The summer is heating up so you might want to relax in front of a fan with a bowl of ice cream and a good show or movie on HBO. Or if you can cut on the sun glare there is always HBOGO on your laptop by the pool! A perfect poolside movie is DOLPHIN’S TALE, which was a heartwarming watch for me. I had to counter-balance that though with 28 DAYS LATER and I thought, with a new series debuting, it might be interesting to watch BROADCAST NEWS again.
Theatrical Movies: There are four Saturdays in July so there are four movie premieres. Maybe one of two of these titles interests you? Again, a bit of variety is offered. The movies that are airing for the first time on HBO are THE BIG YEAR, IN TIME, CONTAGION and WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? For me personally, it is the first time in a while that I’ll try to catch the majority of these premieres. Here is a look at them one by one.
THE BIG YEAR opens on 07.07.12 and stars Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. It is a comedy about three competitive bird watchers and their attempt to have a “big year” by seeing the most number of different species of birds in a year. The comedy lies in these three trying to one up each other. I’m not sure how funny this movie actually is but since my spouse is an avid birder this flick is to be seen in this household. The next weekend, 07.14.12, is the movie IN TIME starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Though it has a common enough sci-fi theme this movie got some buzz when it hit the screens. It seems that in the future you die at age 25 unless you can buy, borrow of steal more time. The main characters, however, opt to dismantle the entire system. It will be an interesting allegorical movie to watch I think. The movie I am most interested in seeing in July is CONTAGION (07.21.12). Remember the movie OUTBREAK? This piece updates the same premise – a virus that proves devastating. It chronicles the personal and professional stories of those touched by the deadly pandemic. It has a great cast and a solid director in Stephen Soderbergh. This is my pick of the month. My least favorite film of interest, mainly because it is a romantic comedy, is WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? It stars Anna Faris and begins on 07.28.12. It seems this chick has numbered all her past dates and boyfriends. At the end of a long list and still not married she goes over that list again thinking she has overlooked her number 1. Man, I bet she finds him by the end but, which guy is he?
All we have to worry about is picking which movie premiere we want to watch in July. Three of the four have my attention. I have, however, more interest in the originals that HBO airs as we look at them next.
Originals: Two of the “big” series carry over into July and, of course, they air Sunday nights. Everything is at stake on TRUE BLOOD, even mankind, as a political struggle plays out with the rise of the Vampire Authority. Each episode airs at 9:00pm ET. What follows at 10:00pm ET is Aaron Sorkin’s THE NEWSROOM. The critic responses to the show’s premiere episode were mixed. However, it is hardly fair to judge a series by one episode alone so, maybe, viewers will still give it a chance. I will, will you? HBO also has some comedy to offer. There are the continual spiels by Pilkington and company in THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOW Friday nights. Its final episode of season three is 07.13.12. New in July is finally another comedy special. There used to be a lot more of these on the channel but, nowadays, we take what we can get. And we get GEORGE LOPEZ performing live on Friday, 07.14.12. It is his third special for HBO subtitled IT’S NOT ME; IT”S YOU; and it should be funny.
Not so funny but real interesting is the continuing HBO DOCUMENTARY FILMS Summer Series premiering Monday nights. There are six airing in July. MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ: THE ARTIST IS PRESENT airs 07.02.12 and is a look at the performance artist. HARD TIMES LOST ON LONG ISLAND which airs 07.09.12 looks at the Great Recession. On Monday 07.16.12 there are two back-to-back films. They are BIRDERS: THE CENTRAL PARK EFFECT which observes NYC bird watchers and THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM which highlights survivors of the 2011 natural disaster. The following week (07.23.12) the piece VITO: THE LIFE OF GAY ACTIVIST VITO RUSSO airs. The last installment, ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW hits the screen on 07.30.12. We only skip any great detail here because HBOWatch will cover each documentary as it airs.
Sports: HBO is light on programming in July but the sports fan base will be awarded with another great pugilistic match-up. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: KHAN VS. GARCIA delivers on 07.14.12 with a 11:00pm ET start time. REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL has had attention getting interviews as of late and it just might again with a new edition beginning 07.17.12.
Other Movies & Shows: It is awful hard to guess what anyone might have of interest in the other movies and shows that re-air on HBO in a month. My best attempts are just throwing out a few titles to possibly pique interest. My comedy choice for July is Rowan Atkinson as BEAN and my drama pick is the crime thriller SEVEN starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. I can also single out for you a few episodes of the series FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS which ended far too soon and the five part mini-series JOHN ADAMS that airs on the 4th of July.
HBO”s Other Platforms: HBOWatch has added this new category that will appear periodically. Here are a few quick highlights playing on some of the other HBO Channels now through July. HBOFamily features a long list of movies. You can gather the family for movies like MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS; BIG TIME PEE-WEE, ANTZ and TURNER AND HOOCH. HBOLatino is airing TRUE BLOOD, THE NEWSROOM and MUJER DE FASES. HBOGO is offering such movies as *BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED, the classic DESK SET and MEAN STREETS. On the documentary front I can recommend one called KILLING IN THE NAME which is about the terrorist mentality. Finally,sister channel Cinemax premieres the following movies in July – THE THING; FAST FIVE, HORRIBLE BOSSES and DREAM HOUSE.
Please feel free to comment on what you will be watching for in July. Also remember however you enjoy your summer HBOWatch hopes you have a safe one. We also hope you find time for some HBO and HBOWatch.