Super Mario, an Elvis Christmas special and Paris Hilton enjoying motherhood are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you.
Also among the offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists are Peter Gabriel's long awaited album, a Robin Hood game with robots and Harrison Ford’s last hurrah as Indiana Jones swings onto Disney+.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— The biggest box-office hit of the year not named “Barbie” is coming to Netflix. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” hits the streaming service Sunday, Dec. 3, after its previous run on Peacock. The film, which grossed nearly $1.4 billion in theaters, has fared slightly better than the infamous 1993 “Super Mario Bros.” In my review, I praised the primary-color visuals but wrote that “as nice as it is to look at ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie,’ it’s not anywhere near as fun as it would be to play it.”
— Todd Haynes’ “May December” is a deliciously disquieting drama loosely based on a stranger-than-fiction true story. Haynes’ film, which debuts Friday on Netflix, is inspired by Mary Kay Letourneau, the teacher who went to jail in 1997 for a sexual relationship with a student, only to later marry him. In “May December,” Julianne Moore and Charles Melton play a couple years past a similar scandal, while Natalie Portman portrays an actress who’s come to research them for an upcoming film. In her review, AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr called it “an audaciously self-aware, mischievously funny and emotionally complex drama that defies simple categorization.”
— Harrison Ford’s last hurrah as Indiana Jones swings onto Disney+ on Friday. “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” had a mixed reception when it launched over the summer. Ford was feted in Cannes. Reviews were mixed. Box office was lackluster. But “Dial of Destiny,” directed by James Mangold (taking over for Steven Spielberg), co-starring Phoebe Waller Bridges and featuring a poignant scene with Karen Allen, has a lot going for itself. In her review, Bahr acknowledged it’s no “Raiders” or “Last Crusade,” “but it’s solid, swashbuckling summer fare and a dignified sendoff to one of cinema’s most flawless castings.”
— Matthew Heineman’s “American Symphony” captures a whirlwind year for Jon Batiste. The film covers the pianist winning the 2022 Grammy for album of the year, winning an Oscar for co-creating the score to “Soul” and a triumphant concert at Carnegie Hall — all while his wife, Suleika Jaouad, battled leukemia. “American Symphony” is now streaming on Netflix.
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— A starry special this week honors Elvis. “Christmas at Graceland,” featuring Post Malone, Alanis Morissette, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Kane Brown, Lainey Wilson, Lana Del Rey and The War and Treaty. It aired live on Wednesday on NBC and streams on Peacock. “Christmas at Graceland” — airing right after NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” — is the first televised concert from the estate and Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough, will make special appearances.
— Peter Gabriel’s sonic teasing is almost over. After releasing 10 singles during 2023 — coinciding with each month’s full moon — the singer-songwriter finally will drop the album they all come from on Friday, “i/o.” The album is available in two distinct mixes: The Bright-Side Mix by Mark “Spike” Stent and the Dark-Side Mix by Tchad Blake. “Tchad is very much a sculptor building a journey with sound and drama, Spike loves sound and assembling these pictures, so he’s more of a painter,” says Gabriel. “i/o” includes contributions from Brian Eno, regular collaborators Richard Chappell, Oli Jacobs, Katie May and Richard Evans.
— If all you know about Violent Femmes is “Blister in the Sun,” it’s time you went deeper. The 40th anniversary deluxe edition of the band’s self-titled debut is out Friday with over a dozen demos, B-sides and live performances — including alternate versions of iconic songs “Please Do Not Go,” “Gone Daddy Gone” and “Add It Up.” Pop culture fans will know that Ethan Hawke serenaded Winona Ryder with an embittered rendition of “Add It Up” in 1994’s “Reality Bites,” while a 1995 episode of “My So-Called Life” opened on Claire Danes joyfully lip-synching “Blister in the Sun.”
— Singer-actor Dove Cameron drops her debut album “Alchemical: Volume 1,” which contains six new songs and two previous hits, “Boyfriend” and “Breakfast.” One of the new songs is “Lethal Woman,” a club banger about a woman “sharp as a knife under the table” that includes sounds of banging on a door, a gun being cocked and heavy production elements. The lyrics include the playful rhyme: “Game recognizes game/By the way, what’s your name?” Cameron has had a heady few years, winning new artist of the year honors at the 2022 American Music Awards and being named Best New Artist at the 2022 VMAs. She also was scene-stealer in season two of “Schmigadoon!”
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— In recent years, Paris Hilton has been determined to (somewhat) drop the cutesy facade and show her layers. The second season of “Paris in Love,” out now on Peacock, leans into that effort. First, it introduces Hilton as a new mom. Hilton and husband Carter Reum welcomed son Phoenix via surrogate earlier this year and just revealed a daughter, London. She managed to keep both births a secret, even from her family, until Hilton was ready to announce the news. “It’s been really important for me to keep this a secret. It’s just the first time that something is just mine,” Hilton says in the trailer. New motherhood is never easy though and Hilton must adjust to the needs of her growing family conflicting with her busy schedule.
— Loni Anderson, Morgan Fairchild, Linda Gray, Donna Mills and Nicollette Sheridan star in the new Lifetime movie “Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas,” premiering at 8 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. The quintet portray former soap opera co-stars who begrudgingly reunite for a live holiday special and end up repairing relationships and playing matchmakers. Executive producer Larry Thompson made sure each of the five actors had their own diva moment in the film. “The ladies loved it,” he tells the AP. “They got to get together, go over old times and and laugh... We want to do a whole franchise with more movies or maybe a series.” (For more holiday TV options, check out AP's guide.)
— The creators of “Cobra Kai” are behind a new Netflix series called “Obliterated.” The action comedy stars Nick Zano and Shelley Hennig (“Teen Wolf”) as members of a special task force assigned to prevent a planned terror attack in Las Vegas. Once the mission is completed, the temptations of Sin City sway them to spend the night partying. A call interrupts the fun to inform the group that they didn’t finish the job and need to get back to work, sober or not, to find and deactivate a bomb. “Obliterated” debuted Thursday.
— It seems there’s no longer bad (tiger?) blood between Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen. Lorre has tapped Sheen as a recurring guest star in his new Max series “Bookie.” Stand-up Sebastian Maniscalco plays Danny, as a longtime LA bookie struggling to keep business afloat despite the looming legalization of sports betting. Omar J. Dorsey plays a former pro football player and his best friend, Ray, who is by his side for many of his, er, adventures both on and off the clock. The first two episodes dropped Thursday.
— A documentary short called “Eddy’s World” follows Eddy Goldfarb, a now 102-year-old toy maker, who has created more than 800 toys (including the Yakity-Yak chattering teeth) and holds more than 250 patents. His story is a lesson that work isn’t work if you love what you do. “Eddy’s World” will be Broadcast on PBS Stations available on PBS.org and the PBS App beginning Saturday.
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— Robin Hood has been stealing from the rich and giving to the poor for centuries, but I don’t think he’s had to battle giant robots before. Gangs of Sherwood, from French publisher Nacon, brings the Merry Men (and a Woman) into a steampunk version of England that the Sheriff of Nottingham oversees from a flying castle. As Robin you have an arsenal of high-tech arrows, and you can invite three friends to the fray: metal-fisted brawler Little John, speedy assassin Maid Marian and mace-wielding healer Friar Tuck. This isn’t Disney’s Robin Hood (or Kevin Costner’s, for that matter). The rebellion began Thursday on Xbox X/S, PlayStation 5 and PC.
— The soldiers in Last Train Home aren’t out to save the world; they just want to get out of Russia after the end of World War I. Unfortunately, there’s a brutal civil war going on, and the troops won’t make it home to the newly independent Czechoslovakia without a fight. Czech studio Ashborne Games is aiming for a more complex take than your typical military shooter, and there’s more than combat in this strategy/management mashup. You also need to train medics, cooks and other support personnel, find food and fuel and keep the locomotive from derailing. Get on board on your PC.
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/entertainment.