Albums from Lukas Nelson and Kool & The Gang plus a Spanish-language spin-off of “Bird Box” are among the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you.
Among the offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists are the dinosaur-hunting video game Exoprimal and the new Netflix series “Quarterback,” which takes an unprecedented look at the lives of popular QBs Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins and Marcus Mariota.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— Wes Anderson’s stylish and star-studded “Asteroid City” arrived on premium video on demand (VOD) on Tuesday. This outing is a whimsically constructed play-within-a-play that’s set in the American midcentury Desert West at a junior stargazer convention, bringing together several kid geniuses, their parents, including Scarlett Johansson’s Marilyn-esque movie star and Jason Schwartzman’s widowed war photographer, scientists, military types, some singing cowboys and a very special cameo from Jeff Goldblum. I wrote in my review that it is very, very Wes Anderson and also a return to form. It’ll also still be available in theaters around the country for anyone still hoping to catch it on the big screen.
— Remember the Sandra Bullock-in-a-blindfold movie “Bird Box” that seemingly everyone with a Netflix account watched over the holidays in 2018? Well, the streamer made a spin-off, in Spanish, debuted Friday. The blindfolds are once again paramount in “Bird Box Barcelona,” in which a father played by Mario Casas tries to protect his daughter from the monsters. Álex and David Pastor wrote and directed this installment based on Josh Malerman’s 2014 novel. Is it worth your time? Check out AP's review here.
— Several other films big and small also arrived on VOD this week, including “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” set in 1994 and starring Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos. There’s also the independent gem “The Starling Girl,” a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl (Eliza Scanlen) who is trying to find her identity while adhering to the rules of her isolated religious community. Her life gets complicated when she develops a crush on the handsome youth pastor (Lewis Pullman).
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— Country star Lukas Nelson calls his latest album “the perfect setlist.” “Sticks and Stones,” the follow-up release to his 2021 album “A Few Stars Apart,” includes the first single, “More Than Friends,” featuring Lainey Wilson. Another single, “Alcohallelujah,” touches on both the highs and lows of drinking, with Nelson singing: “Forgive me, Father, for I’ve been inspired /I got bars and bars of melodies and memories/May this spirit lift me ever higher.” The new 12-track album, out Friday, sees Nelson backed by his longtime band Promise of the Real.
— Kool & The Gang and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly. The R&B, funk and soul icons — celebrating their 60th anniversary next year — have a new album, “People Just Wanna Have Fun.” The first single is infectious stuff, the happy, funky “Let’s Party,” featuring vocals from Sha Sha Jones. The band is led by founding members Robert “Kool” Bell on bass and George “Funky” Brown, the keyboardist, drummer and producer, whose memoir “Too Hot: Kool & The Gang & Me” arrives Tuesday. In addition to Jones, vocals on the album also include Shawn McQuiller, Lavell Evans, Dominique Karan, Rick Marcel and Walt Anderson, plus rappers Ami Miller & Ole’.
— A 1998 video recording of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s music theater classic “Oklahoma!” — starring then-newcomer Hugh Jackman — is hitting movie theaters for a lot less than a Broadway ticket. Jackman starred as Curly, alongside Maureen Lipman, Josefina Gabrielle and Shuler Hensley, during the show’s cheered run in London. The film will be screened in more than 800 cinemas around the globe for two days only, on Sunday and Wednesday, July 19 – including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, Norway and Australia. It features some very hummable songs, including “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” and the joyous title tune.
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— The title “Secrets of Playboy” alone sparks intrigue and the docuseries was a big hit for A&E because of its in-depth look at an alleged underbelly of the brand and its founder Hugh Hefner. The series returned for its second season on Monday with more interviews with former Playboy models, Playmates, and archival footage that examines Playboy’s impact on pop culture and those directly involved with the company.
— Football fans: would you like to know exactly what your favorite team’s quarterback is thinking during a season, from practices, to wins and losses, and what they say and do in a huddle? A new Netflix series called – you guessed it – “Quarterback" —takes an unprecedented look at the lives of popular QBs Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins and Marcus Mariota for the entire 2022 season. The players were mic’d for every game and cameras followed them home. “Quarterback” premiered Wednesday.
— Season five of the silly, witty, Emmy-nominated comedy “What We Do in the Shadows” arrived Thursday on FX. The mocumentary-style show follows the adventures of a group of vampire roommates living in a decrepit mansion. These hundreds-year-old vampires go out into the world and interact with the population. If it sounds ridiculous, it is, and that’s the point.
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— California indie developer Night School Studio charmed gamers in 2016 with Oxenfree, the tale of a group of meddling teens who stumble across a series of dimensional rifts while exploring a mysterious island. Night School, which has since been acquired by Netflix, is at long last returning to the story with the much anticipated Oxenfree II: Lost Signals. The sequel revolves around Riley, an environmental researcher who’s assigned to her coastal Oregon hometown to investigate puzzling radio transmissions. Fans of the original — not to mention the supernatural smash “Stranger Things” — can now book a return visit on PlayStation 5/4, Nintendo Switch, PC and the Netflix mobile app.
— Most of us who think about what 2040 will look like are worried about things like war, climate change and our new AI overlords, but Capcom’s Exoprimal proposes a different existential threat: dinosaur outbreaks! Your mission is to team up online with four other players and send the voracious beasts back to extinction. You are armed with futuristic weapons and high-tech “exosuits” of armor — but you also have to compete with other squads to collect the most trophies. Capcom has plenty of experience with fearsome creatures, thanks to its popular Monster Hunter series, but even veterans of that franchise may be overwhelmed when Exoprimal drops dozens of raptors on them at once. The dinos arrived Friday on PlayStation 5/4, Xbox X/S/One and PC.
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/entertainment.