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July is finally here and it’s scorching outside! Really, really scorching, right? So, why not drag your dripping self out of that solar radiation for a minute and step into a nice, cool movie theater or your nice, frigid living room, because blockbuster season is upon us.  Mutants, monsters, super heroes, spies and even summer camp are all represented in this crazy month of thrilling movies and summertime shows. So pull up a chair, fix yourself a refreshing drink, and.... get watching!

The StrainThe Strain, Season 2 / Sunday, July 12 @10/9c / FX

As New York City falls to the epidemic of deadly mutant vampires, its citizens must fight for their lives. After Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stohl) and his ragtag band of survivors fail to destroy the leader and embodiment of this evil plague, known as The Master, this heroic group  decide to try a new approach- biological warfare.  As they work to create a new, deadly super weapon, The Master is busy creating and unleashing new strains of bloodthirsty abominations on a rampage of vengeance. Catch Season Two of Guillermo Del Torro’s horrifying, anti-Twilight take on the classic vampire monster, and then, sweet dreams.

Masters of SexMasters of Sex, Season 2 / Sunday, July 12 @10/9c / SHOWTIME

If gratuitous gore and violence isn’t your thing, maybe sex is? And no, I’m not talking about the softcore porn you might expect from a network like Showtime. Masters of Sex stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as famed, real-life sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. These two, now highly-respected scientists have been credited with inspiring the sexual revolution, and making millions of men and women around the world much happier. And what once was considered an anomaly in human behaviour, propelled this pair of scientists to rockstar-style fame. Though each of them had their own issues in life, at home and within their own psyches, they found solace in the work they did together. The end of the last season saw the two becoming much more than just business partners, as their own relationship transforms into intimacy.

ImpastorImpastor / Wednesday, July 15 @10:30/9:30c / TV Land

This new comedy from TV Land features professional loser and deep-in-debt scalawag Buddy Dobbs (Michael Rosenbaum), and Dora (Sara Rue), his prim and somewhat anal retentive assistant, and their quite unique circumstances. Buddy owes some pretty nefarious people money-- money he doesn’t have. So what’s a guy to do? How about run away, and maybe steal the identity of a preacher who talked you out of killing yourself by jumping off a bridge, and pose as that guy for a few days? Sure Buddy, that sounds like a really good plan! Too bad nobody told him the pastor he’s impersonating is openly gay, a can of worms this committed hetero-sexual is going to have to open all by himself! Now this should be very funny, right!

MarriedMarried / Thursday, July 16 @10:30/9:30c / FX

This half-hour comedy stars funny man Nat Faxon as Russ, a middle-aged suburban dad, and Judy Greer (Nip Tuck) as his wife. Like many couples who have been together for so long, their struggles through the boredom and monotony of bills, kids, debt and working a 9-5 job makes life, and their waning romance, a bit too predictable. But even through the ridiculous struggles of “happily ever after”, they manage to find those moments in life that manage to rekindle the excitement of living-- reigniting their romance with each little adventure they experience in adulthood. Another thing that helps them get along- is their shared friends, amusing and original odd balls, whose antics help the pair spice up life, even in the oft-tedious, mundane world of suburbia.

Ant-manAnt-Man / Friday, July 17 / Marvel Films

Ant-Man is Marvel’s latest installment in its ever-expanding universe of super-hero canon. Originally a founding member of the Avengers in the old comic series, this tiny warrior finally makes his debut on the silver screen. Armed with a suit that allows him to shrink in size, but retain his human-sized strength, master thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a crime fighter that redefines the way we think of super powers... and the kind of people who could use such powers for the greater good. In his premiere, Lang  finds himself embracing destiny as he must help his mentor, Doctor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), keep the technology of the ant suit away from evil doers. Against all odds, and a similarly-suited villain named Yellow Jacket (Darren Cross), Lang and Pym must pull off a mysterious heist that could save the world as we know it!

TUTTUT/ Sunday, July 19 @9/8c / SPIKE

Using historical references and experts in Egyptology, Spike TV brings us the tale of the famous King Tutankhamun, better known to most of us by his screen name, King Tut. This epic series event takes some cues from HBO’s Game of Thrones (and even a few of its actors), and the series was even shot as if it were a blockbuster summer movie. Actually located in Egypt, with scenes of ancient warfare and a set that would blow your mind, Tut dramatically pushes the boundaries of what a cable network can bring to its audience, and big budgets and big stars, including Sir Ben Kingsley, will dazzle and surprise. The story follows the young Tutankhamun (Tut), played by the young and talented Avan Jogia, who is trained from birth to be a god among men, both through bloodshed and politics. “I’ve watched him, through rehearsals and through the filming process, grow into Tut,” said actor Nonso Anozie, who plays the general of Tut’s army, about newcomer Avan Joggia in a behind the scenes interview.  “I don’t believe anyone else could have played it the way he’s playing it.” But who can he really trust with such high stakes up for grabs, and an unstable empire beneath him? With the hype of a summer blockbuster, and a remarkably talented cast, this cable television event is one to look forward to.

SouthpawSouthpaw / Wednesday, July 24 / Dreamworks-Escape Artists

Move over Rocky! This summer’s fresh, new boxing drama is taking the stage, and possibly an Academy Award with it. Southpaw stars Jake Gyllenhaal as boxer Billy “The Great” Hope, a man who has seen success in the ring in the past, but has fallen into misfortune. Hitting rock bottom, Billy must pick himself off the ground like a good fighter is supposed to do, and try one more time, if nothing but for the sake of his family. He finally finds an unlikely friend and ally with Titus ‘Tick’ Willis (Forrest Whitaker), a former fighter who was forced to retire after losing an eye and now trains the best of amateur fighters. With everything on the line, and with one last second chance, Billy must give his all if he’s going to make the most of his comeback.  


I Am Cait!I Am Cait! / Sunday, July 26 / E!

In case you missed it (and how could you?), Bruce Jenner announced in April that she is a trans- woman, and then in June, on the cover of Vanity Fair, she told the world to call her Caitlyn. Some people, especially those who came out as transgender to much less fanfare, and much more hatred, have dismissed the cover shoot as a cynical ploy to boost the ratings for her upcoming reality TV show. Regardless of what her (and her PR team’s) intentions were, we know this announcement and photo shoot has proven one good thing for sure: it’s becoming less and less taboo to talk about LGBT issues. “So many people go through life and they never deal with their own issues, no matter what the issues are,” says Jenner. “But how many people go through life and just waste an entire life because they never deal with themselves—to be who they are?” In a gender-fluid age, that’s a fantastic lesson to remember.


Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of CampWet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp / Friday, July 31 / Netflix

For those who loved the film, the ever-faithful Netflix has once again come through. Netflix will be releasing the new miniseries Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp based on the original film, on July 31, 2015, and most of the original cast will be returning. That includes such huge stars as Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo, Bradley Cooper, and Paul Rudd, as well as a bunch of others. Just as the original film took place on the last day of a Jewish summer camp, this prequel is set on the first day, as its title makes plain. The miniseries will be a ridiculous romp through sexual tension and absurdity, especially because all of these actors from the original will be playing younger versions of themselves—over a decade later!


Mission Impossible: Rogue NationMission Impossible: Rogue Nation / Friday, July 31 / Paramount

Once again the Mission Impossible franchise is releasing another installment of their heart-pounding collection of spy thrillers. With the Impossible Mission Force now disbanded, a new threat emerges to take its place as the premiere global force of espionage. This new group, called the Syndicate, is made up of highly-trained operatives of its own, a small army of spies that could be around any corner. Now, agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team must strike back, before the Syndicate establishes a new world order through calculated terrorist attacks. Look forward to this one folks, as this should prove to be the most seemingly “impossible mission” yet. Also starring Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin and Ving Rhames.

VacationVacation / Friday, July 31 

It seems summer is a great time for sequels. Early this month, we got to travel back to the future with Terminator: Genisys, and at the end of this month, we’ll be on the edge of our seats with Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. But for those who want a more lighthearted escape from the summer heat, why not take a road trip back to everybody’s favorite theme park, Walley World. That’s right! The adventure comedy franchise Vacation is coming back, just when we’re all taking our midsummer time off. Ed Helms stars as Rusty, the son of the original crazed vacationer Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase, who is also reprising his role), only this time Helms is taking his wife (Christina Applegate) and kids on a surprise trip to Walley World. Other huge stars in the movie are Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Michael Peña, and Always Sunny co-stars Charlie Day and Kaitlin Olson. / Issue 171 - September 2018
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