As summer fades and with autumn just around the corner, Sky Cinema still has a couple of extra, big-gun, tentpole movies from 2019 to treat audiences to.
In with the pleasing mix of movies that awaits Sky Cinema and Now TV subscribers in September, there’s a variety of genres and styles. The biggest nod to blockbuster material comes from sci-fi actioner Terminator: Dark Fate which attempts to reinvigorate the once beloved franchise with the reintroduced teamup of Arnie’s T800 and Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor. There are a couple of true life tales including Renée Zellweger’s Oscar and BAFTA award winning portrayal of Judy Garland in the self titled biopic and the aunthentically period Le Mans ‘66 which the AVForums petrol heads absolutely loved. For those in search of laughs there’s Playing with Fire which sees ex WWF ‘wraslah’ Jon Cena tread similar territory to Vin Diesel’s The Pacifier and throw in a couple of horrors flicks and thrillers in the form of Blumhouses’ Don’t Let Go and Black and Blue and all the bases are pretty much covered.
Sky’s new TV shows exhibit similar variety with a couple of new procedurals, 9-1-1: Lone Star and FBI: Most Wanted, Maisie Wiliams return to the small screen post GoT in the drak comedy Two Weeks to Live. There’s also political dramatisation The Comey Rule - timely in light of the upcoming US presidential election and a couple of nonfiction entries on the documentary and Arts channels.
Let’s go in for a closer look.
Premieres (Requires Sky Cinema subscription or Now TV Sky Cinema Pass)
The Good Liar (2019, Crime, Drama, Mystery. Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey Dir. Bill Condon)
Consummate con man Roy Courtnay has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish, worth millions. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes as Roy finds himself more and more drawn to her.
A story about the secrets we keep and the lives we live is told through the first time pairing of two of English drama’s most highly regarded actors and the creative team behind the live action Beauty and the Beast remake and Sherlock Holmes adaptation Mr. Holmes.
Black and Blue (2019, Action, Crime, Thriller. Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo)
A rookie New Orleans police officer has to balance her identity as a black woman and as a cop after she inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. Realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the only person from her community who is willing to help her and tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage.
Even before recent events this year refocused the Black Lives Matter movement, movies such as this were exploring the issues being raised, but the mix of fast-paced action thriller and tricky themes failed to find an audience.
Le Mans ‘66 (2019, True life, Action, Drama. Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Dir. James Mangold)
Visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby and fearless Brit driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford to take on and defeat the dominating race cars of Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Also known as the more reductive Ford vs Ferrari, Le Mans ‘66 is a re-telling of a pivotal moment in motor sport history and found much favour amongst critics, movie fans and petrol heads alike - surely a tricky balance. In development for a number of years, earlier iterations had Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt along with director Joseph Kosinski attached before budgetary restrictions forced a rethink under James Mangold’s stewardship. Mangold’s recent impressive run of projects includes 3:10 to Yuma, Logan - hell, even Knight and Day is darn good fun - and coming soon is the next Indiana Jones project, which Spielberg personally handed to him.
Don’t Let Go (2019, Mystery, Horror, Drama. David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Mykelti Williamson)
After Detective Jack Radcliff’s family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a shockingly impossible phone call from one of the dead, his niece Ashely. He's not sure if she's a ghost or if he's going mad. As it turns out, he's not, and working together across time, they race to solve her murder before it can happen.
Don't Let Go is a classic thriller with a supernatural twist from Blumhouse, the producers of Get Out, so an efficient thrill ride is on the cards.
Darlin’ (2019, Horror, Thriller. Cooper Andrews, Kristina Arntz, Mackenzie Bateman, Dir. Pollyanna McIntosh)
Darlin’ is a feral teenager who has been living wild in the woods with her mother, communicating only in grunts and eating human flesh to survive. When she is indoctrinated into strict religious care by the local bishop who tries to civilise her, an unstoppable force is unleashed as the mother who raised her, descends on the local village determined to take her child back.
Described by writer, director McIntosh as ‘a social issue horror film’, Darlin’ is a standalone sequel to the 2011 film The Woman, in which McIntosh played the title role. So if you can track it down, that might be worth a look before jumping straight to this.
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019, Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi. Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Dir. Tim Miller)
Grace, an augmented human super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor must stop an advanced liquid Terminator who has travelled back through time, from hunting down Dani Ramos, a young girl living a simple life in Mexico City whose fate is critical to the human race.
The director of the original Terminator and its genre defining sequel, James Cameron, returns as producer and story consultant in Terminator: Dark Fate. Deadpool director Tim Miller takes the reins to deliver what no-one has successfully managed to yet do - create a wholly satisfying return to the beloved but tarnished franchise. In an effort to return to the roots of the story, Sarah Connor is back and everything after Terminator 2: Judgement Day is ignored. For good measure Arnie returns and is reunited with Linda Hamilton after 23 years.
Despite all this, and an okay $250+ box office haul, Terminator: Dark Fate was considered a office dud - it needed $450 million to breakeven after production and promotion costs. Plans for any future films have reportedly been cancelled.
There is no fate but what we make for ourselves...
Playing With Fire (2019, Family, Comedy. John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo)
When straight-laced fire superintendent Jake Carson and his elite team of firefighters come to the rescue of three siblings trapped in the path of an encroaching wildfire, they are unable to locate the children’s parents and have to take on the mantle of carers until they can be found. They quickly come to realise that this could be their most challenging job yet as they learn that kids – much like fires –are wild and unpredictable.
Judy (2019, True Life, Drama, Romance. Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock)
Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts at the Talk of the Town nightclub. While there, she reminisces with friends and fans and begins a whirlwind romance with musician Mickey Deans. However, Judy’s health is on the wane.
Renée Zellweger’s chameleon-like performance encompassing the talented and vivacious (but unreliable) stage performer with the well documented offstage personal vulnerabilities was rewarded with Best Actress wins at the 2020 Oscars and Baftas.
As in most months Sky bundles together some themed movie collections with newer movies as well as some classics.
Transformers (3rd - 6th September)
Every Transformers movie will be bought together for this collection and depending upon how much robot on robot destruction you can stand in a short period, it might be prudent to stick with the first and last entries, which are generally regarded as the best.
Completists - knock yourselves out!
Transformers (2007, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, John Voight, Dir. Michael Bay)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Dir. Michael Bay)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi. Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, Dir. Michael Bay)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi. Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Dir. Michael Bay)
Transformers: The Last Knight (2017, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi. Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins,, Josh Duhamel, Dir. Michael Bay)
Bumblebee (2018, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi. Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena, Dir. Travis Knight)
Musicals (7th - 17th September)
The recent success of The Greatest Showman soundtrack along with Hamilton’s huge popularity has boosted interest in musicals and you can revisit some classics here along with more recent entries such as the Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga remake of A Star is Born and ‘What if…’ styling’s of Yesterday.
A Star is Born (2018, Drama, Music, Romance. Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Dir. Bradley Cooper)
Annie (1982, Musical, Comedy, Drama, Family. Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Dir. John Huston)
Evita (1996, True life, Drama, History. Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas, Dir. Alan Parker)
Funny Girl (1968, True life, Comedy, Drama. Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Dir. William Wyler)
Grease (1978, Musical, Romance. John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway)
Hello Dolly! (1969, Adventure, Comedy, Musical. Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Dir. Gene Kelly)
Singin’ In The Rain (1952, Comedy, Musical, Romance. Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Dirs. Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly)
Sister Act (1992, Comedy, Crime, Family. Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Kathy Najimy)
Yesterday (2019, Comedy, Fantasy, Music. Himesh Patel, Lily James, Dir, Danny Boyle)
Lord of the Rings (18th - 20th September)
A short one this, only available for a couple of days, so if you’re wanting to tread Frodo’s perilous journey along with him and the rest of the Fellowship across all three lengthy movies, you’ll need to be prepared for some serious bingeing. Best pack that Lembas bread!
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001, Fantasy, Adventure, Drama. Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Dir. Peter Jackson)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002, Fantasy, Adventure, Drama. Sean Astin, Christopher Lee, Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davies, Dir. Peter Jackson)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003, Fantasy, Adventure, Drama. Andy Serkis, Billy Boyd, Miranda Otto. Karl Urban, Dominic Monaghan, Dir. Peter Jackson)
Superheroes (21st - 24th September)
Mixing up both the Marvel and DC universes (presumably scraping together whichever licenses they still have a claim to) Sky presents the best in costumed and caped escapades.
Avengers: Endgame (2019, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Dir. Anthony and Joe Russo)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2019, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Voices: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Dir. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey)
Shazam! (2019, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Dir. David F, Sandberg)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dir. Jon Watts)
Captain Marvel (2019, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Dir. Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck)
Thor (2011, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Dir. Kenneth Branagh)
Batman (1989, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Dir. Tim Burton)
Man of Steel (2013, Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Dir. Zack Snyder)
(Requires Sky TV subscription, Now TV Entertainment Pass)
A Black Lady Sketch Show (2019, S1) Sky Comedy
HBO comedy sketch show which is written, produced and performed by a cast of African-American female comedians including Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Quinta Brunson, and Gabrielle Dennis.
Two Weeks to Live (2020, S1, Comedy Series) Sky One
Following the mysterious death of her father, young Kim Noakes (Maisie Williams) is raised off the grid by her survivalist mother Tina. Now a young adult, Kim steps into the real world and experiences life for the first time as she honours her father’s memory. However, a drink in a local pub with a couple of hapless brothers results in an ill-judged prank going horribly wrong. This sets in motion a chain of life threatening events as murderous gangsters pursue Kim, her new associates, her Mum and the bag of stolen cash she now seems to be in possession of. Lucky for everyone in trouble, Kim and her Mum have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Hitting both small and large screens this month with this and the much delayed The New Mutants, Maisie Williams sheds her Arya Stark skin and moves on from Games of Thrones in this black comedy which promises laughs as well as peril.
The Russell Howard Hour (2020, S4, Topical Comedy/Standup) Sky One
Fresh from his home produced lockdown series Russell Howard’s Home Time, Russell returns to his main Sky show, albeit without a studio audience. We expect a similar format with his topical comedic take on current events (so there’ll no doubt be plenty of Coronavirus and US presidential election comments) as well as the Good Deeds segment and weekly guest interview. Kicking off the series will be Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver in the hotseat and Russell is inviting audience members to participate by sending in their own questions.
L.A.'s Finest (2020, S2, Action, Comedy, Crime, Series) Fox
The spinoff series from the Bad Boys films focuses on drug enforcement agent Sydney Burnett (Marcus’s sister) now working for the Los Angeles Police Department alongside Nancy McKenna.
The first season was inoffensive enough but it will be interesting to see just how this second season fares since the original Stateside June airdate was pushed back in response to the nationwide (indeed, global) outcry over police brutality. Shows like this, with their hyperreal approach and largely consequence-free approach to renegade policing are going to find themselves on a new playing field as far as public attitudes and perceptions goes.
Why Women Kill (2019, S1, Comedy, Drama, Series) Alibi
An anthology series that follows three women in different decades - a housewife in the '60s, a socialite in the '80s, and a lawyer in 2019 - all living in the same house, as they deal with infidelity and betrayals in their marriages.
From Marc Cherry, the creator of Desperate Housewives, the series takes a blackly comedic look at how the roles of women have changed, but their reaction to betrayal... has not.
The Third Day (2020, Limited Series, Drama, Mystery) Sky Atlantic
Sam (Jude Law) is drawn to a mysterious island off the British coast. Once there and isolated from the mainland, he is unable to leave the idyllic and dangerously enchanting world he has discovered. The secretive rituals of its inhabitants bring him to grapple with experiences of loss and trauma hidden in his past through the distorted lens of the present. As boundaries between fantasy and reality fragment, his quest to unlock the truth leads the islanders to reveal a shocking secret.
Also starring Naomie Harris, Katherine Waterston, Paddy Considine and Emily Watson, the production features three interconnected stories which take place in three parts - Summer, Autumn, Winter. While Summer is centred around Law, and Winter focuses on Naomie Harris’s strong-willed outsider who comes to the island seeking answers, the middle Autumn section which takes place on 3rd October will be a single-take, live broadcast described as a "major immersive theatre event".
Room 104 (2018, S2) Sky Comedy
Anthology series set in room 104 of a seemingly average American motel, each time telling a different story of the assorted guests who pass through, which can range from funny and fantastical to dramatic and horrifying.
FBI: Most Wanted (2020, S1) Sky Witness
Tasked with tracking, pursuing and capturing the most notorious criminals on the FBI's Most Wanted list, seasoned agent Jess LaCroix (Julian McMahon) oversees a highly skilled team, which functions as a mobile undercover unit that's always out in the field, chasing those who are most desperate to elude justice.
High Maintenance (2020, S4) Sky Comedy
A comedy that explores the private lives of unique New York individuals through a common thread: their weed deliveryman, known only as “The Guy”.
Born out of a web series shown on Vimeo, the often, plotless, meandering vignettes take the time to explore the human condition in often luxurious and twisty reveries.
The Comey Rule (2020, Limited Series) Sky Atlantic
Two men with strikingly different personalities, ethics and loyalties have to work together but soon find themselves on a collision course. One of those men is James Comey, Director of the FBI, the other is Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America.
Based on James Comey’s book A Higher Loyalty and more than another year of research and interviews with key principals, this two part mini series stars Jeff Daniels as Comey and Brendan Gleeson as Trump and explores the behind-the-headlines account of the historically turbulent events surrounding the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath.
9-1-1: Lone Star (2020, S1) Sky Witness
Emergency service procedural set in Austin, Texas starring Rob Lowe and Liv Tyler.
The Resident (2019, S3) Sky Witness
Medical drama starring Matt Czuchry as a brilliant but tough senior resident who takes a new doctor under his wing.
Blindspot (2020, S5 Final) Sky Witness
Sullivan Stapleton and Jamie Alexander return for the final season of this crime drama centering on a woman with tattoos of crimes needing to be solved.
Evil (2019, S1) Alibi
A skeptical female clinical psychologist joins a priest-in-training and a blue-collar contractor as they investigate supposed miracles, demonic possession, and other extraordinary occurrences to see if there's a scientific explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work.
Factual - Arts, Documentaries, History
Race to Perfection (2020, Docu-Series) Sky Documentaries
To mark the sport's 70th anniversary, Sky and F1 utilise their rich and impressive archive footage, including some rare or unseen, to tell the iconic stories of the sport through the decades, giving fans a real insight into the sport's history and personalities.
Rankin’s 2020 (2020, Reality Series) Sky Arts
To celebrate the Sky Arts channel becoming free to air in September, an exciting opportunity was launched which invited photographers from all walks of life to submit images reflecting the turbulent year we are all experiencing and representing categories including family, fun, self, beauty, empathy and nature. These categories will be explored on a weekly basis in Rankin’s 2020 in which host, renowned UK photographer John Rankin Waddell (known professionally as Rankin) is joined by celebrities to discuss the entries and pick a winner.
So that’s it for September. As new content is added, we’ll update the listing, so be sure to check back so you don’t miss out. In the meantime, why not leave a comment and let us know what you’re looking forward to, what you’ve enjoyed and maybe what was disappointing.