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6 Must-Watch TV Shows and Movies on HBO NOW in August 2015, From ‘Birdman’ to ‘Show Me a Hero’

6 Must-Watch TV Shows and Movies on HBO NOW in August 2015, From 'Birdman' to 'Show Me a Hero'

With the second season of “True Detective” coming to an end this month (the finale will be available for viewing August 9), HBO has a new batch of original programming prepared to fill the void. In addition to two new one-off specials — Tig Notaro’s comedy special and “Back on Board: Greg Louganis,” a sports documentary following the Olympic diving champion — this August will see the debut of highly anticipated miniseries “Show Me a Hero,” as well as the season finales of “Ballers” and “The Brink.” 

READ MORE: 6 Must-Watch TV Shows and Movies Coming to HBO NOW in July 2015, from ‘The Drop’ to ‘7 Days in Hell’

Meanwhile, in the film department, HBO NOW will be adding some exciting features, from rom-coms “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “John Tucker Must Die,” to this year’s Oscar winners “Birdman” and “The Theory of Everything,” starring Eddie Redmayne (who won Best Actor for his performance) and Felicity Jones (who was also nominated), to cult films that exist solely due to the devotion of their fandoms — namely Joss Whedon’s “Serenity” and the crowdfunded “Veronica Mars.” Read on to see some of the best titles coming to HBO NOW this month, along with Indiewire’s picks for what you can’t miss (in bold). Plus, check out the films that will be taken down at the end of August. 
Available 8/1

Indiewire Pick: “Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” (2014)

With four Oscars under its belt (out of nine total nominations), “Birdman” was arguably the biggest sensation to hit theaters last year. Blowing away audiences with unprecedented performances from Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and Edward Norton — as well as Zach Galifianakis, an unexpected but welcome newcomer to the genre — the film spoke to the powers and dangers of creative ambition, ego and the need for validation. Riggan (Keaton) is a washed-up actor who most identify with the superhero he once portrayed in a blockbuster franchise. Trying to break out of his own reputation, he directs and stars in a stage play (also starring Naomi Watts, Edward Norton and Andrea Riseborough’s characters). But as pressure mounts leading up to opening night, Riggan begins to quarrel with those who love him, question his own talent and… move inanimate objects with his mind. As if that weren’t enough, this masterpiece from Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (“Babel,” “Biutiful”) features a new-wavey drum score and long-take style cinematography. If you somehow haven’t, see this film.
“Charlie’s Angels” (2000) 
“Dances with Wolves” (1990)

Indiewire Pick: “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988)

This gem from Charles Crichton and John Cleese will have you gasping for breath (Get it? Because Wanda is a fish who lives underwater? And humans can’t breathe underwater?) in between fits of laughter as you do your best to follow the convoluted plot elements. Somewhere in between John Cleese prancing about naked reciting Russian poetry, Kevin Kline literally eating poor, stuttering Michael Palin’s fish out of their aquarium, and Jamie Lee Curtis telling the aforementioned Kline that “calling [him] stupid would be an insult to stupid people,” there is a high-stakes diamond heist coordinated by British gangster George and his right-hand man Ken (Palin). The two bring in American help in the form of Wanda (Curtis) and Otto (Kline), and everyone involved proceeds to double-cross each other, fall into jealous fits, indulge in their foreign language fetishes and argue about who truly won the Vietnam War. 

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Show Me a Hero’ Trailer Brings Oscar Isaac to ‘The Wire’ in David Simon’s HBO Miniseries

“Four Weddings and a Funeral” (1994)
“John Tucker Must Die” (2006)
“Meet the Parents” (2000)
“An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982) 
“Serenity” (2005)
“Veronica Mars” (2014)

Available 8/4
“Back on Board: Greg Louganis” (2015)
“Ramona” (short) (2015)
Available 8/7
“Manos Sucias” (2014)
Available 8/8
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (2014)
Available 8/12
“Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Houston Texans” (2015)
Available 8/14
“Bomba” (2013)
Available 8/15
“The Theory of Everything” (2014)
Available 8/16

Indiewire Pick: “Show Me a Hero: Part 1 & Part 2” (2015)

From “The Wire” creator David Simon and “Crash” director Paul Haggis comes a new six-part miniseries, taking place in Yonkers, NY in the 1960s. It follows the city’s young mayor as he approaches the task of introducing low-income housing to the strongly opposed white population of his city. “The trash, the drugs… we will die from what this idiot is trying to shove down our throats,” yells an angry Alfred Molina (“Chocolat”) in the series trailer. “These people, they don’t live like we do,” insists an unrecognizable Catherine Keener (“Into the Wild”), with a bitter face under a head of gray hair. Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”) plays Mayor Wasicsko, perhaps the hero that the City of Yonkers needs, but doesn’t seem particularly ready for at this time. Joining this fine cast are Winona Ryder (“Heathers”), Clarke Peters (“The Wire”), Jim Belushi (“According to Jim”) and LaTanya Richardson (“U.S. Marshalls”).  
Available 8/22
“Dumb and Dumber To” (2014)
“Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl, Interrupted” (2015)

Available 8/23
“Show Me a Hero: Part 3 & Part 4” (2015)
Available 8/29
“Kill the Messenger” (2014)
Available 8/30
“Show Me a Hero: Part 5 & Part 6” (2015)
Last Chance to Catch (all titles ending 8/31):
“Broken Arrow” (1996)
“Ender’s Game” (2013)
“Enemy of the State” (1998)
“Enough Said” (2013)
“Eyes Wide Shut” (1999)
“The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” (2006)
“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” (2013)
“The Wolverine” (2013)

READ MORE: 6 Must-Watch TV Shows and Movies Coming to HBO NOW in July 2015, from ‘The Drop’ to ‘7 Days in Hell’

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