Yes, it’s that time again, the weekend, and time 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 big add that doesn’t really work, that is Mike, a 2022 Mike Tyson bio series. Brought to us by Craig Gillespie and Steven Rogers, the pair behind I Tonya, gives Mike Tyson‘s life a light and airbrushed look, overlooking his more troublesome shortcomings. Trevante Rhodes(Moonlight!) plays Tyson well enough, giving energy and nuance to the role, but the script itself is not nuanced, with Tyson‘s violence against women, like his wife Robin Givens, a softer touch than the reality deserves. Laura Harrier plays Givens ,Russell Hornsby- Donald King, and Harvey Keitel(!) plays Cus D’Amato. Li Eubanks, Grace Zabriskie, Olunike Adeliyi, and T.J. Atoms also star, and there are 2 episodes available now with 6 more to come. But this is a strangely lightweight series for someone whose life has been so eventful and difficult. And so it gets only a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes. Judy Berman of Time says “Hulu‘s pointless Mike does a disservice to the women Tyson hurt,” and I agree. I won’t be watching. But Hulu also has Welcome to Wrexham, a 2022 FX docuseries. This tells the true story of the investment by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in the Wrexham Red Dragons Football team, in Wales. We get a view of the stars in L.A. considering buying the club, while another view shows the townspeople as they hear the news and interact with the celebrities when they come to town. We see the old town itself, which may have seen better days, but is still going, with people that esteem their football team more than almost anything. And those are the best moments, depicting people like pub owner Wayne Owens, with Covid hitting him hard, leaving him hoping for the lift that the sale would bring. And we get to see the team, playing well, and hoping for a winning season. There are no directors listed for this series, but Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are among the producers. And it gets an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Sam Haysom of Mashable calls it “both a thriller and a drama, an action-packed sports doc that delves into the lives affected by the club’s ups and downs.” It’s on my list. Hulu also offers International Falls, a 2019 comedy. Rachael Harris stars as Dee, here, a woman determined to be a comedian, though she’s stuck in a dead end hotel desk job in International Falls, Minnesota and unhappily married, too. So when she meets depressed stand-up comic Tim (Rob Huebel), she finds a connection that may help her get out of her rut, however painful and disruptive as that may be. Matthew Glave, Kevin Nealon, Mindy Sterling, Erik Griffin and Kate Freund also star, and Amber McGinnis directs. This film was nominated for multiple awards from 2019-21(because of Covid)and went on to win Best Narrative Feature for McGinnis at the Ashland Independent Film Festival and the Fargo Film Festival and Best New American Cinema for McGinnis at the Seattle International Film Festival. And it gets an astounding 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Brent McKnight of The Last Thing I See called it “lovely and insightful, dismal and austere, and tiptoes the line between comedy and tragedy.” I’m watching. And, finally, Hulu has added the Spanish language series Santa Evita. Based on Tomas Eloy Martinez’s 1995 novel about the afterlife of Eva Perón‘s body. Natalia Oreiro plays the legendary Evita, who (in this fictionalized account) requested that she be mummified upon her death, with three more wax copies being made, to protect the real body, or to better spread her legendary popularity in viewings. But reporter Mariano Vázquez, played by Diego Velázquez investigates to discover what’s really going on, as Juan Domingo Perón(Darío Grandinetti) seeks to carry out his wife’s wishes. All the while, we get a view to Evita‘s life, from her childhood, to her death at 33. Ernesto Alterio, Mercedes Morán, Francesc Orella, Julieta Vallina, Diego Cremonesi and Guillermo Arengo also star, and there are 7 dramatic episodes available to gorge on now. And this series, with executive producer Selma Hayek, gets an incredible 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Alexandra MacAaron calls it “a compelling and compassionate portrait of the woman known as ‘the spiritual leader of a nation, and raises timely questions about power and control.’ ” I’m definitely tuning in.
Netflix has some exciting adds this week, like Mo, the 2022 comedy series. Comedian Mohammed Amer plays Mo Najjar, a Palestinian refugee living in Texas with his family, trying to get his family’s asylum request through, after 22 years of trying. And keeping food on the table is a challenge when his Arab heritage doesn’t always sit well with his employers, especially those fearing immigration raids. Farah Bsieso plays Mo’s mom Yusra, Teresa Ruiz, Mo’s Catholic girlfriend, Maria, and Tobe Nwigwe, Mohammad Hindi, Omar Elba and Sameer Najjar also star, and there are 8 episodes available for bingeing now. And this series gets a stunning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Lucy Mangan of the Guardian saying it has “a detailed, gorgeously textured, warm and moving story of one man’s life, bringing us closer to understanding a little bit more of everyone’s.” I’m definitely watching. Netflix also offers Loving Adults, a 2022 Danish thriller. this tells the story of the marriage of Leonora(Sonja Richter) and Christian (Dar Salim), as it devolves an apparently perfect loving relationship, to hate and antipathy, as Christian has an affair with Xenia (Sus Wilkins), and Leonora finds out. As Leonora investigates, she finds her husband is not only cheating, but also fudging the books at his construction company, and so, in a heated argument, she threatens him with exposure, which may be a motive for murder. Milo Campanale plays the couple’s sickly son, Johan, and Sus Wilkins,Mikael Birkkjaer, Katinka Petersen,Karoline Hamm and Lars Ranthe also star, and Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg directs. And this movie gets a 6.1/10 on IMDb, and John Serba of the Decider says to stream it, adding its “classy trash that moves propulsively forward, and rarely ceases being entertaining.” And the acting is good. It’s on my list. Netflix also has Partner Track, a 2022 drama series. Based on Helen Wan’s novel of the same name, this tells of Ingrid Yun, played by Arden Cho, a young attorney trying to become partner at her elite firm, not only by working extra hours and following orders, but also by throwing friends at the firm under the bus. But of course, Ingrid‘s potential romances are center stage, here, with Rob Heaps and Dominic Sherwood playing the front-runners. Bradley Gibson, Desmond Chiam, Nolan Gerard Funk., Alexandra Turshen and Matthew Rauch also star, and there are 10 episodes available to enjoy now. And this frothy series gets a 6.6/10 on IMDb, but Caroline Framke of Variety says it “spends way too long showing Ingrid stuck in immoral quagmires to make her eventual redemption all that satisfying.” Probably not for me. But Netflix also offers Seoul Vibe, a 2022 South Korean comedy/action movie. This takes place in 1988 Seoul, just before the Summer Olympics, when a driving team led by Dong-wook, played by Yoo Ah-in, is asked to go undercover by the government, to work as couriers for a crime boss(Moon So-ri,). And, of course, that involves a lot of fast driving, street racing, and car acrobatics, Fast and Furious style. Ko Gyung-pyo, Lee Kyoo-hyung, Ong Seong-Wu,Kim Sung-kyun and Park Ju-Hyun also star, and Hyun-Sung Moon directs. And this movie gets only a 5.6/10 on IMDb, but pickings on Netflix are a bit slim, so there we are. And, finally, Netflix has Superbro, a 2019 Australian comedy series. Also known as Superwog, this follows Theo, aka “Superwog“, played by Theodore Saidden and his best friend Nathan, played by Nathan Saidden, as they cause trouble throughout their suburban Sydney neighborhood. “Wog” is a pejorative term in Australia for dark skinned people, black, Mediterranean and now Arab, and as the (Greek-Egyptian)Saidden brothers developed this series(and their YouTube one that preceded this), it deals a lot with stereotypes of life Down Under, as well as the savior image of the white man. So the first episode has a teen removed from his father’s custody and placed with a lily white family who have their family crest emblazoned on their Speedos, and who teach him to swim. Sasha Sutton, Marta Kaczmarek, Serge De Nardo, John Orcsik, Fiona MacLeod and Joseph Green also star, and there are 2 seasons with 12 episodes total available now. And this series gets an amazing 7.2/10 on IMDb. Jonathon Wilson of Ready Steady Cut calls it “a funny show,….that rails against political correctness not to get away with being offensive, but to highlight and ridicule race and class-based prejudices.” I’m definitely tuning in.
Okay, Amazon’s only major add this week is too flimsy to bother with, in Stallone’s Samaritan, but there are other gems to be found, like The Yellow Wallpaper, a 2022 Gothic thriller movie. Based on the classic 1892 feminist short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, this has protagonist Jane, played by Alexandra Loreth, a writer, taken to the country by her physician husband John(Joe Mullins) to a remote house for rest as she suffers from post-partum depression. But, though Jane likes the house at first, she dislikes being imprisoned in her room with the yellow wallpaper, and begs to be freed. But her well-meaning but biased husband gives little merit to her complaints, and keeps her there, against her will. As she descends into a precarious mental state, Jane sees a woman trapped in the wallpaper, and must get her released. Jeanne O’Connor, Clara Harte, Mark O’Connor, Claire Moroney and Jessica Loreth also star, and Kevin Pontuti directs. And this movie gets a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Fiona Underhill of JumpCut Online calls it “visually rich, with a stunning location, as well as having an effectively creepy aural atmosphere. An impressive feature debut from this film-making duo, retelling a story that has much to say to a contemporary audience.” I’m watching. Amazon also has Britt-Marie Was Here, a 2019 comedy. Based on a novel by Fredrik Backman(A Man Called Ove), this tells the story of Britt Marie, played by Pernilla August(Fanny and Alexander), a 63 year-old Swedish housewife, who works constantly to make her home the perfect domain, only to find her husband, Kent (Peter Haber), is having an affair. So she leaves and heads to Borg, to work with kids, and live on her own for the first time in 4 decades. And she lives life without a net. Malin Levanon, Anders Mossling, Mahmut Suvakci, Vera Vitali and Olle Sarri also star, and Tuva Novotny directed. And this film gets a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. James Croot of Stuff called it “a heartfelt and beautifully rendered portrayal of a three-quarter-life crisis, a charming and convincing character study brought to life by perfectly pitched pacing, well-crafted writing and a terrific performance from the actor playing the main protagonist.” I’m tuning in. And, finally, Amazon has Season 1 of State of Happiness, a 2019 Norwegian period drama series from the Topic channel. This series begins in 1969, when oil supplies (and fish, too) have apparently been played out, and people are leaving en masse in search of greener pastures, and jobs. Anne Regine Ellingsæter plays Anna Hellevik. a young woman who finds a job with local politician Arne Rettedal (Vegar Hoel) and American lawyer, Jonathan Kay (Bart Edwards) arrives in Stavanger, Norway, to shut Phillips Oil down there. But when they strike oil in the North Sea, everything changes, and things go from bust to boom quickly. And jobs blossom in the region, as does the peril that accompanies them. Amund Harboe, Per Kjerstad, Malene Wadel, Pia Tjelta and Laila Goody also star, and there are 8 episodes available for bingeing now. But remember, they disappear back to the Topic Channel in only 4 days. And this series has won numerous awards, including Best Screenplay at the Cannes International Series Festival in 2018, and Best TV Drama, Best Actor(Anne Regine Ellingsæter), Best Costume Design(Karen Fabritius Gram), Best Script(Mette M. Bølstad) and Best Direction(Petter Næss, Pål Jackman) at the Norway Golden Screen awards in 2019. And it gets an outstanding 7.8/10 on IMDb. The Euro Place says it’s ‘hailed as the “Norwegian Mad Men, “‘ and Are You Screening calls it a “dramatic wonder.” I’m watching.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!