Yes, it’s the weekend, again, and time to review the best new adds on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. And there’s some good stuff out there, so let’s get started!
Okay, there aren’t any real obvious big new adds on Hulu, but there’s We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, the 2020 musical documentary. This film covers Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “improvisational hip-hop” group, comedy included, that eventually led the way to the blockbuster musical “Hamilton,” and all that came after. The group included Utkarsh Ambudkar, Andrew Bancroft, James Monroe Iglehart, Thomas Kail, Thomas Kail and, of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda. They started off slow, with improv comedy and rap, and had tennis balls thrown at them by the crowd, but of course, became more popular and more polished. Director Andrew Fried started filming FLS 15 years ago, so there’s a lot of archival footage here, but most of it is from their trip to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival, but it also covers their reunion in 2019. And it gets a 6.2/10 on IMDb. Hulu also offers Just Charlie, a 2018 British drama. Harry Gilby stars as Charlie, an up and coming soccer star in a community crazed with the sport, so when it’s revealed he struggles with body dysphoria, and identifies with being female, it is not welcome news. His father(Scot Williams) especially has a hard time, but the whole loving, working class family finds it a tough truth to grasp. Patricia Potter, Elinor Machen-Fortune, Karen Bryson and Mark Carter also star, and Rebekah Fortune directed. This film was nominated for multiple awards, and won at the Cannes Cinéphiles and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. And it gets a stunning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Jason Best of Movie Talk writing, “Just Charlie tackles the delicate subject of gender dysphoria with great sensitivity and grace.” I’m watching. Hulu also has Brassic, the 2019 British comedy/drama. Joseph Gilgun stars here as Vinnie O’Neill, a guy with a tough life, living alone in the woods, his Mum having deserted him when he was 7 and so was raised by his safe-blasting father. Getting help with his bi-polar symptoms in their small town of Hawley seems almost impossible, but friends Erin(Michelle Keegan) and Dylan( Damien Molony) help him survive. Tom Hanson, Aaron Heffernan, Parth Thakerar and Dominic West also star. and there are 6 episodes now available, with a second season on the way. And it gets an amazing 8.3/10 on IMDb. This is one of the buzziest new shows online, so I’m am definitely tuning in. And, finally, Hulu offers The Wretched, a 2019 horror movie. This scary movie takes place a southern tourist town, where Ben (John-Paul Howard) goes reluctantly to live with his divorced father(Jamison Jones), only to find a very weird house next door, with creepy parents and a bereft boy, Dillon(Blane Crockarell). He decides to solve the mystery of the evil in the house next door, helped by friend Mallory (Piper Curda). Zara Mahler, Azie Tesfai, Kevin Bigley, Richard Ellis and Ja’layah Washington, and brothers Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce wrote the script and directed here, with lots of nods to 80′s films, and directors like Steven Spielberg. And it gets a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Eric Kohn of Indiewire saying “[it] doesn’t reinvent the rules, but it has a timeliness to it that’s hard to shake.” But it’s too gross for me. You decide.
Netflix, too, doesn’t have any blockbuster adds yet, this week, but if you do a little digging, you’ll find gems like What Keeps You Alive, a 2018 Canadian thriller. here, a young couple, played by Hannah Emily Anderson and Brittany Allen, go on a retreat to a remote cabin for their anniversary, only to find lethal dangers, when an old friend comes to visit, played by Martha MacIsaac, who reveals too much about the past. Joey Klein, Charlotte Lindsay Marron and Colin Minihan(Spiral) directs. And it gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Monica Castillo of RogerEbert.com writing its”effectively eerie and unnerving.” But too unnerving for me. Better to watch Raat Akeli Hai, a 2020 Indian mystery. Nawazuddin Siddiqui stars as Inspector Jatil Yadav, who is called in when a rich (older) politician Raghubeer Singh,(Khalid Tyabji), is killed on the night of his wedding, and there is no shortage of suspects for a man so well hated. Radhika Apte, Nishant Dahiya, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Shivani Raghuvanshi and Aditya Srivastava also star here, and Honey Trehan directs. This is a classic whodunit, that’s been compared to Knives Out, and it gets an incredible 7.8/10 on IMDb. Rohan Naahar of Hindustan Times wrote “[it] is quite the achievement. Trehan not only has a skill for directing actors, but also displays a command over tone and visual texture.” I love a mystery. I’m definitely tuning in. Netflix also added Retablo, the classic 2017 Peruvian drama. Junior Bejar Roca stars as Segundo, a boy living high in the Andes, with his artisan father(Amiel Cayo), as they work together building retablos, beautifully painted religious altars of wood, important in their Peruvian culture. but Segundo inadvertently discovers a secret about his father, that threatens his respect for him and their relationship as a whole. Magaly Solier, Mauro Chuchon, Ubaldo Huamán and Hermelinda Luján also star, with Alvaro Delgado Aparicio directing. And it gets an astounding 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.7/10 on IMDb. J.R. Kinnard of the Seattle Times wrote “Director Alvaro L. Aparicio sculpts a world for Segundo every bit as delicate as his father’s figurines.” I’m definitely watching. And, finally, Netflix has Shine Your Eyes, a 2020 Brazilian drama. This tells the tale of a young Nigerian musician, Amadi, played by O.C. Ukeje, who goes to São Paulo in search of his estranged brother, Ikenna (Chukwudi Iwuji), who he thinks is a university professor. But he finds the facts quite different from the families ideas, and a city that enthralls him. Chika Anadu, Francine Barbosa, Maíra Bühler, Matias Mariani, Júlia Murat and Chioma Thompson also star in this film magically directed by Matias Mariani. Lovia Gyarkye of the New York Times says “[it] finds a distinctive way to tell a familiar narrative – of immigrants in megacities, of how dreams can pummel you and of the complexity of fraternal bonds.” And it gets an incredible 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. And the beautiful work of cinematographer Leonardo Bittencourt alone, makes it a must see. It’s on definitely on my list.
Amazon‘s big new add this week is The Last Narc, a Amazon 2020 true crime documentary series. This tells of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was notoriously kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Mexican drug lords, in 1985. Now, we get the details of what actually happened from special agent Hector Berellez. His murder created international outcry, that fueled the shut down of the Guadalajara cartel, leading to the regional drug cartels(and wars) we see now. There are 4 episodes available for viewing, and they’re all directed by Tiller Russell. And the series gets an 8.6/10 on IMDb. But that’s not exactly my cup of tea, I’ll be watching some of the new series made available for viewing on Amazon through August, like Blood, from Acorn TV. This intriguing British psychological mystery features the tale of Doctor Jim Hogan (Adrian Dunbar), whose wife Mary (Ingrid Craigie) dies in their small town, and raises no suspicions, except with his daughter, Cat (Carolina Main). And no one appreciates to her questions or inquiry. Grainne Keenan, Diarmuid Noyes, Cillian O’Gairbhi and Sean Duggan also star, and there are 6 episodes available to watch…by August 31. and it gets a 7.1/10 on IMDb. I’m tuning in. And, finally, Amazon also has The Teacher, a Polish crime drama series. Maciej Stuhr (Aftermath) stars as Paweł Zawadzki, a high school teacher, new in the town of Dobrowice, where previously a girl, Joana, had been found dead, and ruled a suicide. And Zawadzki takes a peculiar interest, and digs deeper, which raises suspicion in the townsfolk. Józef Pawlowski, Paulina Szostak, Magdalena Cielecka, Krzysztof Pieczynski and Grzegorz Damiecki also star, and there are 10 episodes now available. And it gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb. I’m watching.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, new and old, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!