Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— Against the odds, Melissa McCarthy and her husband, filmmaker Ben Falcone, have managed to put out two movies during the pandemic. Last November came HBO Max's “Superintelligence," about a regular woman (McCarthy) joined with a megalomaniacal artificial intelligence (voiced by James Corden). This time, in “Thunder Force," McCarthy is again thrust into saving the planet. In the Netflix film, McCarthy and Octavia Spencer play women given superpowers — accidentally in the case of McCarthy's character — to defend Chicago from supervillains (Bobby Cannavale, Jason Bateman). It debuts Friday.
— In “Mayor,” director David Osit profiles local government in a land typically seen through a national lens. Osit trails Musa Hadid, the charismatic and mustachioed mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah, as he tirelessly deals with many of the issues of any municipality — can Ramallah brand itself like, as one advisor mentions, Minnesota’s “Land of 10,000 Lakes"? — while wrestling with the more extreme, geopolitical issues endemic to the West Bank. It's a funnier film than you'd imagine, as Osit observes the sometimes farcical, sometimes painful plight of a beset community that proves that, at least in Ramallah, not all politics are local. “Mayor” began streaming Monday on the Criterion Channel.
— Many of the Oscar-nominated shorts are already available to stream, but one worth watching — “Two Distant Strangers” — lands on Netflix on Friday. In it, directors Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe use a “Groundhog Day”-style time loop to dramatize the repetitive trauma of police brutality. Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ plays a New Yorker who awakes happily again and again in a woman's apartment. But every time he leaves to go home to feed his dog, an altercation with a police officer is unavoidable and tragic.
— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle
— Taylor Swift’s defining 2008 album, “Fearless,” helped her break through onto the pop charts with successes like “You Belong with Me” and “Love Story.” The album went on to win four Grammys, including her first album of the year honor. So it’s fitting that “Fearless,” though it was her sophomore release, is the first project she has re-recorded after her masters were sold off. “Fearless: Taylor’s Version” will be released Friday and includes 27 songs, including 13 from the original album. Keith Urban appears on the songs “That’s When” and “We Were Happy,” while “You All Over Me” features Maren Morris.