The It List: 'The Office' alum Rainn Wilson stars in new thriller, 'MLK/FBI' uncovers extent of FBI's surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King Jr., Regina King's directorial debut arrives on Amazon and the best in pop culture the week of Jan. 11, 2021
The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for Jan. 11-17, including the best deals we could find for each.(Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)
STREAM IT: Rainn Wilson is stuck in a hole in the hard-hitting thriller Don’t Tell a Soul
Morality tale set-ups don’t get much better than the one that drives this nail-biting thriller from writer-director Alex McAulay (Flower). Two teenage brothers in a rural town (Dunkirk and Shazam! breakouts Fionn Whithead and Jack Dylan Grazer) are caught robbing a home by a security guard (The Office alum Rainn Wilson), who falls into a deep crevice while chasing them, leaving the boys feuding over whether or not to help save him. [Insert “ultimate Jim-Dwight prank” joke here.] An early-year treat that will keep you guessing until the end, we’re definitely telling you to check this one out. (You can start with a look at the exclusive clip above.) — Kevin Polowy
Don’t Tell a Soul premieres Friday, Jan. 15 in select theaters (get tickets on Fandango) and on VOD services including FandangoNOW and Redbox.
STREAM IT: Assassins goes behind, and beyond, the headlines of a famous political assassination
In February 2017, Kim Jong-nam — the one-time heir to North Korea’s dynastic ruling family — was publicly assassinated in a Malaysian airport when two women smeared his face with a cream that contained a deadly nerve agent. Upon their arrest, the accused assassins insisted that they thought they were participating in an elaborate Punk’d-like prank for YouTube. Ryan White’s absorbing documentary Assassins takes a deep dive into the case that captured the world’s attention, and demonstrated the growing power of North Korea’s current leader, and Jong-nam’s half-brother, Kim Jong-un. This exclusive clip from the film places the assassination in the context of the younger Kim’s attempts to consolidate his control over the isolated nation, and make himself a player on the world stage attracting the attention of global political leaders up to and including President Trump. — Ethan Alter
Assassins premieres Friday, Jan. 15 on VOD services including FandangoNOW and iTunes.
STREAM IT: Take a memorable trip to The Villages with the Darren Aronofsky-produced documentary Some Kind of Heaven
Forty years after documentary pioneer Errol Morris’s acclaimed 1981 non-fiction feature, Vernon, Florida, first-time filmmaker Lance Oppenheim crafts another quirky portrait of the Sunshine State. The Fort Lauderdale native takes his camera into the sprawling gated residence known as The Villages, the world’s largest retirement community. This exclusive clip from the film introduces you to this slightly surreal landscape — as filtered through Oppenheim’s heightened directorial style — and some of the retirees you’ll be spending time with, including single men and women looking for a second (or third) chance at love and those trying to make the most of their twilight years. “Everything here is just so positive,” one of the residents says of their supposed slice of heaven, while another insists, “You would never have to leave.” Needless to say, Oppenheim’s film subtly locates and explores the cracks in that rosy vision of The Villages, showing how real-world realities are always knocking on the door of paradise. — E.A.
Some Kind of Heaven premieres Friday, Jan. 15 in select theaters (get tickets on Fandango) and on VOD services including FandangoNOW.
WATCH IT: MLK/FBI details federal government’s harassment of Civil Rights icon
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but here’s a documentary that’s taken on significant new relevance after the events of the past six months. With the exposure of newly declassified files, documentarian Sam Pollard (Mr. Soul!) takes a chilling look at the J. Edgar Hoover-lead surveillance and harassment of Civil Rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. in the years leading up to his assassination. Prepare to be equal parts informed and enraged by this likely Oscar nominee. — K.P.
MLK/FBI premieres Friday, Jan. 15 in select theaters (get tickets on Fandango) and on-demand.
STREAM IT: Oscar contender One Night in Miami imagines meeting between four Black icons
Regina King can apparently do no wrong. The Beale Street Oscar winner and Watchmen Emmy winner makes what’s easily the best directorial debut by an actor in 2020 with this towering stage-to-screen adaptation from Kemp Powers (himself having a super-powered year between Miami and Soul) that tells a fictionalized account of a real-life hang between American icons Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.). Give this one 30 minutes to rev up and you will be transfixed by its simmering tension and phenomenal acting before the film’s musical climax gives you three straight minutes of chills. — K.P.
One Night in Miami is available Friday, Jan. 15 on Amazon Prime Video.
READ IT: No Mandalorian? No problem! Star Wars: The High Republic is here with new far, far away galactic adventures
The next big Star Wars series isn’t coming to the big or small screen: It’s playing out in book form. Launching this month across multiple print mediums, The High Republic turns back the galactic clock two centuries prior to The Phantom Menace when the Jedi were at their zenith… and the seeds were planted for their eventual fall. Starting with the first two installments Light of the Jedi and A Test of Courage, the events and stories of that era will play out in multiple adult and YA novels, as well as illustrated children’s books and two comic book series from Marvel and IDW, respectively. Collect them all, you must. — E.A.
Star Wars: The High Republic books are available on Amazon.
STREAM IT: The Search Party has a shocking new target
The fourth season of this comedy thriller finds Dory (Alia Shawkat) in the hands of her creepy stalker (Cole Escola). He’s even created Barbie-like dolls of her and her (hilarious) friends! When the gang goes to save her, they apparently find an opponent in guest star Susan Sarandon, who’s shown in the trailer kicking Dory down a flight of stairs. Look out for guest stars Griffin Dunne and The Handmaid’s Tale baddie Ann Dowd during the 10-episode cycle, too. Network HBO Max’s chosen release method — a few episodes per week — ensures that we won’t gulp this batch of episodes down in one or two sittings. — Raechal Shewfelt
The first three episodes of Search Party premiere Thursday, Jan. 14 on HBO Max, with additional episodes to be released on Jan. 21 and Jan. 28.
STREAM IT: Tiger Woods’s mistress, Rachel Uchitel, speaks out for the first time in HBO’s two-part documentary Tiger
The first half of Matthew Heineman and Matthew Hamachek’s new documentary, Tiger — which premiered on HBO on Jan. 10 — chronicled Tiger Woods’s rise to the top of the gold world in the late 1990s. Part 2, which debuts on Jan. 17, is all about his very public fall. One of the chief players in that tabloid-ready drama was Rachel Uchitel, a nightclub manager and hostess whose affair with the sports superstar set in motion a series of events that ended his marriage and thrust his private life into the headlines. Uchitel largely stayed silent amidst the ensuing media frenzy, but she’s ready to talk in Tiger, sharing her take on how their relationship began and the cloak-and-dagger tactics they employed to keep it secret, even as the National Enquirer was already on their tail. (Woods didn’t participate in the film.) “At this point, I have nothing left to lose,” she tells the directors about why she’s speaking out now, and the emotional trauma of being thrust into the limelight. “There were probably 45 to 50 paparazzi outside of my apartment telling me that I was a homewrecker, that I was a whore, saying, ‘I hope you get AIDS and die,’” she says in one painfully candid moment. “People came at me like they wanted to blame me for the fact that a married man cheated on his wife.” Tiger ultimately ends on a triumphant note for its central player, but clearly not everyone has healed. — E.A.
Tiger is currently streaming on HBO Max; Part 2 premieres on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max.
WATCH IT: Lupin III: The First brings the classic anime character into the CGI age
Japan’s answer to James Bond has been appearing in manga, anime series and movies as far back as the swinging ‘60s. Now, Lupin the Third is making his CGI debut in the new animated feature, Lupin III: The First, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on Jan. 12 two years after its acclaimed debut in Japan. Unlike 007, Lupin is a super-thief rather than a super-spy, but he generally ends up fighting the good fight anyway. The First, for example, finds him trying to heist an archeologist’s notebook, only to get caught up in an elaborate plot involving a lost civilization… and Adolf Hitler. Extras include interviews with the director and cast, as well as featurettes about the 3D animation and the movie’s Japanese premiere. — E.A.
Lupin III: The First is available Tuesday, Jan. 12 on Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD on Amazon.
STREAM IT: Have a laugh at Finding Joy
If TV shows were people, this Irish comedy would be besties with Fleabag, The Mindy Project and Shrill. Created, executive produced by and starring Amy Huberman, the series follows Joy, a thirtysomething lifestyle influencer who’s trying her best to make her messy life look as tidy as her branded content, which focuses on seeking happiness and fulfillment. An early scene of the six-episode second season, for example, has her arguing with her roommate, who — she found out too late — happens to be a tarot card reader with no income, about whether Dr. Phil is a real doctor or an actor. (For the record, he earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas.) She didn’t take a selfie during that conversation. — R.S.
Finding Joy returns Monday, Jan. 11 on Acorn TV.
READ IT: The future of the DC Universe is now with the DC Future State comic book event
#DCFutureState starts TOMORROW! Here's your guide to the two-month event taking the DC Universe to futures near and far: https://t.co/DjQhL4rdhl pic.twitter.com/PoHkMu2tVT
— DC Nation (@thedcnation) January 4, 2021
Another year, another Crisis. The DC Universe is going through its latest shake-up with DC Future State, a two-month event that transports existing titans like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman into the world of tomorrow, while younger heroes take over their capes, cowls and invisible planes. For example, as Bruce Wayne goes underground to fight a new threat, the Batcave and all its wonderful toys passes to Tim Fox — the first Black Batman in comic book history. Meanwhile, Clark Kent’s son, Jonathan, keeps the peace in Metropolis after Papa Superman heads off into the cosmos. And while the Future State event is only schedule to last until March, expect some of these characters to find their way back into the main DCU based on fan response. — E.A.
DC Future State comics are on shelves now with new titles debuting throughout January.
— Video produced by Jon San and edited by John Santo