The summer movie season isn't quite over, as far as theatrical releases are concerned. But the back sweat and chafing that happens anytime you leave the house during the dog days of August may mean that a trip to the multiplex just isn't worth it, no matter how hard the air conditioning is pumping. HBO knows your pain, and has added a tantalizing plethora of movies to its streaming and on demand services. Whether new releases or old favorites are your bag, the many new movies on HBO Now and HBO Go this month have something for everyone. So, besides replays of your favorite John Oliver segments and Sex And The City dates gone wrong, what good movies are on HBO Now this August?
Movie tastes are incredibly personal, and this selection represents just a fraction of the options available on both services. (Aug. 1 is the release date for each, unless noted.) So, if these films don't whet your appetite, go forth to HBO Now and HBO Go and see what does. Leave the merciless heat and stifling commute to the movie theater to the less stream-savvy. These 11 movies — a cross section of the many genres on tap at HBO — are just waiting for you to grab a cool drink and press play.
1. Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)
Too busy catching raunchy comedies and those other kinds of superhero movies to see 2014's Best Picture winner in theaters? The Alexander Iñárritu film that owned the last awards season and heralded Michael Keaton's comeback is now yours to stream.
2. Four Weddings And A Funeral
This 1994 rom-com classic could not be more charming and minted Hugh Grant as the bumbling Englishman of everyone's dreams. Screenwriter Richard Curtis went on to write and direct a little movie that now heralds the coming of the holiday season around my house: Love Actually.
3. The Theory Of Everything — August 15
Birdman's Michael Keaton lost the Oscar to Eddie Redmayne for the latter actor's full transformation into theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and odds-defying human being Stephen Hawking. Felicity Jones also turns in a beautiful performance as Hawking's astonishingly strong wife Jane.
4. Charlie's Angels
This 2000 adaptation of the campy '70s spy series is way more fun and well put-together than it really needs to be. Come to watch Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore kick butt in cute outfits, stay for the arch humor and tongue-in-cheek attitude.
It's perfectly acceptable to still feel a little raw about the cancellation of Joss Whedon's space western Firefly, but at least the adventures of Captain Mal Reynolds and his crew continue (and get a bigger budget) with this movie version.
6. A Fish Called Wanda
Anyone who dares call herself a Monty Python fan must watch this 1988 heist comedy, which stars a few of the Pythons and was written by John Cleese. Bonus: Jamie Lee Curtis's wardrobe is a wonderland of shoulder pads and gold buttons.
7. The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies — August 8
Did The Hobbit screen adaptation need to be three movies long? Absolutely not. Do I mind that it gave me several more hours of Peter Jackson's masterful direction and a longer stay in the magical and dangerous world of Middle Earth? Again, absolutely not.
8. Veronica Mars
Fans made this theatrical sequel to the spy dramedy that made Kristen Bell a star a reality through a record-breaking crowd fundraiser. This movie was clearly a labor of love for Bell, her co-stars, and showrunner Rob Thomas; their passion for these characters shines through.
9. Meet The Parents
Cringe comedy hit its heights with Meet The Parents. Ben Stiller's every embarrassment is somehow a joy. Robert De Niro is obviously having a ball with this part. And it's probably the most quotable movie of 2000.
10. Dances With Wolves
Kevin Costner won a Best Picture Oscar for this 1990 drama and a Best Director Oscar for himself. He also stars in the movie as a Civil War soldier who angers his superiors by finding kinship with a Native American tribe. Wolves too, hence the name.
11. John Tucker Must Die
Ashanti, Arielle Kebbel, Sophia Bush, and Brittany Snow join forces to take out teenage lothario Jesse Metcalfe in this 2006 high school comedy. Enough said.
With all these gems at your fingertips, your August watch schedule is set. Happy streaming!
Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures