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 some big titles this week, like the eagerly awaited 2022 FX drama series Fleishman Is in Trouble. based on Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s acclaimed 2019 novel of the same name, this has Jesse Eisenberg playing Toby Fleishman, a 41 year-old doctor in N.Y.C. whose divorce from his wife Rachel, played by Claire Danes(!), isn’t his only difficulty, because life as a grown-up just isn’t isn’t working out. After Rachel drops off the face of the earth after dropping their kids off with Toby, he is overwhelmed, and meaningless hookups and his job just aren’t satisfying him. And he wonders where it all went wrong. Lizzy Caplan, Adam Brody, Josh Radnor, Meara Mahoney-Gross, Maxim Swinton and Cristian Slater also star, and there are 2 episodes available now, with 6 more to come. And this series gets an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com calling it “a saga across time, relationships, and even bounds of empathy that offers the best kind of whiplash.” It’s on my list. But Hulu has also added The Forgiven, a 2021 drama. This tells the story of David and Jo Henninger, played by Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain, respectively, an ultra-rich couple from London, who travel to a Moroccan desert villa for a posh weekend party. But when a drunken David hits and kills a Berber boy while speeding down the road, the pair hope to push the incident aside, and get on with their revelry. But when the boy’s bereaved father, Abdellah(Ismael Kanater), visits the villa and demands an act of contrition, he may actually change their lives forever. Matt Smith, Caleb Landry Jones, Said Taghmaoui, Abbey Lee and Alex Jennings also star, while John Michael McDonagh directed. And this movie gets a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Trevor Johnston of Time Out wrote it “takes the harder road, and actually proves more engrossing and haunting in retrospect than when you’re actually watching it. In an era of instant gratification, that, for all the film’s evident flaws, is still worth chin-stroking respect.” I’m tuning in. Hulu also offers Catch the Fair One, a 2021 mystery/ thriller. This tells the story of Kaylee, played by Kali Reis, an ex-boxer and Native American who voluntarily joins a sex trafficking ring, in search of her missing sister Weeta (Mainaku Borrero). Kaylee‘s life crumbled since Weeta‘s disappearance, and addiction became a problem, living at a shelter. When she gets a lead on Weeta, she joins the ring, and finds countless Native women, drugged and and abused, in his possession. And as Kaylee gets closer to the truth, her life is imperiled, and she is forced to think on her feet to stay alive, and find her sister. Daniel Henshall, Kevin Dunn, Tiffany Chu, Kimberly Guerrero and Lisa Emery also star, and Josef Kubota Wladyka directed. And this film won the Audience Award at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and Reis won the Best Actress Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival. And it gets an amazing 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Leslie Felperin of The Guardian saying “clearly, [Wladyka] has a knack for filming crime stories, especially where they overlap with tales of exploitation and the dispossessed underclass.” It’s on my list.And, finally, Hulu has added Ben Gri, a 2022 Turkish mystery series. This considers the plight of Fuat Akıncı, played by Timuçin Esen, a successful and respected lawyer whose perfect life falls apart when his daughter is attacked, and left in a coma. When Fuat sets out to find who is responsible, his need for vengeance grows, and he begins to wonder whether he is as humane as he once thought he was. Ebru Ozkan, Alican Yucesoy, Buce Buse Kahraman, Onur Bilge, Selin Kahraman and İlayda Akdogan also star, and there are 4 episodes available now, with 4 more coming soon, from Disney+. And this series gets an impressive 7/10 on IMDb, and it has an acclaimed cast. And I love a mystery. I’m watching.
Netflix has a hugely exciting add with The Wonder, the 2022 mystery drama. Based on the 2016 novel by Emma Donoghue, this tells the spectacle created in Irish Midlands,1862, when 11 year-old Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy), pious and dutiful, reportedly hasn’t eaten for four months. London nurse Lib, played by Florence Pugh(!) has been called in to observe the girl for 2 weeks by church officials, and is set on quickly solving the mystery she finds scientifically impossible. But Lib finds things aren’t as black and white as she thought, as she works in tandem with Sister Michael, a nun played by Josie Walker, assigned to watch the girl in shifts. Toby Jones(!), Kíla Lord Cassidy, Niamh Algar, David Wilmot, Ciarán Hinds and Ruth Bradley also star, while Sebastián Lelio(Gloria) directs. And this movie received 12 nominations at the 2022 British Independent Film Awards, and went on to win Best Original Music for Matthew Herbert. And it gets an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and critic Ty Burr of Ty Burr’s Watch List says “beneath its satisfying surface mystery, The Wonder levels a steady gaze at a faith-ruled culture where the miracles of women are sometimes the only way to cope with the sins of men.” I’m watching. But Netflix also offers 1899, the German mystery series from the creators of Dark. This takes place on a ship headed to America in 1899, which comes upon the Prometheus, abandoned and empty, though in the middle of the Atlantic. And when the instruments on their own ship start acting up, the captain, Eyk Larsen (Andreas Pietschmann) and passengers wonder if they’re next. Isabella Wei, José Pimentão,Maciej Musial, Alexandre Willaume, Jonas Bloquet and Mathilde Ollivier also star and 8 episodes now available for bingeing. And this series gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. And though it may not be quite as good as Dark, Marco Vito Oddo of Collider says it “does exactly what it promises by delivering a mind-bending puzzle that will keep the audience guessing until the last moment, as the story twists and turns in unexpected ways.” I’m tuning in. Netflix has also added Stutz, a 2022 doc. Here, director Jonah Hill(!) introduces us to his psychiatrist, Phil Stutz, who has made such a difference in his life, and gives us an introduction to Stutz’ ‘tools.’ ‘The Tools,‘ as Stutz calls them are visualization exercises that offer immediate help to those in mental health crisis, and just those with difficult problems, like Dr. Stutz’s Parkinson’s disease. Hill is surprisingly open about his own difficulties, and the heavy issues discussed are well relieved by humor. And its all shot in a soft black and white that delicious to the eye. And this movie gets a stupendous 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Dan Einav of the Financial Times writing “instead of a stagy one-sided interview, we’re treated to an honest conversation about mental health and human flaws between two men who share a touchingly warm bond.” It’s on my list. Also new and notable on Netflix is Kumari, a 2022 Indian Malayalam-language fantasy/horror flick. Aishwarya Lekshmi stars in the title role, as a young woman who marries Dhruvan, played by Shine Tom Chacko, into his powerful Kanjirangattu family, and moves into their ancestral home. But there are rumors of children of a goddess come to earth inhabiting a forest nearby, and stories of mythical beasts swirl around her as well. Meanwhile she has to deal with her new family, and a husband obsessed with the occult. Giju John, Swasika, Shruti Menon, Shivajith Padmanabhan, Surabhi Lakshmi, and Rahul Madhav also star, and Nirmal Sahadev directs. And this movie gets a 6.9/10 on IMDb, and the New Indian Express calls it “an impressively mounted creature feature.” I’m watching. And, finally, Netflix has added Somebody, a 2022 Korean crime thriller series. Kang Hae-Lim stars as Kim Sum, a young tech wizard with ASD, who has developed Somebody, a popular dating app. But when a serial murderer appears to be targeting only young women who use the app, Sum is determined to get to the bottom of things, even chatting with a user she suspects to be the killer. When she meets with him, and develops a bond(!) with a man who has difficulties like her own. But how long will she survive her new romance? Kim YoungKwang, Kim YongJi, Kim Su-yeon, Kim Hae-rim, Justin Clyde and Choi Yu-Ha also star, and there are 8 episodes available to gorge on now. And this series gets a 6.5/10 on IMDb, with Riya Singh of Lesiruebyte calls it “a Korean thriller that will keep you hooked to a psychotic love story.” Eek. I may not watch.
Amazon has one big title added this week with The People We Hate at the Wedding, a 2022 comedy. Based on a Grant Ginder novel of the same name, this tells of two American siblings, Alice (Kristen Bell) and Paul (Ben Platt), told by their mother Donna, played by Allison Janney(!), to get their acts together, and come to London for the wedding of their half-sister Eloise (Cynthia Addai-Robinson). but Alice is going through a messy break-up with her married boss, and Paul still resents his mother’s second marriage, so the signs for a healthy visit aren’t too promising. And, predictably, they don’t, with Alice drinking too much to manage anything else, and Paul taking out his anger on anyone within range. Jorma Taccone, Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin, Isaach De Bankolé, Wendy Molyneux, D’Arcy Carden and Lizzy Caplan also star, and Claire Scanlon(Set It Up) directs. But, despite it’s wonderful cast, the script is disappointing, and so it gets a lowly 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. Peyton Robinson of RogerEbert.com says “From the predictable plot structure and series of overt zingers to the eye-rolling litany of on-the-nose needle drops, The People We Hate at the Wedding is awkwardly executed.” And I agree, I won’t be watching. Luckily, Amazon also offers Season 1 of Gangs of London, a 2020 British crime series from AMC+. This begins with the explosive murder of Irish crime boss Finn Wallace(Colm Meaney), who has built an empire off of his criminal activities, an empire now needs a successor to run things. His son Sean(Joe Cole of Peaky Blinders) is out for revenge, while trying to take his place at the helm of operations, while undercover detective Elliot Finch, played by Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù, tries to infiltrate the gang and work his way toward the top, and find his Finn’s killer. But he will have to spill some blood, both his own and that of other’s, to ingratiate himself with the family. David Bradley, Michelle Fairley, Valene Kane, Lucian Msamati, Paapa Essiedu,Orli Shuka and Asif Raza Mir also star, and there are 10 episodes available for bingeing now. But act now, because Season 1 of this series disappears back to the AMC+ premium channel in 12 days, with the end of November. And it gets an 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, with John Doyle of the Globe and Mail writing “not for those who don’t like brutal violence portrayed with gusto. But for those who can take it, the series is really an intriguing chess game about seizing power.” But it’s too violent for me. And, finally, Amazon has Unhuman, the 2022 zombie movie. This tells of the field trip from Hell(or to Hell), where 7 high school students travel on a school bus with their out-of-touch teacher, Mr. Lorenzo(Peter Giles). As the students bicker and fight, the school bus runs into something with a horrible thud, and profuse blood splatters that leave everyone stunned and confused, till they hear a radio report of a nationwide chemical attack. The bus won’t start, so the group is effectively imprisoned, waiting for the attack. But can they band together to survive it? Lo Graham plays the mean cheerleader, Brianne Tju plays the outsider Ever, and Ali Gallo, Uriah Shelton, Benjamin Wadsworth, and Drew Scheid also star, and Marcus Dunstan directs. And though this flick gets only a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, I’m intrigued. It’s funny and Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting said “Dunstan presents a breezy, lighthearted horror comedy with a few puerile jokes and a gruesome body count, evocative of ’80s horror. It’s clear he’s having a blast and it’s infectious.” I’m definitely tuning in.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!