Play Hard


What we're watching, reading and doing this September.

Written by High Life North
Published 04.09.2020

By Christopher Kingston

It’s been pretty quiet at the cinema’s recently, with Tenet being the only major blockbuster released since lockdown ended. So once again we’re looking at the small screen for inspiration for our movies and TV shows, plus our usual book recommendations. Whether you like rom-coms, psychological horror or true crime, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.    

To save her small struggling law firm, dedicated lawyer Susan (Rachael Leigh Cook) takes on a high paying case from Nick (Damon Wayans Jr), a charming new client who wants to sue a dating website that guarantees love for its customers. As the case progresses, so do Susan and Nick’s feelings for each other in the latest rom-com to land on Netflix.

Love Guaranteed – 3rd Sept – Netflix 

Like Artemis Fowl before it, Disney has shifted its highly anticipated live-action Mulan movie from Cinemas to its streaming service, so you can now watch it from the comfort of your home. However, it’s worth noting subscribers will have to pay an additional one-off payment of £19.99 beyond the monthly Disney + fee in the UK to watch it, but after that will be able to watch it as many times as they like. Mulan tells the Chinese legend of a young woman who poses as a male warrior in order to save her father from joining the army. Starring Liu Yifei as Mulan and with an all Chinese cast including Jet Li as the Emperor of China and Donnie Yen as the commander of the army, this looks epic in scale and scope and is sure to be another hit for Disney.  

Mulan – 4th Sept – Disney + 

A Psychological horror from the mind of Charlie Kaufman, director of Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His films can be charmingly quirky or disturbingly weird, and you can expect things to get weird for this one. Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose) stars as ‘Young Woman’, who after some misgivings agrees to visit her in-laws at her new boyfriend’s parents secluded farm. Upon arriving she begins to question everything she thought she knew about him and herself. Also stars Toni Collette and David Thewlis as the in-laws.  

I’m Thinking of Ending Things – 4th Sept – Netflix

Spiderman: Far from Home star Tom Holland is making quite the name for himself in Hollywood circles, and leads an all-star cast in this thriller based on the novel by award-winning American writer Donald Ray Pollock. Some sinister characters converge around Arvin Russell (Holland), a young man devoted to protecting his family and loved ones in a post-war town teeming with corruption, in the form of an unholy preacher played by Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse), a twisted couple (Jason Clarke and Riley Keough) and a crooked sheriff played by fellow Avenger’s star Sebastian Stan.  

The Devil All the Time – 16th Sept – Netflix 

If you fancy something lighter in tone then Enola Holmes is the perfect mystery movie. Sherlock Holmes’ teenage sister Enola (played by Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown) becomes a sleuth in order to find her mother (Helena Bonham Carter). She must outsmart her big brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) and unravel a conspiracy that threatens to set back the course of history.

Enola Holmes – 23rd Sept – Netflix

Oscar-winner Hillary Swank stars as an American astronaut in Netflix’s ambitious new drama. Commander Emma Green (Swank) leads an international crew on a 3-year Interstellar first mission to Mars, where she must leave behind her beloved husband and daughter. As the crew’s journey through space progresses, the effects of being away from their loved ones get harder when the dynamics of the crew begins to suffer.

Away – 4th Sept – Netflix

From the creator of Desperate Housewives comes a 10-part comedy-drama about three women separated by time but connected by the same Californian mansion and their experiences of infidelity. And telling three separate stories that end in murder. Stars Lucy Liu, Ginnifer Goodwin and Kirby Howell-Baptise.

Why Women Kill – 11th Sept – Alibi

The award-winning 1975 film One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest remains one of the best cult classics of all time, with Jack Nicolson starring opposite Oscar-winner Louse Fletcher as Nurse Mildred Ratched. In creator Ryan Murphy’s eight-part series, Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) takes on the role of Ratched in this telling of her origin tale, following her as she arrives at the Lucia State Hospital and uses her position at the psychiatric hospital to intimidate her patients. In the series, it is revealed how she went from a caring nurse into a monstrous woman – lookout for a cast of eccentric characters and cameos, including Sharon Stone as heiress Lenore Osgood and her pet monkey.   

Ratched – 18th Sept  – Netflix 

If you are a young fan of the Jurassic World movie franchise, then you are going to love this new animated eight-part spin-off series set on the famous but ill-fated Isla Nublar. We follow a group of young teenagers on a once in a lifetime experience at a new adventure camp as they band together against rampaging dinosaurs that have been unleashed onto the island. One for the whole family to enjoy, especially if your youngers have never seen the movies.    

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous – Sept 18th – Netflix 

Based on the cult Channel 4 drama series from 2013, this American remake is written by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl / Sharp Objects). In this nine-episode series, we follow a group of die-hard comic book nerds who bond over their obsession with a graphic novel series called Dystopia. However, they believe the conspiracies within the novels are real and predict threats to humanity. Look out for John Cusack in his first regular TV role as a Doctor/billionaire who may or may not be responsible for the chaos to come.    

Utopia – 25th Sept – Amazon Prime 

ITV’s latest three-part drama looks at Scottish murderer Dennis Nilsen, played by Broadchurch actor David Tennant, (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Nelsen) who killed 15 young men and boys between 1978 and 1983. Based on the book Killing for Company by Brian Masters, it also stars Daniel Mays (Line of Duty) as Chief Inspector Peter Jay and Jason Watkins as Brian Masters 

Des – Coming Soon – ITV 

Honour is yet another two-part true-crime drama written for ITV. Keeley Hawes, of Spooks and Line of Duty fame, plays DCI Caroline Goode and is determined to find out what happened to 20-year-old Londoner Banaz Mahmod after her boyfriend reported her missing to the police. The series looks at the police investigation that followed.

Honour – Coming Soon – ITV 

A decade after her best seller, ‘How to Be a Woman’, Caitlin Moran’s latest book looks at the new challenges that come with being a woman in your forties. A funny, accurate and brilliant look at everything from feminism to motherhood.

More Than A Woman by Caitlin Moran – 3rd Sept – Hardback 

Noted by the New Yorker as “a book for people who enjoy embarrassment by proxy, which Taddeo uses to emphasize just how “relatable” these stories are” this is a sharp and funny look at the emotional and sexual lives three very different women from around the United States.

Three Women – Lisa Taddeo – out now 

Set in Naples, The Lying Life of Adults returns to Naples and follows two generations of a family as a young girl reunites with her estranged aunt in order to find out more about her family, desire and betrayal.

The Lying Life of Adults – Elena Ferrante – 1st Sept out now Hardback 

The fifth book in the Strike and Robin crime series from J.K.Rowling under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Detective Strike is visiting his family in Cornwall when he’s asked to help on a 40-year old cold case by a woman whose mother went missing in unusual and mysterious circumstances. What they unearth is a complex case that takes them to places they never expected.

Troubled Blood – Robert Galbraith – 15th Sept – Hardback 

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