A new documentary examines the short life of a Florida teen turned rap star.
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year" award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
There are some intriguing new films on Hulu this month, including a documentary that examines the rise of controversial rapper XXXTentacion, and a romantic comedy that follows a man as he finds himself caught up in the drama of Hollywood. Below you'll find our roundup of the most exciting new Hulu releases this month, as well as some of our favorite Hulu original movies that you can stream right now.
What to watch in May
The Valet (2022): Movie star Olivia (Samara Weaving) faces a PR disaster when a paparazzi snaps a photo of her with her married lover, Vincent (Max Greenfield). The hard-working valet Antonio (Eugenio Derbez) accidentally appears in the same photo and is enlisted to pose as Olivia's new boyfriend as a cover-up.
Look at Me: XXXTentacion (2022): This Hulu original documentary explores how Florida teenager Jahseh Onfroy became SoundCloud rapper XXXTentacion, one of the most streamed artists on the planet.
A Taste of Hunger (2021): Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays a ruthless chef striving to earn a Michelin star for his Copenhagen restaurant.
GameStop: Rise of the Players (2022): This documentary examines the intriguing GameStop short squeeze of 2021, in which Reddit users and others helped the video game store company's stock rise over 2500 percent.
The title Fresh could refer to a number of things in this black-comedy thriller starring Sebastian Stan and Normal People's Daisy Edgar-Jones. Initially, we begin in a tale of modern dating: Noa heads out on another cringe-inducing internet date, until a real-life meet-cute with Steve gives her a glimmer of relationship hope. Fresh is best watched without a hint as to what comes next, but be warned, it's not for the faint-hearted.
Sarah Paulson's been on a streak, starring in Mrs. America, Ratched and now Run, a thriller from Aneesh Chaganty (check out his excellent directorial debut Searching). In Run, Paulson plays Diane Sherman, a mother looking after her daughter Chloe (Kiera Allen), who uses a wheelchair. But their mother-daughter relationship is more disturbing than it seems. Be captivated by the suspense, mystery and horror as Diane takes helicopter parenting to a new level.
It was only a matter of time before a documentary chronicling the remarkable story of teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg came around. I Am Greta is an intimate look at Thunberg's one-person school strike for climate action outside the Swedish parliament. We also see a little of her life as a shy student with Asperger's. The rare footage is in the sure hands of Swedish director Nathan Grossman, following Thunberg's galvanizing impact from those steps to the rest of the world.
On the surface, this extraordinary documentary from Bing Liu is a love letter to skateboarding. But scratch a little deeper and you'll find Minding the Gap's vast depths. A rich and thoughtful tale of young people growing up in 21st century America, it explores domestic trauma, systemic racism and classism. It resonates beyond the skate park.
This road trip comedy covers familiar territory, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles star as odd best friends: one a straitlaced student, the other a slacker who helps the former track down a Plan B pill in conservative small-town South Dakota -- within 24 hours of a regrettable first sexual encounter. Following in the footsteps of the fast-paced and fresh Booksmart, Plan B is a witty, bawdy ride that holds nothing back.
Palm Springs slots right into the charming indie movie category: Its fresh sci-fi premise acts as a gateway to exploring deeper ideas. Cristin Miloti and Andy Samberg star as Sarah and Nyles, two strangers who meet at a wedding and get up to all sorts, including stumbling into a Groundhog Day time loop. Their only chance of escape seems to be tied to having personal breakthroughs. Very much sticking the landing, Palm Springs should be on your list of viewing destinations.
Big Time Adolescence is a coming-of-age movie told with an emphasis on the messiness of growing up. Pete Davidson plays a slacker who befriends 16-year-old Mo. His influence sees Mo try new things, from alcohol to impressing girls at parties. Lessons, as you can expect, are learned. A smart ensemble, including Jon Cryer, is the cherry on the cake bringing together this heartfelt gem.
If you like your Christmas movies with a dash of substance, then Happiest Season is one of the best new gems to slide onto your holiday viewing shelf. Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis star as loving couple Abby and Harper, who encounter a single spanner in their relationship: Harper hasn't come out to her conservative family yet. Delivering all the warmth of a Hallmark card with none of the cheesiness, and bolstered by a stellar supporting cast including Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie and Dan Levy, Happiest Season is a smart, modern Christmas movie with emotional punch.
Chloé Zhao's Nomadland swept up awards at film festivals and unsurprisingly won best picture, best director and best actress at the Oscars. Zhao's a true workhorse, directing, editing and writing this contemplative and fascinating drama about a woman (Frances McDormand) who leaves her home to travel around the American West. Get this: Members of the supporting cast are real-life nomads playing fictionalized versions of themselves. See this extraordinary piece of filmmaking from the director who also brought her unique lens to Marvel's Eternals last year.
As the great Fleabag once said, "Hair is everything." Bad Hair might just take that to the next level. The horror satire set in the '80s follows a young woman who reluctantly agrees to get a weave -- but changing her image to please the image-obsessed music industry has its consequences. Absurdly funny and disturbing at the same time, Bad Hair unravels an entertaining fable that reflects on modern life.
Zombies, the Australian outback and a school bus of happy-go-lucky children are a mix you can expect to end badly. Little Monsters follows kindergarten teacher Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong'o) on her gargantuan task: Keep her charges safe and oblivious to the flesh (and echidna) eating monsters. If she pulls it off, she'll be teacher of the year. With a scene-stealing Josh Gad in tow, Little Monsters is ridiculous fun using a fresh brain to tackle the genre.