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 amazing add this week with The Last Duel, the 2021 historical drama. Based on a true story, this tells of France’s last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, close friends turned bitter enemies. Matt Damon plays Carrouges, while Adam Driver plays Le Gris, but the real story here is of the reason for the duel, i.e. Marguerite, played here by the always exceptional Jodi Comer(Killing Eve), as she claims to having been raped(very truthfully) by Le Gris, and the fallout thereafter. This is told in three chapters, one for each main characters point of view, with Jean claiming to be good husband, Jacques claiming it was mere ‘adultery,’ and Marguerite vehemently disagreeing with both men. Ben Affleck, Marton Csokas, Harriet Walters, Nathaniel Parker and Claire Dunne also star, and the great Ridley Scott(Alien) directed. And this movie won numerous nominations last year in awards season, and went on to win Best Actress in an Action Movie for Comer at the Critics Choice Super Awards, and the NBR Award at the 2021 National Board of Review. And it gets an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.2/10 on IMDb. Esther Zuckerman of Thrillist called it “a strange, long horror comedy about how women in the 14th century were at the mercy of dudes who were vain, petty, and cruel, only concerned with their own status even when someone’s life is at stake.” And I agree. I’m watching. Hulu has also added The Rest of Us, a 2019 drama. Heather Graham stars as Cami, an author and illustrator, and ex-wife, whose husband left her for another woman, Rachel, played by Jodi Balfour. But when Cami‘s ex, Craig, dies suddenly and leaves Rachel and her daughter, Talulah (Abigail Pniowsky), broke, Cami decides to take them in. Which leaves her own daughter, Aster (Sophie Nélisse) bewildered at her mother’s charity, and barely able to hide her disgust with her two new roomies. Charlie Gillespie, Tameka Griffiths, Greg Calderone, Inga Cadranel and Kelly Martin also star and Aisling Chin-Yee(No Ordinary Man) directs. This was nominated for several awards in 2019, including Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival. And it gets an impressive 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Sheri Linden of the Hollywood Reporter called it “sharply written and sensitively played.” I’m watching. Hulu also offers The Dustwalker, a 2019 Australian horror movie. This has a spacecraft crash landing in the Australian desert, and releasing a dangerous parasite that makes humans disoriented, lethally strong, and violent, with Sergeant Joanne Sharp, played by Jolene Anderson, is the only one standing in their way. Only in town for the birth of her nephew, Sharp finds herself working with police officer Luke Dawson (Richard Davies), trying to make sense of what’s going on, with no outside help or communication. Stef Dawson plays Joanne‘s sister Samantha, and Caleb Sciberras Scott, Ruby Duncan, Ryan Graeme Allen and Ben Mortley also star, and Sandra Sciberras directed, along with writing the script. And it gets only a 3.7/10 on IMDb, but the selection is slim on Hulu this week, and I love sci-fi, especially with female protagonists, so I’m tuning in. And, finally, Hulu has This Mountain Life, a 2019 Canadian documentary. This has 29 year-old Martina Halik and her mom, Tania Halik, taking on the 2,300k (1,400+ miles) trip across the Coast Range in British Columbia, traversing mountains and icy landscapes over a 6 month journey that would leave many terrified. But, we learn Martina‘s mother Tania has made harrowing treks before, in her escape from the Czech Republic, while pregnant with Martina‘s sister, and the pair are up to this challenge as well. But instead of just a tale of a huge expedition alone, we get the tales of the people who populate this wild landscape, with few people, but much wildlife. We get exquisite views of the wilderness changing over the seasons, and how people cope with being alone and unaided for most of their existence. And we have director Grant Baldwin to thank for that, giving us amazingly beautiful views of the magnificent landscape and the people who dwell there. And this movie was nominated for numerous awards in 2019, and went on to win Best Visuals at the Kendal Mountain Festival, and Best Direction in a Feature Length Documentary for Baldwin at the Leo Awards. And it gets an amazing 7.2/10 on IMDb, with Pat Muller of POV Magazine calling it “ravishingly shot [and] an awe-inspiring breath of fresh air.” I’m definitely watching. We all deserve to a get away.
Netflix has no huge titles added this week, but their biggest might be Do Revenge, a 2022 YA drama. This has former teen queen Drea, played by Camila Mendes, undone by a sex tape she thinks her ex-boyfriend Max (Austin Abrams) released, and when she meets Eleanor, played by Maya Hawke, a new student with resentments of her own, they hatch a plan. To avenge each others wrongs, and to uncover the hypocrisy of Max, while they’re at it. Rish Shah, Talia Ryder, Jonathan Daviss, Ava Capri and Maia Reficco also star, while Jennifer Kaytin Robinson directs. But this is the typical Hollywood high school drama, with rich, beautiful 20-something students facing few of the problems most of us face in school. Still, it gets a respectable 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, so someone must like it. Indeed, Rohan Naahar of the Indian Express writes “powered by a self-aware screenplay that skewers performative wokeness and toxic patriarchy, Do Revenge is a fun little companion piece to writer-director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s 2016 show Sweet/Vicious.” You decide. I’d rather watch The Lørenskog Disappearance, a 2022 limited crime drama series from Norway. This has the wife, Anne-Elisabeth, of billionaire Tom Hagen (Terje Strømdahl) abducted, and detective Jorunn Lakke (Yngvild Støen Grotmol) is put in charge of the case, with her partner, Micael Delvir (Kidane Gjølme Dalva) helping her collect the clues. But after weeks of little progress, Anne-Elisabeth‘s cell number is leaked, and as the press becomes aware of the heretofore unpublicized kidnapping, all hell threatens to break loose. As the investigators wonder if this is actually a kidnapping at all. Christian Rubeck, Henrik Rafaelsen, Victoria Ose, Hermann Sabado and Kjersti Dalseide also star, and there are 5 episodes available for bingeing now. And this mini-series gets a 6.3/10 on IMDb. Greg Wheeler of the Review Geek calls it “a tightly compact and moody crime drama that’s well worth a watch.” So I’m tuning in. But Netflix has also added The Brave Ones, an exciting new fantasy series from South Africa. This revolves around the legend of The Brave Ones, a group of warriors who were created by the leader of The Wise One, an ancient goddess, to protect the Tree of Life from humans. In modern day South Africa, In the village of Ilanga, Ntsiki (Sthandile Nkosi) is starting a new job, but soon finds herself out of work, her boyfriend cheating, and her only support her sister Funeka(Keke Mphuthi), who is trying to stop the evictions due in her neighborhood, needed to build a huge casino and hotel. But when Funeka discovers two ancient bracelets, along with the tale of the Brave Ones, Ntsiki finds her life and identity changed forever, and she rushes to save the Tree of Life from the new construction. Zamani Mbatha, Lindani Nkosi, Tony Kgoroge, Bonko Khoza and S’Thandiwe Kgoroge also star, and Akin Omotoso directs all 6 episodes available now. And this gets an undeservedly low 3.8/10 on IMDb, I suspect racist trolls(again) responsible for that, because this series gets raves in many online reviews. Daniel Hart of Ready Steady Cut calls it “entertaining, action-packed, and worth the thumbnail in your Netflix dashboard,” and Joel Keller of The Decider says to Stream It, adding it “effectively roots a supernatural story in some very real problems. ” And it will satisfy our appetites until we can see The Woman King!! I’m definitely watching. Netflix has also added Travelin’ Band: Creedence Clearwater Revival at the Royal Albert Hall, a 2022 concert movie. Narrated by Jeff Bridges(!), this tells of the 1970 tour of Creedence Clearwater Revival, their first in Europe, with plenty of archival footage(and music) from Rotterdam, Berlin and Paris, as they played classics like The Midnight Special and Commotion. We also learn how the band formed and survived the Vietnam War, with enlistments in the army and Coast Guard, and finally, their later success with Proud Mary and Born on the Bayou. But the pièce de résistance is the final 45 minutes, with their performance at Royal Albert Hall that year, and renditions of Green River, Born on the Bayou and Fortunate Son. And Bob Smeaton(The Beatles on Record) directs here. And this movie gets an incredible 8.4/10 on IMDb, with Johnny Loftus of The Decider calling it “a terrific document of a band at the height of its powers, putting in the work to be their best version of what a rock star can be.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Netflix has added Little Women, a South Korean mystery series. Yes, I said mystery, as this series combines a modernized version of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, but here having the girls grow up, and finding a world full of intrigue. Sisters In-joo (Kim Go-eun) and In-kyung (Nam Ji-hyun) grow up in poverty and want, trying to provide for little sister, In-hye (Park Ji-hu). When their mother, In-hye (Park Ji-hu), resentful of motherhood and the prices it incurs for her, she deserts the children, with the family money. As In-joo grows up, she vows to make money for her sisters and have a life of comfort and ease, but she instead finds a friend murdered, disguised as suicide. Choo Ja-hyun, Wi Ha-joon,Kim Mi-sook, Oh Jung-se and Um Ki-joon also star, and there are 5 episodes available now, with a new one dropping every Saturday and Sunday. And this K-drama series get an unbelievable 8.4/10 on IMDb. Chris Panella of the Daily Beast writes its “an entertaining mystery that’s surely worth a watch—if you leave your preconceived notions about Little Women at the door.” And that’s a definite requirement, to rethink the Little Women model. Or forget it’s Little Women altogether, as I plan to do. Because I’m watching.
Amazon has one huge title added this week with Goodnight Mommy, a 2022 horror flick. In a remake of a 2014 Austrian movie, twin brothers Elias (Cameron Crovetti) and his twin, Lucas (Nicholas Crovetti) come home to visit their mom, Naomi Watts, after her cosmetic surgery. But they soon notice strange changes in their mom’s behavior, as she is testy, angry and stays only in her darkened bedroom, where the boys are not allowed. As she becomes more bizarre, tearing up their old drawing, for example, the kids become convinced that she is not really their mother. The only thing that remains is for them to prove it, by removing her mask. Peter Hermann, Crystal Lucas-Perry, and Jeremy Bobb also star, while Matt Sobel directs. But I think this movie suffers in comparison to the original, especially since they removed some for the scarier scenes. And so it gets a mere 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Stephen Romei of The Australian saying “it is not as shocking as the original, directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, but it is still a dark psychological thriller.” You decide. I’d rather watch The Outfit, the 2022 thriller starring Mark Rylance(!). Rylance plays Leonard Burling, a tailor(or cutter, as he prefers to be called) who services some of the biggest gangsters in 1950‘s Chicago. And though Burling prefers to look the other way, and stay uninvolved, one night he has no choice, when an enforcer associated with the shop, Francis, brings in an associate with a bullet wound. Zoey Deutch(!) stars as Leonard’s receptionist, Mable, and Johnny Flynn, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Dylan O’Brien and Simon Russell Beale also star, while Graham Moore(The Imitation Game) directed. And this movie gets an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Danny Leigh of The Financial Times saying “Rylance can hang another immaculate screen performance in the wardrobe.” I’m watching. And, finally, Amazon has added A Private Affair, a 2022 Spanish mystery series. This takes place in 1940s Galicia, where Marina Quiroga, played by Aura Gallido, a young woman blocked from her dream of becoming a police officer like her father in a misogynistic world, decides to solve a serial murder along with her butler, Hector, played by Jean Reno(!). Ángela Molina, Álex García, Gorka Otxoa, Tito Valverde and Irene Montalá also star, and there are 8 thrilling episodes available to enjoy now. It was nominated for the Golden Nymph award at the 2022 Monte-Carlo TV Festival, and gets a 6.4/10 on IMDb. Poormina Batsu of the Midgard Times calls it ” a vintage crime show!” and says it “is definitely worth a watch as it fits into all the main genres and can be quite entertaining to all audiences.” And I love a mystery. I’m definitely tuning in.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!