New this week: Scary movies, Lainey Wilson, ‘Call of Duty’
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week.
— In the new Netflix film “The Good Nurse,” Jessica Chastain plays an overworked ICU nurse and single mother who, after a patient’s death, starts to suspect things about about her new colleague Charlie, played by Eddie Redmayne. Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm directed the thriller, streaming on Wednesday, off of a script “1917” and “Last Night in Soho” screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns. For something more family friendly, Netflix also the stop-motion animation pic “Wendell & Wild,” featuring the voices of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as demon brothers. It’s an original idea from director Henry Selick, who also directed the spooky but kid-friendly classics “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Coraline.” “Wendell & Wild” starts streaming on Oct. 28.
— For some fresh Halloween scares, several well-reviewed thrillers are hitting video on demand on Tuesday First up is “Pearl,” Ti West’s technicolor horror prequel starring Mia Goth as a farmgirl in a pandemic plagued Texas town in 1918 whose dreams of movie stardom drive her a bit mad. There are references to everything from “Singin’ in the Rain” to “The Wizard of Oz,” but with a sinister, murderous edge. Before the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival earlier this fall, West said, “I just had this interest in making, for lack of a better term, a children’s movie that has a more demented adult story to it.” Goth helped write the script too, which involves an epic monologue at the end done in almost a single take.
— Also coming to VOD on Tuesday is “Barbarian,” the low-budget indie horror starring Justin Long that became a sleeper hit at the box office. “Barbarian” stars Georgina Campbell as a woman who is inadvertently double booked with a stranger (“It’s” Bill Skarsgård) in a creepy Detroit-area Airbnb run by Long’s character, a TV actor facing sexual misconduct allegations. Writer-director Zach Cregger said he pitched the movie, which has an unconventional structure that essentially resets itself midway through, to every studio that’s made a horror in the last 15 years and everyone said no. To date, it’s made over $40 million against a $4 million production budget.
— Breakout country artist of the year Lainey Wilson’s new studio album comes out Friday, featuring 14 tracks, all of which she co-wrote except one cover. Singles from “Bell Bottom Country” include the sweet first-love ditty “Watermelon Moonshine” and “Heart Like a Truck,” with the lyrics: “I got a heart like a truck/It’s been drug through the mud/Runs on dreams and gasoline.” Wilson is the winner of the Academy of Country Music’s New Female Artist of the Year Award in 2021 and won their coveted Song of the Year Award last year for her smash hit single, “Things a Man Oughta Know.”
— It’s time to celebrate Garbage. A new compilation called “Anthology” will be available on double transparent yellow vinyl and two CD editions, as well as through major online streaming platforms starting Friday. It’ll contain the hits “Stupid Girl,” “I Think I’m Paranoid,” “Why Do You Love Me” and “Only Happy When It Rains.” Among the 35 tracks is a rare recording called “Witness to Your Love.” Lead singer Shirley Manson teased the compilation, saying it is “testimony to almost three decades of creative work together, our collective tenacity and our terrifying ability as a group to withstand ritual humiliation on a regular basis.”
— It might be a tad early, but it’s always time for a Louis Armstrong Christmas album. While Satchmo’s holiday tunes are standard yuletide fare, he never released a Christmas album during his lifetime. Now, for the first time, “Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule” is being released digitally on Friday, followed by CD, red vinyl and a limited edition vinyl picture on Nov. 11 — marking his first-ever official Christmas album. The 11 tracks include “Cool Yule,” “Christmas Night in Harlem” and the swinging “’Zat You Santa Claus?” Fans of Armstrong can also check out the Apple TV + film “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues,” also dropping Friday, Oct. 28.
— “Till,” director Chinonye Chukwu’s fact-based account of Emmett Till’s mother’s quest for justice, was a powerful film, made that much more stirring by its score. The work by Abel Korzeniowski, who composed, orchestrated and conducted, is out Friday, and has stirring strings, dark pulses and thrilling sequences. Listen to “This Is My Boy” and try not to be moved. Korzeniowski says: “It is a tribute to those, who against all odds, and despite the world’s indifference to their plight, continue to preserve their humanity.”
— Get in the Halloween mood with Netflix’s “Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities,” an anthology produced by the Oscar-winning filmmaker with the aim of challenging “traditional” expectations of horror. The eight stories include “The Autopsy,” based on a Michael Shea short story and starring F. Murray Abraham, Glynn Turman and Luke Roberts; the H.P. Lovecraft-based “Dreams in the Witch House,” with Rupert Grint and Ismael Cruz Cordova, and “Lot 36,” one of two episodes based on an original story by del Toro and starring Tim Blake Nelson and Elpidia Carrillo. Episodes will be released daily in pairs from Tuesday to Friday.
— “Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes,” debuting Tuesday, on PBS’ “Frontline” (check local listings), details the toll of Russia’s war on Ukraine and the challenges of holding Russia to account for its actions. The documentary is part of a collaboration between “Frontline” and The Associated Press that includes gathering, verifying and cataloging potential war crimes and co-publishing stories and videos from AP and “Frontline” war reporting. The joint initiative, which includes the War Crimes Watch Ukraine interactive experience, has documented more than 500 incidents involving potential war crimes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February.
— A gunman’s deadly attack on a house of worship, its causes and the aftermath are examined in HBO’s “A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting,” debuting 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday. The film, directed by Trish Adlesic, delves into the 11 lives that were lost in the October 2018 tragedy and the effect on family members, survivors and the community at large. The attack also is viewed in the context of rising hate speech and actions. Michael Keaton, Billy Porter and Mark Cuban, the film’s prominent executive producers, are natives of the Pittsburgh area. An original song, “A Tree of Life,” is performed by Broadway and film star Idina Menzel.
— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber
— The venerable “Call of Duty” series returns Friday for its annual round of gun-happy chaos. This year’s chapter, “Modern Warfare II,” comes from Activision’s Infinity Ward studio, generally regarded as the publisher’s premier storyteller for rock-solid single-player campaigns. Special ops Task Force 141 is back on the prowl, this time fighting a terrorist network and a drug cartel that have teamed up on a scheme to launch stolen missiles at the United States. As usual, there are plenty of options for multiplayer mayhem, from competitive battles royale to cooperative raids. The game is available for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox X/S, Xbox One and PC.
— “Bayonetta 3” brings Platinum Games’ flamboyant, demon-hunting witch — imagine a cross between Kim Kardashian and Tina Fey in full dominatrix gear — back to the Nintendo Switch on Friday. Longtime admirers might miss the original voice actress behind Bayonetta, who skipped this sequel due to a pay dispute and has called on her fans to boycott it. Still, devotees of Platinum’s brand of campy, high-octane hack-and-slash action won’t be able to resist the siren’s call, especially since this installment promises “a virtual coven of Bayonettas, each more fabulous than the last.”
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