New this week: ‘Spirited,’ Pokémon, ‘Nope’ and ‘Slumberland’
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week.
— In “Nope,” Jordan Peele has once again made a rarity in Hollywood: a wholly original film that was also a box-office hit. In his third film as writer-director, following “Get Out” and “Us,” Peele extends his darkly unsettling oeuvre into science fiction. The film, arrives Friday on Peacock after a theatrical run this summer in theaters, is about a mysterious alien force that hovers in the clouds above a California ranch. The film reteams Peele with “Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya, whose character maintains a family horse wrangling business with his sister (Keke Palmer). In her review, AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr said “Nope” “offers a lot to chew on, which is more than most big summer spectacles can promise.”
— Family films have been few and far between in theaters lately, but they’re proliferating on streaming services. One of Netflix’s biggest forays into the field yet is “Slumberland,” a $90-million fantasy adventure by “Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence. The film, which debuts Friday, Nov. 18. on Netflix, is about a young girl (Marlow Barkley) who enters the dreamworld of Slumberland, where a rogue named Flip (Jason Momoa) helps her try to find her late father. It’s loosely based on Winsor McCay’s early 20th century comic stream, “Little Nemo in Slumberland.”
— The holiday movies are also already merrily making their way onto home screens. “Spirited,” a riff on “A Christmas Carol” starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds, debuts Friday, Nov. 18, on Apple TV+. A lavish song-and-dance musical that transfers Charles Dickens’ classic to modern day and reimagines it from the ghosts’ perspectives. (Ferrell plays “Present”.) In her more measured than humbug review, Bahr said “Spirited” “comes up short as a musical,” but “is still pretty enjoyable.”
— Neil Young & Crazy Horse have a new 11-track studio album, “World Record,” produced by Rick Rubin and Young. The first track, “Love Earth,” is a relaxed love ballad to the planet, with the lyrics “Love Earth, such an easy thing to do/Love Earth, ‘till the water and the air is pure” and a video of a barefoot Young walking in the wilderness. The new album examines the state of Earth, its uncertain future, and even Young’s relationship with cars (on “Chevrolet”). Neil Young & Crazy Horse have had a prolific couple of years: In 2019, they issued “Colorado,” followed by “Barn” in 2021.
— Scotty McCreery fans have reason to smile: A small truckload of new songs from his 2021 “Same Truck” album recording sessions. “Same Truck: The Deluxe Album” is out Friday, Nov. 18. “Nothin’ Right” is one of six new tracks featured on the deluxe album. “We had more songs I loved ready for the original release of ‘Same Truck’ than we could put on that album, so I am pumped that Triple Tigers asked me to do a deluxe edition where I could add six more songs,” said McCreery. “On It” reunites McCreery, Jessi Alexander, Jonathan Singleton and Frank Rogers — the writing team responsible for his 2020 No. 1 hit “In Between.”
— Broadway stars and husband and wife Colin Donnell and Patti Murin release their first joint album, “Something Stupid,” on Friday, Nov. 18. The couple tackle 12 tracks by Bruce Springsteen, Sara Bareilles, Jason Robert Brown, Paul Simon and more. Murin played Princess Anna in Disney’s “Frozen” on Broadway and has been a recurring character on NBC’s “Chicago Med,” a show that has also starred Donnell. His Broadway credits include “Violet,” “Anything Goes” and “Jersey Boys.”
— Chris Hemsworth, aka “Thor,” puts himself to the test in National Geographic’s “Limitless,” part of an effort to discover the human body’s durability and how best to confront aging. Accompanied by friends and presumably nervous family members, Hemsworth undertakes challenges including swimming across an almost-freezing Arctic fjord, climbing a 100-foot rope suspended over a canyon and living with a simulation of what his body might be like at nearly 90 years of age. Created by filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, the six-part series debuts Wednesday on Disney+.
— He was born Steamboat Willie in a 1928 animated short, but like a lot of older stars he rebranded with a catchier name. He’s finally getting the documentary treatment with “Mickey: The Story of a Mouse,” debuting Friday, Nov. 18, on, natch, Disney+. The product of Walt Disney’s fertile imagination, Mickey became beloved by children and adults and a cash mouse for Disney’s growing entertainment empire. The chipper Mickey also proved an adaptable icon, as detailed in the film from director Jeff Malmberg and producer Morgan Neville (both of whom worked on the Fred Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”).
— Fox Nation’s four-part series marking the 150-year history of magnificent Yellowstone National Park has the appropriate host in Kevin Costner, star of the Paramount+ drama “Yellowstone.” In “Yellowstone: One-Fifty, ” debuting Sunday, Nov. 20, Costner follows the path of an 1870s geological expedition in the western region that later became the first U.S. national park; visits Yellowstone during an inhospitable winter with minus-40 degree temperatures, and explores the park’s thousands of years of human history.
— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber
— “Pentiment” is one of the fall’s more intriguing experiments. It’s a murder mystery set in 16th century Bavaria. Its art is inspired by the illuminated manuscripts and woodcut prints of the era. And there’s no voice acting — instead, the dialog is presented in medieval typefaces, with fonts and colors changing according to the status of the speaker. It’s a tightly focused labor of love from Obsidian Entertainment director Josh Sawyer, best known for sprawling role-playing epics like “Fallout: New Vegas” and “Pillars of Eternity.” This trip back in time launches Tuesday for the Xbox X/S, Xbox One and PC.
— Longtime Pokémon players know they can depend on Nintendo to regularly introduce new batches of the combative critters. Meet Sprigatito, a mesmerizing grass cat; Fuecoco, an excitable fire croc; and Quaxly, a duck with a nasty kick. They’re the starting characters in “Pokémon Scarlet” and “Pokémon Violet.” Nintendo says trainers will be able to freely explore a more expansive open world, a shift away from the linear storylines of previous games. Fans can resume the eternal effort to catch ’em all on Friday, Nov. 18, on the Nintendo Switch.
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