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 – The Mist
You will not find a movie that’s more under-appreciated than The Mist. This 2007 horror film is nothing short of enthralling, and upon a re-watch this week, I couldn’t believe the talent involved.
Director Frank Darabont is the man behind The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, and he adapts Stephen King’s short novel with a keen sensibility, while also making this adaptation much his own.
He also created The Walking Dead, and you’ll find many actors from that show in this earlier work, which was incredibly fun to see.
When David and his son head to the supermarket after a huge storm, they’re seeking supplies to help them deal with the wreckage on their property. But they – along with store employees, members of the U.S. military and other townspeople – get locked in the store when a mysterious mist containing ravenous creatures overtakes the town.
Half of the store thinks the rapture has come and they must repent, while the other half fight their own ideals as they witness monsters overtake the city. As the creatures lurk, the people inside turn against each other.
The Mist features Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, the late Andre Braugher, Toby Jones, William Sadler, and Walking Dead alum Jeffrey DeMunn, Laurie Holden, and Melissa McBride.
It’s a stacked ensemble with some amazing character actors, and a horror film that manages to thrill as well as make you think.
On Amazon Prime Video – Past Lives
An Oscar nominee for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay this year, Past Lives will absolutely rock you to your core.
It follows childhood friends Nora and Hae Sung, who are separated when they’re younger as Nora’s family moves away from South Korea. But Hae Sung remains devoted and in love with her, and they meet again as adults.
They spend a week re-acquainting, and Nora’s husband Arthur must stand by as his wife attempts to find closure with her first love.
Writer-director Celine Song’s debut feature is absolutely captivating, and anchored by a trio of wonderful, heartfelt performances from Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro.
My partner and I were both grabbing for Kleenex by the end of this one, and it’s a deep, beautiful portrait that explores what could have been.
On Crave – The Royal Hotel
We are at a time in our culture where the inequities between genders have become a huge topic of discussion.
The way folks who aren’t male-identifying are treated in the world is angering, and The Royal Hotel explores that in a microcosm.
Hanna and Liv spend their time travelling, getting jobs wherever they can, and funding their backpacking adventures. The best friends run out of cash, and have to take a job at a smalltown, remote pub in Australia to save up again.
However, in a town filled with blue-collar workers, the backwards attitudes of the clientele soon become an issue. Liv and Hanna experience all kinds of abuse and aggression until things come to a boiling point.
Ozark alum Julia Garner and Game Of Thrones actress Jessica Henwick are fantastic here, and the two make a great pair. They face off against Hugo Weaving, in a despicable turn, as well as James Frecheville and Daniel Henshall. The performances are top-tier from all involved here.
It’s an atmospheric, enraging film, and it’s going to be impossible for it not to get a rise out of you on your first viewing.
On Disney+ -- Splash
Is some of Splash problematic for a 2024 audience? Absolutely. But I’m going to recommend it anyway, because it’s adorable.
It follows a man who falls off a boat as a boy, and is rescued by a mermaid. He meets the mermaid again as an adult and falls in love, but doesn’t know her scaly secret.
Co-written by the legendary Brian Grazer (Apollo 13, Beautiful Mind) and directed by Ron Howard (also Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and Frost/Nixon), the talent behind the camera is incredible.
Nominated for its screenplay, Splash also has great talent in front of the camera. Young Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, and John Candy are all fabulous. The chemistry between our stars here is off-the-charts.
I really adore this movie and it’s a heartwarming tale that is guaranteed to make you smile.
On Apple+ -- Masters Of The Air
If you’ve seen The Pacific or Band Of Brothers, you know exactly what you’re in for with this incredible journey.
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks reunite to back this incredible war-time mini-series, and the results are spell-binding.
It follows pilots in WWII who get stuck in the air behind enemy lines. They’re inside a bomber dubbed a “Flying Fortress”, but have to fight against German planes to try to make it home.
There is so much talent in this cast — Oscar nominees Austin Butler and Barry Keoghan bring a ton of depth, and I dare say this is the best I’ve seen Callum Turner.
Spielberg and Hanks have a penchant for finding unknown actors who will go on to become stars. The supporting cast includes Anthony Boyle, Elliott Warren, and a large ensemble. Many of these folks will likely soon become a very big deal, as most of the cast of Band Of Brothers did.
It’s a great show filled with plenty of action and great set-pieces, but it also includes some real emotional depth.
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]