Play Hard

6 TV series, films and books that are on our list this month

Our top picks to keep you entertained this August

Written by Chris Kingston
Published 04.08.2021


Jungle Cruise

The African Queen meets a crazy blend of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Pirates of the Caribbean in this rollicking action-adventure. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Emily Blunt play a captain and an archaeologist who together must navigate a boat up the Amazon River where they battle against the likes of jaguars, zombies and snakes in order to find the magical tree of life.

Get lost in this action-packed adventure that the whole family will enjoy.


In cinemas now  

The Last Letter From Your Lover

Based on the bestselling book by Jo Jo Moyes, the film stars Star Wars’ Felicity Jones, who plays a journalist who uncovers a trove of love letters from the 1960s before setting out to solve the mystery of a secret affair.

The movie also features Little Women’s Shailene Woodley and BBC thriller The Capture’s Callum Turner. If you loved Me Before You or just about anything written by Jo Jo Moyes, this is the perfect film for you.


In cinemas from August 6th  



I am Victoria

This new one-off drama stars the popular actress Suranne Jones, who’s well known for her outstanding roles in BBC’s Doctor Foster and Gentleman Jack. The story unfolds as a mother whose dream life is about to fall apart. She appears to have it all however her mental state is in turmoil and threatens everything she holds dear in her life.

Don’t forget to tune into the following two episodes that sitcom series Mum star Lesley Manville and Marvel’s Black Panthers star Letitia Wright.


Available on Channel 4 and All 4 from 5th August at 9.00 pm 


Nine Perfect Strangers 

Based on the best-selling book by Liane Moriarty, Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy lead a brilliant cast of actors which include Luke Evans and Michael Shannon.

This series follows nine strangers from the city who gather for a retreat at Tranquillum House, a health and wellness resort which promises to transform and heal the guests who stay there. However, the resort is not what it seems to be. The guests begin to discover many secrets about each other and the resort’s host Masha. If you enjoyed Big Little Lies you’ll love this!


Available on Amazon Prime from 20th August 


She Who Became The Sun – Shelley Parker-Chan (Hardback)

If you fancy a historical epic, then look no further than She Who Became the Sun. The novel is a bold reimagining of the rise to power of the Ming Dynasty’s founding emperor. This is the debut novel of Shelley Parker-Chan who’s an Asian-Australian who was a former diplomat who worked on human rights, gender equality and LGBT rights in South East Asia.

The book is set in 1345 and China is under harsh Mongol rule. In a famine-stricken village a seer shows two children their fates. Zhu Chongba must fight her despair and resolves to overcome her destiny. If you enjoy getting lost in myths and legends, you’re bound to love this one.


The Appeal – Janice Hallett  (Paperback and Kindle)

This standout debut thriller of 2021 delivers multiple brilliant twists and will change the way you think about the modern crime novel. This book is described as a modern-day take on an Agatha Christie novel but is written using emails and text messages to tell the story.

Two law students Charlotte and Ferni investigate a murder in the sleepy town of Lower Lockwood. Throughout an amateur dramatics society’s disastrous play they try to uncover the truth behind the strange happenings and to find the murderer before he strikes again. A really clever and enjoyable crime thriller that’ll have you on the edge of your seat.


Christopher Kingston
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