July’s here and while the prospect of a summer holiday may be a long way off for many, there’s still plenty of new movies and TV shows being offered by Sky and Now TV to make up for it.
July sees Sky Cinema pick up a number of 2019’s high profile moves which gives film fans a nice cross section of premieres across a number of genres to treat themselves to.
Pick of the bunch is the record breaking sequel, Frozen II, which is actually coming to Sky Cinema on the same day as it premieres on Disney+ in the UK.
There’s also another sequel in the form of It Chapter Two although it could be argued that it is more accurately described as the second part of the ongoing story of the Losers Club and their battle with Pennywise the Clown which began in 2018’s It.
There’re plenty of close-ups of Brad Pitt’s lovely mug in the meditative Sci-Fi drama Ad Astra, and the latest Charlies’ Angels reboot closes out the brand new films at the end of the month.
Elsewhere, new shows to look out for include the alternate reality of The Plot Against America starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro, while Penny Dreadful: City of Angels is set in the turbulence of 1938 Los Angeles.
Comedy is well catered for with a third series of Idris Elba’s semi-autobiographical In The Long Run and Miracle Workers: Dark Ages moves the setting to medieval times for its second outing.
The recent launch of Sky’s new factual channels sees a surge of documentaries and real life programming covering history, nature, celebrity and the arts.
And finally, those viewers with the sports package will no doubt be happy that the remainder of the Premier League is playing out on TV screens, albeit in empty stadia..
Let’s take a closer look:
(Requires Sky Cinema subscription or Now TV Sky Cinema Pass)
Frozen II (2019 Animation, Family Adventure, Voices: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad)
Picking up a few years after the 2013 Disney blockbuster, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven return for another frost flavoured adventure when they journey beyond the realm of Arendelle to discover the origin of Elsa's magical powers and uncover lost truths from the past after a mysterious voice calls out to her, threatening the safety of her kingdom.
The original Frozen was a Box Office smash but the sequel holds the global record for the highest opening weekend for an animated film.
The Goldfinch (2019, Drama, Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright)
13-year-old New Yorker Theo Decker's life is turned upside-down when his mother is killed in a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Confused in the rubble of the tragedy, he grabs hold of a priceless piece of art, a painting of a tiny bird chained to its perch. The Goldfinch.
Years later as a troubled young man, Theo becomes embroiled in the murky world of art forgery.
Donna Tartt’s bestselling and Pulitzer Prize winning novel gets the adaptation treatment from Brooklyn director John Crowley. A tale of grief and guilt, reinvention and redemption, and even love, The Goldfinch was critically mauled on release, and sank at the box office. This month, you’ll have your chance to pass judgement from the comfort of your own sofa.
Buffaloed (2019, Comedy, Drama. Zoey Deutch, Jai Courtney, Judy Greer)
omegrown hustler Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch - daughter of Back to Future’s Lea Thompson), will do anything to escape Buffalo, NY and she’s betting on her sharp mind – and even sharper mouth – to get her into an Ivy League university. When an acceptance letter to the school of her dreams arrives, Peg quickly realises the impossibility of paying tuition fees and, after a series of mishaps, she finds herself crippled by debt. With her chances of a brighter future outside of her hometown squandered, she decides to become a debt collector herself and wages war with the city's debt-collecting "kingpin."
It Chapter Two (2019, Horror, Fantasy, Thriller. James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Jessica Chastain, Dir. Andy Muschietti)
The twenty-seven year cycle is up and the monster Pennywise awakes from his slumber after his defeat by the Loser’s Club to terrorise Derry, Maine once again.
Now though, the childhood friends of the club are grown-up, separated and living their own lives, but with people disappearing again Mike, the sole Loser who stayed in Derry, tracks down the other Losers and calls them home to make good on the pact they made nearly three decades earlier and head back to their hometown. Once again, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy the malevolent entity that is Pennywise the Clown.
The film is Muschietti’s follow-up to 2017’s It, the critically acclaimed and massive worldwide box office horror hit which grossed over $700 million globally. Both redefining and transcending the genre, It became part of the cultural zeitgeist as well as the highest-grossing horror film of all time and It Chapter Two adds to the terrifying saga.
Bad Education (2019, True life, Comedy Crime. Hugh Jackman, Alison Janey, Ray Romano)
Beloved Roslyn school district superintendent Frank Tassone and his assistant Pam Gluckin are credited with bringing the district into unprecedented prestige. Charismatic and positive, Frank’s reign at the top has spurred record numbers of college admissions and sent local property values soaring. But this all comes to a crashing halt when a student reporter uncovers a huge embezzlement scheme and suddenly Frank, his staff, friends and relatives become the prime suspects in an unfolding fraud that threatens to destroy all they've built.
Inspired by the real-life largest public school embezzlement scandal in American history. The screenplay was written by Mike Makowsky, who in 2004 was a middle school student in the Roslyn School District when its superintendent, Frank Tassone, was arrested for first-degree larceny. Makowsky bought the rights to article on the subject and returned to his childhood hometown to compile research for the project, expecting to write a film with Tassone as a straightforward villain. However, interviews with his former teachers and neighbours revealed a much more nuanced portrait of Tassone that informed the eventual screenplay.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019, Drama. Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Rob Morgan, Dir. Joe Talbot)
Jimmie is a young, black, third generation San Franciscan, working a low paid job and sleeping on his best friend Mont’s floor, Around him, the feelings of frustration at how the black community has been disenfranchised grow steadily, even as Jimmie dreams of reclaiming the Victorian house his grandfather built in the heart of the city he calls home. Joined on his quest by Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing San Francisco that seems to have left them all behind.
This partially autobiographical tale by director Joe Talbot and star Jimmie Fails, who grew up together in San Francisco, came together after a cold email to Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, who offered advice on getting the movie off the ground.
Ad Astra (2019, Sci-fi, Adventure, Drama. Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Dir. James Gray)
Astronaut Roy McBride travels to the outer edges of an unforgiving solar system to discover the truth behind his father who went missing on a mission 30 years earlier and, in doing so, unravels a mystery that threatens the survival of Earth. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and mankind’s place in the cosmos.
When The Lost City of Z director James Gray chose Ad Astra (Latin for ‘to the stars’) as his next project, he stated his aim was to feature “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie.” Given the stunning cosmic vista Christopher Nolan had managed to create in Interstellar, that’s quite some goal. You can decide if he managed it when Ad Astra debuts on Sky Cinema on 17th July but expect Solaris more than Star Wars.
Luce (2019, Drama, Thriller, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr.)
When a former child soldier from war-torn Eritrea, now adopted and living in America, writes a disturbing essay at school, his devoted teacher must re-assess him, while the loving couple who are now his parents must reckon with the once idealized image of their son.
Charlie’s Angels (2019, Action, Adventure, Comedy. Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Dir. Elizabeth Banks)
The mysterious Charles Townsend, whose security and investigative agency has expanded internationally, employs the world’s smartest, bravest, and most highly trained women as teams of Angels, all guided by multiple Bosleys around the globe. When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Elizabeth Banks’ Bosley must mobilise her particular charges, which includes a new recruit from MI6, to protect the world.
Written and directed by Elizabeth Banks, the new Charlie’s Angels was something of an underperformer at the Box Office but still provides plenty of fun and well staged action with an engagingly off-beat performance by Kristen Stewart.
Good Boys (2018, Comedy, Coming of Age. Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, Keith L. Williams)
12-year-old Max is horrified to be invited to his first kissing party, as, quite simply, he doesn’t know how to do it. Teaming up with his best friends, Thor and Lucas, he uses his dad’s highly protected drone to spy on the teenage couple next door and get some pointers. Things soon spiral out of control, as the drone is destroyed, and the boys set off on an adventure involving stolen drugs, cops, paintball and teenage girls.
A well received coming of age movie, Good Boys comes across much like a mini-Superbad which is unsurprising since it was produced by Seth Rogen and his regular collaborator Evan Goldberg.
Star Wars (29th June - 5th July)
Star Wars is going nowhere on Sky Cinema, at least for a few more days.
Others: The Rise of Skywalker, The Clone Wars
Blockbusters (6th July - 19th July)
This collection showcases a selection of the best box-office breaking titles on Sky Cinema, with each film having grossed over $400m at the worldwide box office.
ET (1982, Family, Sci-Fi, Dir. Steven Spielberg)
Avengers: Endgame (2019, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Dir. Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018, True life, Music, Drama. Dir. Bryan Singer)
Twilight (2008, Drama, Fantasy, Romance)
Titanic (1997, True life, Drama, Romance, Dir. James Cameron)
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019, Animation, Family, Adventure)
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019, Action, Adventure, Dir. David Leitch)
Other Films Coming to Sky Cinema
Interstellar (2014, Sci-Fi, Adventure Drama. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Dir. Christopher Nolan)
Chris Nolan’s epic Sci-Fi odyssey focuses on a team of explorers who travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to protect humanity from the looming threat of environmental catastrophe.
The Green Mile (1999, Crime Drama, Fantasy, Tom Hanks Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Dir Frank Darabont)
The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of terrible crimes, yet who has a mysterious gift and entrances them all.
Beyond the River (2017, Drama Sport)
Blood on Her Name (2019, Crime, Drama, Thriller. Bethany Anne Lind, Will Patton)
A woman's panicked decision to cover up an accidental killing spins out of control when her conscience demands she return the dead man's body to his family.
The Runaways (2010, True life, Music , Drama, Kristen, Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon)
Biopic of ground breaking 70s girl rockers, The Runaways, who managed just as much sex, drugs and rock ‘ roll as the boys - if not more! The relationship between band members Cherie Currie and Joan Jett is also explored.
Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13 (2001, 2004, 2007, Crime, Thriller, Comedy, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Dir. Steven Soderbergh)
Triumvirate of caper/heist adventures centred around smooth ex-convict Danny Ocean and his all-star team. A nice way to say farewell to Carl Reiner, who died this week.
The Heist of the Century (2020, Comedy, Crime, International: Argentina)
In 2006, a group of thieves undertook what is considered one of the most infamous and audacious bank heists in the history of Argentina when they robbed the Banco Río branch in Acassuso.
Okko’s Inn (2018, Animation, Adventure, International: Japan)
After losing her parents in a car accident, Okko starts living in the countryside with her grandmother who runs a traditional Japanese inn. While she prepares to be the next owner of the inn, Okko can somehow see friendly ghosts.
The Guardian (2006, Action, Adventure, Drama. Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Dir. Andrew Davis)
A high school swim champion with a troubled past enrolls in the U.S. Coast Guard's "A" School, where legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall teaches him some hard lessons about loss, love, and self-sacrifice.
The Parts You Lose (2019, Crime, Drama, Thriller. Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy, Mary Elizabeth Winstead)
A young boy in a small North Dakota town befriends a potentially dangerous fugitive.
Olympic Dreams (2019, Comedy, Romance, Sport. Nick Kroll, Alexei Papas)
In the Olympic Athlete Village, a young cross-country skier bonds with a volunteer doctor after her competition ends.
Two Tails (2018, Animation, Adventure, Family)
After becoming best friends, a beaver and a cat embark on a dangerous mission to rescue their friends who were abducted by aliens.
Bad Therapy (2020, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Rob Corrdry, Alicia Silverstone)
A couple seeks out Judy Small, a marriage counselor; but the counselor is more than meets the eye.
Palm Beach (2019, Comedy, Drama)
Becoming (2020 Documentary)
See former first lady Michelle Obama in an intimate documentary looking at her life, hopes and connection with others during her 2019 book tour for 'Becoming.'
The Beast (1975, Drama, Fantasy, Horror)
A late businessman's daughter joins her aunt and heads to the crumbling estate of her soon-to-be husband, unaware of the strange rumours that cloud the family's name.
(Requires Sky TV subscription, Now TV Entertainment Pass)
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (S1) Sky Atlantic, all episodes available
1938 Los Angeles. When a grisly murder shocks the City of Angels, Detective Tiago Vega and his partner Lewis Michener become embroiled in the social and political tensions that are simmering away beneath the surface. As the duo get deeper into the case, they delve into the rich history of Los Angeles with its traditions of Mexican-American folklore, dangerous espionage and the rise of radio evangelism.
This second set of tales from the Penny Dreadful universe leaves the Southern Gothic flavourings of the first season and instead uses social and political unrest as a calling card for dark powers.
FBI (S2) Sky Witness
After a bomb detonates at a restaurant in Queens, the case becomes personal for OA, who grew up eating there. But what initially seems like a terrorist attack reveals itself to be more complex, and OA goes undercover to prevent another incident.
Agents OA and Maggie take on a fresh batch of anti-terror cases in the second season of this show from the Emmy-award winning creator of Law & Order, Dick Wolf, which concentrates on the inner workings of the New York FBI office, bringing to bear all the Bureau's skills, intellect and technology to keep the city and the country safe.
Get Shorty (S3) Sky Atlantic, all episodes available
It's two years after the end of the last season, and Miles has now served his sentence in prison after having his production credits for Wylderness taken away from him. He heads into his new life in the open with a clean slate, a fresh attitude and revenge in his heart. Meanwhile, Rick’s unique love story with Amara continues as they relocate to Guatemala.
Chris O’Dowd and Ray Romano return for a third series of the darkly comic gangster-turned-movie producer drama based on Elmore Leonard's 1990 novel and subsequent John Travolta film.
Miracle Workers: Dark Ages (S2) Sky Comedy, S1 On Demand
Miracles Workers leaves Heaven Inc behind and moves to the Dark Ages where a group of villagers attempt to stay positive in an age of extreme income inequality, poor healthcare, and widespread ignorance... and the possibility of catching the plague.
Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi return for the 10 part second season.
The Plot Against America (Limited Series) Sky Atlantic, all episodes available
An alternate American history series set during Wold War II told from the perspective of the Levins, a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey as they witness the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator hero and xenophobic populist. Defeating Franklin D. Roosevelt in the presidential race of 1940, will Lindbergh shift the political landscape towards fascism?
Based on the acclaimed novel by Philip Roth, and written and executive produced by David Simon (The Wire), this six-part reimagining of history stars Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector, John Turturro, and Anthony Boyle.
Condor (S2) Sky One
In the wake of the death of Uncle Bob, CIA operative Joe Turner (Max Irons) is forced to return to the CIA’s tight-knit Virginia community to find the Russian traitor who’s responsible, and face the demons of his past. He is soon approached by a Russian agent, who says he can identify a mole within the CIA in exchange for protection.
Also featuring William Hurt, Brendan Fraser and Mira Sorvino, Condor is based on James Grady’s epochal novel Six Days of the Condor which gave rise to the classic Robert Redford conspiracy thriller Three Days of The Condor.
NCIS: New Orleans (S6) FOX (UK)
An NCIS spin-off featuring the field office that investigates criminal cases involving military personnel in The Big Easy, a city known for its music, entertainment and decadence but which often draws out the dark side of service personnel, When that happens, Special Agent Dwayne Pride's team are ready to step in. Starring Scott Bakula.
In the Long Run (S3) Sky One, S1-2 available On Demand
Walter's mum is coming from Sierra Leone and he is desperate to impress her. Bagpipes (Bill Bailey) has a near death experience that makes him question the meaning of life and Valentine finally finds love. Meanwhile, Agnes gets suspicious as some developers start taking an interest in the Eastbridge Estate, threatening the very existence of the community.
Idris Elba stars in this semi-autobiographical comedy loosely based on his own childhood, as it returns for a third season.
Our Cartoon President (S3) Sky Comedy
The animated misadventures of US President Donald Trump, the most powerful man in the world, continue as election year progresses. Expect more political heavyweights, media personalities, international leaders, notable billionaires and perhaps one or two nefarious dictators.
Created by The Late Show's Stephen Colbert.
Prodigal Son (S1) Sky One
Malcolm Bright, one of the best criminal psychologists around, uses his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes. Why is he so good at his job? Simple - his father is the notorious serial killer known as The Surgeon.
The Office (US) (S1-9) On demand
Watch all nine seasons of this popular, multi-award-winning US remake of the British comedy with the same name. Starring Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson and John Krasinski.
Will & Grace (S1-8) On demand
This award-winning American sitcom follows the adventures of New York-based interior decorator Grace Adler and her temperamental best friend Will Truman, who works as a lawyer.
Factual - Arts, Documentaries, History
The Directors (S5) Sky Arts
Returning to Sky Arts for its fifth series, The Directors kicks off with a look at Francis Ford Coppola. Perhaps best known for his cinematic masterpieces The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, Coppola has also turned his hand to a variety of projects that would seem to be outside his wheelhouse, such as his dark adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Jack starring Robin Williams.
Front Room Festival Sky Arts
Sky Arts takes over from last week's Glastonbury reruns on the Beeb and delivers virtual summer festivals and concerts with Beyonce’s I Am… world tour on 4th July and Austin City Limits: Billie Eilish on 5th July. Kings of Leon Live at the O2 follows on 11th July, then Austin City Limits: Florence & The Machine on 12th July.
On The Record (2020) Sky Documentaries
The powerful and haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of colour, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly name hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault.
Chronicling not only Dixon’s story but that of several other accusers, this controversial docuseries premiered the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and a standing ovation.
Washington Sky History
Taking a look at America’s first President, this series chips away at the image to reveal the life of the man whose name is known to all, but whose epic story is understood by few. Narrated by actor Jeff Daniels this three-part series airs nightly.
Bear: Koala Hero (2020) Sky Nature
Follow the amazing work of koala detection dog Bear and his handlers as they spend the summer of 2020 scouring burnt-out bushland in southern Queensland and beyond searching for sick and injured koalas to rescue and rehabilitate. More than a billion wild animals perished as fires burned through an area the size of England. This is a story of courage in the face of fire, survival in the face of devastation and hope rising from the ashes.
Exhibition on Screen: Manet from the Royal Academy Sky Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts invites you to visit one of its most visited shows of all time – the 2013 exhibition “Manet: Portraying Life”. Take a trip to 19th-century Paris where the story of this modern master unfolds – and peep behind the scenes as the curators prepare to tell his story in this major show.
The Biggest Little Farm (2018) Sky Documentaries
Documentarian John Chester and his wife Molly work to develop a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles. This film chronicles their eight-year quest as they trade city living for a dream of living in harmony with nature.
Tom and Barbara Good anyone?
WIG Sky Documentaries
When drag artist Lady Bunny and a few friends drunkenly wandered from the Pyramid Club in the East Village to Tompkins Square Park and staged an impromptu drag show in 1984, little did they know it would soon become Wigstock, an annual drag bacchanal, which lasted until 2001. In 2018, Lady Bunny resurrected the festival, bringing together legendary queens with some of the new generation of drag, creating one of the largest drag performances ever staged.
The Trade (2018, S1) Sky Documentaries
This documentary series offers a visceral look into the personal stories of those most affected by illicit industries and takes a look at the lives behind the statistics and headlines. Season 1 covers the opioid epidemic, from cartel-controlled Mexico to heartland America where addicts and law enforcement combat the cycles of drug abuse.
Africa’s Hidden Kingdoms (2015) Sky Nature, weekly episodes
For millions of years, South Africa's fertile ecosystems have brimmed with natural secrets. Discover the countless wonders of biodiversity tucked away within from the flower carpets of Namaqualand to Drakensberg mountain range, where baboons and eland gather.
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (2020) Sky Documentaries
Exploring Natalie Wood's life and career through the unique perspective of her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, and others who knew her best.
Well Groomed (2019) Sky Documentaries
A year immersed in the visually-stunning, slightly surreal world and often humorous world of competitive creative dog groomers reveals that, no matter where or how, an innate passion for imaginative expression is universal.
Lost Gold of World War II (S2) Sky History, weekly episodes
The quest for the one of the largest treasures in modern day history continues. The Lost Gold of World War II returns to resume the search for hundreds of billions of dollars of stolen loot supposedly hidden in Southeast Asia by Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita. In season two of Lost Gold of WWII, the team dives deeper into the mystery.
Saudi Women’s Driving School (2019) Sky Documentaries
Up until June 2018, women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to drive. However, when that all changed, Riyadh’s The Saudi Women’s Driving School – said to be the world’s largest driving school catering exclusively to women – gave the documentary team unprecedented access to a number of Saudi women as they embraced a new way of life and the experienced the freedom that comes from being behind the wheel.
Treasures Decoded (2013, S1) Sky History, weekly episodes
Historians and scientists search for insights into the origins and significance of some of the most enigmatic relics and mysteries known to man. Using forensic testing and experimental archaeology, new light is shed on moments in history that have long been shrouded in controversy. To kick things off, the experts consider whether the Turin Shroud is the world’s oldest photograph.
A Wedding and a Murder (2019, S2) Sky Crime
Series exploring seemingly dream marriages that ended up in murder or mystery. This season, the true crime stories include a beautiful Caribbean wedding disrupted by a murderous family feud over the wedding ring, a rejected marriage proposal that leads to a suspicious death, and a Las Vegas wedding between a model and a motocross champion that triggers a sinister murder plot.
Killer in my Village (S3) Sky Crime
This Sky Crime documentary series sheds light on shocking crimes that have taken place in small towns and villages across Britain. How will local community spirit survive in the face of murder and crimes of passion? It turns out that even the most picturesque parts of Britain can hide a darker side, as this series delves into the most horrifying murders of recent memory.
So that's July on Sky and Now TV sorted. Let us know what you think of the line up. Are the new films impressive enough and what about all the documentaries and factual programming, is that something you'll enjoy? Or are you a serial binger who'll prefer the likes of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels? Drop a comment in the thread and see what others are enjoying too.