New Streaming This Month
New on Netflix, Hulu, & Amazon Prime
Every month, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon add a ton of new programming to their services. It would take a lifetime to watch all of the new programming added every month, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to curate the must-see movies and shows. Here are Provokr’s Picks for Steamy Streaming in September 2018.
Maniac (Netflix, September 21)
Some Netflix originals rely on star power to draw viewers; others rely on award-worthy acting and Emmy-worthy scripts. Maniac is aiming for both. Loosely based on the Norwegian series of the same name, Maniac is the next big project from True Detective creator Cary Fukunaga. Emma Stone and Jonah Hill star alongisde Justin Theroux, Sally Field, and Ozark’s Julia Garner in this pitch-black comedy about happiness, depression, and Big Pharma. Maniac aims to be uncomfortable in all the right ways, and we can’t wait to see what surprises Fukunaga and company have in store for us.
Emma (Hulu, September 1)
Emma was released in 1996, just one year after the generation-defining teen movie, Clueless. Both films are based on the novel, Emma, by Jane Austen, but while Clueless updates the setting and humor to reflect modern times, Emma aimed to be a straight adaptation of the classic story. Gwyneth Paltrow shines as the adorable, matchmaking busybody who finds a way to insert herself into the lives – and love lives – of others, whether they like it or not. It’s funny, charming, romantic, and completely devoid of cynicism. More than twenty years later, Emma still holds up. The film won an Oscar for its original score by Rachel Portman, and continues to stand as one of the best Jane Austen adaptations ever.
Black Panther (Netflix)
Like it or not, superhero movies aren’t going anywhere. It’s easy to dismiss the genre as mindless spectacle and skin-tight outfits on musclebound hunks, but there’s a lot more to most of these movies than that… That being said, Chadwick Boseman looks smokin’ hot in his feline-inspired costume. Black Panther was the final Marvel Cinematic Universe movie before the mega-sized all-star team-up of Avengers: Infinity War, and introduced audiences to the high-tech African country of Wakanda and its troubled king, T’Challa, also known as Black Panther. The film was praised for its storytelling and the fact that it was a $200 million blockbuster with an all-black cast. Between this and Creed, director Ryan Coogler has emerged as one of the most talented young auteurs in Hollywood, and we hope he signs on for the inevitable Black Panther 2.
The Female Brain (Hulu, September 1)
Whitney Cummings is a hilarious stand-up comedian, and a true 21st century sex symbol. After starring in the successful NBC sitcom, Whitney, she made her directorial debut with The Female Brain, which she co-wrote and also stars in. Loosely based on the scientific book by Louann Brizendine, The Female Brain is a romantic comedy with a distinctly female point-of-view and a particular focus on the differences and interactions between men and women. The film boasts an all-star cast of Cummings, Sofia Vergara, James Marsden, SNL‘s Cecily Strong, and Toby Kebbell, as well as surprise appearances from Marlo Thomas and Jane Seymour, and a surprisingly strong performance from NBA star Blake Griffin. The Female Brain came and went with little fanfare when it first hit theaters earlier this year, but it’s hoping to achieve a well-deserved second wind with its streaming debut on Hulu.
A Good Woman (Hulu, September 1)
In 1982, Oscar Wilde wrote Lady Windermere’s Fan. In the century since then, the play has been adapted to the screen no less than four times. For the sake of this list, we’re looking at the 2004 film, A Good Woman, starring Helen Hunt and Scarlett Johansson. Hunt plays Mrs. Erlynne, a disgraced socialite who moves from New York to Italy after seducing one too many wealthy suitors and earning the ire of their justifiably upset wives. In Italy, she finds herself embroiled in a whole new series of sordid misadventures involving secrets, lies, and drama ensuing from a lack of communication. It might be a bit dry for some, and updating the setting to 1930 doesn’t really add to the film, save for its charming costume designs, but A Good Woman is still a solid pick for a low-key date night.
Scott Pilgrim Vs the World (Netflix, September 16)
Edgar Wright is beloved for his off-kilter characters, stunning visuals, and uncompromising vision. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Baby Driver are all classics, but for our money, Wright’s best film is Scott Pilgrim vs the World, based on the graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Michael Cera stars as a young aimless Canadian who meets the girl of his dreams, the adorable Mary Elizabeth Winstead. In order to win her heart, however, he must defeat her Seven Evil Exes.
The film has an unparalleled visual acumen, and every image just pops off the screen. There are few movies which feel like live-action comics without feeling gimmicky, but Edgar Wright absolutely nails it here. There’s never been another film with the visual style, or the fidelity to that style, as Scott Pilgrim vs the World. It’s riotously funny, heart-throbbingly romantic, full of awesome action, and is just, overall, one of the jolliest, most heartwarming films ever made.
Also, call us crazy, but we’re #TeamKnives.
American Horror Story: Cult (Netflix, September 18)
Ryan Murphy‘s FX series, American Horror Story, is one of the network’s most successful series, and has consistently shocked and entertained audiences with its surreal mix of classic horror tropes and provocative scenarios. With the upcoming eighth season, AHS: Apocalypse, slated for a September 12 debut, there’s no time like the present to catch up on season seven, American Horror Story: Cult, starring the usual AHS suspects, including our favorite, Evan Peters. Arguably the first show to be set in the post-Trump United States, the series uses the events of the unfortunate 2016 election as a jumping off point for a season about America’s reaction to that fateful night, and… We’re not going to spoil anything beyond that.
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (Hulu, September 10)
Few women are more provocative than Grace Jones. Just look at her, a statuesque paragon of unrepentant blackness, calculated beauty, and an intimidating female presence who could destroy a man with little more than a glance and a strategic flash of her pearly-white teeth. She also made one hell of a Bond Girl in 1985’s otherwise underwhelming A View to a Kill.
Bloodlight and Bami made waves at TIFF, and cements Grace’s status as a sex symbol, a black icon, and a legendary woman. Simply put, it’s impossible to compare Grace Jones to anybody else. She has no peers.
Blow Out (Amazon, September 1)
Brian De Palma‘s pseudo-remake of 1966‘s Blow Up failed to capture audiences when it first released in 1981, but has since earned its place as a cult classic, and is commonly cited by cinephiles as one of De Palma’s greatest works. John Travolta stars as a sound mixer working on a low-budget B-movie. While recording sounds for the film, he saves a woman from a deadly car crash which claims the life of the Governor of Pennsylvania. Claustrophobic film noir thrills ensue, involving a dangerous conspiracy, terrible secrets, and… Well, we don’t want to spoil too much for you. You’re just gonna have to trust us on this one.
Iron Fist (Netflix, September 7)
We’re just gonna say it: Finn Jones is the cutest Defender. Netflix‘s suite of gritty, street-level Marvel superheroes is full of hunks like Jon Bernthal and Mike Colter, and sexy ladies like Krysten Ritter and Rosario Dawson, but none can match the cute curls and dreamy eyes of Finn Jones, who plays Danny Rand, the Iron Fist.
While the first season of Iron Fist earned a negative critical reception, the character proved his worth in the miniseries team-up, The Defenders, and even managed to play a key role in the second season of Luke Cage. Against all odds, Danny has been mostly redeemed in the eyes of the fans, though the final test remains in Iron Fist: Season 2. The season promises improved action from last time, as well as a dangerous new villain in the form of Typhoid Mary, played by Alice Eve. Hopes are high that the new season of Iron Fist will be the final, glorious act in TV’s most unlikely superhero redemption story.
American Vandal (Netflix, September 14)
Last year, American Vandal asked us the Earth-shattering question: Who drew the dicks? This year, season 2 sees the show’s fictional teenage documentarians investigate a new crime. Rather than petty vandalism, the new season involves a much more disgusting crime: a mischief, dubbed “The Turd Burglar,” spiked the school’s lunch with laxatives, leading to a school-wide… Let’s just call it an grisly incident.
On one level, American Vandal is a silly mockumentary about teenagers investigating nonsense crimes. On the other hand, its unapologetic sincerity and willingness to explore the depth of its subjects, as well as its earnest commitment to its documentary style, has earned the show a solid reputation and a dedicated fandom. Here’s hoping the new season is just as good as the first, and The Turd Burglar is brought to justice.