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The Cool Stuff Coming To Netflix In November 2022

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November on Netflix may make viewers feel that the holidays have come early. This month, viewers can take in the returns of Milly Bobby Brown playing Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister and Cuphead and Mugman’s semi-retro animation thrills.  There’s the new thriller from the creators of “Dark” and a workplace comedy from a “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” producer.  Or catch an adaptation of a Nobel Prize-winner’s most famous play or a game show featuring a demented version of “tag.”

Fooey on this month’s food coma. Go for streaming coma.

Costa Brava, Lebanon

November 1

Key & Peele Seasons 1-3–For those who missed out on this Peabody and Emmy Award-winning comedy series (or those who wondered what Jordan Peele did before “Get Out”), here’s your new chance to see stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele do comic riffs on American pop culture, social awkwardness, race relations, and other subjects.  Catch such gems as “Substitute Teacher,” where Key plays a substitute teacher who takes his problems with pronouncing his middle-class white students’ names to absurd degrees.

November 2

The Final Score–Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Colombia’s professional soccer teams and its drug cartels led a highly intertwined existence.  The teams flourished thanks to the patronage of such wealthy soccer fans as drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar.  But what the cartels got in return would eventually affect the future of professional soccer player Andres Escobar.  If you missed ESPN’s “The Two Escobars,” this docuseries re-tells that story.

Killer Sally–Academy Award nominee Nanette Burstein directs this true crime docuseries about the murder that shook the world of professional bodybuilding.  On Valentine’s Day 1995, bodybuilder Sally McNeil grabbed a gun and fatally shot her husband, national bodybuilding champion Ray McNeil.  At the time, Ray was choking Sally.  Given a documented history of domestic abuse, was Sally’s killing an act of self-defense?  Or was it an act of premeditated murder by an allegedly jealous and aggressive wife?

November 3

Blockbuster–This comedy series comes from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” producer Vanessa Ramos.  Timmy Yoon (Randall Park, “Fresh Off The Boat”) operates the last Blockbuster Video store in America.  While the mother company collapses, Yoon and his diverse group of employees need to find a way to keep their store relevant in the age of streaming.  Their answer might be showing others how the store can provide a place for human connection.

Costa Brava, Lebanon–In the not-too-distant future, Beirut has become uninhabitable.  Stern Walid has fled with his otherwise all-female immediate relatives to establish a lo-fi habitat (no TV or computers, but cell phone service is still available) in the mountains.  But the installation of a faux-primitive statue of Lebanon’s current president on neighboring land presages the arrival of a new landfill.  Yet the sight of insane levels of trash spurred Walid and company to leave Beirut in the first place…  

November 4

Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman

Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman–Sleeper film of the week (to Western audiences) is this adaptation of Nigeria’s most famous play “Death And The King’s Horseman.”  Nobel Prize-winning author and activist Wole Soyinka based his play on a historical incident during the time of British colonial rule.  It’s the early 1940s in southwest Nigeria’s Oyo Kingdom.  Oba is the king’s horseman, and one of his traditional duties is to commit suicide before the king’s burial so his spirit can lead the departed monarch’s spirit to the great beyond.  But his sexual desires derails his commitment to his duty, leading to a clash with the British authorities and possible doom for the people of the kingdom.

Enola Holmes 2–It’s the sequel to this popular adaptation of Nancy Springer’s adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ younger mystery-solving sister.  Enola (Milly Bobby Brown) has now become a detective-for-hire like her older brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill).  Her first official case involves finding a missing girl.  But that job soon becomes connected to a deadly mystery whose solution requires Enola to draw on help from her friends and even brother Sherlock to unravel.     

Lookism–This new animated series adapts Park Hyeong-seok’s popular Korean webtoon.  17-year-old Park Hyung Suk has had it with being continually bullied for being short, overweight, and unattractive.  He’s transferring to Jae Won High School, notorious for a liberal education system and way too carefree students.  But a few days before Park goes to Jae Won for the first time, he wakes up in a tall, handsome, and perfectly toned body.  Yet his original body is still sleeping beside him, and when one body sleeps the other wakes up.  As Park navigates having a new socially popular life, he tries to find answers to how he got this ideal body.

Lusala–12 years ago, Lusala was living in rural Kenya under the thumb of his abusive alcoholic father.  Well-to-do uncle Onesmus and aunt Beatrice rescued the young boy by adopting him and bringing him to live with them in Nairobi.  Now that Lusala is of age, Onesmus helps him find a job and an apartment so he can live on his own.  The young man tries to make the best of his situation.   But when Bakhita, Lusala’s biological younger sister from his old pre-Nairobi life, finds out where her brother lives, Lusala soon finds himself confronting the demons of his past.  

November 5

Orgasm Inc.: The Story Of OneTaste–In 2001, Robert Kandell and Nicole Daedone founded OneTaste, a global sexual wellness company.  The business soon became famous and popular for its focus on teaching female orgasms, such as through its practice of “orgasmic meditation.”  But as this documentary shows, OneTaste would eventually be investigated for sex trafficking, prostitution, and fraud. 

Is That Black Enough For You?!?

November 9

FIFA Uncovered–Like previous World Cups, the upcoming 2022 series promises to be full of pageantry.  But this docuseries will remind viewers that FIFA, the international group that plans soccer tournaments, has a less than sterling reputation behind the scenes.  Over the past decade, FIFA officials have been involved in corruption, money laundering, racketeering, tax evasion, and wire fraud.  The decision to let Qatar host this year’s World Cup (and Russia in 2018) resulted from bribing enough FIFA officials, according to the U.S. State Department.

The Railway Man–In 1980, Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) still suffers from PTSD resulting from his World War II experiences.  During the war, he was a POW conscripted by the Japanese to help build the Burma-Siam Railway aka the Death Railway for the number of men who died during its construction.  Lomax, like other prisoners, endured malnutrition, the hardships of slave labor, and torture.  After Lomax reads the book his former torturer Takashi Nagase wrote about his wartime experiences, Lomax’s wife Patti (Nicole Kidman) encourages him to write to Nagase to arrange a personal meeting and perhaps find closure.

November 10 

State Of Alabama vs. Brittany Smith–Who does “stand your ground” laws really protect?  Brittany Smith puts Alabama’s law to the test when she gets tried for shooting and killing Todd Smith (no relation).  Before the fatal shooting that evening, Todd Smith had raped and strangled Brittany Smith in her home in Stevenson, AL.  Then he had put Smith’s brother Chris McCallie in a headlock and threatened to kill them both.  Should Brittany Smith serve prison time for killing the attacker of both her and her brother?

November 11

Is That Black Enough For You?!?–Film critic Elvis Mitchell’s personal and kaleidoscopic documentary examines the Black revolution in 1970s American cinema.  Looking at everything from social realism to genre films, Mitchell shows how such films as “The Learning Tree,” “Shaft,” “Uptown Saturday Night,” and “Killer Of Sheep” made both new auteurs and superstar actors embodying Black heroism of various shades.

My Father’s Dragon–This animated adaptation of Ruth Stiles Gannett’s children’s book comes from the Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon studio.  Young Elmer Elevator runs away from home and heads to Wild Island to find an abused baby dragon.  The lazy animals that live on Wild Island have been holding the young  dragon captive to serve as their free 24/7 ferry service.

November 15

Run For The Money–This Japanese reality competition show offers a demented variation on the game of Tag.  Take 29 celebrity contestants ranging from popular comedians to professional athletes.  Have them pursued by a horde of black clad “hunters” for a set amount of time.  The longer the contestants stay on the run, the more money they can eventually walk away with.  If the contestants can escape and survive to the end, they win the money.  But there are a couple of wrinkles.  Caught or surrendering contestants lose whatever money they’ve earned.  And one of the contestants is actually there to ruin the other contestants’ chances of winning.

1899

November 16

The Lying Life Of Adults–Elena Ferrante’s newest novel gets adapted by Edoardo De Angelis (“Indivisible”).  This coming of age tale is set in 1990s Naples.  As young Giovanna learns, Naples is actually two kindred cities which fear and hate each other.  In the city’s high quarters, the members of the upper crust wear masks of refinement.  The low quarters of Naples are more vulgar and exciting.  It’s in this part of the city that Giovanna’s intriguing aunt Vittoria lives.

Que Viva Mexico—Sorry, this isn’t Sergei Eisenstein’s classic film.  This one is a satirical comedy directed by Luis Estrada (“The Perfect Dictators”).  When Pancho learns of his grandfather’s death, he moves his wife and children to his rural Mexican hometown.  Pancho’s grandfather has left him an ancestral treasure large enough to ensure he no longer needs to work for the rest of his life.  However, there are other relatives of Pancho’s extended family who would love to get a (preferably huge) cut of the treasure.

The Wonder–Sebastian Lelio (“Disobedience”) directs Florence Pugh in this film adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel.  The story takes place in 1862 somewhere in the Irish Midlands.  English Nightingale nurse Lib Wright (Pugh) has been called here by a devout community to examine 11-year-old Anna.  The child claims that she hasn’t eaten for four months since her birthday, and has survived only on “manna from heaven.”  If this is true, it would be a miracle to people who haven’t forgotten The Great Famine which occurred 13 years ago.  Yet why is Anna’s health deteriorating?  Wright may want to find the truth, but the community might not want to learn what she discovers.

November 17

1899–It’s the new historical mystery/thriller series from the creators of “Dark.”  In the titular year, a shipful of European immigrants of various nationalities hope to find a better life in America.  But this supposed one week voyage to New York gets sidetracked when the captain gets a startling message from another ship, the Prometheus.  He needs to investigate because Prometheus went missing four months ago.  But when it’s found again, the ship is abandoned.  Mysterious events soon start occurring.  What is the meaning of the cryptic symbols?  What does the black triangular pyramid do?  And what is the cube that has imprinted on it what modern audiences would recognize as a DNA symbol?

Bantu Mama–Emma is a Cameroonian-French woman whose attempt at drug-smuggling gets her nabbed by Dominican law enforcement.  When a head-on collision allows Emma to make her escape, she barely manages to make her way to a different side of the Santo Domingo shore at night.  A couple of orphaned siblings find the exhausted Emma and bring her back to their home in one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in this West Indian city.  Emma will eventually become a maternal figure to the orphans T.I.N.A., $hulo, and their younger brother Cuki.  

Reign Supreme

I Am Vanessa Guillen–This new documentary recounts the tragic story of Vanessa Guillen.  As a child, Guillen had always wanted to join the military.  By the time she was 20, her dream had come true, and she was stationed at Texas’ Fort Hood base.  Other soldiers started sexually harassing her, but Guillen’s complaints to higher-ups never went anywhere.  In 2020, Guillen’s body was found along the Leon River, and there was evidence she’d been murdered by a fellow soldier.  Guillen’s grieving parents decided to take on the U.S. military to get justice for their daughter’s death.

Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?–This strange but true docuseries recounts how a 1996 Pepsi commercial led to a bizarre court case.  A commercial for Pepsi Points promised that people who accumulated enough points could redeem them for selected merchandise.  Allegedly, redemption of 7 million points would get the points’ possessor an AV-8 Harrier II jet.  College student John Leonard used a technicality in the Points catalog’s fine print to accumulate the necessary points.  But when Leonard attempted to redeem his points, the legal ugliness began.  Eventually attorney Michael Avenatti would be involved.  

November 18

The Cuphead Show Season 3–It’s the return of this animated video game adaptation heavily influenced by 1930s American animation.  Cuphead and Mugman regularly get into crazy adventures.  But as Season 3 begins, Cuphead may have finally gone too far.  The Devil, in a retaliatory mood, is about to take something of great value from Cuphead.  So what’s the best response?  For Cuphead and Mugman, it’s going big to trick The Devil.  Expect their “plan” to involve stirring up a lot of trouble but with an added touch of holiday cheer.

Reign Supreme–This French TV series dramatizes the birth of the French hip hop scene.  It’s 1983, and aspiring musician Daniel returns to Paris’ La Chapelle neighborhood after getting a revelation in California: the future is in decks and DJs.  Over in the Saint Denis area, Bruno Lopes gives up ideas of a soccer career while Didier Morville just wants to avoid his violent father.  Both friends go from Trocadero to La Grange aux Belles throwing themselves into the world of hip-hop dancing.  In 1984, graffiti artist Vivi charges onto the street art scene in the Olympiades district.  Now the elements are in place for a decade of events that will eventually result in Bruno and Didier becoming Kool Sheen and Joeystarr, followed by their forming the rap group NTM.

November 22

Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would–The former host of ”The Daily Show” returns to Netflix with his third stand-up comedy special.  Instead of politics, the subjects of this special include Noah’s experiences learning German, speaking ill of the dead, judging people in horror movies, and what happens when his love for curry comes into contact with the problem of ordering Indian food in Scotland.

November 30

A Man Of Action

A Man Of Action–This biopic is guaranteed to warm the hearts of leftist troublemaker viewers.  Spanish anarchist Lucio Urtubia went from a humble start of bricklaying and bank robbery to running a legendary Parisian counterfeiting operation.  One of Urtubia’s favorite projects was forging traveler’s checks to generate capital to invest in causes he believed in.  Urtubia would become known as the “anarchist Robin Hood,” but America’s largest bank took a far dimmer view of his activities.   

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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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