You better lock your doors, because Now Playing Podcast is about to break in with nine all-new episodes in August. The month sees our hosts head to theaters for three new releases, plus the finale of 2021’s Spring/Summer Donation Drive and the kickoff for the Fall/Winter bonus retrospectives. There’s also a new Podbean patron review and the return of horror as autumn rolls around.
Here’s everything coming to Now Playing Podcast in August 2021.
August 3 – The Green Knight
Director David Lowery’s fantasy storms movie screens July 30, with the Now Playing review to follow on August 3. Dev Patel stars as King Arthur’s nephew, Sir Gawain, who faces off with the Green Knight, who appears in the form of a massive tree monster. If you’re not up to date on Arthurian legend, better start reading now before Justin, Jakob, and Stuart break down the film next month.
August 6 – Gone Girl
Now Playing wraps its 2021 Spring/Summer Donation Drive on August 6 with the final film in the David Fincher Thrillers retrospective: Gone Girl. The 2014 adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel stars Ben Affleck as a husband suspected of killing his wife (Rosamund Pike) after she suddenly goes missing on their anniversary. Gone Girl was a monster hit upon release, with the film landing on numerous Top 10 lists and Pike scoring Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for her performance.
August 10 – The Suicide Squad
If James Gunn can make you believe a raccoon can talk and a tree can walk, he can make you believe Polka Dot Man is a superhero. The beloved Guardians of the Galaxy director is getting ready to unspool his adaptation of DC’s famous “Dirty Dozen-esque” super team, which pairs 2016 Suicide stars Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) with newcomers Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), the aforementioned Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), and more than a half-dozen other outcast villains for a new mission. While the previous Suicide Squad disappointed on so many levels, there is still so much hope for this franchise. In James Gunn we trust.
August 13 – The Conversation
August’s Podbean patron pick, courtesy of listener Sean Ray, is Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 thriller The Conversation, in which surveillance agent Gene Hackman is caught up in a murder mystery linked to a secret recording. The film co-stars70s great John Cazale, Allen Garfield, and Harrison Ford! Now Playing’s review of The Conversation is available to Podbean patrons of $10 or more.
August 17 – Straw Dogs (1974)
After The Conversation, Now Playing stays in the 70s for another acclaimed thriller: Straw Dogs. Sam Peckinpah’s home invasion thriller celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021, and the August 17 review ties into one of the themes of this year’s Fall/Winter Donation Drive, as our hosts witness Dustin Hoffman defending his home against his wife’s rapist and his cronies.
August 20 – The Strangers
Now Playing’s 2021 Fall/Winter Donation Drive officially begins August 20 with a review of The Strangers. The home invasion horror tale was a monster hit in 2008, as audiences covered their eyes while a trio of masked criminals stalked Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman in a secluded summer home. The Strangers kicks off the Silver Level of Now Playing’s donation drive, along with the Don’t Breathe films and You’re Next.
August 24 – Straw Dogs (2011)
Director Rod Lurie (The Last Castle) helmed a 2011 “blink and you missed it” remake of Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, with perennial good guy James Marsden starring alongside Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard. The remake largely sticks to the plot of the original, and was savaged by critics for being completely unnecessary. Audiences rejected the remake as well, and it quietly disappeared from cinemas without even grossing half of its $25 million budget.
August 27 – The Strangers: Prey At Night
It took 10 years, but The Strangers finally got a follow-up in 2018, with the trio of killers re-emerging to stalk Mad Men star Christina Hendricks and Torque’s Martin Henderson, along with their two kids, at a trailer park. The sequel was not as financially successful as the first installment, nor did it receive the same critical love. But, as far as masked killers go, the three “Strangers” still got it. We’ll find out what our hosts think when The Strangers: Prey At Night gets the Now Playing treatment on August 27.
August 31 – The Haunting
On August 31, Now Playing takes on The Haunting of Hill House story with a three-part retrospective that begins with 1963’s The Haunting, directed by Robert Wise. The story follows a group of people investigating a haunted house after being beckoned to the property by a paranormal investigator. Reviews of 1999’s Jan de Bont-directed remake and the 10-episode Netflix miniseries (titled The Haunting of Hill House) will follow in September.