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 adds this week, so let’s get started!
Hulu has only one huge add this week, with The Killing of Two Lovers, a 2020 drama. Clayne Crawford and Sepideh Moafi play David and Nikki, a couple who agree to separate and see other people, over David‘s objections, in spare, rural Utah, with Nikki caring for their 4 children at home. But as Nikki, a successful lawyer, starts dating a colleague, David fumes, as his attempts to reunite are unsuccessful and his rebellious and resentful daughter, Jess (Avery Pizzuto), pushes him to do something, saying ‘you need to fight.’ The only question is, will he choose violence? Chris Coy, Arri Graham, Bruce Graham, Ezra Graham and Noah Kershisnik also star, while Robert Machoian directs. This film was nominated for numerous awards last year, including the NEXT Innovator Award at Sundance, and won the Jury Prize at the 2020 Atlanta Film Festival. And it gets an impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Simran Hans of the Observer(UK) calling it “[a] lean, stylish and frequently heartbreaking drama..” I’m watching. Hulu has also added High Ground, a 2020 Australian historical drama. Here, Simon Baker plays Travis, an ex-sniper in 1919 who saved the live of young indigenous boy from a racist mob ten years before, and now, incredibly, wants the help of the grown man, Gutjuk, played by Jacob Junior Nayinggul, in hunting down his uncle, an activist and radical fighting for the indigenous of Australia. So Travis trains Gutjuk in marksmanship and other survival skills, but things may not turn out as he plans. Sean Mununggurr, Witiyana Marika, Esmerelda Marimowa, Guruwuk Mununggurr, Sean Mununggurr and Caren Pistorius also star, and Stephen Maxwell Johnson directed. High Ground was nominated for several awards in 2020, including Best Feature at the Adelaide Film Festival, and went on to win the Young Cinema Award – Special Mention at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. And it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. Wenlei Ma of News.com.au wrote “Australian storytelling that packs a punch and pushes you to think deeply about the history of this country, High Ground captures the raw beauty of Arnhem Land as it does the brutality of colonialism.” I’m definitely tuning in. Hulu also offers AWOL, a 2016 romantic drama. Lola Kirke plays Joey, here, a recent high school grad who sees the army as a way of paying for college, and finally getting out of Pennsylvania coal country until she falls for Rayna (Breeda Wool). And Joey considers staying in town for Rayna, even after she finds she’s married, with children. Dale Soules, Bill Sage, Britne Oldford and Ted Welch also star, and Deb Shoval directed. This movie was nominated for multiple awards in 2016, including the Jury Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and won 3, including the Jury Prize at the LesGaiCineMad, Madrid International LGBT Film Festival. And it gets a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Jason Bailey of Flavorwire calling it “an authentic and emotional film, with first-rate turns by Wool and especially Kirk.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Hulu has added La La Land, the 2016 award-winning musical. Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian, a jazz pianist in L.A., who meets barista and struggling actress Mia, played wonderfully by Emma Stone, in a traffic jam and they fall in love, with plenty of singing and dancing involved. But love brings complications, too, of course, as do their careers, and the question is, will they survive together, or be torn apart. John Legend(!), Rosemarie DeWitt(!), J.K. Simmons(!), Finn Whitlock and Meagen Fay also star, and Damien Chazelle directed. And this was a huge award winner in 2016, winning a total of 242(according to IMDb), and won 9 Academy Awards, including Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture. And it gets a incredible 8/10 on IMDb, and a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ian Freer of Empire magazine called it “audacious, retro, funny and heartfelt, La La Land is the latest great musical for people who don’t like musicals – and will slap a mile-wide smile across the most miserable of faces.” I’m watching.
Netflix doesn’t have any blockbuster titles added this week, but it does have some exciting indie gems like On The Verge, a new series created by Julie Delpy(!). This show considers the quandary faced by women over(or near) 40, who still want a career and family, in a society consumed with beauty and youth. Delpy plays Justine, chef at a tony French restaurant, with a tween boy and an unemployed husband(Mathieu Demy), Elizabeth Shue(!) plays Ann, a clothing designer, Sarah Jones, plays Yaz, a Persian-African-American stay-at-home mom trying to reenter the workforce, and French actress Alexia Landeau plays Ell, the mother of three. And together the foursome tries to survive and succeed in present day L.A., while raising kids, and still aspiring to great things. Troy Garity,Kai To, Timm Sharp, Sutton Waldman, Giovanni Ribisi, Daphne Albert and Jayden Haynes-Starr also star, and there are 12 episodes available to devour now. And this series gets a 5.9/10 on IMDb, but that score’s been going up And Tom Long of The Detroit News says “Delpy and Landeau spin their stories with a mix of humanity and absurdity is, again, both impressive and righteously French. C’est bon.” I’m definitely watching. Netflix also offers Prey, a 2021 German thriller. here, 5 young men set off for hiking adventure/bachelor party for Roman (David Kross), and end up evading an unknown shooter, seemingly bent on taking their lives. With no coverage on their cellphones, they rush to an old store to get help, but of course, that is not the end of their troubles,. Hanno Koffler, Klaus Steinbacher, Livia Matthes, Yung Ngo, Maria Ehrich, Nellie Thalbach and Robert Finster also star, with Thomas Sieben directing. And yes, this is basically a retake of Deliverance, without the creepy inbred characters. And it gets a mere 4.4/10 on IMDb. Kinofans writes “the film ripples a little, is good to watch, but has little substance.” But the pickings are a bit slim on Netflix this week, so if you need thrills, this may be a good choice. I’d rather watch Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali, a 2021 documentary from director Marcus A. Clarke. Here, Clarke examines the 3 year friendship between the two icons of American history, with Malcolm X serving as a guide and teacher to Ali, after he became World champion in boxing, but was still subject to segregation and it humiliations in the U. S. There are interviews with family members, like Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X‘s daughter, Ali’s brother Rahman Ali and Ali’s daughters Maryum and Hana Ali, and family photos of visits between the two great men. But, heartbreakingly, this also tells about their breakup, precipitated by Malcolm X’s break with the Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, which Muhammed Ali condemned for years, even after the assassination of Malcolm X. We also get never-before-seen footage of the pair, and historical perspective from experts like Cornel West(!) and Al Sharpton. This film is an outgrowth of the 2016 book Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, by Professor Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith. And the film gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Lisa Kennedy of Variety calls it “thought-provoking, resonant, often touching.” I’m watching. Also new on Netflix is Kate, a 2021 action thriller. Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars in the title role, as an assassin in Tokyo, who was secretly poisoned and has only 24 hours to exact her revenge against Kijima(Jun Kunimura), the yakusa boss whom she assumes is responsible for her impending death. Woody Harrelson stars as her adoptive father/boss, and Miku Patricia Martineau, Tadanobu Asano, Michiel Huisman, Elysia Rotaru and Miyavi also star, and Cedric Nicolas-Troyan directs. But if you think you’ve been there, and seen that, with Gunpowder Milkshake, The Protégé and Jolt already on Netflix, I agree. I won’t be watching. And it gets only a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Wenlei Ma of News.com.au writes “Its tired story and flat characterisations mean you’re just counting minutes until the next shoot-out or sword fight.” Don’t bother. And, finally, Netflix has added Los Carcamales, a 2021 Chilean comedy/drama series. Here, a group of senior men(all over 70) turn criminal after the death of a dear friend Estelita(Gloria Münchmeyer) who couldn’t afford her prescriptions, and decide to rob pharmacies, and supply people with the medicine they need and deserve. Alejandro Goic, Patricio Contreras, Sergio Hernández, Mariana Loyola and Daniel Alcaíno also star, and there are 10 episodes available for streaming now. And it gets 7/10 stars on UMIDB, and AARP put it on their list of The 24 Best Things Coming to Netflix in September. And provides a much needed laugh. I’m tuning in.
The big add on Amazon this week is The Voyeurs, a 2021 in-house thriller. Here, a young couple, Pippa(Sydney Sweeney of Euphoria and a Handmaid’s Tale) and Thomas(Justice Smith from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), begin watching their neighbors, Seb(Ben Hardy) and Julie(Natasha Liu Bordezzo) who are rather indiscreet before glaringly open windows. But, of course, they don’t stop when they should, and Pippa especially becomes obsessed with Seb, much to Thomas‘ dismay, and may endanger her own life in so doing. Katherine King, Cait Alexander, Caitlyn Sponheimer and Daniel Grogan also star, and Michael Mohan directs. And it gets a mere 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times writing a “salacious and wildly implausible story that holds our interest for a while before flying off the cliff and into an abyss of creepy, ludicrous and ultimately ridiculous twists and turns.” I’d rather watch LuLaRich, the 2021 docuseries. This investigates the catastrophe that is LuLaRoe, the online fashion store, where women are encouraged to buy in and sell the companies soft, colorful leggings, and potentially become millionaires. Run by the couple Deanne Brady and Mark Stidham, they preach about the powers of feminism and how women can become their own masters with their company, but it becomes obvious theirs is just another Ponzi scheme, with many members going broke and in debt after investing with them. The company, run by the Stidhams, members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, who actually spout the Book of Mormon is some of their meetings, is clearly more interested intaking advantage of women in financial difficulty, not empowering them. Directors Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby(Fyre Fraud) bring us the fascinating 4 episodes of this series with plenty of juicy information that makes this almost addictive viewing. And the show gets an amazing 8.5/10 on IMDb. Aaron Barnhart of Primetimer says “directors Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason have embedded some equally compelling stories about why people get swept up by MLM fever and wind up bankrupting not only themselves but friends and family that they enthusiastically pull into the scheme with them.” I’m tuning in. And, finally, Amazon has made season 1 of Republic of Doyle from Acorn tv available. This 2011 Canadian mystery series features Jake Doyle(Allan Hawco) and his father Malachy(Sean McGinley) who, along with Rose Doyle(Lynda Boyd), Malachy‘s ex-wife, run a private investigation agency in St. John’s, Newfoundland. and There they probe into all kinds of mysteries, from arson to murder, while Jake tries to stay out of trouble with others, including his family. Krystin Pellerin, Rachel Wilson, Mark O’Brien, Marthe Bernard and Steve O’Connell also star, and there are 12 episodes to binge on now before October 1, when they disappear back to Acorn tv, to be seen only for a premium price of $5.99. And there’s plenty of reason to watch, since this show is a big audience favorite in Canada, even winning the Canadian Screen Award in 2013. And it gets an incredible 7.3/10 on IMDb. I love a mystery. I’m definitely watching.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!