Yes, it’s the weekend again, and time to discuss our favorite additions to the big three streamers, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. So let’s get started !
Hulu has some interesting additions this week, the most interesting being The Bisexual, a new Hulu original series. It’s a British production created by and starring Desiree Akhavan(director of The Miseducation of Cameron Post, actor), an American living in London. And it’s a comedy/drama about the inconvenience of being bisexual, when all the world embraces being gay, but bisexuality, not so much. The show also stars Maxine Peake(Shameless BBC),Brian Gleeson, Saskia Chana, Naomi Ackie and Michèlle Guillot. With a wonderful cast and great reviews, it gets an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. Hulu has also added That Summer, the 2018 documentary about Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale. They were the subjects of the 1975 classic doc Grey Gardens, and the somewhat eccentric relatives of Jackie Onassis and her sister Lee Radziwill. And Peter Beard and Radziwill developed the idea and filmed some of That Summer, from which Grey Gardens eventually sprung. This footage was never released until 2018 and was directed by Göran Olsson. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said this movie is “basically a must-see, an archival gem with mouthwatering unseen footage of the two women who were turned by that film into pop-culture legends,” and it gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Another new addition on Hulu is Keepers of the Magic, a 2016 documentary about the magical cinematographers who filmed some of movie history’s greatest scenes. It’s written and directed by Vic Sarin, and it gets an 8.2/10 on IMDb. And Hulu has added Killer Bees, a 2017 documentary. No, it’s not about real bees, but about a mostly African-American High School basketball team that struggles in a working class neighborhood, in of all places, the Hamptons. It’s directed by Benjamin and Orson Cummings, and Shaquille O’Neal is one of it’s producers. And it gets a 7.4/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Hulu has added the Dept. Q series of mysteries from Denmark. The first is Dept. Q: Keeper of Lost Causes, from 2013. It’s the story of Insp. Carl Mørck and his assistant, looking into a cold case of a missing woman. Next isDept. Q: The Absent One, from 2014, in which Mørck investigates the murder of twins. And, finally, there’s Dept. Q: A Conspi acy of Faith, from 2016. In this movie, Mørck investigates still more child abductions. They all star Nikolaj Lie Kaas as Mørck, and Fares Fares as Assad, his assistant. These three movies were recently released in the states, were a hit in Denmark( the third, Conspiracy of Faith, gets a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes), but the New York Times calls it “Pitch-Black Nordic Noir”, so be prepared.
Netflix has two tremendous additions this week, the first being The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, from the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan. This is a series of 6 western vignettes, all written and directed by the Coen brothers. The cast includes Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Brendan Gleeson and Tyne Daly, and the show is getting rave reviews, with A.O. Scott of the New York Times saying “it swerves from goofy to ghastly so deftly and so often that you can’t always tell which is which.” And it gets a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The other big addition this week is The Kominsky Method, a comedy series starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin. Created by Chuck Lorre, this series is about an aging coach(Douglas),Kominsky, who was once had a brush with fame, as an actor. Arkin plays Kominsky‘s agent and friend, Norman, and the cast includes many amazing actors, including Danny Devito, Susan Sullivan, Sarah Baker, Nancy Travis, Melissa Tang, Emily Osment, Lisa Edelstein and even Ann-Margret! And it gets an 8.4/10 on IMDb and a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix also offers Nothing to Hide, a 2018 Netflix French original movie. Directed by Frank Cavaye(Point Blank, Anything For Her), this is the story of a dinner between friends, turned mean by a ‘game’ in which everyone used their iphone openly and publicly, instead of under the table. It stars Bérénice Béjo, Stéphane de Groodt, Suzanne Clément, Grégory Gadebois, Roschdy Zem, Vincent Elbaz and Dora Tillier. Cineuropa calls it “A super-efficient comedy, served by some super-sharp dialogue and a topic in tune with the times,” and it gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb. Netflix has also added Cam, a 2018 Netflix original horror thriller. Set in the world of porn, Cam is about a ‘camgirl,’ whose identity gets stolen from a look-alike. It stars Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters and Imani Hakim. Richard of The New Yorker, calls it a ‘remarkably accomplished thriller’ and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 94%. Also new on Netflix is May The Devil Take You, an 2018 Indonesian Horror movie. About a girl who investigates an old family villa, hoping to help her mysteriously ill father, it stars Pevita Pearce, Chelsea Islan, Samo Rafael, Karina Suwandhi and Clara Bernadeth. It’s based on The Evil Dead(1981), and gets an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. But beware, it’s rated TV-MA and has some genuinely ghastly stuff in it. And, finally, if you need something cheering after all that horror, Netflix has added Dogs, a six part series about dogs, all over the world. Each episode is about a different individual dog, like Rory, a service dog for epilepsy or Zeus, a refugee dog from Syria, who can say ‘I love you.’ The Daily Beast calls it ‘the heartwarming, feel-good TV Series of the year,’and there are no other ratings on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes. But it’s a lovely series.
The most exciting addition to Amazon Prime this week has to be Zama, Lucrecia Martel’s 2017 period drama. Zama is a surreal tale about an Spanish officer, who waits for decades a transfer out of a remote South American colony in the late 1700’s. It stars Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele and Juan Minujin and won numerous awards, including at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2018, The Havana Film Festival and the Argentinian Film Critics Association Awards. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times calls it ‘a cinematic marvel’ and says it’ brilliantly tackles colonialism in the New World’ and it gets a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Amazon has also added Coldplay: A Head Full Of Dreams, the 2018 movie about, you guessed it, the band Coldplay. Directed by long time friend Mat Whitecross and has footage and recordings from their early years in Camden, and through their 20 years of performing, as well. This is musical performances and interviews with the band members and gets an 8.4/10 on IMDb. Oh, and Amazon has added several good science fiction movies from the ‘70’s, including Logan’s Run, the 1976 movie starring Michael York and Jenny Agutter. Set in a seeming utopia in the near future, York stars as a ‘Sandman’(officer) in search of ‘runners’, those who want to live beyond the federal limit of 30 years of age. It also stars Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett, and Peter Ustinov, and it won a special Academy Award for visual effects. And it gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb. If you want to see what movie started the mega-hit HBO series, Amazon offers Westworld, the 1973 movie starring Yul Brynner. Based on a book by Michael Crichton, it also stars Richard Benjamin and James Brolin as two inoffensive tourists going to the Western fantasy world, furnished with it’s own robot players. Unfortunately, they malfunction and chaos ensues. It also stars Alan Oppenheimer, Victoria Shaw, Dick Van Patten and Linda Scott and it gets an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. And, finally, Amazon has added Soylent Green, the 1973 classic with Charlton Heston and Edward G, Robinson. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale of an overpopulated world, overheated by climate change and suffering dwindling food sources. Heston stars as a cop, investigating a murder of a wealthy businessman and his investigation lead to some unpalatable answers. It also stars Leigh Taylor-Young,Chuck Connors, Joseph Cotten, Brock Peters, Paula Kelly and Dick Van Patten, and was directed by Richard Fleischer. And it gets a 7.1/10 on IMDb.
So, relax and veg-out with some of the greatest shows, new and old, to stream on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime!