Crossing the Streams is our series of guides looking at all the offerings hitting the big streaming services each month. This time we’re checking out what’s new to streaming on Hulu in May 2023, including Sex Drive, a remake of White Men Can’t Jump, and more!
Hulu Pick of the Month for May 2023
One of the more entertaining new shows of this year that not enough of you are talking about is Jury Duty on Peacock. It’s a faux-documentary style comedy, similar to the likes of The Office and Parks & Recreation, following a jury trial as they deliberate a case. There’s a twist, though — everyone involved is an actor playing a role except for one guy named Ronald. He thinks he’s in an actual documentary. It’s a funny show, but the bonus is that Ronald is a legitimately sweet guy, and when he recognizes that James Marsden (as himself) is part of the jury he brings in a DVD copy of one of his favorite movies for the actor to sign.
And that movie is Sex Drive (2008). Marsden is understandably surprised, and seeing him read the back of the DVD is hilarious in its own right. Anyway, the movie is now on Hulu! The film bombed in theaters, but it’s actually a very funny teen sex comedy that balances raunchy humor with some smart, slightly more enlightened observations. It’s no lost gem, but it’s absolutely better than its reputation has probably suggested. Give it a watch!
Action Worth Revisiting
80s kids had it pretty great when it came to helicopter thrills. We got three seasons of Airwolf (1984-1986) and one of Blue Thunder (1984), and it all started with the big-screen adventure of John Badham’s Blue Thunder (1983). The film sees a high-tech helicopter enter the arsenal of the Los Angeles police department, and while the lucky pilot (Roy Scheider) is stoked at first he soon discovers a dark side to the chopper’s abilities. It’s all a bit ominous regarding government surveillance and assassinations, but it’s not far from the truth either. Daniel Stern co-stars, Scheider is typically fantastic, and there’s enough action and drama to keep things moving nicely.
Denzel Washington remains one of the greats as he’s as proficient in action movies as he is with more dramatic fare. Case in point? The Hughes Brothers’ The Book of Eli (2010) is a post-apocalyptic tale starring Washington as a man traversing a broken America. Big brawls, power-hungry villains, a religious angle that still doesn’t sit right with me, and an end reveal that’s as interesting as it is improbable. It’s a solid film despite the implication that founding a new society on religious texts is a good idea.
David Koepp’s Premium Rush (2012) is the least seen of the bunch — it pretty much tanked in theaters — but there’s genuine fun to be had with its bike-oriented, PG-13 thrills. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a messenger caught up in dirty cop shenanigans, and the great Michael Shannon is the bad guy on his trail. Shannon’s performance alone makes this a movie worth watching, but even beyond his magic the film finds a good time with lightweight action beats and suspense.
Recent Films You Probably Missed
Gateway horror films typically err on the side of caution delivering slight thrills at best, but Nyla Innuksuk’s Slash/Back (2022, premieres May 18th) finds the balance that eludes most. The protagonists are all kids, children living in a small Arctic community, while the adults are all kept to the periphery. It’s playful and fun, mildly amateurish at times in the acting, but it works as the kids are good fun and knowledgeable in horror movie lore — and the threat they’re facing is occasionally legit unsettling. Aliens have invaded their tiny village, aliens with goopy, creepy-ass faces, and these girls are ready to fight back.
People give up their babies in the hopes that they’re going to better homes, but sometimes the route those infants take gets a bit complicated. Broker (2022, premieres May 24th) sees a small group of people who make a living by stealing the babies left in the safe drop-off box and then selling them to wealthy parents-to-be. Did I mention it’s a comedy of sorts? Kore-eda Hirokaza’s latest shares some traits with his fantastic Shoplifters (2018) as “good” people doing “bad” things warm your heart even as they break the law. Plus, you really can’t go wrong with Song Kang-ho in a lead role.
Nicolas Cage averages two to three new movies a year, but while some catch the public’s attention, others seem to disappear into the ether. The Old Way (2023, premieres May 26th) is one of the latter as the Western — Cage’s first! — came and went in theaters and on VOD without much discourse. To be fair, it’s no hidden gem, but the traditional Western delivers what it promises with a straightforward tale of honor, revenge, and regret. But with Cage!
Recent Films I Missed Too!
Claire Denis (Beau travail, 1999; High Life, 2018) is a popular director among cool cats and cultured film bros, but she’s a filmmaker who’s mostly eluded me. Her latest is no different, but now that Both Sides of the Blade (2022) is hitting Hulu we can all watch it together. Described as a romantic thriller, the film follows one woman’s troubled journey choosing between two men — It’s Juliette Binoche, so you completely understand why she has options — leading, presumably, to one of the guys making some terrible choices.
Alone at Night (2022) looks to be the kind of movie that delivers exactly what its title promises — a young woman finds herself alone and isolated as a nighttime visitor tries to harsh her mellow. The filmmakers are relative newcomers, but Ashley Benson takes the lead role here meaning we’re in good hands on the dramatic front. The movie might be set during the pandemic, an unnecessary complication if so seeing as most pandemic films so far have been pretty trash, but here’s hoping it doesn’t become a distraction from the suspense.
Finally, Alice Diop’s Saint Omer (2022, premieres May 12th) drops the genre of the others here to deliver a straight drama in the form of a courtroom observation. A novelist watches the trial of a young woman accused of killing her own infant, but what starts as a matter-of-fact case becomes something more personal, biting, and raw. Well, that’s the promise anyway, and it’s enough to get me onto the couch.
The Complete Hulu List for May 2023
|5/1||After Earth (2013)|
|Best in Show (2000)|
|Black Dynamite (2009)|
|Billionaire Boys Club (2018)|
|Bless Me, Ultima (2012)|
|Blue Thunder (1983)|
|Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius (2004)|
|The Book of Eli (2010)|
|Bottle Rocket (1996)|
|Boogie Nights (1997)|
|Clash of the Titans (2010)|
|The Comedian (2016)|
|Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)|
|The Darkest Hour (2011)|
|Eat Pray Love (2010)|
|The First Monday In May (2016)|
|The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)|
|Horrible Bosses (2011)|
|The Hunger Games (2012)|
|The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)|
|The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)|
|The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)|
|Johnny Mnemonic (1995)|
|The Joy Luck Club (1993)|
|Last Action Hero (1993)|
|The Last Exorcism (2010)|
|Little Man (2006)|
|The Little Things (2021)|
|The Mask (1994)|
|The Meddler (2015)|
|Meet the Spartans (2008)|
|Once Upon a Time in America (1984)|
|Out of the Furnace (2013)|
|Patriots Day (2016)|
|Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)|
|The Power of One (1992)|
|Premium Rush (2012)|
|Sex Drive (2008)|
|Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)|
|Stan & Ollie (2018)|
|Stuck on You (2003)|
|Taken 2 (2012)|
|A Small Light, limited series premiere|
|5/4||Apollo 18 (2011)|
|Both Sides of the Blade (2022)|
|The Libertine (2004)|
|A Walk to Remember (2002)|
|5/5||Alone at Night (2022)|
|Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium|
|Manifest West (2022)|
|Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, complete season 2||Hulu Original|
|5/8||Beyblade QUADSTRIKE, season 7A|
|To The End|
|5/9||The Last Warrior (2017)|
|Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming with David Letterman|
|5/12||Boonie Bears: Back to Earth|
|The Great, complete season 3||Hulu Original|
|The Last Unicorn (1982)|
|Saint Omer (2022)|
|5/13||The Locksmith (2023)|
|5/15||Dangie Bros Ultimate Mishmash, complete season 1|
|District D13 (2004)|
|Hammer of the Gods (2013)|
|Point Break (1991)|
|5/16||The Break-Up (2006)|
|La Chica Invisible, complete season 1|
|Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)|
|5/17||Queenmaker: The Making of an It Girl||Hulu Original|
|Texas True Crime, complete season 2|
|5/19||American Murderer (2022)|
|Sliding Doors (1998)|
|Sophie’s Choice (1982)|
|White Men Can’t Jump (2023)||Hulu Original|
|5/23||Paris Can Wait (2016)|
|The Clearing||Hulu Original|
|5/25||I Still Believe (2020)|
|The Old Way (2023)|
|5/30||Jelly Roll: Save Me, special||Hulu Original|
|5/31||The Square (2017)|