Yes, it’s finally the weekend and time to review the best new movies and TV shows available online this week, on Hulu, Amazon and Netflix. And there’s some good new stuff added for this weekend before Christmas, so let’s get right to it!
Yes, there are some interesting new additions on Hulu this week, including Damsel, the 2018 comedy western starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska. A man(Pattinson) crosses the Western frontier to find and marry his true love(Wasikowska), only to find she has other ideas. The classic image of heroes and women in distress are turned on their head in this movie. Damsel premiered at Sundance , in January 2018, and also features film icon Robert Forster. And it gets a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes and3outof4starsonrogerebert.com. If you’re tired of stale sexist portrayals of women in westerns, this movie is for you. Hulu has also added Measure of a Man, the 2018 coming of age comedy. Based on the book, One Fat Summer, by David Lipsyte, this movie is a sensitive portrayal of the summer of a boy’s first job, and learning how to deal with bullying, both of boys and girls. It stars Blake Cooper, Donald Sutherland, Judy Greer, Luke Wilson, Diana Liberato and Danielle Rose Rusell and was directed by Jim Loach. Richard Roeper says ‘it’s a sweet and knowing and lovely and funny story” and it gets a 6.2/10 on IMDb. Hulu has also added Heart Beats Loud, the 2018 comedy staring Nick Offerman. Offerman stars as a widower who tries to convince his daughter to sing with him in a band, before she leaves for college. It also stars Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner and Toni Collette(what a cast!) and premiered at Sundance. It’s warm and funny , without being sentimental, and has good music, as well. And it gets a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. And, finally, Hulu has added Skate Kitchen, the 2018 movie about girl skateboarders in NYC. It’s also a coming of age movie about a close pack of girlfriends, who wander New York and embrace a newcomer(Rachelle Vinberg). It also stars Jaden Smith,Kabrina Adams, Tom Bruno, Thaddeus Daniels, Kobi Frumer and Taylor Gray and is directed by documentarian Crystal Moselle(The Wolfpack), which is why this movie plays like a docu-narrative hybrid. The girls in this movie are all real members of the Skate Kitchen and Anne Hornaday(Washington Post) says it”conveys the simple, exhilarating thrill of daring to claim social space, and proceeding to occupy it, with defiance and ecstatic grace,” and it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m watching! Skate Kitchen, the 2018 movie about girl skateboarders in NYC. It’s also a coming of age movie about a close pack of girlfriends, who wander New York and embrace a newcomer(Rachelle Vinberg). It also stars Jaden Smith,Kabrina Adams, Tom Bruno, Thaddeus Daniels, Kobi Frumer and Taylor Gray and is directed by documentarian Crystal Moselle(The Wolfpack), which is why this movie plays like a docu-narrative hybrid. The girls in this movie are all real members of the Skate Kitchen and Anne Hornaday(Washington Post) says it”conveys the simple, exhilarating thrill of daring to claim social space, and proceeding to occupy it, with defiance and ecstatic grace,” and it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m watching!
Netflix, too, has some big additions this week, but the biggest has to be Bird Box, the sci-fi thriller starring Sandra Bullock. In this movie, Bullock stars as the Mom of two young kids who must keep them blindfolded in order to survive an alien presence that has driven most earthlings to commit suicide. This is a tense post-apocalyptic movie, with a great cast, including John Malkovitch, Trevante Rhodes, Sarah Paulson, BD Wong, Jackie Weaver and Rosa Salazar, and is directed by Susanne Bier(In a Better World,The Night Manager). It is a scary, riveting movie, and gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb, and a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix also has Perfume, the 2018 German mystery series. Perfume is based on the book of the same name by Patrick Süßkind , about the strange murder of a woman with her scent glands removed, and the investigation leads to the former students of a boarding school, who investigated human scent at the time. It stars Juergen Maurer, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Christian Friedel, Ken Duken and Natalia Belitski. This is an explicit series, with a TV-MA rating, and it gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb. If you want some comedy, after all that tension, try Derry Girls, a new comedy series fromIreland. It’s set in Northern Ireland(and has a predominantly Northern Irish cast) in the 1990’s, and features five kids trying to navigate high school and life during The Troubles. The cast includes Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Nicola Coughlan, Louisa Harland, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell,Dylan Llewellyn, Tara Lynne O’Neill, Kathy Kiera Clark,
Siobhan McSweeney and is created and written by Lisa McGee. And it gets an 8.2/10(!) on IMDb. I’m tuning in! Netflix has also added Bad Seeds,
a 2018 comedy from France. This film(directed by Kheiron) stars Kheiron and Catherine Deneuve in the story of a con artist(Kheiron) who finally goes straight at the insistence of his adoptive mom(Deneuve). It also stars André Dussollier, Louison Blivet, Adil Dehbi ,Hakou Benosmane, Youssouf Wague, Ouassima Zrouki and JosephJovanovic. And it gets a 7.3/10 on IMDb. And, if you want more post–apocalyptic horror, Netflix offers What Still Remains, a 2018 movie from
directorJosh Mendoza. With some wonderful veteran stars, Mendoza tells thetale of a lone survivor of an apocalyptic disease, Anna(Lulu Antariksa), who must learn to trust anyone else, especially a stranger played by Colin O’Donoghue and his cult. The vet actors include Mimi Rogers,Dohn Norwood and Jeff Koberand the cast also features Roshon Fegan and SienGoines. And it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. And, finally, if you are tired of horror and want something more aesthetic, Netlfix offers Struggle: The Life And Lost Art Of Szukalski, a 2018 doc about a surrealist artist and sculptor Stanislav Szukalski. This is a Netflix original about an artist and his unusual art, rather macabre and horrific, and the LA artists who rediscovered him through one book, in the 1960’s. This film is directed by Ireneusz Dobrowolski and the film studies Szukalski’s life, from his early years in Chicago, to his later life in Poland and LA. And it gets an astounding 8.6/10 on IMDb. Watch already.
Amazon, too, has some wonderful additions this week, but the best is Vanity Fair, the 2018 British production. This is a new version of Jonathan Swift’s classic, starring Olivia Cooke as the crafty Becky Sharp. Watch as she tries to climb the Social Ladder in 1800’s Britain, while enjoying an extraordinary cast, including Tom Bateman, Claudia Jessie, Michael Palin, Frances De La Tour, Martin Clunes, Suranne Jones and Claire Skinner. And it gets a stunning 94% on Rotten Tomatoes! It’s on my list, for sure. Also, new on Amazon, is Any Day Now, a 2016 comedy with Alan Cummings. It’s based on a true story from the ’70’s about a gay couple, who try to adopt an abandoned boy, who happens to have Down Syndrome. It also stars Garret Dillahunt, Gregg Henry, Jamie Anne Allman, Chris Mulkey, Don Franklin, Kelli Williams, Alan Rachins and Frances Fisher. It’s heartwarming and touching without being sentimental. And it gets a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. If you want corny, however, Amazon has added Life Itself, the 2018 movie starring Oscar Isaac. Directed by Dan Fogelman(This is Us), this mushy movie has a multi-generation love sotry, or love stories, to be more exact. and though it has a great cast, including Olivia Cooke, Annette Benning, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Wilde and Antonio Banderas, even that can’t save it from a stale and confusing script. It gets a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes and Richard Brody(New Yorker) called it ” excruciatingly contrived and ill-conceived…”. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. And, finally, Amazon has added Ex Libris: The New York City Public Libary, the 2017 documentary directed by Frederick Wiseman. This film won the FIPRESCI Award at the Venice Film Festival and just features different vignettes about the Library, with famous people feature throughout, like Patti Smith and Elvis Costello. Manohla Dargis says it “is a soaring, Utopian mission in a documentary that builds with intellectual force and deep emotion as it shows, again and again, citizens — interested, questioning, seeking — joining together to listen to one another and learn from one another.” And it gets an amazing 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. But beware, it is 3 hours and 17 minutes long, so you may not want to watch the whole thing at once, in pieces might be better.
So sit back and binge this weekend and have candy canes and cookies along with classic movies and Television series, online, with Hulu, Amazon and Netflix! Enjoy!