The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. Here are our picks for Aug. 26 - Sept. 1, including the best deals we could find for each.
BINGE IT: The Netflix prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance brings the world of Thra to life
Whether you’re a Henson Company stan or a lover of all things fantasy, it’s impossible to resist Netflix’s new 10-episode series based on Jim Henson’s 1982 family favorite. Set in the magical world of Thra long before the events of the feature film, Age of Resistance depicts the first clash between the small, but mighty Gelfling tribes and the towering cruelty of the Skeksis. Unlike The Muppet Show, Sesame Street or Farscape, there are no humanoids anywhere in sight for the duration of The Dark Crystal’s 10-hour runtime. This is a one-hundred percent puppet-only production (albeit with the occasional CGI assist) — and the level of craft on display is astonishing, even for the wizards at the Henson Company.
The roll call of actors lending their voices to the series is pretty impressive, too: Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy and Nathalie Emmanuel are the three Gelfling heroes, while the Skeksis ranks consist of Mark Hamill, Simon Pegg, Jason Isaacs and Awkwafina. Story-wise, the series does encounter some of the usual Netflix pacing problems where events that could happen in one episode instead take three. But Thra is such an immersive world — one that’s overflowing with evocative landscapes and characters — fantasy fans young and old will simply enjoy spending time there. And you can bet that the cosplay based on this show is gonna be epic.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance premieres Aug. 30 on Netflix.
WATCH IT: The Fanatic
Limp Bizkit frontman-turned-feature filmmaker, Fred Durst, turns life into art for his latest major motion picture, which follows an overzealous horror fan (John Travolta) who gets stalker-y with one of his screen idols (Devon Sawa). Travolta’s character is reportedly inspired by Durst’s own brush with extreme fandom, although things thankfully didn’t escalate as horrifically in the real world as they do onscreen, with Travolta eventually turning to home invasion as a way to get closer to his favorite star. The Saturday Night Fever star’s extreme makeover is something to see, often approaching Nic Cage levels of eccentricity in terms of his appearance and line delivery. No disrespect to Sawa, but had Durst been able to orchestrate a Face/Off reunion with Travolta and Cage, The Fanatic would be one for the history books. As it is, it’s still an odd — and oddly endearing — cult movie in the making.
The Fanatic opens in theaters on Aug. 30, and will be available on Digital and On Demand services on Sept. 6.
WATCH IT: Stand By Me is looking good in 4K, 33 years after its release
The poignant, coming-of-age story, starring the late River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Will Wheaton and Jerry O’Connell as four boys who embark on a dark adventure, has never looked better. Not only that, but this release of the 1986 movie, adapted from a Stephen King work, also features commentary from director Rob Reiner and actors Feldman and Wheaton, plus deleted scenes. Happily, it still includes great lines, such as, “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” Perfection.
Stand By Me is available on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray on Amazon.
BUY IT: Hasbro celebrates Marvel’s 80th anniversary with Marvel Legends Anniversary figures and Marvel Legends Series 6-inch Retro Collection
You’ll love Hasbro’s latest line of Marvel Legends action figures 3000. As part of Marvel’s 80th birthday celebrations, the toy giant sent us anniversary editions of stalwart Avengers — and former Civil War team leaders — Captain America and Iron Man, as well as a ripped-from-the-comic-book tableau of Wolverine taking on the Hulk. (Track down Incredible Hulk #181 to see how that fight turned out.) Hasbro also restored select members of the X-Men to their ‘80s and ‘90s glory via the Marvel Legends Retro Collection, which features vintage 6-inch versions of Storm, Iceman, Cyclops and, best of all, that disco dancing queen, Dazzler. Mamma mia, how can you resist her?
HEAR IT: Reyettes, rejoice! Lana Del Rey’s Norman F***ing Rockwell drops this week
The elusive Americana chanteuse returns with a sixth album of summertime sadness, produced by Midas-touched hitmaker Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lorde) and featuring hashtag-worthy song titles like “Venice Bitch” and "F*** It I Love You."
WATCH IT: The Last Black Man in San Francisco available on all home entertainment formats
We have to admit we thought this film would get a lot more attention when it hit theaters in June, but that's all the more reason to catch this gem on DVD, Blu-ray or Digital. Thought-provoking, funny and gorgeously shot, Joe Talbot's indie drama follows two best friends (Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors) navigating a quickly-changing — meaning gentrifying — Bay Area. It's both a deeply critical look at and also a heartfelt love letter to the Northern California city, and will go down as one of the year's very best.
Buy The Last Black on San Francisco on DVD, Blu-ray or Digital on Amazon.
HEAR IT: The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Moulin Rouge! The Musical is ‘So Exciting!’
Even if you can’t snag tickets to the new stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 movie, you can take home some of the memorable tunes, such as “So Exciting! (The Pitch Song),” “Elephant Love Medley” and “Come What May,” thanks to this new collection. Fans who pre-order the album before its Aug. 30 release receive an instant download of “The Sparkling Diamond.” Bonus to listening at home instead of the theater: You can dance!
WATCH IT: Rocketman lands in stores in 4K Ultra HD
Elton John’s part-biopic, part-musical looks back at difficult times in his life, but it’s always entertaining and beautiful, mostly because it does so through the lens of his music. John fans, who surely caught the well-reviewed flick in theaters, will appreciate that all formats include bonus content not seen in theaters. For example, the 4K Ultra HD DVD and Blu-Ray combo pack is accompanied by extended musical sequences (even more tunes!), behind-the-scenes moments with John himself and, best of all, sing-along tracks for 13 songs. Because absolutely no one would ever have been singing along in theaters, right?
Rocketman is available in 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray or DVD formats on Amazon.
STREAM IT: Hallmark Channel launches new (and first!) streaming series When Hope Calls
Hallmark is offering another serving of its successful series When Calls the Heart with spinoff When Hope Calls. The new series focuses on orphan sisters Lillian (Morgan Kohan) and Grace (Jocelyn Hudon), who have appeared on the original fan favorite, as they run an orphanage in 1916 Canada. The catch is that the sisters have each been raised quite differently and have only recently reunited, so not everything will go off without a hitch.
When Hope Calls debuts Aug. 30 on Hallmark Movies Now.
HEAR IT: Common’s Let Love album is his first since 2016
The Oscar-, Grammy-, Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning hip-hop legend enlists guests Jill Scott, BJ the Chicago Kid, Leon Bridges, Dwele, Swizz Beatz, A-Trak and others for his much-anticipated 12th studio album.
HEAR IT: Sheryl Crow’s final album, Threads, features many of her musical friends and heroes
For what she says might be her final album, Crow pulls out all the stops. The result is an A-list all-star affair featuring her famous friends, including Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, Keith Richards, Joe Walsh, Mavis Staples, Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Andra Day, Gary Clark, Jason Isbell, St. Vincent and more.
BUY IT: My Partner Pikachu puts an interactive Pokémon in your pocket
Pikachu leaps off the screen and into your pocket with a new fully interactive figure from Wicked Cool Toys. Aspiring Pokémon trainers can activate touch sensors over the lightning-type pocket monster's body to generate over 100 reactions, from speaking and waving arms to lighting up his tail or wiggling his ears. You can also train your new partner by mastering nine different touch sensor combinations.
HEAR IT: Fear Inoculum, Tool’s first album in 13 years, debuts on Aug. 30
After a 13-year recording hiatus plagued by personal and professional difficulties, Maynard James Keenan and company are finally back with a new album — just as they finally make their entire discography available on digital streaming platforms.
HEAR IT: Natasha Bedingfield ends 9-year hiatus with new album Roll With Me
The “Unwritten” pop star returns with her first album in nine years, produced by the indomitable Linda Perry and released on Perry’s independent record label, We Are Hear.
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