Yes, it’s the weekend again and time to review the new movies and television shows added to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. There’s some good new shows added this week, so let’s get right to it!
One of the best new movies added this week is Hulu‘s, with Diane, the 2018 drama starring Mary Kay Place. This movie tells the story of a middle aged woman, who spends all her time caring for others, her troubled and drug addicted son, played by Jake Lacy, volunteer at a soup kitchen and visiting a very sick friend, seemingly with little time for herself. But she is haunted by ghosts and her past, and this film tells that story beautifully, with an amazing cast, including Estelle Parsons, Andrea Martin(!), Diedre O’Connell, Glynnis O’Connor and Joyce Van Patten. Kent Jones directed this beautiful movie, shot in snowy New York. This is an award winning film and rightfully so, for Kent Jones and Mary Kay Place, and it gets a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Maybe watch it twice. Hulu has also added Juliet, Naked, the 2018 romantic comedy starring Rose Byrne. Byrne stars as Annie, a woman stuck in a relationship with Duncan, played by Chris O’Dowd, who is obsessed with an obscure singer Tucker Crowe, played by Ethan Hawke. Annie writes a negative review of Crowe‘s music he responds and they meet, and things get complicated from there. It also stars Megan Dodds, Jimmy O. Yang, Lily Newmark, Johanna Thea and Paul Blackwell and it is adapted from a book by Nick Hornby. Simon Braun of Empire says it’s “a sharp-witted, amusing, often genuinely moving romantic comedy.” And it gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.6/10 on IMDb. Hulu also offers The Spy Who Dumped Me, the 2018 comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. In this movie, Kunis plays a woman who is dumped by her boyfriend, Drew(Justin Theroux),and her best friend Morgan(Kate McKinnon), hope to get revenge, but get caught up in real spy drama, and have to race for their lives through Europe. The cast also includes Sam Heughan, Gillian Anderson, Paul Reiser, Jane Curtin(!) and Hasan Minhaj and is directed by Susanna Fogel. The film’s a bit long, but I love to see a spy spoof featuring women as the main characters, and Kate McKinnon is wonderful. And, it gets a 6/10 on IMDb. And, tomorrow, Hulu adds True Grit, the 2010 remake from the Coen brothers. This version is based more on the book of the same name, of 1968, by Charles Portis, and stars Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, and Hailey Steinfeld as the courageous Mattie Ross, the girl who hires him to track her father’s killer. It also features Matt Damon, Domhnall Gleeson, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper, and it’s executive producer was Steven Spielberg. It premiered at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival and went on to get ten Academy Award nominations. It gets a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.6/10 on IMDb. I”m watching.
Okay, Netflix hasn’t added a lot of new shows this week, but there are some gems, if you look closely enough, like The Chosen One, a 2019 Brazilian thriller series. In this scary series, three doctors, head into the pantanal, a remote rain forest region, to vaccinate inhabitants for a new mutation of the Zika virus, they are met with opposition and threats from the villagers, who all seem to belong to a secretive cult, led by the Chosen One. It stars Paloma Bernardi, Renan Tenca, Pedro Caetano, Gutto Szuster, Mariano Mattos Martins and Alli Willow. And it gets a 7/10 on IMDb. If you want still more terror, Netflix offers the Israeli 2018 Horror movie, The Golem. This movie takes place in 17th century Lithuania, where a Jewish community is continuously under attack from Russian Christians, but now, it’s faces a deadly plague and foreign invaders attack. A courageous mystical woman, played by Hani Furstenberg decides to protect her town by making a golem, an animated being made from clay, in the form of her deceased son, only to be threatened by what she’s made. The cast also includes Byrnie Furstenberg, Alex Tritenko, Ishai Golan and Lenny Ravich and is co-directed by Doron and Yoav Paz. Noel Murray of the LA Times writes “A well-crafted and idiosyncratic supernatural thriller, the film plays like a mix of “Frankenstein,” “The Witch,” and some of the Coen brothers’ more explicitly Jewish movies,” and it gets a stunning 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Watch if you dare. Netflix also has Charite at War, a German drama series. It tells the tale of the hospital Berlin Charite, in 1943, where division over Hitler’s regime rules, and the doctors and nurses have to face an increasing threat from the Nazis, who try to abuse and experiment on some of the children and adults being treated there. It stars Mala Emde,Ulrich Noethen, Jannik Schumann, Luise Wolfram and Frida-Lovisa Hamann. It’s won numerous awards, and is a riveting look at how the Nazis were not universally supported in Germany, in the 40′s. And it gets an amazing 7.6/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Netflix has added Exhibit A, a Netflix original documentary series. This fascinating series features case where innocent people were convicted by dubious forensics evidence, or trendy unproven scientific techniques, like touch dna or cadaver dogs. Each episode concentrates on one case of a miscarriage of justice, and the series is created by Kelly Loudenberg. It’s a very intriguing series, with only four episodes available thus far. And it gets a 6.6/10 on IMDb.
Amazon does have a couple of ads this week, including The President’s Last Bang, a South Korean black comedy from 2005. Here, director Im Sang-Soo tells the story of President Park Chung-hee, who was assassinated in 1979. It’s not a complimentary depiction of the president, played by Song Chae-ho, who is portrayed and hard drinking, profligate and favoring the Japanese, still quite offensive in Korea after their invasion and occupation of Korea, decades earlier. The cast also includes Han Suk-kyu, Baek Yoon-sik, Won-jung Jeong and Eun-su Kim. It’s best to read something about Park(perhaps on wikipedia) and Derek Elley of Variety called it “a virtuoso slice of sustained black humor.” And it gets an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7/10 on IMDb. Amazon also added Double Happiness, the 1995 indie movie starring Sandra Oh. This was Oh’s breakout role as Jade Li, a young Chinese-Canadian actress, looking for success and independence, while living with her traditionally Chinese family. The movie also stars Stephen Chang, Alannah Ong, Johnny Mah, Frances You and Callum Keith Rennie, and is written by Mina Shum. Oh won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress (Canadian Cinema and Television) and the film gets a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.1/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely tuning in! And, finally, tomorrow, Amazon adds Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery, the 1997 spy spoof starring Mike Myers. This is the first in the Austin Powers series, with Myers playing his dual role of Powers and Dr. Evil, and Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Carrie Fisher(!),Mimi Rogers and Seth Green also featured, with Powers being unfrozen by the British Ministry of Defense, to again face Dr. Evil. Myers won the MTV Award that year of Best Villain, and it gets a 7/10 on IMDb, and a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Leonard Klady called it
A loving paean to Bond, Flint, Helm and their ilk (as well as a myriad of outlandish villains), the film knows its turf and only missteps when it ventures into more contemporary territory,“ and it’s certainly worth a few laughs.
So sit back and binge this weekend, with movies and TV series to enjoy, on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime!