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 one incredible add this week with Titane, the award-winning 2021 horror movie. In this film that was a hit at Cannes last year, Agathe Rousselle plays Alexia, a woman badly scarred by a car wreck she survived as a child, with a titanium plate in her skull as a souvenir, who works as a stripper at car shows, in between her murderous rampage across France. She’s addicted to cars, even becoming impregnated by one, and addicted to violence as well. But Alexia isn’t a simple villain here, as she has been marked by a life of violence, where she only tries to survive. Indeed, there are no simple characters in this film, but complex people, who are never what they seem. Adèle Guigue plays young Alexia, and Vincent Lindon, Garance Marillier, Laïs Salameh and Mara Cisse also star, and Julia Ducournau(Raw!) directed. This has been a huge hit on the awards circuits last year, winning the prestigious Palme d’Or, as well as numerous Best Actress awards for Rousselle. And it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes with Tara Brady of the Irish Times saying “nothing is safe and nothing is sacred in Julia Ducournau’s delirious new world.” But this is super-violent fare, not without cause, but be prepared. Hulu has also added No Exit, a 2022 thriller. Here, Havana Rose Liu(Mayday) stars as Darby, a young woman stranded on the way to her sick mother, by a blizzard at a rest area, who spots what a girl locked in the back of a truck, and becomes determined to save her. But the rest area is populated by 4 other people waiting out the storm, one of them, the girl’s kidnapper. Dennis Haysbert(!), Dale Dickey, David Rysdahl and Danny Ramirez star as her rest stop companions, and Mila Harris stars as the endangered girl. And Damien Power directs. But there are few thrills here, which may be why No Exit gets a mere 59% on Rotten Tomatoes. calls it. But Hulu also has The Last Rite, a 2022 British horror flick. This focuses on Lucy, played by Bethan Waller, a med student who suffers from sleep paralysis, who moves in with her boyfriend Ben (Johnny Felming), but finds his house has a troubling presence. As the weird happenings seem to turn from the house, toward her as a target, she seeks help from a local priest(of course), Father Roberts (Kit Smith).Ian Macnaughton, Tara Hoyos-Martinez, Rosalind Stockwell and Deborah Blake also star, and Leroy Kincaide directs. But this is a super-creepy, and sometimes gross, movie, so even though it gets a stupendous 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. But Kat Hughes of THN wrote “the importance of characters and world building shines bright in Leroy Kincaide’s assured debut feature. Incredibly well constructed, The Last Rite has all the right ingredients for a great possession tale.” So you decide. And , finally, Hulu has Abbott Elementary, ABC‘s hot new mockumentary series. Here, a film crew follows the staff of Abbott Elementary as they strive to teach at an underbudgeted school in South Philly, with the focus on enthusiastic rookie second grade teacher Janine Teagues, played by the show’s creator, Quinta Brunson. And a day’s filming not only consists of informing and teaching her 7 year-old students, but also attending to the ever-present disasters that occur in the aging school, like toilet repair, and a less motivated principal Ava Coleman(Janelle James).Lisa Ann Walter, Tyler James Williams, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Zack Fox also star, and there are 9 episodes available to devour now. And you’ll want to, as this show gets an amazing 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8/10 on IMDb. Esther Zuckerman of Thrillist says Brunson is “pulling off a premise that’s both brilliant and tricky… At the same time, it’s flat out very funny, mixing physical humor with ace writing.” So if you’ve missed it live on ABC, now is the time to catch up on this uplifting, yet very relevant comedy we could all use. I know I will.
Netflix has some intriguing, if less well-known, adds this week, like The Fame Game, a 2022 Hindi mystery series. This tells of the disappearance of Bollywood star Anamika Anand, played by Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit, who seemingly had the perfect life, with the perfect marriage only to disappear without a trace. But when police detective Shobha (Rajshri Deshpande), it becomes clear all was not as it seemed with Anand’s unhappy marriage, competition with other younger actresses plaguing her, and an old affair with movie star Manish (Manav Kaul). But will all this information lead them to find out what happened to the Anamika? Sanjay Kapoor, Lakshvir Saran, Muskkaan Jaaferi, Suhasini Mulay, Abhishek Khandekar and Shubhangi Latkar also star, and there are 8 episodes available for binging now. And this series gets an impressive 7.2/10 on IMDb, with Devarsi Ghosh of the Hindustani Times writing “as much as Dixit’s star power and charisma, aided by superb supporting performances, carries the show, what ultimately makes The Fame Game work is the writing. It left me wondering what will happen to Anamika, what turns will the story take.” And I love a mystery. I’m watching. But Netflix also offers Juvenile Justice, a 2022 Korean crime drama series. This focuses on Shim Eun-seok(Kim Hye-soo), a judge newly appointed to the juvenile court in Yeonhwa District. But Eun-seok, called Judge Max, “openly admits to hating juvenile criminals saying “” I detest young offenders,” so her new job brings her the challenge of treating the juveniles fairly and observing the law of the land, which has more lenient sentences for juveniles. She also meets her opposite in associate judge, Cha Tae-joo (Kim Mu-yeol), who has more compassion and empathy for the minors he see in his court. And Eun-seok seeks to investigate some of the cases in her court, something quite unethical. Lee Sung-min, Reyn Doi, Lee Jeong-eun, Park Jong-hwan and Park Ji-yeon also star, and there are 10 episodes available for binging now. And it gets an incredible 8.6/10 on IMDb. But I have trouble with this series, not loving the super vengeful positions of the main character, but also the hyper-violent, provocative crimes that might justify such harsh sentences. of Ready Steady Cut calls it “an interesting season of television here, just one that can’t quite live up to its full potential.” You decide. Also new on Netflix is Merlí. Sapere Aude, a 2019 Spanish drama series. This tells the story of freshmen entering the University of Barcelona, and focusing on Pol Rubio, played by Carlos Cuevas, who’s enrolled in the Philosophy program. There he meets other philosophy nerds, like Biel (Pere Vallribera) and Minerva (Azul Fernández) as well as the ethics professor who will become his mentor, María Bolaño(María Pujalte). Claudia Vega, Pablo Capuz, David Solans and Pere Vallribera also star, and there are 8 episodes available to enjoy now. This series has been nominated for sever Iris awards in 2020 & 2021, including Best Screenplay and Best Actress for María Pujalte, and this gets a remarkable 7.6/10 on IMDb. Oh, and be sure to turn on the subtitles and avoid the dubbing of the original Catalan spoken in this series. Netflix has also added the 2022 French thriller Restless. Franck Gastambide stars as Thomas Blin, a corrupt cop who goes into panic mode when he learns the Internal Affairs is investigating his unit. So he leaves his mother’s funeral preparations in a rush, speeding home to hide evidence of his bribery, when he hits a man with his car. So, naturally, he stuffs the body into his mom’s coffin, and things go downhill from there, when the corps turns out to have been a smuggler named Barcelo, who is being sought by narcotics captain Marelli (Simon Abkarian).Tracy Gotoas, Michael Abiteboul, Jemima West, Victoire Zemmer and Anaïs Ciriello also star, while Régis Blondeau directs. And though this gets only a 5.6/10 on IMDb, it’s a heck of a lot of fun. Remade from the 2014 S. Korean thriller A Hard Day, it retains much of the wit and comedy of the original. Johnny Loftus of The Decider says to “stream it” , adding its “rewarding enough in its cat-and-mouse game between a corrupt cop and his even more corrupt cop adversary to forgive its issues with pace and tone.” I’m watching. And, finally, Netflix offers Fishbowl Wives, a 2022 Japanese drama series. This focuses on six different wives in a luxury apartment building, who suffer in unhappy and even abusive marriages, and so cross the line into infidelity. Sakura(Ryoko Shinohara) gets the mainstage, married to the bullying Takuya Hiraga (Masanobu Ando), who himself is having an affair. So when Sakura meets the gentle pet store owner Haruto Toyota (Takanori Iwata), she is taken with his kindness and concern for her, standing in stark contrast with her husband. Kyoko Hasegawa, Wakama Matsumoto, Shizuka Nakamura, Saori Seto and Anna Ishii also star, and there are 8 episodes available to view now. This series is based on the manga by Kurosawa R, and gets a 6.2/10 on IMDb. Yes, it’s a little corny, but the pickings are slim this week on Netflix, and the cast here is good. Jonathon Wilson of Ready Steady Cut calls it “full of contradictions and inconsistencies, but there’s some worthwhile drama at its core.” It’s on my list.
Amazon‘s big add this week is The Protégé, a 2021 thriller. Maggie Q stars here, as the beautiful(of course) female assassin Anna, mentored by assassin Moody (Samuel L. Jackson), who adopted her as a child. So when Moody ends up dead in a bathtub, brutally murdered, she heads to Vietnam, in search of answers on the case she thinks is involved, and finds answers about her own past, as well. Michael Keaton stars as Rembrandt, a lethal henchman intrigued by her, and David Rintoul, Patrick Malahide, Ray Fearon, Ori Pfeffer and Robert Patrick also star, and Martin Campbell(Casino Royale) directed. But, for its one female lead in Maggie Q, there are very few other females in the cast, and Anna‘s character is otherwise inserted into a typically macho movie. So, despite it’s great cast, and its 61% on Rotten Tomatoes, I won’t be watching. Bilge Ebiri of Vulture wrote “for all the predictability of the film’s story, the template is there for something emotionally engaging. Unfortunately, promising subplots are left unpursued, while character notes hang pointlessly in the air.” But Amazon also offers From, a 2022 Epix horror series. Here, the Matthews’ family, headed by Jim(Eion Bailey) and Tabitha(Catalina Sandino Moreno), find themselves detoured by a fallen tree during a road trip, only to come upon a seedy small town. When given directions by the town Sheriff Boyd(Harold Perrineau), they find themselves again in the town, with every route they take, ending up in the same hellish place. When they give up and stay, with the other residents who found themselves in the same trap, they are told to lock their doors and windows at night, when the village shifts into a more terrifying landscape. Hannah Cheramy, Simon Webster, Ricky He, Chloe Van Landschoot, Shaun Majumder, Corteon Moore and Pegah Ghafoori also star , and there are 3 episodes available to devour now. And you won’t be surprised to find, I think, that this show is created by two exec producers from Lost, Jack Bender and Jeff Pinker, and even features a star of that classic in Harold Perrineau. And this series gets an impressive 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting calling it a “captivating and nightmarish mystery box show that more than delivers on horror. Perrineau and He are standouts in a talented ensemble cast.” I’m tuning in. And, finally, Amazon has Season 1 of the new British 2022 series Sister Boniface Mysteries. This is a Father Brown spin-off from the BBC, featuring Sister Boniface, played by Lorna Watson, a nun in the fictional town of Great Slaughter, where her expertise in forensics and pathology make her indispensable for Detective Inspector Sam Gillespie, enough so that she is named Police Scientific Advisor. Jerry Iwu, Miranda Raison, Ami Metcalf, David Sterne, Sarah Crowden and Belinda Lang also star, and there are 6 episodes to devour during your 7-day free trial of Britbox. And that should be easy to do, because it gets an astounding 7.2/10 on IMDb. And I love a mystery. I’ll be watching.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!