On Amazon Prime – Everything Everywhere All At Once
This newly-minted Best Picture Oscar winner is a dizzying, frantic, beautiful delight of a film that crosses genres and steals hearts with infinite glee.
This kung-fu kicking, emotionally-resonant flick follows middle-aged Chinese immigrant Evelyn, buckling under the pressure of the American dream. She runs a laundromat with her optimistic husband Waymond, and constantly finds herself pulling him back down to earth.
For all his quirks and silly approaches to life, Evelyn is his counter – She’s serious, stalwart and finds little time for amusement or flights of fancy. Caught between a daughter she can’t understand, a husband she couldn’t be more different than, and a father she’s constantly trying to please, Evelyn is frustrated.
But she’s suddenly and swiftly pulled into a multiverse where she’s told she can save the world by connecting with the existences of lives she could had led.
Does it sound unique, entirely weird and incredible? It is. Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Key Huy Quan (Short Round from Indiana Jones) all won acting Oscars for the film. They’re absolutely stellar, as is the directing from Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
This is an unforgettable film that – even if you don’t climb on-board – you’ll undeniably respect.
On Netflix – Scream (Scream 5)
In honour of Scream VI coming to theatres and absolutely tearing up the box-office last week, I revisited this 2022 “re-quel”.
I grew up with the Scream series, and hold a high regard, nostalgia and huge protected instinct over the slasher franchise. I was terrified this iteration – coming 11 years after the last film – was just a cash-grab.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Scream is a self-referential, scary sequel of consequence. It raises the stakes and builds a universe beyond the original films, while paying beautiful tribute to the legacy of the franchise.
It follows a string of brutal slayings by a Ghostface killer in Woodsboro 25 years after the events of the original. The terror inflicted on the town and a new set of teens bring long-buried secrets back, and a game of cat-and-mouse soon ensues.
The new cast members include Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid – son of Dennis and Meg Ryan – Mikey Madison, Wednesday star Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Mason Gooding.
With beloved stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell, and Courteney Cox also on-board, it’s a mix of incredible new blood and all our favourites from the past.
Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett stylishly direct this one with a clear love for the original that translates to screen, and the script is whip-smart.
It’s a formidable entry in a franchise that just continues to gain steam, and Scream 5 is an overall blood good time.
On Crave – The Last Of Us
After the messy final seasons of ‘The Walking Dead’, I was just about done with post-apocalyptic shows.
I had zero interest in The Last Of Us, and successfully avoided it for the first full month it was on the air, but after repeated pleas from friends, I relented.
What followed was a four-hour, uninterrupted binge of a show that’s become my favourite in years.
Based on the popular video game, it follows a man who is given the task of protecting a 14-year-old girl who may be the world’s only hope against a worldwide pandemic.
The performances are sublime. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey have an undeniable on-screen chemistry, and they embody strong, deeply affecting characters.
It’s a terrifying, poetic and resonant show that I’m currently entirely obsessed with.
On Disney – Banshees of Inisherin
In any other year, this film would have absolutely swept the Oscars. Unfortunately, the aforementioned Everything Everywhere swept … Well, every category, every award, all at once.
Nominated for nine Oscars, Banshees of Inisherin follows two life-long best friends in a small coastal town who set forward on a chaotic collision course when one decides they want to end the friendship and cut ties.
No reason is given. There was no row. Colm just decides he’s done with Padraic, and this is an outcome the latter can’t abide. As tensions grow, the entire town is thrown into turmoil by the personal issues of the two.
Colin Farrell gives the performance of his career here, and he’s joined by fellow Oscar-nominated turns from Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, and Barry Keoghan.
Many are calling this writer-director Martin McDonagh’s best effort. While I still prefer Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I’d certainly call this one a film of growth and maturity.
I loved it start-to-finish, and it’s one of those films where you’ll notice something subtle and new that adds to the experience with each re-watch.
On Netflix – Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
I’ll say one thing about Chris Rock – The man made sure the slap heard around the world got him paid.
The live stand-up special aired on Netflix and netted Rock $40-million to finally speak publicly about last year’s Oscars ceremony, during which Will Smith open-hand slapped him on-stage.
Rock was hosting, and made an (in my opinion) distasteful joke about Smith’s wife, which led to a live assault that Oscars audiences – and celebrities in the auditorium – witnessed in real-time.
It began a discourse on what’s appropriate for comedians to joke about – But the whole point of comedy is to observe (and bring light and humour to) things that may be distasteful or difficult to talk about.
Now, a full year later, Rock holds nothing back. He discusses everything from abortion to 2SLGBTQIA+ issues, racism and so much more. But let’s be honest – We came to hear his thoughts on the slap, and we get 10 minutes of unfiltered, raw, seemingly un-rehearsed footage.
For all the messiness of the special, it’s a marvel to watch Rock – unafraid and even angry – go absolutely all-in, with little thought to whose feelings he hurts. His message is clear: Comedy – as an art-form – is going to delight some and piss others off. And those roles can be reversed with a single joke.
Buy in, or bow out. Love it, or hate it. There will be some of you who don’t like this special at all, because comedy is so intensely subjective. Regardless, Rock’s made clear he won’t filter himself for anyone – Will Smith included.
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.