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 exciting new adds this week, so let’s get started!
Hulu has only two interesting adds this week, with Mayday, a 2021 fantasy drama. This tells the story of Ana, played by Grace Van Patten, a young woman working at a 1950’s seaside resort as a server and suffering abuse at the hands of men, when she suddenly finds herself in an alternate world, on a quiet, green, secluded island, populated only by women. But these women and girls are modern-day sirens, radioing ships manned by males, and misleading them into lethal situations. It would be worthwhile mentioning that this alternate world is populated by the same people, with different names, so the men that once abused these women are now on the receiving end of violence themselves. Ana befriends Marsha(Mia Goth) a reckless and joyful person, who teaches her to shoot, but when Ana wants to return to her old, oppressed world, Marsha is incensed. Juliette Lewis(!) stars as June, the leader of the island rebels, and Soko, Havana Rose Liu, Frano Mašković, Théodore Pellerin and Francesco Piacentini-Smith also star, while Karen Cinorre directs, along with writing the script. And it gets only a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, but Tara McNamara of Common Sense Media wrote “some men may hate this artistic, visionary, and brilliantly original feminine fantasy — so be sure to read critical reviews with that in mind.” I agree. I’m watching this thrillingly original movie. Hulu has also added Stop and Go, the 2021 comedy. Whitney Call plays Jamie and Mallory Everton plays Blake, two sisters who make a frantic road-trip to save their grandmother(Anne Sward) during the Covid lockdown, as Nana’s nursing home that has the virus in residence. So they set off on a totally new kind of road trip, determined to stop as little as possible, and avoiding public places, especially bathrooms. Stephen Meek, Julia Jolley, Jessica Drolet, Baylee Thornock and Noah Kershisnik also star, and Meek and Everton actually wrote the script, and codirected, too. And it’s a offbeat, funny comedy, different from anything you’ve seen before, and quite appropriate for our past Covid experience. It won some awards last year, too, at the Film Club’s The Lost Weekend, with Everton and Meek taking home Audience Favorite, Best Director, and Best Film there. And it gets a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Christy Lemire of FilmWeek calling it “a very fun little indie and a very different way into the COVID movie.” I’m tuning in. Hulu also has Falling for Figaro, a 2020 romcom. Danielle Macdonald stars, here, as Millie, a successful hedge fund manager in New York City, who gives up her career and boyfriend for the hopes of becoming a great opera singer. So she travels to the Scottish Highlands, to train with the renowned opera singer, Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop (Joanna Lumley). While there, she meets another of Geoffrey-Bishop’s students, Max(Hugh Skinner), and well, you know what happens next. Gary Lewis, Shazad Latif, Vicki Pepperdine, Rebecca Benson and Ian Hanmore also star, and Ben Lewin wrote the script and directed. And it gets a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 6.3/10 on IMDb. Roxana Hadadi of RogerEbert.com said “the performances are what make Falling for Figaro an entertaining distraction, even as the film plays out exactly as you would expect.” I agree, there’s nothing new here, but Lumley especially, is always wonderful. It’s on my list. And, finally, Hulu has I Remember You, a 2017 Icelandic mystery-horror film. This focuses on the disappearance of two boy, Benni, the son of Freyr, (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), a small town doctor who finds, after investigating the death of an old woman, that it all can be traced back to the disappearance of a bullied boy, Bernódus, decades ago. Many of Bernódus‘ abusers have ended up dead, and ghostly occurrences continue near the town cemetery. Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir, Anna Gunndís Guðmundsdóttir, Thor Kristjansson and Elma Stefania Agustsdottir also star, and Óskar Thór Axelsson(Black’s Game) directed. And this is based on the novel of the same name by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. And this movie gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Frank Scheck of the Hollywood Reporter writing “compellingly creepy, I Remember You should well please the many fans of the genre.” But, as you might have guessed, it’s way too scary for me.
Netflix has many interesting adds this week, but few as good as All of Us Are Dead, the 2022 Korean horror series. This tells of a high school experiment gone wrong, and when one of the students is bitten, and runs amok, the zombie virus spreads quickly, and best friends On-jo(Park Ji-hu) and Cheong-san (Yoon Chan-young) are lucky to escape the school with their lives. But as the ravenous zombies spread with frightening rapidity throughout the area, the students try to figure out how to stop it in it’s tracks. Kim Byung-chul plays their science teacher Lee Byeong-chan, who started the whole mess, and Cho Yi-Hyun, Lomon, Victoria Grace and Lee You-Saem also star, and there are 12 episodes available to devour now. And this series gets a stunning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.7/10 on IMDb. Caroline Framke of Variety says “like Squid Game before it, All of Us Are Dead makes the most out of its nightmarish central location to otherworldly, dizzying effect.” And it’s funny, too. But maybe a bit gory for me. Luckily, Netflix also offers The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, a 2022 comedy series starring Kristin Bell. In a send-up of the pot-boilers like Netflix‘ own Woman in the Window, Bell plays Anna, a woman drowning the grief at the loss of her child in wine and pills, whose attention is caught by the arrival of a new(and handsome) neighbor(Tom Riley). But when she thinks she witnesses the murder at his house(via binoculars), she can’t convince anyone that she wasn’t drunk. Mary Holland, Shelley Hennig, Michael Ealy, Christina Anthony and Cameron Britton also star, and there are 8 episodes available to enjoy now. This series was produced by Bell and Will Ferrell and boasts creators like Jessica Elbaum(Booksmart). But the writing doesn’t really pan out, so it gets only a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes. But I agree with Brian Lowry of CNN, who wrote “thanks to Bell, The Woman in the House (etc., etc.) is a bit more enjoyable than just sipping wine and idly surveilling one’s neighbors. Just not enough to generate much enthusiasm about the prospect of boarding this train again.” It’s on my list. Netflix has also added Feria: The Darkest Light, a 2022 Spanish fantasy thriller series. Here, teenage sisters, Eva and Sofía, played by Ana Tomeno and Carla Campra, respectively, two teens living in 1995 Andalusia, who find their missing parents, and their cult, the Cult of Light, are being blamed for the mass suicides that have taken place. As the teens search for their mother, and answers, their lives are threatened, and the Cult of Light looms menacingly for the town of Feria. Isak Ferriz, Marta Nieto, Ernest Villegas, Salva Reina and Sauce Ena also star, and there are 8 episodes available for binging now. And this series gets a 6.4/10 on IMDb, and Karina “ScreamQueen” Adelgaard of Heaven Of Horror writes its a “genre-bender of a series definitely has a lot going for it. We’re talking horror, thriller, crime, fantasy, drama, and a whole lot of mystery.” But it is certainly horror, so forewarned. Also new and notable on Netflix is Chosen, a 2022 Belgian sci-fi drama series. This takes place in Middelbo, Denmark, quiet and provincial , until a meteor hit 17 years ago, making it famous. Malaika Berenth Mosendane plays Emma, a science enthusiast, who starts investigating when she finds other teens that say that it was not a meteor that hit, but a spaceship, and that the townspeople are changing, being supplanted by aliens. Emma is skeptical, but as the kids investigate, Emma and the others realize they are being observed by the shadowy individuals working for a cryptic company called Astraeus. Andrea Heick Gadeberg, Albert Rudbeck Lindthardt, Andreas Dittmer, Henrik Prip and Mohamed Djeziri also star, and there are 6 episodes available to gorge on now. And, though it gets a misleadingly low 3.6/10 on IMDb, this show is a winner. Aayush Sharma of Meaww says its “a knockout …..[that’s] suspenseful, visually stunning and has a great story to tell.” I’m definitely tuning in. And, finally, Netflix has added The Falls the award-winning 2021 Taiwanese drama. Lo Pin-wen, played by Alyssa Chia and daughter Xiao Jing, played by Gingle Wang, who are forced to cohabit during the Covid lockdown, and who find severe cracks forming in the basis of their relationship. Lo becomes fearful and angry in the face of a premonition, and the stress of her high level job. Lee-zen Lee, Yi-wen Chen, Hsin-yao Huang and Waa Wei also star, and this film was written and directed by Mong-Hong Chung(A Sun). And it premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, and has already won Best Foreign-Language Film at the 2021 New Mexico Film Critics awards, and is slated as Taiwan‘s entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the this year’s 94th Academy Awards. And it gets an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.2/10 on IMDb. Carlos Aguilar of the L. A. Times writes “by the nature of streaming algorithms and content dumps, The Falls might go criminally under the radar but will profoundly surprise those who cross its uncanny sights,” and I agree. So I’m watching.
Amazon has only one add this week, with Needle in a Timestack, a 2022 sci-fi romance. Cynthia Erivo(!) and Leslie Odom Jr.(!) star as the perfect couple, Janine and Nick, living in a futuristic world, where time travel is a given. But when their mutual friend, and Janine’s ex-husband, Tommy(Orlando Bloom) talks of his great(and expensive) trips through time, they never dream he will flaunt the rules- which he does- and he disrupts the past, so that his marriage to Janine never breaks up. After which, Nick finds himself married to his old college girlfriend, Alex (Frieda Pinto). But when Nick travels to the past to restore his marriage to Janine, he finds himself alone. Jadyn Wong, Ulka Simone Mohanty, Elizabeth Weinstein, Gourav Shah and Kaylah Zander also star, while John Ridley directs. But despite it’s impressive pedigree, this is one confusing movie, with enough time disruption to make your head reel. And so, it gets only a 4.5/10 on IMDb. Bilge Ebiri of Spirituality & Health its a “is a convoluted, unconvincing romantic sci-fi drama, but it does raise some fascinating questions.” But for 2 days, Amazon also offers Season 1 of The Accidental Wolf, a 2020 mystery series from Topic. Kelli O’Hara stars here, as Katie, a bored and rich Mahattanite who suddenly gets a mysterious call from a man named Zuhair, asking for help for his wife Tala. Gunshots ring out, and she’s left with a mystery after the call, which her husband says it a hoax. But when the police raid the apartment, Katie begins to look for the unknown woman. Judith Ivey(!), Raul Castillo, Denis O’Hare, Amy Landecker, Mike Doyle, Sarah Steele and Laurie Metcalfe(!) also star, and there are 4 episodes to binge before February 1(Tuesday), before it disappears back into the Topic channel ether, only to be seen for $4.99 a month(after a 7-day free trial!). And it gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb, with Anne Brodie of What She Said writing its a” superior conspiracy thriller for the adventurous.” And female driven! I’m definitely tuning in. And, finally, Amazon has Season 1 of Life with Elizabeth, the 1954 sitcom starring Betty White! This is White‘s first starring role on a TV sitcom, playing Elizabeth, newly married to Alvin(Del Moore) with skit, or as they called them “incidents,” depicting different bumps in the road for the couple or worse, with Alvin declaring he’s leaving Elizabeth, and Elizabeth devilishly enjoying every minute. Dick Garton, Frank De Vol, Loie Bridge, Ray Erlenborn and Charlotte Lawrence also star, and there are 15 episodes available to enjoy now. And a lot of these sketches are based on one featured in White’s previous radio talk show Hollywood on Television. And Life With Elizabeth gets an incredible 7.4/10 on IMDb, with White winning her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her work here. And it’s wonderful to see Betty White again, in her element and just starting her epic television career. I’m definitely watching. Twice.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!