It’s the start of a new month, which means HBO Max is saying goodbye to many movies and hello to new ones. HBO Max also offers new seasons of shows that viewers can’t watch anywhere else, giving them all the more reason to subscribe to the premium service.
With so many fan favorites, this is sure to be a busy weekend for HBO Max subscribers. Fortunately, CBR is here with recommendations to add to the watchlist. Among the new films coming to HBO Max’s library are two thrillers starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Last night in Soho and Purebredand the heartfelt disaster film The impossible. There are also new seasons of a reality TV show and a paranormal mockumentary to dive into. As summer heats up and July is in full swing, catch these fan-favorite movies and TV shows on HBO Max this weekend.
Last Night in Soho takes the party back to the 1960s
As another addition to Edgar Wright’s stellar resume, Last night in Soho jumps on the trend of period films and psychological thrillers to create a colorful journey. Last night in Soho was among the many movies added to HBO Max’s library for July, and that’s enough to drive up the hefty subscription fees. Despite getting mixed reviews for its writing, the cinematography, costume design, and unique direction are enough to soften the reviews. Exemplary performances from Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith and Thomasin McKenzie don’t hurt too badly either. It also marks the final film appearances of Diana Rigg and Margaret Nolan, who both passed away in 2020.
Last night in Soho is much more than it seems. While opening on McKenzie’s Eloise, who aspires to be a fashion designer who focuses on the Swinging Sixties, the film morphs into something altogether more twisted and compelling. She begins to dream of Taylor-Joy’s Sandie, who is an aspiring singer in the 1960s, but her dreams begin to flood into real life. Last night in Soho is delightful and smooth, thanks to the illustrated storyline that’s underpinned by Wright’s ability to use imagery to weave the story together, piece by piece.
Thoroughbreds put their hearts into Heartless
If viewers can’t get enough of Anya Taylor-Joy, Next Stop is a tragically underrated movie, Purebred. Although it’s not as flashy as Last night in Soho, Purebred still exercises the mind, twisting the narrative with unexpected character turns and arcs. We still wonder how Cory Finley, director of Purebred and Bad Education, is not a well-known director after the release of this black comedy film. Finley manages to craft such an unpredictable film that stands out in the teen thriller genre.
Purebred follows two teenage girls – Olivia Cooke as Amanda and Taylor-Joy as Lily, two former best friends who are now dangerous allies. The two couldn’t be more different, with Amanda as a deranged and shameless teenager who had a disturbing experience with animal cruelty and Lily as a preppy and innocent. But the two girls find that when they combine forces, their murderous sides begin to become transparent. When Lily expresses her hatred for her stepfather, Amanda offers to kill him. The movie turns into a masterclass of villainy and old-fashioned “fake-it-till-you-make-it,” with an elaborate theft scheme and the childhood friends reuniting with each other.
The impossible balance between emotion and thrills
For many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s big-mouthed Spider-Man, The impossible is best known as the movie that started it all for Tom Holland. Making his film debut as a child actor, Holland really made his paycheck in this disaster flick. But other than connecting to another MCU actor, The impossible is just full of performance that makes the viewing experience worthwhile. Naomi Watts was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Actress, and deservedly so. Ewan McGregor (who recently dipped his toes back into the star wars franchise) also holds the film on its shoulders as it remains bloody and determined for most of the story.
The impossible is based on the true experience of María Belón and her family, who survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Watts and McGregor star as Maria and Henry, parents of Lucas, Thomas and Simon. The family is vacationing in Thailand when the tsunami hits without warning, and the family must endure the chaotic aftermath to find each other. Most impressively, the tsunami scenes weren’t all digital effects – the team created real surges in a massive water tank, which Watts and Holland spent five weeks filming in. Holland later described the experience as “frightening” and “brutal”, but the result was nothing short of compelling.
The Bridge Season 2 ups the ante
Most reality TV shows these days focus on that – competition – and enforce an “every man for himself” mentality. The bridge has the same underlying feeling – seeing that only one person wins the prize money – but it’s less about the outcome and more about the journey that gets them there. The bridge is also a British adaptation of the Spanish reality television El Puentewhich follows the same principle.
Like most reality TV shows, The bridge brings together 12 candidates from different backgrounds. They must all work together to build a bridge from a dock at their campsite to another destination (where the prize money is kept) approximately 1,000 feet long in 12 days. It may seem that finishing the bridge is the end of the road, but there is a catch. When the team is finished, they must all choose the prize winner based on their contribution to completing the bridge. The first season was set in the Welsh hills, but the second season is set a bit further afield in Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. Another key difference is that Season 2 features another team to face, unlike Season 1, which only had one team to follow.
Wellington Paranormal Season 3 continues the hunt for the supernatural
Before Wellington ParanormalThe final season premieres July 28 on HBO Max, be sure to catch up with the gang in Season 3, which is always releasing new episodes. Everyone’s favorite New Zealand police team is back to take down only the scariest supernatural threats in this hilarious mockumentary. And this time it’s one of the most dangerous cases to date. It’s no surprise to learn that Taika Waititi serves as an executive producer on the show, given the show’s outlandish personality that stems from her run. What we do in the shadows.
This season’s supernatural cases are some of the best and might even seem familiar to viewers. The season 3 premiere is looking for an invisible creature and The boys fans, it might harken back to when Translucent was still a big threat. There’s also a shapeshifter that takes the form people fear most – much like the Boggart of Harry Potter universe. And just to remind viewers that the show wouldn’t be possible without Waititi, Episode 5 is titled “The Revengers.” There’s another Easter egg for all MCU fans, especially Thor: Ragnarok.