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!
There is one huge add on Hulu this week, with Candy, the 2022 crime series. This tells the somewhat true story of Candy Montgomery, played by Jessica Biel, a Texas church-going housewife, who suddenly bludgeoned her best friend, Betty Gore(Melanie Lynskey) to death with an axe in 1980. But instead of portraying Candy as a monster, series creators Nick Antosca (The Act) and Robin Veith (Mad Men) portray two women trapped in the suburbs and the boredom and depression that envelops them there, with Candy desperately targeting Betty’s husband Allan Gore (Pablo Schreiber) for her attention and obsession. Which ends in lethal desperation. Timothy Simons plays Candy’s distant husband Pat, and Raúl Esparza, Jessie Mueller, Coley Campany, Sharon Conley and Aven Lotz also star, and there are 5 episodes available for streaming now. And, no, this crime series doesn’t measure up to Banner of Heaven, also on Hulu, but the acting is great, with Biel doing well, but Melanie Lynskey, once again, outshining everyone. And this series gets only a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, but an impressive 7.4/10 on IMDb. Brian Lowry of CNN writes “the performances, starting with Biel and Lynskey, are sharp and convincing, and the unexpected turns down the stretch make this one of those fact-based productions where the less you know going in, the better.” An enjoyable guilty pleasure that I’m watching. Hulu has only one other significant add this week with Italian Studies, a 2021 drama. Vanessa Kirby(!)stars as Alina Reynolds, an author from London, adrift and lost in Manhattan, after unexpectedly losing her memory. And so her experiences in the street range from the real, like where she meets up with a group of teens, to the illusory, where she relives some of her own short stories. David Ajala, Annika Wahlsten, Lars Wahlsten, Neil Comber and Misha Brooks also star, and Adam Leon writes and directs, here. And this avant-garde movie, with its fluid idea of time, does not appeal to everyone understandably, getting only a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes. But it also won some rave reviews, like that from David Fear of Rolling Stone who called it “Unforgettable from the jump,..[that] may be the most immersive memory loss movie of all time.” So it’s on my list. Hulu also has The Ignorant Angels, a 2022 Italian drama series. Based on the 2001 Italian film The Ignorant Fairies, this tells of Antonia(Cristiana Capotondi), whose ideas of her picture perfect marriage are shattered, when her husband Massimo (Luca Argentero)dies in a motorcycle accident, and she discovers Massimo was having an affair with Michele(Eduardo Scarpetta), a young man living in a communal home. But instead of resenting each other, the pair share a strange bond, that grows into friendship and beyond. And Antonia becomes fascinated with the other bohemians living with Michele. Ferzan Ozpetek, Serra Yılmaz, Paola Minaccioni, Carla Signoris, Ambra Angiolini and Anna Ferzetti also star, and this series is created by the original film’s director Ferzan Özpetek, and Gianni Romoli. There are 8 episodes available for bingeing now, and this series gets an amazing 7.4/10 on IMDb. Maurizio Ermisino ScreenWorld calls it “a vivid and powerful message about the freedom of each of us to be who he is and to choose his own chosen family.” I’m watching. And, finally, Hulu has The Day Shall Come, a 2019 dark satire. Anna Kendrick stars, here, as agent Kendra Glack, working for gung-ho Miami Homeland Security boss Andy Mudd (Denis O’Hare), who is desperate to bag a big terrorist before his looming retirement. So they set their sights on Moses, brilliantly played by Marchánt Davis, leader of the Star of Six community farm, inspired by Haitian rebel Toussaint Louverture. That Moses is pacifistic, pathetic, and possibly crazy, claiming God spoke to him through a duck, deters no one, as the group tries to entrap him with promises of money and guns. Which doesn’t go as planned. Danielle Brooks plays Moses‘ wife Venus, and Calah Lane, Kayvan Novak, Jim Gaffigan, James Adomian, Pej Vahdat and Malcolm M. Mays also star, and Christopher Morris(Four Lions) directs. And this film gets a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Robert Abele of the L.A. Times saying its “brilliantly is funny, producing plenty of acrid, world-upside-down laughter about the ridiculous truth behind some serious modern delusions about whom we should be scared of.” I’m definitely tuning in.
Netflix has some big titles added this week, too, like Operation Mincemeat, a 2021 historical drama. This is takes place during the height of WWII, when the Allies planned an invasion of Sicily, but want to surprise Hitler to avoid massive loss of lives. So two intelligence officers, Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Matthew Macfadyen) come up with an incredible idea, to have a dead body wash up on the shores of Greece, instead of Sicily, and so, misdirect the Germans. They are aided by a young Ian Fleming(Johnny Flynn) in hatching the plan, but still come upon obstacles like, where to get the dead body. Penelope Wilton, Kelly Macdonald, Jason Isaacs, Lorne MacFadyen, Mark Gatiss and Hattie Morahan also star, while John Madden(Shakespeare in Love) directs. And the craziest idea about this zany spy film is that it’s actually based on a true story, and ably described by Ben Macintyre in his non-fiction book of the same name. And this movie gets an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes “sometimes a shamelessly retro wartime romance is all the escape you need and Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen add class and wicked humor to this fact-based WW2 spy thriller about how British intelligence used a corpse to put one over on Hitler.” I agree. I’m watching. Netflix has also added New Heights, a 2022 Swiss drama series. This starts with the day investment planner Michi Wyss, played by Julian Koechlin, receives a shocking call that changes his life, when he learns that his father has taken his life, and the Wyss family farm is now depending on him for it’s survival. As it becomes clear he must sacrifice his lucrative career for full time farming, the rest of the family confronts debts and allegiances of their own to pay for the farm. And they don’t even know that Michi is gay, yet. Julian Koechlin, Marlise Fischer, Roeland Wiesnekker, Rachel Braunschweig, Sophie Hutter, Jérôme Humm and Miriam Maertens also star, and there are 8 episodes available to enjoy now. This series won 2 awards at the Swiss TV Film Awards, with Best Actor won by Julian Koechlin, and Best Supporting Actress won by Marlise Fischer. And it gets an impressive 7.2/10 on IMDb. Riya Singh of Leisurebyte says its “a touching Swiss family drama.” Its on my list. But Netflix also offers The Getaway King, a 2021 Polish action thriller/comedy. This tells the tru-ish story of the end days of Polish outlaw and folk hero Zdzislaw Najmrodzki, played by Dawid Ogrodnik, that coincides with the fall of communism and the Berlin Wall. Najmrodzki was a successful thief in Krakow for years, and despite getting arrested 29 times, he escaped authorities and prison 29 times, as well. But when he meets his new girlfriend, Teresa(Masza Wągrocka), he regrets his life on the run, and wants to give it all up, buthis nemesis, and constant shadow Lieutenant Barski(Robert Więckiewicz) has other ideas. Jakub Gierszał, Sandra Drzymalska, Rafał Zawierucha and Dorota Kolak also star, and Mateusz Rakowicz directs. And this funny crime caper gets a 6.7/10 on IMDb, and Ready Steady Cut calls it a “fascinating retelling of the final days of a Polish folk hero.” I’m tuning in. Also new on Netflix is Senior Year, the 2022 comedy starring Rebel Wilson. Here, Wilson stars as Stephanie Conway, a high school cheer captain in 2002, on the verge of getting everything she wants, popularity, success, and most of all, the title of prom queen, when she suffers a terrible cheer accident, and ends up in a 20 year long coma. So when she wakes up in 2022, she’s determined to head back to H.S. for her senior year, and, you guessed it, prom Queendom. But she soon realizes that a near 40 year-old doesn’t stand the same chance, and things have changed. So, finally, after chasing all the wrong dreams for most of her life, she wakes up, to become the person she always wanted to be, but never dared. Justin Hartley, Zoë Chao, Sam Richardson, Avantika Vandanapu, Chris Parnell and Alicia Silverstone also star, while Alex Hardcastle directs. But the script comes up short, here, so even an excellent cast can’t make up the difference. So it gets only a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.5/10 on IMDb. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times says “Wilson is inherently funny and she manages to wring a few laughs out of the sitcom script, but the thin plot is stretched out by the inclusion of multiple dance numbers…” not worth it. And, finally, Netflix has added 42 Days of Darkness, a 2022 Chilean crime drama series. Claudia Di Girólamo stars here, as Cecilia, a woman whose sister Veronica (Aline Küppenheim) goes missing, and as Claudia becomes obsessed with the disappearance, the police become obsessed with Veronica’s husband. Daniel Alcaíno, Pablo Macaya, Néstor Cantillana, Gloria Münchmeyer and Amparo Noguera also star, and there are 6 episodes available to binge on now. And this series, another based on a true story, gets a 6.3/10 on IMDb, with Jade Budowski of the Decider saying to stream it, adding “armed with top-notch performances, 42 Days of Darkness delivers a moody, intriguing pilot, one that wastes no time hooking viewers with chilling drama.” I’m definitely tuning in. I love a mystery.
Amazon has a big add this week with the return of The Kids in the Hall, the iconic Canadian comedy series. Yes, all your favorites of the troupe, Scott Thompson, Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Bruce McCulloch and Kevin McDonald, return, with the first episode actually having them dug up with a backhoe. They’re appalled to find themselves looking older, but then go back to their outrageous brand of humor. That they make fun of their age, appearance and the new era they’ve been plopped into only makes it more hilarious. Pete Davidson, Tamara Gorski, Angela Featherstone, Aaron Alexander, and Nicole de Boer also star, and there are 8 episodes available to enjoy now. And this new series gets an incredible 8.4/10 on IMDb, with the L.A. Times calling it “well-written, expertly performed, unashamedly odd and full of beans,” I’m watching. Amazon has also added Candyman, the 2021 retelling of the classic horror story. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as Anthony McCoy, a visual artist looking for inspiration in Chicago, and finds it in the Candyman tales he hears at Cabrini Green, a housing project there. So McCoy creates a piece about Candyman, but after it is displayed and ill received by one critic, he and his companion are murdered. And then the artist becomes obsessed with his lethal subject. Teyonah Parris stars as McCoy’s girlfriend Brianna, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Kyle Kaminsky, Vanessa Williams, Rebecca Spence and Brian King also star, and Nia DaCosta directs. And this movie gets an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Alexandra Heller-Nicholas of ABC Radio (Australia) said “with its shadow puppetry, sophisticated reclamation of the Candyman legend and slick, confident filmmaking, even for those not thrilled by the idea of horror cinema more generally, it is hard to deny that Candyman is a massive and exciting step forward.” I agree, but it’s still too scary for me. And, finally, if you need more horror, Amazon has also added The Wolf of Snow Hollow, a 2020 horror flick. Jim Cummings stars as John Marshall, taking over for his ailing sheriff father, Sheriff Hadley (Robert Forster!), when the bodies start piling up in their small Utah mountain community, every full moon. It doesn’t help that the younger Marshall already has some problems, like joining AA, anger management problems, dealing with a visit from his rebellious daughter, Jenna(Chloe East), and that while investigating the murders, he has to calm the panic in a town convinced a werewolf is to blame. Riki Lindhome stars as Officer Julie Robson, and Jimmy Tatro, Marshall Allman, Annie Hamilton and Diane Griffith also star, and Cummings(Thunder Road) directed. And it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Kevin Crust of the Los Angeles Times saying its “a pleasingly quirky outing that has fun with the mythologies of both monsters and men.” I might watch from under the couch.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!