This week’s new entertainment releases include documentaries about celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and another on a landmark 1969 Harlem concert series known as “Black Woodstock” that featured Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone. Steven Soderbergh’s 1950s Detroit crime drama “No Sudden Move” on HBO Max is a series of double crosses that tease out some of the foundational injustices of Detroit history. And Amazon has “The Tomorrow War,” with Chris Pratt starring as a soldier sent into the future to the year 2052 to fight off an alien invasion.
— Questlove’s “Summer of Soul (…or When the Revolution Could not Be Televised)” would certainly sound and look best on the big screen with a thumping sound system. (It’s playing nationwide in theaters this Friday.) But if you’d rather have a house party, you can also stream it on Hulu. The film mines a landmark 1969 Harlem concert series known as “Black Woodstock” that included performances by Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone and many others. Far from as renown as another music festival that summer, the Harlem Cultural Festival is given new, glorious life in “Summer of Soul.”
— Don Cheadle leads an expansive ensemble of Benicio del Toro, Kieran Culkin, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Noah Jupe, Julia Fox, Ray Liotta, Bill Duke and Matt Damon in Steven Soderbergh’s 1950s Detroit crime drama “No Sudden Move.” The film, which debuts Thursday on HBO Max, is a series of double crosses that tease out some of the foundational injustices of Detroit history. It’s one of the most ambitious movies to be shot and released during the pandemic, and one that returns Soderbergh and Cheadle to Detroit, 23 years after another caper that landed in the Motor City, “Out of Sight.”
— This week is one of the most competitive among streaming services looking to entertain movie fans. Netflix launches the first of a three-film horror series, “Fear Street.” Universal’s Peacock premieres the animated sequel “Boss Baby: Family Business” (also in theaters) and there’s also indie fare like IFC’s “Werewolves Within,” a supernatural comedy with Milana Vayntrub and Sam Richardson, debuting for digital rental. But perhaps the biggest play is by Amazon, which on Friday launches the kind of summer sci-fi spectacle usually only playing theaters in “The Tomorrow War.” Amazon acquired the film earlier this year for a reported $200 million from Paramount Pictures. Chris Pratt stars as a soldier sent into the future to the year 2052 to fight off an alien invasion.
— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle
— Lana Del Rey has a new album coming out Friday – and yes, you read that correctly. The pop singer just released “Chemtrails over the Country Club” in March and four months later she is dropping “Blue Banisters.” The new project is Del Rey’s eighth album and includes the singles “Text Book,” “Wildflower Wildfire” and the title track. Del Rey teased the new album with a 30-second video on Twitter, writing: “I’m writing my own story. And no one can tell it but me.”
— “Pose” has wrapped but you’ll get a chance to experience the greatness of Billy Porter – on the new album “Red Hot + Free” by the HIV/AIDS-fighting nonprofit Red Hot. The double album of dance music will be released Friday and features Porter covering Juliet Roberts’ club classic “Caught In the Middle.” The album also features songs by Gloria Gaynor, Tituss Burgess, SOFI TUKKER, Amadou & Mariam, Sam Sparro, Allie X, Bright Light Bright Light and Ultra Naté. Proceeds from the album will benefit the Ally Coalition, Trevor Project and SAGE.
— AP Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu
— Wolfgang Puck, his restaurants and brand are omnipresent, but that success required determination and exacted a toll, according to the Disney+ documentary “Wolfgang” (now streaming). The Austrian-born Puck says in the film that he was belittled by a stepfather who told him he’d never be a success or a “real man” unless he stayed out of the kitchen — the only place he felt comfortable. Unbowed, he went on to dazzle celebrities and fellow chefs with his inventive fare. While Puck says he’s at a time in life to take things easy — he’ll be 72 on July 8 — he intends the opposite.
— A hit-and-run accident claims a child’s life, and his mother (Cush Jumbo) is driven to punish the man she believes responsible in the six-part series “The Beast Must Die,” adapted from the eponymous Nicholas Blake novel. When police drop the case, mom Frances develops a friendship with the family of George Rattery (Jared Harris), whom she’s judged guilty. Her goal is to kill him, unless Detective Nigel Strangeways (Billy Howle) can solve the case and stop Frances’ plot. The series debuts Monday, July 5, on streaming service AMC+ and on cable channel AMC at 10 p.m. EDT July 12.
— Fireworks and stars will light up two July Fourth specials Sunday. PBS’ 41st “A Capitol Fourth” (check local stations for time), with host Vanessa Williams, includes pre-recorded performances by Jimmy Buffett, Gladys Knight, Alan Jackson, Cynthia Erivo, Renee Fleming and the Joint Armed Forces Concert. Live pyrotechnics over Washington will cap the program. NBC’s 45th “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” (8 p.m. EDT, repeating at 10 p.m.) will include music by Black Pumas, Coldplay, OneRepublic and Reba McEntire, followed by fireworks from barges on New York’s East River.
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