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The It List: 'We Live Here' doc explores stories of LGBTQ+ families in 5 states across the Midwest, Hallmark's 'Christmas on Cherry Lane' reunites 'Good Witch' stars Catherine Bell and James Denton

Plus Nicki Minaj drops 'Pink Friday 2,' Hayao Miyazaki releases another otherworldly tale with 'The Boy and the Heron' and all the best in pop culture the week of Dec. 4, 2023.

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STREAM IT: See how the Midwest is changing one family at a time in a new Hulu doc

America's Midwest is often thought of as a conservative-dominated monolith, but that's steadily — if slowly — changing. You can see that change happening in Hulu's new documentary, We Live Here: The Midwest, which spends time with multiple LGBTQ+ families who are making a home in the country's heartland. Naturally, their presence isn't without controversy: All of them have stories of experiencing prejudice and discrimination, especially as state governments rush to pass new legislation limiting their rights. Still, both parents and children are united in their resolve to stay rooted in the Midwest and ensure that things change for the better with future generations. Watch this exclusive clip from the documentary in which one woman describes the painful schism she experienced with her church after deciding to live an openly queer life. — Ethan Alter

We Live Here: The Midwest premieres Wednesday, Dec. 6 on Hulu.

WATCH IT: Catherine Bell and James Denton reunite for Christmas on Cherry Lane

Hallmark Channel's Good Witch, which starred the TV veterans, wrapped up in 2021, but Bell (JAG) and Denton (Desperate Housewives) are together again in this holiday heart-warmer. One of Hallmark's many new offerings this season, it centers on three couples spending Christmas together at different turning points in their lives, such as an engagement. They're amid all the trimmings, such as cheery holiday music and lights, a flurry of snow and a touch of romance. Denton even puts on a Santa suit. The stars are joined by other recognizable actors, including Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls), Vincent Rodriguez III (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Fuller House alum John Brotherton. — Raechal Shewfelt

Christmas on Cherry Lane premieres Saturday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. on Hallmark Channel.

WATCH IT: Pierce Brosnan has a license to thrill in Fast Charlie

Brosnan has no time — or intention — to die in Fast Charlie, the latest thriller from Patriot Games director, Phillip Noyce. The former 007 plays the titular hit man, whose latest job is offing a target that offended a New Orleans mobster. But a serious snafu occurs that makes Charlie a potential target as well. Enter James Caan, in one of his final roles before his death, to help the killer clean up his own mess. Check out this exclusive clip from the film where Charlie visits his victim's ex-wife to inform her of their mutual problem. — E.A.

Fast Charlie premieres Friday, Dec. 8 in theaters (visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information) and on most VOD services.

STREAM IT: Put some horror in your holidays with The Sacrifice Game

Have yourself a bloody little Christmas with The Sacrifice Game, Shudder's appropriately freaky addition to the holiday movie game — and a seasonal double bill with Alexander Payne's acclaimed drama, The Holdovers. When an all-girls boarding school shuts down for the 1971 holiday season, three students are left behind. Enter a crew of cultists looking to celebrate Xmas with some merry murders. Check out this exclusive clip of the pupils waiting to learn their fate. — E.A.

The Sacrifice Game premieres Friday, Dec. 8 on Shudder and AMC+.

OWN IT: Titanic is near, far, wherever you are on 4K Ultra HD

James Cameron's Titanic hit the big 2-5 last year, and Paramount is celebrating with a new 4K Ultra HD release laden with fresh bonus features. Cameron and Kate Winslet are among the voices looking back on the film a quarter century later, and the director also personally signed off on the new 4K transfer. Serious Titanic fans will want to pick up the full Collectors Edition, which comes with exclusive collectibles like a schematic of the real ship and the sheet music for Celine Dion's immortal anthem. Watch this exclusive clip from one of the all-new featurettes where producer Jon Landau describes how the production rebuilt the ship. — E.A.

Titanic arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at most major retailers, including Amazon.

HEAR IT: Nicki Minaj throws a pink celebration

Thirteen years after Minaj made hip-hop herstory with her groundbreaking debut album, Pink Friday, the sequel is dropping on her 41st birthday. The rap queen’s first full-length studio LP in five years is eagerly anticipated by her loyal fans, the Barbz, but even more so by Minaj herself: She has tweeted that Pink Friday 2 “just beyond anything I could have imagined” and "one of the greatest albums of ALL TIME," adding, “The entire industry will change after December 8th, 2023!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Minaj also warned that her enemies will “never ever recover” once they get an earful of the album’s barbed lyrics, so perhaps not everyone is as excited as she is. But we can’t wait to hear what the Super Freaky Girl has to say. — Lyndsey Parker

Pink Friday 2 by Nicki Minaj is available Friday, Dec. 8 to download/stream on Apple Music.

STREAM IT: Julia Roberts teams up with Mr. Robot creator once again for Netflix thriller

Arriving on Netflix this week is Leave the World Behind, about a family in a luxurious vacation home that is visited by two strangers in the night with news of impending doom, and this looming disaster gets more terrifying by the minute as they all endure it together. Star (and producer) Roberts is joined by folks like Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke and Kevin Bacon to bring this creepy story to life. The film was written and directed by Sam Esmail, probably best known as the creator of Mr. Robot, and who also worked on the Prime series Homecoming with Roberts. — Kyle Moss

Leave the World Behind premieres Friday, Dec. 8 on Netflix.

HEAR IT: Everyone’s thinking about Tate McRae

Hot off her star turn on Saturday Night Live on which she managed to upstage host Jason Momoa with her dynamic, dancetastic “Greedy” performance, Canada’s sweetheart McRae is ready for world domination with the release of her sophomore record, Think Later. The 20-year-old So You Think You Can Dance alumnus, YouTube/TikTok star and Forbes 30 Under 30 list maker is bringing all the '90s/Total Request Live pop-star vibes this time, and we’re here for it. — L.P.

Think Later by Tate McRae is available Friday, Dec. 8 to download/stream on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: Star-studded voice cast brings English version of Hayao Miyazaki’s latest project to life

Hitting theaters this week is the Japanese animated fantasy film The Boy and the Heron about a boy who travels to a strange place shared by both the living and the dead while yearning for his mother. It was written and directed by the famous Miyazaki, one of the most accomplished filmmakers in the history of animation and a co-founder of Studio Ghibli, which is responsible for five of the 10 highest-grossing anime films in the history of Japan, including the Oscar-winning Spirited Away. A star-studded English-speaking voice cast has stepped into the roles for its release in America, including Robert Pattinson, Christian Bale, Gemma Chan, Dave Bautista, Florence Pugh and Mark Hamill. — K.M.

The Boy and the Heron premieres Friday, Dec. 8 in theaters; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.

WATCH IT: The mammoth Bollywood epic Animal gets a mammoth American release

At 201 minutes, Sandeep Reddy Vanga's Animal is a whole lot of movie. Actually, it's a whole lot of movies, as the director merrily mixes a wide swath of genres into this sprawling yarn, from gangster epics and muscular action flicks to soap opera melodramas and revenge thrillers. Indian superstar Ranbir Kapoor plays Ranvijay Singh, the scion of a wealthy family who takes his desire to protect his father from his many rivals to extreme lengths. Animal is roaring in 850 theaters — the widest American opening yet for a Bollywood production. But that's appropriate for a movie that's this big and broadly entertaining. Make sure to stick through the closing credits for a crazy twist that sets up what promises to be an equally crazy sequel. — E.A.

Animal is currently playing in theaters; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.

STREAM IT: Monk is returning … just so he can go away again

Landing on Peacock this week is Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie, which of course means, he’s back! Tony Shalhoub’s Monk character was last seen delighting audiences on the USA Network in 2009, roughly 14 years ago. That show was a massive hit with fans and critics, winning eight Emmys over eight seasons, and setting the record for the most-watched scripted drama episode on cable in 2009 until The Walking Dead surpassed it three years later. And along with Shalhoub, other familiar faces are returning like Melora Hardin, Ted Levine and Hector Elizondo, along with long-time show director Randy Zisk, who also helms this movie. — K.M.

Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie premieres Friday, Dec. 8 on Peacock.

OWN IT: Young Guns celebrates 35 years of Western badassery with debut on 4K Ultra HD

Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Rappers constantly draw inspiration from film (see Wu-Tang Clan and kung fu movies) and one of the best direct influences is the opening of Warren G and Nate Dogg’s famed 1994 track “Regulate,” which cribs from the 1988 favorite Young Guns. The Western that famously teamed Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips and friends (including a very quick Tom Cruise cameo) celebrates its 35th anniversary with its first-ever 4K Ultra HD. And you’ll surely discover plenty more fun facts about it on its stacked bonus features, which include audio commentary, a brand-new featurette and more. — Kevin Polowy

Young Guns releases on 4K Ultra HD Tuesday, Dec. 5 at most major retailers, including Amazon.

OWN IT: Take a crash course in Police Academy with a new Blu-ray set

All seven
All seven "Police Academy" films are newly available in a new Blu-ray box set from Shout! (Courtesy Shout! Studios)

Time travel back to the '80s with Shout's new box set featuring all seven Police Academy comedies on Blu-ray for the first time. Maybe you had to be there, but audiences at the time couldn't get enough of the kooky cop shenanigans from the likes of Steve Guttenberg, Michael Winslow and Leslie Easterbrook. All three of those stars can be heard on a commentary track accompanying the 1984 original, and additional bonus goodies include featurettes, vintage trailers and bonus scenes. — E.A.

Shout's Police Academy Collection is available now at most major retailers, including Amazon.

PLAY IT: Swing into the holidays with Hasbro's new collection of Spider-Man toys

Hasbro's new line of Spider-Man toys include this Aqua Web Warrior (Courtesy Hasbro)
Hasbro's new line of Spider-Man toys include this Aqua Web Warrior. (Courtesy Hasbro)

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose ... and Spider-Man toys webbed to your Christmas tree. That's the picturesque vision made possible by Hasbro's holiday-ready Spidey gifts, including a trio of Aqua Web Warrior figures — Peter Parker, Miles Morales and Doc Ock — that let you add water to your wall-crawler's adventures. Additional toys include the Strike 'n Splash Blaster from Nerf and the Crawl 'n Blast vehicle. — E.A.

Hasbro's new Spider-Man toys are available now at most major retailers, including Amazon.

OWN IT: Point Break (the original!) rides the wave onto 4K Ultra HD

Shout!
Shout!

It wasn’t like Point Break was a box office dud upon its theatrical release in 1991. It made just over $100 million at the box office. But the film has only grown in stature among fans in the 30 years since (just ask anyone who’s been to Point Break Live). And what’s not to love? Sure-handed direction by a fledgling Kathryn Bigelow. Keanu Reeves as an undercover cop taking on a surf cartel. The late Patrick Swayze being both villainous and sexy. Its famous president’s masks. Gary Busey. Point Break’s many rabid fans can rejoice this week as the film hits 4K Ultra HD for the first time, with extras including additional scenes and four featurettes. — K.P.

Point Break releases on 4K Ultra HD Tuesday, Dec. 5 at most major retailers, including Amazon.