Moving into the heart of the summer when August comes around. And HBO gives you opportunities to beat the heat with cool content. But then, you know what HBO is good at. Enjoy the month starting with this promo clip-fest:
A few quick points:
We welcome the arrival of LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
We welcome the return of Harley Quinn!
We are going to take on THE SWAMP this month
Do you believe a cooking show at HBO Max?
And, who would have thought HARD KNOCKS would be able to come knockin’
HBO OriginalSeries:From showrunner and executive producer Misha Green, HBO’s new drama series LOVECRAFT COUNTRYdebuts SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT)on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip from Chicago across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father Montrose (Michael Kenneth Williams). Their search-and-rescue turns into a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and monstrous creatures that could be ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.
The series stars Jurnee Smollett (Birds of Prey), Jonathan Majors (Da 5 Bloods), Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us), Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road), Jada Harris (The Resident), WunmiMosaku(Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), and Michael Kenneth Williams (HBO’s THE WIRE and BOARDWALK EMPIRE). Recurring guests include Courtney B. Vance (HBO’s THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS), Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time), Jamie Neumann (HBO’s THE DEUCE), Jordan Patrick Smith (Vikings), and Tony Goldwyn (Scandal).
Unfortunately, since this is a highly anticipated series, they aren’t leaking any episode breakdowns, so let’s get a new trailer in front of your eyes.
ROOM 104 just got underway for its final season on 07.24 and fills the coming month with new episodes. Find it in August starting FRIDAY, AUGUST 07 (11:00-11:30pm). Remember, there are 12 episodes altogether and you’re going to want to check in because you just can’t predict how loopy it is going to get. The episode breakdowns we have might offer a clue:
With the help of therapeutic dolls, retired pro wrestler Raw Dog Avalanche (Dave Bautista, pictured) taps into his memory of an epic bout gone wrong – along with other traumatic, repressed experiences. Written by Mark Duplass; directed by Ross Partridge.
A ‘90s family is unwittingly stuck living in Room 104 until dad Harry (Kevin Nealon) tries to alter the script on their current reality. Written by Mel Eslyn; directed by Mel Eslyn.
–Season 4, Episode 6: “The Hikers” Debut Date: FRIDAY, AUGUST 28 (11:00-11:30pm)
Megan (Shannon Purser) and Casey (Kendra Carelli), two college grads embarking on a three-month hike, confront irrevocable truths about their friendship. Written by Lauren Budd; directed by Lauren Budd.
We return to 1931, Los Angeles as PERRY MASON concludes in the coming month. The drama continues SUNDAY, AUGUST 02 (9:00-10:00pm) and wraps up the case with the eighth episode the following week and each subsequent Sunday through the month. We hope you are enjoying the big caper starring Matthew Rhys and because Season Two has been greenli9t. More on that in another posting; here is a look at the final episodes of Season One:
Debut date: SUNDAY, AUGUST 02 (9:00-10:00pm)
Hoping to expose the hidden link between the Radiant Assembly’s staggering debt and Charlie’s ransom, Mason (Matthew Rhys) puts Herman Baggerly (Robert Patrick) on the stand. Sister Alice (Tatiana Maslany) faces mounting pressure from the church elders about her promises for a “resurrection.” Strickland loses track of a key witness, while Drake’s (Chris Chalk) detective work opens a new avenue in the case. Written by Howard Korder; directed by Tim Van Patten.
Debut date: SUNDAY, AUGUST 09 (9:00-10:00pm)
After the team receives some unvarnished critique from Hamilton Burger (Justin Kirk), Della (Juliet Rylance) presents an increasingly stubborn Mason (Matthew Rhys) with her case for putting Emily (Gayle Rankin) on the stand. As the sensational trial winds to a close, Mason, Strickland (Shea Whigham), Della, and Drake (Chris Chalk) attempt to tie up loose ends – and set the stage for their futures. Written by Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald & Kevin J. Hynes; directed by Tim Van Patten.
With fresh episodes but also winding down in August is I MAY DESTROY YOU, executive produced, co-directed, written by, and starring Michaela Coel. This dramatic work has been a big story told in small bites. It runs for twelve half-hour episodes and offers up the last two early in the month. It finishes beginning MONDAY, AUGUST 03 (9:00-9:30pm ET/PT). Does Arabella’s dilemma end in her favor, can she resemble the missing pieces of her life? We’ll soon know.
–”Social Media Is a Great Way to Connect
Debut Date: MONDAY, AUGUST 03 (9:00-9:30pm)
Arabella’s (Michaela Coel) bloated social media presence finds her more glued to her phone than ever, perpetually internalizing the stress of her followers. At a Halloween “paint and wine” organized by Terry (Weruche Opia), Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) opens up to the girls about his recent sexual experiment – and Arabella’s reaction lands her in an emergency session with Carrie (Andi Osho). Written by Michaela Coel; directed by Sam Miller and Michaela Coel.
–”The Cause the Cure”
Debut Date: MONDAY, AUGUST 10 (9:00-9:30pm)
After Simon (Aml Ameen) inadvertently drops a bomb on Arabella (Michaela Coel), she heads to her mom’s birthday dinner, where painful, long-forgotten memories bubble to the surface. Kwame’s (Paapa Essiedu) no-strings-attached hookup bender leads him to Tyrone (Gershwyn Eustache Jr.), a stranger in search of a different kind of connection. Written by Michaela Coel; directed by Sam Miller and Michaela Coel.
Bill Maher and John Oliver and their respective shows have not graced their studio environments as of yet, but seem to be doing quite okay at home. Maher seems to set up shots and video chats at various spots while Oliver, well he seems to be holed up in a white walled closet at best. REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHERcontinues the season FRIDAY, AUGUST 07 (10:00-11:00pm)and run the subsequent Friday nights for the month. LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER took another breather (must be stuffy in that closet) and returns every Sunday in August. He starts it off then, SUNDAY, AUGUST 02 (11:00-11:30pm). Keep up the good work guys!
Movies: At least for now HBO is still finding new theatrical movies to bring to our attention, though you’ve got to admit, at least for August they are truly a mixed bag. This month seek out Jojo Rabbit, Richard Jewell, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn,Queen & Slim and The Way Back.
The Academy Award nominee for Best Picture JOJO RABBIT gets us started. In this comedy, a 10-year-old German boy is a fanatical Nazi youth with Adolf Hitler as an imaginary friend–until he meets Elsa, the young Jewish girl his mother has been hiding. Nominated for six Academy Awards this unique film won for Best Adapted Screenplay. “A work of sublime sweetness and beauty” (Karen Gordon, Original Cin). Starring Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen with Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson. Directed by Taika Waititi; screenplay by Taika Waititi, based upon the book “Caging Skies” by Christine Leunens. It debutsSATURDAY, AUGUST, 01 (8:00-9:45pm ET/PT). As you will soon find out, if you weren’t aware already, Clint Eastwood still has it at 90. You can see his coolness at work behind the camera of RICHARD JEWELL in August. It debuts SATURDAY, AUGUST 08 (8:00-10:13pm ET/PT). Eastwood delivers one of his finest films with this “suspenseful, beautifully composed” (San Francisco Chronicle) picture that tells the story of Richard Jewell, an innocent man who became the prime suspect in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta. Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Paul Walter Hauser co-star in this riveting drama that earned both Oscar and Golden Globe acting nominations for Bates. Directed by Clint Eastwood; written by Billy Ray, based upon the article “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell” by Marie Brenner.
Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is back for more freaky fun and malevolent mayhem in BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN. In this one, she dumps the Joker and teams up with Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from Gotham City crime czar Roman Sionis. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina and Ewan McGregor co-star in this stylish caper. Directed by Cathy Yan; written by Christina Hodson. It hots you like a baseball bat come SATURDAY, AUGUST 15 (8:00-9:50pmET/PT). QUEEN & SLIM takes up the next timeslot, SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, (8:00-10:15pm ET/PT)and it looks like a good one. A black couple’s first date turns into a nightmare after a minor traffic stop spirals out of control and the man kills a cop in self-defense, forcing the pair to go on the run. This gripping and powerful drama stars Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloe Sevigny, Flea and Indya Moore. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, screenplay by Lena Waithe, story by James Frey and Lena Waithe. We are able to get one more movie in the month, so debuting SATURDAY, AUGUST 29 (8:00-9:50pm ET/PT)is THE WAY BACK with ben Affleck. You know, sometimes it’s not about changing the past–it’s about getting a second shot. Affleck delivers a superbly personal performance in this jarring film about a former high-school basketball superstar who quit the game and drowned a promising future in alcohol. Years later, he finds himself given one last shot at redemption–as the basketball coach at his alma mater. “Feels authentic all the way around” (San Francisco Chronicle). Co-starring Janina Gavankar, Michaela Watkins and Al Madrigal. Directed by Gavin O’Connor; written by Brad Ingelsby. Take a look:
HBO Documentary Films: THE SWAMPdebuting TUESDAY, AUGUST 04 (9:00-10:55pm ET/PT), provides a look behind the curtain of Washington politics by following three renegade Republican Congressmen as they bring libertarian and conservative zeal to champion the President’s call to “drain the swamp,” while facing demands to raise money for their re-election campaigns and the Republican national party. Directors Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme (“Get Me Roger Stone”) track Republican Congressmen Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Ken Buck (R-CO) over the course of a pivotal year in politics, demonstrating the breadth and grip of a system that rewards fundraising above all else, plaguing Congress on both sides of the aisle. With unique behind-the-scenes access to the inner workings of the House of Representatives amid major breaking news events, including the Mueller hearing and President Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings, the film presents a revealing look at the core democratic institution of American government. YUSUF HAWKINS: STORM OVER BROOKLYN, directed by Muta’Ali (“Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee”) and debuting WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12 (9:00-10:40pm ET/PT), tells the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was murdered in 1989 by a group of young white men in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Yusuf Hawkins’ death and the official response to it sparked outrage in New York, unleashing a torrent of racial tension and spurring tireless civil rights activism that exposed deep racial prejudices and inequities which continue to plague the country today.The film, selected from more than 300 submissions, is the winning project of the inaugural Feature Documentary Initiative created by the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and academy award-winning production company, Lightbox, as part of their partnership to foster diversity in the feature documentary arena. Thus, HBO does its part by presenting it
The documentary series I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK concludes SUNDAY, AUGUST 02 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT). The series finale is “Walk IntoThe Light”. As 72-year-old former police officer Joe DeAngelo’s arrest unfolds in real time, chilling facts materialize that illuminate Michelle’s prescience in her book’s epilogue, “Letter to an Old Man.” Researcher Paul Haynes and true crime writer Billy Jensen try to learn everything they can about DeAngelo. Exclusive interviews with DeAngelo’s relatives reveal early family trauma, and his double life as a suburban dad and serial predator. His ex-fiancé also details the behavior and warning signs that lead her to end their engagement. Having finally faced their attacker in court, several survivors meet for the first time and gain strength in their shared desire to confront their pain, move forward, and advocate for all sexual assault survivors. When Patton Oswalt, Jensen, and Haynes connect with survivors and McNamara’s fellow citizen detective Melanie Barbeau, Michelle’s absence is deeply felt. Directed by Liz Garbus.AXIOSstill airs every other week in August. Find it debuting MONDAY, AUGUST 03 & MONDAY AUGUST 17 ay 11:00pm or shortly afterfor 45 minutes.
HBO Kids: Right now, on the HBO Channel there is no HBO Kids programming. Some titles, all in repeats can be found on HBO FAMILY but there are not even repeats of SESAME STREET or ESME & ROY on the channel. It is likely that this category will drop from our post as HBO is being cannibalized by the new ownership.
HBO Sports: REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL debuts a new installment TUESDAY, AUGUST 18 (11:00-12:00pm). Note thsat time change. It makes way for the return of HARD KNOCKS in August.
HBO Sports, NFL Films and the two Los Angeles-based NFL franchises are teaming up for an unprecedented and unfiltered all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: LOS ANGELESkicks off its five-episode season this summer. One of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV, the 15th edition of the 18-time Sports Emmy®-winning series debuts TUESDAY, AUGUST 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), with other hour-long episodes of the first sports-based reality series debuting subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, culminating in the Sept. 8 season finale.
A new format comes to light here with an HBO Sports Special. Debuting SATURDAY, AUGUST 01 (10:00-10:30pm ET/PT)is SEEING AMERICA WITH MEGAN RAPINOE, a conversation hosted by one of women’s soccer’s biggest stars. Flanked by U.S. House of Representatives member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who covers racial injustice for the New York Times, and comedian, television host and two-time Peabody Award winner Hasan Minhaj, Rapinoe will lead a spirited dialogue with these change-makers aiming to help shape the ongoing cultural conversation that has been taking place during this significant time in our country’s history.
Other Movies and Shows:HBO2 is still doing its thing with mini-binges with I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK in one sitting on 08.01 from 3:00-9:00pm and PERRY MASON from 11:00am-7:00pm on 08.16. How about dome offbeat titles this month? On the main channel, you can find 2 MINUTES OF FAME in which a up-and-coming stand-up comic moves to L.A. to pursue a film career after video clips of his act make him an online sensation. There is also ZBLUE CRUSH with Kate Bosworth, HOURS with Paul Walker and O. G., which we reviewed. There is also JOJO RABBIT: THE MAKING OF on the schedule.
Other HBO Channels: We keep the theme of odd titles in this segment because there is always plenty. HBO Latino: Debuting 08.14 at 8:00pm is CARMEN Y LOLA. This coming-of-age story chronicles the burgeoning love affair between two young women who face rejection from their conservative gypsy community in Madrid. The next week, 08.21 is NO QUIERO SER TU HERMANO (I Dont Want to Be Your Brother). A man’s engagement to a snooty socialite is complicated by an unexpected visit from his estranged younger sister. HBO Signature: Seek and ye shall find the likes of LITTLE CHILDREN about a small idyllic town holding sordid secrets; LAST CHANCE HARVEY with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson starring and LOVELACE, about porn star Linda. HBO Comedy:An early presence on HBO was comic Richard Klein. Check out a performance of his from 2010 ROBERT KLEIN: UNFAIR AND UNBALANCED. There is also RAPTURE-PALOOSA and BIGGER THAN THE SKY. HBO Family: For the the younger teen set let them settle in front of THE ART OF GETTING BY with Freddie Highmore; LOL and for a bit of action SPYMATE. HBO Zone: This channel, marketed for the older teenager, offers choices like UNSTOPPABLE; the classic CAT PEOPLE from1983 and LONG GONE BY\\
HBO Streaming: The newest international content to arrive is from HBO Asia. Iy is something called INVISIBLE STORIES. It is a six-episode half-hour drama series that tells the untold stories from a fictional neighborhood housing estate in multicultural Singapore. It drops on 08.03.
Some movies starting up as of 08.01 include BAD INFLUENCE, THE BEAR, BEFORE SUNRISE, BEFORE SUNSET, BILOXI BLUES, THE CHANGE UP(Unrated Version), THE DISHWASHER, THE FIRST GRADER, FLIPPER, GET ON UP, GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, GRACE UNPLUGGED, HIGHLANDER: THE FINAL DIMENSION, HIGHLANDER IV: ENDGAME, THE HINDENBURG, HOW to be A PLAYER, IDEOCRACY, and a good two dozen more. The best thing to do (and I know some people don’t have the time for it) is to just poke around the site and find a gem you want to watch. Also onsite is a collection of the 2020 Emmy Nominees: WATCHMEN, SUCCESSION, WESTWORLD, INSECURE, EUPHORIA and 17 more titles.
HBO Max:This site has its first movie premiere launching on THURSDAY, AUGUST 06. It is AN AMERICAN PICKLE. The film, directed by Brandon Trost, is based on Simon Rich’s New Yorker novella and stars Seth Rogen as Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1920 with dreams of building a better life for his beloved family. One day, while working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present day Brooklyn, he finds that he hasn’t aged a day. But when he seeks out his family, he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson, Ben Greenbaum (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand. Here is the trailer:
Other Max Originals debuting in the month include Selena + Chef(no debut date listed), an unscripted 10-episode cooking series starring and executive produced by Selena Gomez and Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness. It is a four-part buddy comedy docuseries that follows actor / documentarian / philanthropist Ravi Patel (Meet the Patels) as he travels the world seeking answers surrounding life’s universal questions. At each stop throughout this comedically heartfelt journey, Patel is joined by a friend or family member, with whom he shares a big conflict or question about life. His travels take him to Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Denmark to explore the traditional customs of the people they meet and experience their unique approaches to life’s most pressing matters. It arrives AUGUST 27th.
Of course, movies and shoed from across the brand turn up; from TCM (Turner Classic Movies) for example, you can find East of Edem, The Maltese Falcon and the Clint Collection featuring Dirty Harry.. And we loved LOONEY TUNES and so can your kids with the likes of Looney Tunes (the classic stuff) and the more recent LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS. Which reminds me, Happy Birthday to you, Bugs Bunny! You’re a rascally 80 years old.
Cinemax: I couldn’t pass this one up without mentioning something. If you’ve got the channel and CinemaxGo then you have a shitload of movies ar youth fingertips like The Dead Don’t Die, First Man and Bad Times At The El Royale. Plus, you can binge series like THE KNICK, BANSHEE and QUARRY,
Next Month’s Tease:His breakthrough role was in 1994’s Shopping, but we know him best as Lenny Belardo. Who is he?
The title Caging Skies, from last month, is the source material that gives us JoJo Rabbit.
Final Clip:We got to squeeze one more video in here. So, here is Queen & Slim.
Enjoy the month! Discover HBO. Stop back here for more news, reviews andschedules