New films and shows keep coming fast and furious from cable and streaming services eager to claim their share of summer blockbuster viewers. Which are hits and which missed the mark? You decide.
BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI
THEY CLONED TYRONE NETFLIX
In the ‘hood during the 1970s, an “entrepreneur,” a pimp, and a female entertainer stumble upon a government experiment being conducted on them and their neighbors from an underground headquarters, causing the trio to become detectives, then vigilantes. The real-life drama surrounding comedian Jamie Foxx’s recent health issues make this comedy/sci-fi /thriller more of a must-see than it was already destined to be. He heads a cast that includes John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, David Alan Grier, and Kiefer Sutherland. Directed and co-written by Juel Taylor, known for Creed II (2018) and Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021). Rated R
FULL CIRCLE MAX
“Everything is connected” in a crime drama mini-series from producer/director Steven Soderbergh about a botched kidnapping and its aftermath. Comedian Jim Gahan has an uncharacteristically dramatic role opposite acting heavyweights Claire Danes, Timothy Olyphant, Zazie Beetz, Dennis Quaid, and CCH Pounder. After Danes’ character’s son is abducted, the subsequent investigation reveals secrets and unexpected connections involving Guyana, a celebrity chef, and an insurance scam. Set and filmed in New York City.
THE OUT-LAWS NETFLIX
Casting promises this one will be a hoot. Adam Devine is a milquetoast bank manager whose prospective in-laws are notorious bank robbers played by Pierce Brosnan and Ellen Barkin? Sign us up for this comedy/action fest. Devine’s Owen is ready to marry the love of his life, played by Nina Dobrev, when all hell breaks loose. Owen mans up to confront his fiancé and teams up with the culprits to recover the money and save the day. And yes, there is a James Bond joke. Julie Hagerty and Richard Kind co-star. Rated R.
FLIP THE STRIP/HGTV
The Property Brothers get some serious Construction Hunk competition from four members of Australia’s Thunder from Down Under Las Vegas beefcake review. According to the network, the “headliners by night and expert tradesman by day” will work with interior designer Kelly Stone to renovate clients’ homes Sin City-style through six hour-long episodes. Expect casino-inspired high style delivered with a Hemsworth brothers’ accent. The performers all claim construction experience and seek to launch their renovation business.
HEART OF STONE NETFLIX
Thrilling stunts and high-octane action engulf deep undercover global peacekeeping spy Rachel Stone (not the radio DJ) and love interest Jamie Dornan in a breakneck race to keep a hacker from stealing a valuable weapon. Gal Gadot employs her best Wonder Woman moves to beat the baddies aided by her superior, played by British actress Sophie Okonedo (Death on the Nile). One action scene sees Stone jump over a railing onto a snowy cli into a waiting paraglider and heading skyward. The film debuted at Netflix’s global event “Tudum” in São Paulo, Brazil, named for the sound that accompanies the entertainment company’s logo. Rated PG-13.
ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING HULU
August 8 is the debut for the third season of the wildly popular comedic take on true crime aficionados. Notable this year is the addition of three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep. Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez return as Upper West Side neighbors and true crime investigators/podcasters living in the gracious, if murder prone Arconia. Martin’s semi-retired actor Charles-Haden Savage and Short’s ne’er do well Broadway producer Oliver Putnam are mounting a new play when a cast member (Paul Rudd) collapses on stage, dead. Streep’s role was under wraps at press time, but the trailer shows the Devil Wears Prada actress at a table reading with Ruddin a flashback sequence, indicating she’s in the play.
YOU ARE SO NOT INVITED TO MY BAT MITZVAH NETFLIX
It will be a family affair when Adam Sandler’s latest Netflix project, based on the popular 2005 young adult novel of the same name by Fiona Rosenbloom, debuts August 25 with a cast that includes his daughters Sa-die, 16, and Sunny, 14. The girls, who play Sander’s daughters in the film, have appeared in their father’s films before, including cameos in Jack and Jill, Murder Mystery, and Grown Ups. Elder sister Sunny plays Stacy, whose bat mitzvah plans go awry when she walks in on a friend kissing her crush Andy Goldfarb (Dylan Ho man). The girls’ real life mom, Sandler’s wife Jackie, appears as a character named Gabi Rodriguez Katz. Sarah Sherman (Saturday Night Live) plays a rabbi while Idina Menzel is again playing Sandler’s wife following their successful pairing in Uncut Gems (2019). Rated PG-13.
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S
What do those animatronic characters at Chuckie Cheese do in theiro hours? Just in time for Halloween, Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games’ Peeta Mellark) is about to find out. His Mike Schmidt is a security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a formerly popular destination now shuttered, where fuzzy puppets turn deadly after midnight. Based on the videogame created by Scott Cawthon released in 2014. Mary Stuart Masterson co-stars in a villainous role. Filmed in New Orleans.