The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. Here are our picks for Sept. 9-15, including the best deals we could find for each.
EXAMINE IT: American Beauty turns 20
Without a doubt, Kevin Spacey having top-billing in this 1999 film impacts its legacy, but Thora Birch, who played his daughter Jane, asked audiences to separate the sexual misconduct allegations against the actor from the art, acknowledging that while Spacey left a "stain" on the film, "an entire community" actually made it — not just him.
If you can do that, and not everyone can, the film — which won five Oscars, including Best Picture — tells the story of creepy ad exec Lester Burnham, who has a midlife crisis and becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's BFF. Spacey brings the smarminess for sure as the lecherous dad as the film mocks the concept of idyllic suburban life.
Alan Ball, who won an Oscar for the screenplay, has said the idea for the flick was inspired by the 1992 Joey Buttafuoco/Amy Fisher trial, which should tell you a lot about the plot and tragic characters. “Pretty much every character does something despicable, but they are very human," he said. "You get to see their humanity and you get to see why they’re so broken.”
The community Birch referenced includes Annette Bening, a standout as Lester's controlling and materialist wife, a real estate agent having an affair with her rival. ("Who's the king?") Birch plays the unhappy teen — no surprise with her parents — along with her self-absorbed cheerleader pal Mena Suvari, the object of Lester's disturbing desire, and Wes Bentley, who got his big break playing camcorder toting outcast Ricky. Chris Cooper, as a traumatized military vet, Allison Janney, Scott Bakula and Peter Gallagher also appear in what was Sam Mendes's directorial debut — and for which he won the Oscar for Best Director. And while Christina Hendricks didn't have a role in the film, we recently learned it was her hand — but not bellybutton — holding the rose in the film's iconic poster. Turns out she was a hand model in her pre-Mad Men days.
Again, you'll have to be someone who can separate the real from the reel to be able to enjoy the satire — and Birch said she hopes people try. "I think it's up to someone like me who was a part of American Beauty to try to remind everyone that it isn't merely a Kevin Spacey film," she said on the It Happened in Hollywood podcast. "We all love this film. And it doesn't have anything to do with Kevin at the end of the day." — Suzy Byrne
Buy American Beauty on Blu-ray, DVD or digital on Amazon.
WATCH IT: Jennifer Lopez rules the roost as the mother hen of a stripper crime syndicate in Hustlers
First things first: Despite being prominently featured in the Hustlers marketing campaign, music superstars Cardi B and Lizzo have roughly 10 minutes of actual screentime between them in Lorene Scafaria’s crowd-pleasing crime picture, set against the backdrop of Manhattan’s strip club scene. But you won’t feel their absence too much, because — let’s face it — everyone is in the theater to see Jennifer Lopez as the Hustlers version of Robert De Niro in Goodfellas. And the actress/producer doesn’t disappoint: Whether showing off her pole dancing moves or fleecing Wall Street fat cats, Lopez delivers her best performance in years — one that even stirred Oscar buzz amongst critics when the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Constance Wu plays the Henry Hill part as Dorothy, a single mother from Queens who finds a mentor in Lopez’s Ramona, and then becomes her accomplice when they start robbing the rich to pay... themselves.
Behind the camera, Scafaria keeps Hustlers pulsating with plenty of energy, if a few too many montages. The film’s richest dramatic moments — and most striking stylistic choices — come in the final act, when the good times come crashing to an end and it’s suddenly every woman for herself. Lopez and Scafaria have talked about how they had to hustle to get Hustlers made, and it should pay off with solid box office numbers and a long afterlife as a cable and/or streaming favorite. — Ethan Alter
READ IT: She Said sheds light on Harvey Weinstein scandal
New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, who broke the story of women accusing producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, explain how they did it. This behind-the-scenes look at how the Pulitzer Prize winners worked the story includes fresh accusations against Weinstein, as well as new details. Included is a memo that Weinstein’s former attorney, Lisa Bloom, sent to him outlining a strategy to discredit actress Rose McGowan’s allegations, by portraying her as “unglued” and a “pathological liar.” While the book promises to be an excruciating read, it’s certainly an important one.
She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement is available at Amazon.
WATCH IT: Dennis Rodman gets the 30 for 30 treatment with a new ESPN documentary
"Rodman: For Better or Worse" will premiere Tuesday September 10th on ESPN 🍿 pic.twitter.com/sUIiVPIqoY— 30 for 30 (@30for30) August 15, 2019
Back in the ‘90s, Dennis Rodman was on a lot of very famous TV shows. Don’t act like you don’t know. Whenever he wasn’t on the court, the basketball bad boy was a staple on MTV, wrestling telecasts, late night talk shows and, of course, tabloid television — the latter appearances due to his highly-public (and very short-lived) romances with such celebrities as Madonna and Carmen Electra. Rodman’s career is recapped in Rodman: For Better or Worse, the latest entry in ESPN’s storied 30 for 30 franchise. Featuring new interviews with Rodman, as well as his family, friends and colleagues, the 90-minute film covers most of his well-known career highlights (and lowlights), but finds its most affecting moments in its subject reflecting on what he missed out on during his larger-than-life basketball career, including a strong relationship with his now-grown daughter. — EA
Rodman: For Better or Worse premieres Sept. 10 on ESPN.
HEAR IT: Charli XCX is at the center of her own pop universe with new album
The “Boom Clap” pop darling, who’s also co-penned hits like Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello’s “Señorita,” returns with her first album in nearly six years, Charli. Her impressive list of special guests includes HAIM, Troye Sivan, Lizzo, Christine and the Queens, Big Freedia, Sky Ferreira and Kim Petras. — Lyndsey Parker
WATCH IT: Keep celebrating the Keanaissance as John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum lands on all home entertainment formats
The John Wick movies continue to get crazier and crazier — and in turn better and better? "Over the top" would be an understatement for this threequel starring Man of the Year Keanu Reeves. The film finds the Wickster brutally assaulting NBA star Boban "Big Sexy" Marjanovic with a book of Russian fairytales, engaging in what feels like at least a 5-minute knife-throwing fight and knowing exactly how to trigger a horse into back-kicking the head of a henchman. A good chunk of the film takes place in Casablanca, which is fitting because it's another epic romance between John Wick and shooting people in the face. — Kevin Polowy
Buy John Wick: Chapter 3 on Blu-ray, DVD or digital on Amazon.
WATCH IT: From Kelly Clarkson and Ellen Degeneres to The Talk ladies and Tamron Hall, the women of daytime have a lot to gab about
Singer Kelly Clarkson is back on TV, but this time it’s not as a contestant or a judge on a music competition. Instead, Clarkson is hosting her own daytime talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, featuring celebrity interviews, beginning with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson filling in for injured friend Kevin Hart, and discussion with everyday people and the famous alike. “You’ll see, like, a librarian sitting next to a celebrity, sitting next to a singer, an actor; it's different [mixes],” Clarkson told CNN.
Clarkson’s show debuts on the same day and one hour before The Ellen DeGeneres Show returns for its 17th season, with guests Kylie and Kris Jenner. Over on CBS, The Talk features the debut of co-host Marie Osmond, alongside co-hosts Sharon Osbourne (fresh from a new facelift), Eve, Sheryl Underwood and Carrie Ann Inaba. Yet another option is the syndicated talk show Tamron Hall. The former Today star is taking the mic in what promises to be a show reminiscent of Oprah Winfrey’s. In the trailer, Hall says, “We all have a story to tell, so let’s talk about it.” — RS
The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Tamron Hall premiere Sept. 9. Check local listings.
READ IT: Antoni Porowski cooks up some dishes in Antoni in the Kitchen
Queer Eye’s food expert gives readers a lesson in food prep, just like he does on the show, but these recipes are just as helpful for a quiet night at home as they are for a party to unveil the results of a makeover. That’s despite the fact that some of them were inspired by a restaurant, a place Porowski knew well while growing up in Montreal, and, ultimately, by his Polish heritage, which once made him “ashamed.”
“My father worked at this restaurant as a waiter, my sisters, all of my cousins,” Porowski said. “It’s run by a family member or was actually, and it’s when I started working there and just sort of hanging out with the grandmas in the kitchen, making the pierogis, where I kind of fell in love with, you know, the cuisine of where I’m from.”
Porowski’s book also includes practical sections on healthy-ish weeknight dinners and soups and stews. Best of all, some of his dishes are composed of fewer than five ingredients, so readers will have more time to relax and watch the Fab Five in action. — RS
Antoni in the Kitchen is available at Amazon.
WATCH IT: Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die is far from brain dead
It may not have been a summertime smash, but with a nearly $14 million worldwide gross, The Dead Don’t Die is officially the second-highest grossing movie of Jim Jarmusch’s career. On the downside, with a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s also one of the hipster auteur’s least-popular movies critically. And sure, there may not be a lot on The Dead Don’t Die’s mind, particularly compared to socially-conscious zombie movie classics like Dawn of the Dead. But if you ask us, watching Jarmusch and his A-list cast — including Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Danny Glover and Bill Mothereffin’ Murray — riff on zombie movie cliches is a bloody good time. Driver is an especially reliable source of humor: Only Kylo Ren could find the humor in a line as innocuous as “Oh yuck!” — EA
HEAR IT: Alice Cooper drops Breadcrumbs, a tribute "to the Garage Rock Heroes from his hometown Detroit City”
The shock-rock icon returns to his roots with this Bob Ezrin-produced EP honoring the garage-rock heroes of his Detroit hometown. Cooper covers classic by the likes of MC5, Suzi Quatro and Mitch Ryder with the help of fellow Motor City madmen like the MC5’s Wayne Kramer and Grand Funk Railroad’s Mark Farner. — LP
WATCH IT: Your wish to watch Will Smith’s Aladdin again and again has been granted
Our expectations were firmly at bay — actually sub-bay — heading into Disney's second of three live-action adaptions of classic 'toons this year (flanking March's Dumbo and July's The Lion King). That was largely because of bad buzz around the appearance of Blue Man Will Smith, who had the unenviable task of filling Robin Williams's giant Genie shoes. But the May box office was actually a really pleasant surprise, and coincidentally comes alive the second Smith shows up and makes the character his own. Breakout star Naomi Scott also shines in a film that will never replace the 1992 animated favorite but ended up being a worthy successor. — KP
Buy Aladdin on Blu-ray, DVD or Digital on Amazon.
HEAR IT: Multi-Platinum Emeli Sandé releases third album Real Life
The British chanteuse’s third studio album finds her exploring old-school, Motown-inspired soul sounds and displaying newfound confidence on life-affirming anthems like “Shine,” “You Are Not Alone,” “Survivor” and “Extraordinary Being.” — LP
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