Currently streaming: Annette Bening, Jason Aldean, ‘Planet Earth,’ NKOTB, and ‘Blue Eye Samurai’.

Some upcoming additions to your entertainment options include Awkwafina’s role as a woman obsessed with game shows in “Quiz Lady” and the animated series “Blue Eye Samurai”, which follows a half-Japanese, vengeful female samurai. These new releases will be available on various devices.

The entertainment journalists at The Associated Press have chosen a variety of options, including a new album by Jason Aldean, a Hulu series based on Charmaine Wilkerson’s novel “Black Cake,” and Annette Bening’s portrayal of a courageous woman who swam from Cuba to Key West in 2013.

Diana Nyad’s journey from Cuba to the Florida Keys, which took over three decades and five attempts, is portrayed in the Netflix film “Nyad” by directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The movie, set to release on Friday, depicts Nyad’s incredible endurance as well as the determination of her close friends and collaborators. Portraying Nyad is actress Bening, who at the age of 60, trained herself to once again take on the open-ocean swim. A standout performance by Jodie Foster as Nyad’s friend and trainer Bonnie Stoll adds depth to the film. In my review, I noted that while the film may not break away from the typical sports-biopic formula, it still manages to flow with ease towards its end goal.

Anne, a 30-year-old accountant, is a huge fan of the show “Can’t Stop the Quiz” and has been watching it since she was 4 years old. When her pug is taken and held for ransom, Anne teams up with her sister Jenny, whom she hasn’t spoken to in a while, to try and get on the show. The show, similar to “Jeopardy!”, features Will Ferrell as the host, and is called “Quiz Lady.” It will be available to stream on Hulu starting this Friday.

The powerful trio of Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, and James Allen White lead the cast of “Fingernails,” a science fiction film directed by Christos Nikou. The story is set in a not-too-distant future where couples can use technology to find out if they are compatible. In the film, which premieres on Apple TV+ this Friday, Buckley and White portray a couple with a perfect score, confirming that they are meant to be together. However, their relationship becomes complicated when Buckley’s character develops a connection with a coworker (Ahmed).

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

Jimmy Buffett, the singer-songwriter known for his unique style of beach bum soft rock and “Margaritaville” escapism, passed away last month. As the music industry continues to grieve the loss of this influential figure, Mailboat and Sun Records have come together to release his final album, titled “Equal Strain on All Parts,” which was recorded earlier this year. The album features collaborations with Paul McCartney, Emmylou Harris, Lennie Gallant, Angelique Kidjo, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Even after his passing, Buffett’s fun and carefree music lives on, as seen in the previously released tracks “My Gummie Just Kicked In” and “Bubbles Up.”

“Highway Desperado” is the latest album from popular country artist Jason Aldean, marking his 11th studio release. It follows the success of his first Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single, the controversial “Try That in a Small Town.” Produced by Michael Knox, Aldean reveals that the inspiration for “Highway Desperado” came from his live performances. In a press release, he reflects on his early career and how his live shows helped shape it. He also expresses his love for touring and connecting with fans on the road, which ultimately led to the title of the tour and album.

In 2008, Boston-based boy band New Kids on the Block made their comeback after a 12-year hiatus with the release of their new album, “The Block.” This year marks the 15th anniversary of the album that launched the second chapter of their career, and to celebrate, NKOTB will be releasing “The Block: Revisited.” This special edition will feature four never-before-heard tracks and a fresh remix of their hit single “Dirty Dancing,” which now includes members from the popular K-pop group SEVENTEEN: Dino, DK, and Joshua.

Tkay Maidza, a rapper and singer from Australia by way of Zimbabwe, is known for her unique voice. Many people associate her with her cover of the 1988 Pixies’ song “Where Is My Mind?”, which was featured in an Apple AirPods commercial. She puts her own spin on the song, which is often covered and connected to the final scene in the movie “Fight Club”. However, it’s her original music that truly shines. Her sophomore album, “Sweet Justice”, is a diverse blend of soulful electronic beats and trippy production, showcasing her playful flow and smooth vocals. This album comes after her self-titled debut in 2016 and a series of EPs released in 2020.

Lenny Kravitz has created a powerful new single for the upcoming Netflix film, “Rustin,” which is sure to inspire listeners. The song, titled “Road to Freedom,” features Kravitz on vocals and various instruments including drums, bass, piano, Hammond organ, and tambourine. It will be played during the end credits of the movie, which focuses on Bayard Rustin, a civil rights advocate and key figure in the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin often worked behind the scenes and the biopic about his life will be released in select theaters on Friday and on Netflix on November 17th.

Maria Sherman, the music writer for AP.

In 2022, Charmaine Wilkerson’s book “Black Cake” was released and shortly after, Oprah Winfrey acquired the television rights in a competitive bidding process. The novel has now been adapted into a Hulu series, with the first three episodes premiering on Wednesday and new episodes being released every week. The show centers around Benny and Byron, siblings who have grown apart as adults. After their mother’s passing, they discover a flash drive containing information about their family’s history and their mother’s journey from the Caribbean to California in the 1960s. The story also ties in with the family’s cultural heritage of Caribbean Black cake.

The book “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, which is set during WWII, has been adapted into a series. The director, Shawn Levy, tells the story of Marie (played by newcomer Aria Mia Loberti), a blind woman in hiding in German-occupied France, and Werner (played by Louis Hoffman), a Nazi soldier who was drafted against his will. The series delves into their connection through a radio broadcast, despite their vastly different backgrounds. Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie also star in the four-episode series, which was released on Netflix on Thursday.

“Blue Eye Samurai,” an animated historical drama set in Japan, has received early acclaim for its combination of 2D and 3D animation. The series follows the story of Mizu, a biracial female samurai seeking revenge. The lead character is voiced by Maya Erskine and is joined by Masi Oka, George Takei, Randall Park, Kenneth Branagh, Brenda Song, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, and Darren Barnet. “Blue Eye Samurai” will be released on Netflix this Friday.

The highly anticipated third installment of the “Planet Earth” series is narrated by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. The latest episodes feature the use of cutting-edge technology, such as drones, submersibles, and high-speed cameras, to showcase both breathtaking scenes of the natural world and the devastating impact of climate change on wildlife. “Planet Earth III” will premiere on Saturday on BBC America and AMC+.

In 2021, a popular TV channel, National Geographic, released a short series named “9/11: One Day in America.” It was highly praised by critics. The channel will now be premiering a new installment called “JFK: One Day in America” on Sunday. This three-part series includes never-before-seen accounts from people who witnessed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, creating an oral record of the event. The 60th anniversary of his death falls on November 22. Additionally, “One Last Day: JFK” will be available for streaming on Disney+ and Hulu a day after its premiere.

— Alicia Rancilio

Unfortunately, humanity is no longer in existence. However, there is a silver lining – our robotic descendants have a great appreciation for human culture. In The Talos Principle II, you play as an artificial intelligence tasked with understanding how humans caused their own demise, and potentially avoiding the same fate. The first installment, released in 2014 by Croatian developer Croteam, was known for its challenging puzzles. The sequel promises even more intricate 3D brain teasers, utilizing new techniques such as manipulating gravity and transferring minds. This game also poses thought-provoking questions about the universe and the purpose of civilization. If you enjoy mind-bending games like Portal and The Witness, chances are you already have Talos II on your radar for its release on Thursday for PlayStation 5, Xbox X/S, and PC.

— France’s Don’t Nod, a highly respected European studio, has released their latest captivating puzzle game, Jusant. The objective is to reach the summit of a massive and enigmatic tower, but as you progress, you’ll encounter various settings and relics from a forgotten civilization. Even just watching the preview can be tiring, but the developer, known for the time-bending game Life Is Strange, describes Jusant as “a calming journey.” Plus, you’ll have a cute companion, a water creature named Ballast, to turn to for hints when you’re stuck. The adventure began on Tuesday for PlayStation 5, Xbox X/S, and PC.

— Lou Kesten


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