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Searing political Stalin satire and Aziz Ansari’s comic comeback: The 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.

The Death Of Stalin

It’s been an incredibly long time since a movie made the political impact this biting satire does.

Centred around the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1953, it shows the power struggles that emerge among the ministers vying to take over Russia.

The cast – which includes Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jason Isaacs – is top-notch and they barely skip a beat. They’re so good and improvisational that they’re a joy to watch.

It’s a serious subject about a dark part of history, and yet, it manages to be a dark, beautiful work.

4/5 Stars

Hall Pass

This film is never, ever going to go down as a classic comedy, but its stars and hijinks make it worth a serious watch.

Putting aside the whacky, potentially upsetting concept – two wives give their husbands a one-week “hall pass” to do whatever they want, in the hopes of spicing up the marriages – you can have a lot of fun if you suspend your disbelief.

Owen Wilson has a wonderful, relaxed vibe to him, and truthfully, I could watch him in anything. Jason Sudeikis is a great pairing, and his high, amped-up energy is a great complement.

The two are absolutely hilarious everymen, and some of the best comedic actors working. It’s my strong belief they’re both epically underrated.

It sometimes borders on farce, but Bobby and Peter Farrelly – mostly known for There’s Something About Mary and gross-out comedy – stick to their style here. It’s rude, crude, and often non-PC, and sometimes, we need something that shocks us.

If you want to belly laugh, shake your head, and go on a wild ride, just try it.

3.5/5 Stars

Aziz Ansari: Right Now

It’s been quite a year for actor, showrunner and comedian Aziz Ansari.

In the wake of #MeToo, an allegation Ansari was a bit too pushy on a date and made his partner feel uncomfortable have left him mostly out of the spotlight.

Here, he makes his return, and he’s in fantastic form. Not only does he address the allegations – in a respectful, thoughtful manner – but he delivers an enthusiastic, hilarious set as well.

It’s not your regular comedy show: Ansari pulls out the big guns and goes full circle in his attempt to be both funny, interesting and deeply introspective.

This will make you laugh, empathize and learn some serious lessons along the way.

4/5 Stars

Kill Bill 1-2

These companion piece films feature career-best, empowered work from Uma Thurman, and are among Quentin Tarantino’s most ambitious films.

The two-parter about a woman left for dead by her former boss and lover Bill is a splendid revenge tale with wall-to-wall incredible performances.

With Thurman, the late David Carradine, a standout performance from Michael Madsen, and Vivica A. Fox, this is one of those movies that both does great justice to Japanese samurai films of old and presents something totally new.

They’re gory, masterful and tell a unique, amazing tale. This is a great two-piece, and I dare say the second is even better than the first.

4/5 Stars

RuPaul’s Drag Race

With Halifax Pride starting this week, and a vibrant drag queen culture here in the city, the full RuPaul collection series is your perfect introduction to drag.

With regular and all-star seasons, there’s plenty to go through If you want education – and entertainment – when it comes to the scene.

Chalk full of unapologetic queer culture and iconic moments aplenty, RuPaul, producer and mega-queen, has created a nine-time Emmy award winning competition show, in which queens battle and do challenges every week to stay in.

With the purpose of breeding inclusivity and finding the next drag superstar, there are rumours of a Canadian spin-off.

This is a really, really great show, and if you’re nervous you won’t understand or like it, just keep an open mind and give it a try. That’s all I ask.

5/5 Stars

New Releases To July 24:

  • Secret Obsession: Netflix Original Film
  • Suits: Season 8
  • Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee: Part 2
  • Queer Eye: Season 4
  • Typewriter: Netflix Original Series

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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