‘Kevin Hart’s’ car show arrives, ‘America’ movie debuts

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The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when a lot of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for June 28-July 4, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

STREAM IT: Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew combines car culture and comedy

Comedian Kevin Hart has long been interested in cars, even giving his comedy crew, the Plastic Cup Boyz, classic ones a few years ago. Now, Hart and his friends are learning all about the world of car collecting on their way to starting their own classic car club. This new reality series follows Hart and the rest — John “Burgandee” Clausell, Ron “Boss” Everline, Will “Spank” Horton, Harry “Bucket Lo” Ratchford and Joey “Dubb” Wells — as they learn the ins and outs, such as how to find a trustworthy mechanic, customize their rides and sell their prized vehicles at auction. Early on, Hart is clear about what drives his obsession: “It’s because they look cool, and guess what I am? I’m the definition of cool. I’m dripping cool all over the streets.” — Raechal Shewfelt

Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew premieres Friday, July 2 on the Motor Trend app.

STREAM IT: America: The Motion Picture is definitely not what they taught you in history class

Cross The Daily Show’s America: The Book with Drunk History, then animate it in the style of Archer and you’ve got America: The Motion Picture. Netflix’s revisionist history comedy features the voices of Channing Tatum as a chainsaw-wielding George Washington, Jason Mantzoukas as a beer-loving Samuel Adams (natch) and Olivia Munn as Thomas Edison (nuff said), among other recognizable voices (Will Forte, Killer Mike!), as they fight for our independence… or something like that. Hard to think of anything better to watch after a few too many beers this Fourth of July. — Kevin Polowy

America: The Motion Picture premieres Wednesday, June 30 on Netflix.

STREAM IT: A Cinderella Story: Starstruck puts a country twist on a familiar story

Once upon a time, back in 2004, Hilary Duff played the famous character and spawned a hit franchise. In the latest installment — which will be available on-demand this month, on DVD July 13 and on HBO Max later this year — Bailee Madison plays farm girl Finley Tremaine, who dreams of being a star. She sees an opportunity when a Hollywood film crew invades her small town (with a handsome leading man!), but a terrible audition leaves her desperate. She decides to remedy the situation by posing as a cowboy named Huck. The result is a romantic adventure packed with song and dance, as Madison and Michelle Johnston, the project’s director and writer, explain in the above exclusive, behind-the-scenes clip from the DVD. — R.S.

A Cinderella Story: Starstruck is available Tuesday, June 29 on demand.

STREAM IT: Chris Pratt moves from an Infinity War to The Tomorrow War

It’s becoming clear that Hollywood really thinks a hostile alien attack is inevitable. The latest warning shot comes in the form of The Tomorrow War. Guardians of the Galaxy/Avengers star Chris Pratt plays a teacher — tougher than his facade lets on, because he’s a military vet, too — recruited “to the future” when life as he knows it is disrupted by time-traveling freedom fighters. They desperately need backup decades into the future when an unstoppable alien breed wipes out most of the human race. What a fun summer vacation! Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Sam Richardson and Edwin Hodge co-star. Check out the action in the exclusive clip above. — K.P.

The Tomorrow War is available Friday, July 2 on Amazon Prime.

WATCH IT: Kelsey Grammar plays a different kind of doctor in medical drama The God Committee

He may be one of the most famous fictional psychiatrists in TV history, but never let it be said that Kelsey Grammar isn’t open to exploring new medical frontiers. Austin Stark’s new medical drama, The God Committee, casts the Frasier star as a brilliant but troubled heart surgeon, Dr. Boxer, who serves on his hospital’s committee that’s tasked with deciding which patients receive much-needed organ transplants. The arrival of one such donor heart — and the ensuing debate over who should receive it — sets off a chain of dramatic events that leads Boxer and his colleagues, including his protege Dr. Taylor (Julia Stiles), resident priest Father Dunbar (Colman Domingo) and the ethically dubious administrator, Gilroy (Janeane Garofalo), to question their right to “play God.” This exclusive clip from the film spotlights a charged meeting of the “God Committee” as Dr. Boxer and his colleagues squabble over how to make a decision that could literally mean life or death. — Ethan Alter

The God Committee premieres Friday, July 2 in theaters and on most on-demand services, including FandangoNow.

BUY IT: His Dark Materials Season 2 lands on Blu-ray with all kinds of extra materials

In the Heights isn’t the only thing Lin-Manuel Miranda has cooking this summer. The ubiquitous actor-singer-playwright-renaissance man has also been getting his adventure series on in His Dark Materials, HBO’s acclaimed adaptation of Philip Pullman’s YA trilogy about two kids navigating parallel universes. Miranda had a presence in Season 1, but it’s expanded in Season 2 (meaning, yes, he also sings), which lands on Blu-ray and DVD this week. Hear from Miranda and his colleagues about his character Lee Scoresby in the exclusive clip from the release’s bounty of bonus materials above. — K.P.

The second season of His Dark Materials is available on Blu-ray or DVD on Tuesday, June 29 at Amazon.

WATCH IT: Rafe Spall lives his life in fast forward in time-tripping romantic comedy Long Story Short

As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast.” Those words of wisdom sum up the basic premise of Josh Lawson’s new romantic comedy, Long Story Short, starring Rafe Spall as Teddy, a soon-to-be-married guy who unexpectedly finds himself fast-forwarding through the rest of his life. As he explains to his disbelieving best friend, Sam (Ronny Chieng), in this exclusive clip, every few minutes he leaps forward in time another year, almost always landing on the same day — which makes his pal think he’s living out Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day experience. But Teddy’s life has its own twists and turns, including a bad break-up with his beloved Leanne (Zahra Newman) along the way. Just like Cher, he’s gotta turn back time to make her stay. — E.A.

Long Story Short premieres Friday, July 2 in theaters and on most digital and on-demand services, including FandangoNow.

WATCH IT: Kevin Corrigan experiences a crisis of faith in the COVID-era drama Scenes From an Empty Church

Shot during pandemic-era New York City, and released just as quarantine restrictions are being lifted, Onur Tukel’s compelling indie drama preserves an extraordinary moment in the city’s history for future generations. Celebrated character actor Kevin Corrigan gets a too-rare star turn as Father Andrew, a Catholic priest experiencing his own personal crises against New York’s coronavirus crisis. The contemplative quiet within his church provides an effective contrast with the eerie quiet on the city streets outside, and Tukel’s script balances grounded character beats with flights of fantasy. This exclusive clip from the film features Father Andrew’s Zoom reunion with his estranged father, who’s played by Paul Reiser in a small, but memorable cameo. — E.A.

Scenes From an Empty Church premieres Friday, July 2 in theaters and on most on-demand services, including FandangoNow.

HEAR IT: Lana Del Rey is in a Blue mood

This past March, provocative pop poetess Lana Del Rey released her seventh LP, Chemtrails Over the Country Club — followed just one day later with a teaser for a still-unreleased country album, Rock Candy Sweet, originally slated for June 2021. But Lana is always one to keep her fans (and detractors) guessing, so she has pivoted with another record, Blue Banisters, which she announced with the Instagram caption, “Sometimes life makes you change just in time for the next chapter.” (She also tweeted, “I’m writing my own story. And no one can tell it but me,” seemingly referencing the backlash she has received throughout her career.) The three songs already released from Blue Banisters — “Text Book,” “Wildflower Wildfire” and the title track — are less folky than Chemtrails and definitely not country, instead showcasing the shapeshifting chanteuse’s ethereal voice against a backdrop of layered, heavily reverbed piano and chamber strings. — Lyndsey Parker

Blue Banisters by Lana Del Rey is available Friday, July 2 to download/stream on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: Vanessa Williams, Cynthia Erivo, Kermit the Frog and more celebrate America’s birthday on the latest edition of A Capitol Fourth

Ring in America’s 245th birthday with the 41st edition of A Capitol Fourth — the annual Independence Day event from Capital Concerts and PBS. This year’s virtual concert is emceed by game-changing legend Vanessa Williams and features a diverse lineup of musicians beaming in their performances from across the country. Watch Tony-winner Cynthia Erivo belt out a power ballad in Southern California, while Alan Jackson croons a country tune onstage at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and the Grammy-winning rock band Train jams underneath San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. And the party isn’t open only to patriotic humans: amphibian singing sensation Kermit the Frog will be forging a “Rainbow Connection” with audiences as he contributes a special performance. Speaking of out of this world guests, three NASA crew members — Megan McArthur, Shane Kimbrough and Mark Vande Hei — will be on hand to send an interstellar message from the International Space Station. Even though the songs are pre-recorded, that world-famous fireworks show will still be live, painting Washington D.C.’s nighttime skyline in those vintage red, white and blue colors — E.A.

A Capitol Fourth airs Sunday, July 4 at 8 p.m. on PBS.

WATCH IT: Princess Diana’s 60th birthday inspires two new royal documentaries

As Elton John predicted, Princess Diana’s legacy has shown no signs of loosening its grip on the world nearly 24 years after her death. With July 1 marking what would have been the late royal’s 60th birthday, True Royalty TV is releasing two new programs reflecting on her trailblazing yet tragic life. In Diana: A Mother’s Love, viewers get an inside look at the Princess of Wales’s unconventional-for-a-royal parenting style and her close bond with sons William and Harry — a relationship that, of course, carries special significance of late. Diana at 60, meanwhile, leans on archival footage and expert insight to examine how the “People’s Princess” continues to impact the world at large. — Erin Donnelly

Diana: A Mother’s Love and Diana at 60 both premiere Thursday, July 1 on True Royalty TV, available through Amazon Prime.

WATCH IT: Questlove makes directorial debut — and the year’s best documentary so far — with Summer of Soul

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Ahmir-Khalib “Questlove” Thompson’s vibrant found footage-look at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, aka “Black Woodstock,” could be one the greatest concert docs ever made. Even then, it transcends the genre. Lovingly mixed like a visual DJ set, the film unspools rich and colorful never-seen-before footage of acts like Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and Nina Simone intercut with thoughtful social commentary, making for a vital celebration of Black musical expression that also captures a quintessential moment in time for American — and especially African American — culture with profound impact. — K.P.

Summer of Soul premieres Friday, July 2 on Hulu and in theaters. Get tickets at Fandango.

HEAR IT: The Wonderland Murders and the Secret History of Hollywood podcast tells a tale from the dark side

The infamous Wonderland murders — four unsolved, brutal homicides that took place 40 years ago this month in Los Angeles’s Laurel Canyon — are examined in this documentary podcast created by writer Michael Connelly. Best known for penning the Harry Bosch books and the Amazon Prime series adapted from them, as well as the Matthew McConaughey movie The Lincoln Lawyer, Connelly is a former journalist, and here he assembles interviews with all the key players: Detectives Tom Lange and Bob Souza, the lead detectives for the Los Angeles Police Department on the crime, and Scott Thorson, the longtime lover of Liberace — portrayed by Matt Damon in HBO’s film adaptation of Thorson’s book, Behind the Candelabra — who provides insight from someone who spent years in the seedy underworld of La La Land. — R.S.

The Wonderland Murders and the Secret History of Hollywood premieres Thursday, July 1 on Audible.

WATCH IT: Get a crash course in civics with Netflix’s tuneful cartoon series We the People

Generation X had Schoolhouse Rock. Those lucky Zoomers have We the People. Barack and Michelle Obama’s latest collaboration with Netflix is a 10-episode lesson in American governance, scored to musical stylings of artists like H.E.R., Lin-Manuel Miranda and Brandi Carlile and directed by animation experts such as Into the Spider-Verse‘s Peter Ramsey and The Book of Life‘s Jorge Gutierrez. Each “chapter” in this visual civics textbook covers topics that range from taxes to the differences between federal and state powers, packing plenty of information into their three-to-four minute runtimes. — E.A.

We the People premieres Sunday, July 4 on Netflix.

BUY IT: Dr. Anthony Fauci’s life and career are celebrated in a new illustrated children’s book

'Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America's Doctor' (Photo: Simon and Schuster)

‘Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor’ (Photo: Simon and Schuster)

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci emerged as a much-needed voice of authority for worried adults and children alike. And now, young readers can learn more about America’s most famous medical expert courtesy of Kate Messner’s new biography, Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor, which brings the doctor’s childhood — and subsequent medical career — to life via Alexandra Bye’s warm and colorful illustrations. “Like everyone else, I’d been watching Dr. Fauci on the news throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and when I read a bit about his background, I realized how many future scientists might be inspired by hearing his story in a picture book,” Messner tells Yahoo Entertainment. “I ended up speaking with Dr. Fauci via Zoom a couple of times, and I loved hearing about his childhood, riding his bike around Brooklyn to deliver prescriptions for his parents’ pharmacy and playing stickball in the streets. His childhood curiosity, empathy, and ability to talk with all kinds of people would plant the seeds for his career in public health.” — E.A.

Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor is available Tuesday, June 29 at major booksellers, including Amazon.

HEAR IT: Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth combine their primal, savage energy

The frontpersons of ’90s Britpop/psychedelia/garage trailblazers Primal Scream (Gillespie) and Anglo-French noise-rock/post-punk heroines Savages (Beth) form a formidable super duo on Utopian Ashes. Evoking the sepia-toned iconography of country/soul twosomes like George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, and Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, the collaborative album sounds like neither of their respective bands — yet showcases both singers at the peak of their powers, as they bring out each other’s best. Hopefully this fascinating project won’t be a one-off. — L.P.

Utopian Ashes by Bobby Gillespie & Jehnny Beth is available Friday, July 2 to download/stream on Apple Music.

BUY IT: Mean Girls: The Party Game will make your next game night so fetch

Mean Girls: The Party Game (Photo: Big Potato)

Mean Girls: The Party Game (Photo: Big Potato)

On Wednesdays, we play Mean Girls: The Party Game. Actually, any day of the week is the perfect time to play Big Potato’s latest licensed game, based on the beloved 2004 high school comedy. Open up the “Burn Book” box to find individual “Burn Books” for all the members of your squad. Pass those books around, answering not-at-all mean questions about each of your pals that range from, “Who do they have an inappropriate crush on?” to “What’s their number one fashion rule?” Read the responses out loud and guess which buddy knows you best. It’s a great icebreaker for getting to know new friends or a way to learn something new about the girls or guys you’ve known forever. — E.A.

Mean Girls: The Party Game is now available at Target.

— Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by John Santo





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