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 June 10-16, including the best deals we could find for each.
STREAM IT: Speed (25th anniversary)
Not all action movies from the 1990s are built to last, but Speed is just as sprightly now as it was when it hit theaters a quarter century ago. Chalk that up to an irresistible premise — a bomb-strapped bus has to stay above 50 miles per hour or it goes boom — a crackerjack script by Graham Yost (with a major assist by an uncredited Joss Whedon), Jan de Bont’s nimble direction and, last but not least, the dynamic duo of Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Even though it’s impossible to imagine anyone but Bullock as accidental bus driver, Annie Porter, the part was originally offered to Halle Berry. Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment recently, the actress revealed precisely why she declined to ride shotgun opposite her John Wick: Chapter 3 co-star. “When I read the script, the bus never left the parking lot. Then I saw the movie and it went all over town! It was like I was duped.” For his part, Reeves knew what he was getting into from the beginning: “It was running, jumping, fighting and gun work — a lot of gun work” he told us about his preparation for his breakout action hero role. All together now: Whoa.
WATCH IT: The Dead Don’t Die
While Jim Jarmusch’s deadpan zombie comedy lacks some of the emotional… um, bite of his sublime vampire picture, Only Lovers Left Alive, it’s still a ramshackle good time. More of an extended sketch than a carefully-crafted narrative, The Dead Don’t Die turns a small army of the undead (whose ranks include Iggy Pop and Sara Driver) loose on a one-motel town populated by such famous faces — and Jarmusch regulars — as Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Adam Driver. From its first frames, the film is unapologetically self-aware about devouring zombie movie cliches and spitting them back out with a wink, a smile and a bit of bloody violence.
WATCH IT: Ice on Fire
Leonardo DiCaprio is so prolific in his environmental endeavors — from appearances in Lil Dicky videos to more traditional activist-leaning work — that it's hard to keep track of everything the A-lister is tirelessly doing to open our collective eyes to the perils of climate change. The new HBO doc Ice on Fire, in which he narrated and produced, is one of his most urgent cross-pollinations of entertainment and activism yet. And while we've seen plenty of eco-docs released in recent years, what sets Ice on Fire apart the most is its focus on solutions — real, tangible, technological, even profit-generating solutions when it comes to reversing damage once thought irreversible. Bonus props to HBO for making this one sound Game of Thrones-related. Whatever it takes, people, whatever it takes.
Ice on Fire premieres Tuesday, June 11 on HBO.
HEAR IT: Madonna, Madame X
The queen of pop has returned to reclaim her throne! Adventurous as ever, on her Latin-influenced 14th studio album (and first album since 2015) she teams with Maluma, Offset’s Quvao, Swae Lee, Diplo and her Music/American Life/Confessions on a Dance Floor collaborator Mirwais. She’ll promote the record with an unprecedented club tour and Vegas residency in the fall.
READ: Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw
Country music star Tim McGraw teams with the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of works about the lives of Andrew Jackson (American Lion), Thomas Jefferson (The Art of Power) and others, to tell the story of some of America’s most well known songs, such as “Born in the U.S.A.” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” They cover more radio-friendly songs, too, and the book teases anecdotes about iconic performers — Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Carole King and Duke Ellington, to name a few — as well as politicians and changemakers, such as Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. Although the lyrics to many of the songs are included, the karaoke machine you’ll want to use for singing along is not.
WATCH IT: Pose (Season 2 premiere)
This FX drama about the underground "ballroom" scene of the '80s and '90s has gotten a lot of credit for being groundbreaking. (It's the first cable series to feature a cast of transgender characters played by actual trans women, for one.) But don't let that eat-your-vegetables word fool you. Pose is great entertainment, arguably the best (and certainly the most heartfelt) series that celebrity producer Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) has ever made. Season 2 kicks off with Madonna's single "Vogue" sweeping the nation, bringing a gay ballroom dance trend into the mainstream — just as the AIDS virus begins truly decimating downtown New York. Stars Billy Porter and MJ Rodriguez have already received award nominations for Season 1 (now streaming on Netflix); tune in to Season 2 to see why.
Pose Season 2 premieres Tuesday, June 11 at 10 p.m. on FX and FX+ streaming service.
HEAR IT: Bruce Springsteen, Western Stars
His first studio album of entirely original material since 2012’s Wrecking Ball and first solo album since 2005's Devils & Dust, Western Stars finds the Boss in a mellow mood, influenced by ‘70s California pop (think Glen Campbell, Burt Bacharach) and a "range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope.” A more rockin’ album with his E Street Band will reportedly follow in 2020.
HEAR IT: Janet Jackson's Control on vinyl
Janet Jackson is one of those artists who's had so many hits over the years, you tend to think she's released dozens of albums in the process. That's why it's staggering to look back at just how many singles she generated from her third LP, 1986's Control. "What Have You Done For Me Lately." "Nasty." "Control." "When I Think Of You." "Lets Wait Awhile." More than half of the album's nine songs were top 5 Billboard singles, and "Pleasure Principle" came pretty close, too (it peaked at 14). Arguably the recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee's greatest album, Control is now on vinyl for the first time since its initial release.
Buy Control on vinyl on Amazon.
HEAR IT: Confronting: O.J. Simpson podcast
Twenty five years after Kim Goldman’s older brother, Ron Goldman, was infamously murdered alongside Nicole Brown Simpson, she’s reexamining what happened in a 10-episode podcast. Listeners will hear Kim, who was 22 when Ron died, speaking to prosecutors including Marcia Clark from the 1995 trial, former Simpson house guest Kato Kaelin and jurors who ultimately found O.J. Simpson not guilty in the deaths of Ron and Nicole. Kim said that while there has been much coverage of the story, she wanted to ask deeper questions about the loss of Ron, who would now be 50. “It’s really hard to kind of wrap my head around who he would have become,” she told ABC News. “Those are ... realizations that are really hard for me, because they'll never be.”
WATCH IT: Jessica Jones (Season 3 premiere)
With the premiere of Jessica Jones’s third and final season, the curtain falls on Netflix’s corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the Hell’s Kitchen-based private eye (Krysten Ritter) is going out swinging, and her adopted sister, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) gets to throw a few punches as well courtesy of her newfound superpowers. Although the duo begin the season as enemies, they renew their friendship when they find themselves working the same case: pursuing a serial killer who has a special hate-on for empowered women. While the first eight episodes suffer from some of the glacial pacing that afflicted all of Netflix’s Marvel shows, if you’ve been following Jessica and her fellow Defenders since the beginning, you’ll want to see how it ends.
Jessica Jones premieres on June 14 on Netflix.
While you might not be familiar with the name of CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, you more than likely saw his November 2018 confrontation with President Trump during a White House press conference, where Acosta asked the president about “demonizing immigrants.” A White House intern tried to take Acosta’s microphone away. Trump was visibly angry and referred to Acosta as “a rude, terrible person,” then suspended Acosta’s access to the White House altogether. The viral moment sets the stage for the journalist’s story about what it’s like to report on Trump and his team, and why it’s crucial a free press is still around to cover a 46th president and beyond.
Jackson Maine’s A Star Is Born backing band (and Neil Young’s real-life backing band) are ready for their closeup, with an all-star album that features Young, Sheryl Crow, Kesha, Shooter Jennings, Randy Houser and Lucius.
If you’re looking for an authentic account of Bob Dylan’s seminal roadshow tour — which criss-crossed the country between 1975 and 1976 — it ain’t this movie, babe. While Martin Scorsese’s film incorporates a plethora of authentic concert footage and backstage material, the legendary director and avowed rock music fan also mixes plenty of fiction into his fact via a number of invented characters and situations. That approach may frustrate some, but it’s in keeping with Dylan’s own penchant for spinning tall tales about his past. More refreshingly, it punctures the ballon of self-importance that can envelope these moments in time, giving them more significance than they perhaps deserve. As the singer himself remarks early on in the film, the Rolling Thunder Revue was just a thing that happened; Scorsese’s slyly-crafted movie turns it into a happening.
Rolling Thunder Revue premieres on Wednesday, June 12 on Netflix.
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