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THE BEST IN STREAMING August 11: Our critic picks the top shows you can't miss this week

Check out this week's most buzz-worthy programs from top streaming services like Netflix Canada, Crave, Amazon Prime, and beyond.

On Crave – 65

Unfairly maligned upon its release, I'm convinced this one will be more favourably recognized in the years to come.

It's pretty simplistic, but there's something so enjoyable about this dinosaur flick that doesn't come with the “Jurassic Park” moniker attached.

When astronaut Mills crash lands on an unknown planet, he soon discovers he's about to become prey and must fight for his survival. Written and directed by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck – who did phenomenon A Quiet Place in 2018 – it's a taut, endlessly entertaining thriller.

In a film that literally hinges on a single performance, Adam Driver hoists this film on his back and carries it, despite a script that does feel cliche at points.

The special effects are dazzling, it's full of suspense, and while you shouldn't expect an epic, 65 delivers as it should.

On Netflix – Heartstopper

The award for “Cutest Show Ever Created” will belong to Heartstopper in perpetuity. It's that damn good.

Season two has just been released, but if you're new to the party, this romantic show based on Alice Oseman's graphic novel series is one of the most wholesome shows on TV.

The show follows Charlie – recently outed to his school peers – who endures bullying and ridicule from the attendees of his all-boys school in England.

Reeling from a break-up with a secret lover, Charlie encounters Nick, a rugby star who shows Charlie kindness and genuine care. The former soon develops a crush, and sparks fly between the two behind-closed-doors.

Joe Locke and Kit Connor share remarkable chemistry as Charlie and Nick, and the ensemble includes William Gao, Yasmin Finney, Rhea Norwood, and Oscar-winner Olivia Colman.

It's an inclusive cast of incredible young performers – mostly unknown until now – and they're all splendid. You'll fall in love with these characters almost immediately.

I have watched the first season multiple times over, and cannot wait to get into season two. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't seek out this coming-of-age show immediately.

On Paramount+ -- A.I. Artificial Intelligence

One of the most underrated films of the 2000s, this sci-fi epic has only become more important and iconic with time.

Somehow only nominated for its visual effects and original score at the 2002 Academy Awards, this Stanley Kubrick-produced, Steven Spielberg-directed flick is one of my recommendations for those looking for gems in the rough.

It follows robotic boy David, who wished to become real so he can gain the adoration and love of his human mother. There is so much more to the plot, but the less said the better.

It stars The Sixth Sense child actor Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, France O'Connor, Clark Gregg and William Hurt, all of whom get a chance to truly shine.

A visually-stunning, ambitious picture, it's stood the test of time 23 years later, and will go down as a Spielberg film that deserved a much bigger audience. Perhaps it can continue to gain a following with folks like you on streaming.

On Amazon Prime Video – The Super Mario Bros. Movie

I'm always incredibly skeptical of adaptations of my favourite video games – Video game movies are almost always horrid affairs.

I was originally perturbed by Chris Pratt's incredibly non-Italian Mario voice, but upon seeing this film I have to admit I was laughing the entire run-time.

Directors Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic, and Pierre Leduc are clearly fans of the source material, and it shows in every single frame of this animated venture.

Pratt is joined by voice actors Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Keegan-Michael Key and Seth Rogen. But the highlight here is a nuanced and hilarious voice performance from Jack Black as villain Bowser.

This is a hilarious good time for children and adults, and despite my early trepidations, I wholeheartedly enjoyed Super Mario Bros.

On Disney+ -- Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol 3

Let's face it – Marvel hasn't been on much of a winning streak lately.

Their last few films have flopped both financially and critically, and it seems people are starting to get tired of the same old superhero formula. 

This iteration follows Guardians lead Peter, who's still dealing with the loss of lover Gamora, whose memory has been wiped. He and his team – in the midst of Peter's depression – go on a mission that could kill the whole universe.

Leave it to the oddball Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise to turn things around for Marvel in style. While other franchises got incredibly dark, Guardians has always been able to bring the humour to the genre.

But what surprised me here with Guardians 3 is that it manages to do what so many Marvel films have failed at lately – It perfectly blends comedy and high-stakes drama into a cohesive work that everyone can enjoy.

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Dave Bautista star, with Karen Gillan, Maria Bakalova, Sean Gunn, Will Poulter and Chukwudi Iwuji joining the proceedings.

This sequel retains the humour that always set the franchise apart and manages to flesh out these characters we care so much about without resorting to full doom-and-gloom. It's one of the best films of the year, and one of my favourite Marvel flicks ever,

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]