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 a huge add this week with Stars at Noon, the 2022 romantic thriller from master director Claire Denis(Beau Travail). Based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Denis Johnson, this film tells the tale of American journalist Trish, played by Margaret Qualley, working in Nicaragua, but down on her luck ao that she’s forced to do sex work to make ends meet, and keep her press pass. But when she meets Daniel (Joe Alwyn), an enigmatic British businessman(?) working in the country, they fall for each other, without either knowing any specific details about the other, leading each to suspect the other of various crimes, especially as it becomes obvious Daniel is being trailed by cops and the CIA. Benny Safdie, Danny Ramirez, Nick Romano,Stephan Proaño, Monica Bartholomew and Carlos Bennett and John C. Reilly(!) also star, and Denis wrote the script here, too, along with Léa Mysius and Andrew Litvack. And this film was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival this year, and went on to win the prestigious the Grand Prix there. Still, it gets only a 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, maybe because of the tedium involved in the lives characters stuck in a foreign country. But Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times says “it’s a fascinating confluence of talent and tedium; it’s also a story in which tedium — the day-after-day frustration of a stalled, thwarted existence — may well be the point.” And I’m watching. Hulu has also added The French Dispatch, a 2021 comedy from director Wes Anderson(!). This takes place in 1960‘s France, where Arthur Howitzer Jr.,(Bill Murray),edits and runs The French Dispatch, a New Yorker type magazine, and serves as the ringmaster of the circus that takes place there dialy. And we get to see three stories he is considering running, like, the first, on the prison artist Moses Rosenthaler(Benicio Del Toro), painting his muse, corrections officer Simone(Léa Seydoux), and after becoming famous, is wooed by three art dealers (Adrian Brody, Bob Balaban, and Henry Winkler), as they try to mold him into someone more presentable..and sellable. Or there’s the story of student Zeffirelli(Timothy Chalemet), writing a manifesto, and getting help(?) from journalist Lucinda Krementz (Francis McDormand). And , finally the third tells of the kidnapping of a police commissioner‘s son, with Jeffrey Wright starring. Tilda Swinton(!), Lyna Khoudri, Mathieu Amalric, Owen Wilson and Stephen Park also star, and Anderson wrote the screen play, along with directing, here. And this movie was nominated for tons of awards this last season, and went on to win Best Supporting Actor for Jeffrey Wright, and Best Ensemble Cast at the Chicago Indie Critics Awards, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards and the Detroit Film Critics Society Awards. Oh, and Best Comedy Film at the Denver Film Critics Society. And it gets a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.1/10 on IMDb. Taryn Allen of the Chicago Reader wrote “it has everything that we’ve come to expect from Wes Anderson-carefully crafted aesthetics, perfect color palettes, and intricate tableaux of actors..” adding it’s a “love letter to France and to old-fashioned print journalism, particularly travel writing.” Which is why I’m tuning in. But, if you need Halloween thrills and chills, Hulu offers Surreal Estate, the 2022 Candian Syfy series. Tim Rozan stars, here, as real estate agent Luke Roman, who heads the Roman Agency, which specializes iin haunted houses. Not too lucrative a business, usually, but Luke can talk to the dead, and so, help them move on to the next world, and so, sell the house. But when newcomer Susan Ireland(Sarah Levy) of Schitt’s Creek) joins the firm, she is skeptical, but has her own powers to help get the job done. Savannah Basley, Adam Korson, Dean Wint and Tenille Read also star, and there are 10 episodes available for bingeing now, just in time for Halloween. And this series was nominated for Best Cinematography in TV Drama at the 2022 Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards, and gets an impressive 7/10 on IMDb. Carissa Pavlica of TV Fanatic said “it feels similar to other Syfy shows off the bat, such as Warehouse 13 and Haven, and that’s good company.” And not too gory. I’m watching. And, finally, Hulu has added Shadow Detective,, a 2022 Korean mystery series. This has middle-aged detective Kim Taek-rok (Lee Sung-min), ready for retirement, when his old partner Woo Hyung-seok ( Kim Tae-hoon) seeks his help on a drug dealing case. As Taek-rok is drawn in deeper, he is forced to meet with a shadowy figure on a mountain to save his partner’s life, but ends up, instead, framed for his murder. Jin Goo, Hak-joo Lee, Kyung Soo Jin and Kim Hong-pa also star, and there are 10 fascinating episodes available for bingeing now. And this series gets an 8.1/10 on IMDb, with Rhian Daly of nme.com calling it “a gripping and addictive watch that, even just two episodes in, has you constantly on your toes.” I’m tuning in. I love a mystery.
Netflix has some huge, exciting adds this week, with none as exciting as Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, the 2022 horror anthology. Here, we get 8 different tales of terror, from different directors, not featuring del Toro, but people like Guillermo Navarro–del Toro‘s partner in so many of his productions, Keith Thomas(The Vigil) and Vincenzo Natali (Cube). And actors like Tim Blake Nelson, as a conspiracy crazed veteran in Lot 36, Crispin Glover(!) in a Lovecraft tale, and Essie Davis(Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, The Babadook), in a story directed by Jennifer Kent(The Nightingale!). So much good stuff, with varying degrees of terror, some of mild enough for me! Kate Micucci, F. Murray Abraham(!), Glynn Turman,Charlyne Yi, Dan Stevens, Rupert Grint and Eric Andre also star, and del Toro hosts this series, too. And it gets an impressive 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and James Jackson of the Times(UK) calls it “a far scarier Twilight Zone, but gleefully, darkly humorous with it.” I’m tuning in. From under the bed. Netflix also has a big title added with The Good Nurse, a 2022 thriller. Based on a true story, Jessica Chastain(!) stars here, as Amy Loughren, an overworked New Jersey ICU nurse with 2 children, who continues backbreaking work at long hours, despite a heart problem of her own. So she is grateful for help from nurse Charles Cullen, played by Eddie Redmayne, ever forbearing and helpful, and even taking care of her kids for her. But when patients in her hospital begin dying of overdoses of insulin, and two police detectives approach her about Cullen’s unknown past in hospitals across the country also suffering unexplained deaths, Amy has no choice but to help them. Denise Pillott, Dartel McRae, Joseph Fugelo, Kim Dickens and Nnamdi Asomugha also star, while Tobias Lindholm(Another Drink) directs. And this movie gets an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Paul Byrnes of the Sydney Morning Herald saying it “feels more like a European art movie than an American political thriller… It’s a shocking story, built around two superb performances from two Oscar-winning stars.” It’s definitely on my list. But Netflix has also added a 2022 German production of All Quiet on the Western Front, based on Erich Maria Remarque’s classic novel. Felix Kammerer plays the central character, Paul Bäumer, a 17 year-old German kid finally picked to join the assembly line of young men sent to the front in World War I. Naively excited about taking part in the war, he is quickly disabused of that idea, getting little training, and ill-equipped, even his gas mask taken from him at the front. As the men cower in the foxhole under a barrage of bombs, things worsen, as tanks roll over them and the soldiers just hope to survive the day. The elite leaders of Germany, distant and unconcerned for the foot soldiers that die by the thousands, refuse to surrender, and the hope for peace is all but lost. So the boys turned into wizened men over night are left to themselves, with even food and water scarce. Albrecht Schuch, Sebastian Hülk, Felix Kammerer, Edin Hasanovic and Moritz Klaus also star, and Edward Berger directs. And this movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is slated to be Germany’s entry for the Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category next year. And it gets a notable 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8/10 on IMDb. John Nugent of Empire Magazine wrote its “another stunning adaptation of the classic anti-war novel: epic and horrific, in equal doses. War has rarely felt this wretchedly, desperately pointless.” It’s on my list. Netflix has also added The Chalk Line, a 2022 Spanish mystery/thriller. This has a childless couple, Paula (Elena Anaya) and Simone (Pablo Molinero), coming upon a blonde child, walking alone on the highway, at night. As they come to her rescue and save her life, Paula, especially becomes drawn into the enigma of the girl, Clara(Eva Tennear), even as it becomes clear they may be putting their lives in danger, and that the child may be a ‘bad seed.’ Carlos Santos, Eva Llorach, Eloy Azorín, Mona Martínez and Sonia Almarcha also star, and Ignacio Tatay directs. And this film gets a respectable 6.1/10 on IMDb. But M.N. Miller of Ready Steady Cut says it “had promise but ultimately succumbs to an uneven script and an ending that plays it too safe.” And it’s still too scary for me. But I know you need horror for Halloween.And, finally, Netflix has added The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, a 2022 British fantasy series. Jay Lycurgo stars as Nathan Byrn, a teen, or bastard son, who’s learning to come to terms with the fact that he’s a witch, and descended both from a line of “blood” witches, like his father, and good witches, or Fairborn. But as his father, Marcus(David Gyasi) incites terror and unrest in the Fairborn community, Nathan seeks to follow the good path, even falling for Fairborn Annalise (Nadia Parkes). But as he comes of age, his powers will fully arrive, with no one knowing which side will prevail. Isobel Jesper Jones plays his half-sister Jessica and Paul Ready, Emilien Vekemans, Karen Connell, Kerry Fox and Liz White also star, and 8 episodes available to gorge on now. And you might want to, because this series gets an amazing 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and David Opie of Digital Spy said its “the best YA fantasy Netflix has ever made, by a wide margin — and that’s because it’s not afraid to take risks.” And you’re never too old. I’m watching.
Amazon has an amazing add this week with The Devil’s Hour, a 2022 British mystery/thriller series. Jessica Raine(of Call the Midwife) stars as Lucy Chambers, a social worker troubled by impending divorce, a mother with dementia, and a son who speaks to ghosts, but most of all, nightmares, waking at 3:33(the Devil’s hour) each morning, But she is unaware of the cause of her troubles, until she meets Gideon(Peter Capaldi!), imprisoned for some crime, but who knows that something Lucy‘s past is to blame for all her unrest. A past she doesn’t remember. Nikesh Patel, Meera Syal, Alex Ferns, Phil Dunster, and Barbara Marten also star, and there are 6 episodes available for bingeing now. And this series gets an incredible 7.4/10 on IMDb, Lucy Mangan of the Guardian saying it’s “proof that Peter Capaldi is the world’s most terrifying actor.” I’m tuning in. And if you need a horror/comedy this Halloween, like me, look no further than Juan of the Dead, a 2012 Spanish language comedy. Here, when Cuba is beset by zombies, with little response from the government, which simply calls them US sponsored ‘dissidents,’ slacker Juan decides to make some fast cash with his own extermination business, Juan of the Dead. Unfortunately, it turns out to be too popular, with his free market venture attracting way too much negative attention from officials. Jorge Molina, Elsa Camp, Blanca Rosa Blanco, Antonio Dechent, Andrea Duro and Andros Perugorría also star, and Alejandro Brugués directed. And this movie won multiple awards in 2013, including Best Iberoamerican Film at the Goya Awards, and Special Jury Prize at the Biarritz International Festival of Latin American Cinema. And it gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian writing “this wacky zombie comedy exploits to the full this genre’s juicy potential for satire: a more solemn kind of movie maybe couldn’t get away with being quite as irreverent about the Castro government.” I’m watching. And, finally, if you’ve had a bit too much horror this weekend, you might turn to Kanarie, the 2018 South African musical drama. This tells the tale of Johan, played by Schalk Bezuidenhout, a young Boy George fan, and already a victim of bullying, who is suddenly drafted into the Army during Apartheid, leaving everyone who knows him fearful. But when he is accepted into the Kanaries, the military’s traveling choir, his life is brought a brilliance he never saw before, making friends, and delighting in his music. But he is also confronted with his sexual identity, something he had never openly dealt with before. Hannes Otto plays Wolfgang, his romantic interest, and Germandt Geldenhuys, Gerard Rudolf, Jacques Bessenger, Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Jennifer Steyn and Ludwig Binge also star, and Christiaan Olwagen directs. And this delightful movie gets an incredible 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Sheri Linden of the Hollywood Reporter called it “a winning combination of thoughtfulness and exuberance that could translate into international theatrical play beyond its fest run.” I’m definitely tuning in.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!