Here’s a curated collection by The Associated Press entertainment journalists of what’s coming to television, streaming services and music platforms this week.
— “The Batman,” the biggest box-office hit so far this year, is coming to HBO Max Monday on the heels of its 45-day run in theaters. As a response to the pandemic and a way to boost its streaming service, Warner Bros. last year released its movies simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. This year, the studio’s new releases begin streaming after 45 days in theaters, or about half of what the traditional theatrical window once was. “The Batman,” directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, sees a relatively young Batman new to vigilantism and struggling with the burdens of it. In my review, I called the three-hour film “a moody piece of humor, drenched in shadow and rage, that has stripped comic book archetypes to abstract silhouettes and grimy human characters.” Following its streaming debut, “The Batman” will also air on HBO on Saturday.
— “Navalny” is a bracing documentary portrait of one of Vladimir Putin’s fiercest and most vocal political enemies in Russia. Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, is currently in jail. Last month, he was sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty. “Navalny,” directed by Daniel Roher, was largely filmed in late 2020 and early 2021 while Navalny was recovering in Germany after an assassination attempt involving nerve agent poisoning. The film premieres on CNN and CNN+ on Sunday. (It will also stream on HBO Max at a later date.) Reviewing it, AP film writer Lindsey Bahr said “Navalny” “has all the makings of a Hollywood thriller” and is “even more chilling and prescient” after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
– Scheduled for Earth Day, Walt Disney Co. will premiere “Polar Bear” on Friday, on Disney+. The Disneynature documentary, narrated by Catherine Keener, follows a mother polar bear and her cubs. It is directed by Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson, who also directed Disneynature’s “Penguins.”
—- AP film writer Jake Coyle
— In the same month that Bonnie Raitt’s “Nick of Time” was inducted into the National Recording Registry, the singer-songwriter proves she’s not slowing down by delivering a new 10-track album, “Just Like That…”. It is her 21st LP and her first in over six years. The excellent first single is one of her most wonderful, “Made Up Mind,” with sneaky sliding chords and bluesy riffs. Raitt produced the record herself, working alongside mixing engineer Ryan Freeland, who teamed with Raitt to win a Grammy for best American album for her work on his 2012 effort, “Slipstream.”
— Brian May’s second solo album, 1998’s “Another World,” was well received, though it didn’t set the charts on fire. So on Friday, the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group Queen will give it another chance with a deluxe reissue. The set contains the remastered original album along with a 15-track disc offering previously unreleased remixes, rarities, live tracks and covers, including his tribute version of Buddy Holly’s rock ‘n’ roll classic “Maybe Baby”.
— AP entertainment writer Mark Kennedy
— Barry Berkman is sure it’s the actor’s life for him and works hard at his craft, while removing the obstacles posed by his previous career, hit man. As HBO’s black comedy “Barry” returns for its pandemic-delayed third season, the transplant from the Midwest to Los Angeles looks inward to understand what made him a gun for hire. Bill Hader stars as the title character and co-created the Emmy-winning show that airs Sunday and airs on HBO Max. Along the Journey: Henry Winkler as Barry’s old acting coach and Sarah Goldberg as Barry’s girlfriend.
— “Better Call Saul” and its star, Bob Odenkirk, brilliantly continued the legacy of “Breaking Bad,” but the time has come to say goodbye to the spin-off prequel. Or more accurately, kick off a long goodbye, with the show’s sixth and final season split in two. The first of seven episodes airs Monday on AMC and AMC+, with the last six set to premiere on July 11. It’s been a wait for fans of Saul Goodman, the eminently sketchy lawyer aka Jimmy McGill, since the fifth season ended in April 2020. There was a production delay caused by a pandemic and, during the recording of this season , a health problem for Odenkirk that affected the recording.
— “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” the 1976 film starring David Bowie and directed by Nicolas Roeg, was based on the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Both the film and the book are cited as inspiration for the Showtime drama series of the same name. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as the newly reworked alien character who arrives on Earth at “a turning point in human evolution.” Naomie Harris co-stars as a scientist who joins a mission to save two worlds, with Bill Nighy, Jimmi Simpson and Kate Mulgrew also in the mix. “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” created by “Star Trek” television series veterans Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, debuts Sunday.
— AP television writer Lynn Elber
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