The It List: 'Sky High' turns 15, Beyoncé drops 'Black Is King,' Katie Holmes stars in 'The Secret: Dare to Dream' and the best in pop culture the week of July 27, 2020
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 July 27 - Aug. 2, 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: Enjoy a performance from the late Kelly Preston on the 15th anniversary of Sky High
The late Kelly Preston, who died of breast cancer at 57 on July 12, starred alongside Kurt Russell, Michael Angarano and Danielle Panabaker in this 2005 family action flick. She plays Josie, who’s known as the superhero Jetstream to the masses and just plain mom to her teenage son Will (played by This Is Us actor Angarano). He’s navigating a world where someone wearing a cape and flying through the sky is no big deal, questioning whether he can — or even wants to — live up to the legends that are his parents. Preston even did her own stunts, even though wearing a harness was tricky. “It’s completely a fantasy to be able to fly on your own,” she said while promoting it. And she was proud of how Sky High turned out. “It’s such a great family film and so much fun and it brings everybody together,” said Preston. — Raechal Shewfelt
Sky High is currently streaming on HBO and HBO Max.
STREAM IT: The Secret: Dare to Dream dares to hit video on demand (plus watch Katie Holmes in an exclusive clip)
It was an insanely popular 2006 documentary, then a 2006 self-help book that sold 30 million copies worldwide, so it’s no surprise that a feature film adaptation of Rhonda Byrne’s global sensation will now dole out wisdom on your nearest streaming service. (Of course the original source of The Secret dates back over a century; it was inspired by the 1910 book The Secret of Getting Rich). In The Secret: Dare to Dream, Katie Holmes plays a struggling widow and mother of three children re-energized by the arrival of a positive-thinking handyman (Josh Lucas). There should be at least 30 million people interested in this one, assuming they’re keeping their beliefs alive. Check out an exclusive clip from the film featuring Holmes above. — Kevin Polowy
The Secret: Dare to Dream premieres Friday, July 31 on VOD services including FandangoNOW.
STREAM IT: Queen B is back with Black Is King
The Lion King is the gift that keeps on giving. Following The Lion King: The Gift, a Beyoncé-curated album tied to the 2019 remake of that movie, Bey is back with the multimedia companion Black Is King, an upcoming film directed, written and executive-produced for Disney+ by the superstar. The Black Is King film — the story of young African king on a journey to reclaim his throne, told through the voices of present-day Black people — features an Oscar- and Grammy-worthy cast, including Lupita Nyong'o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kelly Rowland, Naomi Campbell, Jessie Reyez and, to keep it in the family, Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter,and Tina Knowles-Lawson. — Lyndsey Parker
Beyoncé's Black Is King visual album premieres Friday, July 31 on Disney+.
HEAR IT: Catch up with the Obamas on The Michelle Obama Podcast
The former first lady and author of bestselling memoir Becoming has taken to the air waves, and she’s brought some VIPs with her. Obama will sit down with guests including Valerie Jarrett, a close friend who was senior advisor to President Barack Obama while he was in the White House; Washington Post journalist Michele Norris; the host’s mom and brother, Marian and Craig Robinson; and late night talk show host Conan O’Brien. In the premiere, her husband will take a seat next to her to discuss the importance of people’s relationship to their communities, something the former community organizer has considered for years. In the intro, the host explains that she hopes the project will spark ideas and conversations among loved ones. “I just want it to feel like we’re sitting together on a park bench or in the booth of a restaurant with the jukebox playing,” she says. — R.S.
The Michelle Obama Podcast is available Wednesday, July 29 on Spotify.
BUY IT: You don’t need to visit Disneyland or Disney World to bring home a piece of Galaxy’s Edge
With Disneyland closed and Disney World only partially re-opened, Star Wars fans should plan on heading to Target to bring home authentic souvenirs from that far, far away galactic attraction, Batuu. On August 30, the Galaxy’s Edge Trading Outpost opens its doors at Target’s retail outlets and online, featuring products inspired by Disney’s popular attraction. On the toy front, choose between Lego playsets, Funko vinyl figures and Hasbro’s versions of the various droids — as well as spacecrafts like the Millennium Falcon — hanging around the space port. You can also learn more about Batuu-ian history and culture via cookbooks, traveller’s guides and graphic novels, along with free activity downloads like coloring sheets and puzzles for your space smugglers-in-training. — Ethan Alter
The Galaxy’s Edge Trading Outpost arrives in Target stores and online on August 30; select products can be pre-ordered now.
STREAM IT: That wascally wabbit, Bugs Bunny, celebrates his 80th birthday
Eighty years ago, Bugs Bunny first popped out of his rabbit hole in the 1940 cartoon short, “A Wild Hare,” and pop culture has never been safe from his wascally antics since. In the ensuing eight decades, the signature Looney Tunes star has confounded easily confused hunters, enraged anger-prone waterfowl, starred in video games, played basketball opposite Michael Jordan and appeared on all manner of merchandise. Warner Bros. is celebrating Bugs’s milestone July 27 birthday with a variety of products, ranging from postal stamps to Funko Pops to sports-themed art. You can also stream classic Looney Tunes shorts — as well as all-new episodes — on HBO Max. That’s what’s up, doc. — E.A.
Looney Tunes shorts and all-new episodes are currently streaming on HBO Max.
STREAM IT: Waterworld turns 25, and looks more prescient than ever
Twenty-five years ago this summer, Kevin Costner’s mega-budgeted aquatic Western, Waterworld, rode into theaters on a wave of bad press and behind-the-scenes troubles that diverted attention away from what was onscreen. A quarter century later, the movie stands tall as an example of spare-no-expense ambition, not to mention a vivid realization of a climate change-caused dystopia. Set in the far-off future (although less far-off now) when the polar ice caps have melted covering the world in water, the film follows Costner’s lone Mariner as he sails the seas on his decked-out Trimaran and picks two passengers (Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tina Majorino) who are searching for mythical “Dryland.” While the film suffers from some storytelling lulls during its expansive two-and-a-half hour runtime, the top-notch action and production design preserve the last gasps of Hollywood’s pre-CGI era, and Dennis Hopper provides plenty of flamboyant energy as the “smoker” villain, The Deacon. For better and for worse, there’s never been a movie quite like Waterworld… and that’s why it deserves to be celebrated. — E.A.
Waterworld is currently streaming on Starz, and can be rented or purchased on Amazon and FandangoNOW.
STREAM IT: The gang’s back together for Muppets Now
Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the rest are here to brighten up what so far has been — let’s face it — a very trying year. And while they’ve teamed up on several TV series over the years, Muppets Now marks the delightful bunch’s first unscripted series. The premise here is that Muppets stage manager Scooter — the orange guy with the glasses — is charged with delivering a new show from the gang, despite any obstacles. If you’ve ever seen Animal or Gonzo in action, you know that’s going to be entertaining, if nothing else. Expect cameos from RuPaul, Seth Rogen, Aubrey Plaza and other recognizable fans of Jim Henson’s whimsical puppets. — R.S.
Muppets Now premieres Friday, July 31 on Disney+.
STREAM IT: Kerry Washington takes you behind the frontlines of The Fight
Actress Kerry Washington produced this documentary that looks at four cases (of 173 total, as of the making of the film) that the American Civil Liberties Union has brought against President Trump's administration. The cases featured center on citizenship, the separation of immigrant families, abortion rights and the transgender military ban. But don’t let your eyes glaze over, because this doc, a darling of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is packed with emotion. The audience sees immigrants separated from their families reuniting with loved ones, lawyers and advocates reacting to court decisions, and some of the vitriol the ACLU encounters. “It’s kind of difficult to imagine higher stakes,” one legal eagle muses as he works on a case about whether the Trump administration can add a question about citizenship to the census. (Offscreen, the Supreme Court blocked efforts to include such a question in June 2019 and the census has since gone out without it.) — R.S.
The Fight premieres Friday, July 31 on most VOD services including FandangoNOW.
HEAR IT: You oughta know about Alanis’s new album
Alanis Morissette enjoying a bit of a renaissance right now, with her breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill celebrating its 25th anniversary thanks to a deluxe reissue and stage musical adaptation. Now the seven-time Grammy-winner and mom of three is back with her first full studio album in eight years, Such Pretty Forks in the Road; its opening track, “Smiling,” comes from the Jagged musical but is also semi-autobiographical, lyrically exploring the pressures of motherhood. — L.P.
Download/stream Such Pretty Forks in the Road on Apple Music.
WATCH IT: Ron Howard’s documentary, Rebuilding Paradise, chronicles the way a town does — and doesn’t — come together after a natural disaster
Paradise, Calif., burned to the ground on Nov. 8, 2018 as part of the wildfires that raged in and around the Sierra Nevada foothills. Ron Howard’s new documentary, Rebuilding Paradise, opens with frightening footage of the town’s final moments, as residents try to escape with whatever possessions they can stuff in their cars. The rest of the story is given over to the ways that the survivors try — and in some cases fail — to rebuild their lives and community in the wake of that tragedy. Filmed over the course of a year, Howard’s cameras capture the simmering tension between homeowners and California’s power company, PG&E, as well as the inequities that exist between Paradise’s working class families and the wealthier citizens. (Truthfully, the film could have spent a little more time exploring the latter subject, as Paradise’s subtle class divisions and less-than-diverse population belies its image of itself as a picture perfect town.) Even though Rebuilding Paradise is ultimately an uplifting portrait of a community’s attempts to move on from great tragedy, the closing moments offer a bracing reminder that the source of Paradise’s destruction could very easily return if we continue to ignore the environmental warning signs. — E.A.
Rebuilding Paradise premieres Friday, July 31 in select theaters and digital services like FandangoNOW.
PLAY IT: Ravensburger’s Hocus Pocus: The Game brings the magic of the 1993 favorite to your tabletop
Welcome to Friendtopia, where all citizens must play Hocus Pocus: The Game. Ravensburger’s tabletop version of the nostalgic 1993 Halloween favorite allows players to take on the witchy Sanderson sisters made famous by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker. Just like the movie, the fast-paced game is appropriate for ages 8-and-up, and includes spells and potion ingredients seen onscreen. Continue the family board game night action with Ravensburger’s WWE Legends Royal Rumble Card Game, which transforms any table into a wrestling ring. Mix and match legendary wrestlers like Andre the Giant and Jake “The Snake” Roberts with 150 different action cards featuring signature holds and moves and get ready to ruuuumble! — E.A.
Hocus Pocus: The Game and WWE Legends Royal Rumble Card Game are available on Amazon.
STREAM IT: Paul Feig’s Other Space finds new life
In 2015, our friends at the now-defunct Yahoo Screen launched Other Space, a hilarious sci-fi comedy (think Star Trek meets Office Space) from one of the funniest minds and best dressed men in Hollywood, Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters). Sadly the show, set in the fittingly rejiggered year of 2105, didn’t get the attention it deserved, but it’s finally found new life on the Dust app. Trust us when we say it’s well worth downloading Yet. Another. Streaming. App. for this inspired series of genre send-ups, featuring some of the best (and most unheralded) young comedic actors working today like Karan Soni (Deadpool) and Eugene Cordero (Tacoma FD). There are other things you could watch, but don’t sleep on Other Space. — K.P.
Other Space debuts Saturday, Aug. 1 on Dust (available for free on the Roku app store or at watchdust.com).
WATCH IT: Oh, Canada! Drag Race heads north
Here’s something to get excited aboot! RuPaul’s Drag Race’s world domination continues apace, north of the border, with the franchise’s latest edition, Canada’s Drag Race. Until recently, the only way to legally watch this version of the show in the U.S. was via the subscription service Wow Presents Plus, but now it’ll be airing Mondays on the Logo network, starting this week. Expect plenty of jokes about moose-knuckles and poutine, plus the requisite lip-syncs to Carly Rae Jepsen and Avril Lavigne songs. — L.P.
Canada’s Drag Race debuts Monday, July 27 at 8 p.m. on Logo.
HEAR IT: Brandy is back
Alanis Morissette isn’t the only ‘90s superstar who hasn’t released an album since 2012. This week also sees the welcome return of Brandy Norwood, whose album B7 (her seventh, obviously) pairs her with Chance the Rapper on “Baby Mama” and with her own daughter Sy’rai on “High Heels.” Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Caesar also joins in for “Love Again.” But Brandy, whose voice is so iconic that she is known as “The Vocal Bible,” is the star of the show on all 15 stellar tracks. — L.P.
Download/stream B7 on Apple Music.
BUY IT: Moose Toys’s squishy Marvel figures will be your main squeeze this summer
Marvel’s most popular Avengers are used to being stretched in all directions by the demands of superhero-ing. That makes them perfect additions to Moose Toys’s Heroes of Goo Jit Zu line of squishy action figures. The new Marvel Hero pack features goo-filled versions of Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man and Hulk that kids can stretch, bend and squeeze without any fear of career-ending breaks or tears. And more Marvel characters are on the way: Look for fan favorites like Groot to get gooey in the near future. — E.A.
Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Marvel Hero Pack figures are available at Amazon.
— Video produced by Gisselle Bances