Looking for your next binge-worthy series or film to add to your streaming queue? Check back with Village Life every Friday for Jordan Parker's comprehensive insights on the week's most buzz-worthy programs from top streaming services like Netflix, Crave, Amazon Prime, and beyond.
Paramount+ -- From
Shot in my beautiful home province Nova Scotia, From is a thrilling, suitably creepy show full of intrigue.
It follows the residents of a city in the U.S. that’s subject to an eerie curse. Once you cross its city limits, you can never leave.
Residents live in terror as they try to escape, and haunting figures come out at night to subject them to all manner of fear-filled tactics.
Starring veteran actor Harold Perrineau – known for Lost, The Matrix films, and Oz – it’s a gripping show that’s a cut above your regular horror tales. Catalina Sandino Moreno, Eion Bailey, and other fabulous actors make up the ensemble. Shout-out to friend Reid Price, who is a recurring character.
It’s scary and a whole lot of fun, and I really enjoy the journey this one is taking me on.
On Netflix – The Mother
If critics expected a ground-breaking action film in Netflix release The Mother, then it’s their own faults. While it’s poorly-reviewed, this flick represents great entertainment at low stakes.
Jennifer Lopez stars as an assassin who – years after giving up her daughter for adoption to protect her – is called to the young teen’s defense again. The mother must fight those who are going after her kin because of her own sins.
Lopez gives bravura and charisma to a character that easily could have been one-note, and turns from Omari Hardwick, the scary-good Joseph Fiennes, Gael Garcia Bernal and Paul Raci makes this one worthwhile.
I hate to say it, but Lucy Paez’s portrayal of daughter Zoe is lacklustre, whiny and probably the biggest letdown of the film. Part of that, in all honesty, is due to cringe-worthy from not one, not two, but three writers.
That aside, director Niki Caro makes an engaging and pulse-pounding film nonetheless, and it’s definitely worth a look for Lopez fans or action lovers.
On Disney+ -- Class Of ‘09
I came upon this show completely by accident this week, and I couldn’t be happier I took a chance on it.
Reviews are middling, and yet I can’t seem to get my mind off Class Of ’09, and the myriad of possibilities its twisting plot represents.
FX and Hulu’s limited series is told in three different timelines – their first year at the FBI academy, the 2023 present, and in futuristic 2030. It’s the inflections, relationships and complications slowly developing that give me the most hope.
Every action in the past leads to a character’s decisions and ideals in the future, and as things slowly unravel, I become more enthralled. The basic story is about a group of FBI agents who graduated from Quantico in 2009 come together following the death of a mutual friend.
An Emmy winner for writing American Crime Story: Versace, creator Tom Rob Smith brings this show to life with an impressive cast, including Oscar nominee Brian Tyree Henry and Emmy nominee Kate Mara.
While only three episodes have been released, I am recommending this based on the sheer potential I see for this series thus far.
On Crave – The Father
One of the signature achievements of the difficult COVID-plagued 2020 release calendar, The Father represents the best film its star has done in at least a decade.
Anthony Hopkins won a controversial Best Actor Oscar (beating the late Chadwick Boseman) for his portrayal of Anthony, an elderly patriarch slowly deteriorating with dementia.
While his daughter tries everything to help him transition and get him to a care home, he refuses to take her assistance, and vehemently opposes leaving his home.
Hopkins is matched shot-for-shot with Olivia Colman, with supporting turns from Rufus Sewell and Imogen Poots.
Director Florian Zeller won an Oscar for writing the screenplay here, and it’s truly one of the best films of year by far.
On Amazon Prime Video – Air
If I had to give a Best Picture Oscar right now for 2023, it would go to Air without a moment’s hesitation.
Director Ben Affleck has somehow managed to take the story of Nike’s endorsement pursuit of NBA rookie Michael Jordan into one of the most heartfelt triumphs of the decade.
Alex Carvery’s first screenplay is incredible and intelligent, and a feast for movie lovers who dig crackling dialogue and great character development.
Matt Damon – as shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro – is an absolute delight, and the breezy chemistry he has with Affleck, a supporting actor here, is evident from the get-go.
Affleck – for his part – directs his best film since 2010’s The Town, and his performance is full of plucky comedic moments. Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Viola Davis and Chris Tucker are all fabulous.
I cannot recommend this movie enough – You don’t have to like basketball, marketing or sneakers to fall for the scrappy underdog story that is Air.
About The Author:
Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist and runs entertainment firm Parker PR. A huge lover and supporter of the local arts scene, he’s an avid filmgoer and lover of all genres.
A 2SLGBTQIA+ professional, he also works doing Events & Fundraising for the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia, and has a passion for giving a platform to queer events and artists.
His writing often skews toward local businesses, productions, events, and covering arts & entertainment. He’s also an avid sports fan and spends every May getting let down by the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs.
Jordan believes in an open-door policy, and welcomes story pitches and questions from readers.
Email: [email protected]