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21° & SUNNY ON FRIDAY 19 JULY IN BRISBANE
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Ten Films and TV Shows You Need to Stream This Month

Cancel your plans tonight to get stuck into the latest seasons of 'Stranger Things' and 'Veronica Mars' or just re-watch all three 'Scream' movies.
By Sarah Ward
July 05, 2019
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Ten Films and TV Shows You Need to Stream This Month

Cancel your plans tonight to get stuck into the latest seasons of 'Stranger Things' and 'Veronica Mars' or just re-watch all three 'Scream' movies.
By Sarah Ward
July 05, 2019
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Not all that long ago, the idea of getting cosy on your couch, clicking a few buttons, and having thousands of films and television shows at your fingertips seemed like something out of science fiction. Now, it's just an ordinary night — whether you're gathering the gang for a stay-at-home shindig, cuddling up to your significant other or shutting the world out for some much needed me-time.

Of course, given the wealth of options to choose from, there's nothing ordinary about making a date with your chosen streaming platform. The question isn't "should I stay in?" — it's "what on earth should I watch?". Hundreds of titles are added to Australia's online viewing services each and every month, all vying for a spot on your must-see list. And, so you don't spend 45 minutes scrolling and then being too tired to actually commit to watching anything, we're here to help. From the latest and greatest to old favourites, here are our picks for your streaming queue for July.

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NEW STUFF TO WATCH NOW

DARK

After the first season ended with a big jump forward and many an unresolved mystery, Dark returns with more time travel, twists of fate, small-town secrets, cavernous caves and nuclear fallout. Everything is still more than a little odd in the show's German village of Winden. Everyone, including teenager Jonas (Louis Hofman), is still trying to work out just what's going on — both in the sci-fi/thriller series' modern-day setting of 2020, and in the other periods it visits at 33-year intervals. Now 18 episodes in, Dark doesn't shy away from complexity, labyrinthine timelines or complicated character webs, which is what makes it riveting viewing, revealing something new and intriguing seemingly every minute. The show's bleak vibe, with a colour palette to match, is also intoxicating, especially as the show delves deeper into existential questions, such as just how much control we have over our own destinies.

The second season of Dark is available to stream on Netflix.

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TOO OLD TO DIE YOUNG

If you've seen and loved Nicolas Winding Refn's filmography to date, then ten-episode series Too Old to Die Young will feel familiar in the best kind of way. The Danish director is fond of brooding crime tales unfurled with a greater emphasis on loaded silences than expository dialogue, rendered in both inky and neon colours, and littered with more than a splash of artful yet visceral violence — as Drive, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon have all demonstrated recently. Applying these hallmarks to television, the acclaimed auteur is in his element. Story-wise, the show starts with police officer Martin Young (Miles Teller), who watches as his partner is gunned down, then is forced to navigate the murky aftermath. Cast-wise, everyone from John Hawkes, Jenna Malone, Billy Baldwin and Callie Hernandez to Japanese video game designer Hideo Kojima shows up.

The first season of Too Old to Die Young is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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STRANGER THINGS

Following a nearly two-year wait, Netflix's 80s-set sci-fi/horror series is back. The eagerly anticipated third season starts off with a perkier vibe, sunnier hues and an upbeat pop soundtrack — it's the summer of 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana, and the flashy new Starcourt mall has just opened, after all. Of course, this is still Stranger Things, so monsters still lurk behind plenty of corners, and plenty of thrills as well. Expect more than just your garden variety Demogorgon this time around, and expect plenty of adolescent angst, given that Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) are teenagers now. Elsewhere, Steve (Joe Keery) is working in an ice cream parlour with newcomer Robyn (Maya Hawke), Hopper (David Harbour) isn't coping with his parental responsibilities, Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) are playing sleuth, Joyce (Winona Ryder) is tinkering with magnets and something isn't quite right with Billy (Dacre Montgomery).

The third season of Stranger Things is available to stream on Netflix.

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THE LOUDEST VOICE

Based on the biography The Loudest Voice in the Room, this Russell Crowe-starring mini-series might just be the most topical show on television at the moment. Its subject? Roger Ailes, the US TV executive responsible for creating and shaping Fox News into the right-wing mouthpiece it is today, and whose career eventually came undone after allegations of sexual harassment. With another American election on the way, and the current US president extremely fond of the network, you can see why this dramatised behind-the-scenes origin story is particularly timely and relevant. Watching Fox News come to fruition in the 90s, and Ailes' slimy behaviour that made it happen, The Loudest Voice is also both must-see and horrifying viewing, with a cast that includes Sienna Miller, Seth MacFarlane and Naomi Watts — as well as a rotund, forceful, formidable Rusty — all putting in stellar work.

The first episode of The Loudest Voice is available to stream on Stan, with new episodes dropping each Monday.

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ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS

Due to our current political reality, the plight of refugees seeking asylum in Australia shows no signs of fading from the headlines. Island of the Hungry Ghosts examines the issue — but, while Gabrielle Brady's film is a documentary, it doesn't take anywhere near the expected approach. Set on Christmas Island, it spends time with Poh Lin Lee, a counsellor to the fragile, scarred and scared detainees. She works, wading through other people's awful stories, offering a compassionate source of support and trying to navigate bureaucratic roadblocks. She explores the island with her husband and children, seeing its natural beauty, watching its migrating crabs and learning about its spiritual rituals. A movie that deeply contemplates the concept of being in transit in many different ways, this is a visually, emotionally and intellectually poetic piece of filmmaking.

Island of the Hungry Ghosts is available to stream on Docplay.

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THE OTHER TWO

You're in your 20s, trying to make it in New York and struggling to chase your dreams. The only thing that's making you feel better is the knowledge that your sibling is doing the exact same thing. Then your kid brother comes up with a throwaway pop hit, adopts the stage name ChaseDreams and becomes a YouTube sensation — and the world's next Justin Bieber. That's the premise of sitcom The Other Two, which follows struggling actor Cary (Drew Tarver) and his ex-dancer sister Brooke (Helene York) as they come to terms with their new situation. Also starring Molly Shannon, Ken Marino and Wanda Sykes, the show's ten-episode first season is constantly hilarious and acerbically astute, especially when it comes to today's celebrity-obsessed, influencer-heavy society. An instant classic, thankfully it's due to come back for a second season.

The first season of The Other Two is available to stream on iTunes and Google Play.

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ONES TO WATCH OUT FOR LATER IN THE MONTH

VERONICA MARS

Nothing has ever been easy for Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), whether she's trying to work out who killed her best friend, weighing up her romantic options, or following in her dad's (Enrico Colantoni) footsteps as a small-town private eye. For the show of the same name, that notion has proved just as accurate, with the beloved series cancelled after its first three seasons, brought back as a crowdfunded movie, sprawling over two books and now finally revived on the small screen by Hulu. All of the original gang is involved, including creator Rob Thomas (no, not that one), so it's safe to feel mighty excited about Ms Mars' return. This time around, she's working in her hometown with her loving father, endeavouring to discover why literal bombs keep going off during spring break, and crossing paths with a shady ex-con turned businessman (JK Simmons). Yes, Veronica Mars is definitely back.

Veronica Mars' fourth season will be available to stream on Stan from Saturday, July 27.

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CULT CLASSICS TO REVISIT AND REDISCOVER

THE SCREAM TRILOGY

The 90s gave us many things — and this trilogy of horror-comedies ranks among the best. Yes, the Scream series received a fourth instalment in 2011; however the less said about it the better. Perhaps that's why Foxtel Now has only added the franchise's first three flicks to its platform. Just how huge, and hugely enjoyable, the first Scream proved upon its initial release can't be understated. A slasher satire that equally loves and lampoons the genre's tropes will do that, especially when it's directed by A Nightmare on Elm Street filmmaker and all-round horror maestro Wes Craven. There's never a bad time to revisit Sidney Prescott's (Neve Campbell) effort to outwit the Ghostface killer, or to enjoy the franchise's ace cast, which also includes David Arquette, Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Drew Barrymore, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liev Schreiber and Parker Posey.

Scream, Scream 2 and Scream 3 are available to stream on Foxtel Now.

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PUBLIC ENEMY #1 and 2

Before today's true-crime trend kicked into gear across every streaming platform, and before streaming platforms were even a thing, this two-part French film told the tale of French gangster Jacques Mesrine. Partially based on the main figure's autobiography, and detailing his evolution from solider to law-breaker, Public Enemy serves up a gripping ride that includes robbery, murder, kidnapping and multiple prison escapes — as well as a killer turn from Vincent Cassel. The French star has always ranked among the best actors of his generation, but he's in blistering form as the charismatic crook, rightfully winning a Cesar Award for his efforts. The film also marks the highlight of director Jean-François Richet's career to-date, and while it has been compared to Scarface, it weaves its own fascinating story.

Public Enemy #1 and 2 are available to stream on SBS On Demand.

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2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

With 2019 marking half a century since mankind first stepped foot on the moon, space-themed movies are everywhere — and space-themed exhibitions and events as well. Nothing comes close to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, though, with the hands-down masterpiece frequently voted the best film ever made for a good reason. If there's one thing to watch right now, it's this. Even on a small screen, its glory (including its Oscar-winning visual effects) never fades. Based on Arthur C. Clarke's sci-fi novel of the same name, and actually pre-dating the moon landing by a year, the sci-fi epic journeys from the primitive, distant past to humanity's attempts to venture beyond our planet. Thematically, it contemplates evolution, extra-terrestrials, artificial intelligence and the existential questions that eat away at us all.

2001: A Space Odyssey will be available to stream on  Thursday, July 18 on Foxtel Now.

Published on July 05, 2019 by Sarah Ward

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