Every month, streaming services in Australia add a new batch of movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for August.
‘Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami’ Season 1
A companion piece to the director Billy Corben’s 2006 documentary “Cocaine Cowboys,” this five-part series tells another story drawn from the wild 1980s era of Miami drug trafficking. Corben and his team look back at the heyday of Augusto “Willy” Falcon and Salvador “Sal” Magluta, two Cubans who hustled their way to fame and fortune, seemingly always one step ahead of the authorities. The action and glamour of Miami provide the backdrop to a stylish and engrossing true-crime saga.
‘Hit & Run’ Season 1
The “Fauda” co-creator and star Lior Raz fills the same roles for this new Israeli thriller, which combines a tricky mystery plot with the kind of intense action scenes for which his shows are known. Raz plays Segev, a recently married Tel Aviv tour guide, settled into a low-key life and far removed from his past as a special forces agent. When his wife dies in a suspicious car accident, Segev calls in favors from his old associates around the world — including his ex-girlfriend Naomi (Sanaa Lathan), a New York reporter who helps him get to the bottom of a possible international conspiracy.
In the animated musical “Vivo,” Lin-Manuel Miranda provides the voice of a playful kinkajou, who performs in the streets of Havana alongside a kindly old musician (Juan de Marcos). The plot follows this charismatic “honey bear” and a precocious Florida tween named Gabi (Ynairaly Simo) as they travel to Miami on a mission to share a love song. The movie is colorful and high-energy, and features several numbers written by the “Hamilton” creator Miranda, mixing rap, pop, R&B and Latin-tinged rock.
‘Bake Squad’ Season 1
Part cooking competition and part “do something amazing for nice people” show, “Bake Squad” follows talented confectioners and pastry chefs as they vie to make the most spectacular desserts possible for some ordinary person’s special occasion. Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi — who knows a lot about making sweet treats fun and whimsical — hosts this upbeat reality series, which has the heartwarming feel of the Netflix favorites “The Great British Baking Show” and “Queer Eye.”
John David Washington stars in this moody Euro-thriller set against the backdrop of modern Greece, where the stunning scenery is at odds with the deep sociopolitical unrest. Washington plays a tourist who gets dragged into a fight he doesn’t fully understand when he and his girlfriend April (Alicia Vikander) suffer a violent wreck that may have been intentional. The Italian director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino — who also wrote the story for “Beckett,” collaborating with Kevin A. Rice on the script — calls back to the “wrong man, wrong place, wrong time” chase movies of Alfred Hitchcock, while emphasizing how even a picturesque location can be perilous.
‘Brand New Cherry Flavor’
The surreal mini-series “Brand New Cherry Flavor” has echoes of David Lynch’s “Mulholland Dr.” and David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” in its twisted version of a backstage drama, set in early 1990s Hollywood. Based on a Todd Grimson novel, the show has Rosa Salazar playing an aspiring director who dabbles in the occult to exact revenge after she gets bamboozled by a smug mogul. What follows is a strange and bloody story, which moves from the offices of powerful producers to L.A.’s darker, punkier corners.
‘The Chair’ Season 1
Unlike most TV series set at universities, the dramedy “The Chair” focuses on the faculty, not the students. Sandra Oh stars as Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, who’s the first woman to serve as the chair of the English department at a prestigious university. The job comes with some major challenges, including a shrinking budget and a graying faculty — a few of whom are stubbornly out of touch with how the kids of today learn. Cocreated by the actress Amanda Peet and featuring a stellar cast (including Jay Duplass, Holland Taylor and Bob Balaban), “The Chair” digs into the complications of modern academia.
‘The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf’
This adult-oriented animated feature film — rendered in an anime style — serves as a prequel to the popular Netflix fantasy series “The Witcher.” Theo Hames voices Vesemir, who is legendary as the man who helped the hero Geralt master the art of monster-hunting. “Nightmare of the Wolf” follows Vesemir as a rakish younger adventurer, selling his skills to those who can afford them as he learns more about the responsibilities that come with being a gifted witcher.
Also arriving: “Top Secret UFO Projects: Declassified” Season 1 (August 3), “Car Masters: Rust to Riches” Season 3 (August 4), “Control Z” Season 2 (August 4), “Cooking with Paris” Season 1 (August 4), “The Kissing Booth 3” (August 11), “Misha and the Wolves” (August 11), “The Kingdom” Season 1 (August 13), “Valeria” Season 2 (August 13), “The Chair” Season 1 (August 20), “The Loud House Movie” (August 20), “Sweet Girl” (August 20), “Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes” Season 1 (August 25), “He’s All That” (August 27).
‘Batman: The Animated Series’ Seasons 1-3
Stan adds a hefty collection of DC Comics-derived movies and TV series to the service this month, from live-action blockbusters to beloved cartoons. Superhero fans should be especially excited to see “Batman: The Animated Series,” which in the early ’90 surprised even many comics buffs with its eye-catching retro design and its well-crafted action-adventure stories. This is the rare superhero show that entertains the more mature Batman devotees while — cartoon violence aside — remaining suitable for kids.
‘The L Word: Generation Q’ Season 2
Back in the mid-2000s, the frank melodrama “The L Word” was groundbreaking for its depiction of the lesbian and transgender subculture of Los Angeles. When the sequel “Generation Q” debuted in 2019, its first season showed just how much had changed in terms of public visibility for the LGBTQ+ community in just 10 years. Rosie O’Donnell, Donald Faison, Griffin Dunne and Vanessa Williams have been booked as guest stars for season two, which begins in the aftermath of last year’s finale, in which the series lead Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals) lost her bid to become L.A.’s new mayor.
The world of small-time professional wrestling provides the setting for this drama about two brothers — played by Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig — who’ve been carrying on the family’s wrestling business for decades. Producers Michael Waldron (best-known for “Loki”) and Mike O’Malley (best-known for “Survivor’s Remorse”) lead the creative team for “Heels,” the title of which refers to the people who play the part of the villain in the ring. The show deals with the highs and lows of a job that can be rewarding, but is also physically and psychologically grueling.
Based on the Stephen King short story “Jerusalem’s Lot,” this gothic horror series stars Adrien Brody as Captain Charles Boone, a widower who settles with his children in Maine at his family’s abandoned ancestral estate. Anyone familiar with King’s companion novel “Salem’s Lot” should know what the Boones will find when they arrive at this spooky old house: a cult of vampiric demons, ready to feed. “Chapelwaite” covers what happens as these newcomers try to settle into an unwelcoming new town while fearing for their lives.
Also arriving: “The United Way” (August 1), “White House Farm” (August 1), “Blade Runner” (August 2), “Insert Coin” (August 2), “My Name is Ada Hegerberg” (August 2), “Call the Midwife” Season 8 (August 5), “RBG” (August 5), “Jamie’s Great Britain” Season 1 (August 6), “Survive the Night” (August 6), “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (August 9), “The Split” Season 2 (August 9), “Godfather of Harlem” Season 2, Part 2 (August 10), “Look Back in Angus” (August 10), “Over the Garden Wall” Season 1 (August 11), “Doctor Who” Season 12 (August 12), “The Prestige” (August 15), “Suicide Squad” (August 15), “Life Below Zero” (August 16), “The Marksman” (August 19), “Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie” (August 19), “The Seventh Day” (August 19), “MotherFatherSon” (August 20), “Trauma Center” (August 20), “Gravity” (August 21), “Under My Skin” (August 21), “Porndemic” (August 23), “Work in Progress” Season 2 (August 23), “The Perfect Storm” (August 27), “iHuman” (August 30).
This documentary about the life of the actor Val Kilmer ranges wide, covering his days as a promising young Juilliard student, his time as a Hollywood A-lister (and notorious bad boy), and his recent years as a genteel family man humbled by cancer. The co-directors Leo Scott and Ting Poo assembled much of the film from Kilmer’s own home movie footage, shot and saved across decades; and they use Kilmer’s son Jack as the narrator, reading his dad’s own words. “Val” is a frequently surprising and affecting film, revealing how celebrity and money alone can’t always make a person’s dreams come true.
The cult-favorite French director Leos Carax and the veteran art-rockers Ron and Russell Mael (better known as the band Sparks) have made something truly special with the musical “Annette,”although their film will almost certainly befuddle many viewers. Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard co-star as two very different kinds of performing artists — him an angry comedian and her a fragile singer — who get married and have a child but can’t stop making each other miserable. With its avant-garde pop songs, its grandiose theatricality and its absurdist roots, “Annette” is a strange and wondrous meditation on the mysteries of creation.
Also arriving: “S.O.Z. Soldiers or Zombies” (August 6), “Evangelion:3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time” (August 13), “Modern Love” Season 2 (August 13).
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