It's August, which means it's probably about to rain and you may have bored kids at home desperate for entertainment. Here's what's best on screen this month...
See in cinemas
Atomic Blonde (August 9) sees Charlize Theron play a formidably cool, extremely dangerous MI-6 agent in Cold War Berlin. She has to find a missing list of spies with only the spectacularly unreliable James McAvoy to help her, and she’s up against the KGB, the Stasi and an assortment of other international agents. Luckily, she’s basically an action goddess. This comes from the co-director of John Wick, so the stunts are bone-crunchingly real, and it cements Theron’s status as Hollywood’s action queen. Warning: don’t watch this directly before a haircut or you might find yourself requesting a platinum-bleached shaggy bob.
Fill a rainy day
When British “summer”time inevitably turns to rain, dream of sunnier skies with Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later (Netflix August 4), the latest ridiculous, semi-improvised comedy series from director David Wain and basically every comedy star in Hollywood (Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, plus bonus Chris Pine because why not). This all began with a 2001 parody film about the teens and student counsellors at an American summer camp in 1981, followed by a prequel series (First Day Of Camp) last year, and now this reunion comedy. The stars are all several decades too old to play teenagers, but that’s all part of the charm. Eight short episodes mean it will keep you going all afternoon, and it’s so silly and frothy that it will buoy you up when the weather gets bad.
Atomic Blonde sees Charlize Theron play a formidably cool, extremely dangerous MI-6 agent in Cold War Berlin. She’s basically an action goddess
Download for long flights
Depending how long your flight is, Marvel’s The Defenders (August 18, Netflix) might help. This is a sort of small-screen Avengers, a team up between the stars of Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Iron Fist (Finn Jones) and Luke Cage (Mike Colter). Eight episodes of super-angst, team tension and shots of Mike Colter's arms is an excellent prospect on its own, but best of all they’re facing off against Sigourney Weaver as their main adversary, so even with superpowers they’ll have their work cut out.
Binge and catch up
All episodes of Top Of The Lake are available on iPlayer, so now is the time to catch up on director Jane Campion’s stunning crime series. In the first season Elisabeth Moss plays Robin, the Sydney detective who returns to her New Zealand hometown to investigate the pregnancy and disappearance of a 12 year-old. Season two just started last Thursday, with Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman joining the cast as Robin investigates a dead girl found on Bondi Beach. Despite being a TV show this was deservedly the most talked-about thing at the Cannes Film Festival this year, so rest assured that these new episodes keep the standard up, and catch up on what you missed.
Psyche Yourself Up
In the event that Atomic Blonde alone wasn’t enough to make you jump up and punch the air (or any nearby KGB agents) then you need to watch The Incredible Jessica James (Netflix, now). It might sound like a superhero movie but in fact it’s a different kind of rom-com, starring Jessica Williams as a smart, hilarious would-be playwright who’s having trouble getting anyone to stage her work. She’s set up on a date with Chris O’Dowd’s sad divorcee, and they form a weird, slightly self-destructive pairing. It’s acerbic and joyful and inspirational stuff.
Watch with the Kids
The children’s films in the cinema this month, The Emoji Movie and The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature, are not vintage, so stick with the small screen. The only new release this month worthy of note is a new series of Dragons: Race To The Edge on Netflix, so perhaps now’s the time to try introducing the kids to some classics. Amazon Prime has Addams Family Values and Beetlejuice for a creepy (but very funny) thrill that should keep them entertained. Alternatively, Netflix has the none-more-princessy Cinderella with Lily James, Richard Madden and Cate Blanchett, and Airplane!, statistically the most joke-packed film ever made with 246 gags in 88 minutes. There are a couple of bits of semi-nudity so that's probably older kids only, but it's a classic for a reason.