Thandiwe Newton starring in a thriller, the return of the TV family wrestling drama “Heels” and a new album from Post Malone 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 comedian Chris Estrada’s series “This Fool” returning for a second season and Zach Galifianakis starring in a movie about the creation of the ultra-collectable Beanie Babies.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— Zach Galifianakis takes on a different kind of role in “The Beanie Bubble,” playing Ty Warner, the founder of Ty, Inc. and creator of the Beanie Babies, which in the mid-1990s surged in popularity, and resale value, for several years. The film is not exactly about him however. Based on Zac Bissonnette’s “The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute,” directors Kristin Gore and Damian Kulash Jr. look at the women around Ty — his business partner, played by Elizabeth Banks; a single mother he dates, played by Sarah Snook; and a temp who puts his company online at the beginning of the e-commerce age, played by Geraldine Viswanathan. “The Beanie Bubble” is available on Apple TV+ starting Friday.
— Thandiwe Newton plays a former New Orleans cop-turned-college professor living in a remote part of Montana who catches two hunters trespassing on her property in the thriller “God’s Country,” streaming on Hulu on Friday. Based on James Lee Burke’s short story “Winter Light,” the Julian Higgins-directed film debuted last year at Sundance to largely favorable reviews. In the Los Angeles Times, Robert Daniels wrote that “’God’s Country’ is a film that wants to disarm you at every turn, and it often succeeds with a transfixing, acute spirit of retribution against society’s toxic racial and gender power dynamics.”
— And in honor of “Oppenheimer” debuting in theaters, the programmers over at the Criterion Channel have waived the subscription fee and made Jon Else’s riveting 1981 documentary “The Day After Trinity” available for free until July 31. J. Robert Oppenheimer had died by the time the filmmakers started on this endeavor, but the film features interviews with an army of names that anyone who watched the movie, or read “American Prometheus,” will recognize. They include his brother Frank Oppenheimer, Haakon Chevalier, Hans Bethe, Isidor Rabi and more, reflecting on Oppenheimer and what they created at Los Alamos. It’s an essential historical document and fascinating companion piece to Christopher Nolan’s film.
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— The music week belongs to Post Malone, whose new album “Austin,” signals a move away from rap. There’s already been the excellent single synth-pop tune “Chemical,” the hungover ballad “Mourning” and the power rock of ”Overdrive,” where he sings “I’ll remove my tattoos if that’s cool to you/I’ll do anything to be cool to you.” Post Malone says he played guitar on all of the 17-tracks and posted on Instagram: “It’s been some of the funnest music, some of the most challenging and rewarding music for me, at least — trying to really push myself and really do some cool stuff.”
— The Rolling Stones are reissuing their stuffed 2002 album “Forty Licks” digitally for the first time on Wednesday. It’s got over 2 1/2 hours of top-level Stones, including “Satisfaction,” “Miss You,” “Brown Sugar,” “Paint It, Black,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Get Off of My Cloud” and “Angie.” “Forty Licks” would sell seven million copies around the world, and has come to be seen as the definitive anthology of the band’s recording career, bringing together songs from their early days via Decca UK and London US through to the establishment of their own Rolling Stones Records.
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— Comedian Chris Estrada’s “This Fool” drops its 10-episode second season Friday on Hulu. The show is a working-class comedy about Estrada’s character, Julio, living in South Los Angeles, who has the best of intentions but often finds himself in absurd situations. When we first met him in season one, Julio is living with his mother and grandmother, still using his childhood bedroom, and working for a gang rehabilitation group called Hugs not Thugs. In season two, Hugs not Thugs has shuttered. Julio, along with his ex-con cousin and now roommate Luis, and former support group boss, a minister played by Michael Imperioli, decide to open a coffee shop and name it Mugs not Thugs, which employs ex-felons.
— Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig’s family wrestling drama “Heels” is back two years after its debut on Starz. The actors play brothers, Jack and Ace Spade, who are professional wrestlers in a small Georgia town called Duffy, where their drama and rivalry extends outside the ring. Ace, who is the hero character (known as “the face” in wrestling-speak) has the potential to leave their Duffy Wrestling League for the big time while Jack — the villain known as “the heel” — also dreams of stardom but carries the burden of keeping the family business afloat. Season one followed the breakdown of the brothers’ relationship and in season two, debuting Friday on Starz, the two must come together to restore the Duffy Wrestling League. Amell, who starred as Oliver Queen in The CW’s “Arrow,” has said he never thought he would find a role as satisfying as that, and playing Jack is like lightning striking twice.
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— Disney’s Castle of Illusion, from 1990, was a charming adventure that could have turned Mickey Mouse into the next Mario. Alas, the Mouse House let the series wither, but England’s Dlala Studios has dusted off Mickey’s white gloves for the new Disney Illusion Island. It’s a two-dimensional romp in which Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy run, jump and bounce across the island in search of three magical books. Parents and kids can team up to play all four characters at once — you can boost a teammate’s health meter with a hug — or you can explore solo. The animation looks more like the Rayman series than classic Disney, but it’s vivid and lively. The frolicking begins Friday on Nintendo Switch.