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‘Tenet’ in theaters, ‘Mulan’ on Disney+, Pixar Fest kicks off, Billy Ocean drops new album [Video]

The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for Aug. 31 – Sept. 6, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

WATCH IT: Tenet is finally here to try to save movie theaters

Though we usually have the privilege of screening new movies in advance, it’s a new world we’re living in, and Warner Bros. has not been able to show media their highly anticipated Christopher Nolan mind-bender Tenet in New York and Los Angeles due to coronavirus restrictions. But the early word is out from critics elsewhere who have seen the film — which stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in an enigmatic espionage thriller with world-saving stakes — and they say it’s just as eye-popping, slick, heady… and confusing as we’ve come to expect from the mastermind behind Inception. (Among early viewers has also been Tom Cruise.) As we reported in MayTenet, which moved release dates multiple times, has long been counted on to be the film to save movie theaters crushed from the lockdown, but the film is finally barreling into theaters at a time when many Americans still feel unsafe about sitting in enclosed spaces. It’s a cerebral dilemma in its own right: Is seeing Tenet now, and on the big screen, worth the risks? It’s something moviegoers must decide for themselves. — Kevin Polowy

Tenet opens in theaters Thursday, Sept. 3; check Fandango for ticket and showtime information.

WATCH IT: Make an appointment to watch Transplant

Imagine Grey’s Anatomy with less emphasis on the characters’ personal lives, and you’ve got an idea of the tone of the pilot of this addictive new medical drama, exported from Canada. In the heart-pounding first few minutes, we see a truck plow through the front of a restaurant. In the aftermath, we see a medically-trained Syrian refugee, Bashir Hamed, put his skills to work, even though he’s a line cook and not a working doctor in his new country. Shortly after, we see Dr. Jed Bishop (played by Sliding Doors actor John Hannah), who was injured in the crisis, being wheeled into the very hospital where he works, to the shock of colleagues who revere him. (Watch the moment it happens in the exclusive clip above.) The entire first episode of Transplant is twisty, dramatic and heart-wrenching — sometimes all at once. — Raechal Shewfelt

Transplant premieres Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

STREAM IT: Mulan is worth that hefty price tag

Disney’s live-action Mulan remake was so close to opening back in March before the world shut down as we know it that the film had both its press junket and its red carpet premiere. We saw it twice back then. It never made its March 27 bow, and the Mouse House has since announced it will go straight to streaming for a premium fee of $29.99, which has drawn some heat for consumers already subscribed to Disney+. We can safely say the wait — and even that hefty price tag, which makes sense considering its monster budget — is worth it. The film is Disney’s best live action reboot yet — beautiful and absorbing and rich and empowering, with a stellar cast (lead by the transformative Yifei Liu) and breathtaking lensing from Whale Rider director Niki Caro. It’s also Disney’s first battle epic, with hints of films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero — yet still impressively family friendly. — K.P.

Mulan is available to rent starting Friday, Sept. 4 on Disney+ Premier Access.

WATCH IT: Amazon’s anti-Avengers return in Season 2 of The Boys

If you thought the inaugural season of The Boys was a wild ride, get ready to strap in for a thoroughly amped-up Season 2. Based on the comic book by Garth Ennis, The Boys is set in a modern-day alternate reality where the corporatized, chemically enhanced superheroes, led by the Trumpian, nearly omnipotent Homelander (Anthony Starr) and social media-savvy newcomer Stormfront (Aya Cash), are the bad guys and it’s up to a misfit crew of vigilantes fronted by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and the milquetoast Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) to take them down. But the show has lots more on its mind than capes and cowls — it’s a deft satire that grapples with Big Topics like systemic racism, fascism, sexism, sexuality, xenophobia and homophobia and even finds time to tackle cancel culture and Scientology. Profane, graphic and irreverent, The Boys has emerged as the best original drama on Amazon Prime. — Marcus Errico

Season 2 of The Boys begins streaming Fridayk, Sept. 4 on Amazon Prime.

WATCH IT: Jon Stewart-directed Irresistible finds comedy on campaign trailer

It shouldn’t be surprising that the former host of The Daily Show chose a sandbox so timely to play in with his sophomore directorial effort. Jon Stewart’s comedy Irresistible stars Steve Carell as a Democratic strategist who goes head to head with a Republican rival (Rose Byrne) over a smalltown Wisconsin election with national implications. It lands this week on DVD and Blu-ray, nearly two months to the day ahead of our real-life presidential clash. Stewart, Carell, Byrne and company clearly had fun making it, if the gag reel you can watch exclusively above is any indication. The home video release also includes deleted scenes and featurettes with the cast and crew. — K.P.

Irresistible is available Tuesday, Sept. 1 on DVD, Blu-ray or digital on Amazon.

CELEBRATE IT: Grab a slice from Pizza Planet and tune in to Pixar Fest  

Twenty five years ago, in November 1995, Pixar took us to infinity and beyond with the release of the original Toy Story. To mark the milestone, Disney is launching Pixar Fest, a monthlong event featuring movie watch parties, social activations and tons of new merch celebrating the iconic animation studio. Disney+ kicks off the weekly watch-alongs (via #PixarFest on your favorite social platform) on Sept. 5 with Onward, followed by Inside Out (Sept. 12), The Incredibles (Sept. 19), Toy Story (Sept. 26) and concluding with Up (Oct. 3), while Disney Store and other retailers will be flooded with new gear, books, games and toys. Our favorite: the Alien Remix line, featuring the adorable three-eyed Toy Story ETs mashed up with characters from across the Pixar Universe and available in vinyl form from Mattel and Funko and as pins from Loungefly. — M.E.

Pixar Fest watch parties run Sept. 5 through Oct. 3. The Alien Remix series is available and other Pixar-themed merch is available beginning Aug. 31 at retailers like Disney StoreTarget and Loungefly

STREAM IT: Netflix is switching up storytime and amplifying Black children’s book creators

From Natasha Anastasia Tarpley’s I Love My Hair to Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s Anti-Racist Baby, Netflix’s Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices is shining a spotlight on empowering children’s books written by Black authors. Black influencers and celebrities including Tiffany Haddish, Common, Jill Scott, Lupita Nyong’o and Caleb McLaughlin will be reading aloud from a selection of stories touching on diversity, activism, self-love, identity and more, while 15-year-old #BlackGirlsBooks campaign founder Marley Dias takes on hosting duties. Round up the little ones and settle in for some valuable storytime — with plenty of inspo for your next bookshop spending spree. — Erin Donnelly

Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices premieres Tuesday, Sept. 1 on Netflix.

HEAR IT: Billy Ocean rides the wave again

Get out of your dreams and back in your car, because this is really happening: Billy Ocean is back with his first album of new original material in more than a decade. One World reunites the venerable soulman with producer/co-writer Barry Eastmond, who worked on the Ocean-sized hits “There’ll Be Sad Songs,” “When the Going Gets Tough” and “The Color of Love” as well as with Freddie Jackson, Anita Baker, Kenny Lattimore, Brandy, Tamia, Gladys Knight and Chaka Khan. — Lyndsey Parker

Download/stream One World on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: The Beverly Hills housewives virtually face-off in the Season 10 reunion

Andy Cohen corrals RHOBH stars Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Denise Richards and newcomer Garcelle Beauvais to address this season’s drama. Part one finds Richards and Beauvais acknowledging their unexpected tension while — shocker! — Richards finds herself in the hot seat off the bat. Much of Season 10 focused on Richards’s personal life and Rinna and Girardi waste no time coming for the Wild Things actress. Friend Sutton Stracke also joins as the reunion looks to be explosive. — Taryn Ryder

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills three-part reunion begins on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

READ IT: The Art of Ramona Quimby tells the story of how a childhood favorite came to life

(Image: Chronicle Books)

The young heroine of Beverly Cleary’s classic series has such a big personality that it’s taken five artists to draw her over the years. Then again, it’s mostly because the Ramona books, about a plucky school girl’s adventures at school and at home, with her working-class, loving family, including big sister Beezus, have spanned an incredible 65 years. All five illustrators contributed to this collection. Their many drawings of the beloved character, which show her cruising around on her bike and splashing through rain puddles, are published alongside excerpts from the books, so it’s the perfect gift for not-so-little ones looking for nostalgia. Hardcore fans will be especially interested in the letters exchanged between the author and the original illustrator, Louis Darling, as he put Ramona on paper for the first time. — R.S.

The Art of Ramona Quimby is available Tuesday, Sept. 1 on Amazon

STREAM IT: Bad Boy Billionaires: India explores the greed, fraud and corruption of India’s most infamous tycoons

The Netflix docuseries shines a light on the stories of businessmen Vijay Mallya, Subrata Roy, Nirav Modi and Byrraju Ramalinga. It uncovers how these men rose to the top, built an empire and ultimately fell. In the series, these so-called “geniuses” are seen posing and rubbing elbows with some of the world’s most wealthy, all while pulling off elaborate cons. The show features insiders and experts reflecting on the way these men carried out some serious financial crimes. “Nirav Modi was defrauding Punjab National Bank $1.8 billion,” says one of the insiders. — Gisselle Bances

Bad Boy Billionaires: India premieres Wednesday, Sept. 7 on Netflix.

HEAR IT: Hal Willner and all-stars honor a 20th Century Boy

The star-studded tribute album AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex was the final project overseen by legendary producer Hal Willner before he died of coronavirus complications this past April. Participants include Todd Rundgren, Nick Cave, Soft Cell’s Marc Almond, Joan Jett, Kesha, Maria McKee, Perry Farrell, BØRNS, Beth Orton, Lucinda Williams, Peaches, Father John Misty and even U2 with Elton John — making it a lovely homage not just to late glam icon Bolan and Class of 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees T. Rex, but to Willner himself. — L.P.

Download/stream AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex on Apple Music.

STREAM IT: Terry Crews plays a bodyguard named Yoda (natch) in Quibi’s Mapleworth Murders

Quibi continues to pump out celebrity-driven content at an astounding rate, and Mapleworth Murders comes with one of its most stacked decks yet. The whodunit comedy stars Paula Pell (who co-created the show with Jon Lutz) as a murder-mystery writer investigating what’s proving to be an absurd amount of homicides in her quaint small town, and guest spots include Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Andy Samberg, Wanda Sykes, Annie Mumolo, Patton Oswalt, Tina Fey and Terry Crews. In one of the latest episodes, Crews turns up as a bodyguard named — what else? — Yoda, as revealed in our exclusive clip above. — K.P.

Mapleworth Murders is currently streaming on Quibi.

HEAR IT: Throwing Muses make a Racket

Post-punk pioneers Throwing Muses return with Sun Racket, their first album since 2013. Their 10th LP is another dreamy, densely distortion-layered, atmospheric masterpiece, buoyed by founder Kristen Hersh’s ethereal vocals. — L.P.

Download/stream Sun Racket on Apple Music.

— Video produced by Gisselle Bances


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