Amazon continues it campaign to keep you away from the real world with a diverse bunch of summer releases. From a new kids’ series to a trio of Zack Snyder actioners, everything from Superman to Soderbergh is on the way. But it’s the smaller surprises that promise to keep you occupied in June, including Season 2 of the gripping Halt and Catch Fire and Studio Ghibli’s first ever film on UK subscription VOD.
Kate and Mim-Mim (Season 1) – Monday 1st June
Amazon adds to its already impressive kids’ TV line-up with this 52-episode pre-school animation that follows five-year-old Kate and her funny bunny buddy, Mim-Mim, on their fantastical adventures in the imaginary land of Mimiloo.
Desperate Housewives (Seasons 1 to 8) – Monday 1st June
Marc Cherry’s series, set in the fictional Wisteria Lane, follows a group of housewives as they work through the personal issues, mysteries and murders lingering beneath the seemingly perfect surface. American Beauty meets Sex and the City? The later seasons may not live up to the cast, which includes Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria and Kyle MacLachlan, but it gets off to a strong start.
Halt and Catch Fire (Season 2) – Tuesday 2nd June
AMC’s period drama about a computer company attempting to reverse engineer an IBM PC to create their own rival machine is a visually sumptuous, well-acted drama that grips thanks to its efficient cast – Scoot McNairy and Lee Pace – and precisely calculated characters.
300 – Thursday 4th June
The first of three Zack Snyder films to hit Amazon Prime this month, 300’s Gerard Butler-wielding, loin cloth-wearing, slow-mo-loving testosterone fest makes for one stylish, if shallow, watch.
Beetlejuice – Thursday 4th June
Michael Keaton delivers a career-defining performance in Tim Burton’s 1988 comedy fantasy, which follows a couple haunting their former house (home to a new family, including Winona Ryder). Not bad for a turn lasting only 17 minutes.
Invictus – Thursday 4th June
Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star in Clint Eastwood’s biopic about South Africa’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 1995, following the end of apartheid.
Sucker Punch – Thursday 4th June
Amazon’s Zack Snyder-fest continues with this violent fantasy about a group of young girls escaping a mental institution through imaginary sequences of video game-like action.
The Hangover Part III – Saturday 6th June
The Hangover trilogy reaches its inevitable conclusion.
The Wizard of Oz – Thursday 11th June
What else is there to say about Victor Fleming’s 1939 masterpiece about Dorothy (Judy Garland), who finds herself blown away in a storm to the merry, brightly coloured world of Oz.
Mixology – Monday 15th June
The first of two cancelled series picked up by Amazon (see also: Intelligence), Mixology follows a group of strangers meeting up in a Manhattan bar. With a new couple drinking every night, the set-up has enough variety to keep the cocktail of characters fresh.
Contagion – Wednesday 17th June
Steven Soberbergh’s film about a plague spreading across the planet is not only scarily believable but grippingly tense, with a cast of dead A-Listers walking, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Matt Damon and Jude Law.
Isao Takahata and His Tale of the Princess Kaguya – Monday 22nd June
Update: Amazon has now confirmed that this is not the actual film, but the feature-length documentary that has already been released separately on DVD. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya will be released on Amazon Instant Video and other pay-per-view platforms on 13th July. We expect it to arrive on Amazon Prime shortly afterwards.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Tuesday 23rd June
Tom Hanks is dead – and his son is struggling to deal with it. But while this big metaphor for the US recovering from 9/11 is heavy-handed Oscar bait, Thomas Horn’s performance means it’s actually very rewarding in its own extremely unsubtle way.
Serena – Tuesday 23rd June
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence reunite after Silver Linings Playbook for this weighty period drama about a timber entrepreneur who shacks up with the eponymous horse-riding female, a marriage that is destined not to have a happy ending.
A Nightmare on Elm Street – Friday 26th June
Wes Craven’s 1984 classic is a horror that not only made people afraid to fall asleep, but also launched the career of Johnny Depp in bed-chomping style.
Man of Steel – Sunday 28th June
Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Superman franchise may lack the primary colour appeal of Richard Donner’s original (recently added to Amazon Prime), but there are moments of Terrence Malick-like beauty among the serious drama – and Henry Cavill is perfect as the man in blue and red.
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