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 an amazing add this week with Triangle of Sadness, a 2022 drama . Directed by Ruben Östlund(Force Majeure, The Square), this tells of an ill-fated luxury cruise, where the ultra rich, elite passengers expect to have their every need and wish accommodated, even if it means washing sails that the yacht doesn’t have. Captain Thomas Smith, played by Woody Harrelson, wearily goes through the motions, eating hamburgers while the clients eat squab, puts up with his super entitled customers, but when stormy seas hit, along with a sickness that spreads rapidly among the passengers, chaos ensues. And when a few survivors make it to an isolated island, all bets are off. Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Mia Benson, Oliver Ford Davies, Iris Berben, Dolly De Leon and Sunnyi Melles also star, and Östlund write the script, along with directing. And this movie won numerous awards this season, including the coveted the Palme d’Or and the CST Artist – Technician Prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, along with Best English Language Film at the 2022 Danish Film Awards. And its nominated for 3 Oscars this year, including Best Motion Picture of the Year(!). And it gets an impressive 7.4/10 on IMDb, and Wenlei Ma of News.com.au said “the title doesn’t effectively sell how chaotically funny and eviscerating Ruben Ostlund’s social satire is.” I’m tuning in before the Academy Awards. Hulu also has added Gulmohar, a 2023 Hindi drama, through Disney+. This has the whole Batra family returning to their Delhi home to celebrate Holi, only to have matriarch Kusum, played by award-winning Sharmila Tagore, announce she’s selling the family home, and moving to a smaller house, to live alone. Shockwaves runs through the family, and as they prepare for the move, old animosities and trauma reappear, after years of lying hidden. Kusum’s rich businessman son Arun is resentful, and his wife Indu (Simran) is surprised to leave the house she thought she would one day rule. And the household staff worries about ensuing unemployment. Suraj Sharma, Kaveri Seth, Utsavi Jha, Jatin Goswami and Santhy also star, and Rahul V. Chittella directs. And this movie gets an astounding 8.4/10 on IMDb, and Dhaval Roy of the India Times calls it ” a bittersweet and profound story that will tug at your heartstrings.” I’m watching. Hulu also offers One Dollar Lawyer, a 2023 S. Korean drama series from Disney+. This tells the story of a decidedly different lawyer, Chun Ji-hoon, played by Namkoong Min, who charges his clients only a dollar, and has a deep commitment to social justice. And so Ji Hoon step forward to represent the wrongly accused, usually of murder, and the lawyer may even find the murder victim alive, to free his client. Assistant attorney Ma ri(Ji-Eun Kim) joins the team, and is aghast at her bosses hijinks, only to be impressed when he pulls off a win. Lee Deok-hwa, Choi Dae-hoon, Park Jin-woo, Gong Min-jung and Rich Ting also star, and there are 12 episodes available to enoy now. And this series gets an amazing 7.9/10 on IMDb, and of nme.com calls it “a humorous yet humanitarian legal K-drama” I’m definitely watching.And, finally, Hulu has added Next Exit, the 2022 sic-fi drama. After supposedly ‘irrefutable proof’ of an afterlife is found by a rather unethical research scientist Dr Stevenson(Karen Gillan of Doctor Who!) in a near-future world, Rose(Katie Parker) and Teddy (Rahul Kohli) sign up for her research study requiring euthanasia, so they can be tracked in the afterlife. The pair share the 5 day road trip to San Francisco and Stevenson’s Life Beyond research center, and barely survive their shared ordeal. But of course, they fall for each other, and suicide becomes a bit of a problem. Rose McIver,Joe Powers, Gavin Powers, Tongai Arnold Chirisa and Diva Zappa also star, and Mali Elfman drected, along with writing the script. And this movie gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. Noel Murray of the Los Angeles Times said “viewers who can endure the at-times tediously dour first hour of Next Exit are rewarded with a tense and emotional final stretch, with a lot to say about what gives life meaning.” I’m tuning in.
Surprisingly, Netflix has few big titles added this week, but still has some intriguing adds, like Iratta, a 2023 Malayalam thriller. Translating to Twin in English, Irattta features the havoc that ensues when a policeman, Vinod(Joju George), is killed on duty. With the police anxious to find the killer quickly, they are dismayed when the 3 major suspects turn out to be police officers, because Vinod had a violent and disturbing past. But chief among the suspects is Pramod(also played by George), Vinod‘s twin..and enemy since childhood. Anjali, Sabu Mon, Sreekanth Murali, Manoj K U, Srinda, Shebin Benson, Arya Salim and Jithu Ashraf also star, while Rohit directs. And this film gets an astounding 7.6/10 on IMDb, and Sajin Shrijith of the New Indian Express says “Joju’s dual act leaves a haunting impression.” It’s on my list. But Netflix has also added 10 Days of a Good Man, a 2023 Turkish mystery. This revolves around Sadik, played by Nejat Isler, an investigator and former attorney , disbarred for his ex-wife’s crimes, who calls himself a ‘good man,’ but finds his ethics sorely tested when he takes up a missing persons case. A friends babysitter asks him to find her son ,Tevfik, but the deeper Sadik digs, the dirtier the case becomes, with Tevfi‘s survival looking grim. And the question is, can Sadik survive the investigation with his ethics intact?Ilayda Alişan, Nur Fettahoğlu,Şenay Gürler, Ilayda Akdoğan and Erdal Yildiz also star, while Uluç Bayraktar directs. And this mystery gets a 6.3/10 on IMDb, and Arnav Srivastava of the Review Geek says “there is an immensely likeable and palatable flow to the movie…[its] a unique feat that manages to combine an intense character study in the backdrop of a constantly unfolding mystery without letting either blemish the other. ” I’m tuning in. Netflix also offers Split at the Root, a 2022 documentary. This considers the dilemma of Rosayra, an asylum seeker from Guatemala, who crossed the Southern border with her two young sons, only to be separated from them by the U. S. government, and the Trump administration, for a crime that is a misdemeanor, the equivalent of a parking ticket. And so a group of women went to work to help, crowdfunding legal support for Rosayra and others, while she and other women like her underwent the almost impossible task of proving they are in danger in their own country, and not a financial burden to this one. Linda Goldstein Knowlton(Gotta Dance) empathetically directs and guides us through this Kafkaesque legal labyrinth, and Rosario Dawson(!) served as an executive producer of this film. This was nominated for the Local Jury Award at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Festival , and it gets an incredible 8.9/10(!) on IMDb, and Concepción de León of the New York Times says its “a powerful lens into the emotional plight of the thousands of immigrants who cross the border into the United States, the danger they are fleeing and the people trying to help them.” So important, I’m watching twice. Netflix has also added Hashoter Hatov, a 2020 Israeli comedy series. Yuval Semo, plays Danny Konfino, a suburban cop with anger issues, who comes from a family of petty thieves. Danny‘s troubles multiply when he discovers(awkwardly) that his girlfriend and housemate) is gay, and so he moves in with his family , who hardly respect his work. Famed Israeli actress Liora Rivlin plays his mother , Yona, Yigal Adika, Guy Loel,Ortal Ben-Shoshan, Loai Nofi and Vered Feldmanalso star, and there are 15 episodes available now. And this series gets an impressive 7.6/10 on IMDb, with Lior Zaltzman of the Jewish Telegraph Agency says its “brand of humor is heartfelt and infectious….the perfect pandemic pick-me-up.” Andit’s even good post-pandemic. I’m definitely tuning in. And, finally, Netflix has added Diary of a Prosecutor, a 2019 South Korean drama series. Based on an essay by an overworked prosecutor, this tells the tale of Cha Myung-joo, played by Jung Ryeo-won, an uber-successful prosecutor in Seoul, who is suddenly transferred and forced to work at the smaller , more provincial District Prosecutors’ Office in the fictional town of Jinyoung. There, she meets an old colleague,Lee Sun-Woong (Lee Sun-Kyun), and as their working styles totally differ, the pair end up butting heads continually at the office, and the courtoom. Lee Sun-kyun, Jung Ryeo-won, Lee Sung-jae, Kim Kwang-kyu, Lee Sang-hee and Jeon Sung-woo also star, andthere are 16 absorbing episodes available now. And this series gets a smashing 8.2/10 on IMDb, and Poornima Balsu of the Midgard Times calls it “a hidden gem that should be watched by all K-Drama lovers!” And I’m watching.
Amazon has the biggest title of the week added with Daisy Jones & The Six, its 2023 musical miniseries finally arriving. Based on the bestseller of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid, this tells the story of Daisy Jones & The Six, an up and coming new group showing up on the L.A. music scene of the 1970s. Told in a documentary style, we meet Daisy Jones(Riley Keough) as a disaffected teen who meets future band mate Billy Dunne(Sam Claflin) and the band is formed. We watch as they soar, and deal with the unspoken chemistry between Daisy and Billy as well as the inevitable frictions and anxieties of stardom. Camila Morrone, Suki Waterhouse, Josh Whitehouse, Will Harrison and Tom Wright(!) also star, and there are 3 episodes available now, with one more to come. And this rock spectacle gets a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Sophie Butcher of Empire calls it “solid, if slightly underwhelming – but Riley Keough’s star quality leaps off the screen, and there is many a magical musical moment.” It’s on my list. But Amazon has also added 1945, a 2017 award-winning Hungarian film. Based on the short story The Homecoming by co-screenwriter Gabor T. Szanto, this is set in a small town in Hungary in the wake of WWII, when 2 Orthodox Jews(Ivan Angelus) and his adult son (Marcell Nagy), show up in town, spurring rumors and dark memories of the ill treatment, and even criminal behavior toward Jews by the villagers. Have they come to reclaim their land and riches that the villagers took after they left? The town clerk, Istvan (Peter Rudolf) tries to continue with his son’s wedding as planned, but the knowledge of what he’s done rankles with his neighbors, and panic over what will happen to them and their ill gotten gain takes off. Bence Tasnadi, Tamas Szabo Kimmel, Dora Sztarenki, Agi Szirtes, Jozsef Szarvas and Eszter Nagy-Kalozy also star, and Ferenc Török directs. And this film premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, and went on to win numerous awards, including Best Feature at the 2017 Jerusalem Film Festival and 2 awards at the 2018 Hungarian Film Week, including Best Actor for Rudolf Péter. And it gets an astounding 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.1/10 on IMDb. Alissa Simo of Variety called it a “fresh, intelligent cinematic approach to a difficult topic that takes on a transitional time in Hungarian history with subtlety and nuance.” I agree, and I’m watching. And finally, Amazon has added Season 1 of Murders at Barlume, an Italian mystery series from MHZ Choice. Adapted from the novels by Marco Malvadi, this takes place in the Tuscan town of Pineta and the BarLume , where owner Massimo Viviani(Filippo Timi) gets intrigued after the death of a politician, and thinks something’s fishy. Since he was a math major, he has a special insight into the physics of crime, and so he and his uncle and his friends start investigating, much to the consternation of Detective Vittoria Fusco(Lucia Mascino), who has to deflect the amateurs, while solving crime. Enrica Guidi, Massimo Paganelli, Enrica Guidi, Marcello Marzialli and Atos Davini also star, and there are 6 episodes of season 1 available free, with 3 more seasons if you sign up for MHZ Choice. And this fun series gets an amazing 7/10 on IMDb, and Hi Gloss Entertainment calls it “a charming new series by the creators of Inspector Montalbano....[with] warm, witty stories involve crime, detection and a chorus of wise old men who sit outside BarLume and give their opinions to anyone who will listen.”
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!