Yes, it’s that time again, the weekend, and I’m back(after technical difficulties last week) to review the best new movies and television shows added online this week(and last week), to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. And there are some exciting new adds this week, so let’s get started.
Hulu has one major add this week with their 2022 in-house comedy series This Fool. This series stars series co-creator Chris Estrada as Julio Lopez, still living with his mom, Esperanza (Laura Patalano) and grandma Maria (Julia Vera) and cheerfully working at his job at Hugs not Thugs, a group that rehabilitates gangster, and Julio tends to get played. But when his cousin Luis(Frankie Quiñones) gets released after serving 8 years in prison, and moves back home, and Julio gets him a job at his organization, the pair may both profit from the experience. Michelle Ortiz plays Julio’s friend Maggie, and Michael Imperioli, Anna Lamadrid, Sandra Marcela Hernandez, Cruz Legaspe Garcia and Mia Hunt also star, and there are 10 episodes available for bingeing now. And this series gets an incredible 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.5/10 on IMDb. Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone says “once all the foundation has been laid, it displays an appealingly loopy comic sensibility that makes for a very amusing late-summer binge.” I’m watching. And that’s it for the new adds, but there are still some gems to be found, like Line of Duty, a British crime drama. This focuses on the workings of a fictitious anti-corruption team called the AC-12, and the officers on it, like DS Steve Arnott, played by Martin Compston, who joins the unit, after resisting corruption on his job. And DC Kate Fleming(Vicky McClure), who appears to be crooked, is really working undercover for the unit as they investigate a cop that’s too good to be true, Tony Gates(Lennie James).Kate Ashfield, Neil Morrisey, Adrien Dunbar and Shalom Brune-Franklin also star, and there are 5 thrilling seasons available for streaming now. And this series gets an amazing 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times writing it “[has] an excellent cast, skillful writing and a knack for making an exotic, unfamiliar world seem like the viewer’s second home.” I’m tuning in. But Hulu also offers Rewind, a 2019 documentary. This tells the story of Sasha Neulinger‘s horrible childhood abuse, that never rose to the surface until Sasha and his father, Henry, reexamined old family videos that Henry had taken, with what had appeared to be happy, in retrospect showed an angry Sasha, and the abominable abuse that brought the boy to that point. Sasha‘s uncles Howard and Larry had come often to the family home to visit, as did his cousin Stewart, and the abuse that followed had also been turned to his beloved sister Becca. So Sasha set out to bring light to the crimes, despite the fact that one uncle, Howard was a famed cantor in New York City. Sasha Neulinger directed this movie himself, and it premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won Best Documentary. And it gets an astounding 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.9/10 on IMDb. Nick Schager of the Daily Beast said it “conveys an unforgettable sense of all that’s stolen when children are abused-as well as the heroic bravery, compassion and togetherness required to combat such cruelty.” I agree, and it’s on my list. And, finally, Hulu has added Miles Ahead, the 2015 biopic. Don Cheadle(!) stars as the legendary jazz great Miles Davis, in the semiretirement in the 70‘s, trying to avoid people like Rolling Stone reporter Dave Braden(Ewan McGregor), as Davis tries to retrieve a missing tape of his music he’s not yet ready to part with. But as Davis grudgingly allows Braden into his life, he tells him of his past, his successes and frustrations. Emayatzy Corinealdi plays Davis‘s wife(and ex-wife), dancer/singer Frances Davis, and LaKeith Stanfield, Michael Stuhlbarg, Austin Lyon, and Christina Marie Karis also star, and Don Cheadle makes his directorial debut here. And this movie was nominated for multiple awards in 2016, like Best First Feature Award for Cheadle, and won the Directors to Watch Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. And it gets a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Dwight Brown of the National Newspaper Publishers writing “if you’re looking for a conventional bio-film, you’ll be disappointed. If you want to get inside the head of the ingenious, erratic, enigmatic high priest of jazz, fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride.” And there’s lots of great music, too. I’m watching.
Netflix has a big add this week with Day Shift, the horribly gory vampire adventure pic. Jamie Foxx(!) stars here, as Bud Jablonski, ostensibly a pool cleaner, but really, a vampire hunter, beheading vampires(and breaking rules) throughout the San Fernando Valley. So when he needs to get back in the union, he agrees to be accompanied by union rep, Seth(Dave Franco). Snoop Dogg, Karla Souza, Meagan Good, Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Zion Broadnax also star, and J.J. Perry directs. But there’s little to this movie but the violence, and the amazingly acrobatic vampires, sure to be killed. And so it gets only a 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Adam Graham of the Detroit News says it “is scattered between its gory and its comic impulses, and is too herky-jerky to find its center.” I won’t be watching. But Netflix also offers Code Name: Emperor, a 2022 Spanish thriller. Luis Tozar stars as Juan, an intelligence agent running an agency that illicitly defends friends of government officials, and torpedoes the enemies of the powerful, as well. And when he’s asked to incriminate a clean politician, Angel(Denis Gomez), with no skeletons in his closet, Juan is pressed to create some, which may turn out to be the last straw for the agent. Arón Piper plays Fernando, a neophyte at the agency, and Miguel Rellán, María Botto, Miguel Rellán, Alexandra Masangkay and Georgina Amorós also star, while Jorge Coira directs. And while it gets only a 5.9/10 on IMDb, it’s early yet, and it gets rave reviews online. M.N. Miller of Ready Steady Cut calls it “a solid thriller… full of intrigue, perfectly paced, and an intelligent spy film that keeps viewers’ attention without resorting to endless action scenes or explosions.” It’s on my list.. Netflix has also added Heartsong, a 2022 Turkish romance. This offbeat movie follows Piroz, played by Erkan Kolçak Köstendil, a poor musician one of the nomadic Dom, meets Sümbül, played by Hazar Ergüçlü, and falls in love, not knowing she is the bride at the wedding he is working. But no matter, Piroz is convinced she is the one, so when Sümbül is rejected by the groom’s family for being um, too experienced, Piroz is delighted, though her own family now targets her for an ‘honor’ killing. All that remains is for Piroz to save his beloved. Bülent Emin Yarar, Ali Seçkiner Alici, Selim Bayraktar, Sevval Sam and Ferit Kaya also star, and award-winning Soner Caner directed, along with writing the script, here. And this quirky tale gets a 6/0 on IMDb. Rati Pednekar of the Review Geek says “the harmonious music, the themes of love and hope — everything comes together to lend this movie a touch of magic….[its] truly enjoyable to watch.” I’m tuning in. Also new on Netflix is School Tales The Series, a 2022 Thai horror series. Based on a comic book series, this tells ghost stories, all based in school, with different themes like bullying, fitting in, and horrifying teachers. There are haunted libraries, headless spirits, and a school lunch featuring human flesh. Siwat Jumlongkul, Kay Lertsittichai, Pepo Nutchapan Paramacharenroj, Jennis Oprasert and Care Panisara Rikulsurakan also star, and there are 8 episodes available now for streaming. This series gets a 5.3/10 on IMDb, and Jonathon Wilson of Ready Steady Cut calls it “a nice diversion for genre fans, at the very least.” But too scary for me. And, finally, Netflix has A Model Family, a 2022 Korean thriller/crime drama series. This focuses on the bedlam that arises when professor Park Dung-ha, played by Woo Jung, comes upon a car crash, with 2 dead victims inside, and a bag of cash. In desperate need of money for his son, Park Dung-ha(Seok Min-gi), and his heart transplant, Dung-ha takes the money, and the two bodies, which he buries in his backyard. Which brings him innumerable troubles, like the drug cartel looking for their money, and his wife Hyun-woo (Seok Min-gi), already threatening divorce, wanting to know what’s going on. Shin Eun-soo, Park Hee-soon, Park Ji-yeon, Kim Sung-oh and Nicole Fong also star, and there are 10 episodes available for bingeing now. But not too many at once, I would advise, for this is a dark series, rightfully compared to Ozark. And it gets an impressive 7.4/10 on IMDb, and Jonathon Wilson of Ready Steady Cut says it “takes a well-worn genre and delivers it in a slick, efficient, and binge-worthy package.” It’s on my list.
And, finally, Amazon has added the much anticipated and ballyhooed A league of Their Own comedy/drama series. This retells the tale of the Rockford Peaches, of Penny Marshall‘s 1992 classic movie, but with a more diverse cast, and the problems that confronted them. Abbi Jacobson(Broad City) plays Carson Shaw, who travels to Chicago for tryouts for the team, generously allowing women to play during wartime, and she finds seasoned players, like Greta(D’Arcy Carden!). But she also meets people like Max Chapman(Chanté Adams), an ace pitcher who would be great for the Peaches, but for the fact that she’s black, and so not allowed on the ‘All American’ team. Her fight to get on the Rockford Peaches is one of the best reasons to tune in. There’s also the stellar cast also includes Roberta Colindrez, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Priscilla Delgado, Kelly McCormack and Nick Offerman(!) in Tom Hanks‘ role of Casey “Dove” Porter. And there are 8 delicious episodes available to devour now. And this series gets a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and André Hereford of Metro Weekly (Washington, DC) says it “reaches beyond baseball for a rich story of 1940s womanhood.” I’m definitely tuning in. Amazon also offers Below the Fold, a 2021 suspense drama. This takes place in Skidmore, Missouri, on the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of Susie Potter, a supposedly god-fearing teenager. So when reporter David Fremont (Davis DeRock) gets permission to do a tribute piece to the girl, along with newbie reporter Lisa (Sarah McGuire), he’s thrilled. But what was to be a superficial story deepens into a darker, more threatening investigation, as the pair gets closer to the truth. Rick Daniels, Daniel Compo, Jamie Addison, Misty Dixon and Jennifer Femiano also star, and Clayton Scott directed. And it gets a stupendous 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Bianca Garner of In Their Own League writing “it’s a very well-made film, and it’s great to see how effectively a filmmaker can make a low-budget film look so slick and impressive.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Amazon has added Leona, a 2018 Mexican drama. This tells the story of Ariela, played by Naian González Norvind, a young artist in Mexico City, who balks at her family’s rigid adherence to Judaism. With her mother, Estrella (Carolina Politi), pressing Ariela to meet and marry a Jewish man, the young artist instead becomes interested in the secular Iván(Christian Vazquez). When Ariela tells her family, opposition erupts from every one from her father to her rabbi. Daniel Adissi, Margarita Sanz,Ana Kupfer, Emma Dib and Rodrigo Corea also star, and Isaac Cherem directs for the first time, here. This film has been nominated for a number of awards, and Naian González Norvind taking the Best Actress prize at the 2018 Morelia International Film Festival. And it gets a stunning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Iván Belmont of Konexión wrote “it is [gratifying] that Leona is not the typical story of an impossible love story for Romeo & Julieta, but instead, always focuses on the personal development of its protagonist.” I’m tuning in.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!