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.
The big add on Hulu this week is the long awaited The Patient, a 2022 thriller limited series. Steve Carell stars, here, as a therapist, Alan Strauss, troubled himself, and treating a young patient, Sam Fortner, played by Domhnall Gleeson, who hints at liking violence, and beseeches Strauss for help, with the therapist replying Sam isn’t opening up enough. So when Sam kidnaps Strauss, and chains him to a chair in the basement, you might think murder is afoot, but it’s the opposite, Fortner wants his therapist to keep him from killing again, as he has done before. Andrew Leeds plays Strauss‘ estranged son, and David Alan Grier, Linda Emond, Alex Rich and Laura Niemi also star, and there are 3 episodes available now, with 7 more to come in the following weeks. And this series was created by Joel Fields and Joseph Weisberg, the team behind The Americans(!). And it gets an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Jen Chaney of New York Magazine/Vulture writing “it may not be the most uplifting series you’ll watch this year, but it’s certainly one of the most thought-provoking and absorbing.” It’s on my list. But if you want something a little lighter, Hulu has also added the award-winning The Eyes of Tammy Faye, the 2021 bio-drama. Jessica Chastain(!) stars as the Tammy Faye Bakker, half of the infamous televangelist team rounded out by her then-husband, Jim, played by Andrew Garfield(!). This follows Tammy Faye‘s rise from naïve college student, when she met Jim at Bible College, develop into a weepy TV personality and televangelist, as they make more and more money, Jim takes more money for himself. As her husband becomes more and more corrupt, Tammy, draped in fur, turns a blind eye, but unhappily, and willing to say so. Cherry Jones(!), Frederic Lehne, Louis Cancelmi, Sam Jaeger and Vincent D’Onofrio(!) also star and Michael Showalter(The Big Sick) directed. This movie was based on the 2000 documentary of the same name, and won multiple awards this year, including Best Actress for Jessica Chastain at the Oscars and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. And it gets a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Sandra Hall of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote “the film is a powerful indictment of America’s evangelical right, but the one thing that Chastain can’t quite do is to make Tammy likeable.” But Chastain is great, and I’m watching. Hulu also offers Wasted! The Story Of Food Waste, a 2017 documentary. This deals with the important issue of food waste in the food industry, with host Anthony Bourdain(!) showing us just how much food is wasted each year in the U.S., with 40% of the food produced going to waste, and 90% of it ending up in landfill, which, of course, massively contributes to climate change, with it’s methane emissions. Bourdain also introduces us to different chefs, farmers and other creators who are trying to change that impact, like Chef Dan Barber, who is trying to integrate less popular items into his menu in NYC, with cauliflower leaves and immature vegetables now on the menu. And Tristram Stuart brewing Toast Pale Ale from sandwich bread crusts! There are some ingenious products put forth by genius chefs and entrepreneurs from all over the world. And directors Anna Chai and Nari Kye create a fascinating and enlightening narrative of the problem and it’s solutions, with plenty of humor interspersed, so it’s not too preachy. And this premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and went on to win not only the Audience Favorite Documentary at the 2017 Aspen Filmfest, but also an Emmy the following year. and it gets an incredible 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Michael Rechtshaffen of the L.A. Times said “taking a lively approach to an increasingly serious 21st century issue, the skillfully assembled documentary Wasted! The Story of Food Waste proves as eye-opening as it is mouth-watering.” I’m tuning in. And, finally, Hulu has A Cat in Paris, a 2012 animated mystery/drama. This tells the tale of Zoé(Lauren Weintraub), a young girl, mute since the death of her father and resentful of her distant mom Jeanne(Marcie Gay Harden!), a hard working police inspector. But when Zoé follows her cat Dino, she finds he’s has a double life of his own, accompanying cat burglar, Nico(Steve Blum), across the rooves of Paris at night as he carries out his business. And together, the threesome may find the murderer of Zoe‘s father while on their nightly escapades. Anjelica Huston, Matthew Modine, JB Blanc, Mike Pollock and Eric Bauza also star, and it was co-directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli. And this film is wonderfully hand-drawn in a jazzy, retro style, that earned it a nomination for Academy Award for Best Animated Feature of the Year in 2012, along with a nomination at the César Awards in 2011, and went on to in the Audience Award at the 2011 Warsaw International Film Festival. And it gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune saying it “glories in striking silhouettes, a slinky ‘50s beat, a bright storybook palette and an entrancing brand of make-believe that grown-ups can believe in.” I’m definitely tuning in.
Netflix has a big add this week with Devil in Ohio, a 2022 limited thriller series. Emily Deschanel(!) stars as Dr. Suzanne Mathis, a psychiatrist who, however wisely, takes in her patient, Mae, played by Madeleine Arthur, a traumatized young woman recently escaped from a Satanic cult, without consulting her family. But the girl creeps out her daughters, and Suzanne’s husband Peter (Sam Jaeger), a real estate salesman, begins to get suspicious of the girl, and starts to investigate. Which may endanger them all. Alisha Newton, Xaria Dotson, Naomi Tan, Gerardo Celasco and Marci T. House also star, and there are 8 episodes available for bingeing now. But there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, which may be why it gets only a 60% on Rotten Tomatoes. Still, Annabel Nugent of the Independent (UK) says it “does not reinvent the wheel — and no doubt it’ll be subsumed into the amorphous mass of Netflix adaptations sooner rather than later, but in the moment, it’s decent viewing.” But I’d rather watch I Came By, a 2022 British thriller. Hugh Bonneville(!) stars as Sir Hector Blake, former judge, and seemingly irreproachable, elitist, who is targeted by a young graffiti artist and member of the I came By group of activist taggers, Toby, played by George MacKay(1917). But when the young man is stuck in Blake’s basement, he finds something sinister, that may put his life in danger. Kelly Macdonald, Percelle Ascott, Varada Sethu, Lee Byford and Amerjit Deu also star, with award-winning Babak Anvari(Under the Shadow) directing. And while this movie gets only a 68%, I’m watching. Noel Murray of the Los Angeles Times calls it a “twisty suspense film barbed with social commentary,” and Hugh Bonneville playing against type makes it all worthwhile. Also new on Netflix is Off the Hook, a 2022 French comedy series. this considers the dilemma of roommates Lea(Tiphaine Daviot), a 20 something in Paris, stalking her ex-boyfriend online and Manon(Manon Azem), a singer often embarrassed online, who finally decide to do a digital detox, especially after Lea‘s boyfriend has her arrested. While their friends a nd relatives are impressed, they are not too successful and so the pair finally end up going to a detox camp, where they find all sorts of craziness, but no phones. Héléna Noguerra, Charlotte de Turckheim, Gauthier Battoue, Laurent Bateau, Oussama Kheddam and Zinedine Soualem also star, and there are 6 zany episodes available to enjoy now. And this series gets a 6/10 on IMDb, and joel Keller of the Decider says to Stream It, adding “despite the fact that the main characters in Off The Hook have sketchily-drawn motivations for doing their digital detox, we’re looking forward to seeing both of them change and grow as they re-engage with the world around them.” I’m tuning in. Netflix has also added Fakes, a 2022 Canadian crime/comedy series. this considers teen best friends Zoe (Emilija Baranac) and Becca (Jennifer Tong), with Zoe made a fake college ID, to access text books . When Becca finds out, she goads Zoe into making a fake driver’s license for her, and then, to make them for profit. But when hustler Tryst(Richard Harmon) gets involved, with big money, things get serious way fast, and the girls may end up in jail. Erick Bempong, Mya Lowe, Emily Leung, Matreya Scarrwener, Debbie Podowski and Devon Slack also star, and there are 10 episodes available for bingeing now. And this series gets an amazing 7.2/10 on IMDb, and Poornima Balsu of the Midgard Times calls it “one of the best show[s] currently streaming.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Netflix has added The Festival of Troubadours, a 2022 Turkish drama. This has quiet Yusef, played by Kivanç Tatlitug, a young lawyer, living alone, suddenly visited by his estranged father Whimsy Ali, played by Settar Tanriogen, a famous troubadour, asking only to spend the night. The old man doesn’t really explain his absence, or his health, though it becomes clear to Yusef he is seriously ill. All his father wants is to take the bus to Kars, to go to the Festival of Troubadours, and so Yusef offers to take him himself. And the long road trip brings plenty of discoveries, both good and bad. Laçin Ceylan, Burcu Cavrar, Çetin Sarkartal, Erkan Bekta, and Pinar Göktas also star, while Özcan Alper directs. And this movie gets a 6.2/10 on IMDb, with MartinCid.com calling it “genuine drama that does not hold back on emphasizing the sadness of the story. If you need a good cry, watch this movie.” I’m watching.
Amazon has the huge add of the week, with The Rings of Power, it’s Lord of the Rings prequel, finally available. This takes place in the Second Age of Middle-earth, and is taken not from a story line of Tolkien‘s, but from Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings, of the Tale of Years. In this early time, long before Bilbo Baggins, the forging of “the rings” takes place, and the elf Galadriel, once played by Cate Blanchett and now by Morfydd Clark(Saint Maud), opening by giving us a brief narrative of what’s going on. with the disastrous First Age war at an end, and Galadriel seeking Sauron to avenge the death of her brother. Meanwhile King Gil-galad(Benjamin Walker) finds Galadriel‘s obsession troublesome, and in human country, elf warrior Arondir(Ismael Cruz Córdova) develops a forbidden crush on human healer Bronwyn(Nazanin Boniadi). And all this takes place among fantastical scenes on Middle Earth and it’s realms. And its monsters. Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Tyroe Muhafidin, Maxim Baldry, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham and Meghan Richards also star, and there 2 episodes available right now, with 6 more to come this season and 50 episodes(!) expected in all. And this magical series gets an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, but reports are it’s getting review bombed, in other words, trolls are flooding sites horribly low review ratings, based on it’s ‘perceived political or cultural views,'(read an inclusive cast, with women and people of color) rather than it’s actual quality(thanks for help from the Hollywood Reporter). But most valid reviews are very good, and Rebecca Nicholson of the Guardian calls it “so astounding it makes House of the Dragon look amateur. “And I agree. I’m definitely tuning in. Oh, and you don’t have to have seen or read any other Tolkien works to enjoy it, so join in! But Amazon also offers Anna, a 2021 South Korean series. There is little information online about this series, but Bae Suzy stars as Yumi, a young woman who grew up in poverty, who somehow is forced to become Anna, who aspires to great heights, and just might make it, if her real identity isn’t discovered first. Jung Eun-chae, Kim Jun-han,Park Ye-young, Kim Jung-young and Choi Yong-jin also star, and there are 6 episodes available to enjoy now. And this series was nominated for several awards at the upcoming APAN Star Awards and gets a stunning 7.5/10 on IMDb. I can’t find any reviews, but zapzee.net says “it premieres to rave reviews.” And I love a mystery. I’m watching. And, finally, Amazon has Season 1 of Guilt, the 2019 hit Scottish mystery series from PBS Masterpiece. This tells of two brothers, Max, played by Mark Bonnar, and Jake, played by Jamie Sives, who unexpectedly hit and kill an elderly man in Edinburgh, stoned and uninsured, on the way home from a wedding. They panic, and then, take the body, and cover the whole thing up, hoping the death will be considered a natural one. But, as the police investigate, and a neighbor mentions her suspicions, the pair realize that they weren’t getting away with it scot free. Moyo Akandé, Ruth Bradley, Henry Pettigrew, Bill Patterson and Henry Firth also star, and there are 4 episodes available for bingeing now. And this series gets an impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, Graeme Blundell of the Australian wrote “Forsyth pitched into black comic thriller territory with Hitchcockian twists and lovely one-liners, where the problem of guilt, the anxiety and ambiguity it creates, couldn’t be solved by any rational solution. It was very funny.” I’m tuning in, but be sure to finish before October 1, when it disappears back onto the premium PBS Masterpiece channel, only to be seen for $5.99/month.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!