What to watch this weekend: ‘Succession’ finale, John Wick, Matchbox Twenty, ‘American Born Chinese’
Sure, lots of folks are eagerly anticipating this Sunday’s “Succession” finale. But what if you haven’t followed the Roy family drama? There’s plenty of new don’t miss 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 this week are streaming arrival of the latest “John Wick” film, the end of a long drought of new Matchbox Twenty music, a video game that lets you play one of Middle Earth’s most recognizable characters and a television adaptation of the graphic novel “American Born Chinese.”
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— It can be hard to believe when corporate folks make genuinely altruistic gestures, especially involving their fortunes, but neither Kris McDivitt Tompkins, the first CEO of Patagonia, nor her late husband, Doug Tompkins, the founder the North Face and Esprit, were ones to play by the rules. “Wild Life,” a new documentary from the Oscar-winning “Free Solo” filmmakers, tells the story of this couple, their love of the outdoors, their adventurous spirits and how they funneled their fortunes to “rewilding” conservation efforts by buying up roughly 2.2 million acres in Argentina and Chile. “Wild Life” starts streaming on Disney+ and Hulu on Friday.
— It’s a robust week for Sundance documentaries on streaming as “Victim/Suspect” debuted on Netflix on Tuesday. This film from director Nancy Schwartzman follows reporter Rae de Leon’s investigation into a disturbing pattern: That in the United States, women reporting sexual assaults often become suspects. The film delves into possible flaws and loopholes in the system that may be enabling the chilling trend.
— For more escapism, Keanu Reeves’ tireless assassin John Wick returns for a fourth film, which made its way to video on demand on Tuesday. This time, Wick goes to Paris. He’s still being hunted but has also gone on the offensive. AP’s Mark Kennedy wrote in his review that this installment elevates and expands the franchise. “The fourth installment is more stylish, more elegant and more bonkers — kind of like Paris itself,” Kennedy said. It also serves as a bittersweet farewell to the Continental Hotel concierge Charon, played by Lance Reddick, who died shortly before the film came out.
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— Pop-rockers Matchbox Twenty end over a decade away with their fifth studio album, “Where The Light Goes,” out Friday. It’s an upbeat collection, opening with a horn-drenched, sing-along “Friends” — the chorus goes “All my friends are here” and the song features the vocals from bandmember Paul Doucette’s son — and other highlights include singer-songwriter Amanda Shires’ duet with frontman Rob Thomas on the cheerful “No Other Love” and the single “Wild Dogs (Running In a Slow Dream),” which captures that time in your youth when you finally find your people.
— Diddy is looking to jam just in time for summer. He teamed up with duo rap group City Girls — which includes JT and Yung Miami — and rapper Fabolous on his new song “Act Bad.” The single, which was product Diddy and Papyier, revolves around the concept of being fearlessly unapologetic. Diddy has already enlisted “Darkest Before Dawn” director Kid Art to direct the music video in hopes of capturing Miami’s wild nightlife.
— Celebrate the end of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” by singing along with an album of the fifth and final season’s music. The album features songs like “ Relax Max” by Dinah Washington, “I Love The Way You Say Goodnight” by Doris Day with The Page Cavanaugh Trio, Barbra Streisand’s “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” and Tony Bennett’s ”I Wanna Be Around.” Fans will appreciate actor Hank Azaria doing “Nancy (With The Laughing Face)” and the cast belting out “Everything Grows!”
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— Dinosaurs once again come to life in the second season of “Prehistoric Planet” on Apple TV+. Executive produced by Jon Favreau and the team behind “Planet Earth,” the docuseries uses the latest technology to not only create dinosaurs that look real, but also to immerse viewers into their habitat. Sir David Attenborough returns to narrate. “Prehistoric Planet” season two is presented as an event series, debuted Monday and is completely out now.
— Each episode of the “SmartLess” podcast hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett features an entertaining conversation with a guest, but one of the best parts about the trio is their banter with each other. These longtime friends bicker and rib one another like family. The guys took their show on the road in 2022 to six cities, hosting conversations in front of a live, sold-out audience with surprise guests. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to see them live, it turns out cameras were rolling. “Smartless: On the Road” debuted Tuesday on Max.
— The new action-comedy series “American Born Chinese” is based on the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. It stars Ben Wang as a high schooler trying to survive the daily life as a first generation American in a Chinese family. He meets an exchange student from Taiwan and finds himself caught up in a war of ancient Chinese Gods. The series strikes a balance between a coming-of-age story and mythology with the spirit of the graphic novel. It also boasts a cast that includes Oscar winners Ke Huy Quan and Michele Yeoh, plus Chin Han and Daniel Wu. Recurring cast members include Stephanie Hsu, Ronnie Chieng and Jimmy O. Yang. “American Born Chinese” premiered Wednesday on Disney+.
— Alicia Rancilio
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— You’re off to visit Middle-Earth. Which character do you want to be? Frodo? Gandalf? Legolas? Daedalic Entertainment is betting on a more conflicted protagonist with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. Instead of wielding cool weapons and flashy spells, Gollum has to rely on stealth and spiderlike climbing skills to survive. He also has to put up with kibitzing from his alter ego, Smeagol, the kindhearted hobbit Gollum was before being corrupted by his “preciousss” One Ring. The German studio Daedalic is best known for story-heavy adventures like its Deponia series, so it could be interesting to see how it tackles a tale set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s sprawling world. Gollum’s journey begins Friday on Xbox X/S/One, PlayStation 5/4 and PC.
— In a typical post-apocalyptic video game like Fallout or The Last of Us, there are still plenty of people wandering the planet. Private Division’s After Us isn’t messing around — in its future, human beings have been wiped off the face of the Earth. You play as Gaia, the “spirit of life,” and your mission is to gather the lost souls of all the species that have been driven to extinction. Oil-drenched monsters called Devourers are out to stop any hope of revival. Despite the grim setting, After Us looks gorgeous, evoking the haunted wasteland of the 2012 classic Journey. And Barcelona-based Piccolo Studio says it’s a story of “sacrifice and hope,” so Earth may not be done just yet. It arrived Tuesday on Xbox X/S, PlayStation 5 and PC.
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