Sky has had a busy few weeks with the recent launch of new channels, the introduction of HDR support for owners of newer Sky Q boxes, and the return of footie. Let’s see what they’ve also got coming in the way of new movies and shows for June.
It was the introduction of Sky Nature in particular that has precipitated Sky’s inchoate steps into HDR on a number of critter based programmes (currently Gangs of Lemur Island, Pridelands: Wilderness Reborn; and Malawi Wildlife Rescue). So if you have one of the compatible Sky Q set top boxes and a TV capable of handling HDR in the HLG format, you could start your June viewing with those. Reports are favourable that the HDR really adds to the image, as discussed in one of AVForums’ recent podcasts.
The return of Premier League and EFL Championship football will have sports fans cock-a-hoop. All of the remaining 92 fixtures will be broadcast live in the UK as part of measures to ensure accessibility while attendance at grounds is not possible. There are 64 Premier League matches, starting on June 17th with 39 will be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports and, even better, 25 shown free of charge on Sky’s free to air Pick channel for those without a sports package subscription. BT Sport, the BBC and Amazon Prime will share the remaining 28 matches, with the BBC and Amazon’s fixtures also being freely available.
Elsewhere, there are the usual movie premieres, which this month includes highlights such as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (also on Disney+), the Bill Murray/Adam Driver starring The Dead Don’t Die and Will Smith actioner Gemini Man.
On the TV show front, Perry Mason gets a reboot with Matthew Rhys in the title role and Hillary is a four part documentary which looks at the American politician who has arguably become more influential than her former-president husband, Bill Clinton.
Let’s take a closer look and given the new factual channels, let’s start with a couple of documentaries.
Requires Sky TV subscription, Now TV Entertainment Pass
Into The Wild: India (2018-19) Sky Nature
An enthralling 10 part journey into the mystical wilderness of India. It takes the viewer to the jungles, the grasslands, the remote ranges of the Himalayas and the dry regions of the northwest, stopping to witness the day-to-day lives and challenges of some of the huge array of species, including the land’s most iconic beasts.
The Plastic Nile (2020) Sky Documentaries
This eye opening documentary (though aren’t all the good ones?!) follows Sky News’s award-winning Special Correspondent Alex Crawford as she leads an investigation into the issues of plastic pollution from the Nile’s source at Lake Victoria to the mouth of the Nile in Egypt. She discovers disturbing revelations about the knock-on effect of single-use plastic for the millions of people and wildlife that rely on the river for their survival.
How to Get Away with Murder (S6) Sky Witness
The sixth and final season of ABC’s legal thriller series sees Viola Davies’ university law professor, Annalise Keating, and her students on the edge and dealing with the fallout from previous developments while becoming embroiled in further mysteries. Meanwhile, the FBI continues its investigation into the group and character arcs that have been set up over the preceding seasons reach their denouements.
A Killer Uncaged Sky Crime
This true life story tells the real life of Dale Wayne Sigler who was sentenced to death for a murder he admitted to committing.
However, three decades on, Sigler is off death row and is now released back into a very different world from the one he left when he was convicted.
Gaining extraordinary access, the series follows him from inside prison to his first steps to freedom and includes revelations about the motive for the brutal crime he committed 30 years prior.
Succession (Box set S1-2) On Demand
Succession tells the fictional story of a dysfunctional family behind one of the largest media firms in the world. When patriarch and CEO Logan Roy (Brian Cox) makes a life changing decision about his role in the company when his health starts to decline, it starts a sequence of events that sees each of his children's aspirations to take over the company come to the fore.
Both seasons are available on demand with the story set to continue in season 3, which was greenlit last year.
Betty (S1) Sky Comedy
This new HBO series is a spin-off of the 2018 skateboarding drama film, Skate Kitchen. It follows the same diverse group of young women who are trying to navigate their lives and focus their efforts to stand out in New York’s predominantly male-dominated skateboarding scene.
The cast members, including Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Anjani Russell and Rachel Vinberg, are all talented skateboarders themselves to add to the authentic feel of this contemporary series.
The whole of Season 1’s six episodes arrive at once on-demand.
Das Boot (S2) Sky Atlantic
This German TV series is based around Lothar-Günther Buchheim's 1973 eponymous book and its 1995 sequel, Die Festung, and sees events start nine months after the conclusion of the groundbreaking 1981 film. In the new season. The storyline is split between the inexperienced crew of the German U-boat U612 who have to survive a secret mission and a young German woman who is torn between loyalty for her home country and the French resistance.
The whole of Season 2 arrives at once on-demand, with Season 1 already available.
Agatha Raisin (S3) Sky One and S1-2 On Demand
Based on the books by M.C.Beaton, Agatha Raisin tells the story of a PR woman who finds an unlikely second career as an amateur detective investigating mischief, mayhem, and murder in her town. Agatha is played by Ashley Jensen who describes the character as “a strong forthright, independent, driven, successful woman, who is both funny and flawed, a real woman of our time.”
Beginning life as a pilot called Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, the first two seasons can now be found on demand. A fourth season has been commissioned.
Hillary Sky Documentaries
This four-part documentary film focuses on the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton and is an intimate portrait of the American lawyer and politician who was the first woman to be nominated for US President by the Democratic Party. Featuring never-before-seen footage from the 2016 presidential campaign, it also gives a rare glimpse into her life and upbringing. Exclusive interviews with Bill Clinton, her friends and journalists reveal the soul behind the former First Lady and Secretary of State, and examine how she became one of the most admired and, at the same time, vilified women in the US.
Episodes arrive weekly.
The Brink Sky Documentaries
A fly-on-the-wall chronicle of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's global mission to spread extreme nationalism. When he left Trump's inner circle in 2017 he was already a notorious figure and was in a position to push his controversial brand of nationalism into a global movement. The Brink follows Bannon through the 2018 mid-term elections in the United States, shedding light on his efforts to mobilize and unify far-right parties in order to win seats in the May 2019 European Parliamentary elections.
Maybe take a shower afterwards.
Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary Sky Documentaries
This star-studded 20th anniversary documentary unveils how beloved cult classic Galaxy Quest’s knowing and comedic take-off of Star Trek turned fans into true heroes and predicted a future where geeks would rule the world! Filmmakers and stars discuss the filming and social effects of the movie and recall how a fire on set, the loss of a powerful director and an unconvinced studio couldn't stop the film that would never give up and never surrender!
Spides (S1) SyFy
Murders, disappearances, and strange occurrences begin piling up in connection with the appearance of a new club drug called 'Blis'.
This co-production between Syfy Germany and Syfy America, is a mind-bending mystery which follows Nora, a young woman from Berlin, who wakes up from a coma after taking a new party drug called 'Blis' and can no longer remember anything. When it’s discovered that numerous teenagers have disappeared as part of the spread of the new drug, Nora begins to investigate. She uncovers an uncanny conspiracy: Aliens are using the drug to take over the bodies of their victims. Nora comes to realise that she is the key to the alien invasion she is trying to fight.
My Brilliant Friend (S2) Sky Atlantic, On Demand
Set in the dangerous and fascinating Italian city of Naples, a woman recounts the lifelong friendship and conflicts with a girl she met in primary school during the early 1950s and charts their relationship over six decades.
Based on the best-selling Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, a third season to be based on the third novel in the series, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, has been given the go ahead.
You can now watch every episode from the first season of My Brilliant Friend on demand.
Perry Mason Sky Atlantic
In 1932, Los Angeles is inching out of the Great Depression thanks to an oil boom, the film industry, and the summer's Olympic Games. Meanwhile, down-and-out criminal defense attorney Perry Mason is retained for a sensational child kidnapping trial. However, his relentless pursuit of the truth portends major consequences for Mason, his client, and the city itself.
Sky brings HBO’s reboot of Hollywood's first ever weekly one-hour series filmed for television to the UK. Original star Robert Downey Jr. dropped out of the lead due to scheduling issues but remained on as exec producer as Matthew Rhys stepped into the titular role.
Requires Sky Cinema subscription or Now TV Sky Cinema Pass
Daniel Isn’t Real (2019, Horror, Thriller, Miles Robbins, Patrick Schwarzenegger)
This horror/thriller follows the story of Luke Nightingale, an emotionally distant young boy with an unstable mother, who invents an imaginary friend named Daniel. After Daniel convinces Luke into doing something terrible, Luke banishes him to the bottom of his subconscious. Twelve years later, as a troubled college freshman, Luke invites Daniel back into his life to help him cope, a decision with terrifying results.
Stars, Miles Robbins and Patrick Schwarzenegger continue the acting traditions laid out by their respective parents Susan Sarandon/Tim Robbins and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Maleficent: The Mistress of Evil (2019, Fantasy, Adventure, Family, Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer)
Maleficent and her goddaughter (played by Elle Fanning) return in this sequel to 2014’s Sleeping Beauty adaptation, Maleficent, and are forced to question their complex family arrangement as they are pulled in different directions by scheming Queen Ingrith who attempts to divide the kingdom through fear and prejudice. Cast out, Maleficent is forced to unite with a group of outcasts to protect all the kingdom’s fairies. Also starring Elle Fanning, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ed Skrein.
Also showing on Disney+
The Dead Don’t Die (2019, Comedy, Horror, Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny, Danny Glover)
This star-studded zombie comedy from Jim Jarmusch sees Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Adam Driver and Steve Buscemi battle the undead in the formerly quiet town of Centerville. As the horde overruns the town, embattled cops Maurray and Driver come to realise that combatting sudden zombie invasions is not in the job description for local law enforcement.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019, Horror, Thriller, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson)
Creepy, possessed doll Annabelle is secured behind glass under a holy blessing in demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren’s artifact room. However, Annabelle has other plans and awakens the malevolent spirits in the room, who set their sights on the Warren's ten-year-old daughter, Judy, and her friends.
As an entry in the expanding ‘Conjuring’ universe - it’s the third Annabelle installment after Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation, and the seventh overall - it might help to have seen a few of the other movies to get familiar with characters and world building.
The Kitchen (2019, Action, Crime, Drama, Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss, Dir. Andrea Berloff)
It’s 1978 and three 1978 Hell’s Kitchen housewives whose mobster husbands are sent to prison by the FBI are left with little but a sharp axe to grind. With limited options, the ladies take the Irish mafia’s matters into their own hands - proving unexpectedly adept at everything from running the rackets to literally taking out the competition.
Straight Outa Compton co-writer Berloff’s screenplay was based on the comic book series created for DC Vertigo by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle though the overall feel of the narrative has a passing resemblance to Steve McQueen’s 2018 Widows, itself based on the 1980s Lynda La Plante TV series.
The Mustang (2019, Drama, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jason Mitchell, Bruce Bern)
The story of convict Roman Coleman who, aware of his short fuse and violent tendencies, has resisted efforts to be reintegrated back into society. However, he is given the chance to participate in a rehabilitation therapy program involving the training of wild mustang horses. Coleman has just 5 weeks to complete the programme before his horse is sold at auction. Can he confront his own wild instincts even as he tries to tame the stallion within his charge.
The Mustang is based on an actual rehabilitation program in Carson City, Nevada.
First Love (Comedy, Crime, Romance, Becky, Bangal, Dir. Takashi Miike)
In this romance, which nobody should be expecting to be even close to conventional given that Takashi Miike (Ichi The Killer) is at the helm, a young boxer and a call girl fall in love over the course of one night in Tokyo as they get caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme. As the night wears on, corrupt cops, the Yakuza and a female assassin all play their part as a backdrop to Leo and Monica’s developing passion.
Gemini Man (2019, Action, Sci-Fi, Will Smith, Marty Elisabeth Winstead, Clive Owen , Dir. Ang Lee)
Will Smith is Henry Brogan, an elite but ageing hitman ready to hang up his bullets when he becomes the target of another player, someone who knows his every move and who is getting closer to taking him out of the game... for good. It soon becomes apparent that Brogan’s faster, stronger and more skillful opponent is his younger self.
Already a hot topic, just by virtue of the fact that it was finally getting made after 20 years of development hell and every A list leading man in Hollywood being fleetingly attached to it, Gemini Man’s director Ang Lee added to the technical challenges of convincingly de-aging the ageless Smith by making the movie in a High Frame Rate. The results were mixed and ‘Gemini Men’ looks unlikely.
Mr Jones (2019, Biography, Drama, Thriller, James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard)
Loose but true life story of Gareth Jones, a Welsh journalist of some regard following his interview with Adolf Hitler, who travels to the Soviet Union in 1933 to write about its economic expansion and apparently successful five-year development plan. However, after taking an unsanctioned train trip to Ukraine, he learns of the deserted villages, starving population and cannibalism all bought on by Holodomor, the man-made famine in which 10 million people subsequently died. Appalled, he returns home to try and break the story in the Western press.
The real life tragedy served as the inspiration for Geaorge Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Beyond the Law (2019, Action, Crime, Steven Seagal, DMX)
When a former detective learns of the murder of his estranged son, he ventures back to the darkened streets he once knew so well. Armed, dangerous and with nothing to lose, he must take on the ruthless local mob in his mission for revenge.
One wonders whether after Seagal’s debut, Above the Law, and now with Beyond the Law, there may be a Behind the Law coming to complete the ‘Law Preposition Trilogy’. Ok, maybe not.
It did however mark a reunion for Seagal and DMX who previously collaborated on Exit Wounds in 2001.
Downton Abbey: The Movie (2019, Drama, Romance, Historical, Jim Carter, Matthew Goode, Lesley Nicol, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, David Haig)
It’s 1927 and the announcement of a visit by King George V and Queen Mary to the Downton Estate during a tour of Yorkshire sends both members of the Crawley family and their servants into a panic as they attempt to get everything perfect for the visit. Things are complicated when the Royal Household Staff arrive ahead of the main party and supplant the regular employees.
Downton Abbey: The Movie is a lavish period drama set a year and a half after the end of the TV series and written by show creator Julian Fellowes. It sees the return of many of the regular cast and remains essential for fans of the TV episodes and baffling froth for everyone else.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019 Comedy, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes and... all of Hollywood)
The titular duo make for Hollywood in an effort to stop a movie of their 'Bluntman and Chronic' superhero characters from getting made, though of course this time it’s not just a movie, it’s now a reboot, ‘Bluntman V Chronic’. Cue a road trip littered with cameo appearances and profane references to body functions.
A year after his near fatal ‘Widowmaker’ heart attack, a lean and healthy Kevin Smith jump started the View Askewniverse back into action to make this movie, which Smith himself describes as “literally the same ****ing movie” as 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. So, now there’s no excuse complaining you didn’t know.
Will Smith (15th - 21st June)
Capitalising on the premiere of Gemini Man, here‘s a chance to catch up with many of Smith’s most popular films including the live-action remake of Aladdin, the classic Men in Black (and its sequels) and touching, true-life tale The Pursuit of Happyness, in which he stars with his son Jaden.
Tom Hanks (22nd - 28th June)
Tom Hanks has solidified his position as Hollywood’s new James Stewart with his honest, dignified portrayals of ordinary folk, doing extraordinary deeds - think Bridge of Spies, Sully, and Captain Phillips.
In the final week of June, watch all his award-winning movies including the heartfelt Forest Gump, AIDS drama Philadelphia, romantic Sleepless in Seattle and classic war movie Saving Private Ryan.
Star Wars (29th June - 5th July)
With the announcement that Taika Waititi will get to use a galaxy far, far away as his personal playground, here’s a chance to catch up with almost every Star Wars film from the original, prequel and sequel Star Wars trilogy, just to remind you what they were like B.T. (before Taika).
Others: The Rise of Skywalker, The Clone Wars
Other films coming to Sky Cinema
The Great Gatsby (2013, Drama, Romance, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Dir. Baz Luhrmann)
Good Posture (2019, Comedy, Drama, Grace Van Patten)
No Country For Old Men (2007, Crime Drama, Thriller. Josh Brolin, Kelly Macdonald, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, Dir. Ethan and Joel Coen)
Lazy Susan (2020, Comedy, Seam Hayes, Maria Shriver)
The Black String (2018, Horror, Mystery, Frankie Muniz)
Polar Squad aka Arctic Dogs (2019, Animation, Adventure, Family, Voice: Jeremy Renner, James Franco, Heidi Klum)
Songbird (2018, Drama, Cobie Smulders)
Hearts and Bones (2019, Drama, Hugo Weaving, Andrew Luri)
The Dark Red (2018, Mystery, Thriller)
Stray Dolls (2019. Crime, Thriller, Olivia DeJonge, Cynthia Nixon)
Badland (2019, Western, Kevin Makely, Mira Sorvino, Bruce Dern)
The Big Wish (2019, Animation, Fantasy, Family)
The Party’s Just Beginning (2018, Comedy, Drama, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, Dir. Karen Gillan)
Mission Panda aka The Big Trip (2019, Animation, Adventure, Family, Voices: Drake Bell, Pauly Shore)
Coyote Lake (2019, Thriller, Camila Mendes, Adriana Barraza, Dir. Sara Seligman)
So, as they say in the industry ‘That’s a wrap!” Well, if they were making any movies at the moment that’s what they’d say. Let us know what caught your eye and what you’ll definitely be giving a wide berth too.