Yes, it’s the weekend again, and time to review the new movies and television shows added on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. And there’s some good stuff out there, so let’s get right to it!
Hulu has a couple of big adds this week, including School Spirit, the latest episode of their Into The Dark series. This month’s theme is back to school, so we have some students trying to survive Saturday detention in a school haunted by ghosts. It stars Corey Fogelmanis, Annie Q, Jessie Case, Hugo Armstrong and Julian Works and is directed by Michael Gan. It’s not too original, Refinery 29 calls it the ” horror Breakfast Club,”but it’s diverting. It’s too new for ratings on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, but the Daily Dot gives it 2/5 stars. Hulu has also added Four Weddings and a Funeral, creator Mindy Kaling’s 2019 series remake of the 1994 comedy classic. This one has four American friends, travelling to Europe for a wedding, only to have things go awry at the altar, and throw everything off kilter. It stars Nathalie Emanuel, Nikesh Patel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, John Reynolds, Zoe Boyle and Harish Patel. There’s even a cameo appearance by Andie MacDowell. If you love a rom-com, this is for your, and the series gets a 6.2/10 on IMDb. There are 4 episodes available now, with a new one every Wednesday. Hulu also offers Bloom, an 2019 Australian mystery series. This is a six part thriller about a small town, beset by a terrible flood, which has a plant appear afterward, that seems to restores youth. It has a great cast, with Bryan Brown(!), Jackie Weaver, Daniel Henshaw, Phoebe Tonkin, Genevieve Morris and Anne Charleston. And it gets a 6.7/10 on IMDb. I’m watching. And finally, Hulu has added Non-Fiction, the 2018 French comedy starring Juliette Binoche. Binoche plays an actress here and wife of an editor(Guillaume Canet), who refuses to publish a friend’s(Vincent Macaigne) book. But things get more complicated from there. It also stars Nora Hamzawi, Christa Theret and Pascal Greggory and the whole thing is smartly directed by Olivier Assayas(Cold Water, Hitchcock/Truffaut). And it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calls it a ” bonbon spiked with delicious malice and wit.” Don’t miss it.
Netflix has some interesting additions this week, the including The Red Sea Diving Resort, starring Chris Evans. This movie tells the story of a Mossad agent(Evans), who with the help of former cohorts, played by Haley Bennett, Michiel Huisman, Alessandro Nivola and Alex Hasell, set up a fake hotel to shelter Ethiopian refugees from the Sudan, at the request of Kebede Bimro, an Ethiopian, played by Michael K. Williams. The movie also stars Ben Kingsley(!) and Greg Kinnear and is directed by Gideon Raff(Prisoners At War, the Israeli series that inspired Homeland). Alas, all this star power and great talent can’t save the movie, however, and it gets a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes and Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com says it “turns real heroes into generic tropes and real victims into manipulative props.” Otherhood is another big addition on Netflix, a 2019 comedy with an all-star cast. This stars Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman as three moms whose sons have all forgotten them on Mother’s Day, so they go to visit them in New York City. The cast also includes Sinqua Walls, Jake Hoffman, Jake Lacy, Heidi Gardner and Stephen Kunken and the effort is directed by Cindy Chupack(Sex and the City producer). But while it’s great to see these great actresses in a movie of their own, there’s nothing new here and it only gets a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes. A better choice on Netflix might be Manu, an Indian drama from 2018. This stars Raja Goutham as the painter Manu, whose relationship with photographer Neela, played by Chandini Chowdary, seems set, until another man(Aberaam Varda)moves into their building, and things get weird. The film also stars Bomma Sreedhar, John Kottoly and Srikanth Mulagiri and is directed by Phanindra Narsetti. And it gets an amazing 8.4/10 on IMDb. Netflix also offers Basketball or Nothing, the 2018 documentary series about a boys basketball team from the Navajo Nation in Arizona. This follows the members of the Chinle High School Basketball team and their coach, Raul Mendoza and the social difficulties they experience in Chinle, and how they view their basketball players as their “modern day warriors.” It’s a thrilling and uplifting series, co-directed and created by Matt Howley. There are six episodes available now and the series gets a stunning 7.8/10 on IMDb. Definitely on my list. And, finally Netflix has added the third season of Dear White People, it’s fantastic dramedy about black students at a mostly white Ivy League college. That college is Winchester and the show follows Sam White(Logan Browning) and her friends, played by Nia Jerver, Ashley Blaine Featherson, Brandon P. Bell and Marque Richardson, as they try to navigate their campus and the current hot button issues, including the alt-right. It’s not only pertinent and on point right now, but really funny. And it gets a 6.2/10 on IMDb. I’m watching.
Amazon, too, has some interesting adds this week, like A Vigilante, a 2019 thriller starring Olivia Wilde. In this, Wilde plays a formerly abused wife, who escapes her husband, and goes on to help other abused women get rid of their abusers, always stopping short of murder. The movie also stars Morgan Spector, Kyle Catlett, Tonye Patano, Betty Aidem and Chuck Cooper and is directed by Sarah Daggar-Nickson. This is an impressive and uncompromising movie to watch, with lots of violence, with Sarah Stewart of the New York Post saying” the film manages to be both hopeful and devastating- and recommended viewing for anyone who subscribes to the facile notion that abused women should “just leave.” And it gets a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Watch it. Amazon has also added Arctic, the 2018 thriller directed by Joe Penna. It’s the story of a man(Madds Mikkelsen) who is stranded in the Arctic after his small plane crashes, trying to help a young woman(Maria Thelma Smáradóttir), gravely injured in the crash, while surviving til help arrives. Tintrinai Thikhasuk also stars and that’s the whole cast, because the star here is the Arctic wilderness and the difficulty surviving there for any human without shelter. And the film gets an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.8/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Amazon offers Atlantic City, the 1980 classic directed by Louis Malle. Susan Sarandon stars as an aspiring poker dealer who goes to an former gambler, played by Burt Lancaster, for lessons in dealing, while her estranged husband(Robert Joy) has stolen some cocaine and wants her to sell it. but her husband is killed, and she is left with the cocaine and danger from the mobsters he stole it from. The movie also stars Kate Reid, Hollis McClaren, Michel Piccoli and Al Waxman. This film won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for all five Major Academy Awards(Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay), in 1980. And it gets an astounding 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.4/10 on IMDb. If you haven’t seen it before, now’s your chance.
So see back and binge on classics, new and old, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!