Hey, it’s August. And the thing we do around here when the calendar flips to a new page is take a look at what’s coming out this month and see what we’re excited about. I combed through the new releases for TV, movies, comics, and videogames, and here’s the pop culture stuff I’m most excited about.
Hobbs and Shaw (August 2) – Oh, man. This movie looks bonkers. The best characters from the Fast and the Furious franchise leave behind the parts I don’t like and strike out on their own. For context, I don’t like the first four movies in the franchise at all. When the Rock shows up and the movies get nuts, I’m on board. But I could care less about Lettie’s amnesia or whatever. And as much fun as the later movies are, they’re hamstrung in many ways – reportedly, the original cast members can’t be shown to lose a fight, for example. And I don’t need every scene to be built around cars. And let’s not even start with the creepy way they kept Paul Walker’s character alive but they talk about him like he’s dead and even though he stepped back from saving the world with cars, they could still hang out when they have a barbecue at the end of the movie, but they don’t. But here we’ve got Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in a standalone where they fight Idris Elba. This is all I want.
GLOW (August 9) – Season 3 is only days away and the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling are off to Vegas for a residency. Oh, and Geena Davis is there. As establishes, I would watch this show regardless of quality because Alison Brie is in it, but it’s actually really, really good. Scrappy underdogs putting on a show always resonate with me and the supporting cast is developing in really interesting ways. And it’s a show made up almost entirely of scene stealers. I really love this show and I’m so excited for new episodes. This is up there with BoJack Horseman as a show where I will watch the entire season before I go to bed on Friday. (Netfilx)
The Kitchen (August 9) – I didn’t read the comic this movie is based on, but if I recall, it came out at the period when all of Vertigo’s books were just aggressively brown. They used the same color palate as a Zack Snyder movie. But this story about 1970s mobster wives taking over when their husbands go to jail is right up my alley. Basically, I want more movies to be like Widows. The cast is great and it looks really entertaining.
Lodge 49 / The Terror: Infamy (August 12) – Paired up again like they were last summer, these two series were surprisingly entertaining last year. Lodge 49 is a weird beast, sort of like a coherent Big Lebowski, but not exactly. I don’t know if it exactly fits the definition, but it feels like magical realism. It took me a few episodes to get it, but then I fell in love. As for Terror, the first season was a self-contained story about a supernatural take on a historical event. It had a definite ending and even the title of the show came from the name of the boat depicted therein. So how is there a second season? Well, they’re sticking to history and giving it a twist as this season is about the WWII Japanese internment camps and the evil presence menacing the prisoners. There’s a delicate line to walk there, but they’ve earned some confidence. Also, boy, did this ever get more political since it was originally announced. (AMC)
The Righteous Gemstones (August 18) – Danny McBride returns to HBO with this new comedy about a wealthy family of televangelists. This is another one of those shows where I haven’t really sought out additional information because McBride is a guaranteed sale for me, so I might as well be surprised. The cast includes John Goodman and McBride’s Vice Principals costars Edi Patterson and Walton Goggins. It’s going to be good. You can trust me on this one. (HBO)
Rad (August 19) – This new Switch came comes from Double Fine Studios, who are pretty reliable when it comes to quirky, entertaining games. This isn’t huge big-budget release, but it’s a cool-looking adventure game with a neat art style. Your character uses strategic mutations to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, whether that means growing wings or a snake head. I need a fun game that I can play in short bursts and this looks like just what the doctor ordered. And that doctor? Doctor Mario.
The Joker: The Bronze Age Omnibus (August 20) – OK, an expensive hardcover collection of Joker stories from the Seventies isn’t for everybody, but it’s definitely for me. I’m a big Joker fan (And yet? Not interested in the movie.), and the Seventies are such an interesting time for him because you had Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams turning him into the character we know today and other people still leaning on the Batman ’66 characterization. There’s an incredible variety of stories here, including the never-published final issue of Joker’s short-lived solo series. That solo series was not especially good, but boy am I excited to read it. (DC Comics)
Control (August 27) – Another non-sequel video game this month! Coming from the people who brought you Quantum Break, this game casts you as an agent of the Federal Bureau of Control, tasked with using mysterious supernatural items to defeat a threat to reality. And yeah, as a Doom Patrol fan, this does feel a little bit like they’re casting the Bureau of Normalcy as the good guys, but this looks like an innovative game with ridiculous lore. I don’t know why this speaks to me particularly, but the gameplay I saw looks like a blast and I’ve been looking forward to it for months.
Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (August 30) – I’m not a superfan of the original movie or anything, but anything the Henson people do with puppets is worth a look. The trailers for this streaming service are gorgeous and my friend Sam and I decided that they used CG to smooth out the puppetry but we were wrong. No CGI whatsoever. I don’t remember the movie that clearly, but I would have to assume that a series thirty-five years later may take that into account. It’ll probably be worth watching just for the visuals, and if it’s actually good, that’s a bonus for me. (Netflix)
Marvel Comics #1000 – This is Marvel’s way of celebrating their 80th anniversary. Sure, they were called Timely originally and this is not actually the thousandth issue of a series called Marvel Comics and also eighty years doesn’t equal 1000 monthly issues. But over at DC, flagship titles Action and Detective got thousand issue celebrations (alongside their 80th anniversaries because both series went biweekly or even weekly at various times), so they’re getting in on the action. Each page has a different creative team and each page represents one year. It could be an absolute disaster, but there are some amazing creators involved. I mean, yes, they’re almost entirely male and almost entirely white and that’s a thing, but they’re doing #1001 next month with a similar set-up and a more diverse lineup. This will either be glorious or an absolute disaster and I can’t wait.
That’s my list! What are you into? Let me know!