What To Watch This Month
Our round-up of everything of note coming to a big or small screen near you in May.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3
In cinemas May 3
It’s hard to believe the cinematic Guardians have been with us for nearly 10 years. And now James Gunn’s trilogy comes to an end with what sounds like an epic finale for Starlord, Rocket Racoon, Groot et al clocking in with the longest running time of the three films at 149 mins.
“Not a second is wasted. There’s no fat,” says Gunn. “It was necessary to experience the full arc for every major Guardians character, not only for this film, but for the trilogy (or, I should say, trilogy plus).” A reference to the Guardians popping up in Thor: Love and Thunder and their Christmas special. And for those wondering if the film is going to be all about that Kang Quantumania stuff, Gunn is quick to shoot it down.
“Vol. 3 is about ending the story of these Guardians, not about setting up anything else. I don’t even know what’s going on with the other Marvel movies.” That’s settled that then. Anyone would think he’s off to the DC universe…
The Muppets Mayhem
On Disney+ May 10
The Muppets have always been a guilty pleasure (we won’t go into details about our period of messily eating biscuits like the Cookie Monster) and this show follows the band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem as they attempt to record their debut album after four decades. How will Dr. Teeth, Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Janice, Lips and Zoot cope with the modern music biz? The idea for the series, co-created by Muppets veteran Bill Berretta, came from when the band actually played a set at the Outside Lands music festival in 2016.
“It was unbelievable,” he says. “It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had with the Muppets. There was something like 30,000 people that came to the park. I thought, ‘Well, there’s something there’. What if this band went on the road? What if the band went on tour? And so, I started developing an idea for a show about the band because we don’t know that much about them.”
Look out for diverse musician cameos from the likes of Paula Abdul, Billy Corgan, deadmau5, Susanna Hoffs, Tommy Lee, Ziggy Marley, Chris Stapleton, Lil Nas X and “Weird Al” Yankovic.
In cinemas May 26
Sometimes we like a thriller where we can comfortably leave our brain in a small box locked by the door and don’t spend too long thinking of the whys and hows or what the fucks and just revel in the silliness. Hypnotic looks like just that ticket. Directed by Robert ‘El Mariachi’ Rodriguez it stars Ben Affleck (looking his most confused) and a bunch of familiar character actors (looking at you William Fichtner). Determined to find his missing daughter, detective Danny Rourke (Affleck) instead finds himself spiraling down a rabbit hole while investigating a series of reality-bending bank robberies… actually just watch the trailer and you’ll see what we’re talking about… words just doesn’t do it justice.
American Born Chinese
On Disney+ May 24
This looks nuts. But nuts in the best kind of way. Based on the genre-hopping 2006 graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang the series directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) follows Jin Wang, a teenager navigating the challenges of high school and home life – which also includes becoming embroiled in a conflict involving Chinese mythological gods. Cue some stunning looking gods v teenagers showdowns in the high school hallways. The cast includes award-winning actors of the moment Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu and Michelle Yeoh.
On Apple TV+ May 24
Apple TV’s love affair with Rose Byrne continues. After starring in Physical on the streamer the Australian actress now teams up with Seth Rogen for this half hour comedy series. The 10 episode show follows a platonic pair of best friends going through a midlife crisis who reconnect after a fall out. It’s directed, co-written and co-created by Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco.
In cinemas May 12
The prospect of a near-future dystopian Japanese drama might bring thoughts of Neo-Tokyo and motorbike screeching animated teens to mind, but Plan 75 offers something a bit more reflective, and perhaps even scarier. The debut feature from Chie Hayakawa, the film follows Michi, a 78-year-old woman looking for direction in later life – unfortunately, her government has created a program encouraging voluntary euthanisation of the over 75s.
Promising sci-fi curiosity and quiet, ruminative drama, the film premiered last year at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section, and was Japan’s submission for the Oscars.
On Netflix May 25
Sly Stallone has Tulsa King and now another 80s action hero is back with a streamer TV series as Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a retired CIA agent who teams up with his daughter (who’s also in the CIA) to save the world. Expect a lot of “But I’m retired…” lines from the Austrian Oak.
In cinemas May 19
The one where Aquaman joins the cast. This time it has Louis “The Incredible Hulk” Leterrier in the director’s driving seat. Rumoured to be the first part of the series finale (which ends with episode 11), whether that’s true remains to be seen.
Beau Is Afraid
In cinemas May 19
If fast cars isn’t your thing then the alternative on May 19 is the latest from A24 director Ari Aster (Midsommer) which could not be slower. Dubbed “the most bizarre film of the year” by the BBC, it follows Beau’s (Joaquin Phoenix) – who has a fear of pretty much everything – very long (three hours!) but eventful journey to visit his mother. Inspired and surreal or boring and pointless. You decide.
Out to buy on May 2
Arkane Studios’ new release is set in the fictional town of Redfall, Massachusetts, pitting you against an enemy not too often seen in gaming, vampires. Bit by bit you’ll take the town back in both single player and co-operative gameplay, a choice of survivors ranging from military veterans to cryptozoologist (not that crypto…), and Arkane’s as-usual fantastic world-building, this isn’t one to miss. Redfall releases on Xbox and PC platforms.
The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom
Out to buy on May 12
After finishing The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild we thought there’s no way it can be topped, how wrong we were. Building upon Breath Of The Wild’s style and puzzle-solving/physics-breaking possibilities, Tears Of The Kingdom has everything you could possibly want from a sequel to a game already considered near-perfect. The introduction of the Recall ability, the Fuse ability, the Ascend ability, gives you even more tools to play with. Hyrule won’t know what’s hit it. The game releases only on Nintendo Switch.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Out to buy on May 25
The Lord Of The Rings books have been turned into films, a TV show, worse spin-off films, and of course, games. From The Hobbit on the ZX Spectrum in the 80s, to the epic Shadow of Mordor/War series more recently, there’s a wide variety to immerse yourself into the world of Middle-earth. One genre that doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think of the series is stealth, and The Lord Of The Rings: Gollum is here to change that. Following Gollum between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, you play as the titular character in a new story with familiar faces while Gollum searches for their precious. The Lord OfTthe Rings: Gollum is out on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and PC platforms.