New On Screen: August 2023

The inimitable Denzel Washington is back in action this month, while live action versions of a popular video game and a cult manga series take to the big screen.

By Yong Shu Chiang        11 August 2023

The Equalizer 3

Out in cinemas 31 August (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, David Denman

Robert (Washington), a former American intelligence agent who moves to Italy, is known to his new-found friends as Roberto. To them, he is a genial, gentle man, a retiree who is at peace with his new surroundings. He even jokes with a friend, saying, “Do I look like a killer?” Then, Robert begins to see the dark underbelly of the town, as the Mafia step in to undermine the happiness and safety of his community. Forced into a corner, Robert goes back to being the man he once was, an expert killer with a keen understanding of violence.

SAFRA members enjoy special discounts on MovieMax Member rates and Combo Sets at Shaw Theatres. For more info, go to safra.sg/promotions/shaw-theatres

Denzel Washington: An actor without equal

A two-time Oscar winner widely regarded as one of the best actors of his generation, Washington has excelled across five decades on stage and screen.

With Denzel, you almost only need to know his first name.

That’s because the seasoned actor, who first started performing in the 1970s, is synonymous with gold-standard acting. 

The 68-year-old is a two-time Academy Award winner, a 10-time nominee, and he has been nominated in five decades, from his first nomination in 1988 for his role in Cry Freedom, through to his most recent nomination for 2022’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, where he played the title role.

Washington made his Hollywood debut in the 1981 film Carbon Copy. He would find wider recognition as Dr Philip Chandler on the popular medical drama St. Elsewhere, a television series that ran from 1982 to 1988.

A year later, Washington starred in the Civil War drama Glory, for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar as a former slave fighting in the Union army. 

In 2001, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor after portraying a crooked cop in the thriller Training Day. Among his other notable roles over the years, Washington has played the civil rights activist Malcom X (1992) and the boxer Rubin Carter in The Hurricane (1999).

One of the finest actors of his generation, Washington’s accolades have blazed a trail for other African-American actors, and his screen presence and industry impact has been compared to that of the late, great Sidney Poitier.

Washington’s other memorable turns could be found in the submarine thriller Crimson Tide (1995), the sports biopic Remember the Titans (2000), Ridley Scott’s crime drama American Gangster (2007), the post-apocalyptic The Book of Eli (2010), the vigilante drama The Equalizer (2014) and the period drama Fences (2016).

He can next be seen in the second sequel to The Equalizer, which sees his uncompromising character taking on the Italian mafia. Washington is currently filming in Scott’s sequel to Gladiator, opposite Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal.

Talk To Me

Out in cinemas now (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Sophie Wilde, Joe Bird, Miranda Otto

A group of friends looking to have some fun discover that they have an embalmed hand that enables them to contact the dead. Without knowing the true nature of what they have, they begin to take turns with the hand, to momentarily invite spirits while recording their exploits for social media fame. Before long, the thrills turn into chills, as the friends soon realise that tempting fate has its consequences. They each begin to be haunted by strange apparitions, and unexplained occurrences, as supernatural forces threaten to destroy them all.

Gran Turismo

Out in cinemas now (available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Archie Madekwe, David Harbour, Orlando Bloom

Jann (Madekwe) is a teenager who escapes from his humdrum life by indulging in video games. Skilled at the Gran Turismo racing game, Jann is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a real-life racing driver by participating in a reality-television competition. After he beats the odds to emerge as the winner, Jann faces more obstacles, initially in the physical demands of racing, before coming up against the professional racers who intend to make life on the circuit as difficult as possible.

Only Murders In The Building S3

Out now, Disney+

Stars: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez

Three strangers living in the same building in New York City become friends after bonding over their shared love for true crime podcasts. As fate would have it, they get implicated in two murders, one after another, that take place in the building, and band together to solve the crimes themselves and clear their names. This new season begins where the previous one left off, with Charles (Martin) acting in a reboot of his 1990s crime series, Oliver (Short) reconciling with his son, and Oliver’s lead actor in his Broadway play dying suddenly on stage.

One Piece

Out 31 August, Netflix

Stars: Inaki Godoy, Mackenyu, Emily Rudd

A young man with strange rubber-like abilities, an accomplished swordsman and a woman with a knack for cartography are part of a band of brigands known as the Straw Hat Pirates.

The leader of this crew is their captain Monkey D. Luffy (Godoy), who recruits other skilled bandits in his quest to become the King of Pirates. Together with the sword-wielding bounty hunter Roronoa Zoro (Mackenyu) and the enigmatic thief Nami (Rudd), Monkey and his pirates seek a map that leads to the mythical “One Piece” treasure.

Strange Planet

Out now, Apple TV+

Stars: Hannah Einbinder, Danny Pudi, Lori Tan Chinn

In a distant world that very much resembles our own, blue humanoid beings go through their lives while not always mindful of the little absurdities that fill them. These include navigating the rituals of social interactions, of mass travel, of conspicuous consumption and of the use of modern technology. Against a backdrop of pink and purple colours, this strange planet and its denizens remind us of the one thing we all have in common: our bad moments, and good ones, will all pass. Based on the bestselling graphic novel and webcomic of the same name.

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