There's new music from Foo Fighters, the buzzy HBO series “The Idol” starring Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd and a documentary about the breakthrough TV show “American Gladiators” 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 LeBron James’s origin story and a TV show where contestants compete to transform nostalgia cars into life-sized Hot Wheels.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— LeBron James’s origin story is dramatized in the new film “Shooting Stars,” debuting exclusively on Peacock on Friday. Based on the 2009 book, written by James and “Friday Night Lights” author Buzz Bissinger, the film looks at how he and his childhood friends (the self-anointed “fab four”) rose to basketball prominence on their high school team in Akron, Ohio. He and his friends would help lead their St. Vincent-St. Mary’s team to three state championships in four years. James is played by newcomer Marquis “Mookie” Cook, who co-stars with “Stranger Things’” Caleb McLaughlin as Lil Dru, Avery S. Wills Jr. as Willie McGee and Khalil Everage as Sian Cotton in the Chris Robinson-directed film.
— Sydney Sweeney, of “Euphoria” and “The White Lotus,” takes a starring role in “Reality,” available now on HBO and Max. (Read AP's review here. ) She plays former U.S. Air Force member and NSA contractor Reality Winner who was accused of leaking classified documents about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The film is based on actual dialogue between Winner and the FBI agents (Josh Hamilton and Marchant Davis) who showed up at her doorstep to interrogate her in 2017. It’s the directorial debut of Tina Satter, who adapted her 2019 play “Is This a Room?” and has gotten rave reviews since its debut at the Berlin Film Festival.
— Method acting is in the spotlight in a new series that debuted on The Criterion Channel on Thursday, along with a conversation between Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio and Isaac Butler, who wrote a book on the matter (“The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned How to Act.”) The films feature performances by noted disciples like Sidney Poitier, Montgomery Clift, Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando. Included among the 25 titles are George Stevens’ “A Place in the Sun,” Sidney Lumet’s “12 Angry Men,” Elia Kazan’s “Splendor in the Grass,” Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate” and “Carnal Knowledge,” Bob Rafelson’s “Five Easy Pieces” and Warren Beatty’s “Reds.”
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— Foo Fighters have a new album, the first since the death of the band’s drummer, Taylor Hawkins. The rockers say the 10-track “But Here We Are” is “a brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything Foo Fighters endured over the last year.” The lead, driving single is “Rescued,” with the lyrics “I’m just waiting to be rescued/Bring me back to life. Kings and queens and in-betweens/We all deserve the right.” The new album, out Friday is produced by Greg Kurstin and Foo Fighters. Hawkins died last year during a South American tour. (Read AP's review here.)
— Bob Dylan’s re-recordings of old songs, which first premiered on Alma Har’el’s 2021 film “Shadow Kingdom: The Early Songs of Bob Dylan,” will be released on audio formats for the first time on Friday. The collection includes “Forever Young,” “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” and “When I Paint My Masterpiece.” The 14 tracks include “Watching the River Flow,” a bluesy jewel. The full-length “Shadow Kingdom feature” film will also be available for download and rental on June 6. (Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings)
— The Revivalists return with their fifth full-length album, promising more of their spicy gumbo of horn-accented alt-rock, blues, folk and gospel. “Pour It Out Into the Night” is out Friday and the New Orleans-based band offers three very different takes on their sound, with the driving anthem “Kid,” the folky “Down in the Dirt” and the political protest tune “The Long Con,” with the lyrics “Every day they take away/A little piece of you/a little piece of me.” The band this summer are performing at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. (Concord Records)
— This week will offer a chance to honor Kenny Rogers with some rare songs he left behind. The 10-track “Life Is Like a Song” features eight never-before-heard recordings, spanning 2008-2011, including covers of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and Lionel Richie’s “Goodbye,” as well as his duet with Dolly Parton, “Tell Me That You Love Me.” The collection is curated and executive produced by the late Country Music Hall of Famer’s widow, Wanda Rogers. Two bonus tracks include a cover of the Mack Gordon/Henry Warren standard, “At Last” and the Buddy Hyatt-penned “Say Hello to Heaven.” (UMe)
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson has a new gritty HBO series called “The Idol” starring Lily-Rose Depp and Abel Tesfaye, also known as the recording artist The Weeknd, who is a co-writer and co-executive producer. Depp plays a recording artist in LA who, after a nervous breakdown, enters a disturbing relationship with a self-help guru/cult leader played by Tesfaye. “The Idol” has already garnered a lot of buzz for an alleged toxic work environment off camera and reportedly gratuitous sex scenes that are also violent, which the cast and Levinson have denied. The show premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where Levinson acknowledged at a press conference that while it is a “provocative” story, the media coverage has convinced him “we’re about to have the biggest show of the summer.” “The Idol” premieres Sunday on HBO.
— A new miniseries offers a history lesson on the 32nd president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was elected to four terms in office. Co-executive produced by Bradley Cooper and biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin, “FDR” delves into some of the most pivotal times in Roosevelt’s life including when he contracted Polio disease and was permanently paralyzed from the waist down, when U.S. forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and his marriage to Eleanor Roosevelt who became a champion for human rights. The three-night miniseries premiered its first episode Monday on History.
— ESPN’s award-winning “30 for 30” series returns with “The American Gladiators Documentary,” a two-part film examining the history of the former syndicated reality-competition show. It also reveals “American Gladiators” had a dark underbelly, involving greed, addiction and blackmail. Former contenders and crew members are interviewed. It premiered Tuesday.
— Gearheads will rev up for “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge,” where contestants compete to transform nostalgia cars into life-sized Hot Wheels. Hosted by auto expert Rutledge Wood and featuring celebrity guests including Anthony Anderson, Joel McHale and Terry Crews, the winner of each episode gets a $25,000 prize. Jay Leno, known for his own love of automobiles and rare car collection, appears in the finale episode where the winner is awarded $50,000 and have their creation turned into an actual Hot Wheels diecast model that the public can purchase. “Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge” debuted Tuesday on NBC.
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— As Mick Jagger once sang, summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the street. For aficionados of Capcom’s venerable Street Fighter series, that time can’t come soon enough. Street Fighter 6 — the franchise’s first release since 2016 — brings back 18 fan-favorite brawlers for more one-on-one punching and kicking. The new edition also lets you create your own avatar from scratch and go cruisin’ for a bruisin’ in cities all over the world. And there’s a battle hub where you and your friends can start fight clubs, compete in tournaments and play old-school Capcom arcade games. The fists and feet start flying Friday on PlayStation 5/4, Xbox X/S and PC.
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