Yes, it’s that time again, the weekend, and time to review the best new movies and television shows added online this week, to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. And there are some exciting new adds this week, so let’s get started.
Hulu has an impressive add this week with Am I Being Unreasonable?, the quirky 2023 British comedy thriller series. Daisy May Cooper stars as Nic, an over-stressed suburban mum dedicated to her son, Ollie(Lenny Rush), but drinks too much to survive her unhappy marriage, and a devastating event in her life that she cannot share with anyone. Until she meets Jen(Selin Hizli), that is, who seems just as hard-drinking and raucous as herself, and they strike up fast friendship, and Nic starts to tell all, thinking she can trust her new friend. But she doesn’t now that Jen has some secrets of her own, and may not be as trustworthy as she seems. Dustin Demri-Burns, David Fynn, Karla Crome and Juliet Cowan also star, and there are 6 absorbing episodes available now. And this series gets a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Michael Hogan of the Daily Telegraph (UK) said “it flips from romance to thriller to horror, sometimes within the same scene. It’s traditional for critics to carp that it doesn’t quite succeed at any of them but that would miss the point of this endlessly surprising series.” He’s right, I’m watching. Hulu also offers O Rei Da TV, a 2022 Brazilian drama series. Titled The King of TV in English, this tells the life story of Silvio Santos, played by Jose Rubens Chacha, who started out as a salesman in the streets of and worked his way up to advertising on television, and finally ended up becoming the most famous host on Brazilian TV. But when he suddenly loses his voice, Silvio decides to run for president of Brazil, but his success is not guaranteed. Leona Cavalli, Mariano Mattos, Barbara Maia, Paulo Nigro and Elisa Romero also star, and there are 2 seasons available now, with 8 episodes making up each season. And this series gets an astounding 7.7/10 on IMDb, and ThunderWave.com calls it “a series that goes beyond simple entertainment, being a very rich work for the history of national television, with a beautiful production, costumes..”And I’m tuning in. Hulu has also added Flux Gourmet, a 2022 horror flick. This weird movie is set with in a chic culinary installation, the Sonic Catering Institute, where chefs seek to make erotic sonic food(?), and be on the cutting edge. Culinary star chef Elle di Elle (Fatma Mohamed) visits with her teammates Billy Rubin(Asa Butterfield) and Lamina Propria (Ariane Labed), to try to impress head of the institute, Jan Stevens ( Gwendoline Christie), by making some of the most grotesque, but certainly outlandish, food they can. Makis Papadimitriou stars as the journalist, Stones, who documents it all, and Leo Bill, Richard Bremmer, Harry Alexander, Pietro Greppi and Deborah Griffin also star, and Peter Strickland(The Duke of Burgundy) directed. And this film was nominated for the Encounters Award at the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival, and went on to win Best Sound at the 2022 British Independent Film Awards, and Best Sound Design at the FANCINE Festival de Cine Fantastico de la Universidad de Malaga that same year. And gets an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Paul Byrnes of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote “it’s a comedy baked into a heavily crusted pie. It takes some getting to, but it’s in there somewhere.” But way too weird for me.And, finally, Hulu has added She Will, a 2021 horror movie. Here, an older film star, Veronica Ghent, played by Alice Krige, travels to an isolated Scottish retreat to recover from a double mastectomy, with her nurse, Desi(Kota Eberhardt), who’s very sympathetic to Veronica‘s pain. But when they get to their retreat, they find 100‘s of others there, along with rot that seems to be consuming the area. And Veronica‘s vivid nightmares seem to be caused by her environment, but she comes to realize they are her own wounds coming to the surface. Malcolm McDowell stars as director Erik Hathbourne, and Rupert Everett, Amy Manson, John McCrea and Jonathan Aris also star, while Charlotte Colbert directed, and horror master Dario Argento(!) was a producer, here, too. And this movie gets an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Mark Kermode of the Observer(UK) called it “marries the spiralling, self-reflexive narrative of Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House with echoes of the off-kilter visual sensibility of the 1962 cult oddity Carnival of Souls.” And it’s not too horrifying, so I’m watching.
The biggest title on Netflix this week may be Obsession, a 2023 British thriller limited–series. This story tells of the trouble that comes when Jay Farrow ( Rish Shah)brings his girlfriend/fiancée Anna (Charlie Murphy)home to the folks, obviously infatuated. But when his dad, William,(Richard Armitage), a brilliant surgeon(?) begins to have a torrid affair with the girl, and you know that’s not going to turn out well. Indira Varma, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Sonera Angel, Anil Goutam and Marion Bailey also star, and there are 4 episodes available now. And this series, based on the 1991 novel Damages by Josephine Hart, gets a mere 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. Jessie Thompson of the Independent (UK) said it “gives us an overload of shlock, foreboding string music and some depressing, grunty shagging.” I’m not watching. Luckily, Netflix also offers The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die, a 2023 historical drama series. This film, based on Bernard Cornwell’s novel, ends the tale told in The Last Kingdom, also on Netflix, this takes place in the 10th century, in the wake of the death of Edward, King of Wessex and the rise of his son, Aethelstan (Harry Gilby). But in a fractured country, there are more than enough people that want to take his place on the throne, and unite England, like Danish king, Anlaf (Pekka Strang). And the fight between Christian and pagan powers intensifies the division and hatred between those competing for control. Alexander Dreymon, Elaine Cassidy, Mark Rowley, Arnas Fedaravicius,and Ingrid García Jonsson also star, and Ed Bazalgette directs. And this gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, but an amazing 7.8/10 on IMDb. But this is too dark and bloody for me, with less story than action. Still, Jo Berry of Digital Spy says “if you loved The Last Kingdom as a series, you’ll be very pleased with this final slice of medieval warrior life.” You decide. I’d rather watch Phenomena , a 2023 supernatural Spanish horror/comedy. This takes place in 1998, Madrid, where three middle aged women, Gloria (Toni Acosta),Paz (Gracia Olayo) and Sagrario (Belen Rueda) are into the supernatural already, so when Father Pilón, their priest, ends up in the hospital, they look for the unearthly cause, knowing it couldn’t be natural. They have the highly skeptical student Pablo(Oscar Ortuño), help them investigate, and together, they try to survive their adventure. Iván Massagué, Emilio Gutiérrez Caba, Miren Ibarguren and Lorena López also star, while Carlos Therón directs. And though it get a 5.7/10 on IMDb, critics are favorable, like Romey Norton of ReadySteadyCut, who calls it “a satisfying blend of comedy and horror.” And I’m watching. Netflix also offers Queens on the Run, a 2023 Mexican comedy. Here, four women, Marilú, Estrella, Paty, and Famela, take off on a road trip, desperate to get away from their familial responsibilities and difficulties, and have fun. They take their bucket list along, but their plans soon go awry, and their adventure begins. Valeria Vera, Alejandra Ambrosi, Martha Higareda, Paola Núñez and Seth Allyn Austin also star, and Jorge Macaya directs. And though this movie gets only a 4.7/10 on IMDb, it’s a lot of fun, and reviewers like it. Riya Singh of The Midgard Times calls it “a total banger.” And I’m tuning in. And, finally, Netflix offers Queenmaker, a 2023 South Korean political drama series. This focuses on a powerful family business, the Eunsung Group, and their leader, Chairperson Son Young-sim (Seo Yi-sook), as they try to move into the political sphere, and has her son Baek Jae-min (Ryu Soo-young) enter the Seoul mayoral race. But her fixer, Hwang Do-hee(Kim Hee-ae), has doubts about the family’s lack of ethics, and so supports lawyer Oh Kyung-Sook’s (Moon So-ri) for mayor instead. But can she escape Son‘s wrath? Seo Yi-Sook,Kim Sae-Byuk,Yoon Ji-Hye and Jin Kyung also star, and there are 11 exciting episodes available now for streaming. And this series gets an incredible 8.1/10 on IMDb, with Jonathon Wilson of Ready Steady Cut calling it “a riveting and exceedingly well-made political drama that is — easily — one of the best shows of the year.” I’m definitely tuning in.
The biggest title added on Amazon this week is probably Ticket to Paradise, the 2022 romcom. This has exes Georgia and David Cotton travelling together to the wedding of their daughter Lily(Kaitlyn Dever) in Bali. But Lily‘s decision to marry was a hasty one and her parents are intent on changing her mind, whatever it takes. So they declare a temporary truce, and of course, while angering their daughter, and embarrassing her, the pair manage to reconnect, and… well, you know. Maxime Bouttier, Billie Lourd,Lucas Bravo, Genevieve Lemon and Agung Pinda also star, while Ol Parker directed. But this movie has been done before, in a better way, and so it gets only a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. Richard Brody of the New Yorker wrote “Parker’s directorial purview is as narrow and cramped as the script. The chemistry between Roberts and Clooney is perfunctory, blandly amiable, and the stars never get to cut loose.” I agree, I’m not watching. But Amazon has also added Being Natural, a 2019 comedy. This tells the story of Taka Takashi(Yohta Kawase), who lived with his uncle who suffered dementia, and lived a happily aimless life(while not with his uncle),in rural Japan, drumming and looking at the stars. But when his uncle suddenly dies, and the house is inherited by his uncle Mitsu (Shoichiro Tanigawa), who, surprisingly, lets his nephew stay, and even gives him a job. But when a new family from Tokyo moves in, wanting to open a coffee shop, Taka‘s quiet life is shattered, and so he and his uncle decide to fight the coffee shop and the Tokyo ethos it seems to represent. Kanji Tsuda, Natsuki Mieda, Kazua Akieda and Atsushi Sekiguchi also star, and award-winning Tadashi Nagayama directed. And this satire gets a 6.2/10 on IMDb, and Panos Kotzathanasis of Asian Movie Pulse said its “a great sample of the Japanese curio (nonsense film if you prefer) that combines social satire with slapstick aesthetics in the most entertaining fashion.” I’m tuning in. And, finally, Amazon has season 1 of The Brokenwood Mysteries, a 2014 New Zealand mystery series from Acorn TV. This has Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd, played by Neill Rea, assigned to the small town of Brokenwood from Auckland, to investigate a murder, and he decides to stay in the small town. Partnered with Detective Kristin Sims(Fern Sutherland), he uses an unconventional approach to solve the crimes they come upon, and while their relationship is rocky at first, they learn to work as a team to solve unusual murders, as well. Nic Sampson, Cristina Ionda, Jarod Rawiri, Pana Hema Taylor and Elizabeth McCrae also star, and there are 4 episodes available for bingeing now. Just be sure to finish before May 1, since this series , and has been nominated for awards like the Best Episode in a TV Series at the 2022 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, and it gets a whopping 7.9/10 on IMDb. Michael Reuben of Blu Ray.com highly recommends it, adding “world of Brokenwood Mysteries has a rhythm and energy all its own.” And I’m watching. I love a mystery.
So sit back and binge this weekend, on classics, old and new, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!