New this week: 'Judy Blume,' Rodrigo y Gabriela, Minecraft

By AP News

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This week’s new entertainment releases include albums from The Heavy and Rodrigo y Gabriela, a new Judy Blume bio-documentary and video games set in the Minecraft and Dead Island universes

The Stream

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.

NEW MOVIES TO STREAM

— In her young, flourishing career, Ana de Armas has already made three films with Chris Evans. Following “Knives Out” and “The Gray Man" — both of which positioned them as foes, either in family squabbles or assassin melees — they're more closely aligned in “Ghosted.” In the Apple TV+ release, premiering Friday, April 21, “Rocketman” director Dexter Fletcher pairs them in a film that fuses rom-com with action thriller. After a promising first date between Cole (Evans) and Sadie (de Armas), Cole pursues the unreachable Sadie and becomes ensnarled in an international spy adventure.

One of 2022's best films arrives Tuesday on the Criterion Channel. For years, Iranian director Jafar Panahi has been finding intrepid ways to make films that cleverly reflect Iranian society despite government control. In “No Bears," Panahi — who has made acclaimed movies from within his apartment or the confines of a car — again plays a fictionalized version of himself, this time while he endeavors to remotely direct a film. When his collaborators' unwittingly capture a moment some locals don't want documented, scrutiny and pressure falls on Panahi. When “No Bears” opened in theaters, Panahi was in prison in Tehran. After declaring a hunger strike, he was freed on bail in February.

— Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok's lively bio-doc “Judy Blume Forever” profiles an author who's had a lasting impact on generations of young readers. The film, which debuts Friday, April 21, on Prime Video, mixes interviews with Blume, now 85, and her many fans, ranging from kids to Lena Dunham and Molly Ringwald. The documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, debuts just as a big-screen adaptation of one of Blume's most beloved books, “Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," hits theaters.

AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

NEW MUSIC TO STREAM

— Guitar virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela — Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero — return with a new album, “In Between Thoughts... A New World,” out Friday, April 21. It’s the pair’s first collection since their 2019 Grammy -winning “Mettavolution,” which meld the power of thrash metal with fiery Spanish melodies. Self-produced by Rodrigo y Gabriela at their studio in Ixtapa, Mexico, the new album sees the duo “expanding their traditional approach to include inventive electronic and orchestral elements.” Superb single “Descending to Nowhere” even has a little funk and danceability.

— U.K. group Everything But the Girl will make a comeback this spring with their first studio album since 1999, when “The Matrix” came out. The duo of Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt — known for the dreamy hit “Missing” — will release “Fuse” on Friday, April 21. Work on the 10-track project began in the spring of 2021 at the couple’s home. “Of course, we were aware of the pressures of such a long-awaited comeback, so we tried to begin instead in a spirit of open-minded playfulness, uncertain of the direction, receptive to invention,” Thorn says. First single “Nothing Left to Lose” is an electronic flashback that feels modern filled with thick slabs of synth.

— Have you been praying for some old-school punk and garage rock? Then say “Amen,” the new album from The Heavy, their first in four years. The band — known for the song “How You Like Me Now?” — return with their humor intact as one of the singles shows — “Stone Cold Killer,” a song about guitarist Dan Taylor’s new kitten. “We got a new cat, a female Burmese. She’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, but an absolute enemy of every living thing in the garden,” he explains. The 10 new songs also include “I Feel the Love” and “Hurricane Coming.”

AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy

NEW TELEVISION TO STREAM

— Galey Alix used to work on Wall Street in finance and dabble in interior design and renovations on the side. She would post about her projects on social media and amassed millions of followers. She’s now doing design full-time and has her own HGTV show, “Home in a Heartbeat.” Alix chooses a social follower and takes a weekend to renovate their home and provide positive change. “Home in a Heartbeat” debuts Wednesday, April 19.

— Netflix already used the title “Warrior Nun” so in Peacock’s new series about a nun out for vengeance they went with “Mrs. Davis.” The quirky, sci-fi show stars Betty Gilpin (“Nurse Jackie,” “GLOW”) as Simone, a nun determined to destroy a powerful artificial intelligence, known as the innocuous-sounding Mrs. Davis. The algorithm, is viewed by society as a whole as a way technology makes life easier but Simone sees it as a big problem infringing on people’s individual freedoms. Jake McDorman and Margo Martindale also co-star. “Mrs. Davis” is co-created by Damon Lindelof (“Lost”, “The Watchmen.”) “Mrs. Davis” premieres Thursday, April 20, with the first four episodes on Peacock.

— Keri Russell returns to TV in the Netflix series “The Diplomat,” as Kate Wyler, a career envoy with a passion for Mideast affairs who randomly gets reassigned as the new U.S. ambassador in the UK. It’s a major change for Wyler because diplomacy in the UK is much lower stakes than her previous post. She’s placed in an estate that resembles Downton Abbey, complete with butlers and maids, and is now expected to be more of a social figurehead. The job ends up being more complicated than expected, and Kate must establish relationships and trust with those around her, plus navigate the red tape and bureaucracy that comes with a government job. Another daily obstacle she must navigate is her her husband Hal, (Rufus Sewell) who was also a career diplomat (until he was fired). “The Diplomat” drops its eight-episode season on Thursday, April 20.

— Alicia Rancilio

NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY

— Ten years ago, it seemed like every kid I knew was playing Minecraft. It’s still hugely popular, but some of those kids have graduated to more complex games. Enter Minecraft Legends, in which developer Mojang turns its blocky sandbox into a battleground. The idyllic Overworld has been invaded by nasty piglins from the hellish Nether. Your mission is to unite the assorted Overworld mobs of golems, zombies, skeletons and such while building defensive structures and attacking enemy outposts. There’s also a competitive mode in which you and your friends can try to destroy each other’s fortresses. Dig in Tuesday, April 18, on Xbox X/S/One, PlayStation 5/4, Nintendo Switch and PC.

— The online battle arena League of Legends is an esports phenomenon, but it’s somewhat daunting for newcomers. So publisher Riot Games has been expanding the franchise with the well-received Netflix series “Arcane” as well as a line of single-player games. The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story takes place in a kingdom where sorcery has been banned; the protagonist, Sylas, is a mage who is determined to liberate his spell-wielding cohorts. It’s a lively-looking 2D role-playing adventure that could be just the thing to ease you into the sprawling LoL universe. Mageseeker arrives Tuesday, April 18, on Xbox X/S/One, PlayStation 5/4, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Dead Island 2 is set in Los Angeles — which, as of the last time I checked, is not an island. If that sort of deliberate knuckleheadedness amuses you, this long-awaited sequel may be your cup of blood. The zombie infection that plagued a tropical paradise in the 2011 original has landed stateside, but you can build an arsenal, from baseball bats to machine guns, to fend off the undead hordes. Publisher Deep Silver promises loads of gory, squishy ultraviolence, and who wouldn’t want some brainless fun when you’re about to get your brains eaten? The mayhem begins Friday, April 21, on Xbox X/S/One, PlayStation 5/4 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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Author: AP News

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