Film & Photography

All The Cool Stuff Coming To Netflix In March 2023

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Netflix starts off March with the first (and best) of “The Hangover” movies and the immortal “National Lampoon’s Animal House.”  The latter film does sag a bit during the road trip sequence, but it’s hard not to laugh at the film’s food fight scene or the immortal line “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.”  

Oldies aside, the more interesting of Netflix’s March offerings goes international. After watching Netflix’s first Greek TV series, viewers may want to book a trip to Paxos.  A South African crime drama focuses on a supposedly invisible woman.  And a South Korean action picture brings on the ass-kicking from its opening moments.  There, its middle-aged heroine faces off against a yakuza wielding a mean samurai sword…with just a hammer she got at Walmart.

Don’t forget “Shadow And Bone” returns with Season 2 on Netflix in March.  Or that Matthew McConaughey promises to delight with his series asking “what if Elvis Presley moonlighted as a secret agent fighting ee-vil?”

Photo of Belushi from National Lampoon’s Animal House – photo from UOregon

March 1

Cheat Season 1–British TV stars Danny Dyer and Ellie Taylor host Netflix’s first foray into game shows.  Contestants test their knowledge for their chance at a 50,000 British pound prize.  However, who wins this contest isn’t necessarily the most knowledgeable.  Instead, the victor will be the person best able to lie and cheat their way to the finish line.  In other words, many GQP politicians starting with “George Santos” would make great contestants for this show. 

The Hangover–Even though Netflix is showing all three installments of this comedy trilogy, the first film is the must-see one.  Phil, Stu, and Alan are friends who’ve traveled to Las Vegas for the wedding of their friend Doug.  As the quartet used to hang out together as a group called The Wolfpack, they decide to celebrate the upcoming nuptials with an incredibly debauched bachelor party.  But the morning after, the traveling friends wake up with an incredible hangover and no memory of the previous night’s activities.  Worse still, the groom-to-be is missing.  Now the remaining Wolfpack members have to reconstruct what happened the previous night and find Doug so the wedding can take place.

National Lampoon’s Animal House–This important 1978 comedy directed by John Landis takes viewers back to 1962 and the period’s college fraternity culture.  Faber College freshmen Larry Kroger and friend Kent Dorfman know they need to pledge a fraternity.  While the snooty assholes of Omega Theta Pi won’t even consider them, they get a warm welcome from the very rowdy Delta Tau Chi fraternity, whose members include the unforgettable “Bluto” Blutarsky (John Belushi in his screen debut).  However, Dean Vernon Wormer plots with smug Omega president Greg Marmalard to find an excuse to finally revoke the Delta charter and permanently 86 the rule-breaking fraternity from Faber.  But the Deltas definitely aren’t the sort of people to go gently into the good night when somebody screws them over.

Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron–In this animated family tale set in the Old West, Spirit (voice of Matt Damon) is a mustang stallion who’s the leader of the Cimarron herd.  When white soldiers capture Spirit in hopes of turning him into a mount for the U.S. Cavalry, captive Lakota Indian Little Creek becomes an ally in helping Spirit escape.  But the mustang still faces some huge obstacles before he can return to a life of freedom.

March 2

Karate Sheep Season 1–In this new kids’ slapstick animated comedy, Trico is a sheep who loves sharing nifty new gadgets and ideas with the rest of his mountain pasture flock.  The resulting chaos does not amuse Wanda, the tough ewe whose job is keeping the flock safe.  For Wolf is always lurking, hoping that the chaos Trico creates will provide an opportunity for him to strike.

Masameer County Season 2–This hit animated series from Saudi Arabia takes a decidedly apolitical but darkly comic look at the social changes hitting the kingdom.  The series’ mischievous characters will get involved this season in such escapades as “a daring 24-hour mission, an unexpected elevator ride, and an out-of-control rocket launch.”

Thalaikoothal–-In a rural Indian village in the Thirunelveli region, an unemployed man named Pazhani is caught in a bad situation.  His father Muthu has been stuck in a coma for a long period of time, and Pazhani’s his primary caretaker.  However, the growing debt the son is accumulating has resulted in his family pressuring him to euthanize his father (the film’s title comes from the word for senicide).  While Pazhani maintains his faith in Muthu’s eventual return to normality, the older man is subconsciously dreaming of his younger days and surreally transforming the methods suggested for killing him.

March 3 on Netflix

In The Name Of God: A Holy Betrayal– Did you know that in 2023 South Korea, there are 100 people who’ve publicly claimed to be the Messiah?  This docuseries recounts what happened to Koreans who followed four leaders who proclaimed themselves to be gods.  The subjects covered are: the Christian Gospel Mission (JMS), the Odaeyang mass suicide, the pseudo-religion Aga Dongsan, and even a man who claimed to be God of all people.

Unlock My Boss Season 1– IT company founder Kim Sun-joo’s spirit gets sucked into his smartphone following a fatal stabbing by an unknown assailant.  When poor unemployed college graduate Park In-Sung accidentally discovers Kim’s smartphone, the founder’s spirit offers to pay him several million dollars if he does some favors for him.  After installing Park as temporary company head, Kim and his rescuer set out to find who stabbed the company founder and why.

March 8

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared–In 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared over the South China Sea shortly after takeoff.  Despite extensive search efforts, no trace of either plane or passengers was ever found.  This docuseries examines the conspiracy theories that have popped up to explain the plane’s disappearance as well as valuable yet unanswered questions surrounding the vanished aircraft.

March 14

Ariyoshi Assists–In this unscripted comedy series, comedian and singer Hiroiki Ariyoshi will help ten guests (including athletes and actors) each host a series episode which utilizes a unique concept and format which plays to the guest’s particular talent.

March 15 

Money Shot: The Pornhub Story–Over 15 years ago, Pornhub launched.  The online adult entertainment platform would change the way pornography is seen and distributed.  But with the platform’s success comes some unsettling questions.  Does the platform facilitate the distribution of non-consensual material such as child pornography?  Has it become a new tool for sex traffickers?  This documentary looks at both the history and current controversies surrounding this popular adult entertainment site.        

March 16

Shadow And Bone Season 2–It’s a return to this popular adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse fantasy adventure novels.  As the new season begins, Alina may have discovered she’s the prophesied Sun Summoner who’s destined to destroy the Shadow Fold that splits the kingdom in half.  However, the Shadow Fold hasn’t been destroyed yet and The Darkling, the leader of the creatures who live in the Fold, is trying to capture Alina and take control of her powers.  Among the new characters coming this season are privateer Nikolai Lantsov and crow Wylan Hendriks.

March 17

Agent Elvis on Netflix this March

Agent Elvis– This adult animated comedy co-created by Priscilla Presley turns up to 11 The King of Rock And Roll’s childhood dream of being a superhero fighting crime and saving the world.  By day, Elvis Presley (voice of Matthew McConaughey) is the superstar rock singer behind such modern classics as “Hound Dog.”  But by night, the King is a super-spy in a secret government program fighting the forces of darkness and evil.  Accompanying Elvis on his spy missions is Scatters, his trigger-happy pet chimp.

Dance 100– This new reality show on Netflix debuts in March. It’s a street dance competition which brings together eight professional dancers whose resumes include working with the likes of Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, and Ricky Martin.  These dance pros are here to show they have the talent to become a superstar choreographer.  Key to the competition will be working with the titular Dance 100 aka 100 of the world’s best dancers.

Maestro In Blue–Netflix’s first Greek TV series takes place on Paxos, a largely unspoiled island located in the Ionian sea.  Musician Orestes has come to Paxos to organize the return of the island’s summer music festival.  But doing so means getting entangled in the lives of the locals, as well as a reunion with the beautiful and far younger Klelia.  From there, let’s just say the story turns into a mash-up of Kay Pollak’s “As It Is In Heaven” and the TV series “Ozark.”  Expect to see mentions of crime, family drama, domestic violence, homophobia, and addiction.        

March 20

Carol–Todd Haynes’ iconic adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s lesbian romance “The Price Of Salt” is set in 1952 America.  During the Christmas shopping season, Frankenberg’s store clerk (and aspiring photographer) Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) meets glamorous mother and wife Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett in an unforgettable performance).  From that first meeting, a romantic relationship slowly develops between the two women.  But Carol is in the process of getting a divorce from her husband Harge (Kyle Chandler), and wants custody of their daughter Rindy.  This matters because Harge wants to exploit his knowledge of Carol’s sapphic tendencies to have the court label her an unfit mother.

March 22

Waco: American Apocalypse–To mark 30 years since the notorious siege of the Branch Davidians’ Waco compound, this new docuseries arrives to recount the events leading up to a standoff that ended in the deaths of 86 people.  In the late 1980s, the Branch Davidians religious sect came under the control of cult leader and alleged final prophet David Koresh.  But in the years that followed, allegations about Koresh’s involvement in polygamy and child sexual abuse became too great to ignore.  The FBI conducted a raid on the Branch Davidians’ Mount Carmel Center compound starting on February 28, 1993.  But the raid soon turned into a 51-day siege and standoff captured on live television.

Wellmania Season 1 on Netflix on March 29th

March 23

Johnny–This Polish box-office blockbuster is based on a true story.  After Patrick gets caught attempting to break into a small town cottage, he’s sentenced to work at a hospice in the town of Puck  At the hospice, the young convict meets an extraordinary priest named Jan Kaczkowski.  The priest has deliberately engaged supposedly tough rebellious boys to work with the terminally ill, getting them to become emotionally close and develop relationships with the people they help.  

March 24

Chor Nikal Ke Bhaaga–In this Indian thriller on Netflix, a flight attendant and her business partner are under a loan shark’s thumb thanks to an old unpaid debt.  A desperate plan to clear the debt involves stealing a cache of diamonds while their plane is at an altitude of 40,000 feet.  But the attempted theft goes badly sideways and turns into a hostage situation,

March 29

Unseen Season 1– In this South African crime drama, Zenzi Mwale is just another nondescript domestic cleaner.  She may appear timid and seems to be an invisible woman nobody sees or really cares about.  But when Mwale’s husband goes missing and a dreaded criminal syndicate starts pressuring her by dredging up tragedies from her past, just how soon will violence become an option for Mwale? ,    

Wellmania Season 1–Australian comedian Celeste Barber heads this dramedy based on Brigid Delaney’s novel of the same name.  Liv (Barber) is a successful food writer whose life philosophy is “live fast die young.”  But a major health scare forces this human tornado to seriously reevaluate that credo. Now her main goal in life is getting well quickly and reclaiming her old life.  To that end, no benign or bizarre wellness treatment is off limits if it helps her reach her goal.

March 30

Big Mack: Gangsters And Gold–Outsider Donald Stellwag spent eight years in a German prison for a bank robbery he never committed.  Key elements of the state’s case against him were a description (very tall, very fat) and an allegedly unique earlobe.  When the real culprit of the crime is caught, Stellwag is exonerated and becomes a media star.  Then a truck transporting 1.8 million Euros worth of gold gets hijacked on the AB1 motorway.  The gold robbers and their victim have one thing in common: they all know Stellwag.  Was the wrongly convicted man personally involved in the robbery as part of a revenge plot?  This German true crime documentary may provide some answers.

Coming to Netflix on March 31

Kill Bookson

Copycat Killer– This adaptation of Miyuke Mayabi’s mystery novel transposes the action from Tokyo to 1990s Taipei comes to Netflix in March.  It’s a time when social values were disintegrating and what people classified as truth or lies got muddled very quickly.  Into this world comes Taiwan’s first-ever serial murder case.  A righteous prosecutor vows to bring the killer to justice, but how emotionally dark will he have to become to accomplish the capture?  Equally daunting is the fact that the elusive murderer is also media-savvy enough to maximize the chaos and fear created by his crimes.

Kill Boksoon–Gil Boksoon is a middle-aged single mother who’s the best contract killer at MK Enterprises, a company that’s turned killings-for-hire into a profitable global business.  But she’s  also a mother who doesn’t know yet her teenage daughter Jae-Young’s hostility comes from unrequited love for another female student.  Feeling that she’s not getting any younger, the veteran killer wants to pass on renewing her contract with MK.  However, someone at MK’s gone rogue and is doing unauthorized freelance hits. And Boksoon’s refusal to complete an important mission gets her in big trouble with MK management.

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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.