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Fey & Poehler make us laugh in Napa Valley and an indie drama with Halifax connection: This week’s best and biggest on Netflix

Wine Country manages to find solid ground just by assembling the best cast possible
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Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on HalifaxToday.ca.

 

Wine Country

Forget about the Bad Moms franchise: This hilarious Netflix comedy about six friends celebrating a 50th birthday in Napa Valley is the best female-ensemble laugh riot since Bridesmaids.

As Amy Poehler’s debut as a director – and co-written by Saturday Night Live and Last Man On Earth alum – this imperfect little film manages to find solid ground just by assembling the best cast possible.

Poehler, SNL’s Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer, Tina Fey, Bridesmaid’s Maya Rudolph, and 30 Rock writer Paula Pell are all incredible.

This is the women’s equivalent of Adam Sandler’s grown-ups franchise, a film that essentially puts a bunch of real-life friends together in front of a camera, and let’s them go wild. Except the result here is actually hilarious.

The jokes are aplenty, and they hit about 70 per cent of the time, a pretty good average for a raunchy road-trip flick. It’s not perfect, and things wrap up a little easily.

But if you and yours want to see what effortless talent is, watch these wonderful women and comedic writers and actresses keep you blissfully entertained.

3.5/5 Stars

 

 

Spring Breakers

Now for something completely different. Love it or hate it, writer-director Harmony Korine, regardless of controversy, will always make movies.

This one shocks and surprises like no other, and I have to say, I kinda dug it. From James Franco as a pimp with grills to teen girl idols Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson shedding their image and becoming bad girls, this is one heck of a ride.

It’s a wild ride – a psychedelic, violent journey that’s not for the weary, but it also sets itself apart.

It’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you want to see an actor transformed, at least see it for Franco.

3.5/5 Stars

 

Into The Forest

This incredible Ellen Page feature (ah, the Halifax hero) does not get the due it rightly deserves.

Revolving around a massive power outage that leaves two young sisters to fend for themselves in the woods at an isolated home, it’s an interesting character study.

Patricia Rosema – known for directing Mansfield Park – creates an atmospheric film here that never lets you settle in.

Page and scene partner Evan Rachel Wood are both wonderful together, and play so well off each other.

I’m not sure why this never got the credence it deserved, but please try it out now. You owe it to Ellen.

4/5 Stars

 

Brooklyn’s Finest

Though it never reaches the heights of director Antoine Fuqua’s masterpiece Training Day, his second cop thriller Brooklyn’s Finest still thrills.

The story of unconnected cops in Brooklyn and the things they do in a day that lead them to the same place is the kind of film you’ll always watch when it’s on cable, even if it wasn’t a truly epic endeavour.

In his final pre-prison role after a tax fraud conviction, Wesley Snipes steals the show and makes the world remember why he was a bonafide star.

He upstages leads Don Cheadle and Richard Gere, and almost even eclipses Ethan Hawke, who ends up surprising with a new take on his cop schtick.

It’s an interesting, remarkably engaging film.

4/5 Stars

 

Sucker Punch

Before Zack Snyder was churning out superhero hits for DC, he was an auteur with a distinct vision and style.

300, The Watchmen, and then Sucker Punch all showed his flair for the fantastical and fantasy, and his gritty storytelling was something to behold.

This story of a girl institutionalized by her step father, who takes her freedom back against the mental hospital’s guards and warden with her fellow incarcerated female heroines is a really cool story.

Featuring Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung, the script could be pulled straight from a graphic novel.

However, this one takes some thinking and is not easily consumed. There are no simple answers, which may frustrate viewers. But I liked this one just the same.

3.5/5 Stars

 

 

New Releases To May 21, 2019:

  • Call The Midwife: Season 8
  • The House
  • White Gold: Season 2
  • Rough Night
  • Wanda Sykes: Not Normal

 

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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