The It List: 'Alita,' Ali Wong, Avril Lavigne and the best in pop culture the week of Feb. 11, 2019

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 Feb. 11 to 17, including the best deals we could find for each.

WATCH IT: Alita: Battle Angel

The pairing of blockbuster king James Cameron and DIY guru Robert Rodriguez may seem unlikely, but their distinctive voices meld together in this enjoyable if occasionally clunky futuristic sci-fi spectacle. Adapted by Cameron from the popular early ’90s manga series by Yukito Kishiro and directed by Rodriguez, Alita: Battle Angel is first and foremost a father/daughter story tracking the titular cyborg warrior’s coming of age in the 26th century. The action sequences deliver plenty of kick, but the secret to Alita‘s success is star Rosa Salazar’s forceful performance, which breaks through the uncanny valley and makes the mo-cap heroine a living, breathing character. To see what Alita looked like in her original form, check out the complete run of Kishiro’s comic, which goes to some wild places the movie only hints at.
For showtime and ticket information for Alita: Battle Angel, visit Fandango.
The Alita manga can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Comixology.

HEAR IT: Florida Georgia Line, Can’t Say I Ain’t Country

Unstoppable hitmakers and bro-country posterboys Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley enlist both
Jason Aldean and Jason Derulo for a fourth album of throwback BBQ jams, inspired by their love
of 1990s hat-act country.
Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Ali Wong: ‘The Milk and Money Tour’

The wickedly funny comedian, known for waxing about motherhood and marriage in her Netflix specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife, hits the road for her latest tour. After kicking things off on Feb. 16 with a sold-out show in Tucson, Ariz., she’s scheduled to stop in Minneapolis, Detroit and other cities over the next three months.
Get tickets at Ticketmaster.

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BOOK IT: Hannah Gadsby, Douglas

The Australian performer turned the comedy world on its axis with her previous tour, Nanette, which took Netflix by storm when it premiered on the streaming service last summer. At the time, she openly mused whether she was done performing standup. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Taking its name from Gadsby’s dog, her new show, Douglas, will once again feature the mix of biting comedy and emotional personal and political storytelling that made Nanette a sensation. The Douglas tour starts in her native Australia in March before coming to the U.S. from April through July. Tickets are already going fast, so be sure to get yours now so you don’t have to wait for the Netflix special this time.
Book your tickets to Douglas on Ticketmaster.

HEAR IT: Avril Lavigne, Head Above Water

On her first full-length album in six years, the grown-up Sk8r Girl goes deep and gets personal. “Warrior” addresses her health battles, while “Tell Me It’s Over” and “Love Me Insane” deal with the end of romance. (Lavigne was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2014, and split from her second husband, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, in 2015.) On Twitter, the 34-year-old former pop-punk princess described the album as “dear, intimate, dramatic, raw, powerful, strong and unexpected” and “a true emotional journey.”
Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl on Amazon.

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READ IT: Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

If you were fascinated by the great Fyre Festival disaster of 2017, then pick up this memoir about a small-town young woman who didn’t get anything that she expected, after being hired to play violin for a supposedly professional musical ensemble in New York City. A CD plays while the group pretends to be performing, and it sounds something like the soundtrack from Titanic, prompting her to examine what’s real and what’s not.
Get the book on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Bohemian Rhapsody

Behold, the most divisive movie of 2018. Despite its five Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and Best Actor for Rami Malek, currently the favorite) and various other awards, this Queen biopic has been endlessly dragged by critics on social media. For one, it was (mostly) directed by Bryan Singer, who’s facing a fair share of sexual misconduct allegations and was fired from the film in the middle of production yet still retained credit. Two, it dramatically fudges the timeline of Freddie Mercury (Malek) and friends. But really, what biopic hasn’t tweaked facts for a better narrative? It’s still a movie that knows how to dish out its ear candy for fans. See it for yourself and judge as the film hits DVD, Blu-ray and Digital.
Buy the Blu-ray/DVD at Amazon or download it on iTunes.

HEAR IT: Chaka Khan, Hello Happiness

The funky diva’s aptly titled 12th studio album is her first since 2007, following a period of regrouping and rehab for her own prescription drug abuse after her friend Prince’s drug-related death in 2016. A groovy mix of contemporary R&B and ’70s NYC disco, the LP is a welcome, triumphant comeback for the 10-time Grammy-winner and Queen of Funk.
Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Regal 2019 Best Picture Film Festival

Still need to cross a few of this year’s Best Picture nominees off your “Must See” list before the Oscars are handed out on Feb. 24? From Feb. 15 through 23, Regal Cinemas will be screening seven of the eight nominees at select theaters across the country. (Roma is the only movie sitting the festival out, but you can watch Alfonso Cuaron’s frontrunner on Netflix.) If there isn’t a Regal near you, don’t worry: AMC Theaters are organizing a similar showcase on Feb. 16 and 23.
Visit Regal Movies to look for showtimes and tickets; for the AMC Best Picture Showcase, visit Fandango.

WATCH IT: Fighting With My Family

Most of us know Stephen Merchant for the dry, sharp wit the towering Brit brought to television comedies like The Office (U.K. version) and Extras. So imagine our surprise to find he wrote and directed a crowd-pleasing inspirational drama (albeit a very funny drama) about the rise of undersized British wrestler Paige (né Saraya Bevis), as portrayed by breakout star Florence Pugh (Outlaw King). Add equally as charming supporting turns from Nick Frost and Lena Headey as Paige’s ‘rents and a cameo from producer Dwayne Johnson, and this one’s worth fighting to see with your family.
For showtime and ticket information for Fighting With My Family, visit Fandango.

WATCH IT: Poetic Justice

As Lady Gaga competes for an Academy Award next week for A Star Is Born, we’re reminded of two other musicians-turned-actors that proved revelations on the big screen some 25 years ago. Janet Jackson only rarely turns up in movies — a Tyler Perry film here, a Nutty Professor sequel there — but it’s her feature film debut, the John Singleton-directed romantic drama Poetic Justice, that still marks her best work. Jackson met her perfect match in late hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur, a year removed from his explosive turn in Juice, and showing off his gentler, softer side in this quietly powerful story worth revisiting as it hits Blu-ray for the first time.
Buy the Blu-ray/DVD at Amazon or download it on iTunes.

READ IT: The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison

The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Beloved treats fans to a collection of pieces on culture and social issues, including feminism, racism and human rights. Morrison, who turns 88 on Feb. 18, ponders everything from the victims of 9/11 to Martin Luther King Jr. in what is sure to be a moving addition to your bookshelf.
Get the book on Amazon.

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