Karl Puschmann takes a look at some of the best upcoming movies and shows.
"Spring. Rejuvenation. Rebirth. Everything's blooming. All that crap." The immortal words of Seinfeld's George Costanza inspired us to spring-clean our winter blues and look ahead to all the cool movies and television looming on the soon-to-be sun-filled horizon. Of course all that sun will necessitate pulling the curtains to block it out but, still, you get the idea.
The Big Screen
Rambo: Last Blood
Like an unclaimed fart in a crowded elevator Sylvester Stallone's Vietnam veteran John Rambo is silent, but violent. This fifth, most likely final, outing has been a long time coming and sees the brooding action man travel to Mexico to save his niece from the clutches of a drug cartel. Expect many bullets to fly when Rambo blows up the screen on September 19.
Hustlers The old proverb says the way to a man's heart is through his stomach but this crime comedy caper proves taking your clothes off to be quicker and more lucrative. It's based on a true story about a group of strippers who hustle wealthy clients out of wads of cash. With the formidable cast of Constance Wu, J-Lo, Julia Stiles, Lizzo and Cardi B comin' for ya cash, men better keep an eye on their balance sheet from October 10.
Jojo Rabbit Hometown hero Taika Waititi takes on Hitler in this World War II satire that looks heil-arious and possibly career ending. Still, the movie's controversial, edgy premise - a young boy's imaginary friend is the evil dictator - didn't stop stars like Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson and Stephen Merchant goosestepping into roles. Hey, if it's good enough for ScarJo, it's good enough for us. Jojo Rabbit bounces into cinemas on October 24.
Frozen II If kids play any part in your life, then let it go and just accept that a trip to see Frozen II is in your near future. The first musical adventure about two sisters captured children's imaginations back in 2013 and its icy grip hasn't thawed in all this time. Disney isn't gonna mess the sequel up and, indeed, the trailer looks great. At the very least, parents will be overjoyed to add some new songs to the kids' playlist after it slides on to screens on November 28.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker This is it. The long-awaited, conclusion to the long-running Skywalker saga that's been going since 1977 and will have taken, in total, nine wildly uneven and tonally all-over-the-show movies to tell. At this point there are more questions than answers: Were Rey's parents really nobodies? Is she related to Kylo Ren? Is Luke really dead? Will they bring back the Ewoks? Who knows? We'll find out if the force is strong with this last big Star Wars story just before Christmas, on December 19.
The Small Screen
We're big fans of this comedy game show that tasks comedians with completing, um, tasks. These are usually bizarre and nonsensical things and watching funny people flailing at them is a very entertaining use of your time. But we're especially amped for the new season because our very own funny girl Rose Matafeo is one of this season's contestants. We'll be wishing her luck in bringing home the glory when it kicks off on TVNZ's Duke shortly.
Mr Robot The conclusion of this popular computer hacking drama boots up on Lightbox next month. It follows the troubled and paranoid tech wunderkind Elliot on his mission to take down the 1 per cent, via the power of computers. The series has toyed with viewers, presenting many questions and mysteries all of which we're told will all be answered. Coming down the mainframe from October 7.
His Dark Materials HBO continues looking for its new Game of Thrones and this would seem as good a punt as any. Based on Philip Pullman's popular steampunk-high fantasy trilogy of novels about two children and the animal manifestations of their souls embarking on a dangerous journey through parallel universes. Heavy stuff but there are also big fight scenes with talking polar bears, so it all balances out. Expected on SoHo/Neon next month.
The Mandalorian Yes, more Star Wars ... sorry about that ... but come on! Everything about this looks soooo good, from Jon Favreau being announced as show running, to Taika Waititi guest directing, through to the grizzly documentary-maker Werner Herzog having a starring role. Disney are using this series to entice viewers to its upstart streaming platform Disney+ and we gotta admit, we're enticed. The Mandalorian shoots into homes in November.
The Witcher Meanwhile Netflix is also looking for a new Game of Thrones and this would also seem as good a punt as any. Based on the popular videogame franchise, itself based on a popular series of Polish fantasy novels, this show promises most of the ingredients that made GoT a worldwide hit; a grounded fantasy world, murky politics, big violent battles and a non-bashful approach to the human body. The Witcher casts its spell in December.