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 Dec. 9-15, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)
WATCH IT: Clint Eastwood’s latest biographical drama, Richard Jewell, arrives in theaters riding a wave of pre-release controversy
When Richard Jewell premiered at Los Angeles’s AFI Fest last month, the initial reaction was that Clint Eastwood had snuck another late-inning powerhouse into the awards race. In the ensuing weeks, though, that momentum has been stalled by controversy over the film’s dramatization of real-life events surrounding the title character, played by Paul Walter Hauser. Written by Billy Ray, Richard Jewell explores how the real Jewell — a security guard at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta — went from being a hero to the prime suspect in the infamous bombing that terrorized attendees in Centennial Olympic Park. As the film depicts, Jewell discovered the bomb before it detonated and warned the authorities, initiating an evacuation that prevented more extensive casualties. In the aftermath of the bombing, though, the FBI designated him as a person of interest, which got picked up by the media and turned the tide of public opinion against him. Jewell was eventually cleared of suspicion, but the shadow of that experience loomed large over the rest of his life. (He died in 2007.)
Where Richard Jewell departs from the historical record is in the characterizations of journalist Kathy Scruggs and FBI agent, Tom Shaw, played by Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm respectively. While Shaw is a fictional character, Scruggs was the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter who initially broke the story about the FBI’s investigation into Jewell. (She died in 2001.) Ray and Eastwood depict the two as having a sexual relationship, with Scruggs propositioning Shaw in exchange for the scoop. (The film also suggests that she enlisted a male colleague to write the piece for her.) Naturally, the newspaper has strenuously pushed back against that version of events, requesting that a disclaimer be attached to the film prior to its general release on Dec. 13. For her part, Wilde has defended the film for its dramatic liberties, saying: “I have nothing but respect for Kathy Scruggs, she’s no longer with us, so I feel a certain amount of responsibility to protect her legacy and tell people: ‘Back off. Don’t reduce her to this one thing.’” She continued her comments on Twitter.
One of the things I love about directing is the ability to control the voice and message of the film. As an actor, it’s more complicated, and I want to share my perspective on my role in the film “Richard Jewell”.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) December 12, 2019
I was asked to play the supporting role of Kathy Scruggs, who was, by all accounts, bold, smart, and fearlessly undeterred by the challenge of being a female reporter in the south in the 1990s. I cannot even contemplate the amount of sexism she may have faced in the way of duty.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) December 12, 2019
As a child of journalists myself, I have deep respect for the essential work of all in their field, particularly today when the media is routinely attacked and discredited, and regional papers like the AJC are disappearing on a daily basis.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) December 12, 2019
Contrary to a swath of recent headlines, I do not believe that Kathy “traded sex for tips”. Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had. That would be an appalling and misogynistic dismissal of the difficult work she did.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) December 12, 2019
I cannot speak for the creative decisions made by the filmmakers, as I did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted, but it’s important to me that I share my personal take on the matter.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) December 12, 2019
Decide for yourself when the movie arrives in theaters on Friday.
Richard Jewell opens in theaters on Dec. 13; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.
WATCH IT: Bring the complete Pennywise saga home with the Blu-ray, 4K and DVD release of It Chapter Two
While it didn’t quite scale the box office heights of its record-setting predecessor, It Chapter Two did bring the saga of the Losers Club and killer clown Pennywise to a bloody memorable finale. Picking up 30 years after the events of Chapter One, the sequel found the grown-up Losers heading back to Derry to fulfill a deadly promise they made in the summer of 1988. Director Andy Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman follow the broad outlines of the second half of Stephen King’s plus-sized novel, but the film rewrites several key elements, including the ending. (It’s a sign of the author’s self-aware sense of humor that he lets Dauberman poke fun at his mixed track record with concluding chapters.) Even though Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy get top-billing, the scene-stealers prove to be Bill Hader and James Ransone. The duo play the adult versions of Richie and Eddie respectively, and take their characters’ relationship to another level in an intriguing storyline that largely plays out in the background before adding some emotional heft to the final moments. In other words, it’s a good thing that young Richie, Finn Wolfhard, pushed Muschietti to hire Hader as his older self. “I was just a super-fan,” the Stranger Things star confesses in an exclusive clip from a featurette included on the Blu-ray release. (Watch it above.) “It’s a very unconventional way of hiring someone, saying, ‘A 14-year-old told me to hire you.’” — E.A.
BOOK IT: Reminisce about Pee-wee’s Big Adventure with Paul Reubens himself (red bike not included)
📢 TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT: To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, there will be a SPECIAL SCREENING OF THE MOVIE in 20 cities, followed by amazing stories about the making of the film by my pal Paul Reubens!!! Go to https://t.co/NyA0jVjsEd NOW!#PWBA35 pic.twitter.com/zqIjedsTRB— Pee-wee Herman (@peeweeherman) December 9, 2019
Pee-wee’s still going! Thirty-five years after Reubens brought the bow-tied character with a maniacal voice and silly phrases (“I know you are but what am I?”) to the masses in a feature film, Reubens is celebrating. He’ll screen the movie and talk about making it, over 20 dates across the country, beginning at the Newmark Theatre in Portland on Feb. 14 and ending on March 29 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. The film, which was co-written by both Reubens and two others, including late Saturday Night Live star Phil Hartman, spawned the ‘80s Saturday morning TV show, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. It racked up awards and introduced audiences to both director Tim Burton, who’d go on to make Beetlejuice and 1989’s Batman, among a slew of other films, and composer Danny Elfman, who went on to make music for other high-profile projects including The Simpsons. So it’s a significant movie, but it’s also just plain fun, especially when Pee-wee dances to “Tequila.” — Raechal Shewfelt
Tickets for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure 35th Anniversary Tour with Paul Reubens go on sale Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.
WATCH IT: Twin Peaks: From Z to A is a damn fine Blu-ray box set for one of the best TV shows ever
Have you heard about this totally crazy TV show called Twin Peaks, but don’t know where to start? This 21-disc limited edition collection brings together every frame of Peaks-related footage that creators David Lynch and Mark Frost have ever shot. That includes the original two-season TV series, the divisive 1992 feature film Fire Walk With Me and the recent 18-episode Showtime revival, The Return, which was just named the best film of the decade by no less an authority than Cahiers du Cinéma. You can also get lost in six hours of bonus features, ranging from an all-new interview with Twin Peaks stars Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Lee — who play Agent Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer, respectively — and unedited versions of the Roadhouse Bar musical performances featured in the 2018 series. If you’re looking for a featurette that explains what it all means, though, you’re in the wrong town. Throughout its history, Twin Peaks deliberately (and gloriously) defies easy description or analysis. It’s appeal is perhaps best summed up in the exclusive clip above from one of the bonus documentaries featured on the From Z to A set in which Lynch directs the action with his trademark bullhorn and then proceeds to give the cast and crew an arm wrestling demonstration. Why is he doing any of this? Forget it, folks — it’s Twin Peaks. — E.A.
The Twin Peaks: From Z to A Blu-ray box set will be available for purchase on Amazon starting Dec. 10.
WATCH IT: Hustlers, J.Lo’s strippers-turned-scammers flick, dances onto DVD, Blu-ray and digital
Jennifer Lopez has been getting most of the hype for this hit drama, and deservedly so. J.Lo has never been better on the big screen, delivering a confidently fierce turn as an aging stripper who finds, ahem, creative ways to scam Wall Street types out of cash — and it's looking very likely she'll land her first Academy Award nomination for the part. But the film as a whole is deeply entertaining, and edgier than it may seem. Lopez has told us that the film's major plotline — that her Ramona, Constance Wu's Destiny and company drug men in order to take advantage of them — made the film incredibly difficult to get financed and produced, even though it's based on a true story. Audiences were clearly happy it did: Hustlers racked up $104 million (and $150 million worldwide) on a budget of only $20 million. It's sure to find more fans on home entertainment, where it lands this week. — Kevin Polowy
Buy Hustlers on 4K UHD, DVD or digital on Amazon.
DOWNLOAD IT: Hear Star Wars like you've never heard it before on Bose AR
If your geeky pleasures include both Star Wars and sound, have we got the app feature for you. With The Rise of Skywalker less than two weeks out, Lucasfilm has partnered with headphone honchos Bose for an "immersive, audio-augmented reality experience." Here's what in the Hoth that means: On the official Star Wars app, select the freshly added Bose AR feature, and you'll be thrust into a carefully selected handful of scenes from The Skywalker Saga in which you can sonically cosplay as the characters, hearing exactly what they'd hear from their perspective/inside their helmets in the thick of the action. (Spoiler alert: For ultimate effect, the scenes are mostly lightsaber battles.) The audio thrills are free of charge, but if you really want to treat yourself, Bose also has Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Edition Quiet Comfort 35 headphones. May the Sound Be With You. — K.P.
HEAR IT: Harry Styles’s Fine Line era is upon us
The former One Direction member veers in a different direction from the ‘70s classic rock of his debut album, exploring sultry R&B sounds on dreamy ballads like “Lights Up” and “Adore You” and the breezy, jazzy “Watermelon Sugar.” (Sadly, his SNL star turn as Doug the chihuahua is not on the record.) — Lyndsey Parker
PLAY IT: Star Wars retro arcade machine puts you inside Luke’s X-wing
Arcade1Up’s latest lovingly re-created retro game cabinet contains the trio of Atari’s classic original trilogy games — the vector-based dogfights and Death Star attack of Star Wars, the Hoth Battle and asteroid-dodging hijinks of Empire Strikes Back and the speeder bike and TIE duels of Return of the Jedi. The 2/3-sized cabinet (Ikea-like assembly required) comes complete with the iconic yoke controller and a riser that elevates it to 5 feet tall, bringing the arcade action to your living room. — Marcus Errico
The Star Wars Home Arcade Cabinet is available at Walmart.
READ IT: And the winners are… readers of Best Actress: The History of Oscar-Winning Women
Author Stephen Taperts fascinates by retelling the story of the 75 women who, over the decades, have won the coveted Academy Award for their work in the main female role in a movie. That in itself is interesting, but Tapert, a former researcher at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, has included gorgeous images of movie posters and publicity photos of winners Audrey Hepburn, Halle Berry, Liza Minelli and all the others. He also provides details about their reactions to winning and some context about the importance of the award. “Much more so than the Academy Award for Best Picture, the Oscar for Best Actress always seemed to come closest to capturing the cultural zeitgeist,” Tapert writes in the introduction. “Without exception, the women who received this award won it for tackling a certain form of prejudice and discrimination in their work.” Consider it the perfect early Christmas present for the film buff in your life, or for yourself. — R.S.
Best Actress: The History of Oscar-Winning Women arrives at bookstores, including Amazon, Dec. 10.
HEAR IT: Blake Shelton releases Fully Loaded: God’s Country
Just in time for The Voice Season 17’s finale next week, the show’s most popular coach drops an album featuring a duet called “Nobody But You” with his rival coach and offscreen love interest, Gwen Stefani. Trace Adkins also features on the lead single, “Hell Right.” — L.P.
Download on iTunes; buy on CD at Amazon.
WATCH IT: Tarantino's ninth feature film, a love letter to the Tinseltown of old, hits home entertainment
Quentin Tarantino remains one of the few filmmakers out there who can draw an audience based on his name alone. Of course, in the case of his latest gem, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, he also scored three of the other biggest names in the biz in Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. The dark comedy, which tracks a fading TV star (DiCaprio) and his stuntman's (Pitt) run-in with members of Charles Manson's murderous cult, is actually one of Tarantino's quietest, least violent films of his career. But that all changes in the film's explosive climactic scenes. The home entertainment release comes laced with loads of extras, including over 20 minutes of additional scenes. (So yes, it was almost even longer.) — K.P.
Buy Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on Blu-ray or digital on Amazon.
DRINK IT: Raise a glass of Tres Comas Añejo Tequila to the departing Silicon Valley cast
Pied Piper is no more, and it’s a good thing, too, because Richard Hendricks’s signature creation apparently would have brought around the end times. Similarly, HBO’s once-great comedy Silicon Valley wisely departed the airwaves just before its tech-world satire became completely obsolete. Reminisce about the show’s glory days (i.e. Seasons 1-3) over a glass of Tres Comas Añejo Tequila, the alcohol officially endorsed by Russ Hanneman, the out-of-his-mind venture capitalist played by Chris Diamantopoulos. Created for the show, Tres Comas is now available IRL, and you don’t even have to attend #Russfest to buy it.
Tres Comas Añejo Tequila can be purchased at ReserveBar.com while supplies last.
READ IT: The Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy
Just in time for The Rise of Skywalker (and the holidays), genius paper engineer Matthew Reinhart is out with his latest whimsical masterwork. More than a kiddie pop-up book, this tome takes iconic planets, scenes, vehicles and characters from the entire saga and brings them to three-dimensional life in lavishly detailed paper form. Every page is stuffed with surprises and the whole book unfolds into a stunning Star Wars-scape. — M.E.
Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy is available at Amazon.
WATCH IT: Terrence Malick gets spiritual with his World War II-era drama, A Hidden Life
For serious Terrence Malick fans, viewings of movies like Days of Heaven, The New World and The Tree of Life are already akin to religious experiences. With A Hidden Life, the divisive director crafts what is arguably his most explicitly spiritual film. Set during World War II, the movie is based on the real-life story of Franz Jägerstätter (played onscreen by August Diehl), an Austrian farmer and devout Catholic who refused to be drafted into the Nazi army. That choice made him a pariah in his small village, as well as a thorn in the side of the invading forces, who sentenced him to prison for years before his eventual execution in 1943. If you’re not already a fan of Malick’s distinct visual and narrative style, A Hidden Life likely isn’t going to make you a latter-day convert. But for his faithful followers, it’s another stirring work of cinematic art. — E.A.
A Hidden Life opens in theaters on Dec. 13; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.
HEAR IT: Mark Ronson curates the soundtrack for Spies in Disguise
The hard-working super-producer recruits Anderson .Paak, Lil Jon, DJ Shadow, De La Soul and others for Mark Ronson Presents the Music of ‘Spies on Disguise,’ the soundtrack EP to Will Smith’s latest all-star animated flick. — L.P.
Download on iTunes.
READ IT: Jimmy Kimmel kids around in The Serious Goose
The late-night talk show host has authored and illustrated a book based on a game he’s played with his 5-year-old daughter, Jane. “I’d ask her: ‘Today, are you a serious goose or a silly goose?' It was really kind of a way of getting her out of a bad mood,” Kimmel told NPR this week. “I liked trying to change her from the serious to the silly goose.” The funny drawings and Dr. Seuss-like lingo make for a perfect read for a little one. Plus, Kimmel has pledged to donate his proceeds from sales of the book to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and children’s hospitals around the country. — R.S.
HEAR IT: British rapper Stormzy drops second studio album Heavy Is the Head
The BRIT Awards-winning U.K. grime superstar’s hotly-anticipated album features collaborations with Ed Sheeran, H.E.R., Burna Boy, YEBBA, Headie One, Tiana Major9 and Aitch. — L.P.
Download on iTunes.
READ IT: Fill the time waiting for Wonder Woman 1984 with DC’s new graphic novels
This week’s release of the first trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 has us stoked to see the cinematic return of Gal Gadot’s Amazonian warrior princess. While we must wait until June 2020 for the sequel to arrive in theaters, we suggest younger fans check out two new graphic novels starring DC’s top heroine. Middle-grade readers will enjoy Diana: Princess of the Amazons, which explores the tween life of Diana on Paradise Island, while YA fans should check out Wonder Woman: Warbringer, a classic coming-of-age tale that leans into the comic’s mythological influences. — M.E.