John Legend, ‘Serpent Queen’ and ‘Pinocchio’
Here’s a curated collection from the Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s coming to TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— A race between two “Pinocchio” films begins with Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation ahead of Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of a nose. On Thursday, Zemeckis’ animated fantasy about the classic Italian fable will premiere on Disney+. Next month, Del Toro’s stop-motion “Pinocchio” will debut at the London Film Festival and finally land on Netflix on December 9. For now, we have Zemeckis’ take on the old tale with Tom Hanks as the voice of Geppetto and Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy.
— A trio of the summer’s biggest box office hits hit streaming platforms. On Thursday, Taika Waititi’s whimsical and deconstructive “Thor: Love and Thunder” hits Disney+. Thor: Ragnarok. In his review, The AP’s Mark Kennedy wrote, “If you thought it was a banana movie, its sequel is the whole fruit basket.”
– “Jurassic World: Dominion” (Peacock) and “Elvis” (HBO Max) are also streaming. Colin Trevorrow’s “Dominion,” which made nearly $1 billion at the box office, is available in both its theatrical cut and an extended edition with an additional 14 minutes and an alternate ending. In her review, AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr praised some of its sequences but called the sixth film in the franchise “a chaotic mix on an epic scale”. Baz Luhrmann’s carnivalesque Elvis Presley biopic, starring groundbreaking actor Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, doesn’t skimp on scale, either. In his review, Bahr called it “gloriously messy – a maximalist opera of contradictions, styles, truths, myths, memories and headlines”.
-AP Film Writer Jake Coyle
— John Legend isn’t taking the easy route with his eighth studio album. “Legend” is a massive 24-song double album featuring new EGOT winner collaborating with Rick Ross, Jazmine Sullivan, Jada Kingdom, Rapsody, Ledisi, Jhene Aiko, Ty Dolla $ign and more. The first singles from Friday’s release indicate a light and danceable rhythm: the super sexy and tacky “Honey” with Muni Long, the funky “Dope” with rapper JID and the retro disco jam “All She Wanna Do” with Saweetie, with one of the cutest videos ever as the two performers overhear dancers auditioning.
— Now for something a little different: Kane Brown’s third studio album, ‘Different Man’, is out Friday. It will feature 17 songs, including the singles “Like I Love Country Music”, “Whiskey Sour”, “One Mississippi”, “Leave You Alone” and “Grand”, an expertly crafted hip-hop-country fusion with cheerful lyrics: “Remember when I couldn’t take it? / Now I got the posture.” Look for two duets — “Different Man,” featuring Blake Shelton and Brown’s wife, Katelyn, on “Thank God.” “Different Man” represents the first time Brown has co-produced one of his albums.
– With “Nut”, KT Tunstall completes a trilogy of albums that she started recording and releasing in 2016 with “Kin” then “Wax”. The trio explores the three existential parts of ourselves, first the mind, then the body and now with “Nut”, the spirit. One of the singles from the new album, “I Am The Pilot,” is a terrific synth track that represents what she wanted to do with a spirit-driven album: lean into rhythm. Scotland’s Tunstall burst onto the music scene in 2004 with her multi-platinum debut album, ‘Eye to the Telescope’, which spawned the worldwide hits ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’ and ‘Suddenly I See’.
– Ozzy Osbourne has called on some of the best guitarists on the planet for his latest solo album, ‘Patient Number 9′ – guys like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Mike McCready, Zakk Wylde and former Black Sabbath band member Tony Iommi. Beck lends his chopping skills for the rocking title track, in which Ozzy sings, “If there’s a God, why did he let the devil do his work on me?” / If there is a God, what am I doing here? Others on board for this Ozzfest are Chad Smith, Red Hot Chilli Pepper drummer, Metallica’s Rob Trujillo, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.
– Mark Kennedy, AP Entertainment Writer
– Adventure athletes star in “Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin,” which debuts Monday on the National Geographic Channel (on Disney+ starting Wednesday, Sept. 7). The 10-part series details the risks, rewards and mindset of such athletes, kicking off with back-to-back episodes about mountaineer Alex Honnold of “Free Solo” documentary fame and the big-mountain skier Angel Collinson. Filmmaker Jimmy Chin, a mountaineer and professional skier who appears in one episode, is the executive producer along with E. Chai Vasarhelyi. They performed the Oscar-winning “Free Solo”.
– Catherine de’ Medici, the 16th-century Italian-born French queen with a fierce reputation, is featured in Starz’s “The Serpent Queen.” Samantha Morton (“The Walking Dead”) stars as the adult Catherine, with Liv Hill seen in flashbacks as the teenager destined to become the bride of a French king and the influential mother of three others. Colm Meaney, Kiruna Stamell and Rupert Everett are among the ensemble cast of the eight-episode series, which premieres Sunday, September 11 on Starz streaming platforms (and the Starz Channel).
— Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins play country music royals in Fox’s new drama “Monarch,” but their dynasty is in danger of being overthrown. Anna Friel, Joshua Sasse and Beth Ditto co-star as the couple’s offspring, with an impressive backing chorus: Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Little Big Town and Tanya Tucker are among the guest stars of the series which debuts Sunday after Fox’s NFL broadcast. “Monarch” moves into its regular 8 p.m. EDT slot on Tuesdays starting September 20.
— Lynn Elber, AP Television Writer
Find AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.
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