Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise.
WATCH: Logan Lucky
Welcome the unretirement of Steven Soderbergh with this Channing Tatum-led heist flick with a NASCAR bent — or, a “hillbilly take on Ocean’s 11,” as one scribe put it. Who cares if the screenwriter may not exist? (Aug. 18)
BINGE: Comrade Detective
In this extremely meta bit of Cold War nostalgia, Tatum (again!), along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Nick Offerman, dub over a fake 1983 Romanian police drama that celebrated Communist ideals. (Aug. 4 on Amazon Prime)
Speaking of meta, James Van Der Beek mocks the real-life superstar DJ Diplo in the promising mockumentary series What Would Diplo Do? (Aug. 3 on VICELAND)
BROOD WITH: Le Cercle Rouge
Jean-Pierre Melville doesn't get the same regard stateside as the New Wavers who revered him, but it's Melville who created the definitive film about the French experience in WWII with Army of Shadows — and it's Melville, an Alsatian Jew who took his nom de guerre from the Moby Dick author, who actually fought as a résistant. BAMPFA celebrates the ultimate cinematic badass with this retrospective; our pick for August is this crime caper. (Aug. 6.)
GET REFLECTIVE WITH: Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed
There's more to Munch than "The Scream," a fact that should be proven several times over with this comprehensive exhibition of the Norwegian work, whether you consider him an Expressionist, a Symbolist, or the High Priest of Anxiety (other works include "The Sick Child," "Despair," "At the Deathbed," "Ashes," "Sick Mood at Sunset: Despair," etc.) (Through Oct. 9)
CONSIDER: Daniel Magariel at Green Apple Books
Custody won, a father and his two sons try to start fresh in Albuquerque — but what seemed like a new beginning turns out to be just the kick-off to a world of worries in this compact, confident debut from Daniel Magariel. Check out the reading — then pack the book for the Labor Day weekend that awaits. (Aug. 29)
READ: Mrs. Fletcher
The Leftovers author Tom Perrotta pivots from The Rapture to (no joke) MILF porn in his latest book, which is more a satire on cultural identity, age and sexuality — but does really center around one middle-aged woman’s discovery of a site called MILFateria. (Aug. 1)
LISTEN: Our monthly Spotify playlist
Our 30-song playlist of great new music for the end of summer, including new songs by Cut Copy, Arcade Fire, The War on Drugs, Gogol Bordello, Action Bronson and a ton of new artists.
DRINK: Statesman Bourbon
Out today, Statesman is a special bourbon from Old Forester that’s actually a big part of the upcoming film Kingsman: The Golden Circle (wherein an American spy organization operates as a distillery as a front). We tested it out earlier this summer, and at 95 proof, it packs real heat and a lot of character. Along with Mr. Porter’s upcoming Kingsman wardrobe, this is the rare blockbuster series that lends itself well to ... well, not cosplay, but let’s say enhanced adult dalliances.
PERUSE: Heidi Klum by Rankin
Celebrity photog Rankin creates a nude portfolio of the international supermodel and TV personality, because we should all celebrate looking this good at 43. (Sept. 1)
BUY: Eric Nado’s Typewriter Guns
The Montreal artist reassembles old typewriters into works of deadly art ... like, say, a vintage Remington fashioned into a rifle.
AND DON’T FORGET: We’re a bit worried about The Dark Tower, but Idris Elba hasn’t let us down yet (Aug. 4) ... Aubrey Plaza chases down a social-media star in the promising, of-the-moment satire Ingrid Goes West (Aug. 11) ... Horror auteur Adam Wingard (You’re Next) tackles the Japanese manga Death Note, in which a teenager figures out he can kill anyone by writing their name in a mystical notebook (Aug. 25, Netflix) ... It’s Keanu Reeves, Traci Lords and two wacky Euro detectives squaring off in the decidedly odd new series Swedish Dicks (Aug. 2) ... ... Another year, another Madden NFL video game (Aug. 25) ... Finally, the welcome return of Hard Knocks (Aug. 8), Broad City (Aug. 23) and The Tick (Aug. 25)