The Best Movies and TV Shows New to Netflix Australia in August

Every month, Netflix Australia adds a new batch of movies and TV shows to its library. Here are the titles we think are most interesting for August, broken down by release date. Netflix occasionally changes its schedule without giving notice.

TV Series New to Netflix

‘Great News’
Starts streaming: August 23

Fans of “30 Rock” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” should enjoy this sadly short-lived sitcom from the producing team of Tina Fey, Robert Carlock and Tracey Wigfield. The very funny Briga Heelan brings some classic screwball energy to the story of an overwhelmed cable news producer whose life gets more complicated when her overprotective mother (the great Andrea Martin) becomes an intern at her office. Like Fey and Carlock’s other shows, “Great News” is snappily paced and giddily absurd, while also using its weird sense of humor to make sharp points about the many unexpected obstacles facing women navigating modern work spaces.

Also of interest: “Happy Valley” Season 2 (August 1) and “Bates Motel” Season 5 (August 21).

New Netflix Original TV Series

‘Disenchantment’
Starts streaming: August 17

“The Simpsons” and “Futurama” creator Matt Groening brings his unique comic sensibility to the high fantasy genre with “Disenchantment,” an animated sitcom about a drunken princess named Bean in the kingdom of Dreamland. Abbi Jacobson voices the heroine, while Nat Faxon plays her elf pal and Eric Andre is a demon whose job it is to torment these two. A supporting cast of Groening regulars — including John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche and Tress MacNeille — help create a show that should feel pleasantly familiar to fans of his earlier work.

‘Magic for Humans’
Starts streaming: August 17

The wondrous “Penn Teller: Fool Us” has proved that television viewers have an appetite for mind-bending tricks and illusions. Now veteran TV host Justin Willman gets in on the act with his new series “Magic for Humans,” which makes use of his and his friends’ close-up magic skills in “man on the street” segments, but also throws in some big, eye-popping stunts — all peppered with wry jokes.

‘The Innocents’
Starts streaming: August 24

The acclaimed Australian actor Guy Pearce has a key role in this science-fiction romance, playing a mysterious professor who may be able to help a shape-shifting 16-year-old understand and control her new powers. Sorcha Groundsell plays the heroine, June, who runs away from home with her boyfriend Harry (Percelle Ascott), only to find her “happily every after” plans derailed by her emerging abilities. Over the course of its eight episodes, “The Innocents” will dig into June’s family secrets, while following a teenage love story that keeps threatening to become a tragedy.

‘Ozark’ Season 2
Starts streaming: August 31

The first season of the Missouri-set crime drama “Ozark” didn’t arrive with a lot of buzz, but it eventually found a following, as Netflix subscribers got pulled into the twisty story of a money-launderer (Jason Bateman) with no shortage of clients. In Season Two, antihero Marty Byrde and his wife/co-conspirator Wendy (Laura Linney) will continue to be troubled by past mistakes and new associations, all while trying to raise two teenagers in a seemingly bucolic lakeside community.

Also of interest: “Switched” (August 1), “Cocaine Coast” (August 3), “I Am a Killer” (August 3), “All About the Washingtons” (August 10), “Insatiable” (August 10), “Million Pound Menu” (August 10), “Voltron: Legendary Defender” Season 7 (August 10), “Ultraviolet” (August 17), “Deadwind” (August 23), “Follow This” (August 23), “Ghoul” (August 24) and “Paradise PD” (August 31).

New Netflix Original Comedy Specials

‘The Comedy Lineup: Part 2’
Starts streaming: August 31

The first half of Netflix’s old-school take on the standup special — with lots of young comics, doing tight 15-minute sets — offered an eclectic batch of performers and perspectives, from classic “Did you ever notice…?” observational humor to fiery political comedy. Part two will continue in the same vein, with a roster that includes Janelle James, Aisling Bea, Emma Willmann, Josh Johnson, Kate Willett, Matteo Lane and Max Silvestri.

Also of interest: “Demetri Martin: The Overthinker” (August 10) and “Bert Kreischer: Secret Time” (August 24).

Movies New to Netflix

‘Star Trek Beyond’
Starts streaming: August 2

One of the most surprisingly uplifting blockbusters of recent years, “Star Trek Beyond” sends the crew of the Enterprise on a planet-hopping adventure that gets back to the franchise’s core virtues: likable characters, genuine camaraderie and a sense of can-do optimism. Captain Kirk and his team end up shipwrecked at a distant outpost, where a powerful mutant (Idris Elba) intends to scavenge their technology and supplies to launch an attack on the heart of the Federation. Director Justin Lin and co-writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung keep the plot and action lean, giving themselves more room for scenes of the heroes working together to solve potentially universe-ending problems with cooperation, courage and intelligence.

‘Hot Fuzz’
Starts streaming: August 4

“Shaun of the Dead” and “The World’s End” tend to draw the most attention among Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s trilogy of smart, savvy genre parodies, perhaps because those two have the most to say about what it’s like to be an aimless dude in modern Britain. But the middle film in the series — the action-movie spoof “Hot Fuzz” — may be the most purely fun of the bunch. Pegg and his co-star Nick Frost play gung-ho cops stationed in a placid English country village. As the pair find themselves investigating an actual big-time crime spree, complete with flying bullets and fiery explosions, Wright and company get to mock the bombast of American-style blockbusters while making one of their own.

‘American Honey’
Starts streaming: August 22

Written and directed by the British filmmaker Andrea Arnold, “American Honey” is a social realist exposé of “magazine crews” — those young folks paid pitiful wages to sell subscriptions door-to-door in nice suburban neighborhoods. But the movie is also an intimate character-piece, following a woman named Star (Sasha Lane) as she’s enticed into going on the road by two of the more charismatic crew-bosses (Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough). Arnold applies an outsider’s critical eye to American class divisions, exploring the cynical exploitation and lowered sense of self-worth that keep her heroine locked into a cycle of poverty, despite her best efforts to break out.

‘Dirty Harry’
Starts streaming: August 23

Perhaps Clint Eastwood’s most famous character, Harry Callahan made his first appearance in this 1971 police thriller, set in a libertine San Francisco where the live-and-let-live values of the populace are frequently in conflict with tough old cops. “Dirty Harry” doesn’t exactly remain neutral in this dispute. A slick, entertaining action picture (masterfully directed by Don Siegel), the movie tells the story of a serial killer who takes advantage of legal loopholes and civil liberties to keep committing crimes. This is a playfully provocative film, suggesting that in some situations, maybe it’s good to have a shoot-first-ask-questions-later guy on the force, keeping society safe.

‘Goodfellas’
Starts streaming: August 30

Martin Scorsese spent much of the 80’s on the outs in Hollywood, struggling to get his projects financed and facing muted or hostile reaction whenever he did get a movie made. In 1990, the director retreated to the familiar with “Goodfellas,” a mob picture set in his native New York, starring actors he’d worked with before. Scorsese ended up making a masterpiece: a rocket-paced American crime saga that’s still a major influence on how stories about powerful crooks and killers are told. With its punchy performances (led by Ray Liotta as a tentative young hood and Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as his mentors) and its quotable dialogue, “Goodfellas” is a violent film about terrible men which is also, perversely, a pleasure to watch.

‘Gremlins’
Starts streaming: August 30

Director Joe Dante, screenwriter Chris Columbus and executive producer Steven Spielberg inadvertently changed the course of movie history with their 1984 blockbuster hit “Gremlins” — an impish horror-comedy with such over-the-top slapstick violence that outraged parents pressured Hollywood to create the PG-13 rating. Beyond its cultural importance, “Gremlins” remains a masterful mix of genre kicks and social satire, skewering the plasticity of Norman Rockwell-style Americana by letting tiny monsters run rampant through a sickly sweet small town. In the darkly comic chaos, the filmmakers have fun vandalizing everything that’s supposed to be charming and pure about middle class life in the Reagan era.

Also of interest: “Midnight Express” (August 1), “The Departed” (August 2), “Charlie St. Cloud” (August 4), “Pride Prejudice” (August 4), “Tower Heist” (August 4), “Ouija: Origin of Evil” (August 8), “Sully” (August 14), “The Bodyguard” (August 16), “My Sister’s Keeper” (August 18) and “Batman and Harley Quinn” (August 29).

New Netflix Original Movies

‘Like Father’
Starts streaming: August 3

Two of TV’s most likable actors — Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer — co-star as an estranged daughter and father who take a Caribbean cruise together when a canceled wedding leaves her with an expensive honeymoon vacation and no husband to share it with. Written and directed by Lauren Miller Rogen (who previously co-wrote and starred in the hilariously raunchy “For a Good Time, Call …”), “Like Father” is an earnest dramedy about a pair of career-oriented individuals who rediscover the importance of family, while indulging in kitschy shore-excursions and seafood buffets.

‘Flavors of Youth’
Starts streaming: August 4

The producers of the popular Japanese animated romantic drama “Your Name” are partly behind this lush-looking anthology film, a collaboration with a Chinese studio. Telling three stories set in three different Chinese cities, “Flavors of Youth” is unified by a common theme: how romantic connections and a passion for life can sustain people even in times of personal crisis. That subject may seem a little hazy for a feature-length cartoon, but “Your Name” was similarly esoteric, and has nevertheless resonated with audiences around the world.

‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’
Starts streaming: August 17

Based on Jenny Han’s beloved 2014 novel, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” stars Lana Condor as a teenager named Lara Jean Song Covey, whose life is turned upside down when all the lovestruck letters she’s secretly written to her various crushes end up getting sent. While she tries to explain herself to the guys, Jean also begins to realize that her fantasies could become real, if she stopped keeping her feelings to herself. Netflix has had success recently with romantic comedies, high school stories and movies and TV series with racially diverse casts. This film — with its Asian-American heroine — ticks all three of those boxes, and could be the service’s next “The Kissing Booth”-level hit.

Also of interest: “The Package” (August 10), “The Motive” (August 17), “The After Party” (August 24) and “The Laws of Thermodynamics” (August 31).

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