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 surprisingly good adds this week, with movies like Milkwater, a 2020 comedy. Molly Bernard stars as Milo, here a directionless 20-something. looking for meaning in her life, and she finds it when she strikes up a conversation Roger (Patrick Breen), an older gay man, at a party, and learns he wants to have a baby by adopting from a surrogate mother, but it always falls through. So, Milo comes to the conclusion she can make his dream come true, to the shock of her friends and family. But as Milo becomes more pregnant, her increasing attachment to Roger begins to worry him, and their relationship is threatened with collapse. Ade Otukoya, Ava Eisenson, Robin de Jesus, Michael J. Berry, Alexander Hodge, Sean Rogers and Nicholas Hiatt also star, and Morgan Ingari directs. And this quirky movie was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2020 Nashville Film Festival, and went on to win Outstanding First Feature Award at the 2021 Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival.
And it gets an astounding 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Peter Rainer of FilmWeek calling it “a terrific little movie… It’s very touching, poignant, and true to life.” It’s on my list. But Hulu also offers You Are Not My Mother, a 2021 horror flick. This takes place in the week before Halloween in North Dublin, when lonely teenager Char, played by Hazel Doupe, finds her bedridden and depressed mother, Angela, played by Carolyn Bracken, is missing, she is alarmed and fearful. But when Angela returns, lively and even cheerful, Char becomes even more afraid, especially as her mother’s behavior grows more peculiar. And when Char’s grandmother Rita (Ingrid Craigie) suggests that the woman who returned is not Char‘s mother at all, but a changeling, and that the pair must act before the real Angela is lost for good, the girl is faced with a horrific choice. Jade Jordan, Paul Reid, Jordanne Jones, Aoife Spratt and Martin O’Sullivan also star, and Kate Dolan directs. This film was nominated for multiple awards in 2022, and went on to win the Discovery Award for director Kate Dolan, and the Jury Prize for Best Film at the Gérardmer Film Festival. And it gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Guy Lodge of Variety called it “coolly unsettling but also deep-feeling horror film, one that keeps the ordinary and the extraordinary in tense, tetchy balance throughout.” So, as you might have guessed, I won’t be watching. Luckily Hulu has also added Aftershock, a 2022 documentary. This film examines the current health crisis that faces Black mothers in America, initiated after the deaths of two women in New York City, Shamony Gibson, in 2019, and Amber Isaac, in 2020, and their husbands and families pushed for answers and action. In both cases, and in many other cases in this country, Black mothers face increased morbidity for the same conditions encountered in pregnancy and during and after childbirth, with many women asked about drug use or other illicit behavior, when their symptoms are encountered by medical professionals. Directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee give us an eye-opening and sometimes heartbreaking look at the efforts of the husbands and families left behind the pointless deaths in these cases, and also give us hope to look to future change. And this movie gets an outstanding 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Beandrea July of the New York Times says it “a moving ode to Black families in a society where too many forces work to tear them apart.” I agree, we all should watch. I’m definitely tuning in. And, finally, Hulu has added All My Friends Hate Me, a 2021 British horror/comedy movie. This has Pete, played by Tom Stourton, about to turn 31, heading to a country estate for his birthday party/college reunion celebration. But with his old college friends, some of them definitely ‘toffs,’ it soon becomes clear that the old rivalries and resentments still exist, and that they have morphed into open hostilities, and even worse. Until Pete wonders if he’ll survive the birthday weekend, at all. Georgina Campbell, Charly Clive, Joshua McGuire, Antonia Clarke, Dustin Demri-Burns and Christopher Fairbank also star, and Andrew Gaynord directed. And Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton wrote the script. And this funny horror flick gets an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Clarisse Loughrey of the Independent (UK) said it’s “a film that leaves you with the same sickly, hollow feeling you might get spending time with the ghosts of your own past.” Don’t watch alone.
Unfortunately, the biggest title added on Netflix this week is probably The Grey Man, the 2022 thriller. In this latest action iteration from the Russo brothers(Avengers: Endgame), Ryan Gosling plays Sierra Six(?), a spy recruited from prison by CIA boss Donald Fitzroy(Billy Bob Thornton) to work as a ‘grey man'(an off the books agent). But soon Six uncovers a dirty secret about someone high up in the organization, and a price is put on his head. And the chase is on. Regé-Jean Page, Chris Evans, Julia Butters, Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick and Dhanush also star, and, of course, Anthony and Joe Russo direct. But there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, and done better. And so it gets a mere 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Tim Cogshell of FilmWeek saying “I think they’re looking for a series that could replace [James Bond], but in order for that to happen, people need to want to see to this one and the ones to come after, and I already know I don’t want to see the next one.” I agree, and I’m not watching. But, luckily, Netflix has quietly added a great 2021 Spanish comedy/drama Live is Life. This tells of 5 boys who return to their home village in Galicia for the summer in 1985, only to find that everything has changed, with adulthood encroaching, and one of their group having cancer. Rodri(Adrián Baena) has returned from school(and bullying) in the city, to find Alvaro(Juan Del Pozo) seriously ill and Suso‘s father is in a coma, so the friends set off on midsummers eve to find a plant rumored to have live-giving properties to all who consume it. David Rodriguez, Raúl del Pozo, Javier Casellas,Marc Martínez, Sílvia Bel, Fernando Morán, Mercedes Castro and Luisa Merelas also star, and Dani de la Torre(Retribution) directed. And this film was nominated for Best Spanish Film at the 2021 Málaga Spanish Film Festival, and gets a 6.4/10 on IMDb. David Pardillos of Cinemanía (Spain) says “there is a sorrowful nostalgia in De la Torre‘s way of filming that is contagious to the boys and that… takes that rebellious and intense spirit to a place he knows well.” I’m watching. Netflix also offers Umma, a 2021 horror flick starring Sandra Oh(!). Oh stars as Amanda, a first-generation Korean farming and home schooling her daughter Chrissy (Fivel Stewart), keeping bees and making honey, to make ends meet. They live eerily in the middle of nowhere, and off the grid to avoid Chrissy‘s allergy to all things electric, including cell phones, while Amanda deals with the trauma of an traumatic childhood. So when Amanda’s uncle, Mr. Kang(Tom Yi), shows up to tell her that her mother, Umma in Korean, has died, and shames her for deserting her, she resists. And when he presents her with a suitcase containing her mother’s cremated remains. advising her to properly inter her mother’s ashes, so Umma can then pass on to the next world., she instead puts the suitcase in the basement, and tells her daughter nothing. Which is a bad idea, because Umma’s spirit is not pleased, or moving on. MeeWha Alana Lee stars as Umma, and Dermot Mulroney, Odeya Rush, and Hana Marie Kim also star, and Iris K. Shim directed, along with writing the script, here. But it gets only a 4.6/10 on IMDb, but Kate Erbland of indieWire wrote “despite its flaws, Umma is an impressive debut for Shim, the kind of outing that hints at plenty more under the hood or tucked inside a massive suitcase, just bursting with secrets.” And it’s a good Korean cultural tale with Sandra Oh! So I’m watching. But if you need comedy after Umma, Netflix also offers Too Old for Fairy Tales, a 2022 Polish family comedy. Based on the novel of the same name by Agnieszka Dabrowska, this tells the tale of Waldek Banas, played by Maciej Karas, an inert gamer who thinks of nothing but the virtual world and an upcoming gaming tournament, moving little and working less. So when his mother, Teresa (Karolina Gruszka), gets sick, he’s forced to live under the care of his colorful aunt, Mariolka(Dorota Kolak), who lovingly pushes him, kicking and screaming, to live in the real world. But what of the tournament? Amelia Fijalkowska ,Patryk Siemek, Andrzej Grabowski, Marcin Dabrowski and Ewa Dolska also star, while Kristoffer Rus directed. And this film was nominated for Best Feature Debut at the 2022 Koszalinski Festiwal Debiutow Filmowych Mlodzi i Film. and it gets a 5.7/10 on IMDB, but Ameen of Leisurebyte calls it “a sweet story about letting your dreams fly…[that] will be enjoyed by everyone..” It’s on my list. And, finally, Netflix has added My Unfamiliar Family, a 20220Korean drama series. This has the family of Kim Eun Hee, played by Han Ye Ri, her parents already on the brink of divorce, thrown into more chaos after her father, Kim Sang Sik (Jung Jin Young), go missing while on a hike. When he is found having suffered head trauma and hospitalized, they find his memory impaired, and he remembers himself only as a 22 year-old man. And as his memory returns, his family finds he’s a different man, from the one they assumed they knew. Choo Ja Hyun, Shin Jae Ha, Jung Jin Young and Won Mi Kyung also star, and Kwon Young Il directs all 16 episodes now available. And this series was nominated for multiple prizes last year, including Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Drama at the Baek Sang Art Awards. And it gets an amazing 7.8/10 on IMDb. Chalice.me writes it “managed to do an impeccable job of depicting the harshest realities of managing relationships in family, romantic, friendship.” I’m definitely tuning in.
Amazon‘s biggest title added this week has to be Anything’s Possible, a 2022 Gen Z coming of age series. It centers on Kelsa (Eva Reign), a trans high schooler who knows what she wants, which is to get ready for college, when her best friend Khal (Abubakr Ali) suddenly develops a crush on her. Kelsa doesn’t want anyone to like her simply to be woke and supportive, but anyone who dates her has to put up with the slurs from the less open-minded, definitely less woke kids and bullies at school. But she always has her single mom (Renée Elise Goldsberry) to support and good friends, too. Kelly Lamor Wilson, Courtnee Carter, Grant Reynolds and Simone Joy Jones also star, and Billy Porter(!) directs. And this film gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Tomris Laffly of RogerEbert.com says “Porter’s delightful debut is perhaps most groundbreaking exactly because it grants a black, high-school-aged trans girl—a character we rarely see in cinema, if at all—a recognizable youthful tale not defined by bigoted adversity.” It’s definitely on my list. Amazon also offers Almost Paradise, a 2020 mystery series, on it’s Freevie channel. Here, ex-DEA agent Alex Walker(Christian Kane) takes an early retirement(because of his hypertension) to open a gift shop at the Mabuhay Resort in The Philippines, to find a quieter life. Unfortunately, of course, he doesn’t find quiet, but plenty of mystery, action and intrigue, with mobsters and murder interfering with his stress relief plan. Samantha Richelle, Arthur Acuña, Nonie Buencamino, Ces Quesada, Angeli Bayani and Sophia Reola also star, and there are 10 episodes available for streaming now. And this series, from the producer of the The Librarians and Leverage, Dean Devlin, gets an amazing 7.4/10 on IMDb. Lis Smith of Hollywood Gossip wrote “can I give it 100 stars? Because I totally would!!” So I’ll probably watch. And, finally, Amazon has Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, a 2022 Chinese sci-fi adventure. This zany film has Kato, played by Kazunari Tosa, going upstairs to his apartment after work in the café below, to play his guitar. While looking for his guitar pick, he hears himself on his TV behind him, tell him where the guitar pick is. The special TV, it seems, sees things two minutes in the future, and soon it is the sensation of the neighborhood, with everyone thrilled. So they set several TVs up to see even 8 minutes into the future. Aki Asakura, Riko Fujitani, Gôta Ishida, Yoshifumi Sakai and Masashi Suwa also star, and Junta Yamaguchi directs. And this movie, filmed on iPhones, won multiple awards last year, including Best Film at the 2021 Fantafestival, and Best Asian Feature at the 2021 Fantasia Film Festival. And it gets an impressive 7.3/10 on IMDb, and a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com said “it’s so wild, and very telling of this movie’s brilliance, that there’s so much intricate blocking and camera movement from debut director Junta Yamaguchi, and yet you’re still caught up in the narrative momentum more than anything else.” I’m definitely tuning in.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!