New this week: Bruce Springsteen, ‘The Big Brunch’ and Sonic
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week.
— Did you follow all the “Don’t Worry Darling” fuss and forget to watch the film behind it all? Well, don’t worry, darling, Olivia Wilde’s mid-century styled psychological thriller be streaming on HBO Max starting Monday. For those who’ve managed to stay blissfully unaware of spit-gate and salad dressing and “Miss Flo,” Wilde’s film takes us into a planned community in the desert, where the martinis flow, the women clean and the men go off to work during the day. But Alice (Florence Pugh) starts seeing cracks in her seemingly perfect life with Jack (Harry Styles) and starts asking questions about the mysterious company he works for, run by an enigmatic leader played by Chris Pine. In his review, AP Film Writer Jake Coyle wrote that “’Don’t Worry Darling’ is “ultimately neither worthy of all the off-screen fuss nor quite the on-screen disappointment it’s been made out to be.”
— Film critic and historian Elvis Mitchell looks at the history of Black cinema and “a group of artists who changed the culture forever” with the landmark films of the 1970s in a new Netflix documentary, “Is That Black Enough For You?!?” streaming Friday. Using clips from over 100 films and new interviews from the likes of Harry Belafonte, Samuel L. Jackson, Laurence Fishburne, Whoopi Goldberg and Zendaya, Mitchell looks at the impact of Black voices, creators and actors on cinema and makes the case that blaxploitation wasn’t just a niche moment, but as influential and important as what the new generation of white, male filmmakers were making in the ’70s. Also arriving on Netflix on Saturday is the adaptation of “Where the Crawdads Sing” and, on Thursday, the Lindsay Lohan rom-com “Falling for Christmas.”
— Disney+ gets one of the best documentaries of the year starting Friday, in “Fire of Love” about Katia and Maurice Krafft, French, celebrity volcanologists who died on Japan’s Mount Unzen in 1991. Sara Dosa’s experimental documentary about a strange love triangle between man, woman and volcano is compiled from hundreds of hours of the Krafft’s wildly cinematic footage of their explorations. Dosa drew on the aesthetics of French New Wave films to help inform the tone and style of the film, including playful split screens and zooms. They leaned into the absurdity and profundity of the story with a “deadpan curious” narration by Miranda July and an original “retro-futuristic” score from Nicolas Godin of the French music duo Air.
— Bruce Springsteen takes on the Four Tops, Temptations, Supremes, Frankie Wilson, Jimmy Ruffin and other soul legends in an album of cover songs due out Friday. The disc “Only the Strong Survive” is named for the Jimmy Butler song, among the 15 other covers. Among the songs he tackles are the Commodores’ “Nightshift,” The Walker Brothers’ “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore and the Four Tops’ “When She Was My Girl.” The disc arrives three months before the beginning of his tour with the E Street Band.
— Louis Tomlinson seems to be in an optimistic mood judging from the title of his sophomore album, “’Faith in the Future.” It’s the former One Direction member’s first album since 2020′s “Walls” and the first single “Bigger Than Me” has a massive pop hook. Tomlinson says the goal is “to produce a collection of songs befitting an anthemic live show.” Another single, “Out Of My System,” has a darker, more hard rock vibe with the lyrics “Demons, I’m takin’ all of my demons/ Putting them where I won’t see them/ ’Cause I just wanna feel alive.”
— Morris Day, lead singer of The Time, is calling time. His fifth solo album, “Last Call,” will be his last, he says, and he’s brought some friends along to say goodbye. ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons appears on “Too Much Girl 4 Me,”“Grown Man” features Big Daddy Kane and “Use to Be the Playa” has Snoop Dogg aboard. Other guests include E40, Flo-Rida, Tech N9ne and Trinidad James. Day rose to prominence in the 1980s as the leader of The Time, a band put together by Prince, who released several classic albums and singles, including “Jungle Love, “777-9311” and “The Bird.”
— Road trip! The proprietors of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop are heading out from their “Pawn Stars” Las Vegas home base for The History Channel’s “Pawn Stars Do America.” Father-son shop owners Rick Harrison and Corey Harrison and pal Austin “Chumlee” Russell visit eight states in the eight-part series, debuting Wednesday. Stops include Austin, Texas; Denver; and Savannah, Georgia. Among the finds: a letter from George Washington, shield of French King Henry II and a signed Yousuf Karsh photo of Ernest Hemingway.
— Dan Levy of Emmy-winning “Schitt’s Creek” fame is serving up a change of pace with “The Big Brunch,” a cooking competition he created and hosts. The HBO Max series, debuting with the first three of its eight episodes on Thursday, aims to tout “inspiring and undiscovered culinary voices” from across the country. Ten chefs vying for a $300,000 prize will be judged by Levy — who calls brunch “the ultimate connector” — along with chef Sohla El-Waylly and restaurateur Will Guidara.
— In Netflix’s “The English,” aristocratic foreigner Lady Cornelia Locke and Eli Whipp, a Native American ex-cavalry scout, join forces in a perilous trek across 1890 America to reach a fledgling Wyoming town that’s no safe haven — it’s beset by murders. Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer star in what’s described both as an epic chase Western and a “parable on race, power and love.” The series, with an ensemble cast including Stephen Rea, Valerie Pachner, Toby Jones and Ciarán Hinds, debuts Friday.
— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber
— Kratos, the surly, tattooed protagonist of Sony’s “God of War: Ragnarok,” is more complicated than your average slab of beefcake. Sure, he’d like nothing more than to plant his axe in the skull of any Norse deity who crosses his path. On the other hand, he wants to protect his teenage boy, Atreus, who’s trying to get a grip on his own supernatural talents. Along with their pal Mimir — the disembodied head of “the smartest man alive” — they set out on an odyssey spanning multiple dimensions. The 2018 “God of War” reboot did a remarkable job blending bone-crushing battles with eye-popping exploration, and “Ragnarok” promises even more of both. It comes out Wednesday for PlayStation 5 and 4.
— It’s been five years since the last video game starring Sonic the Hedgehog, but the spiky blue speed demon has become a movie star in the meantime, headlining two hit features. Sega is hoping that momentum carries over to “Sonic Frontiers.” Producers are pitching it as the first “open-world” adventure in the series, promising Sonic will be able to explore its vast islands in every direction while still maintaining the high-octane thrills fans have enjoyed since 1991. We’ll see if that formula works when Sonic returns Tuesday on PlayStation 5 and 4, Xbox X/S and One, Switch and PC.
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.