perfectly here.

Biggs is a college student struggling to be cool and make friends when he meets a misfit girl involved with her professor.

With the two leads sparkling and some wonderful supporting performances from Greg Kinnear, The Newsroom’s Thomas Sadoski and Westworld’s Jimmi Simpson, there’s a lot of young talent on display, and it shows.

From writer-director Amy Heckerling, of Clueless fame, this one won’t be everyone’s taste, but those who love it will defend it until the end.

3.5/5 Stars

Aloha

Ah, this looks like a week where I’ll be on the defense.

This critically-panned film is another one I can’t help but love. From Jerry Maguire scribe and director Cameron Crowe comes this charming comedy.

About a military contractor who returns to a place from his haunting past, the man sees new light when he meets a woman who just might change his view on things.

Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone are both at the top of their game here, and they’re in good company.

Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski and Danny McBride are all having a great time here.

People watch every Crowe film expecting another Maguire or Almost Famous, instead of enjoying them on their own terms. Not all his flicks are going to be Oscar nominees, but they are all one thing: They’re entertaining and a fantastic, quirky sort of witty.

Don’t let the reviews throw you, Aloha will pull you in, if you let it.

3.5/5 Stars

Velvet Buzzsaw

This is a campy, cult film with a wild streak. Half a satire of the art world, the other a terrifying thriller, this is one you’ll either love or hate.

Directed by Dan Gilroy, he brings his Nightcrawler top billing cast back together to create more magic.

Both Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo are back – and in top form here – for this savage picture.

When art dealers begin selling off a dead painter’s work, despite his explicit instructions not to, dealers and curators involved begin to get stalked by a supernatural force.

Throw in some campy performances, some John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton, and Netflix has created a film no one appreciates now, but something that people will marvel at in a decade.

4/5 Stars

New Releases To May 14, 2019:

  • Lucifer: Season 4 (Netflix Original series)
  • Easy: Season 3 (Netflix Original series)
  • IZombie: Season 5
  • Wine Country (Netflix Original film)
  • Weed The People

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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