Yes, it’s the weekend and there are a lot of good additions out there, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. So let’s get right to it!
The pickings are sparse this week on Hulu, but there are two glaring and exciting exceptions; first, the new fourth season of Veronica Mars, with Kristen Bell. Released a week early, this new season has Veronica returning to Neptune, California, where, after a series of bombings, she goes back to work with her father(Enrico Colantoni), in a search for answers. Other favorite actors of the past seasons return, including Jason Dohring, Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra and Ryan Hansen,with new characters played by Dawnn Lewis, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Pattn Oswalt and even J.K. Simmons(!). It’s gotten good reviews so far, with Vox calling it ” a sharp, wistful melancholy season of television that is also a terrifically entertaining murder mystery.” No ratings yet for IMDb, but the old seasons get an 8.4/10. I’m tuning in. Hulu‘s other exceptional add this week is Apollo 11, the 2019 documentary from director Todd Douglas. Added today to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon by the famous Apollo 11 mission, this doc delves into the mission with archival footage, some 70mm and never seen by the public before. It gets a stunning 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, an 8.3/10 on IMDb, and Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian says ” sometimes gush if the only appropriate response and the amazingness never gets any less amazing.” I agree. If you need more space adventures this weekend, Hulu also has the series Secret Space Escapes, the Science Channel’s 2015 series on near misses and mistakes in space travel. This show has first-hand accounts of some frightening and life-threatening experiences during their tours in space. There’s some thrilling stuff here, including fire on the ship, blindness and an out of control cargo ship. And it gets a 7.6/10 on IMDb. If you’re really suffering from moon madness this weekend, Hulu has How the Universe Works, another Science Channel series, this time from 2010. But not only the moon is covered here, also the Sun, Saturn and Black Holes. With spectacular footage and amazing scientists like Michio Kaku, Hakeem Oluseyi and Katie Freese, this show is hard to beat and there are four seasons available here. And it gets an amazing 9/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Hulu has he Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, the 2018 adventure film starring Sam Elliott. This kooky film has the premise that Elliott’s character killed Hitler during WWII, but the news wasn’t released for some odd reason, and now he is needed to kill Bigfoot, because he(Bigfoot, that is) carries a disease that could wipe out the human population on Earth. It’s a bizarre idea for a movie, I know, but some might love it, especially Sam Elliott fans(though this fan certainly didn’t love it). It also stars Ron Livingston, Larry Miller, Aidan Turner and Caitlin Fitzgerald. It gets a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, so some people must like it, although positive reviews are usually pretty lukewarm, and a 5.6/10 on IMDb. I wouldn’t recommend it, but pickings are slim for new adds on Hulu right now, better for Sam Elliott fans is the movie The Hero.
Netflix’s most advertised add this week is Secret Obsession, a 2019 thriller starring the Disney Channel’s star Brenda Song. Song plays a woman, who wakes up in the hospital, with amnesia, after a sinister attack at a rest stop, to find the man who says he’s her husband, played by Mike Vogel, and goes home with him. A detective, played by the great Dennis Haysbert(Far From Heaven, Dear White People), investigates her attack, since his own missing daughter is another victim of the same assailant. But Haysbert is the only bright spot here, in an otherwise mediocre piece of schlock. It gets a 4.4/10 on IMDb, and Sean Collier of Pittsburgh Magazine says of it “they don’t make movies like this any more. And it’s good that they don’t.” A much better choice on Netflix might be Typewriter, a 2019 Indian horror series. In this series perhaps inspired by Stranger Things, three local kids in Goa form a ghost club, and decide to search for a certain ghost, in a villa nearby. But then, a new family moves into the house, and weird events start occurring there. The kids are wonderful here, played by Aama Shama, Aaryansh Malviya, Mikhail Gandhi and the cast also includes Palash Kamble, Palomi Ghosh, Purab Kohli and Sameer Kochhar. It’s a thrilling and charming new show and gets a 7.3/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely watching. And if you really need Stranger Things, but you’ve already gone through on Season 3, you might consider Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein, the 2019 farcical mockumentary starring David Harbour. Here, Harbour set out to look into the life of his father, David Harbour Jr(played by Harbour), and specifically, his 60’s TV production, you guessed it, Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein. And things get crazy from there. The cast also includes Alfred Molina, Kate Berlant, Alex Ozerov and Heather Lawless and the movie is directed by Daniel Grey Longino. This is preposterous comedy, with little rhyme or reason, but at only 32 minutes long, most of us can stand to watch it for a great lesson in the ridiculous. Amanda Mezillo of Film Inquiry calls it “a wonderfully absurd and surreal comedy, which satirically captures the story of Frankenstein.” And it get an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix also offers Sorry Angel, a 2019 French drama. This is about a gay man, Jacques(Pierre Deladonchamps) afflicted with AIDS in 1993,when the film takes place, planning to commit suicide to escape it, when he meets Arthur(Vincent LeCoste), a young man who isn’t afraid of his disease. The two fall in love, but the spectre of Jacques’ AIDS remains. The cast also includes Denis Podalydes, Quentin Thebault, Sophie Letourneur and Thomas Gonzalez, and is directed by Christophe Honore(Love Songs,Dans Paris). Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com gives it 3.5/4 stars and says the film has ” an approach that transcends the expected cliches in order to give viewers a more ambitious experience.” And it gets an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.8//10 on IMDb. And, finally, Netflix has Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung, a 2019 Korean historical drama series. This show follows the young Goo Hae-ryung as she, as a young woman, as she tries to become a scholar and win a government post, in a highly sexist Joseon court, in the 1800‘s. Shin Sae-kyung stars in the title tole, with Cha Eun-woo, Park Ki-woong, Lee Ji-hoon and Kim Min-sang also starring. It’s an thrilling and interesting show, with a very pertinent subject, and gets an amazing 9.2/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely tuning in.
Amazon has some big adds this week, with, most notably, Never Grow Old, the 2019 western starring Emile Hirsch.In this drama, Hirsch stars an an undertaker, who falls prey to his own greed, when he agrees to bury victims of gunman Dutch Albert(John Cusack) who comes to town with his gang and defiles practically everyone. It also stars Deborah Francois, Danny Webb, Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Paul Ronan. It’s a bloody dark and more realistic view of the west that’s hard to watch,but worth it if you like a grittier western. And it gets a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Amazon also offers Not the Messiah: He’s a Very Naughty Boy, an 2010 oratorio by Eric Idle & John Du Prez(Spamalot), based on Life of Brian. Yes, an oratorio, filmed live from Royal Albert Hall, with greats like Michael Palin, Rosalind Plowright, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Carol Cleveland(!). It’s a kind of farcical take on Handel’s Messiah and it gets a 77% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.2/10 on IMDb. It’s hilarious! And finally, Amazon also has Sukiyaki Western Django, the 2008 Japanese Western. Inspired by the 60’s spaghetti westerns and directed by Takashi Miike, this is a bloody, violent and racy mashup of the old films and new(there are two cameo appearances here by Quentin Tarentino) ,where two gangs fight it out to the death. It stars Hideaki Ito, Koichi Sato, Yusuke Isaeya and Yoshina Kimura and in the English language, with the actors sounding out their lines. Not surprisingly , it gets a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes, but also a 6.2/10 on IMDb, so someone must like it.
So sit back and enjoy your weekend, with plenty of movies and television shows to binge on, with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime!