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 some good, though less obvious adds, this week, like Riders of Justice, the 2020 thriller starring Mads Mikkelson. Mikkelson stars, here, as Markus, a recently deployed military man who is called to return to Denmark, after his wife’s death in a train wreck, to care for his teen daughter, Mathilde(Andrea Heick Gadeberg). But when he talks to Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and his sidekicks Lennart (Lars Brygmann), and Emmenthaler (Nicolas Bro), they convince him it was no accident, but a targeted hit by a bike gang called Rider of Justice. So they go after those they think are responsible, on a blood soaked rampage. But things may not be what they seem. Gustav Lindh, Roland Møller, Anne Birgitte LInd Feigenberg, Morten Suurballe, Jacob Lohmann and Gustazv Dyekjær Giese also star, and Anders Thomas Jensen(Held for Ransom) directed. This film won numerous awards in 2021, winning 4 at the Danish Film Awards (Robert) including Best Actress for Andrea Heick Gadeberg, and Best Supporting Actor for Lars Brygmann, and a Bodil Award for Lars Brygmann, too. And it gets an incredible 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.6/10 on IMDb. Philip De Semlyen of Time Out wrote “what separates the ensuing mayhem from a thousand generic thrillers out there is an impish streak and writing that smartly juggles big ideas, mad gun battles and guilty laughs,” and Kevin Maher of the Times(UK) said it “is, thankfully, less macho than that sounds.” So I’m watching. Hulu also offers Stalker, a 2020 mystery thriller. Vincent Van Horn stars as Andy Escobedo, a young man who moves to Austin for a fresh start after a breakup, and even meets an interesting girl, Sam(Christine Ko). But he also meets Roger (Michael Lee Joplin), a ride share driver who wants to become best friends after driving the pair home one night. Dusty Sorg, Carla Valentine and Scott Subiono also star, and Tyler Savage directed. And this gets a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Anton Bitel of Sight and Sound writing “a clever, deeply subversive take on gendered norms, where the blinders are ultimately on the viewer.” But, beware, this movie isn’t for the faint of heart. So I won’t be watching. L:uckily, Hulu has also added John Bronco Rides Again, the 2021 mockumentary short. when Ford Motor Company archivist Daniel Stacks(Tim Baltz) discovers Ford‘s great pitchman John Bronco hasn’t received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he gets Bronco, played by the wonderful Walter Goggins(The Righteous Gemstones , The Unicorn), out of hiding to lobby for his deserved celebrity. And that may be a bit difficult, given he can’t remember his (sparse) lines. Donovan Piggott, Bo Derek, Tim Meadows, Michael Chiklis(!) and Brian Austin Green also star, and Jonathan Krisel(Portlandia!) directs. And this is a sequel to last year’s John Bronco, also on Hulu. And this gets a 7.3/10(!) on IMDb. Julie Hinds of the Detroit Free Press calls it a “laugh-out-loud, largely improvised 25-minute short film that mines the world of cheesy vintage marketing for comedy gold.” It’s definitely on my list. And, finally, Hulu has added On Chesil Beach, the 2018 British drama. Saoirse Ronan(!) and Billy Howle star as Florence and Edward, newlyweds who, in 1962, go to Chesil Beach for their honeymoon, nervous and full of apprehension with little sexual experience, and things don’t go as planned. Added to that the fact that Florence’s parents, played by Emily Watson(!) and Samuel West don’t approve of the match, so the fate of the marriage is anything but sure. Anne Marie Duff, Bebe Cave, Adrian Scarborough, Jonjo O’Neill and Philip Labey also star, and Dominic Cooke(The Courier) directed. And this is based on Ian McEwan‘s bestseller novella of 2007, with McEwan even acting as screenwriter. And On Chesil Beach gets only a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes(perhaps because of the film’s ending), but the cast alone makes it worth watching. And Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian called it a “sensitive translation of Ian McEwan’s elegy to inhibited England.” I’m tuning in.
Netflix has some exciting adds too, this week, like The Father Who Moves Mountains, a 2021 Romanian drama. Adrian Titieni(Child’s Pose, Graduation) stars as Mircea Jianu, here, a retired Intelligence officer who finds that his son from a previous marriage, Cosmin(Vlad Ionut Popescu), and his girlfriend have gone missing in the daunting Bucegi mountains in winter, and so goes off to help find them. And when little happens in a few days, Mircea puts together his own team, and brings in (illegal) government help. So much help, that the viewer begins to wonder about Mircea‘s real motivations. Judith State plays his second, very young wife, Virgil Aioanei, his aide Laurentiu, Elena Purea, Mircea‘s first wife and Valeriu Andriuta, Virgil Aioanei, Radu Botar also star, while Daniel Sandu directs(and wrote the screenplay, to boot). This film was nominated for Best Film at the Shanghai International Film Festival, and gets a 6.3/10 on IMDb. Johnny Loftus of The Decider says it “skillfully balances the turmoil at work inside a man inspired by love and guilt against the threatening majesty of a mountain that understands nothing as infinitesimal as one human life.” I’m definitely watching. But Netflix also offers Squid Game, a 2021 South Korean thriller series. Here, hundreds of adult players, all desperately in need of money, take part in unexpectedly lethal children’s games, all the while living in a sparse dormitory, answering to people with masked faces, hoping to win the millions of dollars of prize money reserved for the one who survives. Lee Jung-jae plays Seong Gi-hun, a chauffeur with a gambling addiction who needs to support his daughter, Park Hae-soo plays Cho Sang-woo, hunted by the police for embezzlement from his rich clients, Jung Ho-yeon, a North Korean defector hoping to pay to bring her parents to safety in South Korea, and Oh Young-soo stars as Oh Il-nam, an older man with a brain tumor, addicted to the games themselves. Heo Sung-tae, Kim Joo-ryoung, Tripati Anupam and Kim Young-ok also star, and there are 9 episodes available for binging now. And it gets an incredible 8.2/10 on IMDb. Jonathon Wilson of ReadySteadyCut calls it “aside from being stretched just a touch too thin in spots, I’d say [Squid Game] deserves all the praise it’s going to get.” I’m tuning in. Also new and notable on Netflix is Count Me In, the 2021 rock documentary. Unlike most rockumentaries those, this one concentrates on the immense( and often unrecognized) contribution of drummers, like the late great Charlie Watts, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon and Ginger Baker. And there are the less well known, but equally talented like Max Roach, John Bonham of Pink Floyd and Cindy Blackman Santana of Lenny Kravitz. There are even more younger women featured like Emily Dolan Davies, Samantha Maloney and Jess Bowen, who also speak about the sexism they have faced for being women in a usually male dominated field. But best of all is that this a tribute paid to drummers by famous drummers themselves, directed by the venerable music supervisor Mark Lo. And did I mention there’s lots of great music. And this movie gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb, and Graeme Tuckett of stuff.co.nz wrote “[it] might not be enough for the music scholars, but as a breezy, likeable portrait of a few of the people who have “the best job in the world”, it’ll do.” And it’s lovely to see drumming get some respect. I’m watching. Also new on Netflix is Nightbooks, a family horror movie. Here, Winslow Fegley stars as Alex, a kid who gives up on his horror writing when labelled weird by others, until he’s trapped by an evil witch, Natacha(Krysten Ritter), in her NYC apartment and forced to tell a scary story every night to survive. There, he meets and befriends Yasmin (Lidya Jewett), another child prisoner of Natacha‘s, and together, they devise their escape plans. Jess Brown, Mathieu Bourassa, MIley Haik and Luxton Handspiker also star, and David Yarovesky(Brightburn) directs. And this is based on a children’s book by J.A. White. And this flick gets an impressive 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. But beware, this is has some real scares in it, for being children’s fare, as might be expected with Sam Raimi(!) being a producer here. Natalia Winkelman of the New York Times writes “Yarovesky has a knack for tricks of light – shadows, neon night vision and motion cast in silhouette – and the movie is at its most deliciously chilling when it favors visual flair over jump scares.” Too scary for me. And finally, Netflix has added The Stronghold, a 2021 French thriller. Here, three beaten down cops, Greg (Gilles Lellouche), Antoine(François Civil) and Yass(Karim Leklou) freshly released from prison, try finally to bring down the drug network in beleaguered northern Marseilles. All their informant, Amel (Kenza Fortas), asks in return is 5 kg of weed. Adèle Exarchopoulos, Cyril Lecomte, Michaël Abiteboul and Idir Azougli also star, with Cédric Jimenez(The Connection) directing. This premiered in the Out of Competition section at Cannes 2021, and based (mostly) on a true incident in 2012. And though it gets a 7.2/10(!) on IMDb, it’s not quite my cup of tea, though, and ReadySteadyCut says “is by no means going to electrify your screens, but for those that remember the actual case in 2012, it could be a film worth investigating in its near 2-hour runtime.” You decide.
The biggest add on Amazon this week is Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, a 2021 musical comedy/drama movie. Max Harwood plays Jamie, a high school teen who secretly dreams of being a drag queen, telling only his bestie Pritti(Lauren Patel) and his loving Mom(Sarah Lancashire), but then finding hope in the form of a mentor, drag legend Miss Loco Chanelle (Richard E. Grant). But, his father Wayne(Ralph Ineson) is not happy with Jamie’s ideas, and some bigoted students offer hostility, too .Shobna Gulati, Adeel Akhtar, Samuel Bottomley and Sharon Horgan also star, while Jonathan Butterell directs. And this charming film gets a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and Cody Corrall of the Chicago Reader calls it “a delight to watch from start to finish, especially when it champions queer joy, community, and those who paved the way.” I’m definitely tuning in. But Amazon also offers The Mad Women’s Ball, a 2021 French drama directed by Mélanie Laurent(!). Based on the novel by Victoria Mas, this tells the story of Eugénie, played by Lou de Laâge, a rebellious young woman who see ghosts, and so, as it was unseemly for a member of a privileged family in 19th century France, her father ,François Cléry(Cédric Kahn) and brother Théo (Benjamin Voisin) commit her to the infamous La Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital. There, she is subjected to the frightening and inhumane treatments by Jean-Martin Charcot(Grégoire Bonnet), the father of modern neurology(!),for that catch-all malady of Victorian era women, “hysteria.” And so dreams of escape and the once a year ball held there. Laurent plays the head nurse Geneviève, and Lomane de Dietrich, César Domboy, Emmanuelle Bercot and Martine Chevallier also star, and this premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. And it gets an amazing 7/10 on IMDb. Sheila O’Malley of RogerEbert.com says its “a compelling and vivid adaptation of Victoria Mas‘ novel.” I’m watching. And, finally, Amazon has a wonderfully inexpensive offer for Showtime this week, with only 99c a month for two months, then reverting to their regular $10.99 monthly fee. So you can get shows like Billions, The Chi, The L Word: Generation Q, Work in Progress and American Rust, along with movies like 1917, First Cow, Dark Waters, Extra Ordinary and even classics like Rear Window. But beware, it reverts to $10.99 after 2 months. But think of all you can binge in those 60 days! And you can sign up here.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!