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All The Cool Stuff Coming To Netflix In December 2022

Updated: Dec 07, 2022 18:16
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Besides the usual holiday-themed stuff, Netflix in December offers some streaming surprises. There are shows involving talking egg yolks, CGI dancers, and even a telekinetic little girl. For those who missed the second Benoit Blanc film in the theaters, it debuts on Netflix this month. There are also new versions of a D.H. Lawrence classic and a novel whose previous adaptation won several Academy Awards.

So don’t be afraid to try something you haven’t seen before.  It could become your new favorite show or film.

TBD

My Next Guest With David Letterman And Volodymyr Zelenskyy—Former talk show host David Letterman traveled to Kyiv for a sit-down interview with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.  Does anything more really need to be said?

They Cloned Tyrone–In this science fiction comedy, neighborhood drug dealer Fontaine is shot dead by his rival Isaac.  So why is the supposedly dead man alive and well the next morning?  Fontaine and friends Slick Charles and Yo-Yo start looking into these and other strange events happening around their neighborhood.  What’s the connection to a vast underground laboratory complex run by the American government?  What will happen to Fontaine once he learns the truth about his existence?

Now Available

Qala

Lady Chatterley’s Lover–In this new adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s classic novel, Baronet Clifford Chatterley returns from the Great War impotent and paralyzed from the waist down. He thinks his wife Connie (Emma Corrin) can produce an heir if she takes on a lover to get impregnated.  Lady Chatterley’s eye settles on the hunky gamekeeper Oliver Mellors (Jack O’Connell).  What neither Her Ladyship nor Mellors expects is that each of them has found their soulmate in the other.  But will ugly gossip destroy the paradise Lady Chatterley and Mellors have created for themselves? 

Qala—In this visually stunning psychodrama, Qala has achieved fame in the 1930s and 1940s as a Hindi film playback singer.  However, her desire for love from her pathologically toxic mother Urmila plus emotional competition from the orphaned Jagan slowly undermine Qala’s mental well being despite her success.  Add into the mix Indian society’s highly circumscribed roles for women and the stage is set for Qala’s fall.

Spilt Gravy On Rice—The film’s odd title comes from a Malaysian proverb whose English language equivalent is “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  More than a decade after it was made, this adaptation of the late Jit Murad’s popular play finally hits streaming after delays caused by censor board objections and Coronavirus lockdowns.  The story concerns an old dying retired journalist who brings together for dinner the five estranged children he had with five different women.  He hopes they can resolve long-lasting issues which have split the family.  Figuring out who inherits the family home after the journalist’s death would be good as well.    

Sr.–In the 1960s and 1970s, film director Robert Downey Sr. was responsible for creating such counterculture comedies as “Putney Swope” and “Greasers’ Palace.”  Now with the help of director Chris Smith (“American Movie”), film star Robert Downey Jr. considers both his father’s career and his relationship with the older man.  Hanging over the film is Sr.’s slow decline thanks to Parkinson’s Disease, and Jr.’s sense that filming the older man is a way of spending quality time with him.

Warriors Of Future—This Hong Kong science fiction action film is set in 2055 on an Earth already devastated by brutal wars.  Now add to humanity’s woes the alien plant known as Pandora.  After arriving on a meteor that slammed into Earth, the plant has killed millions of humans and given millions more severe birth defects from contact with its spores.  It also released aliens displaying terrible destructive powers.  Now the survival of the citizens of Hong Kong rests on a suicide mission led by hot-headed ex-special forces soldier Tyler (Louis Koo).

December 7

Burning Patience—Mario is a young fisherman who aspires to be a poet.  Opportunity arises when he becomes the postman to famed poet Pablo Neruda.  The famed writer and diplomat has been forced to move to Mario’s part of the world after getting exiled from Chile.  But can what the postman learns from Neruda help him woo the woman of his dreams, the innkeeper’s daughter Beatriz?  If the plot of the movie sounds familiar, that’s because the Academy Award-winning “Il Postino” is an earlier adaptation of the same source novel.  

Emily The Criminal–What do you do when you’re crushed under student debt and you can’t get a legitimate job to pay it off?  The answer for Emily (Aubrey Plaza) is eventually becoming a “dummy shopper.”   Handsome middleman Youcef supplies Emily with the stolen credit cards used in her purchases.  But what happens when the thrills of black-market capitalism leads to a partnership with Youcef to take the business to “the next level?” 

Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area

The Marriage App–In this Spanish romantic comedy, a couple whose marriage has gotten stale start using Equilibrium to revive their marriage.  Equilibrium is an app that measures in miles the activities the couple do together or when one partner does something nice for the other.  When the couple start using the app, the rising number of miles seems to be evidence of their rekindled love.  Then things go badly off the rails when the couple turns the accumulation of miles into an obsessive competition…

The Most Beautiful Flower–In this Spanish language coming-of-age story, Mich is trying to navigate Xochimilco high school life with its social expectations, family traditions, and love octagons.  She may be plus-sized, but she has little doubt about her fashionableness and fabulousness.  The trick is figuring out what it takes to be popular and recognized by others for these same qualities. 

December 8

The Elephant Whisperers–In a rural South Indian village, elderly couple Bonman and Bellie have devoted their lives to caring for the orphaned baby elephant Raghu.  But this supposed one-off job leads to a relationship that quickly turns familial thanks to Raghu’s presence altering the couples’ daily routine.  Given that caring for elephants is a generations-spanning family business in the area, just how genuine is the couples’ love for Raghu and vice versa? 

Lookism–The release of this animated adaptation of Park Hyeong-seok’s popular Webtoon had been postponed from November in recognition of the Halloween tragedy at Itaewon.  For the newbies: tired of being at the rock bottom of the high school social food chain, Park Hyung Suk transfers to the notoriously liberal Jae Won High School.  But days before Hyung Suk starts at Jae Won, he wakes to find his consciousness in a physically perfect body…yet his original body is still sleeping next to his new one.  While the transfer student tries to navigate his sudden social popularity, he attempts to figure out where his new body came from.

December 9

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio–Legendary horror director Guillermo del Toro mixes live-action and stop-motion animation in his updated adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s classic tale.  After son Carlo is killed in a World War One bombing of their Italian village, grief-stricken woodcarver Geppetto creates a wooden “son” named Pinocchio, which the Blue Fairy brings to life.  But by the time Italy turns fascist, Pinocchio is treated as a demonic outsider.  The village Podesta (Ron Perlman) wants Pinocchio to serve in the military.  Circus master Count Volpe (Christoph Walz) thinks the wooden boy can be exploited for money.  And Pinocchio himself has a gift for getting into trouble.

Money Heist: Korea Season 2–It’s the return of the remake of popular thriller series “Money Heist.”  As the new season begins, The Professor’s gang has successfully infiltrated the Joint Economic Area Mint and taken hostages.  Now all they have to do is print four trillion won in banknotes and execute an escape which avoids clashing with the police.  Meanwhile, Seo Woo-Jin is determined to unmask The Professor, rescue the hostages, and capture the heist gang.

December 13

Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure

Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure Season 1–The Sanrio character Gudetama (a talking egg yolk) gets their own animated family series.  Shakipiyo is a chick who’s just hatched out of her egg.  She recognizes Gudetama as her sibling, and somehow manages to convince the lazy and generally depressed egg yolk to leave their fridge and join her on a quest to find their mother.  The big wide world may offer such perils as rotating sushi bars and train rides.  But the bigger danger might come from Gudetama’s nearing their expiration date and not knowing what happens next.

Last Chance U: Basketball Season 2–This documentary series’ new season returns to East Los Angeles College’s basketball team the Huskies and their head coach John Mosley.  But a new season means all-new Huskies players.  However, these new Huskies also share their predecessors’ determination to show the world that despite losing their Division 1 scholarships for behavioral and/or academic reasons, they still have what it takes to gel together as a team…and win a championship  

December 14

Glitter Season 1–It’s 1976 in Sopot, Poland.  The independent Basia and her two female friends are determined to live by their own rules, even if it means repeatedly clashing with social taboos.  But for them, achieving independence is worth all the challenges faced along the way.

Kangaroo Valley–In the New South Wales, Australia region of Shoalhaven, there is a valley where kangaroos roam around freely.  Mala is the youngest kangaroo joey in her family.  She’s got 12 months to learn everything she needs to stay alive on her own.  As she explores the valley to get this information, can she avoid getting killed by her hungry natural enemies?

December 15

Critical Thinking–In 1998, Mario Martinez (John Leguziamo, who also directs) teaches an elective class in chess at the inner city Miami Jackson High School.  In the class are five students who face such challenges as after-school jobs to support the family and the pressures to join the drug trade.  But thanks to Mr. Martinez’ efforts, this team would eventually become the first inner-city school chess team to win the national chess championships.  Based on a true story. 

Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery–In this comedy/mystery hybrid, Senior Detective Terry Seattle (Will Arnett) is joined by celebrity guest stars Jason Bateman and Maya Rudolph to determine who killed Santa.  However, neither guest star has been given the script, so they have no idea what’s about to happen to them.  Both Bateman and Rudolph will have to improvise their way through the case, and both of them need to finger the murderer.

December 16

Bardo, False Chronicle Of A Handful Of Truths–Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s (“The Revenant”) new film will either bore the hell out of viewers or serve as a phantasmagorical look at Inarritu’s relationship to both his own personal history and today’s Mexico.  In the film, renowned journalist and documentarian Silverio is about to receive a prize in the U.S.  Before the awards ceremony, he decides to visit his native Mexico and reconnect with those who knew him when.  However, that trip soon gets punctuated by such moments as an entire train flooding with water, Silverio’s tendency to both defend Mexico to outsiders while fiercely criticizing the country himself, and a prominent drug lord who uses a celebration to pontificate on drug cartels’ control of Mexico. Definitely not recommended for more conventional-minded viewers.

Dance Monsters

Dance Monsters Season 1–You’ve seen this reality show set-up before: dancers compete before a panel of judges to determine which of them will have a second shot at a career and the reward of walking away with a $250,000 cash prize.  The catch is, each dancer must perform their numbers wearing motion-capture technology.  Because what the judges see won’t be the dancers themselves but the CGI monster avatars that represent them.

December 18

Side Effects–Steven Soderbergh directs this unusual psychological thriller.  Emily (Rooney Mara) isn’t adjusting well to her insider trader husband Martin’s (Channing Tatum) release from prison.  In search of professional help, she starts seeing a psychiatrist named Banks (Jude Law).  The headshrinker prescribes a new drug called Ablixa to help Emily deal with her problems.  But Emily’s Ablixa use results in unintended emotional consequences…and there are signs that Banks has a more mercenary motivation behind his Ablixa recommendation.

December 23

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery–The newest Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) mystery from director Rian Johnson takes the sleuth to a private island in Greece owned by tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton).  Bron’s having a group of friends over for a murder mystery getaway on his island.  The group includes a governor running for the U.S. Senate (Kathryn Hahn), a men’s right advocate streaming star (Dave Bautista), and an entrepreneur (Janelle Monae) who has some ugly history with Bron.  But why is Blanc here at the getaway?

December 25

Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical–In this cinematic adaptation of the stage musical based on the titular Roald Dahl children’s novel, books provided the only solace for five-year-old Matilda Wormwood, who had been regularly neglected by her parents.  When Matilda starts her schooling at Crunchem Hall, she meets the kind and insightful Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch) and the school’s terrifying headmistress Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson).  Bullying by The Trunch has the unexpected effect of causing Matilda to manifest telekinetic powers.  The girl decides to use her powers for good, such as helping Miss Honey keep her house.  

The Witcher: Blood Origin–This prequel to “The Witcher” takes place 1,200 years before that series’ events.  It’s the story of how the first Witcher came to be as well as a recounting of the origin of the Conjunction of the Spheres, the event that resulted in the worlds of monsters, men, and elves becoming one.  Scian (Michelle Yeoh), the sole survivor of a tribe of sword elves, lives only to recover a powerful sword blade stolen from her people.  Joining Scian on her quest are such characters as Fjall, who comes from a long line of warriors, and Seanchai (Minnie Driver), who has the ability to travel between time and worlds.

December 26

Treason–Charlie Cox (“Daredevil”) is Adam Lawrence, a man groomed for future greatness in MI6.  But the sketchiness of Lawrence’s past starts coming to the foreground when Russian spy Kara pops up again in his life.  Lawrence soon finds himself entangled in a toxic triangular relationship with Kara and his wife Maddy, where each person is trying to destroy the others’ lives. 

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

December 28

A Night In The Kindergarten–In this Polish dramedy, the childless wanna-be father Eryk crashes a parents’ kindergarten council meeting.  Officially, the purpose of the meeting is rehearsing the annual Christmas play put on for the kids.  But secretly, Justyna’s using the meeting to convince the other parents to expel the naughty 5-year-old Tytus from the kindergarten.  Eryk, who’s dating Tytus’ mother, defends the boy even though he doesn’t like him.  But Eryk’s persistence eventually destroys the kindergarten’s existing bizarre network of parental relations.   Oddly enough, the experience prepares him to become Tytus’ stepfather. 

December 30

Chicago Party Aunt Part 2–It’s the return of Chris Witaske’s animated adaptation of this popular Twitter feed.  For the uninitiated: Diane Dumbrowski spent her youth partying hard and rocking hard in Chicago.  Even as middle age approaches, she’s still partying and rocking as hard as ever, but the personal and professional costs of that frantic lifestyle are starting to catch up to her.  Add into the mix the presence of Diane’s soul-searching nephew Daniel and the soft spot Diane hides under her Party Hearty facade, and you have the recipe for either personal growth or chaos.

The Glory Season 1—Should high school bullying be forgotten or forgiven?  For one woman, peer persecution and bystanders’ inaction led to her dropping out of high school and abandoning her dreams of becoming an architect.  So she waited: for the leader of her tormentors to grow up and get married, for him to have a child, and for that child to become a pupil in the elementary school homeroom she runs.  Now it’s time to implement her revenge plan.

White Noise—Acclaimed writer/director Noah Baumbach takes a stab at adapting Don DeLillo’s supposedly unfilmable novel.  Jack Gladney (Adam Driver) heads the Hitler Studies department at a small Midwestern college and leads a satisfying life with his current wife Babette (Greta Gerwig) and their four kids from previous marriages.  But when a train crash accidentally sets off  an “airborne toxic event,” the Gladneys’ lives are forever changed.

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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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