Yes, it’s that time again, the weekend, and time to review the best new TV shows and movies added to Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. So let’s get started!
Hulu has one great add this week with Little Men, the 2016 coming of age drama. Here, Theo Taplitz stars as Jake Jardine, a thirteen year old boy who develop a friendship with a neighbor, played by Michael Barbieri, only to have thing thrown into turmoil when their parents fight, in a vibrant New York City. Greg Kinnear,Jennifer Ehle, Paulina Garcia, Alfred Molina and Talia Balsam also star and the film is directed by Ira Sachs(Love Is Strange). Lindsey Bahr of the AP says, “its smallness makes it grand and moving. These are the things, these little moments, decisions and consequences that most human lives are made of, after all.” And it get an amazing 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Hulu has also added Endlings, a 2019 Canadian scifi action series. Kamaia Fairburn,Edison Grant,Michela Luci and Cale Thomas Ferrin star as four foster kids in the near future, living with Mr Leopold, played by Neil Crone, who find aliens have landed, and try to help them save endangered species. Oyin Oladejo and Lisa Ryder also star, with 12 episodes available now. It only get a 4.4 on IMDb now, but its early yet, and with good special effects and a positive message, it may be worth your while, especially for preteens and teens. And I love scifi. Hulu also offers Greener Grass, a 2019 comedy written and directed by Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe. DeBoer and Luebbe star as two house wives in a bizarrely perfect suburban world, where all adults wear braces, even though their teeth are already perfect, and are so wonderfully kind as to give a friend their own baby. Beck Bennett, Neil Casey, Mary Holland, D’Arcy Carden(The Good Place) and Jim Cummings also star. Anne T. Donahue of the Globe and Mail says, “Greener Grass is as enticing as it is bizarre, and even if you don’t immediately find yourself frolicking amidst its braces-wearing populace, give it time: you’ll eventually be lured in by their take on suburban normal.” And it gets an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. And, finally, Hulu has added The Tenant, a 1978 Roman Polanski horror drama. This is the last film in Polanski‘s “Apartment Trilogy” after Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby, and here, Polanski himself stars as a man who rents a Paris apartment where a woman has recently committed suicide. He has trouble with the neighbors and landlord instantly, with things getting progressively worse(and scarier) as time goes by. Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet , Shelley Winters and Lila Kedrova also star. J. Hoberman of the Village Voice said,”it’s an exercise in urban paranoia and mental disintegration that echoes or anticipates everything from Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby to Bitter Moon and The Pianist.” And it get an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.7/10 on IMDb. Watch if you dare.
The biggest add on Netflix this week has to be A Fall from Grace, Tyler Perry’s 2020 drama. Crystal Fox plays Grace Waters, a woman who was taken by her second husband, a young and flashy man, played by Mehcad Brooks, who stole her money and is now seemingly dead at her hands. So the question is, can her friends save her from being convicted of murder. Bresha Webb, Phylicia Rashad, Cicely Tyson(!) and Tyler Perry also star. But don’t watch this if you want modern, more powerful female characters– this is more 90’s TV, with old tropes and corny situations. Candace Frederick of the NY Times says, “ultimately, nothing is much of a surprise in a story that fails to untether itself from Perry‘s longest lasting trope: the sad black woman.” And it get only a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes. Better to watch Ares, a Dutch horror series.Jade Olieberg stars as Rosa Steenwijk, a young woman who join a student secret society in Amsterdam, along with her friend, played by Tobias Kersloot. But they soon come to regret it, but find it may be too late. Frieda Barnhard, Lisa Smit, Robin Boissevain and Rifka Lodeizen are also featured players here, and there are eight episodes available now on Netflix. And it gets a 6.1/10 on IMDb. Too scary for me. Netflix also newly offers Jezebel, a 2019 indie drama. Based on a true story, Tiffany Tenille plays Tiffany or Jezebel, a girl who is led into the phone sex trade by her older sister, played by Numa Perrier, to support the family, after the death of their mother. Brett Gelman,Stephen Barrington,Bobby Field and RiRia also star, while Numa Perrier directed and wrote this film based on her own experience. Frank Scheck of the Hollywood Reporter wrote, “dealing with its potentially discomfiting subject matter with sensitivity, insight and humor, Jezebel marks an auspicious debut for its director/screenwriter.” And it gets a stunning 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix also added Leslie Jones: Time Machine, the 2020 stand-up comedy special. Here, Jones travels from her younger self to her older one, giving advice to millenials and giving laughs to everyone. Its raunchy and outrageous, but also uplifting and funny. And it gets a 5.1/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Netflix has added the 2012 movie, The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix. Phoenix stars as Freddie Quell, a badly traumatized WWII vet, who i drawn to The Cause. a cultish group, led by the charismatic Lancaster Dodd, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who takes him in. Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons, Rami Malek and Ambyr Childers also star and Paul Thomas Anderson directs(The Phantom Thread). It was nominated for three Academy Awards, and Tom Charity of CNN.com said, “in the end it may not have the emotional uplift the Academy or a popular mainstream audience craves, but make no mistake, this is an enthralling drama about a peculiarly American restlessness, and the striving for insight and grace.”And it get an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.2/10 on IMDb. Don’t miss it.
Amazon has one outstanding add with Troop Zero, the 2020 comedy from the creator of Beasts of the Southern Wild. McKenna Grace plays Christmas Flint, a poor girl in rural Georgia, in 1977, who dreams of space and aliens, so when a chance to make a message for NASA’s now famous Golden Record, she leaps at it. All she has to do is join the Birdie Scouts and win their talent competition. Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan, Charlie Shotwell, Milan Ray, Johanna Colón and Allison Janney also appear, and the film is directed by Bert & Bertie and written by Lucy Alibar(Beasts of the Southern Wild). It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last February, and gets a 7.1/10 on IMDb. I’m watching. Amazon has also added Bloodlines, a 2012 mystery thriller directed by Peter Burger (The Dead Lands). Based on a true story, this tells the tale of a doctor in South Africa, Colin Bouwer(Mark Mitchinson), who planned to poison his wife(Nathalie Boltt) slowly over time, only to be discovered by a consulting physician(Craig Hall). It gets a 6.3/10 and I love a mystery. And, finally, Amazon has added Fat: A Documentary, a 2019 doc from director Peter Pardini. Here, health expert Vince Tortoritch investigates all the health myths about fat, health, and especially weight loss. It’s an interesting, factual and fast paced movie that gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!