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.
On Netflix – Till Death
A wonderful example of a B-movie that totally works, this under-the-radar pandemic-era film is absolutely thrilling.
Megan Fox stars as a woman who – after a fit of revenge – is handcuffed to her dead husband. When she realizes two hitmen have arrived to finish the job, she has to use everything at her disposal to fight for survival.
Fox is the main reason people will tune in, and though she hasn’t found much fanfare since Transformers, she is absolutely wonderful here. Equal parts menacing and bitingly funny, she’s more than sex appeal.
She’s joined by Eoin Macken and Jack Roth, though the only other standout for me was villainous Callan Mulvey, a classic character actor who’s been a small part of plenty of blockbusters.
Writer Jason Carvey and director S.K. Dale aren’t breaking new ground here, but you’ll find yourself laughing at the surprising, twisted sense of humour instilled here nonetheless.
On Amazon Prime Video – The Killer Inside Me
This one is not for the faint of heart, but it does happen to be an indie that almost everyone I know slept on upon release.
Director Michael Winterbottom is better known for British comedies, but this absolutely haunting film is among the best on his resume.
It follows a smalltown sheriff whose double-life as a cold-blooded killer is slowly uncovered, and the steps he takes to hastily cover his tracks.
It succeeds due to a game, all-star cast. Casey Affleck is wonderful as the lead, and joined by Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, and Bill Pullman.
This ensemble piece is definitely a gruesome, unforgiving and difficult watch, but I was enthralled nonetheless.
On Paramount+ -- Zoolander
I will resoundingly tell anyone willing to listen about the merits of this satire, and I quote its comic almost-daily.
Zoolander is an absolutely stupid film that knows how silly it is – a skewering of fame and the fashion industry that takes it as far as it can.
It follows down-on-his-luck fashion icon Derek Zoolander, who feels his career is in freefall. But when designer Mugatu shows an interest in him for a new campaign, he joins without a second thought – Literally. But what he doesn’t know is Mugatu wants to brainwash him to assassinate the Malaysian Prime Minister.
Does it sound silly? It 100% is, but that’s the entire point. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson take centre stage here – and Stiller also directs and co-writes – for a romp that feels like two best friends having the greatest time of their life.
They’re joined by Stiller’s wife Christine Taylor, a hilarious Will Ferrell pre-mega fame, Milla Jovovich, Stiller’s father Jerry Stiller, Jon Voight, Vince Vaugn, and David Duchovny, in an incredible cameo.
Jam-packed with celebrity cameos, quotable scenes and some iconic comedy, this is one of my favourites in a very subjective genre of films.
On Crave – The Price We Pay
Shock horror is absolutely not for everyone. All you really need to know about this one to make your decision on whether it’s for you is the director’s most famous film is “Midnight Meat Train”.
For those of you who love your horror gruesome, I have this treat for you. It’s a grindhouse-style B-movie that is not getting nearly enough credit.
When a pawn shop robbery leads to the murder of employees and the taking of hostage Grace, the criminals take refuge in a farmhouse nearby for the night to regroup and come up with a plan.
But they’re soon confronted with a terror at the remote location, and are forced to work together with their kidnappee to get out alive.
Stephen Dorff – of ‘Blade’ fame – provides a quiet intensity here, and Emile Hirsch gives a suitably creepy turn. But the true star is Gigi Zumbado, who has some serious acting chops.
Co-writer and director Ryuhei Kitamura knows the film he’s making, and he doesn’t hold back. This one will Not be for everyone, but gore hounds may find a cult classic here.
On Disney+ -- Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny
It’s definitely not the best of the serious, but Indy 5 is a vast improvement on Crystal Skull, and I actually really enjoyed myself in the theatre.
I had to suspend my disbelief a ton and really let myself go on this ride, but all Indiana Jones films require a bit of a stretch of the imagination.
Harrison Ford is way too old to be doing these stunts – yes, I’m aware of that – but there’s something beautiful and nostalgic in seeing him here. He once again dons the fedora as Jones, an adventure-seeking archaeologist interested in preserving history.
He fights against time to get the Dial of Destiny, an artifact that can quite literally change history. He’s up against incredible actor Mads Mikkelson, who is equally fun.
The cast is – top-to-bottom – completely engaging. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a fantastic addition, Antonio Banderas is having a great time, Boyd Holbrook, and Toby Jones are committed, and there are plenty of surprises along the way.
Director James Mangold doesn’t reach franchise heights like he did with ‘Logan’, this is still a solid effort, even if it doesn’t match the original trilogy.
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]