What we're watching and playing this week in Dubai
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (18+)
Does the name Quentin Tarantino spark your interest? How about Leonardo DiCaprio? Brad Pitt? Margot Robbie? Yep, we reckon this film has got enough big names to get a lot of people talking.
Tarantino’s latest project follows struggling actor Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) during the summer of 1969, against the backdrop of the real-life Manson family murders. Predictably, this element of horror offers a lot of suspense, but in true Tarantino style even the nightmarish events that led to the killing of Sharon Tate (Robbie) and her friends are spun in sensational Hollywood technicolour, both a presentation and a parody of Los Angeles life and the fragile façade of film glamour. It all begins with Rick and Cliff’s friendship as they enter the downward turn of their careers.
Rick gets a desperate job in Italy and even lands a minor role in ‘The Green Hornet’, during which, in a bizarre, comedic turn, he is challenged to fight Bruce Lee. LA itself is where the action really kicks off, though, as Rick happens to live next door to Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski, victims of the Manson murders; Rick and Cliff become entwined in this mystery before the horrifying chaos
This is an outlandish and bewildering watch that will deliver comedy and fear in heaped measures, truly leaving you on the edge of your seat – even if it is just to get a closer look at that star-studded cast.
In cinemas August 15
Ready or not (18+)
If Tarantino doesn’t quite hit the mark, get your horror fix with Ready or Not. Following an unfortunate young bride as she meets her husband’s wealthy and eccentric relatives, this film promises thrills – and maybe even a few nightmares – during a drawn-out family game that forces every participant to fight for survival. We’re hoping they make it to the honeymoon, but it’s all to play for and there’s everything to lose.
In cinemas August 22.
Yes, the developers at Double Fine named this top-down adventure rogue-like RAD on purpose, but not without good reason. Not only does the player’s character absorb radiation (a.k.a Rad) to mutate different parts of his body – from a flaming arm to being able to transform your head into a cobra – but it also looks rad. You can even do a 360-degree turn with someone shouting, “Righteous!”
Out on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch. August 20.
You know what would be just dandy? Strolling into a high-level corporation, heading straight to the CEO’s office and being declared the big boss by an otherworldly object on the spot. Who needed a CV anyway? Sounds sublime, until you realise you know nothing about the company. Its headquarters is currently being attacked by hostile supernatural forces and the only thing that can stop them is you, and that object that got you the job. Gee, thanks.
That’s pretty much the life of Jesse Faden in developer Remedy Entertainment’s bonkers third-person action game Control. Funnily, it doesn’t look like players or Jesse alike will have any control over what’s to come, and that’s fine by us.
This (stingy) object we’re on about is known as the Service Weapon, an ‘Object of Power’ which determines who leads the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC). Poor old Jesse didn’t realise it was a secret government agency that literally contains and controls abnormal phenomena when she walked in, especially at a time when the agency wasn’t doing their job very well. The building, known as The Oldest House, has been taken over by The Hiss, and how will Jesse (i.e. you) take them down? The Service Weapon of course, a shapeshifting pistol that has five different forms. In other words, five different ways to shoot – from a rapid-fire gattling-type gun to a high-powered rifle. It also gives her the ability to levitate, and pick up Hiss-infested humans and fling them at other foes. It makes players a powerhouse to be reckoned with, but you certainly won’t feel like it when you come to face those hard-as-nails otherworldly creatures and traverse the multi-dimensional maze that is The Oldest House.
Oh, did we not mention the interiors of the building defy the laws of reality? Control isn’t as linear as Remedy’s last few games, as it’s created a Metroidvania-type space so players can not only explore the weird and wonderful mix between grand, man-made structures and cosmic settings, but to take on side missions to upgrade their abilities. They’re by no means compulsory, but let’s be honest, who doesn’t take on missions not part of the story? The abilities to gain are worth the effort, especially if Jesse wants the upperhand in even more difficult battles. Some might say you have no control over them.
That said, Jesse probably did have control over entering the headquarters of terror in the first place, but we wouldn’t get a reality-defying, marvellously action-driven experience then, would we?
Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC. August 27.
This crime thriller was a hit when it launched on Netflix back in 2017, and it’s back for another season. Based on true crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, this series documents the work of FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), and psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), who head the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit. Thrilling crimes ahead.
On Netflix August 16
The next season of GLOW is finally launching on Netflix. Set in the booming, luminous 80s, a gang of outsiders decide to reinvent themselves and form the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s the newest and hottest group on the wrestling circuit, and after fighting their way to fame, these headstrong girls are headed to Las Vegas. Showbiz success, plenty of drama – sounds juicy. A must-watch.
On Netflix August 9