New this week: J.Lo doc, ‘Martin’ reunion and ‘Spiderhead’
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— The streamers have an embarrassment of riches to offer film fans this week, starting with a few charming highlights from this year’s Sundance Film Festival: “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” debuts on Hulu on June 17, and “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” starts streaming on Apple TV+ Friday as well. “Cha Cha” looks at post-grad malaise from the eyes of 22-year-old Andrew (played by writer-director Cooper Raiff), who strikes up a friendship with a single mom (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter (Vanessa Burghardt) while working as a bar-mitzvah party starter. “Leo Grande” focuses on a character in a different stage of life: Emma Thompson plays a 50-something widow and retired teacher who hires a handsome young sex worker to (played by breakout Daryl McCormack) to break her out of her funk. It is much sweeter than it might sound.
— Netflix also has some high-profile films coming this week. First up is the Jennifer Lopez documentary “Halftime,” which starts streaming Tuesday. The doc focuses on the months leading up to her halftime performance at the Super Bowl in 2020 and promises candid and vulnerable moments, including the morning she found out she did not get an Oscar nomination for “Hustlers.” Then, on Friday, the sci-fi thriller “Spiderhead” debuts. Based on a George Saunders short story, Chris Hemsworth plays an eccentric scientist who runs a state-of-the-art penitentiary and is administering experimental emotion-controlling drugs on the inmates (Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett among them). It’s directed by Joseph Kosinski who is flying high after the success of “Top Gun: Maverick.” The AP’s review says the film is “a little unsure of what it is or what it’s supposed to be.”
— And over on HBO Max, there is a new “Father of the Bride” remake coming Thursday. Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan play the parents of the bride (Adria Arjona). Not only are the parents having their own marital problems, but Sophie’s fiancé, Adam (Diego Boneta), is Mexican, leading to some cultural clashes with her Cuban family. The stars have said they were excited to be part of a story that represents different Latin cultures without stereotypes.
— AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr
— The members of Foals feel like dancing and who can blame them? The British indie darlings spent 2019 putting out a complex social commentary in two parts — “Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost” — and now it’s time for some fun. “Life Is Yours” is a shimmering album of airy, uplifting songs, highlighted by “2001,” a brilliant slice of disco-smeared funk, and “2AM,” a propulsive ode to not going home alone. The electronic-driven “Wild Green” could have come out in 1982 and frontman Yannis Philippakis’s falsetto fuels a sunshine-drenched “Crest of the Wave.”
— Alanis Morissette once famously sang “I am not the doctor” but she’s got some calming advice this summer. The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter will release “The Storm Before the Calm,” an album of guided meditations co-written with Dave Harrington on Friday. The 11-tracks have names like “Calling Generation X” and “The Other Side of Stillness.” The “Jagged Little Pill” creator said, “Making the record kept me super connected and accountable during COVID, when I felt like I was just going to disappear and float away.”
— Two iconic music acts — The Beach Boys and Frank Zappa — have streaming offerings this week. “Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys,” originally released in 2003, has been updated in both number of songs and audio quality, expanding the original 30 tracks for a total of 80. And “Zappa/Erie” is a new six-disc boxed set/digital collection that contains more than seven hours of unreleased material, including a trio of live shows recorded 1974-76. Of the 71 tracks, only 10 minutes have been released before.
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
— Queen Elizabeth II had her Platinum Jubilee extravaganza, and now Queen Elizabeth I would appreciate your attention to her 16th-century back story. “Becoming Elizabeth,” out this week on Starz, stars Alicia von Rittberg as the orphaned teenager who is destined for the English throne — but not without a struggle, as depicted by series creator-writer Anya Reiss. When King Henry VIII is succeeded by his 9-year-old son, Henry (Oliver Zetterström), the boy, Elizabeth and their sister Mary (Romala Garai) are caught in a struggle between English insiders and European outsiders to control the country.
— Here’s whazzup: It’s been 30 years since “Martin” debuted, and BET+ is marking the anniversary with “Martin: The Reunion.” Original cast members Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold and Carly Anthony Payne II revisit the 1992-97 sitcom with music and celebrity guests including Snoop Dogg, Brian McKnight, Tracy Morgan and Marla Gibbs. Debuting Thursday, the program includes a tribute to the late Thomas Mikal Ford, who played Tommy Strawn in the Fox series. It was a network hit, but marred by Campbell’s allegations of sexual harassment.
— The Robertson family of “Duck Dynasty” fame has a new venture with “Duck Family Treasure,” a 10-part series debuting Sunday, on the Fox Nation streaming service. Brothers Jase and Jep Robertson are center stage as they search for, yes, buried treasure, including artifacts and gems, with help from uncle Si Robertson and friend Murry Crowe. The brothers’ wives and other family members will be part of the show, along with “people, places and lessons” they find along the way.
— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.