McConaughey, music and a trip back to camp

Check out what’s coming in movies, music, TV and books in August


Here are some of the best and highest-profile new releases in music, movies, TV and more on the horizon in August. As always, dates are subject to change without notice.

1. “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later” (Netflix)

Look, it could be not so great. I fully acknowledge this. But I also submit that “Wet Hot American Summer” finally getting its due over the past few years as one of the great silly American comedies of the 21st century has been good for everyone. And, sure, maybe “Wet Hot American Summer: The First Day of Camp” took four episodes’ worth of funny and stretched it into eight. And, hey, maybe this second miniseries, also eight episodes long, might make the same mistake of too much … everything. But I am also in favor of anything that takes place in 1991 and reunites (deep breath) Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Janeane Garofalo, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, the little-known-little-seen Marguerite Moreau, Zak Orth, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Michael Showalter and way, way more. Expect more utterly over-the-top goofiness. For my money, they should do this for 2001 two years from now and 2011 two years later until we get to their actual ages. (Aug. 4)

2. “Mrs. Fletcher: A Novel” by Tom Perrotta (Scribner). The man who gave us “The Leftovers” and “Little Children” takes a look at one Eve Fletcher — 46, divorced and a newly minted empty-nester trying to figure out what comes next when a mysterious text message sends her into a world of, how to put this, middle-aged erotic thrills and self-discovery. Elsewhere, her frattish son Brendan is exposed to a world of woke college kids who are not wild about, well, his white maleness just in general. (Aug. 1)

3. Caroline Says, “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong” (Western Vinyl). A reissue of Austin-based Caroline Sallee’s cassette. (Aug. 4)

4. Randy Newman, “Dark Matter” (Nonesuch). An American genius releases his first album since 2008’s “Harps and Angels,” which is about right, schedulewise, for him. (His one before that came out in 1999, and it was his only 1990s album.) The first single is about noted American patriot Vladimir Putin. (Aug. 4)

5. “Comrade Detective” (Amazon). I am not sure concepts get much higher — a cop show set in Cold War Romania, presented as if it is a real Reagan-era TV show that mixed crime with Communist propaganda. Featuring dubbing by Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jenny Slate, Jake Johnson, Chloë Sevigny, Jerrod Carmichael, Nick Offerman, Jason Mantzoukas and more. (Aug. 4)

6. “The Dark Tower.” Matthew McConaughey is the Man in the Black, a dark sorcerer of immense power. Idris Elba is the Gunslinger, the protector of his weird parallel Earth. This is the adaptation many Stephen King fans have been waiting decades for. I suspect many, many people are hoping this becomes a franchise. (Aug. 4)

7. “Detroit.” It’s a little odd to see Kathryn Bigelow become a somewhat political director, but here we are. The “Zero Dark Thirty” helmer delivers a chronicle of the 1967 Detroit riots with John Boyega, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Jason Mitchell and many more. (Aug. 4)

8. Downtown Boys, “Cost of Living” (Sub Pop). Terrific contemporary soul-punk act makes its Sub Pop debut with Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto producing. (Aug. 11)

9. Guided by Voices, “How Do You Spell Heaven?” (GBV). The 101st album GBV leader Bob Pollard has made. Yep. The 101st album of pop, punk, psych and prog. Do you own them all? (Aug. 11)

10. Kesha, “Rainbow” (Kemosabe/RCA). She’s back! With production from Ryan Lewis, Ricky Reed and Ben Folds. Dolly Parton guests, which is awesome. (Aug. 11)

11. Buck Owens, “Live From Austin, TX” (New West). An October 1988 “Austin City Limits” set, on CD and DVD, from the country legend. (Aug. 11)

12. Dwight Yoakam, “Live From Austin, TX” (New West). A 1988 “Austin City Limits” set, now on CD and DVD; he was younger than Buck Owens. (Aug. 11)

13. “Dark Knights: Metal” #1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (DC). Batman is usually thought of as a street-level character — fighting psychos, robbers, the Joker, nothing too cosmic unless he was with the Justice League. But there is also a paranormal side to Batman. Snyder, who is well on his way to being one of the great Batman writers, has gone buck wild with this storyline that puts Batman at the center of a multiverse-spanning adventure. Should be good and weird. (Aug. 16)

14. “Mage: The Hero Denied” #1 (Image). Not completely sure why it has taken Matt Wagner 33 years to wrap up his “Mage” trilogy, but here we are. The story of Kevin Matchstick, the incarnation of the Pendragon, starts to close. This is the first of a 15-issue run with story and art by Wagner. (Aug. 16)

15. Grizzly Bear, “Painted Ruins” (RCA). The art-rockers’ newest is their first in five years, which will be followed by their first tour in four years. (Aug. 18)

16. Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer, “Not Dark Yet” (Silver Cross / Thirty Tigers). These sisters have made their first album together and cover Merle Haggard, Jessi Colter, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, the Killers and Nirvana. Produced by Teddy “son of Richard” Thompson. (Aug. 18)

17. “Marvel’s the Defenders” (Netflix). After years of series that were good to ehhhh, Netflix finally gets around to uniting Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist as the Defenders, pitting them against Sigourney Weaver playing someone named Alexandra, who may or may not be running the ninja clan the Hand. And Elektra is probably back from the dead. (Aug. 19)

18. “Halt and Catch Fire” (AMC). After a somewhat mixed first season, the second and third seasons of this story of the computer industry in Texas and California were just excellent. Look for this fourth and final season to explore the early days of Web 1.0 and the way in which personal computing became part of everyone’s everyday lives. (Aug 19)

19. Queens of the Stone Age, “Villains” (Matador). The producer is Mark Ronson of Amy Winehouse fame. Hey, if Jon Theodore is still the drummer, I will check it out, no questions asked. (Aug. 25)

20. “Death Note” (Netflix). A live-action adaptation, in English (and set in Seattle), of the mega-popular manga series about a high school kid who finds a book that allows him to kill anybody. With Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, Lakeith Stanfield, Shea Whigham and Willem Dafoe. (Aug 25)



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