Nope, Bullet Train and Disney+’s Prey among August’s must see movies – Stuff
With the New Zealand International Film Festival in full swing throughout the country this month, Kiwi movie lovers have a feast of cinematic options from around the globe to enjoy.
But for those who prefer more mainstream Hollywood-style fare, or to stay home at while the pandemic rolls on, don’t worry, there’s still a wide range of flicks to cater for your needs.
Those titles coming to a movie theatre near you include Jane Seymour-starring Australian drama Ruby’s Choice (August 4), French Film Festival returnees Employee of the Month (August 11) and Farewell, Mr Haffmann (August 25), documentaries Gloriavale and Quant (August 18), family film The Railway Children Return, gentle Aussie fashion drama A Stitch in Time and gothic horror The Invitation (all August 25).
Meanwhile, Netflix’s line-up includes Korean actioner Carter (August 5), Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg comedy Me Time (August 26), feline documentary Inside the Mind of a Cat (August 18), erotic thriller The Next 365 Days (August 19) and teen feel-good flick 13: The Musical (August 12).
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Horror specialists Shudder have rural thriller What Josiah Saw (August 4) and there are rental service debuts for Mark Wahlberg headliner Father Stu, Hungarian romantic-drama The Story of My Wife (both August 10) and French dramedy The Man in the Basement (August 11) too.
However, after looking through the schedules, Stuff to Watch has come up with this list of the 12 movies we believe are most worth checking out (and where you can watch them), as well as one so bad, it might have to be seen to be believed.
Idris Elba headlines this South Africa-set horror about a father and his two teenage daughters who find themselves hunted by a massive, rogue lion seemingly intent on proving that he is the savannah’s only apex predator.
Directed by Iceland’s Baltasar Kormákur, whose previous adventures include Everest and Adrift.
Brad Pitt reunites with his The Lost City co-star Sandra Bullock for this Japanese-set action-thriller. He plays an assassin whose latest job puts him on a train and on a collision course with a number of his lethal adversaries who have potentially conflicting agendas.
Directed by Deadpool 2 and Hobbs and Shaw’s David Leitch and based on Kotaro Isaka’s 2010 novel Maria Beetle, the film’s cast also includes Zazie Beetz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Logan Lerman and Michael Shannon.
Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg and Dave Franco combine for this action-comedy which focuses on a hard-working San Fernando Valley dad who just wants to provide a good life for his smart, eight-year-old daughter.
However, his seemingly mundane pool cleaning job is actually a front for his true source of income: hunting and killing vampires.
Australian True Blood star Ryan Kwanten returns to the spotlight in this horror. His recently heartbroken character finds himself in a terrifying situation when he becomes locked inside a remote rest stop bathroom with a mysterious figure (J.K. Simmons) who begins speaking to him from an adjacent stall.
“Great casting, stellar camerawork, and a biting sense of splatstick humour make for a surprising new entry in single-location horror,” wrote Bloody Disgusting’s Meagan Narvarro.
One of the real highlights of this year’s Sundance Film Festival and hopefully destined to see Emma Thompson in the frame for awards glory in early 2023.
She plays Nancy Stokes, a retired schoolteacher who, some time after her husband dies, decides to hire the young sex worker of the film’s title (Daryl McCormack), so she can finally experience what “good sex” might be like.
What follows is a series of charming, compelling and thought-provoking encounters, as the pair negotiate the rules around the relationship and delve into Nancy’s seemingly cloistered past. In conjunction with the two actors, talented Australian director Sophie Hyde (Animals, TV’s The Hunting) does a magnificent job of bringing British comedian Katy Brand’s screenplay to life.
In this modern-day Sliding Doors-esque romantic-dramedy, Lili Reinhart’s Natalie’s life diverges into parallel realities.
In one, she becomes pregnant and remains in her hometown. In the other, she moves to LA in order to pursue her dream career. Luke Wilson, David Corenswet and Nia Long also feature.
Former Pixar boss John Lasseter returns to the spotlight as a producer of this animated feature about Sam Greenfield (Eva Noblezada), a young woman who believes herself to be the unluckiest person in the world.
Upon discovering a magical land, she joins forces with the magical creatures there in an attempt to reverse her fortunes. The vocal cast also includes Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg.
The latest mindbending mystery from Get Out and US writer-director Jordan Peele, all that we’ll reveal is that it hones in on the residents of inland California lonely gulch who bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery. The impressive ensemble includes Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun.
“Another game-changer from Jordan Peele, who pushes the limits of fun, fright and movie love to take horror to the next level. What do UFOs have to do with the violence eating at America? Say yes to Nope – it’ll mess with your head and pin you to your seat,” wrote ABC News’ Peter Travers.
From the director of 10 Cloverfield Lane, Dan Trachtenberg, comes this latest entry in the now 35-year-old Predator franchise. Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, it’s the story of fierce and highly skilled warrior Naru (The Ice Road scene-stealer Amber Midthunder).
Raised in the shadow of some of the Great Plains’ most legendary hunters, when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her people. But even she isn’t prepared for what she is about to confront.
While between The Crown’s most recent series and Spencer, you may feel you’ve had enough depictions of the former nursery teacher assistant’s troubled time in the spotlight as a member of the British Royal Family, Ed Perkins’ documentary offers plenty of insightful and emotional moments.
Told Senna-style, using solely archival footage, this charts the highs and lows of the Princess of Wales’ public and private life (which unfortunately ended up being the same thing), from her fairytale wedding to Prince Charles to their seemingly bitter estrangement and the endless pursuit of her by the paparazzi.
It all makes for compelling, haunting and heartbreaking viewing on the eve of the 25th anniversary of her death.
Sylvester Stallone is front and centre of this action-fantasy about a young boy who is convinced that he may have uncovered the whereabouts of a superhero who went missing after an epic battle 20 years earlier.
With crime on the rise and the city on the brink of chaos, young Sam (Javon “Wanna” Walton) decides to make it his mission to coax his neighbour “Joe Smith” to reveal his true identity and come out of hiding.
Already the subject of a Thai drama (2019’s The Cave) and an award-winning National Geographic documentary (2021’s The Rescue), it’s hard to know what more can be said about the incredible story that unfolded in Thailand in June and July 2018.
But veteran director Ron Howard brings the same mix of Hollywood sheen, dialled-down sentiment and celebration of understated derring-do that made his Apollo 13 such a crowd-pleaser that, even though we all know the outcome, you’ll be gripped by the events depicted in Thirteen Lives.
At 142, often harrowing and emotion-filled minutes, this is no easy watch, but Howard and screenwriters William Nicholson (Everest) and Don MacPherson’s (2014 mini-series Fleming) methodical, slow-burn approach is what draws you in and gets you quickly hooked.
Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell deliver powerful, yet understated performances, allowing the situation, rather than any histrionics, to dictate the drama.
Zac Efron, Kurtwood Smith and Anne with an E and American Horror Story: Double Feature star Ryan Kiera Armstrong team up for this latest adaptation of Stephen King’s 1980 novel about a young girl who tries to understand how she mysteriously gained the power to set things alight with just her mind.
Drew Barrymore headlined the less-than-stellar 1984 original.
“The effects are dodgy and unconvincing. The emotional investment is nil. The running time is only 94 minutes long, thus proving there may, in fact, be a merciful higher power out there. It’s still a four-alarm disaster,” wrote Rolling Stone magazine’s Jason Bailey.
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August 3, 2022 at 12:49AM