Yes, it’s the weekend, again, and time to review the best new movies and TV shows added, to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. So let’s get started!
There are some exceptional adds this week on Hulu, most notably with Booksmart, Olivia Wilde’s smash hit directorial debut comedy of 2019. Here, Wilde gives us a coming-of-age comedy for girls, rather than boys, with Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever playing Amy and Molly, two A students who come to feel(on the eve of graduation) they should have been more adventurous during school and decide to live it up. And, of course, things go seriously crazy. The cast also includes Lisa Kudrow, Jessica Williams, Billie Lourd, Will Forte and Jason Sudekis. It gets an amazing 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and Monica Castillo of RogerEbert.com calls it ” a stellar high school comedy with an A+ cast, a brilliant script loaded with witty dialogue, eye-catching cinematography, swift editing, and a danceable soundtrack.” Another great add on Hulu is their original show The Accident, a British disaster series. It stars Sarah Lancashire(Happy Valley) in the tale of a small town, in the wake of an explosion of a factory block, and some children are trapped inside, with some destined not to survive. The four-part series also stars Jade Croot, Genevieve Barr, Mark Lewis Jones, Joanna Scanlan and Sidse Babett Knudsen and the show is directed by Sandra Goldbacher. The Guardian calls it “a devastating disaster drama,” and it gets a 5.4/10 on IMDb. I’m watching. Hulu has also added The Tomorrow Man, the 2018 romantic drama. This stars John Lithgow in the title role, playing the neurotic Ed, a man constantly planning for the apocalypse, and Blythe Danner, as Ronnie, a quirky and isolated woman in whom Ed become besotted with. Derek Cecil, Katie Aselton, Sophie Thatcher also star and Noble Jones directs. But Peter Rainer of NPR Los Angeles says it’s “always worth seeing these two actors, but not necessarily in this movie,” and I agree. And it gets a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.6/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Hulu newly offers Vita and Virginia, a 2019 British romantic drama. Based on the 1992 play of the same name by Dame Eileen Atkins, the celebrated English actress, which tells the tale of a supposed love affair between novelist Vita Sackville-West(Gemma Aterton) and author Virginia Woolfe(Elizabeth Debicki), in the 1920′s. Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones, Peter Ferdinando, Gethin Anthony and Emerald Fenell also star, and Chanya Button directs. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, but it seems to miss it’s mark as a movie. Alexandra MacAaron of Women’s Voices For Change says it’s “lovely to look at, and the content is interesting from both historical and literary perspectives. But, the relationship at its center is never quite as all-consuming as it should be.” And it gets a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.5/10 on IMDb.
Netflix has added some exciting stuff this week, including Nobody’s Looking, a 2019 Brazilian comedy series about angels. Guardian angels that is, and Kéfera Buchmann plays the newest addition, Uli, who wants to change the typical corporate approach to saving people’s lives that is the norm, complete with white button-down shirts and red ties. He wants to get more involved with people and the results are shocking. The cast also includes Danilo de Moura, Victor Lamoglia, Julia Rabello and Priscilla Sol, and the series is produced by Fernando Fraiha. This is a wonderfully warm-hearted, irreverent comedy and it gets a stunning 8.4/10 on IMDb. I’m watching. Netflix has also added The Crime, a 2016 Polish mini-series. Also called Zbrodnia, this 3-part series takes place in a small seaside town where a series of strange murders occurs.Magdalena Boczarska, Wojciech Cyplik, Dorota Kolak, Joanna Kulig and Magdelena Zowadska star. There is very little information on the show online, but it looks compelling and tense. And it gets a 6.5/10 on IMDb. I love a mystery. Also new on Netflix is Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, a new drama anthology series. Based on her songs , like Jolene, or experiences of Parton‘s, there are eight stories here, put to life by acclaimed actors like Melissa Leo, Kathleen Turner(!), Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Patricia Wettig(!), Delta Burke(!) and Parton herself. And each show has some of iconic music, but even if you don’t love the music, you might tune in for the wonderful cast. And the show gets an 8.5/10 on IMDb. Netflix also offers the short movie Lorena Light Footed Woman, a 2019 documentary. This is a stunning piece about Lorena Ramírez, a member of the Rarámuri culture of Chihuahua, Mexico,who live pastorally and excel at long distance running. Amid the wonderful mountainous scenery, we watch Ramírez as she straps on her sandals and runs 45-60 miles, following in the footsteps of her father, another great runner. And running is the tradition of the Rarámuri or Tarahumara, indeed the title “light footed one” is what they call themselves. This stunning film about how some indigenous people are fighting to save their culture is directed by Juan Carlos Rulfo and it gets an amazing 7.7/10 on IMDb. Don’t miss it. And finally, Netflix has added Bikram: Yogi,, Guru, Predator, a 2019 doc from Oscar winning director Eva Orner(Taxi To The Dark Side). This is all about the yogi Bikram Choudhury, who became a superstar in 70’s Hollywood with “hot yoga,” but also became what some called a “megalomaniac,” verbally abusive, and making controversial “adjustments” in which he would lay on subjects(usually women), full-body, and finally being charged with rape, whereupon he fled the country. Bilal Qureshi of the New York Times says “this haunting documentary is a powerful addition to a growing body of post #MeToo films… that show how cultural power is accumulated and weaponized,” and it gets a 7.7/10 on IMDb. It’s on my list.
Amazon‘s most interesting add this week is it’s Amazon Original The Feed, a 2019 British sci-fi series. Based on the novel of the same name, this takes place in the near-future, when all humans are hooked up to The Feed, by implant, where all their information is stored, not only information, but emotions and memories, too. The show centers on Lawrence Hatfield, the inventor of The Feed, played by David Thewlis, and his family, played by Guy Burnet and Michelle Fairley. Nina Toussaint-White, Chris Reilly, Claire–Hope Ashitey, Jing Lusi and Osy Ikhile also star and there are ten episodes available now. And it gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb. Because we all need scifi. Another big add on Amazon this week is Bridget Runs a Marathon, the 2019 comedy starring Jillian Bell. Here, Bell stars as Bridget, an overweight and unhappy twenty-something, who drinks too much and abuses Adderall. Her new doctor advises exercise, instead of prescription drugs, so she goes to the gym and eventually, to running. Michaela Watkins and Micah Stock star as running buddies turned friends, and Utkarsh Ambudkar, Rel Howery, Alice Lee and Peter Vack are also featured. Paul Downs Colaizzo directs in his debut effort here. Katie Walsh of the Chicago Tribune says ” The highest mountain Brittany has to climb is getting over herself, a struggle Bell makes poignantly, piercingly real in her performance and that takes the film into its darkest yet most relatable moments.” And it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. And, finally, Amazon offers Leonard Cohen, I’m Your Man, the 2005 documentary from director Liam Lunson. This is basically a tribute show to Cohen, given on January 2005, at the Sydney Opera House, with performers like Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Bono, The Handsome Family, Beth Orton, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright. At the end of the film is a special performance by Cohen, filmed at the Slipper Room, in New York. Bruce Newman of the San Jose Mercury News says it “never quite gets its man in a coherent frame, but for all its zigs and zags outside the lines, the portrait of Cohen that emerges is a fascinating one.” And it gets a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes. If you love(or even just like) Cohen, it’s a must see.
So sit back, relax and binge this weekend, on classics, new and old, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Enjoy!