Since the launch of the MCU, Marvel has gotten moviegoers and TV viewers to career about characters they might previously have known much about. Sure, Iron Man wasn’t exactly obscure in 2008, but he wasn’t exactly Spider-man, either. The project’s success has paved the way for characters known only to dedicated comics readers to get some time in the spotlight, the Eternal to Shang-Chi, both of whom star in upcoming movies. But M.O.D.O.K.? Who saw that one coming?
Unexpected or not, this clever-looking new animated series looks to be one of the highlights among the movies and series being added to Hulu this month, though there’s no shortage of entertainment to watch elsewhere on the service thanks to a selection that includes everything from aliens to doughnuts.
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Shadow in the Cloud (May 5)
In a throwback to B-movies of old with a modern twist, pilot Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz) faces two foes when she takes to the skies in the midst of World War II: sexism and monsters. Can she defeat them both in this war movie/horror movie hybrid directed by Roseanne Liang?
Shrill: Season 3 (May 7)
Aidy Bryant has been a standout on SNL from the moment she arrived so it’s been a pleasure to watch her stretch out as a performer as the lead of this series inspired by journalist Lindy West’s memoir of the same name. Season three, which premieres in its entirety, finds Annie entering a new phase in both her professional and personal life.
Saint Maud (May 13)
Rose Glass’s acclaimed horror film about the intense relationship between an intensely Catholic hospice nurse (Marfydd Clark) and the former dancer (Jennifer Ehle) in her care, was set to debut last spring only to lose its release date to the Covid-19 outbreak. Still, that doesn’t mean what might have been one of 2020’s most talked-about films can’t be one of 2021’s most talked about films now that it’s available to a wider audience.
Some Kind of Heaven (May 13)
An immersive look at life inside The Village’s, a massive Florida retirement complex, Lance Oppenheim’s feature directorial debut has been winning acclaim since its 2020 Sundance premiere. The film enjoyed a brief run in theaters earlier this year, but expect conversation to stir up around it again once a wider audience gets a chance to check it out.
MLK/FBI (May 14)
As Martin Luther King Jr. fought for civil rights his opponents weren’t always those who stood up to him on the front lines. They included J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, who embarked on a campaign of surveillance and harassment designed to keep King and the movement he spearheaded in check. The latest film from veteran documentarian Sam Pollard (Eyes on the Prize) explores the history of that campaign, which found the most powerful law enforcement organization in the country standing on the wrong side of history.
Supernova (May 18)
Tusker (Stanley Tucci) and Sam (Colin Firth) are longtime romantic partners traveling England’s Lake District, but their trip isn’t without purpose: Tusker is suffering from early-onset dementia and the pair are doing the best they can to savor the life they’ve built together before it falls apart. Written and directed by actor-turned-filmmaker Harry Macqueen, the film earned strong reviews when it played festivals last year (and with those great leads and that heartbreaking set-up, that should probably come as no surprise).
Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. (Hulu, May 21)
In the surest sign yet that every character ever to appear in the pages of Marvel Comics will eventually get a movie or TV series, this stop-motion animation series concerns the struggles of the eponymous M.O.D.O.K., who’s essentially an angry floating head, as he simultaneously tries to take over the world and deal with marital drama in suburban New Jersey. If that premise didn’t already suggest the show didn’t’ take itself too seriously, Patton Oswalt provides the voice of M.O.D.O.K.
Plan B (May 28)
Natalie Morales (Dead to Me, The Little Things) has spent part of the pandemic branching out into directing. She’s helmed both Language Lessons, which had a well-received premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, and this comedy in which a pair of South Dakota teenagers (Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles) desperately search for the day-after pill following an unfortunate first sexual experience. With last year’s Palm Springs, Hulu established itself as an outlet to watch for original comedies and this looks like it might carry on that trend.
The Vigil (May 31)
Anyone looking for religious-themed horror films need look no further than Hulu this month. Dave Davis stars as a Jewish man troubled by a malevolent Mazzik as he keeps watch over a recently departed woman. It could make for a great double feature to Saint Maud (or maybe the recent indie hit, Shiva Baby).
The Donut King (May 31)
After coming to America as a Cambodian refugee, Ted Ngoy took jobs as a janitor and gas station attendant before earning millions of dollars as the owner of a chain of doughnut shops. Alice Gu’s new documentary recounts his incredible success story — and what happened next, a trip through the dark side of the American dream.
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