Yes, it’s that time again, the weekend, 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 interesting new adds this week, so let’s get started!
Hulu has a huge add this week with Another Round, the 2020 Dutch comedy. Four aging male high school teachers and friends, including Martin, played by Mads Mikkelsen, facing midlife crises, decide to approach the theory that ‘humans are born with a 0.05% alcohol deficiency by drinking their way through every day. At first this has a surprisingly positive result, with Martin getting along with his family better. But soon, things turn bad, and the foursome seem destined to lose their jobs, or families, or both. But this movie isn’t so simple. Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Maria Bonnevie, Magnus Millang and Susse Wold also star, with Thomas Vinterberg(The Hunt) directs. This movie has been nominated for 2 Academy Awards, Best International Feature Film(and it’s considered a favorite), and Best Director for Vinterberg. And it’s been nominated for 4 BAFTA Awards, after already winning 35 awards thus far this season. And it gets an amazing 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.8/10 on IMDb. Peter Travers of ABC News says its “a peak-form Mads Mikkelsen stars in this hilarious and heartbreaking spellbinder as a Copenhagen high-school teacher who thinks day drinking might sharpen his faculties. The Oscar for Best International Feature belongs right here.” I’m tuning in. Hulu has also added The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the 2018 fantasy. Adam Driver stars here, as a disillusioned director, who meets a man who believes he is the real Don Quixote, Javier(played by Jonathan Pryce), who is also convinced that Driver is his squire, Sancho Panza. And together, they go off to fight giants and tilt at windmills. Stellan Skarsgård, Olga Kurylenko, Joana Ribeiro, Óscar Jaenada and Rossy de Palma also star, and the great Terry Gilliam(Brazil) directed. To be sure, this isn’t Gilliam‘s best effort, it only gets a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, but its still Gilliam. Stephen A. Russell of the New Daily(Australia) said “but just like the mad quest of the iconic tale’s foolish old knight, forever tilting at windmills, Gilliam never gave up and brings it to barmy life in a movie-within-a-movie, tapping Star Wars bad boy Adam Driver and Brazil star Jonathan Pryce.” I’m watching. Hulu also has Sister Aimee, a 2019 fictionalized biopic. This gives a very outlandish suggestion of what happened to star evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson(Ann Margaret Hollyman) when she disappeared in 1926, saying she went to Texas with her beau Kenny(Walter Mosley), a writer who wants to chronicle Mexico after the revolution. Thee they meet a guide, Rey((Andrea Suarez Paz), with whom Sister Aimee begins an affair, while meeting up with bandits, and other dangers. Julie White(!), Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, Bill Wise and Jordan Elsass also star, and married team Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann directed and wrote here. And it had its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival (Next section) and also screened at the SXSW Film Festival. It’s a little messy, and confusing sometimes, but it also has a marvelous cast, so though it only gets a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, I’m in. Majorie Baumgarten of the Houston Chronicle calls it “a scrappy period piece that supplants the things a bigger budget might have afforded with good choices about things that were under the filmmakers’ control.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Hulu has added Pink Wall, a 2019 drama. Here, director Tom Cullen(Lord Anthony Gillingham on Downton Abbey) gives a look into the relationship of a young couple, played by Tatiana Maslany and Jay Duplass, by sharing 6 non-chronological ‘moments’ of their life together, one for each year. Sule Rimi, Ruth Ollman, Sarah Ovens, and TJ Richardson also star, and Cullen wrote the script for this effort, as well. And it gets a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Clarisse Loughrey of the Independent(UK) writing “Cullen may pass through familiar waters with Pink Wall, but he still manages to uncover a few small, raw truths about ourselves along the way.” For an innovative look at love, tune in.
The new adds on Netflix this week include a bounty of documentaries, like Audrey, the 2021 biographical doc about Audrey Hepburn. This tells of Hepburn‘s whole life, and challenges she faced, especially her childhood in Belgium, during German occupation, in WWII. Her dream of being a prima ballerina dashed by the war, Hepburn moved into musical theater, which she didn’t feel she did well, and finally, acting, where she thrived. And her activism for children is covered, especially those effected by war or famine, finally becoming UNICEF children’s charity ambassador. But what I like most is that we get much of Hepburn‘s retelling of her experiences here, with plenty of audio of Audrey herself telling of her life story. And it’s all brought to us by director Helena Coan, with plenty of archival video to liven up the story. And it gets a respectable 77% on Rotten Tomatoes. For all us movie lovers. But Netflix also has The Lost Pirate Kingdom, 2021 documentary history series. This 6 episode show tells you everything you might want to know about pirates, with their history beginning at the end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1715, which left thousands of privateers out of work, until the wreck of a treasure fleet. Then it goes on to tell of England‘s effort to bring an end to piracy, naming Woodes Rogers(perhaps the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe), a former pirate himself, to solve the problem. The series even includes female pirate Mary Hallett(finally). And acting legend Derek Jacobi narrates. And while this series is a little heavy on dramatization of events for me, the history covered here is valuable and involving. And there series gets a 6.6/10 on IMDb. I’m tuning in. But if you want a little drama, Netflix has Sky Rojo, a 2021 action thriller series. Here, three prostitutes, Coral (Verónica Sánchez), Gina (Yany Prado) and Wendy (Lali Espósito), go on the run from their loathsome pimp, Romeo (Asier Etxeandía), and exact some violent revenge of their own, while evading his henchmen, Moisés (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and Christian (Enric Auquer). Carmen Santamaría, Luis Zahera, Niko Verona, Yanet Sierra and Daria Krauzo also star, and there are 8 episodes available to binge on now. And this series was created by Álex Pina(Money Heist) and Esther Martínez Lobato. There is plenty of girl power and humor here, a delightful combination for me. And it gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb. I’m watching. And, of course, Netflix has the hugely popular Waffles + Mochi, the new kids food series. In this show hosted and narrated by Michelle Obama(!), Waffle and Mochi are two puppet characters who want to be great chefs, but know little about everyday ingredients they should use, like tomatoes, so they travel around and get help from great chefs like José Andrés, Samin Nosrat, Massimo Bottura, Preeti Mistry, Mashama Bailey, Bricia Lopez, Pía León, and Michael Twitty. So these chefs come up with wonderful recipes with healthy ingredients, to please Waffles and Mochi, like tomato pizza and gazpacho from José Andrés! It is fun and mouth watering, too. And there are 10 episodes to feast on now, with the show getting a stunning 7.3/10 on IMDb. Vulture calls the show “educational and trippy,” and it’s on my list. And, finally, if you need a little horror, after all this edification, Netflix offers Hospital, a 2020 Taiwanese horror movie. This takes place in Taiwan‘s haunted Xinglin Hospital, where four people venture to rescue their relatives. Led by masters Xiao Ling and Miao Ru, the four battle the spirits of the hospital to save their family members. Austin Lin, Tai Po, Jacqueline Chu, Lichi Hsu and Yong Yingxi also star, and Jue Ga-Lun directed. And it gets a 5 on My Drama List. But way too scary for me.
Amazon has a huge add this week with Words On Bathroom Walls, a 2020 drama. Charlie Plummer stars as Adam, a witty high school student who aspires to be a chef, but suddenly suffers a psychotic episodes, and he is diagnosed with schizophrenia, after being expelled from school. After hospitalization and treatment, he enters a catholic high school, all the while hoping to hide his disease, while getting tutoring from valedictorian, Maya(Taylor Russell). And she helps him accept and deal with his disease. Andy Garcia, AnnaSophia Robb, Molly Parker, Walter Goggins and Beth Grant also star, while Thor Freudenthal directs. And this movie gets an incredible 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Christy Lemire of FilmWeek wrote “I was really impressed by its ability to approach the subject of mental illness in a way that is sensitive, insightful, and thoughtful without ever being mawkish.” I couldn’t agree more, I’m watching. Amazon has also added the 1st season of Breathless, the 2020 British drama series. Jack Davenport stars as Dr. Powell, a brilliant surgeon who risks everything to give women in need a safe abortion in 1960’s London, when, unfortunately, it is illegal and unavailable otherwise. Zoe Boyle, Catherine Steadman, Natasha Little, Iain Glen and Joanna Page also star, and there are 6 episodes available now, but beware, they disappear on April 1st, back to the PBS Masterpiece, to be viewed only for a fee. And, finally, Amazon offers The Sun King Is Dead, a 2015 history doc. This movie considers the very real dilemma France faced in
1715, when Louis XIV, rumored to be immortal, finally died at the age of 76, when he died of gangrene, and a battle for succession ensued. This movie was filmed by director Sylvie Faiveley at Versailles, Notre Dame and the Basilica of Saint Denis, on the 300th anniversary of the monarch’s death, and shows how that death had huge repercussions, like leading to the birth of the Enlightenment. It’s fascinating and well annotated, with rare archives, period journals and plenty of experts, and it’s fascinating stuff. I’m definitely tuning in.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!