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Jason Segel impresses in indie and a fur-filled family film: 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.

Windfall

Jason Segel has evolved from a sitcom funnyman to a bona fide dramatic powerhouse, and Windfall is just the latest example.

The How I Met Your Mother alum quietly dazzles as a man who schemes to rob a tech billionaire, only to be pushed into a potentially violent situation when they man and his wife arrive to their vacation home unannounced.

What was a break-in turns into a hostage situation, with each of the trio watching it spiral out of their control.

Segel co-writes a masterful, sparse screenplay that ratchets tension without giving in to cheap Hollywood tropes. Justin Lader and director Charlie McDowell team with star Segel for an incredible effort.

Co-starring Jesse Plemons and the fabulous Lily Collins, the trio are perfectly-cast in the best film of 2022 so far.

4.5/5 Stars

Rescued By Ruby

Based on a true story, fantastic man-and-his-dog movie Rescued By Ruby is better than it has any right to be.

Mostly known for B-movie horror flicks, director Katt Shea moves into family-friendly territory, with great results.

This one follows a man taking his last shot at joining the K-9 police unit, with the help of pesky shelter dog Ruby.

Chief among the reasons this works is star Grant Gustin, seen in television shows like The Flash and Glee. The fact he's not a leading A-list actor yet astounds me, because he more than has the chops.

Joined by an adorable dog and winning performances from Scott Wolf and Kaylah Zander, this one definitely makes the grade.

3.5/5 Stars

Olympus Has Fallen

The first in an action trilogy, Olympus Has Fallen is a fantastic, first-rate genre picture.

In an age where fighting robots and Marvel rule screens, it's nice to have a nostalgic, Die Hard-style flick.

Secret Service agent Mike Banning tries to save the President of the U.S.A. when he's kidnapped in the White House by terrorists.

Directed by Training Day's Antoine Fuqua, there's a pedigree to this one that puts it above normal action features.

With lead performer Gerard Butler entirely delivering, and supporting turns from Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo and Cole Hauser, this one is packed with great actors.

It doesn't aspire to do more than fully entertain you, and it's a fantastic diversion.

4/5 Stars

Dog Pound

If you choose to sit down with Dog Pound, it's going to be a difficult, challenging ride.

This reflection and condemnation of the deplorable conditions and violence inside a correctional centre is nothing short of terrifying to watch. It follows three juvenile offenders – all in for different crimes – and the abuse they face from guards and other inmates.

Written by Jeremie Delon and director Kim Chapiron, it is unflinching in its depiction of what life is like for these kids.

Adam Butcher, Shane Kippel and Matthew Morales are all absolutely fantastic here, with special mention to Butcher for his layered, sensitive turn.

A film that I won't be able to forget, Dog Pound is visceral and moving. I won't be able to see it again, but I'm glad I took the time.

3.5/5 Stars

Big Daddy

I have to be honest and say, Uncut Gems aside, the last decade has seen a barrage of offensive, garbage content from funnyman Adam Sandler.

But when I look at his classics, this nearly 25-year-old film still holds up as one of my favourites.

It follows a law-school graduate who refuses to grow up. He works once a week at a toll booth, and adopts a child on a whim to impress his girlfriend. When she leaves, he becomes the unlikely sole guardian for a child he's not prepared for.

As you can imagine, all kinds of hilarity ensues, but this Sandler vehicle has something his new work is missing – A good-hearted streak.

It manages to be both funny and sweet, and Sandler, Joey Lauren Adams, Jon Stewart, Rob Schneider, and Leslie Mann are all fantastic.

But Dylan and Cole Sprouse are adorable as young adoptee Julian, and prove they had plenty of talent pre-Suite Life of Zack and Cody or Riverdale,

Big Daddy is simply adorable, and you'll enjoy every single second.

4/5 Stars

Jordan Parker's weekly film reviews can be found on his blog, Parker & The Picture Shows.




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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