The month of August continues with yet another wild week at the movies, from the big screen debut of an under-the-radar DC hero, to a pack of foul-mouthed dogs, to an Al Pacino classic…

Movie of the Week


Streaming + On-Demand



Blue Beetle (2023, dir. Angel Manuel Soto)

CAST: Xolo Maridueña, Adriana Barraza, Damián Alcázar, Raoul Max Trujillo, Susan Sarandon, George Lopez, Elpidia Carrillo, Belissa Escobedo, Bruna Marquezine, Harvey Guillén, Becky G

CREW: Angel Manuel Soto (director), Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (writer), Zev Foreman and John Rickard (producers), Bobby Krlic (composer), Pawel Pogorzelski (cinematographer), Craig Alpert (editor)

PLOT: Jaime Reyes (Maridueña), a recent college graduate, finds himself suddenly gaining superpowers when an alien biotechnological scarab latches onto him and forms a powerful exoskeleton armour around his body, forcing him to become the hero known as Blue Beetle…


  1. The lesser-known DC superhero Blue Beetle gets his time to shine on the big screen
  2. It was originally destined for streaming, but was upgraded to theatrical just before shooting (meaning it avoided the fate met by another direct-to-streaming DC movie Batgirl)
  3. A star is potentially born in lead Xolo Maridueña, who fills the comic-accurate armour but also charms with his own brand of charisma outside of the suit
  4. It’s said to be a real treat for DC fans, especially after the catastrophic release of The Flash earlier this summer
  5. As for where Blue Beetle may fit in James Gunn’s upcoming DC slate, the man himself has confirmed that the hero exists in the new cinematic universe going forward!

Blue Beetle is showing in cinemas from Friday 18th August 2023



Strays (2023, dir. Josh Greenbaum)

CAST: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Will Forte, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, Josh Gad, Harvey Guillén, Rob Riggle, Brett Gelman, Jamie Demetriou, Sofía Vergara, Dennis Quaid

CREW: Josh Greenbaum (director, producer), Dan Perrault (writer, producer), Erik Feig, Louis Leterrier, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Aditya Sood (producers), Dara Taylor (composer), Tim Orr (cinematographer), Greg Hayden (editor)

PLOT: Reggie (Ferrell), a happy-go-lucky Border Terrier, is abandoned on the streets by his abusive drug-addict owner Doug (Forte). Reggie soon teams up with a group of fellow strays, including Boston Terrier Bug (Foxx), Australian Shepherd Maggie (Fisher) and Great Dane Hunter (Park), to get brutal revenge on his former owner…


  1. The world’s first talking-dog movie that’s strictly for adults might also be one of the summer’s funniest, most shocking, and utterly foul-mouthed comedies
  2. Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx are some of the A-list talent lending their voices to the central canines, who get into all sorts of hilarious X-rated shenanigans
  3. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are among the producers on this film, which already indicates that there will be a bit more intelligence to it than just dogs swearing
  4. Fans of the recent cult comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar will be pleased to know that its director, Josh Greenbaum, is behind this movie as well
  5. Expect plenty of surprises that aren’t featured in the trailers, all of which are destined to leave your jaw wide open by how unexpected and hilarious they are

Strays is showing in cinemas from Thursday 17th August 2023

Lie With Me (2023, dir. Olivier Peyon)

CAST: Guillaume de Tonquédec, Victor Belmondo, Guilaine Londez, Jérémy Gillet, Julien de Saint Jean, Pierre-Alain Chapuis, Marilou Gallais, Laurence Pierre, Dominique Courait

CREW: Olivier Peyon (director, writer), Anthony Doncque, Miléna Poylo and Gilles Sacuto (producers), Bravinsan and Thylacine (composers), Martin Rit (cinematographer), Damien Maestraggi (editor)

PLOT: Stéphane Belcourt (de Tonquédec), a celebrated novelist, returns to his hometown for the first time in years, where he meets Lucas (Belmondo), the son of his first love Thomas (de Saint Jean). The encounter brings a flood of memories back to Stéphane, who is forced to reckon with the guilt and torment of his secret lover from his youth…


  1. This intimate French drama explores the inner passions and repressed emotions of a forbidden romance
  2. It is based on Philippe Besson’s acclaimed novel, the English translation of which was provided by former Brat Pack member Molly Ringwald
  3. Filmed in the gorgeous region of Cognac in the south of France, there are some beautiful landscapes to match the fiery story
  4. Lead actor Guillaume de Tonquédec delivers a compelling performance that dives into the regret and guilt of his character’s past
  5. It might inspire you to look back on your own past loves, hopefully without as much drama as there is in this movie!

Lie With Me is showing in cinemas from Friday 18th August 2023

Sparkle: A Unicorn Tale (2023, dir. Jamie Lokoff)

CAST: Molly Jackson, Sean Faris, Jessica Green, Joshua Henry Sussman, Jamie Lokoff, Lily Bleu Lokoff, Frank X, Peter Bisgaier, Leah Walton

CREW: Jamie Lokoff (director, producer), Trysta A. Bissett and Richard Dane Scott (writers), Jeffrey Giles and Michael Lurie (producers), Joseph Hennigan (cinematographer), Cody Cichowski (editor)

PLOT: After being sent to live at an orphanage, fifteen-year-old Annabelle (Jackson) runs away to rescue the animals on her family’s farm, before they are taken away by her greedy neighbour Bo (Bisgaier). She soon discovers a magical unicorn has taken up residence there, and along with fellow orphans Emma (Blue Lokoff) and Jake (Sussman) she sets out to discover the creature’s purpose, all while being pursued by Bo and the orphanage’s cranky headmistress Mother Chloris (Walton), as well as sympathetic social worker Natalie (Green) who discovers a secret about Annabelle’s family…


  1. This uplifting family drama brings the mythical unicorn into an emotional modern-day setting
  2. It’s a pleasant feature debut for director and producer Jamie Lokoff
  3. Lokoff and his daughter Lily Bleu both have supporting roles, opposite leads Molly Jackson, Sean Faris and Jessica Green
  4. For most children, the idea of seeing a real-life unicorn on the big screen is an opportunity they won’t want to pass up!
  5. Above all, it’s a fun adventure with real heart and plentiful messages for everyone

Sparkle: A Unicorn Tale is showing in cinemas from Friday 18th August 2023



The Monkey King (2023, dir. Anthony Stacchi)

CAST: Jimmy O. Yang, Bowen Yang, Jolie Hoang-Rappaport, Jo Koy, Ron Yuan, Hoon Lee, Stephanie Hsu, Andrew Pang, Andrew Kishino, Jodi Long, James Sie, BD Wong

CREW: Anthony Stacchi (director), Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman (writers), Peilin Chou (producer), Toby Chu (composer), Pam Ziegenhagen (editor)

PLOT: In ancient China, the charismatic but self-centred Monkey King (O. Yang) embarks on a journey with his magical fighting stick to score victory over a number of foes, including the eccentric Dragon King (Yang). Along the way, he meets village girl Lin (Hoang-Rappaport) who challenges him to look beyond his singular worldview and realise what it is to be a real hero…


  1. The Chinese legend of the Monkey King is brought to life in a vibrant and action-packed animated adventure
  2. You might already have heard of the Monkey King, as he has influenced numerous other characters across media, including Dragon Ball Z’s protagonist Son Goku
  3. The film features an all-Asian cast, from Jimmy O. Yang and SNL veteran Bowen Yang in lead roles, to Oscar-nominee Stephanie Hsu and Jurassic Park cast member BD Wong in supporting parts
  4. Director Anthony Stacchi, who previously scored an Oscar nomination for directing Laika’s stop-motion fairy tale The Boxtrolls, brings a real liveliness and sense of humour to the stylish action
  5. It will certainly appease audiences who are clamouring for the next Kung Fu Panda movie (which is due out next year)

The Monkey King is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 18th August 2023

Bad Things (2023, dir. Stewart Thorndike)

CAST: Gayle Rankin, Hari Nef, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Rad Pereira, Jared Abrahamson, Molly Ringwald, Ariella Josephine, Patrick Klein, Dana Slosar, Holland Smith

CREW: Stewart Thorndike (director, writer), Lizzie Shapiro and Lexi Tannenholtz (producers), Jason Falkner (composer), Grant Greenberg (cinematographer), Thomas Emmet Ashton and Kathryn J. Schubert (editors)

PLOT: After inheriting her grandmother’s hotel, Ruthie (Rankin) travels there with her partner Cal (Nef), their friend Maddie (Pereira), and mysterious grifter Fran (Dexter-Jones) to restore it to its former glory. However, they start to become consumed by the hotel’s dark secrets and its ghostly residents, which compel them to do bad things to each other…


  1. Fresh from its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, this chilling supernatural/psychological horror arrives to haunt plenty more audiences
  2. Writer-director Stewart Thorndike is clearly influenced by The Shining (both are set in haunted hotels during the winter), but adds her own spin to the aesthetic
  3. GLOW star Gayle Rankin gives an unpredictable performance, as does Hari Nef (who was most recently seen on the big screen in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie)
  4. Look out for a small role by former Brat Pack member Molly Ringwald, who dazzles in her limited screen time
  5. As the title suggests, expect plenty of bad things to happen to these characters throughout the course of the film!

Bad Things is streaming exclusively on Shudder from Friday 18th August 2023

Miguel Wants to Fight (2023, dir. Oz Rodriguez)

CAST: Tyler Dean Flores, Imani Lewis, Christian Vunipola, Suraj Partha, Raúl Castillo, Dascha Polanco, Andrea Navedo

CREW: Oz Rodriguez (director, producer, editor), Jason Concepcion and Shea Serrano (writers), Ryan Bennett, Molle DeBartolo, Jeremy Garelick, Mickey Liddell, Will Phelps and Pete Shilaimon (producers), Diana Matos (cinematographer)

PLOT: Miguel (Flores) is a teenager who, despite growing up in a violent neighbourhood, has never gotten into a fight. When he is due to move to a new city, he enlists the help of his best friends David (Vunipola), Cass (Lewis) and Srini (Partha) to help him get into his first-ever brawl…


  1. This hilarious coming-of-age comedy explores the deep desire within all of us to fight and win our own battles
  2. Tyler Dean Flores, recently seen in the Marvel miniseries The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, perfectly captures a different kind of teen protagonist than the likes of Ferris Bueller
  3. The knock-out gags come from a script co-written by New York Times bestselling author Shea Serrano
  4. It is the latest film from production company American High, who have made it their mission to produce a fresh wave of high-school teen movies for a whole new generation
  5. Your jaw will hurt, but not because someone punched it – it’ll be from laughing too hard!

Miguel Wants to Fight is streaming on Disney+ from Wednesday 16th August 2023

Operation Napoleon: Frozen Conspiracy (2023, dir. Óskar Thór Axelsson)

CAST: Vivian Ólafsdóttir, Jack Fox, Iain Glen, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Atli Oskar Fjalarsson, Adesuwa Oni, Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson, Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir

CREW: Óskar Thór Axelsson (director), Marteinn Thorisson (writer), Anita Elsani, Tinna Hrönn Proppé, Dirk Schweitzer and Hilmar Sigurðsson (producers), Frank Hall (composer), Árni Filippusson (cinematographer), Gunnar B. Guðbjörnsson and Kristján Loðmfjörð (editors)

PLOT: After being framed for murder, lawyer Kristín (Ólafsdóttir) finds herself drawn into an international conspiracy, where her only chance of survival rests on discovering the secret of an old Nazi warplane that’s been found on Iceland’s largest glacier…


  1. A secret history is unearthed in this tense and exciting Icelandic action-thriller
  2. The central mystery surrounding an unearthed Nazi plane in the middle of a glacier in Iceland reveals some unexpected surprises
  3. Game of Thrones veteran Iain Glen menaces as the central villain, who is tracking down our main protagonist played by Vivian Ólafsdóttir
  4. There’s enough action and suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat all throughout
  5. In the same vein as Indiana Jones, it plays around with historical fact for a fictional, but no less fun, adventure

Operation Napoleon: Frozen Conspiracy is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Monday 14th August 2023

Hunt Club (2023, dir. Elizabeth Blake-Thomas)

CAST: Mena Suvari, Mickey Rourke, Casper Van Dien, Maya Stojen, Will Peltz, Jessica Belkin, Jeremy London, Jason London, David Lipper, Kipp Tribble

CREW: Elizabeth Blake-Thomas (director), David Lipper (writer, producer), John Saunders (writer), Robert A. Daly Jr., Mark L. Lester, Keli Price and Kipp Tribble (producers), Stephen Edwards (composer), Duncan Johnson (cinematographer), Sean Cain (editor)

PLOT: Cassandra (Suvari), a mother whose daughter has gone missing, is offered to join a hunt where there is a chance to win a $100,000 prize, but upon arriving to the secluded island where the hunt is taking place, she quickly discovers that she and several other women are being targeted by a group of sadistic hunters…


  1. The stakes are high in this thrilling B-movie callback with a modern feminist twist
  2. American Beauty breakout Mena Suvari leads the cast, which is rounded out by legendary faces like Mickey Rourke and Casper Van Dien, all under the direction of award-winning filmmaker Elizabeth Blake-Thomas
  3. The plot and execution call back to classic exploitation thrillers that themselves refer back to The Most Dangerous Game
  4. Toxic masculinity is one of many relevant topics covered in brutal fashion during this movie
  5. You’ll find yourself cheering for Suvari as she gives her would-be killers exactly what’s coming to them

Hunt Club is available to rent/buy on digital platforms from Monday 14th August 2023



Serpico (1973, dir. Sidney Lumet)

CAST: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe, Biff McGuire, Barbara Eda-Young, Cornelia Sharpe, Tony Roberts, Allan Rich, Edward Grover, Albert Henderson, Hank Garrett, Damien Leake, Joseph Bova, Woodie King, James Tolkin, Bernard Barrow, Nathan George, Alan North, Lewis J. Stadlen, Ted Beniades, M. Emmet Walsh

CREW: Sidney Lumet (director), Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler (writers), Martin Bregman (producer), Mikis Theodorakis (composer), Arthur J. Ornitz (cinematographer), Dede Allen (editor)

PLOT: Frank Serpico (Pacino) is an honest New York cop who discovers a web of corruption within the NYPD, and struggles to survive when his fellow officers begin to turn on him…


  1. Filmmaker Sidney Lumet’s gritty crime thriller celebrates its 50th anniversary with a brand-new 4K restoration
  2. Screen legend Al Pacino gives an Oscar-nominated performance as the real-life police officer Frank Serpico, whose work to uncover deep corruption within the New York police force earned him respect and antagonism
  3. Intriguingly, it was shot in reverse order, with Pacino starting out with a full beard and long hair, and cutting it a little every day until he was clean-shaven, to mark the transition of his character
  4. Serpico himself has a tricky relationship with the film; he was ordered off the set during filming to prevent becoming a distraction, and reportedly didn’t finish watching it at the premiere (he finally saw the whole thing in 2010)
  5. The film became a major critical and commercial success upon its release, with Pacino calling it one of his greatest successes as an actor, and today it is regarded as a true classic of crime cinema

Serpico is showing in cinemas from Friday 18th August 2023

Bambi (1942, dir. David D. Hand et al)

CAST: Bobby Stewart, Donnie Dunagan, Hardie Albright, John Sutherland, Peter Behn, Tim Davis, Sam Edwards, Paula Winslowe, Stan Alexander, Sterling Holloway, Will Wright, Cammie King, Ann Gillis, Fred Shields, Margaret Lee, Mary Lansing, Perce Pearce, Thelma Boardman

CREW: David D. Hand (supervising director), James Algar, Sam Armstrong, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield and Norman Wright (sequence directors), Perce Pearce and Larry Morey (writers), Walt Disney (producer), Frank Churchill and Edward Plumb (composers), Thomas Scott (editor)

PLOT: A young deer named Bambi (Stewart/Dunagan/Albright/Sutherland) grows up in the forest under the protection of his loving mother (Winslowe), and overseen by his father the Great Prince of the Forest (Shields), whom Bambi will one day replace. Throughout his childhood, Bambi experiences fun, friendship, and tragedy…


  1. The animated classic returns to cinemas as part of Disney’s celebration of its 100th anniversary
  2. Adapted from Felix Salten’s book Bambi, a Life in the Woods, the film received mixed reception upon its release, but is now considered to be one of the greatest animated films of all time
  3. The film is filled with plenty of heart and emotion, from its adorable supporting cast of playful animal characters, to THAT scene which traumatised an entire generation of children
  4. Disney is currently planning a photorealistic CG remake of the film, to be directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sarah Polley
  5. It is a timeless classic that children and adults can laugh (and cry) along with at all the right places

Bambi is showing in cinemas from Friday 18th August 2023

The Idiots (1998, dir. Lars von Trier)

CAST: Bodil Jørgensen, Jens Albinus, Anne Louise Hassing, Troels Lyby, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Louise Mieritz, Henrik Prip, Luis Mesonero, Knud Romer Jørgensen, Trine Michelsen, Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis, Paprika Steen, Erik Wedersøe, Michael Moritzen, Anders Hove

CREW: Lars von Trier (director, writer, cinematographer), Svend Abrahamsen, Dag Alveberg and Vibeke Windeløv (producers), Molly Malene Stensgaard (editor)

PLOT: A young woman named Karen (Jørgensen) becomes intrigued by a group of intellectuals who regularly unleash their inner “idiot” by behaving disruptively in public under the guise of being mentally challenged, as led by the charismatic Stoffer (Albinus). As Karen joins their group, she soon begins taking the façade a bit too far…


  1. Curzon’s curated retrospective of the provocative filmmaker Lars von Trier continues with a look at one of his most controversial offerings
  2. Fully operating within the rules of Dogme 95, which he and other filmmakers established to bring artistic freedom back to creatives, the film contains imagery and ideas that are still shocking to this day
  3. The film was met with an incredibly divisive reaction at Cannes, where critic Mark Kermode was ejected from the screening for yelling out obscenities towards the film
  4. It was one of the very first films to be shot with digital cameras, making it an unexpected pioneer in modern-day filmmaking
  5. It is unapologetic in its offensiveness, especially toward those with actual learning difficulties, but it is also undeniably a Lars von Trier movie

The Idiots is showing in cinemas from Friday 18th August 2023

That’s about it for this week – thanks for joining us, and be sure to come back next week for a whole new set of movies to work up an appetite for!

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