After its best ever month in July – Paddington, The Imitation Game and ’71, if you missed it – Amazon Prime Instant Video was always going to struggle in August, but the VOD service has saved a few big blockbusters for the final summer blowout, with Christopher Nolan, Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman outings on the cards.
Kids out of school are catered for, too, thanks to the arrival of Amazon’s new original show, Wishenproof!, and Prince Caspian, while there’s a slice of classy period drama, a slow-paced Western and a sting of horror for the parents.
Here are the top 12 new releases coming soon to Amazon Prime Instant Video in August 2015:
Sex and the City 2 – Saturday 1st August
Warner Bros’ sequel to the feature film spin-off from the hit TV series may have lost the charm of its original episodes, but that doesn’t Michael Patrick King and his female foursome from flying to Abu Dhabi.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – Tuesday 4th August
Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce star as the parents of a young girl who finds the family’s new mansion is also home to critters in the basement that only come out when the lights are off. Guillermo Del Toro’s co-written script keeps the kids’ perspective creepily convincing, while Troy Nixey’s direction plays on moving shadows with genuinely spooky tension.
Final Destination – Thursday 6th August
What happens if you cheat death? It comes back to get you, obviously. That simple premise sparked a whole franchise of enjoyable and uniquely silly slasher flicks without an actual slasher. Remind yourself how it all began with the original.
Masters of Sex: Season 2 – Thursday 6th August
Showtime’s period drama about Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson – “the couple who taught America how to love” – picked up a Golden Globe nod for Best Drama following its first season. With Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan both back for the second run, the acclaim comes as no surprise.
Inception – Saturday 8th August
Christopher Nolan’s mind-blowing sci-fi literally folds Paris in on itself to achieve the director’s ambitious, imaginative aims: to dissect dreams, reality and memories within the constraints of a mainstream blockbuster. The form struggles at times to keep hold of the content – and that’s exactly the point. If you’ve never seen it, here’s your chance. If you already have, see it again.
Troy – Thursday 13th August
Wolfgang Peterson’s historical epic joined a sea of historical epics sweeping cinemas in the wake of Lord of the Rings. Brad Pitt stars as Greek legend Achilles, while Orlando Bloom is entertainingly wet as Paris, prince of Troy, lover of Helen (Diane Kruger) and younger brother to Eric Bana’s manly Hector.
Wishenproof! Season 1 – Friday 14th August
Amazon’s animated preschool series, created by Angela C. Santomero (of Blue’s Clues fame), aims to teach children lessons through imaginative play, inspiring them to solve life’s big preschool problems in creative ways. The show revolves around Bianca (Addison Holley, Annedroids), who solves life’s problems in her own creative ways, because with magic, or without, we all have the power to make good choices.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian – Friday 14th August
The second of Walden Media’s trio of takes on CS Lewis’ classic novels, Prince Caspian sees Ben Barnes play the titular heir, who finds himself fighting for the throne against his corrupt uncle, King Miraz. Darker than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the violence is sanitised but makes for an entertainingly action-filled sequel. Peter Dinklage as the cynical Trumpkin is the icing on the cake.
The Conjuring – Sunday 16th August
James Wan’s old-fashioned horror moves from the fascinating – a pair of paranormal investigators with a roomful of scary MacGuffins – to the familiar – a haunted house – but the cast and Wan’s direction ensure that there is enough creepiness to balance out the conventions.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – Thursday 20th August
Andrew Dominik’s slow-paced tale of Jesse and Robert’s friendship, which gradually simmers until boiling over into the titular killing, makes for an absorbing Western. Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck are magnetic.
Catastrophe: Season 1 – Sunday 23rd August
Rob Delaney and Sharon Hordan star in Channel 4’s sitcom, which sees Sharon get pregnant following a brief hook-up with Rob, while he is in the UK on business. Written by the pair, it’s a show that delights in the couple’s chemistry – so much so that the broadcaster has already ordered another season and Amazon has snapped it up as an original series to release in other countries.
The Fugitive – Thursday 27th August
Back before action movies were complex and full of high concepts, Andrew Davis’ 90s action thriller stripped down its plot to a simple, timeless premise: an innocent man accused of murdering his wife goes on the run while trying to track down the real, one-armed killer. Harrison Ford has rarely been more charismatic.
Other new releases on Amazon Prime in August 2015
Saturday 1st August
Happy Endings: Seasons 1 to 3
My Gal Sunday
Mom’s Day Away
Monday 3rd August
A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song
Saturday 15th August
No Ordinary Family: Season 1
Off the Map: Season 1
Thursday 27th August