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 remarkable adds this week , like UnPrisoned, a 2023 comedy drama starring Kerry Washington(!),. Based on Terry McMillan‘s life, this has successful relationship therapist Paige Alexander(Washington) thrown for a loop when her father, Edwin, played by Delroy Lindo(!),is released from prison, and ends up moving in with his daughter and her son, Finn (Faly Rakotohavana) . But Paige is a control freak, not to mention having unresolved issues with her dad, and so their course to a new life is not smooth, at least at first. Tim Daly, Jordyn McIntosh, Brenda Strong, Marque Richardson and Rachel Leryia also star, and there are 8 episodes available for bingeing now. And this series is based on author Terry McMillan‘s own life and experiences, and has her serving as creator and exec. producer as well. And this series gets an impressive 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Cristina Escobar of RogerEbert.com saying it “achieves what few shows do—showing both the importance and limitations of personal agency.” I’m tuning in. but Hulu has another titanic add with History of the World, Part II, a 2023 comedy series sequel to Mel Brooks’ 1981 classic. Here, Brooks narrates our zany trip through time for a magical history tour, as numerous talented comedians, like Wanda Sykes and Nick Kroll. Each chapter deals with a different time, so we travel to see Jesus (Jay Ellis) betrayed by Judas (Kroll), another where Sykes plays 1972 presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm(!), and still another with Ike Barinholtz playing Grant as he tries to ick the booze while an irritated Abe Lincoln(Timothy Simons) looks on. Colton Dunn, Sarah Silverman(!), Jack Black(!) ,Zazie Beetz, Rob Riggle and Richard Kind(!) also star, and there are 8 delightful episodes available now. And this series gets a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes,and James Poniewozik of the New York Times says “in an era of dutiful brand extensions and pointless revivals, it turns out to be history that’s surprisingly worth repeating.” I think so too, I’m definitely wtching. Hulu also has Secret Royal Inspector & Joy, a 2021 South Korean comedy drama series. This tells the story of Ra Yi Eon (Taecyeon), a young man bent on opening a dumpling shop in the Joseon dynasty, but when he unexpectedly scores well on the civil service entrance examination, he is made into a secret royal inspector. So, he is charged with going under cover and rooting out corruption in the Royal Court, where he attracts the eye of the young woman, Kim joy(Kim Hye-yoon), who is determined to divorce her husband in the ultra conservative Joseon Era. Lee Joon-hyuk, Yang Hee-kyung, Chae Won-bin, Nam Mi-Jung and Min Jin-woong also star, and there are 16 episodes available for streaming now. And this series gets a remarkable 7.2/10 on IMDb, and KDrama Diary calls it “A joyous narrative [that] surprises us with heartbreaking moments.” It’s on my list. And, finally, Hulu has added Watcher, the 2022 horror film. Here, Maika Monroe stars as Julia, a young actress newly moved to Bucharest with her husband, Francis(Karl Glusman), who begins to notice a strange man watching her from an apartment across the street. Francis seems unconvinced of any real threat, even though a serial killer is at large in the city. And so Julia, isolated and alone, is left to fend for herself. Burn Gorman, Tudor Petrut, Gabriela Butuc and Madalina Anea also star, while Chloe Okuno directs. And this was nominated dfor several awrds this season and went on to win Best Feature at the 2022 Boston Underground Film Festival. And it gets an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Lena Wilson of the New York Times calling it “Okuno’s taut, unflinching, relentlessly sharp first feature.” And I’m tuning in.
Netflix has a huge title added this week with Luther: the Fallen Sun, a 2023 crime thriller. Yes, Idris Elba(!) returns to his breakout role as London police detective John Luther, now disgraced and in prison, but when he manages to escape to hunt down the serial killer David Robey(Andy Serkis!), who displays his crimes online. But Luther himself is being hunted by his former colleague Odette Raine (Cynthia Erivo), and so the race is on, to see if Luther can catch the killer, before his fellow coppers can bring him in. Dermot Crowley ,Thomas Coombes, Andy Apollo, Lauryn Ajufo and Hattie Morahan also star, and Jamie Payne directs. And, no, it’s not as good as the past series, and so it gets only a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes. But Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times writes “but it’s Elba himself, huddled miserably inside that overcoat in a rain-soaked Piccadilly Circus, that elicits a nostalgic thrill. Call me a pushover for tormented heroes and soulful tailoring.” And and that’s why I’m watching. Netflix has also added Faraway, a 2022 romcom. This tells the story of Zeynep (Naomi Krauss), a German woman going through a midlife crisis, with the death of her mother, a rebellious teenage daughter and a philandering, uncaring husband. So when she learns her mother left her a vacation home in Croatia, she immediately takes off for paradise, only to find a man sleeping next to her in the cabin when she awakes. He turns out to be Josip (Goran Bogdan), the former owner of the house, whom her mother promised could live there as long as he wanted. And though things are far from perfect on the island, Zeynep is determined to make her place there, and find her own way. Bahar Balci, Adnan Maral, Davor Tomić, Artjom Gilz and Vedat Erincin also star, and Vanessa Jopp directs. M.N. Miller of Ready Steady Cut calls it “a funny and sweet rom-com of a certain age.” And it’s high time we got one for those of us of a ‘certain age,’ -I’m definitely tuning in. Netflix has also added Rekha, a 2023 Mayalam drama. Vincy Aloshious stars in the title role, here , as Rekha, a young woman belittled as a ‘manly’ woman in her town, who is dating Arjun(Unni Lalu) seemingly a good catch. But Arjun isn’t what he seems, and after a night of horrible violence on Arun‘s part, Rekha goes on a savage revenge spree of her own. Vishnu Govindhan, Renji Kankol, Rajesh Azhikkodan and Premalatha Thayineri also star, and Jithin Isaac Thomas writes and directs, here. And this movie gets a 7/10(!) on IMDb, and Vikas Yadav of the Midgard Times calls it “impressive and well made.” It’s on my list. Netflix also offers Woman of the Dead, a 2022 crime series. Based on Bernhard Aichner’s novel of the same name, this tells of Brünhilde Blum(Anna Maria Mühe), called Brün by the villagers, undertaker in a ski town whose life is turned upside down after her husband Mark Thaler (Maiximilian Kraus) is killed when a car collides with his motorbike. But Mark was a cop, and had been acting strangely after returning from a trip, and so Brün is suspicious, but more so after she begins to investigate on her own, since the police are not. But when more violence ensues, Brün becomes a suspect herself, while she is hunted by more shadowy figures, as well. Felix Klare , Michou Friez, Andrea Wenzl, Hans Uwe Bauer and Yousef Sweid also star, and there are 6 exciting episodes available for bingeing now. And this series gets a 6.8/10 on IMDb. Charles Hartford of But Why Tho? calls it “an impressively tense and disturbing tale. While the content within may be more than some casual viewers will expect, the series uses its concepts and elements to great effect.” And with spectatular scenery thrown in as a bonus, I’m definitely watching. And, finally, Netflix has added Unlock My Boss, a 2022 South Korean mystery thriller series. This kooky tale has unemployed actor Park In-seong(Chae Jong-hyeop) seeking a job with the tech giant Silver Lining, and failing miserably, only to be confronted by the company CEO, Kim Seon-Ju, who is trapped in his own phone after being murdered(?!?). So he offers In-Seong the chance to make big money, if he solves his death, by taking his job as CEO, and investigating undercover. Se Yeon, Ki So Yu,Kim Sung Oh, and Lee Sang Hee also star, and there are 16 episodes available to enjoy now. And it gets a 6.9/10 on IMDb, and Abhishek Srivastava of The India Times says it “offers a little bit of everything, including romance, mystery, and drama…a heartwarming and entertaining watch, with a strong emphasis on family bonding.” I’m tuning in.
Amazon has a huge add, at least for the next couple of days, with Women Talking, the 2022 Academy Award nominated drama. Available only through 4 p.m. Sunday(the beginning of the Oscars show), and based on Canadian author Miriam Toews 2018 book of the same name, this is a fictionalized account of mass rape in a Mennonite community in Bolivia, with the women members testifying in response. Here, in Director Sarah Polley’s version, the women meet in a hayloft and decide what to do, with their former pleas so often ignored by the male leaders of the group, with the women subservient, indeed, never even taught to read or write. Salome (Claire Foy!) and Mariche (Jessie Buckley) are angry and incensed, while Greta (Sheila McCarthy) and Agata (Judith Ivey) urge calm and forgiveness. And, there is a high cost for resentment and anger, as their religion requires forgiveness, and those who do not obey that rule must leave the colony . Frances McDormand(!), August Winter, Liv McNeil, Ben Whishaw, Michelle McLeod and Kate Hallett also star, and Polley directs. This film premiered at the 49th Telluride Film Festival in 2022, and went on to win Best Adapted Screenplay at the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards and 75th Writers Guild of America Awards , as well as being named one of the top ten films of 2022 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute, along with being nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. And it gets a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com calls it “brilliant and devastating Women Talking [is] a daring experiment in riveting conversation as high drama.” I’m definitely tuning in. Amazon has also added The Silent Twins, an award-winning 2022 drama from Britain. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, this tells the true story of June and Jennifer Gibbons, played, respectively by Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence, twin sisters who refused to talk to anyone but each other, living in an imaginary world far removed from their real and more hostile home in 1960′s Wales. And so, as the pressured built to make them talk and to split them up, the girls were eventually committed to the Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital, where therapist Wallace (Jodhi May) finally realizes their intelligence and creative genius. Leah Mondesir-Simmonds and Eva-Arianna Baxter play the younger sisters, and Nadine Marshall, Michael Smiley, Jack Bandeira, and also star, and Agnieszka Smoczynska directed. This film was nominated for multiple awards this season, and went on to win 4 at the 2022 Polish Film Festival, including Best Film, along with Wright and Lawrence winning Best Joint Lead performance at the British Independent Film awards (Bifa). And this movie gets a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes, probably because it’s a bit psychedelic and mystical. But Caspar Salmon of the Daily Beast called it “a stunning fantasy about twin black girls trapped in their own world,” and I agree . I’m watching. And, finally, Amazon has Sachertorte, an 2022 Viennese romcom. Here, Karl (Max Hubacher)meets the beautiful Austrian Nini(Max Hubacher) by chance in Berlin, and is convinced she is the ‘love of his life,’and after she has returned to Vienna, and he loses her phone number, he knows his only chance of meeting her is when she goes to the Café Sacher for Sachertorte of her birthday(whenever that is) at 3 p.m.. So he goes to Vienna and spends every day at the cafe, waiting to meet her, all the while meeting the Viennese regulars that eat there. But he also meets baker Miriam(Maeve Metelka), and forms a friendship with her, and perhaps gets more mature insight into what love really is. Krista Stadler, Karl Fischer, Samuel Koch, Sarah Elena Koch and Ruth Brauer also star, and Tine Rogoll directed. And this film premiered at the 2022 Zurich Film Festival, where was nominated for the Golden Eye. And it gets a 6.7/10 on IMDb, and ChronicallyStreaming.com says “the movie follows the tried-and-true rom-com comfort formula, but with all the pretense, subterfuge, misogyny, and hijinks stripped away, leaving only an open, honest, frank, and touching portrayal of a starry-eyed search for love.” And, I’m tuning in.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!