Jennifer Lawrence’s R-rated comedy “No Hard Feelings” and the more family friendly animated movie “The Monkey King” from director Stephen Chow 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 a Harlan Coben TV adaptation with a young protagonist, Irish singer-songwriter Hozier’s third studio album and sweet Marcie, the introverted member of the “Peanuts” gang gets a special, “Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie.”
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— Parents looking for fresh animated offerings should rejoice that Netflix has a new film from Stephen Chow, the actor and producer known for “Kung Fu Hustle” and “Shaolin Soccer,” in “The Monkey King” streaming Friday. Jimmy O. Yang of “Silicon Valley” and “Crazy Rich Asians” voices said Monkey King, born from a stone with magical powers and a big ego and who is on a quest for immortality. A young human girl (Jolie Hoang-Rappaport) teams up with him to defeat dragons and demons. Other voice actors include Jo Koy, Bowen Yang, Stephanie Hsu and BD Wong. It’s loosely based on the 16th century, Wu Cheng’en Ming dynasty novel “Journey to the West.”
Netflix also has “Depp v. Heard,” a new doc about the widely watched libel trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, coming on Wednesday from director Emma Cooper (“The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes”).
— ”Cocaine Bear” roared onto Prime Video on Tuesday. Very loosely based on a true story (and taken to wild heights), the non-stop action comedy from Elizabeth Banks stars Keri Russell, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Margo Martindale, Kristofer Hivju, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Alden Ehrenreich and the late Ray Liotta. AP’s Mark Kennedy was no fan in his zero star review but said that at an efficient 95 minutes it “snorts along.” Others were enchanted. “When the movie’s pitched, you hear the word ‘Cocaine,’ you’re like I’m not sure what to think of this,” producer Phil Lord told the AP. “Then when you hear the word ‘Bear,’ you’re like: I’m all in.”
— Or if you want to settle in with a raunchy comedy, the Jennifer Lawrence vehicle “No Hard Feelings” is now available on video-on-demand. Lawrence plays a woman who answers a Craigslist ad posted by some concerned parents who want someone to “date” their awkward teenage son Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) before he heads to college. Lawrence’s pal Gene Stupnitsky (“Good Boys”) wrote it for he r to showcase her comedy prowess, which has so far been mostly relegated to her talk show appearances. Film Writer Jake Coyle wrote in his review that the movie “works better than it ought to” and that it gives Lawrence “plenty of room to showcase her talent at upending traditional ideas of Hollywood glamour. At every moment, she delights in undercutting her own sexiness; it’s not every A-lister who’s willing to film a beach brawl in the nude.”
— AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— Irish singer-songwriter Hozier’s third studio album, “Unreal Unearth,” comes out Friday, Aug. 18. The 16-track collection is loosely based on Dante’s “Nine Circles of Hell” and features the slinky “De Selby (Part 2),” “Unknown/Nth,” “All Things End,” “Eat Your Young” and “Francesca,” which builds to a thrilling, Phil Spector Wall of Sound-like climax. “I’m proud of this record and enjoyed watching it come to life over the past year,” Hozier wrote to fans. Also listen for Brandi Carlile on “Butchered Tongue.” ( Read AP’s review.)
— If oldies are more your style, look no further than “Reinventing Elvis: The ’68 Comeback,” a new feature-length documentary about the making of the television special that revitalized Elvis Presley’s career. When it aired on the night of Dec. 3, 1968, nearly half of the entire TV-watching audience tuned in to see Presley, clad in an iconic black leather suit, deliver some of the greatest performances of his life. The special landed on Paramount+ on Tuesday.
— Take center stage with Broadway icon Idina Menzel, whose “Drama Queen” shows off her big, rich vocals. “I want everyone to move and sing with me and embrace their inner ‘Drama Queen,’” the Tony Award-winner told fans. The “Let It Go” singer worked alongside Nile Rodgers on “Paradise” and goes full disco on first single, “Move,” a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. “I’ll meet you on the dance floor or at the stage door or wherever you will have me. This album is for you.”
— Go back in time and groove to the two-part music docuseries “San Francisco Sounds: A Place in Time,” premiering on Sunday from MGM+. The series tracks the history of the San Francisco music scene from 1965 to 1975. The series follows the creative explosion in San Francisco that featured the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Steve Miller, Santana, Moby Grape and more. The second part drops Aug. 27.
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— A new “Peanut’s” special on Apple TV+ puts Marcie, the introverted, studious bestie of Peppermint Patty and the gang, in the spotlight with her first special. In “Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie,” the character has lots of ideas to make her friend’s lives easier, but when those problem-solving abilities get her elected class president, the attention makes Marcie uncomfortable, and she becomes overwhelmed. “One-of-a-Kind Marcie” debuted Friday.
— Best-selling author Harlan Coben has had many of his books adapted for TV, but his latest offering, “Harlan Coben’s Shelter” for Prime Video, centers on a younger protagonist. Jaden Michael (“Colin in Black & White”) stars as Mickey Bolitar — the teen nephew of famed Coben character Myron Bolitar. (Mickey has been the subject of YA books by Coben.) In this series, we meet Mickey when he is taken in by his aunt in New Jersey after his dad’s death. He quickly channels his own grief into obsessing over a local disappearance. We also see Mickey interact with colorful school classmates including Abby Corrigan, Adrian Greensmith, Sage Linder and Antonio Cipriano, doing his best Biff from “Back to the Future.” The series debuted Friday.
— The star-studded TV fundraiser for cancer research co-founded by Katie Couric called “Stand Up to Cancer” returns on Saturday. Celebs taking part include Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Biel, Don Cheadle, Danai Gurira and Justin Timberlake. It will also feature skits and musical performances from past specials. The fundraiser airs every other year and this time, it will simulcast across 50 media platforms in both the U.S. and Canada, including on the four major U.S. broadcast networks.
— Alicia Rancilio
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— The nights are getting longer. School supplies are on sale. But you truly know summer’s ending when the latest edition of Madden comes out. What’s new in Madden NFL 24? Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is the cover model. Superstar mode, in which you guide one player’s career from draft pick to All-Pro, is back. Franchise mode has been revamped with upgraded training camp, trading and commissioner tools. And, as always, EA Sports is promising tighter control over throwing, catching, running and tackling, delivered with ever-more-realistic graphics. To get all this, you’ll need to buy the PlayStation 5, Xbox X/S or PC version; less feature-packed editions will still come out for the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The season begins Friday.
— For college students and their parents, fall brings another brutal ritual: moving. Indies SMG Studio and DEVM Games at least try to make it fun with Moving Out 2. In the 2020 original, your Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technicians (you work out the acronym) defied physics to cram mansions’ worth of stuff into their rickety vans. The sequel gets wackier, as the Smooth Moves moving team expands the business into entirely new dimensions and brings on new recruits like a sneakerhead — who literally has a sneaker for a head. And there are more ways to play co-op, either on the same couch or online. Start packing now on PlayStation 5/4, Xbox X/S/One, Nintendo Switch or PC.
— Lou Kesten
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/entertainment.