The It List: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3,' Gary Clark Jr., 'Survivor' and the best in pop culture the week of Feb. 18, 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. 18 to 24, including the best deals we could find for each.

WATCH IT: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

How to Train Your Dragon (2010) and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) were both major box-office hits that were nominated for Academy Awards. So why does it feel like this series is so underappreciated next to the Toy Stories and Despicable Me’s of the world? Critics are once again loving this trilogy capper that signals a bittersweet parting for its young Viking hero Hiccup and his fire-breathing friend Toothless, so maybe that finally changes. In other words, The Hidden World could be the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King of the animated franchise.
For showtime and ticket information for How to Train Your Dragon 3, visit Fandango.

WATCH IT: Film Independent Spirit Awards

In recent years, the Film Independent Spirit Awards have felt a little too much like Oscars-lite in that many of the nominees were redundant. This year, though, Film Independent wisely put the “indie” back in “Indie Spirit,” with an exciting ballot of low-budget winners that don’t have to compete against the Universal-released Get Outs of the world. With a Best Picture race that includes beloved critical darlings If Beale Street Could Talk, Eighth Grade, First Reformed, Leave No Trace and You Were Never Really Here, some film buffs might even argue that this is a better crop than we’ll see celebrated the next day at the Academy Awards.
Parks and Rec alum Aubrey Plaza emcees the festivities this year, which you can watch Saturday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT on IFC.

WATCH IT: The 2019 Oscar-Nominated Shorts

You may have crossed every Oscar-nominated feature off of your “must-see” list … but have you seen every Oscar-nominated short film? Shorts TV has made it easy for you, by assembling all 15 nominees into three programs — Animated, Live Action and Documentary — that you can watch from the comfort of your own living room. This year’s lineup of nonfiction shorts is particularly strong, with the standouts including A Night at the Garden — a short, but shocking look back at a 1939 Nazi rally that happened on our very own shores at New York’s Madison Square Garden — and End Game, an emotional exploration of how families make end-of-life decisions for loved ones. Pixar most likely has a lock on the Animated Short Oscar with Bao, but don’t count out Trevor Jimenez’s strikingly drawn Weekends. And if you ask us, the live-action short to beat is the Spanish nominee, Madre, a kidnapping thriller that plays out over a single cellphone call.
The 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts are available to rent on Amazon, iTunes and Vimeo On Demand. The three programs are also playing in limited theatrical release; check Fandango for showtime and ticket information.

HEAR IT: Kehlani, While We Wait

The critically acclaimed neo-soul star drops her hotly anticipated new mixtape, featuring Musiq Soulchild, Ty Dolla $ign, 6LACK and Dom Kennedy. This isn’t Kehlani’s only special delivery planned for 2019: the 23-year-old is currently pregnant with her first child too.
Download on iTunes; buy on CD on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Survivor: Edge of Extinction

CBS’s long-running reality series just enjoyed one of its best seasons in years, thanks to an addictive “David vs. Goliath” hook. Now, a new group of castaways, plus four returning favorites, will live life … on the edge. The compelling new gameplay wrinkle for this edition is the titular “Edge of Extinction” — an isolated beach where contestants whose fires are snuffed out during Tribal Council can opt to survive instead of leaving the game. Provided they aren’t defeated by the scant resources and challenging elements, they can try to chart a path back into the main camp and maybe even the million-dollar prize.
Survivor: Edge of Extinction premieres Feb. 20 on CBS and CBS All Access.

WATCH IT: Reality Bites

Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo and Steve Zahn in <em>Reality Bites</em>. (Photo: Universal Pictures)
Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo and Steve Zahn in Reality Bites. (Photo: Universal Pictures)

It seems crazy, but this week marks 25 years since the movie about Gen Xers struggling to find their place in the world after college graduation debuted in theaters on Feb. 18, 1994. So, weirdly, the film has now been around longer than Lelaina, Troy and the Reality Bites gang had been alive when we first met them. Their 20-something musings, the countless pop culture references (to MTV’s The Real World and Gap, for starters) and that unforgettable dance scene at the gas station, set to “My Sharona,” are still there waiting, just the same, although you’ll surely see everything much differently in 2019.
Buy the Blu-ray/DVD at Amazon or download it on iTunes.

READ IT: The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality, by Blake J. Harris

Call it: The Social Network 2: Virtual Reality Edition. Blake J. Harris’s intensively researched, but breezily written book details the humble origins of the next-gen VR headset, the Oculus Rift, and how it was acquired by Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook machine. Like the author’s previous book, Console Wars — a compelling history of the era-defining battle between the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis (it’s being developed into a TV series by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg) — The History of the Future is paced like a high-concept corporate thriller, filled with surprise twists, exciting breakthroughs and lots of boardroom intrigue.
The History of the Future is available to purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.

HEAR IT: Gary Clark Jr., This Land

The Grammy-winning guitar god comes roaring back with his most ambitious album to date — spanning fiery blues-rock to nervy, pogo-ready punk and led by the ferocious, politically charged title track. With a Saturday Night Live musical performance under his belt and a headlining date at the Hollywood Bowl coming up, it’s looking to be Clark’s breakthrough year. Expect This Land to land on many critics’ 2019 best-of lists.
Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

He’s baaaaack! HBO’s late-night superstar from across the pond returns for another season of painstakingly researched (and painfully funny) deep dives into the biggest news stories of the day. And he’s got plenty of material to work with, considering the resident of the Oval Office, and the state of the world in general. We can’t wait to see what piece of Russell Crowe memorabilia he’s been able to purchase in the off-season.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO, HBO Go and HBO Now.

WATCH IT: Ben Is Back

Beautiful Boy got more attention — and almost snagged another Oscar nomination for Timothée Chalamet — but 2018’s best drug addiction drama starring a male alumnus of Lady Bird was actually this hard-hitting tale that paired Lucas Hedges (once again incredibly impressive) and Julia Roberts (in her best movie role in years). These movies are incredibly difficult to watch, which is probably why it slipped under the radar. Yet it has also signaled an unfortunate trend for the writer-director-father of Lucas, Peter Hedges (Pieces of April, Dan In Real Life), whose films deserve such bigger audiences.
Buy the Blu-ray/DVD at Amazon or download it on iTunes.

WATCH IT: Documentary Now!

Fred Armisen and Bill Hader’s Emmy-nominated send-up of popular documentaries returns, with takes on Netflix’s Wild Wild Country and several other nonfiction stories. Helen Mirren will again serve as host, while John Mulaney, Natasha Lyonne, Michael Keaton and other celebs pop up in the scenes. Former “Weekend Update” host Seth Meyers and Saturday Night Live head honcho Lorne Michaels join Armisen and Hader as producers, so it’s the perfect thing for fans of the sketch show who need a few laughs to get them to the weekend.
Watch it live on IFC at 11 p.m. on Feb. 20 or stream it on

BLAST IT: Nerf’s Fortnite guns and Super Soakers

Nerf’s Fortnite collection includes the Microshots TS, Microshots RL, Microshots Llama, SP-L, and AR-L, and Super Soaker TS-R and RL. (Photos: Hasbro)
Nerf’s Fortnite collection includes the Microshots TS, Microshots RL, Microshots Llama, SP-L, and AR-L, and Super Soaker TS-R and RL. (Photos: Hasbro)

Videogamers who just stocked their Nerf arsenal with the amazing Overwatch-themed Reaper Wight Edition Collector Pack, now have new weaponry for their wish lists. The toy company is taking preorders for a series of dart shooters and Super Soakers based on the insanely popular Fortnite. Choose among the Microshots ($9.99 each), SP-L ($19.99) and AR-L models for dart action or, if you prefer watery warfare, the HC-E ($9.99), TS-R ($19.99) and RL ($19.99).
In stores on March 22; preorder now at Walmart and Amazon.

HEAR IT: Dream Theater, Distance Over Time

The prog gods return with their 14th album, which virtuosic guitarist and producer John Petrucci told is “the best-sounding Dream Theater record ever made,” thanks to “the organic nature, personality and raw energy that the band captured while together in the studio.”
Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl on Amazon.

WATCH IT: At Home With Amy Sedaris

Embrace the fact that you’re missing the Martha Stewart gene with another round of the comedian’s delightfully demented guide to housekeeping. In the second season, Matthew Broderick, Susan Sarandon, Michael Shannon and a slew of other recognizable faces will join Sedaris as she demonstrates her homemaking skills, including preparing meals or organizing game nights.
Watch it live on TruTV at 10 p.m. on Feb. 19 or stream it at

WATCH IT: A Star Is Born

Lady Gaga fans have surely been counting down the days until A Star Is Born hits DVD and Blu-ray, and they can belt out “Shallow” with her over and over and over (Hey, speaking of, no singalong edition? Maybe they’re waiting until the five-year anniversary edition.) This acclaimed musical drama directed by Bradley Cooper doesn’t look like it’s turning into the Oscar powerhouse that pundits once predicted it would be, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it again (or discovering it for the first time) in disc form. Report back if you ever figure out where the heck Ally lives.
Buy the Blu-ray/DVD at Amazon or download it on iTunes.

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