New this week: Jeremy Renner, Metallica and ‘Cocaine Bear’


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.

MOVIES

“Cocaine Bear” was technically inspired by a true story – a 1985 plane crash that scattered some $2 million worth of cocaine across Georgia hillsides and resulted in the death of a 175-pound black bear, who overdosed. The film, however, is pure fantasy about what might have happened if the bear went on a coke rampage instead of dying. After its wild trailer went viral, the R-rated pic directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring Keri Russell and O’Shea Jackson Jr. left audiences somewhat divided. Some thought it a B-movie delight, others were left cold by the excess. And starting on Friday, via Peacock, you can access it at home to decide for yourself.

– Katie Holmes directs and stars in “Rare Objects,” an adaptation of a novel by Kathleen Tessaro about a woman with a traumatic past trying to rebuild her life starting with a new job at a New York antique shop. Holmes has been working on making this film since 2016, and her adaptation moves the story from its Depression-era Boston origins to contemporary New York. In an interview with Variety, Holmes said she was drawn “to the female friendship and this metaphor of ‘you are more beautiful for having been broken.'” The film opens in theaters and on demand on Friday.

– Also on demand, on Tuesday, is “Linoleum,” a science fiction drama starring Jim Gaffigan as a children’s television host who dreams of being an astronaut. The film, which premiered to favorable reviews at South by Southwest last year, turns into fantasy when a satellite lands in his backyard and he starts to try to build it into a rocket of his own. Rhea Seehorn co-stars.

AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr

MUSIC

– Let’s just call this Metallica’s week. On Thursday, the hard rockers have a listening party in movie theaters worldwide for their upcoming 12th studio album, “72 Seasons.” The one-night event will feature the new music in surround sound with music videos and exclusive commentary from the band. The next day the album comes out on vinyl, CD and digital, their first collection of new material since 2016’s “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct.” Early singles include “Screaming Suicide” and “Lux Æterna,” with James Hetfield singing “Full speed or nothing.”

– Natalie Merchant returns with lush, gorgeous new horn-heavy music on the album “Keep Your Courage,” her first collection of all-new material in almost 10 years. The album was produced by the former singer of 10,000 Maniacs and features contributions from Celtic folk group Lúnasa, Syrian clarinet player Kinan Azmeh, jazz trombonist Steve Davis and singer Abena Koomson-Davis, who adds joy and warmth to “Come On, Aphrodite.” “For the most part, this is an album about the human heart. I think the pandemic was a great period of solitude and longing,” Merchant says. “I craved and savored human connection; it was the only thing that really mattered.”

AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy

TELEVISION

– The half-hour critically praised comedy “Single Drunk Female” returns for its second season on Freeform. Executive produced in part by Jenni Konner (“Girls”), it stars Sofia Black-D’Elia as a 20-something magazine writer named Samantha who at the beginning of season one, is sent to rehab after (repeatedly) getting drunk on the job and ultimately assaulting her boss as he’s attempting to fire her. Samantha moves back home to build both a community and new life for herself, even if it’s a life she never pictured. In season two, Samantha is confident and ready to expand her horizons with independence, like finding her own place, and romance. Season two of “Single Drunk Female” debuts Wednesday and the entire season will hit Hulu on Thursday.

– Four months after surviving a serious snowplow accident in Nevada, Jeremy Renner’s four-part series “Rennervations” debuts on Disney+ on Wednesday. The two-time Oscar nominee, who plays Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will repurpose, and refurbish vehicles, to assist local communities. Examples include making a water treatment facility out of a delivery truck and transforming a tour bus into a mobile music studio. He’s assisted by celebrity friends including fellow Marvel star Anthony Mackie and Vanessa Hudgens. Renner is so passionate about “Rennervations” that he attended a premiere on Tuesday in Los Angeles for the show’s premiere.

– It’s never too early to teach children about protecting the planet and a new educational series coming to Apple TV+ called “Jane” aims to do just that. “Jane” aims to introduce kids to the ideals and work of primatologist and conservationist, Dr. Jane Goodall. The series is a combo of live action and CGI and stars Ava Louise Murchison as 9-year-old Jane Garcia, who is passionate about protecting the environment and saving endangered animals. Using her creativity and imagination, Jane takes her best friends David and a chimpanzee named Greybeard on adventures around the globe to help rescue wild animals. “Jane” premieres globally on Friday on the streaming service.

– Alicia Rancilio

VIDEO GAMES

– The 1982 movie “Tron” wasn’t a huge success, but it seems like everyone who did see it became a computer game designer. One such acolyte is Mike Bithell, creator of the award-winning indie games Thomas Was Alone and Subsurface Circular. His Bithell Games studio is behind Tron: Identity, a new cyberpunk adventure from Disney. In an abandoned sector of the Grid that’s evolved in weird ways, your character is a “detective program” named Query assigned to investigate a break-in and robbery. It’s a dialog-driven mystery broken up by defragging puzzles, and its neon-infused look is bound to appeal to anyone who grew up on PC games of the 1980s and ’90s. Plug in Tuesday on Nintendo Switch and PC.

Lou Kesten

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Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.


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