Netflix has been working overtime to diversify its offerings — not just through their own productions, but through acquiring distribution rights to projects that have more than just North American appeal (or, in some cases, no North American appeal at all). This is evident in this week’s major film and TV additions to Netflix Canada.
System Crasher (Feb. 21) is a German drama about a nine-year-old girl and her experiences in the welfare system. It was Germany’s entry for the Best International Film at the Academy Awards this year, though it was not one of the finalists. Local festival goers may also remember that it screened at FNC last fall. The other notable movie addition is Arrival (Feb. 26), the 2016 hit Denis Villeneuve sci-fi film starring Amy Adams. By my calculations, it’s returning to Netflix after some time off the platform.
New TV on Netflix Canada
Most of what’s new on Netflix this week, however, falls squarely into the TV series category. There’s Puerta 7 (Feb. 21), an Argentinian crime drama set in the world of professional soccer; Gente-fied (Feb. 21), which follows a Mexican-American family as the neighbourhood arounds them quickly morphs to adhere to the norms of gentrification; season two of Happy (Feb. 27), the Christopher Meloni-starring adaptation of Grant Morrison’s graphic novel that aired on Syfy (it has since been cancelled); and, finally, Followers (Feb. 27), a Japanese series set in the world of social media influencers.
Most notably, Feb. 27 sees the release of season two of Altered Carbon, the cult sci-fi show that starred Joel Kinnaman in the first season. Part of the conceit of Altered Carbon is that people can move between “host bodies,” which means that Anthony Mackie now plays the main character, Takeshi Kovacs. The show is generally beloved by a small but dedicated cult. If there’s one thing that you can’t fault Netflix for, it’s showing up for fanbases that traditional networks would generally have considered too small to matter.
Nevertheless, I sense that I’m Not Okay With This (Feb. 26) might be the breakout hit this week as it combines many ingredients of binge-watching success: superpowers, the sexual awakening of teens, two kids from It and the general concept of the ’80s.
New on Crave
It’s not a huge week for Crave. The Canadian streaming service is offering up the junky horror movie Annabelle Comes Home (Feb. 21), the Ralph Fiennes-directed Nuruyev biopic The White Crow (Feb. 27) and the vanished-without-a-trace remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, The Hustle (Feb. 21).
The TV selection is even smaller. Continuing series aside, essentially the only fresh shows are season two of Krypton (Feb. 21), Syfy’s Superman prequel and the first two episodes of the new season of The Voice (Feb. 26).
New on Amazon Prime
Really, across all platforms, the week’s most hyped release is over at Amazon Prime. Hunters (Feb. 21) is set in 1977 and centres on a group of Nazi hunters (led by none other than Al Pacino!) who discover the looming threat of a Fourth Reich. Executive-produced by Jordan Peele, Hunters is generally being well-received in previews. The logline of “Pacino hunts Nazis” is likely to prove irresistible for pretty much anyone. Feb. 21 also sees the Amazon Prime release of Rocketman, the Elton John biopic starring Taron Egerton.
New on Criterion
Criterion Channel celebrates both Jean-Luc Godard and his sometimes-muse, the recently-departed Anna Karina, with two series dropping on Feb. 23. The 22-film Godard retrospective stretches from Breathless, his debut film, to the 2018 avant-garde essay film The Image Book. The Karina series is comparatively much smaller. In fact, the only non-Godard film to be included is Jacques Rivette’s 1966 movie The Nun.
The channel also offers a retrospective of Atlantics director Mati Diop’s pre-Atlantics work, the entirety of Lindsay Anderson’s Mick Travis triolgy (If…, O! Lucky Man and Britannia Hospital) as well as Jacques Tati’s classic Playtime. ■
New on Netflix Canada
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