Arts & Entertainment | July 1, 2021 5:00 am

The Best Movies, TV, Books and Music for July

Including a “What We Do in the Shadows” spinoff and the year’s best concert film

Mike Minogue as Officer Minoque, Extraterrestrial Flora, Karen O'Leary as Officer O'Leary in "Wellington Paranormal"
The mockumentary "Wellington Paranormal" debuts this month on The CW
Stan Alley/New Zealand Documentary Board Ltd / The CW

Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise. 

DISCOVER: Wellington Paranormal

A spin-off of What We Do in the Shadows (the original film), this New Zealand-set paranormal police procedural/mockumentary was created by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, and pretty much answers the question “What if The X-Files was funny?” (7/11, The CW)

Other new TV series and specials: The Beast Must Die (7/5, AMC+, 7/12 AMC); The White Lotus (7/11, HBO); American Horror Stories (7/15, Hulu); Dr. Death (7/15, Peacock); Schmigadoon! (7/16, Apple TV+); Sexy Beasts (7/21, Netflix); The Tokyo Olympics (starting 7/23 … maybe)

STUDY: Summer of Soul

If you haven’t seen a concert in a while, check out Questlove’s Sundance-winning documentary on the oft-overlooked 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, featuring early and electric performances from Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone and more. (7/2 in theaters and Hulu)

More new documentaries: Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes (7/12, HBO Max); Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (7/16, theaters); McCartney 3,2,1 (7/16, Hulu); Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson (7/30, Apple TV+)

WATCH: Gunpowder Milkshake

Karen Gillan is John Wick. Not exactly, but that’s pretty much an accurate summation of this wild-looking, hyper-violent action/revenge flick that involves crime syndicates and secret societies. And many, many guns. (7/14, Netflix)

More new films coming to the small screen and big: No Sudden Move (7/1, HBO Max); The Tomorrow War (7/2, Prime Video); The Forever Purge (7/2, theaters); Werewolves Within (7/2, VOD); Black Widow (7/9, Disney+ Premier Access and theaters); A Classic Horror Story (7/14, Netflix); Space Jam: A New Legacy (7/16, theaters and HBO Max); The Green Knight (7/30, theaters)

STREAM: Behind the Music

A true guilty pleasure returns. A relic of the late ’90s and early aughts, there were nearly 300 episodes of this entertaining and formulaic [unknown music act finds success — “but then tragedy struck …”] music docuseries. The reboot is a mixture of revamped old episodes and brand new ones, featuring Duran Duran, Huey Lewis, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, JLo and more. (7/29, Paramount+)

Returning TV series and specials: I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (7/6, Netflix);  Gossip Girl (7/8, HBO Max); Atypical (7/9, Netflix); Shark Week (starting 7/11, Discovery); Miracle Workers (7/13, TBS); Kevin Smith’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation (7/23, Netflix); Ted Lasso (7/23, Apple TV+); Behind the Music (7/29, Paramount+)

Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story
The book cover for “Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story”

READ: Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story

A book-length expansion of the work by Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown, who tracked down the victims of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring; Brown’s reporting was what led to Epstein’s arrest and eventual (and mysterious) suicide. (7/20)

LISTEN: Twin Shadow

The self-titled fifth release and first from his own label, Twin Shadow’s latest continues to mine new wave and indie rock (see the first single “Get Closer”) … and reggae? Speaking of retro vibes, check out TS’s GeoCities-like new website. (7/9)

More new music: Lana Del Rey (7/4); The Wallflowers (7/9); John Mayer (7/16); Wavves (7/16); Tones and I (7/16); Leon Bridges (7/23); Jackson Browne (7/23); David Crosby (7/23); The Descendants (7/23); Bleachers (7/30); Billie Eilish (7/30); Son Volt (7/30) Archive  releases: Tom Petty (7/2); Lucinda Williams (7/9); Brittany Howard (7/23); Prince (7/30)