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 some intriguing adds this week, like The Bear, the 2022 comedy/drama from FX and Hulu. Jeremy Allen White(Shameless) plays Carmy, here, a professional chef who comes home to Chicago to run the family Italian beef restaurant, The Original Beef of Chicagoland, after his brother Mike‘s death. But Carmy’s high-faluting ideas to change the restaurant don’t sit well with the older employees, who loved the restaurant for what it was. Edwin Lee Gibson plays line cook Ebraheim, Lionel Boyce-the baker Marcus, and Ayo Edebiri plays the new sous chef Sydney. Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Liza Colon-Zayas, Marty Matherson, Abby Elliott, and Oliver Platt(!) also star, and there are 8 episodes available to gorge on now. And this series gets an amazing 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Shelli Nicole of RogerEbert.com says “the story, soundtrack, casting, and locations all come together to create what could be a new Chicago classic TV show.” I’m tuning in. Hulu also offers The Cleaner, a 2021 thriller. King Orba stars, here, as a unemployed RV salesman, who’s just desperate enough to take a job as a cleaner for his mom Sharon Enderly ( Shelley Long!) to get by. But when he meets potential customer Carlene Briggs (played by Lynda Carter), asks Buck to find her adult son Andrew Briggs (Shiloh Fernandez) who’s addicted and a thief, to boot. But her measly offer of 1000$ is just enough for the broke Buck to agree. Which, of course, could get Buck killed. Luke Wilson(!), Eden Brolin, Hopper Penn, Faust Checho, Milena Govich and Moon Frye also star, and Erin Elders directed, along with co-writing the script with Orba. And this movie gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Wade Major of FilmWeek wrote “it’s not bad. It’s not great, but has some good acting and is entertaining.” I’d rather watch The Burning Sea, a 2021 thriller. This disaster movie begins with an oil spill at a North Sea derrick, bringing the regular rescuers and clean up crews. But when it is discovered that a crack in the ocean floor has developed, and a special team is brought in, including scientist/sub operator Sofia(Kristine Kujath Thorp) and her partner Stian (Henrik Bjelland). But the situation quickly worsens, with the entire oil rig collapsing, and Stian and others presumed dead. Their only hope if Sofia risking her life to extricate them in time. Nils Elias Olsen, Rolf Kristian Larsen, Daniel Frikstad, Anders Baasmo Christiansen and Bjørn Floberg also star, and John Andreas Andersen directed(A Conspiracy of Faith). And this film is brought to us by the producers of The Wave, and The Quake! And it gets a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes. Tim Cogshell of FilmWeek said “it’s really well done… All those special effects are used in the correct way.” I’m tuning in. And, finally, Hulu has added We Feed People, the 2022 documentary from National Geographic. This tells the story of legendary chef, and now legendary humanitarian, Jose Andres, whose organization World Central Kitchen now feeds people in crisis all over the world. Director Ron Howard(!) follows Andres as he explains his dedication to the organization, and he and his kitchen travel through flood waters to bring food to hurricane hit Puerto Rico, and Guatemala and the Bahamas, as well. It addresses the problems Andres and the World Food Kitchen had in it’s flawed nascence in Haiti and how the chef became determined to adapt and better their response. And, of course, it shows Andres in the kitchen, with his workers, enjoying the preparation of food and all it involves. Most compelling is when Howard catches footage of the Kitchen in action, with a a relief truck overturning, or other perils. It’s exciting and moving stuff. And this exceptional documentary won Best Feature Film at the 2022 Sun Valley Film Festival, and gets a stunning 7.5/10 on IMDb. Glenn Whipp of the LA Times writes “it’s easy to give in to despair. What “We Feed People” makes clear is that you can help with a simple, small act of empathy.” That’s why I’m watching.
Netflix, too, has some good adds this week, like Queen, a 2022 Polish drama series. This has Parisienne tailor Silvestre Bork traveling home to a mining town in Poland, to donate a kidney to his estranged daughter, Wioletta(Maria Peszek), at the request of his granddaughter, Izabela(Julia Chetnicka). Unaware of her donors identity, Wioletta is enraged while prepping for surgery, needing meds to calm down. But what Wioletta doesn’t know, nor her daughter, is that her father is a drag queen known as Loretta, famous in Paris. And when an explosion in the mines occurs, Bork comes to the town’s aid with a charity show. But will the conservative town accept his gift? Kova Réa, Antoni Porowski, Pawel Koslik, Véronique Bisciglia, Himera Drag Queen and Bartlomiej Bobrowski also star, and there are 4 episodes now available for bingeing. And this series gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb, and Joel Keller of the Decider says to stream it, adding it’s “a gentle but powerful drama about a man who thought he was sure of who he is discovering things about himself at a late age, and being the better for it.” I’m definitely watching. But Netflix also offers Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area, a 2022 spinoff of the Spanish hit, Money Heist. Here, robbers plan to break into a mint, taking advantage of a new currency being developed upon the reunification of North and South Korea. But instead of stealing anything or hurting anyone, these people plan to only feign a robbery, and stall for time while they counterfeit enough new currency to live well forever. The man known only as the Professor (Yoo Ji-tae) is in charge, while robbers with aliases like Belin (Park Hae–soo), Moscow (Lee Won-jong), Rio (Lee Hyun-woo) and Nairobi (Jang Yoon-ju) help out with specialized skills. And telling the story is Tokyo (Jun Jong-seo), a woman in trouble rescued by the Professor, who works as the recruiter for the operation. Kim Ji-hoon, Lee Kyu-ho, Kim Ji-hun, Park Myung-hoon and Kim Sung-oh also star and there are 6 exciting episodes available to eat up now, with 6 more to come. and this series gets a respectable 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. Reginald Ponder of RogerEbert.com says its “ambitious for its plan, exciting for the twists and turns, inviting for its characters, and is just plain addictive.” I’m tuning in. Also new on Netflix is Civil: Ben Crump, a 2022 documentary. This gives us a look at the life and work of civil-rights attorney Ben Crump, and his tireless efforts on the behalf of black citizens like George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and Andre Hill, all killed by police. This movie’s yearlong journey starts with Crump receiving a call from Floyd‘s anguished and grief stricken cousin Tera Brown, but then follows Crump as he travels all over the country, not just working on Floyd’s case , but on the behalf of many black Americans, frustrated by ill treatment by their own country. It also follows Crump as he checks in with his mother, Helen, and the much needed support of his wife, Genae, and daughter, Brooklyn, too, a must in his exhausting everyday schedule. Director Nadia Hallgren(Trapped) gives us an excellent portrayal of the amount of work each of these cases takes and the dedication involved for a civil rights attorney, and his or her family, as well. And this excellent film gets an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Noel Murray of the Los Angeles Times says “mostly, this is a fascinatingly detailed look at the hard work Crump’s team does to build effective cases, even for people who don’t land in the national headlines.” I’m definitely watching. Netflix also has The Hidden Lives of Pets, a 2022 British animal series. Narrated by Downtown Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville, this 4 parter that educates us on the amazing things animals(other than humans) can really do, including rabbits, like Bini, a lop eared rabbit, that scored a record number of slam dunks(for bunnies), goldfish that can play soccer(in their tank, of course), and actually score goals, and rats that can drive robotic cars. The extensive communication skills of birds are covered, of course, but so is a dog, taught to speak by pressing buttons. And of course, there are medical assistance dogs, like Hungarian vizsla Barna, who can sense troubling attacks for her mom, and thus allow her to lead a more active life. A more uplifting and joyous show I can’t imagine, and after a tough week, it’s surely one we all deserve. And it gets an incredible 7.8/10 on IMDb, with Joel Keller of the Decider saying to stream it, adding “a fun series that may inspire you to find out what else your animal buddies can do.” I’m watching, twice. And, finally, Netflix has added Alchemy of Souls, a 2022 South Korean fantasy series. This tells the tale of Naksu, assassin of mages in the magical world of Daeho. When Naksu is critically wounded and shapeshifts into another body, unfortunately, she finds that it’s that of a blind woman, Mu-deok (Jung So-min). Worse, she’s been sold to a brothel, and sold into service of the rich family of Jang Uk, descendant of the family that killed her parents, generations ago. Hwang Min-hyun, Yoo Jun-sang, Oh Na-ra, Shin Seung-ho, Arin and Jo Jae-yoon also star, and there are 20 exciting episodes available to gorge on now. And this series gets a stupendous 8.3/10 on IMDb, and KDramaDiary calls it “an engrossing, magical story that has an expandable range to progress.” and the production values are great here, with rich, exciting fight scenes you won’t believe. And a female protagonist of great power is just what I need right now. I’m definitely tuning in.
Amazon has one amazing add this week with Chloe, a 2022 BBC thriller series. Erin Doherty stars as Becky, who lives a drab life as a temp and caregiver for her mom, Pam(Lisa Palfrey), who suffers from dementia. So Becky figures there’s no harm in constantly scrolling on her phone, but she becomes increasingly obsessed with her old, and glamorous, friend Chloe (Poppy Gilbert) on Instagram. So when Chloe disappears, with nothing but an enigmatic quote from the Smiths “To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die” left on her page, Becky decides to go undercover in Chloe’s chic circle and investigate, never realizing what she’s getting into, or how absorbing(and inescapable) her alter-ego will become. Jack Farthing, Billy Howle, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Brandon Micheal Hall, Eloise Thomas and Gia Hunter also star, and there are 6 episodes available now for bingeing. And this series get an impressive 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Tara Bennett of IGN Movies calling it “a smart, subtle thriller about friendship and identity in the social media age. Actress Erin Doherty is stellar as Becky, a multifaceted character who is petty and selfish, as well as dogged and loyal.” I’m definitely tuning in. Amazon also offers Marry Me, the 2021 romcom. Jennifer Lopez stars, here, as pop star Kat Valdez, on her Marry Me tour with her fiancé Bastien(Maluma), with their plans to marry on stage in NYC on their last leg. But when Kat see a leak showing Bastien romantically involved with her assistant, Tyra, on her wedding night, she abruptly picks out lonely, divorced teacher Charlie Gilbert, played by Owen Wilson, to marry her, instead. Which, of course, isn’t meant to last, but Kat wants to give the marriage a few months for a positive spin, getting to know the humble teacher, and well, you guessed it. Sarah Silverman, Chloe Coleman, John Bradley, Kat Cunning and Michelle Buteau also star, with Kat Coiro directing. And this predictable schmaltz gets a 6/10 on IMDb, with Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair saying “the soundtrack is as safe and smooth as the film. A shame, when both could have been so much louder, and had us on the floor.” But it’s not for me. And, finally, Amazon has Tango Shalom, a 2021 comedy from the makers of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Jos Laniado stars, here, as Rabbi Moshe Yehuda, an Hasidic Jew, who struggles to pay the bills, much less manage payment for his daughter’s upcoming wedding at the Waldorf Astoria. So when he hears about an upcoming Tango contest with a big prize, as a great hora dancer, he decides finally to go for the gold with dance instructor Viviana(Karina Smirnoff). The trouble is dancing, touching a woman other than his wife, or even looking at her is against Hasidic law, so some subterfuge is required, as well as some acceptance from his family. Lainie Kazan, Renée Taylor, Joseph Bologna, Joane Baron, Ben Cohen, Judi Beecher and Hamza Zaman also star, and Gabriel Bologna directs. This movie won tons of awards in 2021, including Best Comedy and Best Actor for Laniado at the Montreal Independent Film Festival, and Best Independent Film from the Toronto Film Channel. And it gets a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Rachel Wagner of Rachel’s Reviews wrote “it’s a sweet heart-warming story with a message of faith, acceptance and tolerance. I enjoyed it and think you will too.” It’s on my list.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!