New this week: ‘In the Heights,’ ‘Loki’ and ‘Infinite’
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— Summer movies are finally starting to heat up this week with the much-anticipated debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights.” The sweaty, vibrant musical about a close-knit Washington Heights neighborhood during a citywide black out is undoubtedly meant for the big screen — director Jon M. Chu (the man behind “Crazy Rich Asians” and various “Step Up” films) made sure of it — but if you can’t make it to a theater, it’ll be free on HBO Max starting Thursday for 31 days. And at home, you can rewind and sing along to toe-tappers like “96,000” and no strangers will look at you weirdly.
— Paramount+ is also making a big splash, offering up the new Mark Wahlberg-led and Antoine Fuqua-directed action pic “Infinite” free for subscribers on Friday. Based on the book “The Reincarnationist Papers,” Wahlberg plays a man who doesn’t know he’s an eternal but is starting to suspect that maybe his schizophrenia diagnosis might not fully explain his visions and skills. And from the trailers, it looks like the action set pieces are trying to give both “Mission: Impossible” and the “Fast & Furious” movies a run for their money. Chiwetel Ejiofor co-stars.
— And over on Amazon Prime Video, you can catch Italian director Matteo Garrone’s gothic spin on Pinocchio starting Friday, which came and went in late December without enough fanfare. Based on Carlo Collodi’s 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” this is a much darker affair than the song-filled animated version. While the result may not be suitable for all children, I wrote in my review at the time that it’s a strange, visionary and enchanting old-world fairy tale that any fan of Guillermo del Toro’s films or Wolfgang Petersen’s “The NeverEnding Story” should give a chance.
— AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr
— Inspired by his time during the beginning of the pandemic with his family in Texas, Lukas Nelson crafted his new album with Promise of the Real. “A Few Stars Apart” was recorded live on eight-track tape over three weeks at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, and the album was produced by Grammy-winner Dave Cobb, who has worked with everyone from Chris Stapleton to Lady Gaga. “I’m from what one might say is the ultimate road family – I’ve been on the road my entire life,” said Lukas Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson. “I can’t remember the last time we had that much time together as a family. We had a lot of really important bonding that happened during that time. And I have to say, as terrible as the pandemic has been in so many ways, for my inner peace, I was able to take a lot of good from this time. I was able to pause and reflect.”
— After finding success with the multi-platinum hit “Lost Boy,” from her 2017 debut “Safe Haven,” Ruth B. is back with her sophomore album. The 25-year-old Ethiopian-Canadian singer-songwriter will release the 11-track set called “Moments In Between” on Friday. It was executive produced by Patrick Wimberly, who has worked Solange, MGMT, Ellie Goulding and Joji. Ruth B. has already released songs from the album including “Dirty Nikes,” “Situation” and “Die Fast.”
— AP Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu
— Tom Hiddleston reprises his film role of Loki in the new Disney+ limited series named for the Marvel character and set after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” In the six-parter debuting Wednesday, Loki is forced to help fix the break in time that he caused, with one scene a promise of the lively ride to be expected from the god of mischief: Confronted about his past — which includes, he’s reminded, literally stabbing people “in the back like 50 times” — Loki’s cheeky reply is, “Well, I’ll never do it again.” Hiddleston, of course, delivers the line for all it’s worth.
— It seems like only yesterday that the extended Kardashian-Jenner family invaded TV and oh so many other parts of our culture and commerce with “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” But it’s been 15 years and 20 seasons, and it’s time to say goodbye as the final episode arrives 8 p.m. EDT Thursday. How to wrap up the multi-level saga that included marriages, near-marriages, divorces and the best celebrity tie-in ever, with Kanye West? You don’t. The E! series will be history but the family will be back with a Hulu streaming show.
— You have a dog. You want a dog. You don’t like really dogs, but you love Christopher Guest’s comedy “Best in Show.” For all of you, the 145th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show arrives this week, with the Westminster debut of catchily named breeds the Barbet, Biewer Terrier, Belgian Laekenois and Dogo Argentino. Fox Sports Network 1′s prime-time coverage begins at 7 p.m. EDT Saturday, with the Fox broadcast network carrying Sunday night’s canine competition starting at 7 p.m. EDT.
— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.