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 are a few good new adds this week, so let’s get started!
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 are some good new adds this week, so let’s get started!
The biggest add on Hulu this week is Tentacles, the February Into the Dark episode. In the first episode since last July, after a Covid hiatus, this movie has Dana Drori starring as Tara, a young woman with problems who falls for Sam(Casey Deidrick), a photographer, but as the relationship progresses, it becomes clear that Tara has some dangerous secrets. Secrets that seem to be making Sam sick, or even worse. Kasey Elise, Cathy Vu, Johnny Ramey, Vito D’Ambrosio and David L. King also star, and Clara Aranovich directs. And though Aranovich makes a pretty steamy attempt at a Cronenberg-like movie, it isn’t quite up to snuff. Still, it’s good to have Into the Dark back. And it gets a 6.1/10 on IMDb. If you need horror. Hulu has also added 2067, a 2020 Australian sci-fi movie. This takes place on an Earth decimated by climate change, where the only way to survive is on artificial oxygen, provided by the Chronicorp corporation . But that oxygen is tainted with a toxin that causes The Sickness which will eventually kill everyone, so when funnel worker Ethan Whyte, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, is offered a chance to travel 400 years into the future to save humanity, but not return, he goes. Leanna Walsman, Ryan Kwanten, Deborah Mailman, Finn Little and Sana’a Shaik also star, while Seth Larney directed. And this is a great looking film, with epic proportions. And though it only gets a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many, like David Stratton writing “it all looks great, with outstanding photography by Earle Dresner. But 2067 gets bogged down with the sort of time-shifting debate beloved of many sci-fi buffs,” it’s good enough for me. I’m watching. Hulu has also added Then Came You, a 2020 romance. Kathie Lee Gifford(!) stars here, as Annabelle, a lonely widow who travels the world with her husband’s ashes in tow, a chocolate box. And when she reaches Scotland, she meets inn owner Howard(Craig Ferguson), with whom, of course, she falls in love. Elizabeth Hurley plays Ferguson‘s fiancé, and Ford Kiernan, Phyllida Law and Brett James also star, with best-selling author Adriana Trigiani(!) directing. Oh, and Gifford also wrote the screenplay for this effort. But it’s a very mediocre romcom, with little new, and a lot of old. And it gets a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Jade Budowski of the Decider saying “so corny it’s hard to recommend.” Enough said. And, finally, Hulu offers Sideways, the 2004 classic comedy/romance. Here, Miles Raymond(Paul Giamatti) and Jack Cole (Thomas Haden Church) take a wine country road trip to celebrate Jack’s upcoming wedding. But their trip includes many adventures, including meeting Maya(Virginia Madsen) and Stephanie(Sandra Oh), which could change everything. Marylouise Burke, Jessica Hecht, Missy Doty and Alysia Reiner also star, and Alexander Payne(Nebraska) directed. And this won wide acclaim and many awards, including the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. And it gets an incredible 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.5/10 on IMDb. Dan Jolin of Empire wrote “brilliantly observed characters are becoming second nature to Payne and Taylor, and the performances here are uniformly terrific. This is wonderful, original stuff.’ So if you want a romance for Valentine’s Day this is definitely a better choice than the film previously mentioned. I’m tuning in.
Netflix has some exciting adds this week, like Red Dot, a 2021 Swedish thriller. Nanna Blondell and Johannes Kuhnke star as a young married couple, off for a romantic trip to the mountains with their dog Boris, when things go wrong, waking in the middle of the night to have an ominous red laser dot aimed onto them during the night. So they run. Anastasios Soulis, Tomas Bergström, Anna Azcárate and Kalled Mustonen also star, while Alain Darborg directs. Jade Budowski of the Decider calls it “tense, disturbing, and well-made.” And it gets an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. But it’s way too scary for me. But Netflix also has To All the Boys: Always and Forever, the 2021 third and final chapter in the highly popular series. Lana Condor returns as Lara Jean Song Covey, now in her senior year of high school, and considering going to Stanford with boyfriend Peter(Noah Centineo), and on vacation in Seoul, with her dad, Dr. Covey(John Corbett). But new interests tug at her in ways she doesn’t expect, that threaten to pull her away from Peter, and her presumed future. Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Sarayu Blue and Madeleine Arthur also star, and Michael Fimognari directs. And it gets a respectable 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Karen Han of Slate writing “it’s a fitting end to the series not just as a closing chapter to its protagonists’ high-school lives as they move on to college, but also as an admission that the franchise has run out of things to say.” If you want teen romance. Luckily, Netflix also offers Capitani, a 2021 crime drama series. This takes place in northern Luxembourg, where Detective Luc Capitani(Luc Schiltz) is called in to investigate a murder of 15 year-old Jenny(Jil Devresse), while working with local cop Elsa Ley(Sophie Mousel). But there secrets abound here, and Jenny‘s twin sister Tanja is missing, too. Jules Werner, Jean-Paul Maes, Jemp Schuster, Nicole Max, Joe Dennenwald and Julie Kieffer also star, and there are 10 episodes to enjoy now. ReadySteadyCut calls it a “highly binge-able European crime thriller……. a whodunit with a breakneck pace that’ll doubtlessly prove popular among the usual crowd.” And it gets an amazing 7.3/10 on IMDb. I’m tuning in. Netflix also has Layla Majnun, a 2021 Indonesian romance. Acha Septriasa stars as title character Layla, an Indonesian scholar who travels to Azerbaijan as a guest lecturer, only to meet Samir(Reza Rahadian), an admirer of her work. Which complicates things, as her more traditional parents back home have a marriage arranged for her already. Baim Wong, Dian Nitami,Beby Tsabina, Natasha Rizki and Eriska Rein also star, with Monty Tiwa directing. And Layla Majnun gets an incredible 7.4/10 on IMDb, and ReadySteadyCut calls it “a wonderful Indonesian film fostering forbidden love.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Netflix has added Nadiya Bakes, a 2021 cooking series. this is a wonderful, mouth watering series of desserts from the Great British Baking Show winner Nadiya Hussein, my favorite champions, who uses international spices to come up with imaginative and delicious spins on all kinds of delectable sweets. There are dishes like mango coconut cake(!), a roly-poly with jam(yum!) and raspberry amaretti biscuits. Oh, and did I mention there’s a whole episode dedicated to chocolate, like chocolate caramel flan? And guest bakers like Joakim Prat and Aneesh Popat, too. There are 8 episodes to drool over now, and the series gets an 80% on Metacritic. Michael Hogan of The Telegraph writes it has “a sensuous, immersive feel to the filming, with lingering slo-mo and whizzy time-lapse sequences of rising dough. Hussain encouraged us to mix with our hands, rather than utensils or gadgets. She bubbled with infectious enthusiasm.” I’m definitely watching.
The huge add on Amazon this week is Map of Tiny Perfect Things, a 2021 teen romance. Kyle Allen stars as Mark, here, a teen living the same day over and over(yes, they do acknowledge Groundhog Day) until he meets Margaret, played by Kathryn Newton, a math whiz who wants to work for NASA one day, who definitely wasn’t there yesterday……..or technically, the same day, before. He goes out of his way to remember her, and so they have adventures together, and finally, try to find their way out of their endless predicament. Jermaine Harris, Anna Mikami, Josh Hamilton and Cleo Fraser also star, and it’s directed by Ian Samuels. And it’s based on a short story by Lev Grossman(!), author of The Magicians. And though it gets a solid 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s a little too formulaic for me. Roxana Hadadi of RogerEbert.com says “this is all fairly predictable in the way so many films aimed at teenage viewers can be.” I agree. I’d rather watch Sweet Country, a 2017 Australian historical drama. Based on a true story, this tells the tales of Sam Kelly, played by Hamilton Morris, who is forced to shoot a racist and dangerous neighbor Harry March(Ewen Leslie) in self-defense. But this was in 1920’s Australia, so he is hunted by the police, including Sergeant Fletcher(Bryan Brown) and Sam Neill plays a supposedly Christian neighbor, Fred Smith. Matt Day, Anni Finsterer, Natassia Gorey Furber and Gibson John also star, and Warwick Thornton directed. This film won numerous awards in 2017, including Best Feature at the Adelaide Film Festival, Best Actor for Morris and Best Film and Cinematography at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards and a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. And it gets a stunning 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, with J.R. Kinnard of the Seattle Times writing “uncompromising, deliberate, and eerily beautiful, director Warwick Thornton‘s rugged Australian Western puts a new spin on an old story.” I’m tuning in. And, finally, Amazon offers the comeback Season of Mad About You, from 2019. Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser return to reprise their roles of Jamie and Paul, now facing being empty-nesters when their daughter Mabel(Abby Quinn) leaves for college, albeit at nearby NYU. All the cast favorites return like Mark(Richard Kind), Sylvia Buchman(Cynthia Harris), Mrs. Mandelbaum(Cloris Leachman) and Ira (John Pankow), as well as welcome new additions like Kecia Lewis, Danny Jacobson, and Anne Ramsay. And there are 12 episodes to enjoy now, without Spectrum tv. And it gets a 6.6/10 on IMDb, and a lowly 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. But Joel Keller of the Decider said “the revival of Mad About You is a pleasant watch that doesn’t try to do too much or remind you of the original series. And, as far as revivals go, that’s pretty good.” And I agree. I’m watching
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!