Saturday, 30 April 2022

Those Who Wish Me Dead: Neon NZ review

Those Who Wish Me Dead: Neon NZ review

Setting out as a slow burn, but barely igniting anywhere along the way, Taylor Sheridan's Those Who Wish Me Dead is supposed to be a tale of redemption and of survival.

Yet, despite some wondrous framing of the wilderness, and some impressive acting from Finn Little, the film emerges more as a disparate connection of parts, than an emotionally taut and suspenseful thriller.
Those Who Wish Me Dead: Movie Review

A pensive, yet caustically dry, Angelina Jolie is Hannah, a woman with demons, who's relocated to an isolated Firewatch tower at the start of a fire season  in the Montana Wilderness. Elsewhere, in Florida, two assassins (Hoult and Gillen, a pair of emotionally blank canvases) are hunting down those involved in "doing the right thing" and systematically wiping them out. It's this catalyst which forces Finn Little's Connor on the run with his soon-to-be-murdered-dad, and into Hannah's life as a fight for survival begins.

Those Who Wish Me Dead has a frisson of a feeling of a suspense thriller that's waiting to burst through the growing tedium of what occurs on screen.

There's an irony that a film about an emotionally damaged firefighter and a massive wild forest fire feels undercooked, but that's exactly what emerges from Sheridan's helming of the material here, something which is technically adept but which lacks an emotional connection when it's desperately needed.

Elements of the mystery are teased out at the start, but generally amount to nothing. A cameo from Tyler Perry is supposed to pull the threads together, but the script betrays its promise and premise with a series of trite bon mots straight from the mystery pages of a script writing 101 seminar. ("It's a zero sum game" and "Assume it's a catastrophe and act accordingly" being some of the worst the dialogue has to proffer.)
Those Who Wish Me Dead: Movie Review

And yet, in the middle of this swirling mound of tedium, is a stoically emotionally grounded performance from Finn Little as the traumatised teen on the run for his life, and unable to trust anyone. His is perhaps one of the sole performances that gives the film the edge you need to grab onto for the feeling of suspense. Certainly, his partnership with Jolie gives the film the spirit it needs.

It's a disappointment from Sheridan, who knows a thing or two about tension - from the likes of Sicario to Wind River, he's got form on how to flesh out a story to chilling effect. Here, the story just builds up the threats to never quite letting it explode. In fact, the film is vague in its implied menace, brutal in parts, but largely sluggish in others.

And ultimately, that cripples Those Who Wish Me Dead, a thriller that's largely formulaic and anything but as thrilling as it should - or could be.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Spiral: From the book of SAW: Neon NZ Film Review

Spiral: From the book of SAW: Neon NZ Film Review

How do you revitalise a franchise like Saw, which had become so reliant on everyone knowing everything about Jigsaw and so convoluted in its own gruesome mythology?

The answer, so Hollywood would have you believe, is engage someone like Chris Rock and start up a new series that has nods to the originals but goes its own way, as a police procedural, mixed with whodunit elements and horror.

Only Spiral: From The Book of Saw is such a stultifyingly awful effort that it would be better if it had succumbed to one of Jigsaw's traps and been killed off immediately.

Spiral: From The Book of Saw: Movie Review

Rock stars as Detective Zeke Banks, a cop who's angered most of his precinct by doing the right thing in the past, and is alienated from them, and living in the shadow of his father (Jackson) who used to be the department head. When a killer appears during a heatwave (yes, we get the lacklustre nod to the Summer of Sam) who appears to be targeting cops, Zeke is partnered with rookie cop William Schenk (Minghella) despite his protestations.

But as the duo begin to investigate the killer who uses a pig masked doll (Pig-saw, anyone) for his perverted attempts at redemption, Zeke begins to feel the case is a too close to home...

Spiral: From The Book of Saw begins with a decent enough declaration of intent and gore, but quickly follows up with Rock's character delivering what feels like a Chris Rock comedy routine, and which punctures any sense of character or form that's hoping to bubble up. It may be an attempt to puncture the gravity of what's going on, but it heartily distracts from events.

With its mix of NYPD Blue shaky cam, and spiralling circling each time a trap is set and a victim caught within, the movie's ethos takes a bit of adjusting to, and often feels like style over any kind of substance.

It helps little the characters within are largely lightly sketched, that the twist can be seen a mile off, and that the political story of a police department that's corrupt could have been so timely but somehow manages to feel so cliche. Even elements of Se7en rear their head in what could clearly be an homage, if it wasn't surrounded by anything original.

If Spiral: From The Book of Saw deserves to be commended for anything, it's a return to the torture porn genre it patented, as some of the executions are grisly and push it as far as it can go. But there's little else to compliment the film for - its ending is abrupt and feels simply like unwarranted sequel bait.

Sure, there's a nod to the infamous moment from Saw, but thanks to a narrative that's largely full of loathsome characters, this attempt to "play a game with you" is a joke too far on the audience, and a kick in the teeth of any new potential franchise.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Downton Abbey: A New Era: Movie Review

Downton Abbey: A New Era: Movie Review

Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery
Director: Simon Curtis

There's something to be said for casting a comfy cinematic blanket back on after these pandemic-led times.
Downton Abbey: A New Age: Movie Review

And Downton Abbey's latest cinematic outing is certainly hoping for a wave of nostalgia and ongoing love for its characters from the Crawley household and comfortable resolutions drama to put bums back on seats once again. But does it have to be so plum and self-satisfactory, like the previous outing was?

In the latest, it's a case of the house being split into two story camps, as a film-crew comes to Downton to make a movie, while the rest of the cast head to sunnier climes to track down the Maggie Smith's Dowager origins after she's bequeathed a house in the south of France.

The last Downton Abbey film felt like a TV movie writ large. And in all honesty, this latest isn't much better, with its frantic breakneck pace, zipping between the Crawleys in France (including "hilarious" period swipes such as the Brits are coming, and a little bit of xenophobia, because why not) and the Crawleys stuck at home as the frightful acting troupe hits its walls.

In some ways, it's pointless to rail against Downton Abbey now, because it's of its own genre. Those who love the costumes, the witticisms and the barbed bon mots dispatched by Dame Maggie Smith's Dowager know exactly what to expect - but for all other non-comers to Downton's self-contained world, it's almost impenetrable.
Downton Abbey: A New Age: Movie Review

It helps little that the whole thing feels like a rush between two worlds, as it zips between France and England, like some kind of butler on an urgent quest for its master. And certainly because of this, one majorly emotional moment towards the end falls desperately flat, stuck between trying to satiate a longtime audience and those casual here-only-as-a-date punters. It avoids farce, and takes the safe route wherever possible, providing a modicum of peril but nothing substantial throughout to really feel like a high stakes movie.

But there are some vicarious pleasures to be had throughout.

Julian Fellowes' script does manage to dispatch some witty oneliners here and there, and there's much to be said for a more nuanced and out there take on Barrow's place in society as a gay man - something the first film failed to properly represent, but which is wonderfully course-corrected this time around.

Ultimately, the problem with Downton Abbey: A New Era is that ironically, it fails very much to enter a new era, but is content to just sit in its own cotton-wool like existence where the emotional stakes are extremely low and the perils are perpetually obvious and easily overcome.

Its fanbase will adore it, wallowing in the wondrous architecture of the housing, the ambience of the end of the 20s and the plum accents of their faves, all dolled up in their very best attire. Everyone else will simply wish that the two hours goes by quicker than it should do if you were able to fast forward it on TV.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Old: Neon NZ Film Review

Old: Neon NZ Film Review

There's a kernel of a good intriguing mystery in M Night Shyamalan's latest, Old.

But it's so crushed down by appallingly stilted dialogue and badly written characters that it makes it hard to appreciate the elements that could help it work.
Old: Movie Review

Essentially a threadbare story of a disaparate group of travellers who win a trip to an exotic island via the internet only to find themselves on a beach where they age prematurely, Shyamalan's tale has some groundwork in a Covid-19 world and a "stop to smell the roses" mentality.

Bernal and Krieps are Guy and Prisca, a married couple on the verge of splitting, and one last family holiday with their young kids. Offered the chance to go to a secluded beach at the resort owner's insistence ("It's our little secret") the family finds themselves paired with Rufus Sewell's doctor and trophy wife, elderly mother and young child. 

But when a body washes up on the shores of the beach, the group decides to escape - only to find to their horror, they're trapped. And things get more complicated when their children age suddenly and inexplicably  before their eyes....

It's hard to love Old when characters talk in ways that no real humans do.

Whether it's exposition-heavy mumbo jumbo or talking around the plot holes, the growing mass of hysterical babble dropping from a talented cast's lips seems like something that should have been scrapped at a scripting phase.

Shyamalan is great at making the everyday seem unsettling.
Old: Movie Review

This time he uses shots of waves, innocuous-seeming rocks and swaying palm trees to convey a sense of dread, their beauty entrenched in a feeling of unsettling calm.

And by using tracking shots moving left to right, passing by characters on the beach, he builds a sense of uncertainty over what will be in frame next when the camera moves back. It's much more effective than the human elements of the film which just alienates you from the characters, rather than caring about their collective fates.

Whereas the graphic novel Sandcastle had a more ambiguous ending, Shyamalan's massive information dump over what the reason for the beach is proves to be a real damp squib that can't stick the patented Shyamalan twist raison d'etre. It does have to be said though that the grey area the end inhabits is a welcome distraction to the mediocrity that has transpired.

There may be themes of being forced to come to terms with yourself, and to examine your past and future (as emphasised by repeated dialogue early on over living in the past, stop wishing the future away etc), but the empathy to do so with the characters is really lost in proceedings.

Old may age its protagonists throughout, but you'll leave the cinema certainly older, but none the wiser as to how Shyamalan keeps trying to pull rabbits out of the hat that never quite live upto the calibre of the surprise of the Sixth Sense and Signs from his own back catalogue.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Scream: Blu Ray Review

Scream: Blu Ray Review

It's fair to say that the fifth iteration of the Scream franchise wants to have all its bloody cake and eat it.
Scream: Movie Review

Part requel, part homage to the original film, and all meta slasher whodunnit, Scream sees Woodsboro under attack again from Ghostface and his trusty knife. But this time, it's a new seemingly more vicious series of attacks and targets that take the killer's fancy, and as the killing spree escalates, it sees the return of the original trio of  Dewey, Gale Weathers and Sidney Prescott to the fray...

There are moments within Scream where the meta touches and long discussions about the rules of the series prove to be too much; times when the winking at the audience and overt touches of love to the first film of the series seems about to cripple proceedings.

It does want to riff on toxic films and their fans - one bemoans late in the day that they were "radicalised by movie fans" - and moments where a victim watches another victim being stalked by Ghostface while being stalked by Ghostface themselves are just too close to the edge of anything more than feeling like the film's wanting to do over the first film in its run.

But then there are enough bloody kills, and knifeplay to appall that each stabbing and skewering really does feel more shocking than before. Equally though, it can be levelled that there's enough dumb behaviour by some of the cast to level off the smarts that are usually on display. (One death feels particularly unearned and seems to be more about propelling the emotional narrative than following what the character would do.)

Scream: Movie Review

And yet within the legacy cast, there are some moments that truly excel. Scenes between Cox's Gail and Arquette's Dewey are poignant, melancholy and flecked with the PTSD of both time passing, and life colliding in unexpected ways. Weirdly, Campbell's Sidney Prescott, so central to earlier proceedings, feels surplus to requirements this time around - an inclusion more necessitated by the desire to celebrate legacy than anything else.

When it all throws down, this Scream is not as postmodern as it wants to be. 

It's a timely update, with mobile phones, discussions of Reddit, skewering of movies via YouTube critics and uncertainty over who the killer could be all falling into a nice mix - but at the end of the day, its rationale for the spree falls short and a final climactic third act feels a little too close to jumping the shark.

Ultimately, if you like scary movies, Scream will do the trick as it continues the legacy while leaving its own bloody mark the franchise. But you may leave feeling that it's time to draw a veil across Woodsboro and look to somewhere new for the thrills and kills - and that Ghostface's legacy needs to end now, before being tarnished in endless directionless sequels.

Monday, 25 April 2022

What's on Neon in May

What's on Neon in May

Here's everything coming to Neon in May.

Based on the compelling true story, The Staircase explores the life of crime novelist Michael Peterson, and the suspicious death of his wife, Kathleen Peterson, who was found bludgeoned to death at the bottom of a staircase in their home. Was it a crime or an accident? 
Starring Colin Firth (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Toni Collette (Unbelievable), Michael Stuhlbarg (Your Honor), and Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones). 
What's on Neon in May

Executive produced by George Pelecanos (The Deuce) and David Simon (The Wire) and based on the book We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption by Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton, this gritty_drama chronicles the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force. It exposes the corruption and moral collapse that befalls an American city in which the policies of drug prohibition and mass arrest are championed at the expense of actual police work. 
Starring: Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Josh Charles (The Good Wife), Wunmi Mosaku (Loki), Jamie Hector (The Wire), Treat Williams, Delaney Williams, Don Harvey, Dagmara Dominczyk and Domenick Lombardozzi. 

Adapted by Steven Moffat from the beloved novel of the same name, The Time Traveler's Wife follows the intricate and magical love story between Clare, and Henry, and a marriage with a problem...time travel. 
Starring Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) and Theo James (Sanditon). 

Childhood leukaemia survivor Joanna Gold chases her lifelong goal of becoming a home shopping channel host. When a little white lie to her boss turns into a big snowy avalanche, Joanna finds that living the dream comes with a hefty price tag. 
Starring: Vanessa Bayer and Molly Shannon. 

JULIA (May 28)
This series is inspired by Julia Child's extraordinary life and her long-running TV show. At its heart, it is also a portrait of a loving marriage with a complicated power dynamic. 
Starring Sarah Lancashire, David Hyde Pierce and Bebe Neuwirth. 

Based on the best-selling novel by Robert Harris. The Fear Index centres on Dr. Alex Hoffman, a genius in the field of computer science. Alongside his Hedge Fund business partner, Hugo, he is ready to make a killing. They're launching an Al driven system to investors that exploits fear in the financial markets and operates at lightning speed to make big returns. The rich are ready to get richer... but this is not the day Alex and Hugo had expected. What follows is a fast-paced, journey through the worst 24 hours of Alex's life. 
Starring: Josh Hartnet and Arsher Ali. 

When Bobby Jones and Frankie Derwent comes across the body of a dying man, they hear his cryptic last words - 'Why didn't they ask Evans?'. They soon discover a photograph of a beautiful young woman in the dead man's pocket and with that as their only clue they set about solving the 'mystery behind his death. 
Starring: Will Poulter (The Revenant), Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody), Hugh Laurie (Avenue 5), Emma Thompson (Years and Years), Jim Broadbent (Black Narcissus) and Alistair Petrie (Sex Education). 

NAOMI (May 18)
This DC drama follows a teen girl's journey from her small north-western town to the heights of the Multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes. 
Starring: Kaci Walfall, Cranston Johnson and Mary-Charles Jones. 

CHUCKY (May 13)
The notorious Chucky slashes his way to television in a killer new series. After teenage loner Jake Webber discovers a vintage 'Good Guy' doll at a suburban yard sale, a quiet American town soon erupts into mayhem as a blood-chilling murder spree begins to spill everyone's deepest and darkest secrets. 
Starring: Zackary Arthur, Brad Dourif and Björgvin Arnarson. 

From Emmy®-winning executive producer Adam McKay (HBO's Succession) comes a labyrinthine three-part documentary series that begins in Hazen, Arkansas, and ends up as one of the biggest political scandals of our time. When crop dust pilot and father of three Gary Betzner unexpectedly commits suicide, the mystery surrounding his death unravels a clandestine world of drug smuggling, gun-running, and a covert war conducted at the highest level of the U.S. government. 

In 2017, Swedish journalist Kim Wall set sail to interview eccentric Danish entrepreneur Peter Madsen aboard his self-made submarine - but tragically never returned. This two-part docuseries delves inside the case and the subsequent murder trial by way of trial testimony, never-heard-before audio, and interviews with those who knew Wall and Madsen. 

Season three returns of A Black Lady Sketch Show, a narrative series set in a limitless magical reality full of dynamic, hilarious characters and celebrity guests. The show presents sketches performed by a core cast of black women. 
Starring: Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis, and Skye Townsend. 

Hazel may have her divorce, but she's just as trapped as before. The microchip is still in her head, and now her father is directly involved with Byron's various machinations. Will Hazel be able to beat Byron at his own game and escape again? 
Starring: Cristin Milioti, Billy Magnussen, and Ray Romano. 

Twelve new contestants make their way into the famous tent, hoping they have what it takes to bake their way to the final. The competition gets rolling with Cake Week. 
Presented by Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas, and judged by returning judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. 


The PAW Patrol is on a roll! When their biggest rival, Humdinger, becomes Mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts wreaking havoc, Ryder and everyone's favourite heroic pups kick into high gear to face the challenge head on. While one pup must face his past in Adventure City, the team finds help from a new ally, the savvy dachshund Liberty. 

In the 1970s, Tammy Faye Bakker and her husband, Jim, rise from humble beginnings to create the world's largest religious broadcasting network and theme park. Tammy Faye becomes legendary for her her idiosyncratic singing and eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. Starring: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield and Cherry Jones. 

The government sends the most dangerous supervillains in the world - Bloodsport, Peacemaker, King Shark, Harley Quinn and others - to the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Armed with high-tech weapons, they trek through the dangerous jungle on a search-and destroy mission, with only Col. Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave. Starring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, and Joel Kinnaman. 

Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed as he uncovers a violent conspiracy while trying to solve the mystery behind a client who disappeared. Starring: Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Thandiwe Newton and Cliff Curtis. 

Convicted felon Jimmy gets early parole after serving twelve years for armed robbery. Upon his release, he vows to give Annie, his childhood love, now dying from cancer, the best last year of her life - unfortunately, Jimmy finds it will not be that simple as things take an unexpected turn. Starring: Evangeline Lilly, Jason Sudeikis and Mike Colter. 

Haunted by his mysterious past, a devoted high school football coach leads a scrawny team of orphans to the state championship during the Great Depression and inspires a broken nation along the way. Starring: Luke Wilson, Vinessa Shaw and Wayne Knight. 

A wide-ranging, definitive look at Hawk's life and iconic career, and his relationship with the sport with which he's been synonymous for decades. Hawk is a pioneer of modern vertical skating and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. The documentary features unprecedented access, never-before-seen footage, and interviews with Hawk, and prominent figures in the sport. 

Unstoppable killer Michael Myers escapes from Laurie Strode's trap to continue his ritual bloodbath. Injured and taken to the hospital, Laurie reunites with Tommy Doyle, the boy she was babysitting on the night Michael began his reign of terror. As Laurie continues to fight through the pain, Tommy leads an angry mob of vigilantes to rise up against Myers and destroy the evil once and for all. Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, James Jude Courtney and Anthony Michael Hall. 

Eight-year-old Jenny is constantly caught in the middle of the feuding between her mother Maggie and father Jeff. When Maggie is tragically killed in a hit-and-run, Jeff and Jenny try to piece together a new life. But when Maggie's father sues for custody, and babysitter Samantha tries to be the new woman of the house, life in their Brooklyn town home takes a dark turn. Starring: Rupert Friend, Mamie Gummer, Madeline Brewer and Brian Cox. 

For decades, the housing projects of Chicago's Cabrini-Green were terrorized by a ghost story about a supernatural, hook-handed killer. In present day, an artist begins to explore the macabre history of Candyman, not knowing it would unravel his sanity and unleash a terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny. Starring: Yahya Abdul Mateen II, Teyonah Parris and Tony Todd. 

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren take on one of the most sensational cases of their careers after a cop stumbles upon a dazed and bloodied young man walking down the road. Accused of murder, the suspect claims demonic possession as his defence, forcing the Warrens into a supernatural inquiry unlike anything they've ever seen before. Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Ruairi O'Connor. 

Sunday, 24 April 2022

In The Heights: Neon NZ Film Review

In The Heights: Neon NZ Film Review

There's no denying the vibrant nature of Lin-Manuel Miranda's passion comes shining through from the get-go in In The Heights.
In The Heights: Film Review

But it's accentuated by Crazy Rich Asians John M Chu's camera and eye for how to put together an eye-popping spectacle that sizzles like a hot summer should.

Over the 143 minutes run time (which does suffer from some bloat in the back half), In The Heights is the cinematic equivalent of a high blast of Vitamin D straight into your eyeballs.

It's the story of Usnavi (Ramos, a charismatic lead) who's spent his entire life in the New York suburb of Washington Heights but dreams of heading back to his Dominican Republic homeland - despite running a successful bodega in the hub of his community.

But when he gets his chance, it soon appears that not all as it seems, and with the temperature rising, and a city-wide blackout coming, the pressure is on Usnavi and his small circle of friends to make the decisions that are right for them.

Plot (and its few shortcomings in the final furlong) are largely irrelevant to In The Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda's pre-Hamilton love letter to community, family and heart in New York.

There's a life-affirming vibe from the beginning, and while as with most musicals it feels like conflict is set up as high stakes early on and then summarily dismissed or solved in the final stretch, In The 
Heights manages to be more about the journey than the final destination.

And what a journey it is, thanks to the precision with which Chu has shot.

Large musical numbers bristle with energy, and high performance dancers; whether it's the dizzying opening which sees you meeting all of the residents, or a pool-set number that's got something in every frame that commands your attention, through to an almost-balletic piece on the side of a building, Chu's execution is severely on point, and yet never isolating to the casual viewer in any shape or form.

It helps that the young cast have a good chemistry, and appear on screen to at least have relatively strong pipes as well, giving the music a street-feel, an urgency and a toe-tapping demeanour which is hard to ignore.
In The Heights: Film Review

And it's never been a more multicultural cast as well, giving credence to the 2021 push to get more diverse voices and faces on screen (even if there is a bit of an ongoing furore over the lack of Latinx actors cast within).

The overriding feeling with In The Heights is one of unbridled joy.

Its execution is uplifting, its performances are magnetic, and its pull is undeniable. It's the breeziest film you'll see all year, but it's never patronising to its audience - it's smart, sassy and electric.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Rūrangi: Neon NZ Film Review

Rūrangi: Neon NZ Film Review

Director Max Currie's webseries Rūrangi is a sharply-lensed story that in many ways is a very familiar one.

A breakout performance from Elz Carrad as trans-activist Caz anchors the story that in fairness hints at times in what may come in a sequel. 

Caz starts the film/ webseries happy, helping the gender community post activism, and try and take on the walls of bigotry within Auckland. However, Caz is living a lie, dating a sportsman and apparently slightly conflicted over identity.
Rūrangi: NZIFF Review

When tragedy strikes, Caz is forced home to a rural community once left behind and has to deal again with old prejudices anew - as well as trying to reconcile with a father who doesn't want to know.

Rūrangi starts with a blast of energy, and joie de vivre, that it feels obvious to know what's coming - such happiness can't last. However, Carrad carries Caz with such charisma that the central performance lifts the script from beyond its trope trappings, and its all-too-familiar reconciliation narrative.

Scenes with Arlo Green feel real, personal and hint at pasts gone but not forgotten - the characters here are fully drawn and fleshed out within minutes of appearing on screen, and draw audiences in right away. 

Born of a need to tell a story of a community not be about one, Rūrangi has lofty ambitions over its 5 part series. And it rightly deserves plaudits for its use of diversity in front and behind the camera.

Director Max Currie has an eye for the intimate, and the script from Cole Meyers has a penchant for character moments that ring with veracity. And some of the bucolic backgrounds look wondrous, taking in both the beauty and stifling nature of rural lifestyles.

However, in the wider writing, the film/ webseries feels a little light on the heft, shoving in topics that are current concerns but are narratively left wanting, hinting frustratingly at future dalliances on the screen yet to come.

An early suicide is treated heavily in the beginning, but disappears into the background, a catalyst of the return home, but also burdened with hints of what's gone unexplored threatening to bubble up later on; a Māori woman struggles to connect with the language once forgotten, and talk of phosphates within the land simmer in the background.

A final sequence feels more cliched than celebratory, riddled as it is with stereotyped prejudice and awkward exposition (though, while granted this may be the reality of rural life and acceptances, a little more subtlety would have left the end feeling less rushed and ultimately more transcendent.)

There's much to love in Rūrangi, however, one can't help but feel the second series will make a more effective companion piece, picking up some loose ends and tightening the focus more. 

When the film's centred around Caz, thanks to an Aaron Paul-like Elz Carrad, it soars; when it tries to bring in other issues, it flounders and flails.

Rūrangi is a film of a personal nature, and it's this connection that lasts - coupled with the launch of Elz Carrad as a bona fide star, it remains watchable and a welcome sign that New Zealand stories are widening their sights.

Friday, 22 April 2022

What's on DocPlay in May

What's on DocPlay in May

Here's everything streaming on DocPlay in May.

5 May
Regenerating Australia
What would Australia look like in 2030 if we simply listened to the needs of its people? Regenerating Australia is a 17-minute short film based on a four-month interview process with a diverse group of Australians who shared their hopes and dreams for the country's future. Set on New Year's Eve of December 2029, a news anchor is ending the nightly bulletin with a look back at the decade 'that could be’; a decade that saw Australia transition to a fairer, cleaner, more community focused economy. The film is a construction of news reports and press conferences featuring high profile journalists, politicians, business leaders and citizens such as Kerry O'Brien, Sandra Sully, Gorgi Coghlan, Patrick Abboud, Larissa Behrendt and David Pocock.

16 May
The Price of Peace
A fascinating insight to a New Zealand that remains startlingly divided and unequal. "E hara e koe" ('The guilt is yours') says Rangi Kemara to the judge sitting before him. The Maori man stands in court, flanked by tribal leader Tame Iti and two others, between them accused of eleven counts including murder, kidnapping and firing at police. Rangi's defiant response alludes to years of distrust and sporadic violence between the New Zealand government and the Maori people. The Ruatoki Valley is an area of stunning natural beauty, but it is also the location of a suspected terrorist training camp, allegedly presided over by Tame Iti. Defense counsel Russell Fairbrother acknowledges the jury's verdict will be tight, explaining, "I think we have two strong cultures in this country and the two cultures don't talk easily together".

23 May
Bombora - The Story of Australian Surfing
The extraordinary tale of how surfing went from an obscure pastime reserved for Hawaiian Kings to become an Australian obsession, an international sport and finally, a global phenomenon. Global surfing culture is a mix of wildness, grace and cool that is utterly Australian, but how did a nation of people, who mostly couldn't swim, turn a Polynesian pastime into a national obsession and international cultural force? From the time we first took on the waves in the late 19th century, Australians were hooked on surfing. 

What's on DocPlay in May

26 May
When a City Rises
When a city rises up against a superpower, everyone must decide how far they will go for freedom. 

Hong Kong 2019 - the world has seen the iconic images of protestors covered in black, tossing back tear gas, waving black flags, protesting against the authoritarian superpower that is China in order to fight for a democratic future. It is easy to be caught up in the action, in the glorification of bravery and sacrifice. But away from the limelight, who are these hidden people concealed underneath their masks? What are the protestors really fighting for? What is at stake for them?

30 May
Italy's Uncharted Islands
Embark on a journey to Italy to explore the various islands with their different geological origins and their very own characteristics in flora, fauna, and culture. Our journey starts near Sardinia, at the Sulcis Archipelago. From here, we head towards the Campania Archipelago near Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea. A short detour to the north of Italy takes us to the largest island in southern Europe's inland waters, Monte Isola in Lake Iseo and its small neighbouring islands. Back to the sea, we explore the Tuscan Archipelago in all its diversity at the height of Florence, followed by the Egadi Islands, located in the west of Sicily. We conclude the trip on the island of Pantelleria. On hikes and boat trips, we discover the geographical and ecological characteristics of each archipelago and island.

What's on Disney+ in May

What's on Disney+ in May

Here's everything coming to Disney+ on May, including the return of Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi.
What's on Disney+ in May

27 May
Obi-Wan Kenobi

Disney+ Original Series

Season 1 | 2 Episode Premiere

Obi-Wan Kenobi” begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

31 May

Original Series

Series Premiere - All Episodes

Based on Jones’ memoir, the series tells the story of a band of spotty, noisy, working-class kids with “no future,” who shook the boring, corrupt Establishment to its core, threatened to bring down the government and changed music and culture forever.

20 May
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

Disney+ Original


Chip and Dale are living amongst cartoons and humans in modern-day Los Angeles, but their lives are quite different now. It has been decades since their successful television series was cancelled, and the former pals have gone their separate ways, so when a former cast mate mysteriously disappears, they must take on their Rescue Rangers detective personas to save their friend.

20 May
The Valet

STAR Original


In “The Valet,” world famous movie star, Olivia (Samara Weaving) faces a PR disaster when a paparazzi snaps a photo of her with her married lover, Vincent (Max Greenfield). The hard-working valet Antonio (Eugenio Derbez) accidentally appears in the same photo and is enlisted to pose as Olivia’s new boyfriend as a cover up. This ruse with Olivia thrusts Antonio into the spotlight and unexpected chaos. In this fish out of water romantic comedy, two worlds and cultures collide as both Olivia and Antonio start to see themselves more clearly than ever before

13 May

Disney+ Original


In this high-energy, music-driven “Cinderella” story - El, an aspiring sneaker designer from Queens, works as a stock boy in a shoe store and hides his talent. Sparks fly after a chance encounter with Kira King, a Manhattan Princess Charming of sorts. With a nudge from his best friend and a sprinkle of magic, El finds the courage to lace up and dream big.

Also in May…

4 May

Disney+ Original
Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett

9-1-1: Lone Star - Season 2

Better Things - Season 5

Promised Land - Season 1

The Strain - Season 1-4

6 May

Rules Don't Apply


Bohemian Rhapsody

11 May

Disney+ Original
The Quest - Season 1

Marvel Studios: Assembled - The Making of Moon Knight

Africa's Deadliest - Season 7

The League - Season 1-7

Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller - Season 2

13 May

The Revenant

Inside North Korea: The Cyber State

Inside North Korea: The Next Leader

Thailand's Wild Cats

18 May

Disney+ Original
The Wonderful Winter of Mickey Mouse

The Client


9-1-1 - Season 4

Apocalypse: Hitler Takes on the East: Season 1

Chain of Command: Season 1

Code Black: Season 1-3

Terriers: Season 1

20 May

Baymax & Mochi (Shorts) - Season 1

Mickey Mouse Squad: La Batalla Por El Zasca - Season 1

November Story - Season 1

OK Computer - Season 1

25 May

Unknown Europe - Season 1

27 May

Disney+ Original
We Feed People

Parched: Season 1

The Kardashians New episodes weekly on Thursday

Moon Knight Season 1 New episodes weekly on Wednesday, finale 4 May

How I Met Your Father Season 1 Finale 4 May

Grey's Anatomy Season 18 New episodes weekly on Wednesday from 11 May

This is Us Season 6 New episodes weekly on Thursday

Bob's Burgers Season 12 New episodes weekly on Wednesday from 11 May

Big Sky Season 2 New episodes weekly on Wednesday, finale 25 May

The Hardy Boys Season 2 New episodes weekly on Wednesday

Station 19 Season 5 New episodes weekly on Wednesday

Men on a Mission Season 1 Finale 4 May

Spidey and His Amazing Friends Season 1 New episode 11 May

Weird West: PS5 Review

Weird West: PS5 Review 

Developed by WolfEye Studios
Published by Devolver Digital
Platform: PS5

If you've ever thought that what the Wild West needed was a touch of the supernatural, then you'll be positively frothing at the mouth for anthology RPG Weird West.

Weird West: PS5 Review

A top-down game with some odder elements, Weird West puts you into the body of an amnesiac protagonist and then drops you into a world where you have no clue what's going on - so consequently, as the character finds out, so do you. But as if that wasn't enough, through five different stories, you change lead and get different perspectives on the world the developers have created.

A basic artwork covers the game as you move from area to area, encountering townsfolk of the wild west world, and uncovering missions on the side, confrontations and the mysteries within.

From gunslinging combat, which is controlled by twin sticks, and which takes a little time to master, to the ability to throw oil lamps at enemies or within the environment, Weird West uses physics in its gameplay to make it feel more realistic. Experimentation is part of the key of Weird West's gameplay, and given that bullets or weapons aren't easily to hand, a sense of environmental awareness makes survival a lot easier.

Weird West: PS5 Review

Stealth may be the key to getting through Weird West's intricacies and occasional narrative weirdness, but if you give yourself into the rhythms of Weird West, the pleasures of this wild west set of stories may just surprise you.

A review code was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

What's on in Netflix in May 2022

What's on in Netflix in May 2022

Another month means another raft of content for Netflix in May 2022.

This month Netflix brings you some of the most anticipated shows fans have been waiting for. Let’s start by travelling back to the 1980s and The Upside Down… 
What's on in Netflix in May 2022

That’s right! Volume 1 of the long awaited Stranger Things 4 is landing on Netflix this month. With our favourite group of friends now grown up, the complexities of high school haven't made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery. If solved, will this finally put an end to the horrors of The Upside Down?

 Joining us in a bit of time travel is Rebel Wilson in Senior Year. Follow the story of a high school cheerleader who wakes up from being in a coma for 20 years! Now she's 37, newly awake and ready to live out her high school dream: becoming prom queen. 

We will also see the return of some fan favourites including the reality social experiment, The Circle Season 4,  the Emmy-winning animated anthology series, Love, Death & Robots Volume 3 and the captivating thriller show, Who Killed Sara? Season 3. 

Action and adventure fans can enjoy The Suicide Squad when it lands on service; a dysfunctional squad of supervillains infiltrate a remote island on a mission to destroy a secret government experiment. 


The Circle: Season 4 (Rolling episodes from 04/05/2022)
Episodes 1-4 (04/05/2022)
Episodes  5-8 (11/04/2022)
Episodes 9-12 (18/05/2022) 
Episode 13 (25/05/2022)
They're chatty. They're shady. They're secretly famous. They're this season's players — and all bets are off as they compete for the ultimate prize.

Summertime: Season 3 (04/05/2022)
Another summer, another string of love triangles as the group navigates their passions and tests the boundaries of friendship.

El marginal: Season 5 (04/05/2022)
In this final season, Miguel seeks redemption behind bars, Diosito struggles in the outside world, and a cult threatens to become Puente Viejo's demise.

The Pentaverate (05/05/2022)
After influencing global events for centuries, a secret society faces a dangerous threat from within. Can a Canadian reporter save them — and the world?

Clark (05/05/2022)
This is the unbelievable story of Clark Olofsson, the controversial criminal who inspired the term "Stockholm syndrome." Based on his truths and lies.

Blood Sisters (05/05/2022)
Bound by a dangerous secret, best friends Sarah and Kemi are forced to go on the run after a wealthy groom disappears during his engagement party.

Welcome to Eden (06/05/2022)
A group of young adults attend a party on a remote island, but the supposed paradise they find waiting for them is anything but.

The Sound of Magic (06/05/2022)
A magician living in an abandoned theme park makes troubles disappear, and hope reappear, for a disenchanted teen enduring harsh realities.

Workin' Moms: Season 6 (10/05/2022)
Work-life balance?!? What's that? Kate, Anne, Jenny, Sloane and Val are clocking in overtime handling big problems at the office and at home.

Brotherhood: Season 2 (11/05/2022)
In the aftermath of a deadly riot, Edson and Cristina grapple with new enemies and threats. But as the stakes rise, their bond is tested.

42 Days of Darkness (11/05/2022)
A woman leads a frantic search to find her missing sister in a town in Chile amid a media storm and the police investigation. Inspired by a true case.

Savage Beauty (12/05/2022)
Seeking revenge for her tragic past, a mysterious woman embeds herself in a powerful family who possess a global beauty empire — and dark secrets.

The Life and Movies of Erşan Kuneri (13/05/2022)
Reexamining his own legacy, a renowned figure in erotic cinema decides to branch out and make movies in other genres, from sci-fi to medieval action.

The Lincoln Lawyer (13/05/2022)
An iconoclastic idealist runs his law practice out of the back of his Lincoln in this series based on Michael Connelly's bestselling novels.

Bling Empire: Season 2 (13/05/2022)
Los Angeles’s beloved uber-rich Asians are back with even more luxury, glamour and crazy. This season, a romance between Kevin and Kim percolates, Cherie and Jessey’s relationship is questioned, and as Kane and Kevin’s best bud friendship is tested, Beverly Hills’s rivaling queens, Christine and Anna, put a new twist on the art of social warfare. But through it all, the one thing these friends hold dearest to their hearts is their love for each other…and of course, impeccable style.

New Heights (13/05/2022)
When business consultant Michi Wyss inherits his late father’s troubled farm he must confront his rural past — and his family’s future.

The Future Diary: Season 2 (Rolling episodes from 17/05/2022)
Episodes 1-4 (17/05/2022)
Episodes 5-6 (24/05/2022)
Episodes 7-9 (31/05/2022)
A brand-new love story unfolds when a young office worker in Tokyo finds herself caught between a charming bartender and a handsome medical student.

Who Killed Sara?: Season 3 (18/05/2022)
In this final season, as enemies become allies and the truth is finally exposed, Álex becomes fixated on solving a new enigma: What happened to Sara?

Love on the Spectrum U.S. (18/05/2022)
Following the success of the multi-award winning Australian series, this insightful and warmhearted US based docu-series follows autistic people as they navigate the world of dating and relationships.

Insiders: Season 2 (Rolling episodes from 19/05/2022)
Episodes 1-3 (19/05/2022)
Episodes 4-7 (26/05/2022)
Ten new candidates sign up for a casting call for a reality show, unaware the cameras have already started rolling. Let the mind games begin — again.

Love, Death & Robots: Volume 3 (20/05/2022)
Uncanny worlds, violent delights and twisted kicks await in the third volume of the Emmy-winning animated anthology from Tim Miller and David Fincher.

Wrong Side of the Tracks (20/05/2022)
A war veteran angry at the drug dealers and troublemakers infiltrating his neighborhood sets out to reform his wayward teenage granddaughter.

Somebody Feed Phil: Season 5 (25/05/2022)
In a new season of his reality series, "Everybody Loves Raymond" creator Phil Rosenthal travels the globe to take in local cuisine and culture of new destinations, including Oaxaca, Maine, Helsinki, Portland and Madrid.

Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 (27/05/2022)
Darkness returns to Hawkins just in time for spring break, triggering fresh terror, disturbing memories — and the threat of war.

Welcome to Wedding Hell (Coming Soon)
A marriage proposal is supposed to be a happy ending. But for one couple, it becomes the beginning of an uphill struggle over wedding preparations.


40 Years Young (04/05/2022)
After learning a bitter truth, a chef joins his best friend and restaurant partner in a culinary competition in Cancún to reignite his zest for life.

Thar (06/05/2022)
A veteran cop sees the chance to prove himself when murder and a stranger's grisly torture plot shake the walls of a sleepy desert town.

The Takedown (06/05/2022)
Forced to reteam after a decade, two mismatched cops investigate a murder in a divided French town, where a wider conspiracy looms.

Along for the Ride (06/05/2022)
The summer before college, studious Auden meets mysterious Eli, and — on nightly quests — he helps her experience the carefree teen life she was missing.

Marmaduke (06/05/2022)
Messy and mischievous Marmaduke has a big heart but can't stay out of trouble! Does he have what it takes to shine in the swanky dog show world?

The Getaway King (11/05/2022)
A folk-hero bandit known for his many prison breaks considers a fresh life path when he gets a new girlfriend. Based on the life of Zdzisław Najmrodzki.

Senior Year (13/05/2022)
A cheerleading stunt gone wrong landed her in a 20-year coma. Now she's 37, newly awake and ready to live out her high school dream: becoming prom queen.

The Perfect Family (18/05/2022)
At first, Lucía is taken aback by her son's girlfriend's eclectic family, but little does she know the impact they'll have on her prim and proper life.

Toscana (18/05/2022)
When a Danish chef travels to Tuscany to sell his father's business, he meets a local woman who inspires him to rethink his approach to life and love. 

A Perfect Pairing (19/05/2022)
To land a major client, a hard-driving LA wine-company exec (Victoria Justice) travels to an Australian sheep station, where she ends up working as a ranch hand and sparking with a rugged local (Adam Demos).

F*ck Love Too (20/05/2022)
Love triangles and lingering doubts put relationships to the test as Lisa faces a difficult choice, Jack lands in a crisis and Bo questions her marriage.

Godspeed (23/05/2022)
An ex-army captain travels to Dalyan to stop his friend's beloved from marrying another man, but grief and trauma from a combat tragedy mar his journey.

Larva Pendant (25/05/2022)
When Yellow gets trapped by a mean and mischievous cat Red rushes (noisily) to his rescue.


Christina P: Mom Genes (08/05/2022)
Christina P is back and better than ever in her new Netflix comedy special Mom Genes. No detail is too intimate as Christina hilariously shares the trials and tribulations of motherhood, marriage, and everything in between. Filmed at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City, Christina P: Mom Genes premieres globally on Netflix this Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2022.

Rodrigo Sant’Anna: I've Arrived (19/05/2022)
A new comedy special from Rodrigo Sant’Anna.


Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive (03/05/2022)
Follow free diver Johanna Nordblad in this documentary as she attempts to break the world record for distance traveled under ice with one breath.

Meltdown: Three Mile Island (04/05/2022)
From the acclaimed producers of Erin Brockovich and Academy Award-nominated® director Kief Davidson (The Ivory Game) comes a gripping four-part documentary series that tells the story of ordinary people having the courage to do extraordinary things. Meltdown tackles the near catastrophe at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania through the lens of chief engineer and whistleblower, Richard Parks, as well as the community it impacted. Dramatic reenactments, archival footage, never-before-seen home video, and in-depth interviews bring viewers into the worst nuclear incident in U.S. history.

Wild Babies (05/05/2022)
Follow the adventures of baby lions, elephants, penguins, pangolins and more as they learn to navigate the highs and lows of life in the wild.

Our Father (11/05/2022)
After a woman's at-home DNA test reveals multiple half-siblings, she discovers a shocking scheme involving donor sperm and a popular fertility doctor.

Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror (18/05/2022)
Anonymous and exploitative, a network of online chat rooms ran rampant with sex crimes. The hunt to take down its operators required guts and tenacity.

The G Word with Adam Conover (19/05/2022)
The G Word with Adam Conover is a hybrid comedy-documentary series that pulls back the curtain on the surprising ways the US government impacts our everyday lives, from the mundane to the life changing. With his signature blend of irreverence and insight, Conover explores the government’s triumphs, failures, and what we might be able to do to change it. Based on The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy by best-selling author Michael Lewis (The Big Short, Moneyball), The G Word with Adam Conover is produced by Higher Ground alongside Adam Conover, Jon Cohen, and Jon Wolf of Fair Point.

The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar (19/05/2022)
This documentary examines the murder of photojournalist José Luis Cabezas, a crime that shook Argentina and exposed a political and financial conspiracy.


Octonauts: Above & Beyond: Season 2 (02/05/2022)
Captain Barnacles, Kwazii and crew discover new environments and protect more critter friends as they hop around the globe on exciting missions.

The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib (19/05/2022)
Picking up where "The Boss Baby: Family Business" left off, adult Ted Templeton Jr. uses Tina’s magical formula to turn himself back into the Boss Baby. But returning to BabyCorp is anything but child’s play.

Sea of Love (23/05/2022)
Bruda and his sea animal friends go on mini-adventures in the ocean and discover that everyday moments are filled with bits of magic.

My Little Pony: Make Your Mark (26/05/2022)
When Zipp realizes that the power of the crystals are fading, she goes on a mission to figure out why.

Mighty Little Bheem: I Love Taj Mahal (30/05/2022)
On a trip to the beautiful Taj Mahal, Bheem gets distracted trying to return a little girl's lost teddy bear before someone steals it!


Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War (09/05/2022)
In the year 2045, Motoko Kusanagi and Section 9 return to fight a dangerous new threat in this feature-length recut of the first season of "SAC_2045."

Vampire in the Garden (16/05/2022)
Though mortal enemies, a human girl and a vampire queen set out in search of the paradise where humans and vampires once coexisted in peace.

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045: Season 2 (23/05/2022)
In the year 2045, cybernetic mercenary Motoko Kusanagi returns to Section 9 to face a dangerous new threat: the posthumans.


Townsmen - A Kingdom Rebuilt (Coming Soon)
Build a medieval city, make smart financial decisions and do whatever it takes to keep your people happy. Who knew running a kingdom was so tough?

Dragon Up (Coming Soon)
Hatch and collect rare dragons — then help them revive their magic in this colourful and beautifully animated idle adventure game.

Moonlighter (Coming Soon)
By day, manage a shop in an idyllic village. By night, explore dungeons, slay monsters and unlock mysteries in this best-of-both-worlds adventure.

Exploding Kittens - The Game (Coming Soon)
Bring the catnip. Draw as many cards as you can, and do your best to dodge — or defuse — fatal felines. Or else, boom goes the dynamite!


Star Trek Beyond (02/05/2022)
After an alien seeking revenge on Starfleet destroys the Enterprise and maroons its crew on a lost planet, Capt. Kirk must prevent another attack.

The Suicide Squad (03/05/2022)
A dysfunctional squad of supervillains infiltrates a remote island on a mission to destroy a secret government experiment.

The Cup (12/05/2022)
When his brother suffers a fatal fall seven days before Australia's prestigious Melbourne Cup, a young jockey gives everything he has to make history.

The Nightingale (15/05/2022)
An imprisoned Irish woman teams up with an Indigenous tracker in 19th-century Tasmania to exact revenge on a sadistic British lieutenant and his troops.

Reminiscence (17/05/2022)
A private investigator who specializes in reconnecting people with lost memories stumbles into a conspiracy when he takes on a mysterious client.

The Pentaverate
Coming to Netflix: May 5th

Mike Myers as a Canadian journalist embroiled in a deep conspiracy plot.

Along for the Ride 
Coming to Netflix: May 6th

Produced by Screen Arcade, this new romance teen movie stars Emma Pasarow, Andie MacDowell, Dermot Mulroney, and Kate Bosworth, and is based on the book by Sarah Dessen about two teens enjoying what summer they have left together before they head out to college.

Senior Year
Coming to Netflix: May 13th

Rebel Wilson in a new comedy.

“After a cheerleader falls off a pyramid and into a 20 year coma, she wakes up as a 37-year-old woman, ready to return to high school, regain her status and claim the prom queen crown that eluded her.”

The Lincoln Lawyer (Season 1)
Coming to Netflix: May 13th

The new series adaptation The Lincoln Lawyer which has already seen a major adaptation in the form of the Matthew McConaughey movie.

The new series stars Neve Campbell, Christopher Gorham, and Jazz Raycole.

The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib (Season 1)
Coming to Netflix: May 19th

“Following the events of ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ Theodore Templeton is framed for embezzlement and forced to revert back to his old Boss Baby self and crash with his brother Tim and his two nieces, brainy big kid Tabitha and fellow Baby Corp employee Tina. Together, Boss Baby and Tina co-lead a new Field Team fighting to increase Baby Love while keeping a new group of arch-nemeses – The Uncuddleables – from destroying Baby Corp itself.”

My Little Pony: Make Your Mark (2022)
Coming to Netflix: May 26th

Stranger Things (Season 4 – Volume 1)
Coming to Netflix: May 27th

After nearly three years of waiting, we’re finally heading back to Hawkins (among other destinations) for a supersized fourth season of Stranger Things that kicks off at the end of May 2022.

The first batch of episodes will arrive on May 27th with the remaining episodes then coming on July 1st.

Other English Language Netflix Originals Coming in May 2022
Octonauts: Above & Beyond (Season 2) – Kids animated series – May 2nd
Blood Sisters (Season 1) – African drama series – May 3rd
The Circle (Season 4) – Reality series – May 4th (new episodes weekly)
Wild Babies (Season 1) – Nature docuseries – May 5th
Somebody Feed Phil (Season 5) – Food docu-series – May 25th

Non-English Language Netflix Originals Coming in May 2022

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 (Season 2)
Coming to Netflix: May TBD
Language: Japanese

Clark (Limited Series)
Coming to Netflix: May 5th
Language: Swedish

Bill Skarsgård will headline this new Swedish series about a notorious bank robber Clark Olofsson who largely is associated with the phrase “The Stockholm syndrome”.

The Sound of Magic
Coming to Netflix: May 6th
Language: Korean

“A touching drama about Yoon Ah-yi, a girl who had to grow up too fast, and Rieul, a mysterious magician who — although grown up — wants to remain as a kid.”

The Takedown
Coming to Netflix: May 6th
Language: French

The movie, directed by Louis Leterrier, is about two cops with very different style and sees them travel across France for a brand new case.

Vampire in the Garden (Season 1)
Coming to Netflix: May 16th
Language: Japanese

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 (Season 2)
Coming to Netflix: May 23rd
Language: Japanese

Ghost in the Shell SAC 2045

Other Netflix Originals Coming in May 2022
El Marginal (Season 5) – Argentinian thriller series – May 4th
Summertime (Season 3) – Italian romance series – May 4th
Welcome to Eden (Season 1) – Spanish-language sci-fi series – May 6th
42 Days of Darkness (Season 1) – Spanish-language crime thriller series – May 11th
The Future Diary (Season 2) – Japanese reality series – May 17th
The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar – Argentinian documentary – May 19th

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