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 May 27 to June 2, including the best deals we could find for each.
WATCH IT: Rocketman
After Bohemian Rhapsody rocked multiplexes — and the Oscars — to the tune of $900 million worldwide, Hollywood will almost certainly spend the next few years doing a deep dive into the back catalogue of every major musical artist. First up is Elton John, whose life story as a prodigal pianist-turned-global rock star provides the basis for this spirited musical fantasia. And where Rami Malek lip synced along to Freddie Mercury's tracks, that's really Kingsman star Taron Egerton crooning "Your Song" and belting "Crocodile Rock" all while clad in some of Sir Elton's finest (and craziest) '70s fashions. Although the movie follows a fairly conventional narrative arc — particularly once it gets into the addiction/recovery portion of John's life — director Dexter Fletcher admirably strives to approach his subject in unconventional ways, whether via reality-bending musical numbers (the rendition of the title track is a highlight in that regard) or other such flights of fancy. Better still, the movie addresses John's sexuality head on, instead of eliding it as Bohemian Rhapsody often did. Don't be surprised if Rocketman takes flight on Broadway after following the yellow brick road to box office gold.
WATCH IT: When They See Us
The story of the Central Park Five isn’t a proud chapter in the history of New York City, which makes co-writer/director Ava DuVernay’s four-episode dramatization of their wrongful imprisonment and eventual exoneration feel all the more vital and necessary. On April 19, 1989, a female jogger was brutally raped in the park, and law enforcement quickly moved to identify five Harlem teenagers as the guilty parties. The subsequent trial ignited a media firestorm that was fanned by the likes of Donald Trump, who famously took out full page newspaper advertisements demanding the death penalty for the young men. Trump isn’t an onscreen character in When They See Us, but his presence is felt throughout, representing the rush to judgement taken by so many of the city’s more privileged citizens that robbed five men of their freedom. The miniseries features an ensemble cast that includes Vera Farmiga, Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Niecy Nash and Felicity Huffman in what appears to be her first acting appearance since pleading guilty in the college admissions scandal. Huffman plays Linda Fairstein, who was the sex-crimes prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office at the time.
When They See Us premieres Friday, May 31 on Netflix.
WATCH IT: Deadwood: The Movie
13 years after Deadwood’s unceremonious departure from HBO, creator David Milch finally gets to finish his Old West yarn in the form of a two-hour movie. “It’s a love letter to the old show,” star Ian McShane told Yahoo Entertainment recently. “I think people will be very happy.” Set 10 years after the third and final season, the film reunites much of the original ensemble, from Timothy Olyphant to Anna Gunn. But it’s McShane’s foul-mouthed saloon owner, Al Swearengen, who viewers are probably most excited to see again. According to the actor, though, this isn’t exactly the Swearengen they remember, and that’s intentional. “The characters have changed—I wouldn’t want to go back and play the same guy 10 years later. The great thing was seeing all the actors I never got to say goodbye to in the first place. Except every time you played a scene this time, you knew, ‘This is goodbye.’”
READ IT: Stranger Things: Six (Issue 1 of 4)
Netflix’s Stranger-verse expands in Dark Horse Comics’ limited-edition prequel series telling the story of a 1970s teenager named Francine. Her ESP abilities lead her to Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) and his secret work at the Hawkins lab. We learn how she eventually becomes Six, a predecessor of series favorite Eleven, as well as details of the experiments that unleashed the Upside Down.
A year after bringing us the ultimate guide to the inner workings of the Millennium Falcon, the gearheads behind Haynes Manuals have teamed with Insight Editions for Star Wars: TIE Fighter — Owners’ Workshop Manual, a detailed look at the iconic starfighter that powered both the Empire and First Order’s navies. The richly illustrated book includes breakdowns of all the various TIE models and prototypes and is a must-read for all Star Wars enthusiasts and/or space mechanics.
Order at Amazon.
WATCH IT: Notting Hill (20th anniversary)
This charming story from romcom extraordinaire Richard Curtis (the writer/director of Love Actually and writer of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Four Weddings and a Funeral) sparkles thanks to its lovely London setting, a sweet story and, most of all, the performances of its stars, modern masters of the genre Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. She plays a movie star in town for a film, while he’s a local bookseller, stunned to see one of the most famous women in the world in front of him when she pops in one day. You can guess what happens after that. Twenty years after the movie first arrived in U.S. theaters, prepare to swoon all over again.
Notting Hill is available for rent or purchase on Amazon.
BOOK IT: The Rolling Stones No Filter Tour
When you start Mick Jagger up, he’ll never stop. Despite undergoing heart surgery in April, the now 75-year-old rocker is back and raring to go on the Rolling Stones’s latest North American tour, and even has the video evidence to prove it. The No Filter tour kicks off in Chicago on June 21 and travels the country from coast-to-coast through Aug. 31.
Tickets for the Rolling Stones No Filter tour are available on Ticketmaster.
WATCH IT: Downton Abbey Returns!
Jim Carter, better known as Mr. Carson on the beloved PBS series, hosts this “loving look back” at the Grantham family saga several months before the Downton Abbey movie’s scheduled September arrival in U.S. movie theaters. In fact, the trailer for the special promises a sneak peek at the much-anticipated film. Interviews with show creator Julian Fellowes and others are also part of the love letter to the drama.
Downton Abbey Returns premieres June 2 on PBS. Check local listings.
WATCH IT: Fosse/Verdon (series finale)
The tumultuous love story of two Broadway legends, choreographer/director/filmmaker Bob Fosse and dancer/singer/producer Gwen Verdon, reaches its climax in the final episode of FX's ambitious limited series. All of the episodes have had a meta component, whether its a character breaking the fourth wall or a Broadway dance number spontaneously erupting in an office. The series finale will take this to a new level, following Fosse (Sam Rockwell) as he makes his highly autobiographical Best Picture nominee All that Jazz. In other words: It's a TV episode about Bob Fosse making a movie about Bob Fosse. Even when Fosse drags (more than one episode has gone well over an hour), Rockwell and co-star Michelle Williams are never less than fascinating, playing lovers who set each other's dreams on fire until the flames consumed them both.
Fosse/Verdon airs on Tuesday, May 28 at 10pm on FX, or watch it on the FX+ app.
HEAR IT: Thomas Rhett, Center Point Road
The fourth studio album by the country superstar was co-produced by Rhett and features collaborations with Nashville heavy-hitters like Little Big Town, Jon Pardi and Kelsea Ballerini.
WATCH IT: Good Omens (series premiere)
A dark premise reaches the height of sublime silliness in Amazon and the BBC's adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's 1990 comic fantasy novel. The perfectly-cast miniseries stars David Tennant (Doctor Who, Jessica Jones) and Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex, The Good Fight) as an angel and demon, respectively, who form an unlikely alliance to prevent the Apocalypse so that they can both continue their work on Earth. All six episodes were written by Gaiman, and his dry humor is a welcome contrast to all the TV fantasy series that take themselves far too seriously (we won't name names). Part of the fun of Good Omens is all the big stars in small, juicy roles (i.e. Frances McDormand as the voice of God and Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Satan), but it's really Tennant and Sheen's show, and thank goodness. They're two of England's finest living actors — they've both played Hamlet, for crying out loud! — and watching them clash is so much fun, you'll hope the end of the world never comes.
Good Omens begins streaming Friday, May 31 on Amazon Prime.
STREAM IT: Up (10th anniversary)
Remember the first time you saw the beginning of Up and collapsed into a ball of tears? If you saw the Disney classic in theaters, that was a decade ago. If you haven't seen it since — well, those first ten minutes are still the biggest emotional wallop Pixar has ever produced, and that's saying something. Up is refreshing to watch in this era of marketable film franchises and cookie-cutter plots, because the story of 78-year-old curmudgeon Carl, 8 year-old Junior Wilderness Explorer Russell and talking dog Dug is the opposite of that. It's an oddball movie to share with the lovable oddballs in your own life.
HEAR IT: Duff McKagan, Tenderness
The Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver bassist tackles social issues like gun control, the #MeToo movement and the nation’s opioid and homelessness crises in his powerful, semi-acoustic solo album, a collaboration with Shooter Jennings.
WATCH IT: NOS4A2 (series premiere)
Joe Hill’s 2013 bestseller about a modern-day vampire and his retro automobile — outfitted with the titular license plate — gets the TV treatment courtesy of Fear the Walking Dead veteran Jami O’Brien. Zachary Quinto plays Hill’s boogeyman, Charlie Manx, who tempts children into his vintage Rolls-Royce Wraith and spirits them away to the cheery-sounding, but fear-inducing Christmasland, feeding off their youthful energy along the way. But he’s not the only one with a magical ride: Rebel teen Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) zooms around on a motorcycle that takes mystical shortcuts between great distances. Needless to say, these two are on a collision course that takes them on plenty of twists and turns along the way. The show doesn’t boast the novel’s decades-long narrative timespan, but no less a fear expert than Stephen King (aka Hill’s dad) calls it “balls to the wall scary."
NOS4A2 premieres Sunday, June 2 at 10 p.m. on AMC or binge the entire season by signing up for AMC Premiere.
HEAR IT: Alaska, Vagina
Coinciding with the finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 and her recent star turn on The Bachelorette, one of Drag Race’s most beloved queens surprise-drops her fourth album. The title might sound vulgar, but Alaska explains it’s inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. “In the wake of the current political climate, where women's bodies are being regulated and controlled by men, I think the title grabs people's attention and it's a little dangerous. I like that,” she says.
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