New in Entertainment: ‘Blonde’, ‘Hocus Pocus 2′ & Björk
(AP) - This week’s new entertainment releases include albums from Björk and Broadway’s “Into the Woods,” the reunion of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy in “Hocus Pocus 2″ and a Showtime documentary about Sinéad O’Connor. Kerry Washington is behind the camera as an executive producer for Hulu’s “Reasonable Doubt,” with Emayatzy Corinealdi starring as an L.A. defense attorney who chooses results over protocol and has a complicated personal life. And “Blonde,” Andrew Dominik’s long-delayed, NC-17-rated epic and experimental film about Marilyn Monroe is finally here, available on Netflix starting Wednesday.
Andrew Dominik’s long-delayed, NC-17-rated epic about Norma Jean Baker, or Marilyn Monroe, is finally here. “Blonde,” which will be available on Netflix on Wednesday, looks at the life and mythology of the Hollywood icon, played by Ana de Armas, through an experimental and fictionalized lens, with stunning recreations of classic film moments from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “The Seven Year Itch,” brought to life by Chayse Irvin’s cinematography, Jennifer Johnson’s costumes, and de Armas’s committed performance. But this is no celebration of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” or one of its brightest stars; it’s an often brutal critique of that industry and the surrounding culture and how it failed her time and time again.
For something infinitely lighter and seasonally appropriate, head over to Disney+ on Friday for “Hocus Pocus 2,” which brings the witchy Sanderson Sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) back to Salem. The first film, which was released in 1993, was neither a box office success nor a critical favorite by any stretch, but kept a hold on those who saw and loved it as children. And almost every year since, “Hocus Pocus” has had a spike in sales around Halloween time. This sequel adds some TV comedy favorites to the mix like “Veep’s” Tony Hale and Sam Richardson and “Ted Lasso’s” Hannah Waddingham.
In a new documentary “Nothing Compares,” Irish filmmaker Kathryn Ferguson looks at the life and career of Sinéad O’Connor, from her rise to her de facto exile from the pop establishment and beyond. The film, which begins streaming on demand for Showtime subscribers on Friday before premiering on air on the channel on Oct. 2, uses archival footage, some previously unseen, and a new interview with O’Connor to tell her story.
The first video from Björk’s new album shows her in a psychedelic mushroom forest with a phalanx of bass clarinet players, which seems pretty on-brand. The Icelandic star releases “Fossora” on Friday and says the title is a word she made up — the feminine version of the Latin word for “digger.” Björk has described the collection as a “mushroom album.” Two of the album’s tracks, “Sorrowful Soil” and “Ancestress,” were inspired by the death of her mother. Her last album was “Utopia,” which was light and airy. “This time around/the feeling was landing/on the earth and digging my feet into the ground,” she wrote on social media.
Rita Wilson is flexing her big-name connections with her new album, “Rita Wilson Now & Forever: Duets,” out Tuesday. It sees Mrs. Tom Hanks collaborating with numerous artists, including Elvis Costello, Keith Urban, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Leslie Odom Jr., Josh Groban and Jackson Browne. Each tune explores songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, from the Bee Gees’ “Massachusetts” to Fleetwood Mac’s “Songbird.” She sings “Let It Be Me” with Browne, “Slip Slidin’ Away” with Nelson and “Where Is The Love?” with Robinson.
Can’t make it to Broadway for one of the fall’s loveliest shows? Then just stream the cast album of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods,” with an all-star cast including Sara Bareilles, Brian d’Arcy James, Patina Miller, Phillipa Soo, Gavin Creel and Joshua Henry. In the musical, several classic Grimm fairy tales are thrown into a blender and then emerge intertwined, unmoored and unfinished. Bareilles’ version of “Moments in the Woods” is utterly sublime. The stream starts Friday.
Kerry Washington (“Scandal”) is behind the camera as an executive producer for Hulu’s “Reasonable Doubt,” debuting Tuesday. Emayatzy Corinealdi stars as a L.A. defense attorney who chooses results over protocol and has a complicated personal life. Jay-Z’s debut album and discography are cited as inspiration for the show and episode titles, with hip-hop, R&B and neo-soul featured on the soundtrack. Michael Ealy and Sean Patrick Thomas co-star in the first scripted drama from Disney’s Onyx Collective, which focuses on programming from creators of color and underrepresented voices.
Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin play a mother-son odd couple in CBS’ new dramady “So Help Me Todd,” debuting Thursday. The Oscar-winning Harden’s attorney Margaret Wright is organized to a fault; Astin’s Todd is the black sheep in a successful family, an effective private eye who lost his license because he balked at following the rules. She decides the best cure for her wayward but talented offspring is to put him to work for her law firm as in-house investigator, and he accepts. Humor, mysteries and family dysfunction are promised to ensue.
“How I Got Here” combines a roots-discovery trip, family bonding and travelogue, which pretty much means something for everyone. In each episode, a parent returns to their native country — young adult child in tow — to explore the sacrifice and circumstances that led to their decision to seek a new home. Each 10-day trip allows time to sample the local food, scenery and cultural highlights in countries including Chile, Israel, Italy and Zambia. The BYUtv series debuts at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday followed that night by episode two in its regular 6 p.m. slot.
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