Yes, it’s the weekend again, and time to review the best new adds on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. And there are some good new adds out there, so let’s get started!
The biggest add on Hulu this week is Hulu‘s July episode of Into the Dark, The Current Occupant. This stars Barry Watson(7th Heaven) as Henry Cameron, a man in a psych unit, who has no memory of who he is, and so undergoes a new treatment, only to become convinced he’s the president of the United States. Sonita Henry, Kate Cobb, Ezra Buzzington and Dean Sharpe also star, with Julius Ramsay(The Purge)directing. But this is a mean little movie, and poorly thought out. Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com gives it only one star, but IMDb gives it a 6.2/10. You decide. I’d rather watch The Weekend, a 2019 comedy from director Stella Meghie(Everything, Everything). Sasheer Zamata stars as an acerbic comedian who, trying to stay friends with her ex-boyfriend(Tone Bell) on a vacation. But when he bring his new girlfriend(DeWanda Wise), things get difficult. Kym E Whitley plays her mom, with Y’lan Noel and Josefina Landeros also starring. Stella Meghie got nominated for the Audience Award at AFI Fest for her work here, and the movie gets an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter wrote it’s “laced with tart humor and sharp observations about black female identity, the majority of them delivered with spiky insouciance by Sasheer Zamata.” I’m watching. Hulu also offers My Scientology Movie, a 2017 doc from Louis Theroux. Here, Theroux seeks information about the Church of Scientology, in Los Angeles, and gets mostly stonewalled, with no interviews or even filming allowed on Church(?) grounds. So he recreates the interviews he couldn’t get, with people like leader David Miscavige(Andrew Perez) and Tom Cruise(Rob Alter). It’s all adds up to a funny movie with Pythonesque overtones, with some help from Scientology apostate Marty Rathburn. John Dower directed and the movie was produced by Simon Chinn(Searching for Sugar Man). Joe McGovern of Entertainment Weekly called it “one of the best documentaries of the year.” And it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s on my list. And, finally, Hulu has added The Rest of Us, a 2019 Canadian Drama. Heather Graham stars here, whose ex-husband dies, so she invites his now broke widow(Jodi Balfour), and former mistress during her marriage, to live with her family, much to her teen daughter’s chagrin. Sophie Nélisse plays that daughter, and Abigail Pniowsky, Charlie Gillespie and Kelly Boegel also star, with Aisling Chin-Yee directing. And the movie gets a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Johanna Schneller of the Globe and Mail writing “I believe that people behaving well can be every bit as dramatic as people behaving badly. Here’s a movie that proves me right, softly.” I’m tuning in.
The biggest add on Netflix this week has to be Cursed, a 2020 American fantasy series. This stars Katherine Langford(13 Reasons Why, Knives Out) as Nimue, a young woman with magical powers, who goes on to become the legendary Lady of the Lake. She is eventually sent on a quest by her dying mother(Catherine Wilson) to bring a magical sword to Arthur(DevonTerrell), with her friend Pym(Lily Newmark) helping along the way. Shalom Brune-Franklin, Gustaf Skarsgård, Sebastian Armesto, Peter Mullan and Emily Coates also star, and there are 10 episodes now available for streaming. this series is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler, and gets a 5.1/10 on IMDb. I love the female heroines played here, I’m watching. Netflix also offers the 2020 documentary Father, Soldier, Son. This film tells the tale of Brian Eisch, an highly decorate Afghan vet, and his two sons, Joey and Isaac, as they grow over ten years. Eisch was badly wounded and lost part of his leg, and finds life after service hard, but tries to raise his boys to be tough, and to join the army themselves. The New York Times’ Leslye Davis and Catrin Einhorn direct an apolitical and very moving film that shows the high cost any service member and their family pays after war. The Los Angeles Times call it” the true American tragedy,” and it gets a 7.1/10 on IMDb. I’m an definitely tuning in. Also new on Netflix is Kissing Game , a 2020 Brazilian sci-fi series. Iza Moreira and Michel Joelsas play a couple of teens in a ranching town in Brazil, who grow alarmed after some teens start getting fatally ill, and they trace it to a “kissing party” the kids went to. But paranoia in the rural community breaks out and people start antagonizing the people who took part. Bianca Byington, Denise Fraga, Thomas Aquino, Luca Luana Nastas and Esther Tinman also star, and there are 6 episodes available now. It’s sometimes graphic sexually, but it’s also a very timely and relevant series. And it gets a 7.3/10(!) on IMDb. Watch if you dare. Netflix also offers Funan, a 2018 animated French movie. This tells the tale of a family from Phnom Penh, led by Chou(Bérénice Bejo) and her husband Khuon, who are forced from the city by the Khmer Rouge, in 1975, and horribly, become separated from their child, Sovanh, and his grandmother. It’s a sad and beautiful look at Chou‘s grueling long journey to reunite her family in a war torn land, brought to us by director Denis Do. Louis Garrel, Colette Kieffer, Brice Montagne and Maxime Boudoin also star. This film won the Cristal Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and the Emile Award at the Emile Awards, as well as begin nominated at the Lumieres. Nina Li Coomes of the Chicago Reader wrote it’s “luminous and immersive, at times overwhelmingly so, this film is a realist’s ode to the hope that remains after one has survived the unimaginable.” And it gets a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s definitely on my list. And, finally, Netflix has added We Are One, a 2020 doc. This revolves around the making of a French music video called Solidarité, by French musician Matthieu Chedid, about different activists all over the world, and showcases the different cause involved. Just a few are poverty in France, violence against women in Brazil, and anti-Muslim and anti-black violence in the U.S.. It’s all beautifully directed by Stephane de Freitas and takes us around the world, in depicting the problems fought by the great people involved. The Decider says “It’s a testament to activists’ tireless hard work, and an example of using one’s status to raise others’ voices.” I’m tuning in.
The only big add on Amazon this week is the third season of Absentia, the Amazon original action/thriller. The third season catches up with Emily((Stana Katic) nears the end of her FBI suspension, only to become involved in a case of her ex-husband’s, Nick Durand (Patrick Heusinger), that may threaten the whole family. Patrick McAuley, Josette Simon, Matthew Le Nevez and Geoff Bell also star, and there are 10 episodes now available. And the series gets an amazing 7.3/10 on IMDb. Watch if you dare, it’s too tense for me. Amazon also has The Weekend (see above), if you don’t get Hulu. And, finally, Amazon has Guns Akimbo, the 2019 action comedy from New Zealand. Daniel Radcliffe stars as a young computer dev in an alt near future, where he finds himself with guns bolted to his arms(ugh) and forced to fight a deadly villain. Samara Weaving, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Ned Dennehy and Grant Bowler also star, with Jason Lei Howden directing. It’s a super-violent movie that only gets a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes that Ben Kenigsberg of the New York Times calls “a satire of overamped gamer culture that is itself too overamped to be much fun…” I’m not watching.
So sit back and binge this weekend, with classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!