Every month, streaming services in Australia add a new batch of movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for July.
For three consecutive Fridays in July, Netflix will be debuting a new feature-length horror film, each based on R.L. Stine’s “Fear Street” book series. In the first, a group of teens in 1994 investigate the supernatural connections to a pattern of murders that occur periodically in their town, Shadyside. The subsequent movies go further into the past — specifically 1978 and 1966 — building out a story that’s partly a spooky mystery and partly a knowing homage to the horror genre itself, in all its bloody and disturbing varieties.
‘I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson’ Season 2
The first season of this offbeat, fast-paced sketch comedy anthology became a left-field hit, helped along by fans on social media who turned a handful of moments from the show into viral memes. (Ever seen a picture on Twitter of the suspiciously defensive guy in the hot dog costume? That’s from “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson.”) Created by Robinson and Zach Kanin, the series is very silly but has a serious point-of-view, involving the many ways a stubbornly obnoxious or inconsiderate person can disrupt society’s tendency to smooth over rudeness.
This stylish action-comedy stars Karen Gillan as Sam, an assassin who relies on help from a team of righteously ferocious ladies, played by Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino and Lena Headey. When Sam makes a choice that flusters a mob boss (played by Paul Giamatti), she and her crew suddenly have to fend off a team of vengeful thugs. “Gunpowder Milkshake” was co-written and directed by Navot Papushado, who gives the film the look and feel of a pulpy cartoon.
‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 2
One of 2020s happiest surprises (in a year that didn’t have many) was the writer-producer Mindy Kaling’s semi-autobiographical high school sitcom about a talented Indian American teen who often disappoints her strict mother. At the end of season one, the heroine Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) had unexpectedly landed two potential boyfriends, and in the process worried her mom to a frazzle. Season two will continue Devi’s tale of impossible romantic dilemmas, while also delving further into how it feels to be a smart youngster shouldering heavy expectations.
Also arriving: “Audible” (July 1), “Generation 56k” Season 1 (July 1), “Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway” (July 1), “Young Royals” (July 1), “The 8th Night” (July 2), “Big Timber” Season 1 (July 2), “Haseen Dillruba” (July 2), “Mortel” Season 2 (July 2), “Cat People” Season 1 (July 7), “Dogs” Season 2 (July 7), “Elize Matsunaga: Once Upon a Crime” (July 8), “Atypical” Season 4 (July 9), “Biohackers” Season 2 (July 9), “How I Became a Superhero” (July 9), “How to Become a Tyrant” Season 1 (July 9), “Virgin River” Season 3 (July 9), “Naomi Osaka” Season 1 (July 13), “Ridley Jones” Season 1 (July 13), “A Classic Horror Story” (July 14), “The Guide to the Perfect Family” (July 14), “Heist” (July 14), “Private Network: Who Killed Manuel Buendía?” (July 14), “Beastars” Season 2 (July 15), “Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans” (July 21), “Blood Red Sky” (July 23), “The Last Letter from Your Lover” (July 23), “Sky Rojo” Season 2 (July 23), “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” Part 1 (July 25), “Resort to Love” (July 29), “Centaurworld” (July 30), “Outer Banks” Season 2 (July 30).
‘Serangoon Road’ Season 1
The ten episodes of this period crime drama found a devoted fan base when they originally aired in 2013, if not quite a big enough audience to justify making a second season. Set in mid-1960s Singapore, “Serangoon Road” has Don Many playing Sam Callaghan, a hard-boiled, Australian-born gun-for-hire who pitches in at a detective agency in need of his skills. The job stirs up a lot of conflicting feelings in Sam, who spent time in a prison camp as a boy and who sees the seeds of new conflicts growing in a Pacific region rocked by revolution and corruption.
‘Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail’
The first season of the humorist Simon Rich’s strange and wonderful comedy anthology series “Miracle Workers” was about Heaven’s low-level employees, trying to keep a bored God from destroying Earth. In the second season, a handful of plucky peasants tried to survive a violent clash between aristocratic families. Season three is set in the American frontier in 1844, and follows a motley set of dreamers and outlaws on a wagon train headed west. As always, “Miracle Workers” features the same core cast — led by Steve Buscemi, Daniel Radcliffe, Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni — but shuffles around their personality types, to keep the energy as unique as the premise.
‘Wake in Fright’
The 1971 film “Wake in Fright” — based on Kenneth Cook’s 1961 thriller novel — was controversial when it was released but has since been hailed as an Australian cinema classic. The book and film were later adapted for this two-part 2017 mini-series, which updates the story to the 21st century and changes some details while retaining the essential plot. In this version Sean Keenan plays John Grant, a schoolteacher who gets stuck in a mining town and soon finds himself drawn into the locals’ world of drunken binges and shady schemes. Like the book and the movie, the TV “Wake in Fright” is intense and unsettling, but is also an illuminating character study.
Based on a popular podcast of the same name, the medical melodrama “Dr. Death” stars Joshua Jackson as a Texas neurosurgeon who has a bad habit of maiming or even killing his patients. Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater play the doctors who begin to suspect their charming and successful colleague is a quack — or worse, a sociopath. Stephen Frears directs the first two episodes of this true-crime series about how even in a profession driven by science, the appearance of confidence can be dangerously persuasive.
‘The Comeback Trail’
This showbiz satire follows a cash-strapped B-movie producer who tries to pay off some debts by “accidentally” killing an aging star during a heavily insured production. Robert De Niro plays the producer, Max Barber, while Tommy Lee Jones is the actor, Duke Montana — a grizzled old western hero who proves frustratingly hard to murder. Morgan Freeman also pops up, as a gangster putting pressure on Max. “The Comeback Trail” was co-written and directed by George Gallo, remaking an obscure 1982 picture that combined elements of “The Producers” and “The Ladykillers.”
In this Australian western, Simon Baker plays Travis, a sniper wrestling with his guilt over the massacre of an Aboriginal tribe in 1919. When he reluctantly returns to the Northern Territory over a decade later to hunt the ruthless warrior Baywara (Sean Mununggurr), he asks the killer’s nephew Gutjuk (Jacob Junior Nayinggul) — one of the massacre’s survivors — to help with the tracking. Written by Chris Anastassiades and directed by Stephen Maxwell Johnson, “High Ground” is a dark adventure film about people confronting a nation’s violent past.
Also arriving: “The Accident” (July 1), “Liverpool FC: The End of the Storm” (July 1), “The Extreme Diet Hotel” (July 2), “Jamie & Jimmy’s Foot Fight Club” Seasons 3-6 (July 2), “Liverpool Narcos” (July 2), “Dedicated to Dance” (July 8), “The Nest” (July 9), “Vigilante Mums” (July 14), “Archibald’s Next Big Thing” (July 16), “Beyond Appearances” (July 16), “First Wives Club” Season 2 (July 16), “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (July 18), “Mystery Road” Season 2 (July 20), “Youngest Grandparents” (July 21), “Blinded by the Lights” Season 1 (July 22), “When Hope Calls” (July 23), “Perfect Places” Season 2 (July 26), “Taina” Seasons 1-2 (July 30), “Teletubbies” (July 30).
‘The Tomorrow War’
Amazon has lately been getting into the blockbuster business: first with Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America,” and now with this reportedly 200 million-dollar science-fiction thriller, originally intended to be Paramount’s big Christmas Day 2020 theatrical release (before the pandemic changed those plans). In “The Tomorrow War,” Chris Pratt plays a man who responds to a message from the future, where some desperate humans are seeking reinforcements from the past to help fight against world-dominating aliens. The stellar cast also includes J.K. Simmons, Yvonne Strahovski, Betty Gilpin and Sam Richardson, each adding their own unique energy to this explosive special effects spectacle.
‘Luxe Listings Sydney’
There’s something oddly appealing about watching superrich people walk around multimillion-dollar estates. In “Luxe Listings Sydney,” the wealthy folks in question are in the market for stunning new Australian homes, which they find with the help of three experienced and highly competitive real estate agents. Like similar property-hunting shows, this one is partly about the challenge of pleasing demanding clients — but it’s even more about the wide variety of eye-popping mega-mansions available to those with the dough.
‘Making the Cut’ Season 2
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn resume their reality competition series — which follows the basic format of their old show “Project Runway” — with designers whipping up eye-catching clothes on a tight deadline. In “Making the Cut,” however, the contestants jet around the world for inspiration. Rather than sweating over a sewing machine the creators focus more on designing itself, coming up with signature looks that could become part of the next great global brand. Season one featured strong personalities and nifty outfits; expect more of the same from season two.
‘The Pursuit of Love’
Emily Mortimer wrote and directed this three-part mini-series adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s semi-autobiographical novel about the generation of young aristocrats sometimes called “the bright young things,” who questioned the old British values in the years between the first two world wars. Lily James and Emily Beecham play cousins struggling through the traditional processes of being introduced to society and married off, although their closest emotional bond has always been to one another. Mortimer brings this story to the small screen with panache, using a snappy visual style and a soundtrack filled with anachronistic pop music, making the past’s problems feel more modern.
Also arriving: “Leverage: Redemption” (July 9), “El Cid” Season 2 (July 15).