Header image courtesy of Collider
In what looks like will be another month of an extended stay-at-home and work-from-home season (and with the little ones, no less), Paul Hsiao, chart maker and film enthusiast at Movieconomist, lists his most-anticipated releases arriving on Netflix Hong Kong in March.
Localiiz has written about it earlier in what truly is a momentous event: Legendary Studio Ghibli, responsible for generations’ worth of dreams and nostalgia, has generally eschewed from releasing their catalogue for public consumption, making digital purchases—never mind streaming rights—for its legions of fans around the world very difficult to procure. Not anymore.
This month, we will continue to enjoy Studio Ghibli animations with the second wave of releases. My personal highlights include the heartwrenching Princess Mononoke, which introduced to me the concept of environmental conservation at an early age, and Spirited Away, the first foreign language winner of the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Available 1 March
The popular videogame series turned into brooding anime gets a third season on Netflix. The somewhat anachronistically-named protagonist Trevor, the lone survivor of monster-hunting Belmont clan, gains allies in his fight against Dracula and his army of zombies. That must have been a fun premise pitch. A spooktacular alternative to kick off your spring. Available 5 March
For the cook in the household, Momofuku’s David Chang returns two years after its debut, which featured hot takes on pizza, tacos, shrimp, crawfish, BBQ, fried chicken, and fried rice. You can be sure that Chang will bring his trademark humour and irreverence while detailing a smorgasbord of comfort foods in his latest season. Available 6 March
In a colorful animated feature that inspires comparisons to the best of Disney and Pixar, Academy Award-winning director Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy pulls the heartstrings with short film Sitara, a story about a 14-year-old girl whose dreams of a becoming pilot are challenged by the prospect of an arranged early marriage. Available 8 March
Studies have shown that people are more likely to accept orders from people wearing white lab coats. What happens when you take 100 people from a diverse set of backgrounds and demographics, taking orders from white coats to do fun experiments? Netflix seeks to find the answer with another entry of “feel-good” reality TV. Available 13 March
When I go drinking with my Korean friends, I always ask them the same question over soju: would South Korean dramas be more entertaining with a dash of zombies? Netflix, apparently, heard me and answered with season 2 of Kingdom, a South Korean historical zombie action series that may quench your Mulan fix before the release of the Disney remake later this year. Available 13 March
Can't get enough Altered Carbon? Netflix has got your back. Just a few weeks after the release of Altered Carbon (Season 2), the streaming service adds an anime-style companion piece helmed by Cowboy Bebop’s writer Dai Sato as the main creative force. Think a “re-sleeved” (Altered Carbies would get this joke) version of The Animatrix. Available 19 March
The docu-series already got my attention since because of its correct usage of my beloved oxford comma, but now has my interest as it follows a man named Joe Exotic and his collection of exotic big cats. What is potentially more fascinating is his role in a complicated Cohen Brothers-esque web of crimes that only a true-crime documentary can unravel for your viewing pleasure. Available 20 March
Starring Academy Award-winning Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish, and Carmen Ejojoand, and produced by LeBron James, Self Made tells the true story of C.J. Walker, a mid-century American entrepreneur who built a haircare empire and became the first female self-made millionaire. Available 20 March
Jason Bateman continues to break bad in arguably Netflix’s most underrated drama. The actor, more commonly known as his role as Arrested Development’s Michael Bluth, flexes his acting and directing chops to tell the story of an American family on the run after getting mixed up with Mexican drug cartels. Available 27 March
Another Netflix exclusive for markets outside the US. Adam Sandler delivers an electric performance (ultimately unceremoniously snubbed the Oscars) as a New York City hustler who gets in over his head when he comes into possession of the eponymous precious stone that was mined by Ethiopian Jews. The film also features supporting roles from an unlikely cast of characters: NBA’s Kevin Garnett, The Weeknd, and Frozen’s Idina Menzel (a.k.a. “Adeel Dazeem”). Available now
Based on the popular graphic novel series, Locke & Key follows three siblings who move into their ancestral home after the murder of their father, only to find out that the house hides secrets beyond imagination. Think A Series of Unfortunate Events meets The Haunting of Hill House with a healthy sprinkling of Stranger Things, all Netflix originals. Available now
After watching the trailer, one would be forgiven to think that Horse Girl is a different take on Joker. Community’s Alison Brie plays a misfit young woman who is increasingly losing her grip on reality as she learns more about a hereditary mental illness. Sound familiar? Available now
My Holo Love answers the question I never knew I had: “What if Black Mirror was a K-drama?” Yoon Hyun-min stars as a lovelorn thirty-something in Seoul who inadvertently falls in love with a seemingly sentient hologram that looks exactly like its cold and unsociable creator, played by Ko Sung-hee. Available now
As someone who is addicted to late-night talk shows, I feel like this movie was made for me. Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapur from The Office) writes and stars as a young female writer tasked to turn around the direction of late-night talk show while butting heads with an all-male writers’ room. Available now
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, To All the Boys: PS I Still Love You is the sequel to the surprise hit To All the Boys I Loved Before, arguably Netflix’s strongest romantic comedy offering that perfectly captures high school puppy love. Despite what some may consider to be a fluffy premise, the film series is notable for being one of the few franchises that feature a character of mixed-Asian heritage and is a technical powerhouse with beautiful shots that rival anything the Oscars may feature. In the sequel, Lara Jean struggles with her feelings for Peter Kavinsky when another rival for her affection, Josh Ambrose, unexpectedly enters her life. Available now
Straddling the lines between gripping crime drama and Spanish language immersion class, season two of Narcos: Mexico follows the rise of the Guadalajara crime family in the 1980s as violence escalates when the Reagan administration steps up its effort on the war on drugs. Available now
The Altered Carbon series may be Netflix’s best-kept secret. In a world where death has become obsolete for the rich, Anthony Mackie (The Falcon from the Marvel Cinematic Universe) plays Takeshi Kovacs, a mercenary who wakes up in the year 2384 in a different body after the explosive events of season one.
Based on the sprawling sci-fi book series, plot details of season two have been kept under wraps, but we can be sure that the show will deliver head-spinning sci-fi conundrums, bombastic action sequences, and neon-streaked visuals that made the first season unlike anything else on the streaming service. Available now