This week’s new entertainment releases include Tom Hanks in the film “News of the World” and Pete Docter’s “Soul,” one of the best family films of the year, and a worthy metaphysical companion piece to the director’s “Inside Out.”
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— To some, a night out at the movies is synonymous with the holiday season, normally the busiest and most festive time for moviegoing. This year, there are still a handful of notable movies arriving in cinemas — Paul Greengrass’ “News of the World,” with Tom Hanks; Emerald Fennell’s jolting, subversive “Promising Young Woman,” starring Carey Mulligan; and Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone’s “Pinocchio,” with Roberto Benigni as Geppetto. But with more than half of U.S. theaters closed, two of the biggest movies of the year — “Soul” and “Wonder Woman 1984” — will be going straight to streaming.
— Pete Docter’s “Soul,” the latest from Pixar, premieres Friday on Disney+. Unlike “Mulan,” “Soul” will be available to subscribers at no additional charge. It’s one of the best family films of the year, and a worthy metaphysical companion piece to Docter’s “Inside Out.” A middle-school band teacher and talented jazz musician (Jamie Foxx) gets the big break he’s always wanted, but fate intervenes, and “Soul” travels to both the afterlife and a “before” life to contemplate some very big questions about fulfillment and regret, while working in some terrific music scenes and a cat.
— Also arriving Christmas Day is “Wonder Woman 1984,” Patty Jenkins’ sequel to her barrier-breaking 2017 film. It premieres on HBO Max in the first of a parade of Warner Bros. films to stream through 2021. With Gal Gadot returning, “Wonder Woman 1984” fast-forwards from 1918 to the “greed is good” decade. The Associated Press called it “spirited, purposeful and blessedly lacking in grandiosity” in a sequel that again positions Wonder Woman as “a moral and muscular counterweight to ego-driven male misdirections, steering history through the repeating pitfalls of megalomaniacs intoxicated by power.”
—AP Film Writer Jake Coyle
— If you yearn for theater this holiday season, head over to Broadway On Demand, the theater-focused streaming platform. There’s a one-man production of “This Wonderful Life” in which actor Rob Johansen recreates more than 30 characters from the film at madcap speed, as well as the reading of a new play, “The Santa Hat,” starring Ed Asner, Michael Urie, Gregory Jbara and Lucie Arnaz. There’s also Shoshana Bean celebrating the season with a brand new holiday special, “Sing Your Hallelujah,” filmed live at New York City’s famed Apollo Theater.
— Broadway veterans Rebecca Luker and Sally Wilfert celebrate Christmas with their new album, “All the Girls.” The duo are calling it “a celebration of womanhood” and it includes songs by Stephen Sondheim, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Fred Ebb & John Kander. The album, from PS Classics, is adapted from the stage show of the same name, showcasing the singers’ personal bond. It’s ready to stream Friday.
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
— Shonda Rhimes’ first scripted series for Netflix is “Bridgerton” and its being described as if “Downton Abbey” mixed with “Gossip Girl.” Based on Julia Quinn’s romance novel series, it centers on the romantic entanglements of English society’s upper crust and has a multiethnic cast and an anonymous gossip columnist — voiced by none other than Julie Andrews. The first season debuts Friday.
— Gritty reboots of beloved kids’ literary characters takes another step with “The Hardy Boys.” The series follows brothers Joe (Alexander Elliot) and Frank Hardy (Rohan Campbell) as they spend the summer in a small town and looking into the suspicious circumstances around their mother’s death. The TV-PG series comes on the heels of The CW’s “Riverdale” and “Nancy Drew.” “The Hardy Boys” began at the top of the month but it’s not too late to investigate.
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.