There is nothing better than a Mahershala Al performance. What about two? Benjamin Cleary's "Swan Song" portrays Ali, a dying family man who seeks out a cloning laboratory (Glenn Close is its chief doctor), to save his wife Naomie Harris (Naomie Harris) from the pain of losing her and her young son (DaxRey). His most subconscious memories are all that is affected by the duplication process. It's a dark and poignant sci-fi drama that is full of existential dilemmas as Ali, a dying man, struggles to make a decision and learn how to let go. It will debut Wednesday on Apple TV+, and in theaters.
Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (director of the Oscar-winning Roman odyssey, "The Great Beauty") travels south to Naples for an autobiographical film that is based on his childhood in 1980s Italy. My review stated that Sorrentino is a melancholy, but ecstatic filmmaker with a eager, energetic camera. "The Hand of God" will be streaming on Netflix Wednesday. It was the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion winner and a choice for The Associated Press' top films of 2021. The recent Walt Disney Co. release, "Ron's Gone Wrong", will be available on Disney+ and HBO Max Wednesday following its theatrical run. The unusual arrangement is because of a soon-to-be-phased-out output deal between 20th Century Fox (which Disney acquired) and Warner Bros. You can stream this animated comic on either of the two platforms. Barney Pudowski (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) is a child with a more sophisticated, highly-functioning sidekick, while all the others have smarter, more capable computerized companions. Mark Kennedy, AP's director of film reviews, said that the movie thinks it's subversive but it's actually very corporate.
Jake Coyle, AP Film Writer
Roddy Ricch's debut album, "Please Excuse me For Being Antisocial" was released almost two years ago. It featured his hit song "The Box", which won him a Grammy. He also collaborated with Nipsey Hussle, Hit-Boy, and DaBaby on the track "Racks in the Middle." His second album, "Live Life Fast," reflects on the struggles of the young artist with sudden fame and fortune and features the chart-topping "late at night."
-- AP Entertainment Writer Kristin M. Hall
Acorn TV's "The Larkins", a period drama about a family, is set in Kent, England. It is based on the 1958 H.E. Bates' novel, "The Darling Buds of May", was written by Shakespeare. Pop (Bradley Walsh), Ma Joanna Scanlan, and six of their children are Larkins -- including Mariette (Sabrina Bartlett), who plays Siena in "Bridgerton". Although the rural setting of the 1950s is idyllic, and the family is generous and kind-hearted, Pop's shady business dealings are causing village gossip. Two episodes of the series will be available Monday, while others will be available weekly via the streaming service.
Phil Augusta Jackson (the creator of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine") and Dan Goor (the producer of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine") are back in the sitcom game with NBC's new series, "Grand Crew." The show is set at a wine bar in Los Angeles where young professionals can meet to share their experiences. Nicole Byer, host of "Nailed It!" as an ambitious real estate agent; Anthony Jennings (insecure) who is married to his career. The preview of "Grand Crew" begins at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday and ends at 8:30 p.m. EDT Jan. 4.
What if the Paramount+ success of "Yellowstone," makes it difficult to follow? How about a prequel to Dutton's family saga? Taylor Sheridan, co-creator of "Yellowstone," is gracious with "1883," which is described as a retelling Western expansion through the journey of an impoverished family to a new chapter in Montana's pre-statehood era. The drama's debut Sunday features Billy Bob Thornton, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The fourth season of "Yellowstone", a modern Dutton story starring Kevin Costner as the patriarch a ranching family, is available on the streaming service.
-- AP Television Writer Lynn Elber