Here’s a collection curated by the entertainment journalists at The Associated Press, covering what’s hitting TV, streaming services, and music and video game platforms this week.
— Did you follow all the hype about Don’t Worry Darling and forget to check out the movie behind it? Well don’t worry darling, Olivia Wilde’s midcentury-style psychological thriller begins streaming on HBO Max Monday. For those who’ve managed to blissfully oblivious to Spit-Gate and salad dressing and “Miss Flo,” Wilde’s film takes us to a planned community in the desert, where the martinis flow, the women clean, and the men go to work during the day. But Alice (Florence Pugh) sees cracks in her seemingly perfect life with Jack (Harry Styles) and begins asking questions about the mysterious company he works for, which is run by an enigmatic leader played by Chris Pine. In his review, AP film writer Jake Coyle wrote that “‘Don’t Worry Darling’ “ultimately doesn’t deserve all the off-screen hype nor quite the on-screen disappointment that it’s portrayed to be.”
– Film critic and historian Elvis Mitchell takes a look at the history of black cinema and “a group of artists who changed culture forever” with the seminal films of the 1970s in a new Netflix documentary, Is That Black Enough For You? !?” Streaming Friday, November 11. 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 examines the influence of black voices, creators and actors on cinema and argues that blaxploitation is not just a niche moment but just as influential and important as what the new generation of white male filmmakers were doing in the ’70s. Also coming to Netflix on Saturday, November 12 is the adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing, and the Lindsay Lohan rom-com Falling for Christmas on Thursday.
— Starting Friday, November 11, Disney+ is getting one of the best documentaries of the year, Fire of Love, about Katia and Maurice Krafft, famous French volcanologists who died on Mount Unzen in Japan in 1991. Sara Dosa’s experimental documentary about a strange love, The Triangle Between Man, Woman and Vulcan is compiled from hundreds of hours of Krafft’s wildly cinematic footage of her explorations. Dosa drew on the aesthetics of French new wave films to inform the film’s tone and style, including playful split screens and zooms. They delved into the absurdity and profundity of the story with a “dry, curious” narration by Miranda July and an original “retro-futuristic” score by Nicolas Godin of French musical duo Air.
– Bruce Springsteen takes on the Four Tops, Temptations, Supremes, Frankie Wilson, Jimmy Ruffin and other soul legends in an album of covers, due out Friday, November 11th. The CD “Only the Strong Survive” is named after Jimmy Butler’s song, among the 15 other covers. Songs he tackles include the Commodores’ “Nightshift”, the Walker Brothers’ “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” and the Four Tops’ “When She Was My Girl”. The disc comes three months before the start of his tour with the E Street Band.
— Louis Tomlinson seems optimistic given the title of his second album, Faith in the Future. It’s the former One Direction member’s first album since 2020’s Walls, and lead 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, heavier rock vibe with the lyrics “Demons, I’m takin’ all of my demons/ Putting them where I will not see them/ ‘Cause I just wanna feel alive.”
— Morris Day, lead singer of The Time, calls the time. His fifth solo album, Last Call, will be his last, he says, and he’s brought some friends to say goodbye. ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons appears in Too Much Girl 4 Me, Grown Man plays Big Daddy Kane and Use to Be the Playa has Snoop Dogg on board. 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 that released several classic albums and singles, including Jungle Love, 777-9311, and The Bird.
– Excursion! The owners of the world famous gold and silver pawn shop leave their home base of Pawn Stars in Las Vegas for The History Channel’s show Pawn Stars Do America. Father-son shop owners Rick Harrison and Corey Harrison and their sidekick Austin “Chumlee” Russell visit eight states in the eight-part series, which debuts Wednesday, November 9th. Stations include Austin, Texas; Denver; and Savannah, Georgia. Among the finds: a letter from George Washington, a shield from the French king Henry II and a signed Yousuf Karsh photograph of Ernest Hemingway.
– Dan Levy from the Emmy-winning “Schitt’s Creek” mixes things up with “The Big Brunch,” a cook-off he created and hosts. The HBO Max series, which debuts Thursday, November 10 with the first three of its eight episodes, aims to spread “inspiring and undiscovered culinary voices” from across the country. Ten chefs competing 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 former Native American cavalry scout, join forces on a perilous journey across 1890’s America to reach a fledgling Wyoming town which is not a safe haven – it is plagued by murders. Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer star in what has been described as both an epic car chase western and a “parable of race, power and love.” Featuring an ensemble cast including Stephen Rea, Valerie Pachner, Toby Jones and Ciarán Hinds, the series debuts on Friday November 11.
— AP TV writer Lynn Elber
– Kratos, the grumpy, tattooed protagonist of Sony’s God of War: Ragnarok, is more complicated than your average slice of meatloaf. Sure, he’d love nothing more than ramming his ax into the skull of any Norse deity that crossed his path. On the other hand, he wants to protect his teenager Atreus, who is trying to get a handle on his own supernatural talents. Together with their sidekick Mimir – the disembodied head of “the smartest man alive” – they embark on an odyssey that spans multiple dimensions. 2018’s God of War reboot did a remarkable job of blending bone-crushing battles with breathtaking exploration, and Ragnarok promises even more of both. It’s coming to PlayStation 5 and 4 on Wednesday.
— It’s been five years since the last Sonic the Hedgehog video game, but the spiky blue speed demon has since become a movie star, directing two hit films. Sega hopes that momentum carries over to Sonic Frontiers. Pitching it as the first “open-world” adventure in the series, producers promise Sonic will be able to explore his vast islands in every direction while still retaining the high-octane thrills fans have enjoyed since 1991. We’ll see if that formula works when Sonic returns on 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.