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All The Great Stuff Coming To Netflix In September

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Regular Netflix viewers will recognize “Tudum” as the sound made when a Netflix stream begins.  But on September 25, “Tudum” will also be the name of the first global virtual event for fans of the streaming network.  Beginning at 9 AM PT on YouTube, virtual attendees will get to see exclusives about returning series and first looks at new movies and series.  Among the titles to be discussed during Tudum are “Stranger Things,” “Bridgerton,” “The Sandman,” and “The Witcher: Blood Origins.”

Holding Tudum does not mean Netflix plans to skate on the quality of this month’s offerings.  Some favorite Netflix series return with new seasons.  Among the highlights this month are the original terrible baker competition, Craig McCracken’s superhero parody in outer space, and the final 1990s musical season of a college racism satire.  Potential new favorite series this month include a South Korean urban fantasy, actress/director Julie Delpy’s first series done for television, and a new Mike Flanagan horror series.

Interested viewers might also want to make time to check out documentaries on Lynyrd Skynyrd and the relationship between Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.  But definitely check out some of the other September suggestions below.  

 

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September 1

Agatha Christie’s Crooked House—Writer Agatha Christie called this murder mystery one of her personal favorites to write.  British-Greek business tycoon Aristide Leonides has died, and his granddaughter suspects one of the Leonides mansion’s residents has murdered him.  Young diplomat turned private investigator Charles Hayward (Max Irons) has plenty of suspects to choose from, including the dead man’s sister-in-law (Glenn Close) and Aristides’ much hated young American widow (Christina Hendricks).

Anjaam

Anjaam—Bollywood mega-star Shah Rukh Khan does a rare villainous turn in this psychological thriller.  Wealthy Vijay Agnihotri (Khan) has never been denied anything he wanted by his mother.  After Vijay mistakes air hostess Shivani Chopra’s professional pampering of him for love, he tells his mother he wants to marry Shivani.  However, the air hostess is already marrying airline pilot Ashok Chopra.  Vijay’s insane obsession with Shivani eventually leads him to destroy the married woman’s family and even have her falsely imprisoned for murder.

The Boss: Anatomy of a Crime (El Patron, radiografia de un crimen)–This Argentine drama about labor exploitation and the meat business may inspire viewers to become vegetarians and join a worker’s collective.  Why did illiterate former farmhand Hermogenes kill his butcher store-owning boss Don Lautada in broad daylight?  Marcelo Digiovanni, Hermogenes’ lawyer, digs into the story of the employee’s toxic relationship with his boss and uncovers a tale of cultural exploitation and emotional manipulation.  The film winds up raising the troubling question of how much emotional abuse can a person endure before reacting violently.

House Party—Reginald Hudlin wrote and directed this incredibly successful comedy classic which stars the rap duo Kid ‘N’ Play, and is highlighted by an unforgettable dance battle.  Play takes advantage of his parents’ being out of town to put together the house party to end all house parties.  Best friend Kid wants to go particularly since he suspects Sydney, aka the Hottest Girl At School, will be there.  When Kid’s father grounds him, it looks like Game Over.  But never underestimate the determination of a Kid determined to be at the greatest party of the year, even if it means sneaking out of the family house.  Now if only he can get past all the other problems keeping him from making the party…  

Los Carcamales (The Oldsters) Season 1–For a group of elderly men, “a crappy health care system kills” is more than venting.  It’s a literal truth that has claimed the life of a dear friend.  So when another friend falls badly ill, these old men are not about to passively sit by and let history repeat itself.  Instead, they form a gang to rob pharmacies to get the medications their friend needs to stay alive.

Marshall–Director Reginald Hudlin’s biopic recounts a case from the early career of future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.  In the 1940s, NAACP lawyer Marshall (the late Chadwick Boseman) travels to racist Bridgeport, Connecticut to defend Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown) from charges of raping and attempting to murder white society woman Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson).  Marshall’s already uphill battle turns seemingly impossible when the judge rules the Black New York lawyer can’t argue in his Black client’s defense.  The only path forward for Marshall involves using a white lawyer who’s never tried a criminal case before.

Marshall

Turning Point: 9/11 And The War On Terror–Director Brian Knappenberger’s new documentary series examines how the events of September 11, 2001 changed the course of American history.  To answer this question, not only will former U.S. administration officials and American combat veterans be heard from, but there will be interviews (for the first time) with Afghanistan National Army soldiers, Taliban commanders, and Afghan government officials.

September 2

Hotel del Luna Season 1–Korea’s hit urban fantasy series makes its Netflix debut.  In the heart of Seoul, there is a very special hotel that’s visible only to the dead and the psychic.  Here, ghosts with unfinished business on Earth stay or work in this supernatural waystation until their uncompleted task is done and they can move on to the next life.  The hotel’s owner is herself bound to the place thanks to a thousand-year old karmic debt she has yet to repay.  But when she hires a new manager from the world of the living, she may have found her key to finally dying.  Only when the owner knows love again can she finally move on.  Until then, there are guests with their own unfinished business to be helped on to the next cosmic stage.

September 3

Worth–Ken Feinberg (Michael Keaton) specializes in putting price tags on human tragedy.  The high-profile losses of life he’s had to deal with have included the Columbine shootings, the BP oil spill, and the Penn State sexual abuse scandal.  This film dramatizes the two years he spent working out the payout for the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund.  The task is made difficult by the competing pressures behind the bill.  The airline companies don’t want to be bankrupted out of existence.  Meanwhile, rich and poor people may have died on September 11, but the wealthier victims’ representatives want to squeeze out compensation commensurate with the dead person’s worth.  Obviously based on true events.

September 7

If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd–Director Stephen Kijak’s documentary traces the tragic history of the iconic Southern rock band.  Gary Rossington, the last surviving member of the original Skynyrd lineup, narrates and is accompanied by plenty of vintage photos and interviews.  Learn what role the Allen Sherman novelty tune “Hello Muddah Hello Faddah” played in convincing the band’s original lineup to change the group’s name from The One Percent.  Find out how the band’s opening for The Who led to their being forever associated with “Free Bird.”  And yes, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s unfortunate association with the Confederate flag is discussed.

Kid Cosmic Season 2–Craig Mc Cracken’s animated superhero parody returns with a new season.  This time, Kid and the Local Heroes head out into space on a quest to find the other Stones Of Power.  The reason for this quest (besides collecting season plot points) is that somebody else wants all the Stones for himself.  And that somebody else has the Definitely Unfriendly name of Erodius The Planet Killer.   

Kid Cosmic

On The Verge Season 1–Actress/director Julie Delpy co-created this TV series about a quartet of 50-something women who have had children late in life.  These women face different challenges juggling personal lives and professional careers.  One has quit her career to care for a sick child; another works like crazy; the third has some family money to help her; and the last has had three different children with three different fathers.  The stories will range in tone from comedy to highly emotional character-focused tales.

September 9

Blood Brothers: Malcolm X And Muhammad Ali–Kenya Barris (creator, “Black-ish”) produced this documentary recounting the early 1960s relationship between these two Black cultural icons.  The Nation Of Islam minister became a mentor to the boxer when he was known then as Cassius Clay.  Malcolm saw Cassius as both a symbol of Black independence as well as a potential messenger for the Nation of Islam.  But their relationship would eventually deteriorate thanks to Malcolm’s falling out with Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.

September 10

Metal Shop Masters Season 1–In this new reality show competition, seven of America’s top welders race against time to build everything from unique grills to futuristic vehicles.  The pressure and heat is on as only one of these contestants can eventually claim the title of Metal Shop Master.

September 13

Crime Stories: India Detectives–This documentary series is set in Bengaluru, aka the heart of India’s Silicon Valley.  It follows senior officers of the Bengaluru City Police at home and at work as they deal with complex and serious crimes ranging from extortion to murder.

September 15

Squid Game

Nailed It! Season 6–Screw doing things perfectly.  The show that celebrates effort even if the baking results look hideous is back.  This season, expect the amateur bakers to try making paranormal pastries, edible Black historical icons, and even attempting recreations of judge Jacques Torres’ chocolate masterpieces.  Adding to the fun are appearances by guest celebrity judges such as Wayne Brady, Big Freedia, and Sasheer Zamata.

Nightbooks–In this spin on the Scheherazade story, young Alex is obsessed with scary stories.  An evil witch (Krysten Ritter) traps the boy in her magical apartment and forces him to tell her a scary story every night or else he dies.  Alex realizes he needs to escape, and hopes that with the help of fellow prisoner Yasmin he can find a way to do so.  Produced by Sam Raimi.

Schumacher–Meet Michael Schumacher, one of history’s greatest Formula One racing drivers.  His fighting spirit and striving for perfection led to 91 Grand Prix wins and seven championship titles.  This documentary tells the story of his life, including the 2013 skiing accident that ultimately ended his racing career.  

September 16

My Heroes Were Cowboys–Westerns saved young Robin Wiltshire from a painful childhood.  Now as an adult, he pays that old love forward.  His day job is training horses for big screen appearances.

The Smart Money Woman Season 1–This TV adaptation of Arese Ugwu’s best-selling book follows the trials of five middle-aged middle-class Nigerian women navigating life in Lagos.  How does lead character Zuri go from a crappy financially struggling existence to a dream life?  With the help and financial guidance of best friends Tami (fashion designer), Lara (oil and gas executive), Adesuwa (lawyer), and Ladun (housewife), she learns to make better financial decisions and even grow up a little.

September 17

Chicago Party Aunt

Chicago Party Aunt Season 1–Netflix’s newest adult animated comedy series is the story of Chicago-based Diane Dunbrowski.  Since the 1980s, she’s been the life of the party and has no intention of giving up the reins any time soon.  However, the world’s changed around her, and Diane painfully hasn’t kept up with the times.  Fortunately, help comes in the form of Diane’s nephew Daniel, who’s deferred going to college to live with his aunt.  She can show him how to have a good time; he can clue her in on modern-day mores.  Diane may be lacking a few adulting skills, but at least she’s got a heart of gold and a strong streak of loyalty.

Squid Game Season 1–Also known as “Round Six,” this South Korean action adventure drama concerns a far from innocuous children’s game.  456 people who are considered life failures for various reasons have an opportunity to turn their lives around.  All they need to do is participate in a competition for a $40 million cash prize.  The childish challenges may appear simple, but there’s a catch: lose a daily challenge….and you lose your life.  The horrified contestants soon realize that the game will continue until only one survivor is left.   

The Stronghold–Hot from the 2021 Cannes Film Festival comes this French action-thriller.  A Marseille police brigade starts resorting to morally questionable means to improve their arrest and drug seizure stats.  Bringing down a major drug network might be their ticket out of the sticks, but the price an informant asks for his help may be far more than these cops can pay.

September 22

Confessions Of An Invisible Girl–In this adaptation of Thalita Reboucas’ titular novel, Tete do Cece has to start over at a new school in Copacabana thanks to a forced move by her unemployed parents.  The clever but awkward teen hopes that this time around she won’t be bullied by the other students, and even have friends and a social life.  Queen bee students Valentina and Lais may have other plans for Tete.  But maybe the presence of the equally invisible Davi and Zeca might mean Tete no longer has to face the ordeals of high school alone.

Dear White People S4

Dear Whilte People Season 4–It’s the final season for this dark satirical series based on the Justin Simien film of the same name.  Some time after the global pandemic, the Black graduates of Winchester recall how their senior year became the “most formative (and theatrical) year of their lives.”  Fans of the popular music of the 1990s should get ready to hear such hits as “This Is How We Do It,” as a jukebox musical will form a central part of this last season.

September 24

Midnight Mass Season 1–The new series from director Mike Flanagan (“The Haunting Of Hill House”) takes place on the small and isolated Crockett Island.  Into this somewhat divided community comes two people: a disgraced young man returning to the island and the charismatic new priest Father Paul.  A series of unexplained and miraculous phenomena take place in the priest’s presence, which leads to an outbreak of religious fervor regarding the island’s “miracle worker.”  But what if the priest’s miracles have an unholy price?

September 28

Ada Twist, Scientist–This new children’s animated series comes from Chris Nee and the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions (the wonderful “We The People”).  It follows the adventures of 8-year-old girl scientist Ada Twist as she solves mysteries with her friends Rosie Revere and Iggy Peck.  But as Ada and her friends learn, finding out the who, the why, and the what is only the beginning of their scientific work.  The bigger question is, can they use what they discover to make the world a better place? 

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Peter Wong

Peter Wong

I've been reviewing films for quite a few years now, principally for the online publication Beyond Chron. My search for unique cinematic experiences and genre dips have taken me everywhere from old S.F. Chinatown movie theaters showing first-run Jackie Chan movies to the chilly slopes of Park City. Movies having cat pron instantly ping my radar.

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