Yes, it’s the weekend, again, and time to review the new movies and television shows added to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime.So let’s get right to it!
The biggest addition to Hulu this week has to be Ben is Back, the 2018 drama starring Julia Roberts. Roberts plays the mother of a drug addict, Ben, played by Lucas Hedges, who unexpectedly comes home from rehab, he says with permission, for a Christmas visit, that goes a bit haywire. This film has a great cast, with Courtney B, Vance playing Ben‘s stepfather and also features Kathryn Newton,Rachel Bay Jones,David Zaldivar, Alexandra Park,Michael Esper and Kristin Griffith. The movie’s directed by Peter Hedges(About a Boy, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape). And, it gets an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.7/10 on IMDb. Hulu has also added The Indian Doctor, a BBC comedy from 2010. This series stars Sanjeev Bhaskar(Unforgotten) as a country doctor in small Welsh mining village of Trefelin, during the 1960′s. Ayesha Dharker plays his wife, with Mark Williams(Father Brown),(Beth Robert, Mali Harries and Alexander Vlahos also starring in this tale of the culture clash, between the Dr. and the villagers. There are 3 seasons available now and the series gets an 8/10 on IMDb. I’m watching. Hulu also has Astral, a 2018 British horror film. In this, a detached and withdrawn university student, played by Frank Dillane, decides to try to reach his beloved mother, played by Catherine Steadman, via the astral plane. But, of course, things don’t go as planned, and he unleashes something dreadful. The cast also includes Damson Idris,Vanessa Grasse, Trevor White and Darwin Shaw, and the director is Chris Mul. But this is low-key horror, don’t got o this movie looking for heavy shocks and thrills. And it gets a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.8/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Hulu has added Swimming with Men, a 2018 British comedy. In this movie, a man(Rob Brydon) decides to join a male synchronized swim team, to get out of a rut and maybe get his wife(Jane Horrocks) back(?). But the team is played by some great actors like Rupert Graves, Daniel Mays,Jim Carter(Downton Abbey), Adeel Akhtar and Thomas Turgoose, and they are joined by Charlotte Riley(Wuthering Heights) and Nathaniel Parker(The Inspector Lynley Mysteries). It only gets a 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the cast is great and it gets a 6.3/10 on IMDb.
Netflix has a bunch of good adds this week, starting with High Seas, a 2019 Spanish mystery series. It takes place in the 1940‘s and follows two sisters on a luxury cruise from Spain to Brazil, as a string of murders occur. It stars Ivana Baquero, Alejandra Onieva, Antonio Durán ‘Morris’, Jon Kortajarena, Eloy Azorín, Chiqui Fernández and José Sacristán. It’s a glamorous, intriguing show, with some romance, but most importantly, plenty of murders. And it gets an 8.1/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely watching. Another exciting Netflix addition this week is The Perfection, a 2019 horror thriller. In this movie, a former prized cello student, played by Alison Williams, had to step away from a premier cello facility, run by Steven Weber and Alaina Huffman, only to be supplanted(years later) by a prized new student, played by Logan Browning. At first they get along great, but then things turn bizarrely scary. It also stars Glynis Davis, David Kanborg and Graeme Duffy and is directed by Richard Shepard. It’s a wild ride, NY Times critic Jason Bailey saying “in many ways, “The Perfection” amounts to little more than a bag of tricks. But no one is pretending otherwise. And they’re good tricks.” And good performances,too. And it gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.3/10 on IMDb. Watch, if you dare. It’s too gory for me. Netflix also has added What/If, a 2019 Netflix thriller series starring Renée Zellweger. In this trashy melodrama, Zellweger plays a venture capitalist, who offers to back various startups with a quid pro quo of an immoral and costly nature, quite like Indecent Proposal(1983). The cast also include Jane Levy, Blake Jenner, Daniella Pineda, Keith Powers, Samantha Ware and Dave Annable. The shows creators call each episode a different morality tale, but that’s a rather lofty description for a mawkish melodrama. But sometimes that’s what you want, and it gets a 6.7/10 on IMDb. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Also, new on Netflix is Rim of the World, a 2019 scifi adventure movie. It stars Jack Gore, Miya Cech, Benjamin Flores Jr and Alessio Scalzotto as four misfit teens who are at a camp, Rim of the World, when the world is attacked by aliens and they must save the world(!). It also stars Dean Jagger(!), King Bach, Annabeth Gish, Lynn Collins and Michael Beach. Cnet called it “Rim of the World is a fun, action-packed movie that pays homage to Stranger Things, Attack the Block, Independence Day, Jurassic Park and The Goonies,” so I’m watching, even if it gets a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes! And, finally, Netflix has After Maria, a 2018 doc directed by Nadia Hallgren. This 37 minute movie follows three women, native to Puerto Rico, who are still displaced, after Hurricane Maria(two years ago) and whose Federal Housing Aid expired in 2018, without rebuilding happening in their home. The Wrap calls Hallgren’s cinematography “striking” and goes on to say”“After Maria” is an affective, personal film that humanizes a persistent national tragedy.” It’s important to see.
Okay, Amazon doesn’t have a lot of great new additions this week, but they do have some interesting stuff, if you look around. One intriguing movie found is Fed Up, a 2014 documentary about the food industry’s campaign to keep feeding kids junk food. Directed, written and produced by Stephanie Soechtig, this movie investigates the Sugar Industry’s great lobbying power, aided by lots of donations to political campaigns, and the between obesity and the high amount of sugar in the American diet. Narrated by Katie Couric, there are tons of notable and interesting interviewees in this, including Bill Clinton, Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman,David Kessler and Margo Wootan. It’s a fascinating and infuriating look at the power of industry in our country and it gets a 7.7/10 on IMDb. Amazon also has Is Paris Burning?, a 1966 epic drama about the liberation of Paris in 1944. Directed by René Clément, it features an ensemble cast, including Jean-Paul Belmondo , Alain Delon, Charles Boyer(!),Gert Fröbe, Leslie Caron, as well as Kirk Douglas and Simone Signoret as the French Resistance tries to keep Paris from being burned to the ground, as Hitler wishes, before the allies arrive. It was nominated for two Academy Awards, and gets a 6.9/10 on IMDb, and a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. And, finally, Amazon has added Jesus’ Son, a 1998 drama from director Alison MacLean. It stars Billy Crudup as a drug addict and petty criminal, who actually finds redemption through compassion. It also stars Samantha Morton, Holly Hunter, Dennis Hopper, Jack Black and Will Patton. It won the Little Golden Lion award and the Ecumenical Award at the 1999 Venice Film Festival, and it was named one of the Top Ten Best Movies of the year by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Roger Ebert. And it gets an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7/10 on IMDb.
So sit back and relax this holiday weekend, and enjoy binging on movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!