You could make the argument that nobody does it better than Hulu when it comes to James Bond — because 007 is all over Hulu this month, with 15 older titles featuring Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton. Some of the best Bond moments are here, featuring downhill-skiing chase scenes, killer lasers and jetpacks. But there are some stinkers, too. (Don't remember A View to a Kill? You're lucky.)
Hulu's other top movie offerings are as far from blockbusters as you can get, like the story of prewar Cambodia's pop-music boom, Don't Think I've Forgotten. Now that it's well into the traditional TV season, enticing new-show offerings are slim. But the ones we've chosen pack plenty of excitement.
Chicago Med: Series Premiere (Nov. 18)
If you like the over-the-top drama of NBC's Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire, this hospital tale completes the set. We're optimistic, thanks to some stellar cast members, including Broadway veteran Oliver Platt and Law & Order stalwart S. Epatha Merkerson.
Sailor Moon Crystal: Season 1 Premiere (Nov. 20)
This 2014 reboot of the 1990s Japanese manga (comic book) and anime (cartoon) series features a collection of tween girls whose great powers are awakened so they may save the Earth from the forces of evil.
Vikings: Complete Season 3 (Nov. 12)
They weren't the sweetest folk, but they did change the fate of northern Europe. This historical fiction is based on the real life of Ragnar Lothbrok (played by Travis Fimmel), a common man who rises to prominence in terrorizing England and France before conquering Denmark. This History Channel show brings to the story of the Vikings the same slick production values and sex appeal that HBO brings to Game of Thrones.
Diamonds Are Forever (Nov. 1)
Bond goes to Vegas in this 1971 twisted-plot battle against his arch nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (the inspiration for Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers spoofs). Sean Connery's Bond faces the standard evil-genius type threat: Here, Blofeld uses stolen diamonds to build a space-based laser to achieve world domination. But there's a twist: Blofeld is using plastic surgery on henchmen to create an army of look-alikes to fool Bond. But who cares about the plot? This film is worth watching just for the hysterical, nonsensical scene in which bikini-clad gymnastic baddies Bambi and Thumper beat the crap out of Bond.
From Russia With Love (Nov. 1)
Even with double the funding of the first Bond film, Sean Connery's second romp still ran over budget, but it recouped a fortune at the box office. From Russia With Love portrays a thaw in the Cold War, with both the U.K. and the USSR battling against the evil Spectre syndicate. And things really heat up between Bond and Tatiana Romanova (former Miss Rome Daniela Bianchi), a cipher from the Soviet consulate in Istanbul.
Goldfinger (Nov. 1)
This Sean Connery blockbuster is the one Bond film you simply have to see. It has a fortune in gold, a nuclear bomb, nerve gas, a killer hat, killer lasers and the gnarliest end to a Bond villain ever. Plus, it features the quintessential Bond girl and Goldfinger's personal pilot, named — ah-hem — Pussy Galore. No, you're not dreaming.
Live and Let Die (Nov. 1)
This 1973 flick stands out mainly as the debut of Roger Moore in the title role, and with him, the beginning of an extra-campy era of Bond films. 007 goes to New Orleans for this whacky adventure with a debut role by Jane Seymour and a theme song by Paul and Linda McCartney.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Nov. 1)
Australian actor and supermodel George Lazenby subbed in for one Bond film before Sean Connery was coaxed back to the franchise. The producers billed it as the beginning of a new, sophisticated Bond era. It did have some gems, like Diana Rigg as tough, capable Bond girl Tracy; Telly Savalas as a more lively version of archenemy Blofeld; and perhaps the best (though not the only) ski-chase-with-machine-guns scenes of the franchise.
The Spy Who Loved Me (Nov. 1)
Reminiscent of From Russia With Love, this 1977 Roger Moore flick is another case of an outside villain prompting the West and the Soviets to team up — intimately, in the case of Bond and Major Anya Amasova (played by Barbara Bach). Special treats include German film legend Curd "Curt" Jürgens as evil genius Karl Stromberg and Richard Kiel as his metal-mouthed monster of a henchman, Jaws. Plus, you get the title track sung by Carly Simon, featuring the quintessential Bond phrase, "Nobody does it better."
Thunderball (Nov. 1)
Boy, the world powers were lousy at holding onto their nukes in the James Bond universe. This time Bond (played by Sean Connery) has to recover two warheads stolen by — who else — the evil Spectre organization. Anyhow, it gives Bond an excuse to both fly with a jetpack and party down in The Bahamas.
Lesser Bond Films
A View to a Kill (1985)
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
License to Kill (1989)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Never Say Never Again (1983)
The Living Daylights (1987)
The Amazing Catfish (Los Insólitos Peces Gato) (Nov. 5)
This Mexican film begins with Claudia, a lonely grocery-store clerk who lands in the hospital with appendicitis. There, she meets Martha, a woman with much bigger medical woes, but also four children who, together with their mom, become a kind of surrogate family for Claudia.
Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll (Nov. 5)
Much of the world was a brighter place in the 1960s and 1970s. Beirut was the Paris of the Middle East, Bagdad was a prosperous metropolis, and Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, was the "Pearl of Asia," with a booming rock-and-roll scene. Then came the hell of a civil war that killed a quarter of the population, including most of its "decadent" westernized artists. Don't Think I've Forgotten tells the story of Cambodia's go-go years and how a few of its artists have survived and are keeping music alive.
The Missing Picture (Nov. 5)
Here's a second powerful piece on Cambodia's tragic history. How do you tell a tale of genocide in a way that makes it seem like something real that humans actually endured, rather than cold film stock or atrocity porn? Artist Rithy Panh proposes a novel solution by depicting scenes from life under Cambodia's Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979 rendered in handcrafted miniature scenes, set to a calm but haunting French-language narration. His approach earned an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film in 2014.
Mysteries of the Unseen World (Nov. 5)
Fire up the big screen for this National Geographic eye-candy extravaganza. Mysteries of the Unseen World uses exotic technology, such as electron microscopes and high-speed cameras, to depict phenomena that the naked eye and brain just can't perceive — from microorganisms living between our eyelashes to views of the world in parts of the electromagnetic spectrum other than visible light.