Yes, it’s the weekend again, and time to review the best new movies and television shows added to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. So let’s get started!
Okay, Hulu doesn’t have a lot of big name adds this week, but they have added a couple of new British TV series, like The Aliens, a 2016 scifi drama. It stars Michael Socha as a border guard in the city of Troy, where aliens are confined, 40 years after they landed in the Irish Sea. It also stars Michaela Coel, Michael Smiley, Jim Howick and Holly Dempsey and was created by Fintan Ryan(Never Better). There’s some comedy here too, as everyone deals with xenophobia, sexism and racism. And The Aliens gets a 6/10 on IMDb. Hulu has also added Gameface, a British comedy series starring Roisin Conaty. Conaty also wrote this show, where she stars as an aspiring actress, working crummy short term jobs, and struggling to get by, living in a house share and depending heavily on her life coach. It stars Caroline Ginty, Nina Toussaint-White, Dylan Edwards, Damien Maloney and Dustin Demri-Burns. There are two seasons available now on Hulu, with six episodes for each season. The Guardian calls it “an irresistible comedy that’s all heart,” and it gets a 7.7/10 on IMDb. I’m watching. Hulu has also added a new horror movie, Matriarch, a 2018 British production. This follows a young couple, with a heavily pregnant wife, going on a road trip, when they have an accident, flip their car, and have to find help. The trouble is, there is only a ramshackle estate with plenty of no trespassing signs, and no welcome, until the man mentions his wife is pregnant.Then the couple is overly fascinated and even covetous of their baby. It stars Charlie Blackwood,, Scott Vickers, Julie Hannan, Alan Cuthbert and Briony Moore and is directed by Scott Vickers. And it gets a 5.3/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Hulu has Bolden,the 2019 American biopic. It features the story of Buddy Bolden(Gary Carr), who played the cornet(like a trumpet), and is credited with inventing jazz. This is a magical production, with a great cast, including Yaya DaCosta, Ian McShane(!), Erik LaRey Harvey(Boardwalk Empire, Luke Cage), Reno Wilson(Mike & Molly) and Robert Ri’chard, and is directed by Robert Pritzker. And it has a score by Wynton Marsalis! Nadine Matthews of Smoke and Shadows calls it “a film that is simultaneously beautiful and disturbing to watch.” And it gets a 5.5/10 on IMDb. We all should watch.
Netflix has an amazing add this week with Unbelievable, a 2019 crime drama limited series. Based on a real news story from ProPublica, this series stars Toni Collette and Merritt Wever as detectives who find a thread among a victim of rape, who is not believed and so recants her report of rape in Washington, and victims of rape in Colorado. It also stars Annaleigh Ashford, Danielle Mcadonald, Nick Searcy, Bridget Everett and Brent Sexton, and it was created by Susannah Grant(Erin Brockovich), novelists Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. This is a shocking show and one of the most disturbing aspects of it is how rape victims struggle to be believed by police forces where women are terribly underrepresented. There are eight episodes of the series on Netflix. And it gets a stunning 8.5/10 on IMDb. No one should miss this. Netflix has also added The I-land, the 2019 sci-fi thriller limited series.Natalie Martinez and Kate Bosworth star here as two of the (beautiful) people who find themselves mysteriously placed on a tropical island, with their memories erased. And they are being watched. The cast also includes Ronald Peet, Kyle Schmid, Bruce McGill and Maria Conchita Alonso(!). But it’s a loser of a show, getting only a 4.1/10 on IMDb, and Allison Keene of Paste Magazine saying ” this may be the worst TV show I’ve ever seen.” Better to watch the original Lost on Hulu here. Netflix has also added Marianne, a terrifying 2019 French series. Here, horror author Emma(Victoire DeBois) seeks to find the real character Marianne, a witch, whom she realizes inspired her novels. The eight-part series also stars Lucie Boujenah, Tiphaine Davot and Bellamine Abdelmalek, and is created by Samuel Bodin. The trailer for this movie was way too scary for me, the Review Geek gives it an 8.5/10, and Heaven Of Horror gives it 5/5 stars. Watch if you dare. Netflix also offers The Mind, Explained, a 2019 science series. This is a subset series by the Explained show on Netflix, narrated by Emma Stone, exploring the brain and certain aspects of it, like memory, anxiety and mindfulness. Each episode is only 20 minutes long, and filled with interesting facts and ideas from people like Michael Pollan, psychedelic drug users, neuroscientists and comedians. There are five episodes now on Netflix and the show gets an astonishing 8.5/10 on IMDb. Watch and be enlightened. And, finally, Netflix has added Shanghai Fortress, a 2019 sci-fi drama from China. Here, the world is once again, attacked by aliens, with mother ships above all the major cities of the world, and Shanghai has their lead ship. As the aliens drop flying robots(kind of like Transformers) the earth is overtaken and even Shanghai is destroyed. It stars Shu Qi, Lu Han, Shi Liang, Geoffrey Gao and Wang Sen, and is directed by Teng Huatao. This is not only sci-fi, but romance and disaster movie, too. It gets a 6.6/10 on My Drama List, but only a 2.8/10 on IMDb, so probably only a good choice for those wanting sci-fi and romance.
Amazon has a couple of good adds this week, including Gloria Bell, the 2918 American remake of the 2013 Chilean movie Gloria. Both directed by Sebastien Lilo, this focuses on Gloria, played by Julianne Moore, a divorcee living in L.A., with two grown children, who doesn’t believe in slowing her social life, just because she is growing older. John Turturro, Jeanne Tripplehorn,, Holland Taylor, John Cera, Caren Pistorius and Brad Garrett also star in a great adaptation of the wonderful original film, with Charlotte O’Sullivan of the London Evening Standard saying the “result isn’t better than the 2013 original but just as good.” Great praise, indeed, and it gets a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.4/10 on IMDb. I’m tuning in. Amazon has also added Undone, an animated adventure into the essence of time and being. This series uses rotoscope(where animators trace over motion picture video for their end product) and features a young woman, Alma, played by Rosa Salazar,who, after almost dying in a serious car accident, finds she can see her dead father, who teaches her to move through time, and find his killer. It stars Bob Odenkirk(!), Angelique Cabral, Constance Marie and David Diggs and was co-created by Raphael Bob-Waksburg(Bo Jack Horseman) and Kate Purdy. It’s thrilling, mysterious and funny, and gets an 8.3/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Amazon offers Kesari, a 2019 adventure film from India. Written and directed by Anurag Singh, this portrays the drama of the Battle of Saragarhi, where 21 Sikhs fought thousands of Pashtun(Afghan) soldiers in 1897. It stars Akshay Kumar, Parinetti Chopray, Suvinder Vicky, Pritpal Pali Sep and Ajit Singh Mahela and has tons of great Indian music(as it is a Bollywood film). It is an uplifting and inspiring story, but has lots of bloodshed, so be forewarned. And it gets a 7.5/10 on IMDb.
So sit back and relax this weekend and binge on good movies and TV shows, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!