Yes, it’s the weekend again, and time to mention the best new TV shows and movies added online to stream, on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. So let’s get started!
There are some interesting additions on Hulu this week, the most interesting being The Amazing Jonathan Documentary, the 2019 documentary from first-time director Ben Berman. In this movie, Berman sets out to look at the masterful magician John Szeles, famous in the 90’s for his outrageous and sometimes over the top tricks, who is supposed suffering from heart disease, and given a year at best to live. But, soon, Berman(and the viewer) begins to wonder if that is true, or if they’re being led down the garden path again, by the illusionist…or the director. It’s a crazy ride that not everyone liked, but it gets an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.8/10 on IMDb. Hulu has also added What We Do in the Shadows, the comedy/horror series from FX. Based on the 2014 New Zealand mockumentary of the same name, this series follows the lives of four vampires, trying to live together in Staten Island, and survive in the modern world. It stars Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Katvan Novak, Harvey Guillen and Mark Proksch and was created by the writer and director of the original movie. It is absurd and hilarious and gets a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.4/10 on IMDb. Don’t miss it. Hulu has also added Dogman, the 2018 crime drama from Italy. This movie tells the tale of Marcello, a dog groomer and kind father, played by Marcello Fonte, who is forced into a life of crime and degradation by the horrible town bully, Simone, played by Edoardo Pesce, inspired by real events. It also stars Alida Baldari Calabria, Nunzia Schiano, Adamo Dionisi and Francesco Aquaroli and is directed Matteo Garrone. This is a grim, sad film to watch, but Fonte won the prestigious Best Actor Award at Cannes for his role here, and it gets an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.3/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Hulu has added the Australian black comedy Mr. Inbetween. In this series, Scott Ryan stars as a typical father who tries to make ends meet, be good to his daughter and new romantic partner, all while being a hitman. This is an out-growth of Ryan’s 2005 mockumentary The Magician, and also stars Chika Yasumura, Brook Satchwell, NIcholas Cassim and Justin Rosniak. Mark Dolan of Common Sense Media calls it “a foul mouthed gangster show [that] hides sly and tender dark comedy.” And it gets an 88%(!) on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8/10 on IMDb. It’s worth a try.
Netflix, too, has some good additions this week, like the 2nd season of Mindhunter, the Netflix crime drama. Set in the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, which studies the mind’s of serial killers in the 70’s, this series stars Jonathan Groff, Holt MccAlleny and Anna Torv, as members of the team, who then go investigate unsolved murders, like the Atlanta Child murderer. Anything more info could involve spoilers, so mum’s the word. It also stars Hannah Gross, Cotter Smith, Stacy Roca, Joe Tuttle and Lauren Glazier and the first three episodes are directed by David Fincher, creator of the show. It’s understated and tight, not too gross, and Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com says the second season ” affirms the program as Netflix‘s strongest drama.” And the second season also gets a stunning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, as opposed to last season’s mere 97%. And an 8.5/10 on IMDb. It’s on my list. Netflix also offers the Better Than Us, a Russian sci-fi series. It stars Paulina Andreevna, Andrey Kryzhniy and Alexandr Ustyugov in a story set in 2029, where humans live with robots and where a robot is suspected of murder, and is on the loose. It also stars Vitaliya Kornienko, Alexandr Kusnetsov and Olga Lomonosova. It’s a creepy, intense show, with 16 episodes now on Netflix. And it gets a 6.5/10 on IMDb. I’m watching. Another really exciting addition on Netflix this week is Diagnosis, a science and health series from the New York Times. This show is an outgrowth of Dr. Lisa Sanders’ N.Y. Times column of the same name(one of my favorites!), where she and other medical professionals would diagnose tough, enigmatic diseases, but this goes one step further, as it crowd sources the health problems all over the world. There are seven fascinating episodes now on Netflix, travelling around the world, looking for answers. It makes for addictive viewing, and it gets an amazing 8.4/10 on IMDb. Netflix also offers Green Frontier, a 2019 limited crime series from Colombia. In this, a detective from Bogota(Juana del Rio), and her partner(Nelson Camayo), go to the jungle to investigate a series of murders of women, which are not what they appear, and they encounter a mysterious, unknown tribe. The show also stars Angela Cano, Miguel Dionisios Ramos, Bruno Clairefond and Marcela Mar. It’s a beautiful, intriguing show, and there are 8 episodes now available. There are few reviews available for it yet, as it was just added yesterday, but readysteadycut gives it 3.5/5 stars and calls it a success.’And, finally, Netflix has added the movie Woodstock, a 2019 movie marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark concert. This is PBS’ American Experience production, and it’s full of interesting interviews with concert organizers, visitors and musicians, to tell the tale of the huge festival, it’s problems and glories. Leah Pickett of the Chicago Reader calls it ” a moving remembrance of the people, music and extraordinary circumstances that aligned to produce a cultural touchstone.” If you weren’t old enough to go(like me) or alive at all, this is the show you need to see, as a primer for the musical event of the century. And it gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.8/10 on IMDb. And great music, too.
Amazon, too, hasn’t added a ton of movies this week, but they do have a few interesting new selections, like Photograph, the 2019 Indian romantic drama. This stars Sanya Malhotra and Nawazuddin Suddiqui in the story of a street photographer who gets a shy stranger to pose as his fiance, after already using her photograph to calm his grandmother, anxious for him to marry. It also stars Farrukh Jaffar, Ramesh Deo, Geetanjali Kulkami and Brinda Trivedi Nayal and is directed by Ritesh Batra(The Lunchbox). This has all the makings of a classic rom-com, along with the lush and historical settings of Mumbai. And it gets an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.9/10 on IMDb. Amazon has also added The Dark, a 2006 horror movie starring Sean Bean. It features a mother Adelle(Maria Bello), who is distraught by visions of her missing daughter, and the lengths she and her husband James(Bean) go to to get her back. The movie also stars Sophie Stuckey, Richard Elfyn, Maurice Roeves and Abigail Stone and the movie is directed by John Fawcett. The movie only gets a 5.4/10 on IMDb, but people need a horror movie, at least once a week. So there you are. I’m not watching that, too scary. And, finally, Amazon offers Jim Gaffigan: Quality Time, a 2019 stand-up comedy special. This is from Gaffigan‘s live show, filmed at the State Theatre in Minneapolis-St.Paul, where he meditates on lying to his kids, family life, horses and dog’s birthday parties, all in his unique way, and without foul language. And goodness knows you need some comedy after that horror show The Dark! I know I do! And it gets an 8.1/10 on IMDb. It’s definitely on my list.
So sit back and relax this weekend, with classics new and old to binge on, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime!