The Best Movies, TV and Music for August

How a film auteur tackles the ridiculous “Meg” sequel. Plus, the Jets land on “Hard Knocks.”

August 1, 2023 6:34 am
A screenshot from the Meg 2 trailer
Jason Statham vs. prehistoric sharks...the sequel
Screenshot/Warner Bros

Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise (note: you can find our monthly book guide a little later this week). Dates may change due to the ongoing writers’ strike.

WATCH: Meg 2: The Trench

The first Meg film was bad but (sort of) fun. The reason to recommend seeing a sequel to a film about a 75-foot-long megalodon shark — besides the inevitable upping of the amount of Megs — is the studio’s gonzo choice for director: Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Free Fire, High-Rise), who brings an artistic flair and indie aesthetic to everything he does…even, hopefully, movies about prehistoric sharks.

More new films coming to the big screen and small: Corner Office (8/4, theaters/VOD); Gran Turismo (8/11, theaters); Heart of Stone (8/11, Netflix); Strays (8/18, theaters); Bottoms (8/25, theaters)

WELCOME BACK: Only Murders in the Building 

For season three the murder in question moves backstage to Broadway, and while Nathan Lane is gone (scheduling commitment), the cast of this charming whodunit adds Paul Rudd and somebody named Meryl Streep, along with mainstays Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez. (8/8, Hulu) 

More returning TV shows: Reservation Dogs (8/2, Hulu); Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (8/6, HBO/Max); Billions (8/13, Showtime); Killing It (8/17, Peacock); Archer (8/30, FXX) 

BINGE: Strange Planet

The next Rick and Morty? Probably not, but this new sci-fi animated series does hail from that show’s co-creator Dan Harmon. Strange Planet is based on a bestselling graphic novel and webcomic by Nathan W. Pyle. It’s essentially about blue aliens who describe everyday occurrences in the most bizarre way possible. (8/9, Apple TV+)

More new TV series: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart (8/4, Prime Video); Zombieverse (8/8, Netflix); Painkiller (8/10, Netflix); The Winter King (8/20, MGM+); Star Wars: Ahsoka (8/23, Disney+)

LISTEN: The Hives 

Are The Hives classic rock now? A garage rock revival at launch, this Swedish band is back with its first album in 11 years, The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons — the name acting as the mysterious (and fake) sixth member of the group. A few more grey hairs in the band (see the video above), but the same punkish energy from the band’s early work is thankfully still present. (8/11)

More new music: The Front Bottoms (8/4); Jungle (8/11); Neil Young (8/11); The View (8/18);  Grace Potter (8/18)

A green flag with the Hard Knocks logo, announcing the show's return to TV with the New York Jets

STUDY: Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets

While usually a sanitized look at the day-to-day training camp adventures of a random NFL team, the New York Jets’ appearance in 2010 on this docuseries offered actual memorable moments. Over a decade later, we have a team in contention that has expressed a great desire NOT to be on the show again — plus, the looming presence of Aaron Rodgers, who, in the only clip currently available, talks about enjoying the little moments. (8/8, Max)

More new documentaries and specials: A Compassionate Spy (8/4, VOD); Destination NBA: A G League Odyssey (8/8, Prime Video); King on Screen (8/11, theaters); Reinventing Elvis: The ‘68 Comeback (8/15, Paramount+); Explorer: Lost in the Arctic (8/24, Nat Geo)

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