Yes, it’s the weekend, again, and time to review the best new movies and television shows added online this week, to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. And there’s some good new stuff out there, so let’s get started!
Hulu has added some good new, but obscure, movies this week, like Blue Story, a 2018 British drama. Stephen Odubola and Micheal Ward star as Timmy and Marco, respectively, young men and fast friends who go to school together in Peckham, in southeast London, but when Marco gets beaten up by one of Timmy’s friends, their friendship is riven. They are on opposite sides of a gang war, and though their friends try to deter them, a lethal battle looms. Khali Best, Karla-Simone Spence, Eric Kofi-Abrefa and Rohan Nedd also star and Rapman(Andrew Onwubolu) directed. There’s a lot of good rap music and modern issues, but Kevin Crust of the LA Times also called it a “a Shakespearean rhapsody in indigo where love, friendship, betrayal and revenge swirl and blur with life-changing consequences.” It was nominated for multiple awards in 2020 at the National Film Awards, British Independent Film Awards and won Best Film at the NME Awards. And it gets an amazing 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m watching. Hulu has also added Breaking for Whales, a 2020 comedy. Tammin Sursok(who also co-wrote the screenplay) and Tom Felton(Draco in Harry Potter!) play estranged sister(Star) and brother(Brandon) who set out for a cross country trip to fulfill their dead mother’s wish to have her ashes be placed in the belly of a whale(?). Brandon is determined not to be gay so he is taking classes in heterosexuality, and Star is all but an absent mom with definite issues of her own. There’s a great cast with Wendi McLendon-Covey(The Goldbergs), David Koechner (Anchorman), Austin Swift and Dylan Sandifer, with Sean McEwen(Bernie) directing. But none of its potential pans out, and though it gets a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, it gets only a 4.9/10 on IMDb. Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert.com writes, “[it] is so ridiculous in conception and excruciating in execution that some brave souls may find themselves tempted to see if it really is that bad. Trust me, it really is. It just isn’t funny..” I’m not watching. I’d rather watch the classic Slumdog Millionaire, the 2008 award-winning drama recently added to Hulu‘s line-up. Dev Patel stars as Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old, one question away from earning a fortune on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and this movie gives us a sweeping look at his life of poverty in Mumbai that led to this moment. Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Anil Kapoor, Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar and Rubina Ali and Danny Boyle(Trainspotting, 127 Hours) directed, of course. This was a huge award winner, getting seven of the eleven BAFTA Awards for which it was nominated, four Golden Globe Awards and eight Academy Awards. It gets a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an astounding 8/10 on IMDb. Roger Ebert called it ” a breathless, exciting story, heartbreaking and exhilarating at the same time.” We could all use a feel good movie right now, and this is mine. I’m definitely tuning in. And, finally, to pay tribute to the great Sean Connery, Hulu has added four of Connery‘s Bond movies are included, with From Russia With Love (1963),Thunderball (1965)You Only Live Twice (1967), and Diamonds Are Forever (1971). And there are 16 more Bond movies available on Hulu, if you need more. So knock yourself out.
Netflix has some good new adds this week, too, like The Wrong Kind of Black, an Australian comedy limited series from 2018. This is a 4-part series based on the life of Boori Monty Pryor, Melbourne‘s hottest DJ in the 1970‘s. Clarence Ryan(Wolf Creek) plays Pryor, who, being aboriginal, i.e. the wrong kind of black, grew up oppressive Christian regime of the mission in northern Queensland and moved to Melbourne to become a star DJ, but not without opposition and prejudice obstructing his path. Aaron McGrath, Balang TE Lewis, Lisa Flanagan, Nilbi Yasserie and Tasia Zalar also star, with Boori Monty Pryor doing the narration himself, as well as co-writing the series. It’s wonderful to see the aboriginal experience with life and with racism in Australia finally recognized by television, and with so much humor, too. It gets a 7/10(!) on IMDb, and Jack Latimore of the Guardian writes, “Repeated portrayals of the racist incidents never feel clunky or laboured, the tragic elements of the script are poignant, and it is often laugh-out-loud funny, infused with an unmistakable and uniquely Aboriginal style of comedy: a blend of slapstick, some dry, sharp wit, and a big helping of very, very black – occasionally absurdist – humour.” I’m definitely tuning in. Netflix has also added Paranormal, a 2020 Egyptian sci-fi horror series. Here, Ahmed Amin plays Dr. Refaat Ismail, an intelligent and skeptical Hematologist in 1969 Cairo, when his disbelief in the supernatural and paranormal are put to the test. Always accompanied by his friend(and old flame) Maggie, played by Razane Jamaal, they investigate new mysteries each week, like mummies(!), disembodied voices, and ghosts. Aya Samaha, Rushdi Al Shami, Samma Ibrahim, and Adam Wahdan also star, and this is all based on the series of novels by the Egyptian writer Ahmed Khaled Tawfiq. There are six episodes available for binging now on Netflix, and it gets an incredible 9.1/10(!) on IMDb. Tessa Smith of the Mama’s Geeky says, “this show will have you sucked in from the very first episode. If you liked The Haunting Of Bly Manor, you will like this.” I’m watching, for sure. Also new on Netflix is Love & Anarchy, a 2020 Swedish romantic comedy series. Ida Engvoll stars as Sofie, an ambitious consultant and married mother of two, who finds herself forced into a relationship with Max(Björn Mosten), after he takes a compromising picture of her. She is forced by him to daily challenges that break societal norms, and finally threaten her marriage. Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Björn Kjellman, Reine Brynolfsson, Disa Ostrand and Gizem Erdogan also star, and this series was brought to us by Lisa Langseth, creator of Quicksand. There are eight episodes available now, and it’s obviously adult-themed, so no kiddies should watch with you. And it gets a 7.4/10 on IMDb. Netflix has also added The Endless Trench, a 2019 Spanish historical drama. Here, Antonio de la Torre plays Higinio Blanco, a Republican openly critical of Franco’s Fascist regime during the Spanish Civil War in 1939, and so his life is constantly in danger as the Falangists(Franco’s thugs) engage in reprisal killings of their enemies. Blanco hides under the house after betrayal by his neighbor, while his wife, Rosa, played by Belén Cuesta, protects him, until she, too, is arrested. Vicente Vergara, José Manuel Poga, Carlos Bernardino, Emilio Palacios and Esperanza Guardado also star, with Jon Garaño, Aitor Arregi and Jose Mari Goenaga directing. This had it’s world premiere on September 22, 2019 at the 2019 San Sebastián International Film Festival, where it won Silver Shell for Best Director and the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay, and went on to be Spain‘s entry in the Academy Awards Best International Feature Film. And it gets an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Diego Batlle of Otroscines.com wrote “[it] doesn’t fall into clumsy tropes and instead is a profound portrait of alienation.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Netflix offers Girl’s Revenge, a 2020 Taiwanese drama. Wang Yu-ping plays Ren Li-cha, a high school girl who is shocked with the release of a sex tape she is featured in at a birthday party. She is ostracized and shamed, and Wu Yun-heng, her best friend, becomes determined to get to the bottom of what happened, even if it turns the school upside down. Yuri Chen, Shiny Yao, Pii Liu, Mike Lin and Zia Ten-hong also star and Weica Wang(Dream Ocean) directs. And it gets an 8/10 stars on mydramalist. Well worth seeing.
Amazon, too, has some interesting new adds this week, like El Presidente, a 2020 drama series from Chile. Andrés Parra plays Sergio Jadue, former president of ANFP(Asociación Nacional de Fútbol Profesional), who rose from the small Unión La Calera(a Chilean futbol club) to become involved in the FICA Corruption case of 2015. Karla Souza, Paulina Gaitán, Anita Reeves, Luis Margani and Alberto Ajaka also star, and there are eight episodes available now to stream. And it gt4s an impressive 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. ReadySteadyCut says, “[its] as entertaining as it is educational. It’s a joy to watch Sergio clumsily navigate the football world and rise to the top and implement decision making” I’m tuning in. Amazon has also added Wayne, a 2020 American comedy drama. Mark McKenna plays Wayne, a 16 year-old high school student, who’s always willing to get into trouble to right wrongs around Brockton, Mass, and finally goes on a road trip with Del(Ciara Bravo), a tough girl on her own, to collect a prized car taken from his father(Dean Winters) before his death. Jon Champagne, Jamie Champagne, James Earl and Stephen Kearin also star, and there are 10 episodes available to binge on now. And it gets an amazing 8.4/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Amazon offers the first season of The Restaurant, a drama series usually only on Sundance, to view until November 30. This starts at the end of WWII in Stockholm, Sweden, where the upper class Löwander family runs a restaurant, and class distinctions are falling down, but when Nina Löwander(Hedda Stiernstedt) and Calle Svensson(Charlie Gustafsson), a kitchen worker, begin a romance, there’s big trouble. Adam Lundgren, Josefin Neldén, Anna Bjelkerud, Rasmus Troedsson and Suzanne Reuter also star, and there are ten episodes to view now. And it gets an astounding 8.2/10 on IMDb, and has won 2 Kristallen Awards(the official Swedish television awards) for Best Actress(Hedda Stiernstedt) and Best Drama, so hurry and watch before the end of the month. I won’t miss it.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!