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A classic, sexy noir thriller and a heartbreaking British drama: This week’s best and biggest on Netflix

Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on CityNews Halifax
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Check out Jordan Parker's 'The week's best and biggest on Netflix' every Friday on CityNews Halifax.

Now Is Good

A decade since its original release, this British drama still has the ability to make me bawl.

Tessa – a headstrong 17-year-old – is dying of leukemia. She chooses to stop treatment, and creates a bucket list.

Her biggest wish is to lose her virginity before she passes, but she refuses to do so with just anyone.

Enter Adam, with whom Tessa begins a tender courtship. Trapped between staying in the moment with her and trying to plan for his future, the two become entangled in a difficult situation.

The film boasts absolutely fabulous performances from Dakota Fanning and Jeremy Irvine, and Olivia Williams and Paddy Constantine excel as Tessa’s parents.

It’s a romantic tearjerker with substance, and a true hidden gem of a film.

4/5 Stars

Basic Instinct

It’s hard to believe, but this film hit theatres and dared to stun and shock audiences 30 years ago.

One of the sexiest, most absolutely bonkers films of the time period, Basic Instinct predominantly featured a caught-in-the-spider’s-web plotline remembered by all.

It showcased sexual scenes that have become etched into the pop culture zeitgeist, and cemented director Paul Verhoeven as an auteur unafraid to make audiences uncomfortable.

Brash detective Nick meets his match in novelist Catherine while investigating a murder, and realizes she may have something to do with it.

Michael Douglas and the fabulous Sharon Stone have undeniable chemistry, and the film has endured through the years to become a bit of a phenomenon.

4/5 Stars

Bridget Jones’s Baby

The Bridget Jones trilogy marks a highpoint in 2000s romantic comedies, and this conclusion is a worthy endeavour.

Made nearly a decade after the sequel, Bridget Jones finds herself 40 and single, and she tries to focus on her worklife to distract herself.

But then she finds out she’s pregnant, and is unsure which of two men is the baby’s father.

Directed by Sharon Maguire, this hilarious conclusion keeps with the spirit and good-nature of the previous iterations.

Renee Zellweger is wonderful as Bridget, and her leading men Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey are also wonderful.

With Gemma Jones and Jim Broadbent returning, it’s wonderful for fans of the franchise and newcomers as well.

3.5/5 Stars

The Hateful Eight

This is Quentin Tarantino’s most underrated affair, and a film that proved too brutal for many mainstream audience members.

In the middle of a freezing Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner take refuge in a cabin. But they may have been safer in the wilderness, as the current inhabitants are anything but upstanding citizens.

In a rare instance, Tarantino wasn’t nominated for an Original Screenplay Oscar here, but long-time industry titan Ennio Morricone won one for his Original Score.

In a decision that still irks me, the Academy awarded Alicia Vikander and Oscar for The Danish Girl over a career performance from Jennifer Jason Leigh here.

Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, and one big surprise cameo all give fantastic turns. But this is Jason Leigh’s film.

It’s shocking and brutal – even by Tarantino’s standards – but I’ve come to appreciate it more and more over time.

4/5 Stars

Moonshine

This CBC show – shot in Nova Scotia – may not have yet reached the heights of Schitt’s Creek, but it’s a great new direction for the broadcaster.

I was shocked to see a decidedly adult comedy on CBC, but this one is a far cry from shows like Murdoch Mysteries.

It follows the Finley-Cullens, a family who come together after the death of an aunt to mourn.

But when the more successful adult daughter – who left for good years prior – is given almost half of the family business from the aunt’s will, her siblings begin a war for the shares.

It’s dysfunctional, it’s crude, and creator Sheri Elwood’s show has a whole lot of promise.

The cast, featuring Jennifer Finnigin, Anastasia Phillips, Emma Hunter, Tom Stevens, Alexander Nunez, Erin Darke, Farid Yazdani, Corrine Koslo, Peter MacNeill, Celia Owen, and Calem MacDonald, represent a wonderful ensemble.

It needs some tweaking, but there’s a whole lot of promise here, and I have no doubt this homegrown dramedy will further find its footing in season two.

3.5/5 Stars



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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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