Yes, it’s that time again, the weekend, when we review the new movies and TV shows added online, to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. And there’s a lot of good new stuff out there, so let’s get started!
And, since it’s the beginning of another month(September, if you haven’t noticed), Hulu has added another episode of it’s Into the Dark series, Pure. This is movie focuses on the purity movement and a camp for teenage girls and their fathers, who’ve sworn their virginity……. to their fathers. If that’s not creepy enough for you, the camp has unexpected traditions, like secret rituals, mischievous spirits and torture. It stars Jakhara Smith, McKaley Miller, Scott Porter, Annelisa Cochran and Clara Bravo and it’s directed by Hannah McPherson. Refinery 29 says it has elements of Midsommar and The Handmaid’s Tale, but there are few other ratings for it online, as it was just released. And it gets a 6.5/10 on IMDb. Also, new on Hulu, is A Very Sordid Wedding, the 2016 comedy starring Bonnie Bedelia(!). A sequel to the cult classic 2000 Sordid Lives, this takes place in Winters, Texas, where the struggle for LGBTQ rights goes on and new trouble starts when a local church begins an “anti-equality revival.” This movie has a wonderful cast, with Whoopi Goldberg, Leslie Jourdan, Dale Dickey, Caroline Rhea and Rosemary Alexander and is, of course, directed by Del Shores(Sordid Lives). It’s comedy is a bit broad and corny, but it’s sympathy for gay people and complex characters wins your heart. I’m watching. And it gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Hulu also offers Wu Tang: An American Saga, a 2019 doc-drama series about the Wu Tang Clan. Created by RZA(the defacto leader of the Wu Tang clan), this series is based in NYC, in the 90’s, when crack held sway and RZA tried to form the band, and keep it’s members centered on music and out of trouble. It stars Ashton Sanders(Moonlight), Shameik Moore, Siddiq Saunderson, Julian Elijah Martinez and Erika Alexander. And it gets an amazing 8.8/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Hulu has added Untouchable, the 2019 documentary about Harvey Weinstein and his alleged crimes. This masterful movie was directed by Ursula MacFarlane makes a clear record of the accusations and their timeline, with plenty of interviews of the female victims, including Rosanna Arquette, Paz de la Huerta and Erika Rosenbaum, and other Hollywood insiders who attest to Weinstein’s bullying. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating, with Helen T. Verongos of the New York Times calling it ” a respectable and all-too-real introduction to a chilling chapter of a Hollywood horror story.” And it gets an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. We all should watch.
The most exciting add on Netflix this week has to be The Spy, starring Sacha Baron Cohen. But before you start laughing, you should know this is a serious drama, based on the real life spy Eli Cohen(played by Cohen, but no relation) who started as a clerk in 60’s Israel, but ended up working as a spy, in Syria, while posing as a Syrian shipping magnate. The limited series also stars Noah Emmerich, Hadar Rotzon Rotem, Alexander Siddig, Haleed Zuaiter and Nassim Lyes and is created by Gideon Raff(Homeland). Mashable says ” Sacha Baron Cohen shines in ….The Spy,” and the series gets an 8.5/10 on IMDb and a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. There are 6 episodes available. Netflix also offers Hip Hop Evolution the 2016-2019 Canadian music series. This is hosted by rapper Shad Kabango and he travels all over North America, getting in-depth interviews with rappers, DJs and producers involved in Hip Hop from beginning to now, including DJ Kool Herc, Coke La Rock, Russell Simmons and GrandmasterFlash and the Furious Five, and covers bands that owe much of their success to hip hop, like Public Enemy, Beastie Boys and Cool J. This first aired on HBO Canada, and has since won multiple Canadian Screen Awards, including for Best Biography and Editing. And it gets an amazing 8.4/10 on IMDb. If you need horror, and I know you do, Netflix has added The Heretics, a 2017 thriller from Canada. It stars Nina Kiri as a young woman scarred by a kidnapping she endured as a teenager by a horrible cult, only to be abducted again, this tie by a mysterious man, just before her birthday. It also stars Ry Barrett-Thomas, Jorja Cadence-Gwen, Will King-Kent and Nina Richmond-Ruth. Kiri won the Best Actress Prize at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival and critic Josh Hancock called it a ” stylish well-made horror film.” But it only gets a 4.6/10 on IMDb, so maybe only for those in desperate need of a scare. And, finally, Netflix has added Olmo and the Seagull, an award-winning 2014 French drama. It focuses on Olivia(Olivia Corsini), a working actress, excited to be playing a part in The Seagull, only to be forced out by her pregnancy and into almost total and maddening inactivity. It also stars Serge Nicolai, Arman Saribekyan, Sylvain Jailloux and Elena Bellei and is co-directed by Petra Costa and Lea Glob. It won multiple awards at multiple film festivals, including Audience Choice and best directors, winning as a documentary, because the players are acting out a real-life situation. And it gets a 7.4/10 on IMDb. It’s on my list.
Amazon’s best add this week has to be Late Show, the comedy/drama written by Mindy Kaling. This tells the story of comedian and talk show host Katherine Newbury(Emma Thompson), whose ratings are flagging, and who is finally forced by external pressures to hire her first female writer(and first writer of color) Molly Patel(Kaling), though she has very little experience. And that brings big changes. The cast also includes John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy, Amy Ryan, Reid Scott and Sakina Jaffrey and the movie is directed by Nisha Ganatra. And the movie gets an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Thompson‘s role here, especially, is highly praised, with Cary Darling of the Houston Chronicle saying “Thompson crackles with just the right amount of condescension, cruelty and whip-smart comic timing.” It’s on my list. Amazon has also added The Love Witch, a 2016 American comedy/horror film. It stars Samantha Robinson as Elaine, a witch, who uses love potions and magic to make men fall in love with her, with death as their inevitable end, all in 1970’s California. It also stars Gian Keys, Laura Wadell, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Jared Sanford and Robert Seeley and is wonderfully directed by Anna Biller and filmed on 35mm film, with a loving nod to all the 60’s and 70’s horror films that helped inspire this movie. Elena Lazic of Little White Lies calls it “a brilliant spin on the genre’s despicable gender politics, all the while relishing in the pleasures of its outmoded visual styles,” and it gets a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes! And, finally, Amazon has added Meet the Patels, the 2014 doc from directors Geeta and Ravi Patel. Here, the brother and sister record actor Ravi‘s attempt at finding a spouse, after he breaks up with a long time girlfriend and hits 30, promising his worried traditional East Indian parents he will make a serious attempt to get married. This is a super funny, intimate movie about loneliness, love and family politics, featuring many members of his family, friends and potential spouses. This won numerous awards at film festivals including Audience Choice Awards at LA Film Festival and at the South Asian Film Festival. And it gets an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.2/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely tuning in.
So sit back and binge this weekend, with classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!