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!
Hulu has some good adds this week, but it’s biggest is it’s early release of the January Into The Dark episode, Midnight Kiss. This is basically a grade B slasher film, but with a gay twist. Instead of a house full of straight friends, they’re gay, and gradually being picked off over a holiday weekend, by a shadowy killer. It stars Scott Evans(Grace and Frankie) and Augustus Prew(The Morning Show) with Ayden Mayeri, Chester Lockhart and Lukas Gage as the houseguests. Blumhouse has gay talent working behind the scenes, with writer Erlinger Thoroddson and director Carter Smith, and they also chose almost all gay and out actors for the lead roles. Quite a good idea, but there is some male nudity and so forth, so be aware. And it gets a 6.2/10 on IMDb. Too scary for me. Hulu has also added The Day Shall Come, the 2019 British/Australian/American comedy. Written and directed by Chris Morris(Four Lions), this is a farce about a revolutionary, played by Marchant Davis, anxious to help the poor in a Miami project, and the attempts by the FBI to lead him astray, in fact, to turn him into a criminal, through a “sting” operation. Danielle Brooks, Anna Kendrick, Denis O’Hare and Jim Gaffigan also star. Variety calls it “outrageous anti-terrorism satire, and it gets a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m watching. Hulu also offers The Gallagher Effect, the important new episode of The Weekly, the NY Times series. This confronts the Navy SEAL Gallagher, recently pardoned by Trump, and the exclusive new videos of his fellow officers, recounting the war crimes he committed and the horrible tales of his behavior representing the U.S., in Iraq. And The Weekly gets a 6.5/10 on IMDb. Always important to see. And, finally, if you need a few laughs after that, Hulu has added all 3 seasons of Better Things, the FX comedy created by Pamela Adlon. Here, Adlon stars as a working actress and struggling mom to three kids, played by Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood and Olivia Edward. Adlon’s mom is played by Celia Imre(!), and Diedrich Bader, Lucy Davis and Alysia Reiner also star, but there are also tons of great guest stars too numerous to list. This is definitely an adult comedy, rated TVMA, but it gets rave reviews, and Adlon won a Peabody Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, two years in a row. Ben Travers of Indiewire says,”It’s unlikely you’ll find a show as refreshing, nuanced and confidant, nor will you witness a talent as consistently sharp as Adlon herself.” And gets a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.7/10 on IMDb. I’m watching.
Netflix has some good adds this week, like The Gift(Atiye), a Turkish supernatural thriller series. This stars Beren Saat(Fatmagul), who plays an artist, Atiye, in Istanbul, transfixed by a certain symbol she paints over and over again, who meets an archaeologist familiar with the symbol, from his work at Gobekli Tepe, one of the earliest religious sites known to man. The series also stars Mehmet Günsür, Metin Akdülger, Melisa Senolsun, Basak Köklükaya and Meral Çetinkaya and is produced by Alex Sutherland of Argo fame. And it gets an astounding 8.1/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely watching. Netflix has also added The Bonfire of Destiny, a 2019 French historical drama series. This takes place in 1897, after the cataclysmic fire at the Bazar de la Charité in Paris, where over 130 people were killed, most of them rich and elite women at a charity event. It stars Audrey Fleuro(Spiral), Julie De Bona (‘Le Tueur du Lac’), Camille Lou and Josiane Balasko and there are eight episodes available now on Netflix. And it gets a 7.1/10 on IMDb. Netflix also offers John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch, a 2019 musical comedy special. Here, Mulaney tries to recapture the 70’s and 80’s kid shows with a mash-up of musical numbers and relevant issues, but with his own take on things, including guests like David Byrne, Annaleigh Ashford, Jake Gyllenhaal, Andre de Shields, Richard Kind and Natasha Leon. And it’s all directed by Rhys Thomas(John Mulaney: Comeback Kid).Kathryn VanArendonk of the New York Magazine and Vulture says,”there’s so much care and craft in Sack Lunch Bunch. All the musical numbers work, and occasionally they’re breathtakingly good.” And it gets a stunning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. I can’t wait to watch. Netflix also offers El Pepe: A Supreme Life, a 2019 documentary. Told by director Emir Kusturica, this is the story of former Uruguayan president José “Pepe” Mujica, and his life as president,eschewing limos and driving his own VW, as well as his life in jail under a Uruguayan dictator, and life afterward on his farm. It’s fascinating stuff, well told by Kusturica, a two time Palme d’Or winner and his cinematographer Lucia Topolansky. It’s a fascinating story, well told, and gets a 7/10 on IMDb. It’s on my list. And, finally, Netflix has added Kevin Hart Don’t F**K This Up, the 2019 docu-series. In this series, Hart is unusually honest about his past mistakes, and actually addresses certain ones in each episode, like his cheating on his wife, and his Academy Award host cancellation last year, after past anti-LGBTQ remarks came to light. In fact, it’s a show so honest that, if you were a Hart fan before, you might not be one after watching all six episodes. And it gets a 6.6/10 on IMDb.
Okay, Amazon has added one decent movie this week, The Kill Team, a 2019 war drama. This stars Nat Wolff as Andrew Briggman, a young soldier deployed for the US invasion of Afghanistan, but after seeing other recruits under their sadistic leader Sargeant Deeks(Alexander Skarsgård)kill innocent children, he considers reporting them, only to begin to feel he might be the next target. Adam Long, Johnathan Whitesell, Brian ‘Sene’ Marc and Rob Morrow also star, and Dan Krauss, who also directed the original 2013 doc of the same name, directs. Cary Darling of the Houston Chronicle writes,””The Kill Team” is so skillfully made, sharply paced (it clocks in under 90 minutes), and generally well-acted (Skarsgard in particular) that its flaws are easy to forgive.” And it gets a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. But Amazon added A Better Life earlier this month, the 2011 drama from director Chris Weitz. This Academy Award nominated film is about a Hispanic immigrant, played by Demian Bichir, who works for a better life as a gardener and tries to support his family and children, who are endangered by the encroachment of gangs, in L.A. José Julián, Dolores Heredia, Joaquín Cosio, Nancy Lenehan and Tim Griffin also star, and the movie was directed by Chris Weitz(About a Boy) and Cédric Kahn(roberto Succo). And it gets an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s on my list. And, finally, Amazon offers After Dark: Lake Mungo, a 2010 horror movie from Australia. Talia Zucker stars as sixteen year-old Alice Palmer, whose death at Lake Mungo is ruled accidental, but spurs all sorts of strange and unexplained happenings at home, after her burial. Rosemary Trainor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe and Steven Jodrell also star, and Joel Anderson directs. Federico Furzan of Cinelipsis says,”this masterpiece of modern horror takes relatively safe elements and turns them into nightmarish factors of a grim and realist mockumentary. And it gets a stunning 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Too scary for me.
So sit back, relax and binge, on.classics, new and old, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!