Don’t miss this week: Ed Sheeran, Watergate, Pete Davidson
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.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— In “A Man Called Otto,” Tom Hanks stars as a despondent and ornery widower whose suicide plans keep getting foiled by the needs of his neighbors. When it played in theaters in December, the Sony Pictures release proved the rare adult-oriented success at the box office, and grossed more than $100 million globally. Marc Forster’s adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s bestseller and remake of the 2016 Swedish film “A Man Called Ove” arrives Saturday on Netflix. In my review, I wrote that Hanks’ role “interestingly, if not always entirely successfully, caters to his strengths while tweaking his familiar screen presence.”
— A new series on the Criterion Channel pegs the 1980s as the birth of Asian American cinema. The 12 collected films — mostly products of the independent film movement — chronicle some of the inroads Asian Americans made in mainstream film while exploring new definitions of identity. Among the films here are several by Wayne Wang (1982’s “Chan Is Missing” and 1985’s “Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart”), Peter Wang’s China-set culture-clash comedy “A Great Wall” (1986) and Steven Okazaki’s 1987 rom-com “Living on Tokyo Time.”
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— Don’t count Ed Sheeran out this week, even if his latest album is ”-” or “Subtract.” The British singer-songwriter will be releasing the Aaron Dessner-produced acoustic album on Friday, marking the end of his mathematical album era (“Divide,” “Multiply” and “Plus”) and diving into his personal grief, hope and how he’s dealt with “fear, depression and anxiety.” Among the song titles are “Boat,” “Life Goes On,” “End of Youth,” “Spark” and “No Strings.” If you need more Sheeran, tune into Disney+ on Wednesday for the four-part series “Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All,” to find out “what Ed thinks of the world, of himself and how his experiences have influenced his music and shaped him into the chart-topping artist he is today.”
— Smashing Pumpkins have the last chapter to their ambitious three-part rock opera “Atum” on the way. Pronounced “autumn,” the band’s 12th LP is being called the narrative successor to 1995’s “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” and 2000’s “Machina/The Machines of God.” The 33-song “Atum” sounds different from the band’s 2020 album “Cyr,” with music ranging from airy to headbanging, and the new single “Spellbinding” has 1980s-inspired synths before a heavier guitar-led chorus kicks in.
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— Fifty years later and Hollywood is still drawing from the Watergate well for entertainment. Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux co-star in “White House Plumbers” for HBO as E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy. Hunt was a former C.I.A. agent and Liddy a former F.B.I. agent who were tapped by the Nixon administration to investigate his political adversaries and help get him re-elected to a second term. The pair orchestrated the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel that ultimately led to Nixon’s resignation. Hunt and Liddy were both characters in themselves and Harrelson and Theroux dive into their eccentricities. The five-episode series debuts Monday.
— The producers of Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking” are broadening their TV search for love by filming Jewish singles ready to settle down. In “Jewish Matchmaking,” professional cupid Aleeza Ben Shalom attempts to make love connections for Jewish singles in both the United States and Israel. She politely nods at some of their high-expectations and encourages others to go on another date or two to really decide if there’s chemistry. “I have the hardest job in the world,” Shalom remarks in the trailer. Watch her work her magic beginning Wednesday on Netflix.
— Pete Davidson stars in a semi-autobiographical comedy series about navigating family, fame, and relationships in “Bupkis,” which he executive produced and wrote. Edie Falco plays his mom and Joe Pesci is his grandfather. The show also features many guest stars including Al Gore, Jon Stewart, La La Anthony, John Mulaney, Steve Buscemi and Colson Baker, who goes by Machine Gun Kelly. All eight episodes drop Thursday on Peacock.
— Alicia Rancilio
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— Zombies have been terrorizing video gamers for decades, from classics like Resident Evil to the recent Dead Island 2. But where have the vampires been all this time? According to Bethesda Softworks’ Redfall, an awful lot of them are hanging out on a Massachusetts island, where they’ve blocked out the sun and isolated the locals. Your mission, along with up to three other slayers, is to stop them from bleeding the town dry — and you have supernatural powers of your own, like invisibility and teleportation, to complement some heavy weaponry. Redfall comes from the Arkane Austin studio, known for the terrific first-person adventures Prey and Dishonored. The stakes couldn’t be higher when it arrives on Xbox X/S and PC on Tuesday.
— You know how classic fantasy novels like the “Lord of the Rings” books always have big old maps up front? Paradox Interactive’s Age of Wonders 4 turns a map like that into your own personal playground. Imagine a game like Civilization — but instead of human armies battling for dominance, you have wizards, demons and dragons flying around. Instead of building technological prowess, you’re searching for ever more powerful magic tomes. AoW4 marks the franchise’s debut on consoles, and Paradox is promising a more streamlined approach that should still satisfy fans of both strategy and role-playing games. Launch your own game of thrones on Xbox X/S, PlayStation 5 and PC on Tuesday.
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.