We recommend: The best new movies and TV
Heart of Stone: The executive producers of ‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning’ are bringing this new spy thriller series with ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot playing the action hero—but without the cape—and Alia Bhatt playing the villain for the first time in her career. It is safe to assume the show is in good hands. The plot focuses on the information asset—which is literally called the “heart” of the intelligence agency—being stolen and the consequences of the world’s power in the wrong hands.
Reviews are not kind. Mashable says the movie has the “misfortune of sharing plot similarities” with the much better ‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One’ and as a result, it lacks all the fun. IGN calls the movie cookie-cutter action flick, whose script reads like it was written by an AI and is a “soulless amalgamation.” Our take: We’ve never seen Alia Bhatt playing a villain before, that too in a Hollywood movie and are certainly intrigued. The movie dropped on August 11 on Netflix.
Jailer: Rajnikanth fans must truly rejoice—as their Super Star is back after 2 years with a black comedy action film. Written and directed by Nelson—this movie follows the story of a retired cop and prison warden with a knack for murdering villains, beheadings and fatal stabbings. He also managed to create a vast network of shady help Rajinikanth’s character kill the bad men who threaten his family.
The Hindu reviews this movie to be far from perfect but a commendable comeback with the “towering presence of Rajinikanth” along with Nelson’s fortified writing, unique sense of humour and fan service. Our take: If black comedy and gore are not your go-to genres, this one must be watched atleast once for Rajini’s signature flair! The movie hit theatres on Thursday.
Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop: 2023 is considered to mark the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, and there are many performances, books and films that are releasing to celebrate this moment. One of them is ‘Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop’, which is a four-part documentary series that focuses on the female MCs, DJs, artists and all other women who played a vital role in building hip-hop. The series looks at the last five decades and stories of different women who spearheaded hip-hop culture.
Reviews are decent. The Guardian says while the series seems lacking, it is “still a capable, invigorating tribute to female trailblazers”.
The series is out on Netflix.
Red, White and Royal Blue: An American president’s son meets a British prince at a royal wedding, what can go wrong? Apparently everything. Based on the New York Times bestseller, ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’, this film is a hate-to-love story of Alex and Prince Henry who start off faking their friendship for PR but actually fall in love—in fairytale style!
New York Times says the movie “starts with a giddy premise and has the derring-do to succeed”. While the BBC is not as kind and considers the movie to be a “royal disappointment”. Our take: We think this is the perfect film to watch in pyjamas while hogging on a big bucket of popcorn. It is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
Gaddar 2: This one is for hardcore Sunny Deol fans and those looking for movie nostalgia. The first movie ‘Gaddar: Ek Prem Katha’ was set during the partition era. This one is set 17 years later, in 1971, and gives us a prologue into the lives of Tara Singh (Sunny Deol) and Sakina (Ameesha Patel) and their son Charanjit (Utkarsh Sharma). All three actors are reprising their roles after 12 years! You can watch the trailer for the plot as it reveals it all.
Reviews are mixed. The Hindu notes that there is very little “that is original or impactful in the new film” but Sunny Deol is superb. For Hindustan Times it’s worth the entertainment and “a paisa vasool watch”. Our take: Although this one is not our cup of tea, we imagine it will make for a good family outing. The film has been showing in theatres since yesterday.
OMG 2: Here is another big Bollywood sequel. Akshay Kumar returns to play God in this movie and this time helping out a devout bhakt Kanti Sharan Mudgal (Pankaj Tripathi) who challenges himself in court for the failings of the Indian education system in imparting sex education. Satire meets comedy in this courtroom drama.
Reviews are good. Indian Express praises the performances of Akshay Kumar and Pankaj Tripathi and found the movie to be “enjoyable” while Scroll says the movie “always has its heart in the right place”. Our take: We are not too keen on it but we loved the prequel ‘OMG – Oh My God!’ so much that we are willing to entertain this one too. The film also hit theatres yesterday.
Here’s a new chapter…
Only Murders in the Building Season 3: The wait is finally over for the third and final season of ‘Only Murders in the Building’. This show brings three murder podcast lovers together who themselves land up in the middle of murder investigations. The first season focussed on Charles (Steve Martin), the second focussed on Mabel (Selena Gomez) and the third will focus on Oliver Putnam (Martin Short). But we are most excited for the new cast members: Paul Rudd and Meryl Steerp! Two episodes from the third season have dropped on Disney+ Hotstar on August 8.
Made in Heaven Season 2: Another show we have been anticipating for since its cliffhanger ending back in 2019. Created by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, the new season will keep Big Fat Indian Weddings and its wedding planners—Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) and Karan Mehra (Arjun Mathur)—at its core while delving into Tara’s divorce, Karan’s homosexuality and the financial state of the Made in Heaven agency. The new episodes dropped this Thursday on Amazon Prime.