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A soapy Netflix reality show and an auteur’s take on a classic: 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.

Robin Hood

When this first came out, I remember it was universally met with just a shrug from audiences and critics.

No one disliked it, but it certainly wasn’t Oscar-bait. But over time, it has becoming something of a guilty pleasure of mine.

While it doesn’t come close to the previous collaboration between director Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, it is a good film on its own.

This iteration of the classic band of Robin Hood, merry men and fighting against a ruthless king is well-shot and interesting, if not remarkable.

Crowe gives it his all, and he’s joined by a game cast, including Cate Blanchett, Max Von Sydow, Matthew Macfadyen, William Hurt, Mark Strong, and a very young, impressive Oscar Isaac.

I think it’s better than it got credit for, and is an action-adventure film worth its salt.

3.5/5 Stars

Talk To Me

One of the great, unsung films of its star’s storied career, this one is definitely worth seeking out.

It follows radio jockey Ralph Greene, and his popular show in Washington, D.C. Based on a true story, Greene was an ex-con who turned into a community activist in the 1960s.

It’s funny, wry, and chalk-full of some really interesting ideas and turns. It was unfairly ignored outside critic’s circles in 2007.

Don Cheadle gives one of his best performances, and is joined by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mike Epps, Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, and Martin Sheen.

I love this movie, and I return to it every few years, always finding new things to enjoy.

4/5 Stars

The Reader

One of the most difficult films to watch of the 2000s, this is a crowning achievement for its star.

Kate Winslet won her only Oscar for her role in this incredible drama. It follows a woman accused of war crimes following WWII, and the younger man who was her lover a decade prior.

Winslet is incredible, and Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz and Jeanette Hain are all fabulous. But it’s a performance from David Cross that also struck me.

Director Stephen Daldry – best known for The Hours and Billy Elliott – makes a masterpiece here.

I can’t often watch it due to the content, but it’s a work that has always really affected me.

4.5/5 Stars

The Conjuring

One of the absolute scariest movies of the last decade, this will be perfect to get your Halloween fix.

It follows real-life paranormal investigator couple Ed and Lorraine Warren, and their work to help a family fight against a dark force in their home.

Director James Wan – who made Saw, Insidious, and Malignant – is truly a master of the genre, and he left me shaking following this one.

The acting is above-par for a genre film, with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga committing to a film that’s spawned three sequels and runs as part of a whole film universe.

It’s one of the scariest movies of all time, and it gives me shivers just thinking about it. If you watch or re-watch, prep for a sleepless night.

4/5 Stars

 

Love Is Blind

It made huge waves during the pandemic, and now season three of Love Is Blind brings it back.

People were so into it for the escapist entertainment, and now I’m hooked. I’ve watched all three seasons in two weeks, and I can’t stop.

It follows single people who go to a resort and date numerous singles in walled pods, cut off from each other physically. They hear only voices, and must form emotional connections before physical ones.

Some become engaged, sight unseen, and then the couples who get engaged have four weeks between meeting each other for the first time and walking down the aisle., Will they make it to the “I Dos”, without everything else they have going on in the outside world interfering?

Nick Lachey and wife Vanessa created this dramatic, romantic and truly addictive reality show that’s not hard to get totally engrossed in.

4/5 Stars




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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