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 adds this week, so let’s get started!
Hulu has some exciting adds this week, like the 2021 docuseries McCartney, 3,2,1. Here, Paul McCartney himself tells the stories of his musical life, all with the help of our tour guide, Def Jam Recordings cofounder(and sound producer) Rick Rubin, producer himself of great records from the Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash and LL Cool J. So we get some intimate, inside stories, with McCartney being very open about the Beatles, and the huge contributions other members made, not just himself. We also hear about Wings, and his solo career, and get to hear some great recordings. You even get to hear about McCartney‘s childhood, with a musical household in Liverpool. And this 6-part series gets an incredible 8/10 on IMDb, and a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone writing “it’s just three hours of conversation, stretched out over six episodes, but it flies by. This is Paul at his most charming — he’s like the barber in Penny Lane, giving us a tour of every mind he’s had the pleasure to blow.” And this is pure music, no trash talking or celebrity gab, just appreciation of music. I’m watching twice. But Hulu also offers Grandma, the 2015 drama. Lily Tomlin(!) stars, here, as Elle, a poet and widow who comes to the aid her 16 year-old granddaughter Sage(Julia Garner), who finds herself pregnant, and without the money for the abortion she has scheduled for that afternoon. Sage‘s mom Judy(Marcia Gay Harden) has confiscated her credit card, so the pair go on a road trip through L.A., trying to come up with the money. Sam Elliot(!), Laverne Cox(!), Judy Greer(!), Nat Wolff and John Cho(!) also star, while Paul Weitz(About a Boy) directed. This film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival as the closing night feature, and was named among the top ten independent films of 2015 by the National Board of Review, while getting Tomlin well deserved nominations for a Critics’ Choice Awards and a Golden Globe. And it gets a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said “with not a wasted frame in its taut 80 minutes, this is deserving of your attention as one of the year’s best movies even if it’s being released in the middle of August.” I’m definitely watching. Also new and notable on Hulu is This Way Up, a British comedy series. It was created by Aisling Bea, who also stars as Aine, a young Irish Catholic teacher in London, who happens to have suffered a “teeny little nervous breakdown,” and, at the beginning of the show, is leaving rehab and returning to her ‘regular’ life. She’s watched over by her sister Shona, played by Sharon Hogan, who worries Aine is taking on too much, too soon, like considering starting a new business with her friend Charlotte(Indira Varma). Aasif Mandvi, Kadiff Kirwan, Todor Jordanov, Pik-Sen Lim and Tobias Menzies also star. There are two seasons available now, with 12 episodes in all now streaming. Bea won the Breakthrough Talent at the 2020 BAFTAs for her work here, and the series earned nominations at the Royal Television Society, UK, as well. And it gets an amazing 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.8/10 on IMDb. Sophie Gilbert of the Atlantic calls it “small in scope, infinitely charming, and intermittently devastating.” I’m tuning in. And finally, Hulu has added The Flower of Evil, a 2020 South Korean mystery series. Moon Chae-Won plays detective Cha Ji-Won, working on a particularly tough case that may lead her to discover dark and horrible truths about her seemingly ideal husband, Baek Hee Sung (Lee Joon Gi). And as she investigates, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins. Seo Hyun Woo, Jang Hee Jin, Kim Je Hoon, Son Jong Hak and Nam Gi Ae also star, and there are 16 episodes to devour now on Hulu. And this series gets an incredible 8.8/10 on IMDb. The Review Geek says ” it catches you off guard..” and its a…”slow-burn thriller is a very cleverly written show.” I’m definitely watching. I love a mystery.
The biggest name added on Netflix this week is Fear Street Part 3: 1666, the 3rd and final Fear Street movie. Yes, here, we finally reach the denouement of the Fear Street saga, learning the story of Sarah Fier, seeing her life through the eyes of our series hero Deena (Kiana Madeira), with her friends therefore, playing the parts of the villagers of Shadyside in 1666. When the village of Union(later divided into Shadyside and Sunnyvale) is beset by tragic occurrences like the water being poisoned, and the death that ensues, some of th3e villagers blame Sarah and her lover Hannah, played by Deena‘s girlfriend, Sam, Oliva Welch, and the violence that gives rise to the curse begins. Ashley Zukerman, Gillian Jacobs, Benjamin Flores Jr., Darrell Britt-Gibson, Emily Rudd and Jordana Spiro are also featured players here, and again, Leigh Janiak directs. And this third chapter gets an impressive 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Benjamin Lee of the Guardian writing “Janiak has found a way to add new life to old material, gifting us with the rare horror franchise that makes us want more rather than less, the prospect of an expanded universe seeming less like a curse and more of a blessing.” But it’s still too gross(and scary) for me. I’d rather watch Gunpowder Milkshake, a 2021 action thriller. This stars Karen Gillan(Amy from Doctor Who!) as Sam, an assassin and daughter of the famed assassin Scarlet(Lena Headley), who is assigned to kill a man who stole some money from the Firm she works for, but finds, upon shooting him, that he stole if to pay the ransom for his kidnapped 12 year-old daughter, Emily(Chloe Coleman). So Sam makes up her mind to save the girl herself, only to run into her famous and estranged mom, who wants to take over, and gums everything up. Carla Gugino, Angela Bassett(!), Michelle Yeoh, Ralph Ineson and Paul Giamatti(!) also star, with Navot Papushado directing. And, so, though, it only gets a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, I love the female forward cast, and Kate Erblund of Vulture says “the sugar rush that accompanies Gunpowder Milkshake is more than sweet enough to prove its place in a fast-growing sub-genre, with a cherry on top.” It’s on my list. Netflix also offers My Orthodox Life, the 2021 docuseries. This unscripted show follows the life of Julia Haart, a successful designer and now co-head of The Elite Group(a modelling agency), who only 9 years ago left an ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jewish community in upstate New York that left her miserable and contemplating suicide. She also feared the group would make her daughter Miriam conform to the misogynistic rules of female submission, she continues to battle the influence of Jewish fundamentalism over her children, and her family. They also deal with the issue of shunning by their community, the one reason so few fundamentalists leave. It’s fascinating stuff, with an intimate view of the harsh pressure of conformity inflicted by fundamentalist groups, not just Jewish ones. There are 9 episodes to enjoy now, and though the series gets only a 5.6/10 on IMDb, it’s early and Ready Steady Cut writes “It has interesting individuals who explore the aftermath of leaving a super fundamentalist Orthodox Jewish community.... [and] will easily become a binge-worthy watch!” I’m definitely tuning in. Netflix has also added The Guide to the Perfect Family, a Québécois comedy drama movie .This follows an upper class family in Quebec, with Martin(Louis Morissette) trying to raise successful and high-achieving children, much to the dismay of those children, especially his child by his first marriage, Rose, played by Emilie Bierre, who struggles with mental health issues as a result of his pressure. Marie Soleil(Catherine Chabot) is his second wife, and their son Mathis(Xavier Lebel) also has problems. Isabelle Guérard, Stéphane Breton, Gilles Renaud, Alexandre Goyette and Jean-Carl Boucher also star, and Ricardo Trogi(1981) directs. And this film gets a 6.3/10 on IMDb. Ready Steady Cut calls it “a compelling dramedy that perfectly captures the struggle and pressures of parenting in the modern-day: great cast, engaging story, clear message.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Netflix has added Naomi Osaka, a 2021 limited series about the incredible person behind all the tennis news lately. This amazing 3-part series gives us an inside look at Naomi Osaka, a complex person who questions all the attention she has received, and constantly pressuring herself to do better. A high achiever in her early teens, yet she says “so many people told her dad she would never be anything,” the sacrifices she has made for her success become clear. Yet she has taken part in George Floyd protests, and her involvement in political and social issues is intense, as well. Garrett Bradley, director of Time, directs us here, giving us an intimate and nuanced look at that highly intelligent and fascinating person that is Naomi Osaka. And this show gets an stunning 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Roxana Hadadi of RogerEbert.com writes “an informative, rewarding portrait that resists hagiography in earnestly presenting a young woman in progress.” I’m definitely tuning in.
Amazon doesn’t have any big titles added this week, but they have added Season 2 of The Legend of El Cid, the Spanish Amazon Original historical dramam. Jaime Lorente(Money Heist!) stars as the legendary El Cid, born as Ruy, the son to low-ranking nobleman wronged by the Ferdinand, Count of Castile(José Luis García Pérez), who goes on to marry Queen Sancha (Elia Galera). Ruy goes into the service of Sancho(Francisco Ortiz), the future King of León, but may be forced to fight for Ferdinand when a plot to overthrow him develops. Carlos Bardem, Lucía Guerrero, Alicia Sanz, Lucía Díez, Nicolás Illoro and Ginés García Millán also star, and there are 10 episodes(from both seasons) available to binge on now. And the series gets a 6.4/10 on IMDb. Daniel Hart of Ready Steady Cut says “with a satisfactory script, revolving characters, and a sense of wondrous heroic history, audiences can rest assured that El Cid is entertaining. However, our recommendation would be to opt for subtitles.” I will watch, definitely with subtitles. Amazon has also added Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day, the 2008 romantic comedy. Here, the inimitable Frances McDormand stars as Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle-aged, straitlaced vicar’s daughter and governess recently fired from her fourth job, who desperately steals an assignment intended for a colleague, and goes to work as a social secretary for the flamboyant American singer-actress Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams). She becomes swept up into the tempestuous life of the actress, who is juggling three lovers, and soon finds herself with romantic interests of her own. Lee Pace, Tom Payne, Mark Strong, Shirley Henderson and Ciarán Hinds also star, and Bharat Nalluri(Life on Mars) directed. And this movie gets a 7.1/10 on IMDb, and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh wrote “McDormand brings a Chaplinesque pathos to this snappy period comedy. Fabulous frocks, tasty men, female bonding, art deco apartments to die for; it’s like Sex And The City set in 1930s London. I could have happily watched it for hours…” I’m tuning in. And, finally, Amazon has made Season 1 of Professor T, the 2017 Belgian crime drama, available. Koen De Bouw stars as the eccentric Professor T,, i.e. Jasper Teerlinck, professor of criminology at Antwerp University, who meetings with Annalies Donckers(Ella Leyers), a former student and now an inspector of the Federal Judicial Police, lead to his solving inscrutable crimes in the city. Leen Roels, Bart Hollanders, Steve Geerts, Herwig Ilegems, Tanja Oostvogels and Goele Derick also star, and there are 13 episodes now available for viewing. But make haste, because they all disappear on August 1, only to be seen on PBS Masterpiece. But don’t miss it, because it won Best Drama at the 2017 Nacht van de Vlaamse Televisie Sterren, and gets an astounding 8/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely watching.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!