Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones leading the crowd-pleasing courtroom drama “The Burial,” and the return of “Frasier” starring Kelsey Grammer are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you
Among the offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists are albums by Offset and Troye Sivan, a group of so-called baddies of reality and competition TV shows face-off in a new reality game show called “House of Villains,” and the video game Forza Motorsport offers you a chance to drive more than 500 cars that are all sexier than whatever’s cluttering your driveway.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones lead the crowd-pleasing courtroom drama “The Burial,” coming to Prime Video free for subscribers on Friday. Loosely based on a true story, Maggie Betts’ sophomore film starts out as a contract dispute between two funeral home owners, but morphs into a bigger examination of race, inequality and corruption lingering in the “death care” industry. Foxx plays a slick, successful personal injury lawyer recruited to take on Jones’ character’s case to appeal to a largely Black jury. Other standouts in the cast include Bill Camp, Alan Ruck and Jurnee Smollett as the opposing counsel.
— Filmmaker Scott Derrickson re-teams with his “Sinister” star Ethan Hawke in the horror “The Black Phone,” which returned to Peacock on Thursday just in time for spooky-themed movie nights leading up to Halloween. Hawke plays a serial killer who has recently abducted a 13-year-old boy and locked him in a room with a seemingly defunct telephone — but the kid discovers that that phone lets him speak to the previous victims. The film was a modest box office hit, bringing in nearly $90 million in North America last summer. In his AP review, critic Mark Kennedy wrote that “The Black Phone,” “is a very satisfying balancing act of a movie that has elements of supernatural, psychological suspense and horror but never falls heavily into a single camp.”
— Also over on Prime Video, audiences can check out the Nicolas Cage Dracula movie “Renfield,” which started streaming on Tuesday. “The Lego Batman Movie” director Chris McKay was behind the camera here, with Cage playing Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as his long tortured assistant, Renfield. The film was a flop in theaters, grossing just $26 million against a reported production budget of $65 million and drew generally mixed reviews from critics. But some found joy in its horror-comedy mix, including the talents of Ben Schwartz and Awkwafina. Clarisse Loughrey writing in The Independent, singled out Cage in her positive review. saying he “was born to play a vampire.”
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— He came in like a hurricane, or, at least, a football team: “Rush,” the lead single from Troye Sivan ’s third full-length album “Something to Give Each Other,” is all falsetto, locker room chants, utopic homoeroticism: “I feel the rush/ Addicted to your touch,” a group of men sing, amplifying the house-adjacent production of a pop song on the verge of experimentalism. It has been five years since the Australian singer’s last release — surely “Something to Give Each Other,” and its sweaty sexuality, is something worth celebrating.
— “Set It Off,” Migos’ member Offset’s sophomore solo album and first full-length since the death of his bandmate and cousin Takeoff, releases Friday. It follows Migos’ Quavo’s second solo album, “Rocket Power,” a lively and powerful tribute to Takeoff. “Set It Off” is characteristic Offset — energetic, empathetic trap with a stacked list of collaborators, as evidenced on “Jealousy,” which features his wife Cardi B and samples a Three 6 Mafia track. “I’ve been working on this project for over two years now. This season is personal for me. It marks a new chapter in my life,” Offset shared in a statement. “This body of work is healing for me and a letter to my fans and supporters.”
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— Frontline takes a deep dive into Elon Musk’s purchase of the social platform formerly known as Twitter, now called X. “Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover” is a two-hour special examining Musk’s relationship with Twitter as a user-turned-owner, and some of the controversial decisions he’s made since acquiring the service. The program also features interviews with former Twitter employees. “Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover” premieres Tuesday on PBS and Frontline’s YouTube channel. It will also stream on the PBS App, which also features other Fall programming that’s largely been unaffected by strike disruptions.
— It’s been nearly two decades since Kelsey Grammer has played Dr. Frasier Crane, the high-brow, refined psychiatrist on NBC’s “Frasier” (and prior to that on “Cheers.”) Grammer resumes the role in a new Paramount+ sitcom – also called “Frasier” — reintroducing the character on a new chapter. Frasier’s returned to Boston where his grown son Freddy lives and works as a firefighter. And his nephew David — the son of Niles and Daphne — is with him. The first two episodes of “Frasier” drop Thursday on Paramount+, with the remainder doled out weekly.
— With Halloween approaching, Netflix has a new eerie series from Mike Flanagan (“The Haunting of Hill House”, “The Haunting of Bly Manor”) called “The Fall of the House of Usher.” It’s based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. For this project, Flanagan has tapped some of his favorite actors including Carla Gugino, Rahul Kohli, Henry Thomas, and Zach Gilford (plus new cast member Mark Hamill). The story follows siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher whose pharmaceutical company has amassed a fortune for their family. Secrets bubble to the surface when their heirs begin dying. “The Fall of the House of Usher” premieres Thursday.
— E! has recruited 10 so-called baddies of reality and competition shows including Johnny Bananas (“The Challenge”), Omarosa Manigault Newman (“The Apprentice”), Jax Taylor (“Vanderpump Rules”), and Corinne Olympios (“Bachelor in Paradise”) to face off in a new reality game show called “House of Villains.” The contestants live together, compete in different challenges and one contestant is eliminated each episode. The one who remains at the end is awarded $200,000 and the title of America’s Favorite Supervillain. Joel McHale hosts and special guests including Spencer Pratt from “The Hills” and Carole Baskin of “Tiger King” appear. “House of Villains” debuted Thursday.
— “Lessons in Chemistry,” premiering Friday on Apple TV+, follows Elizabeth Zott (Brie Larson), who works as a lab assistant in the 1950’s. She’s just as smart – if not more – than her male colleagues and could easily be promoted if it weren’t for the rampant sexism that was commonplace for the time. Elizabeth meets a fellow scientist (played by Lewis Pullman) who appreciates her brains, beauty, and independence. Their love story changes the trajectory of Elizabeth’s life, presenting obstacles and challenges that she faces head on and with the help neighbors and unlikely friends. The eight-episode series is based on the best-selling novel by Bonnie Garmus.
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— In video games, it’s OK to mess around with cars — you can crash them, steal them or throw giant banana peels from them. But if you want an ultra-realistic driving experience, Forza Motorsport is the way to go. The new installment of Microsoft’s flagship auto racing franchise promises dazzling graphics, cutting-edge AI opponents, dynamic day/night lighting and dramatic weather effects. Still, the real appeal of Forza is the chance to ditch the family minivan and take a Lamborghini for a spin, and the lineup includes more than 500 cars that are all sexier than whatever’s cluttering your driveway. You can hit the gas pedal on Xbox X/S and PC.
— If race cars aren’t fast enough for you, maybe you want to hop into a starship. Star Trek: Infinite puts you in command — not just of one vessel, but an entire fleet. You’re in charge of one of four factions: the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire or the Cardassian Union. As in classic Trek, the Federation’s all about diplomacy, the Romulans are stealthy and the Klingons and Cardassians are ready to pick a fight. Publisher Paradox Interactive is known for the galaxy-spanning strategy epic Stellaris, but says Infinite has been streamlined to fit better into the Trek universe. Set your engines to warp speed on PC.