Weekly Entertainment Digest – January 7th

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Weekly Entertainment Digest - January 7th

It’s a new year, and so many new movies and show announcements already! Check out some of them here – and be sure to check out the upcoming local screenings!

Check out the latest movie release schedule to find out when the movies you want to see will be hitting the big screen and streaming channels.

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Movie Reviews

Movie and Entertainment Updates:

Official Trailer Debut | Hulu’s “Koala Man” – Streaming January 9th

“Koala Man” follows middle-aged dad Kevin and his titular not-so-secret identity, whose only superpower is a burning passion for following rules and snuffing out petty crime in the town of Dapto. Though it may seem like any other Australian suburb, forces of evil both cosmic and man-made lie in wait to pounce on unsuspecting Daptonians. On a quest to clean up his hometown, and often roping his frustrated family into his adventures, Koala Man stands at the ready. He’ll do whatever it takes to defeat villainous masterminds, supernatural horrors, or worse: jerks who don’t take their rubbish bins down on the proper days.

Hulu’s “How I Caught My Killer” – Streaming January 12th

“How I Caught My Killer” is a true-crime docu-series that highlights the real-life stories behind unique homicide cases with in-depth interviews, authentic archival material and cinematic recreations all packaged together into a fresh spin in the genre.

Whether it’s a fraught letter to a friend, an urgent text message detailing a heated argument, a private diary entry describing a horrifying experience, or an ominous social media post revealing a motive for murder…these victims all leave a case-breaking clue that will one day help to solve their crime.

Every curated case details a complex portrait of a human being whose life was cut short by a killer that would have escaped justice if it hadn’t been for the victim’s own actions. Ultimately, the twists and turns of the investigations into these victim-solved crimes expose an awful truth in America today: our systemic failures as a nation all too frequently deny many citizens justice. Each episode forces us to confront the harsh reality that our system is blind to many underserved and invisible communities that make up a disproportionate percentage of the people who lose their lives to homicide every year.

PLANE – New Trailer – In Theaters January 13th

Plane Movie

In the white-knuckle action movie PLANE, pilot Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) saves his passengers from a lightning strike by making a risky landing on a war-torn island – only to find that surviving the landing was just the beginning. When most of the passengers are taken hostage by dangerous rebels, the only person Torrance can count on for help is Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), an accused murderer who was being transported by the FBI. In order to rescue the passengers, Torrance will need Gaspare’s help, and will learn there’s more to Gaspare than meets the eye.

Apple TV+ announces “Shape Island,” all-new stop motion series for kids and families premiering globally Friday, January 20

Apple TV+ announced the all-new stop motion series for kids and families, “Shape Island,” featuring the beloved familiar voices of Yvette Nicole Brown (“Disenchanted”), Harvey Guillen (“What We Do in the Shadows”), Scott Adsit (“30 Rock”) and Gideon Adlon (“Blockers”). Based on the internationally best-selling trilogy of Shapes picture books by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, “Shape Island” premieres globally Friday, January 20 on Apple TV+.

This clever, funny, and inspiring new stop-motion animated series from Apple TV+ takes place on a charming island and invites viewers to join serious Square, intrepid Circle, and tricky Triangle on their silly adventures as they dig up some fun, search for answers, and build on their friendship – all while learning how to navigate each other’s differences. “Shape Island” shows kids that friendship can take many shapes.

The series was co-created by book authors Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, who serve as executive producers alongside Emmy Award winning Bix Pix Entertainment’s Kelli Bixler and Drew Hodges (“Tumble Leaf”). Ryan Pequin serves as co-executive producer and head writer.

Also this month, “Helpsters” season three returns with all-new episodes Friday, January 6, featuring an impressive lineup of guest stars including Emmy Award winner Andrea Martin (“Evil”), Emmy Award winner John Oliver (“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”), Emmy Award nominee Tami Sagher (“Search Party”), Nathan Lee Graham (“Zoolander”), Mario Cantone (“And Just Like That”), Grammy Award nominee Rebecca Naomi Jones (“Genius”), Johnathan Fernandez (“Gossip Girl”), Eugene Cordero (“Loki”), Maulik Pancholy (“Only Murders in the Building”), Sunita Mani (“Spirited”), Emmy Award nominee Ikechukwu Ufomadu (“ZIWE”), Emmy Award and Grammy Award nominee Margaret Cho (“Fire Island”), Grammy Award nominee Alex Newell (“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”), Rebecca Henderson (“Russian Doll”), Grammy Award and Tony Award nominee Ephraim Sykes (“Ain’t Too Proud”), Emmy Award nominee Jackie Hoffman (“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”), Danny Pudi (“Mythic Quest”), Shannon Devido (“Difficult People”) and more, as well as musical guests Grammy Award nominee Blood Orange, Blanco Brown, Jensen McRae and Grammy Award nominee Syd.

The acclaimed series follows Cody and the Helpsters, a team of vibrant monsters who love to solve problems. Whether it’s planning a party, climbing a mountain, or mastering a magic trick, the Helpsters can figure anything out—because everything starts with a plan.

The recipient of a Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Award and Common Sense Media Award, “Helpsters” has been recognized as “immersive, educational and entertaining.” The series teaches young viewers important lessons in pre-coding skills and inspires self-confidence, collaboration, effective communication and much more. Emmy Award winner and Parents’ Choice Gold Medal winner Tim McKeon (“Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends: Destination Imagination,” “Odd Squad”) is the creator and showrunner of “Helpsters.” McKeon, Benjamin Lehmann, Adam Peltzman, Eileen Braun and Sesame Workshop’s executive vice president of Creative and Production Kay Wilson Stallings are executive producers.

The award-winning slate of original series and film for kids and families on Apple TV+ includes impressive all-ages offerings such as the critically-acclaimed properties BAFTA Award-winning “El Deafo,” “Lovely Little Farm,” “Duck & Goose,” “Pinecone & Pony,” Emmy Award-winning “Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock” and “Harriet the Spy” from The Jim Henson Company, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series “Stillwater,” “Helpsters” from Sesame Workshop, “Wolfboy and the Everything Factory” from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, HITRECORD and Bento Box Entertainment, “Sago Mini Friends,” “Hello, Jack! The Kindness Show” from Jack McBrayer and Angela C. Santomero, “Snoopy in Space,” “The Snoopy Show” and “Get Rolling with Otis.” Live-action offerings for include Bonnie Hunt’s “Amber Brown,” “Best Foot Forward,” “Surfside Girls,” “Life By Ella,” Daytime Emmy Award-winning “Ghostwriter” from Sesame Workshop, and “Puppy Place.” 

Also included are specials from Peanuts and WildBrain including “It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown,” “Lucy’s School,” “To Mom (and Dad), With Love,” Emmy Award-winning “Who Are You, Charlie Brown?” and “For Auld Lang Syne,” and “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth,” the Daytime Emmy Award-winning television event based on the New York Times best-selling book and TIME Best Book of the Year by Oliver Jeffers.

The kids and family film offerings include star-studded animated adventure film “Luck” from Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation which premiered this year and Academy Award-nominated animated film “Wolfwalkers.”

Truth Be Told debuts Season three trailer ahead of global premiere Friday, January 20 on Apple TV+

Apple TV+ unveiled the trailer for the third season of its NAACP Image Award-winning anthology “Truth Be Told” starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, who also executive produces, and award-winning actress Gabrielle Union, who joins the all-new season which is set to make its global debut on Friday, January 20, 2023. Hailing from acclaimed writer, showrunner and executive producer Nichelle Tramble Spellman, the 10-episode third season sees Spencer reprise her role as investigative reporter turned true crime podcaster, ‘Poppy Scoville,’ to take on a new case. “Truth Be Told” season three will make its global debut with the first episode, followed by one new episode weekly, every Friday through March 24, 2023, on Apple TV+.

Based on the novel “While You Were Sleeping” by Kathleen Barber, “Truth Be Told” offers a unique glimpse into America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and challenges its viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage. In season three, Poppy (Spencer), frustrated by the lack of media attention for several young missing Black girls, teams with an unorthodox principal (Union) to keep the victims’ names in the public eye,   while chasing down leads to a suspected sex trafficking ring that may have ensnared them. In addition to Union, season three stars returning cast members Mekhi Phifer, David Lyons, Ron Cephas Jones, Merle Dandridge, Tracie Thoms, Haneefah Wood, Mychala Faith Lee and Tami Roman.

“Truth Be Told” is created and executive produced by Nichelle Tramble Spellman. Maisha Closson serves as showrunner for season three. Executive producers include Closson, Spencer, Mikkel Nørgaard, Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine, Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping for Chernin Entertainment, and Brian Clisham for Orit Entertainment. “Truth Be Told” is produced for Apple by Hello Sunshine, Chernin Entertainment, Orit Entertainment and Fifth Season.

CONDOR’S NEST- In Theatres, on Digital, and On Demand January 27

American war veteran Will Spalding (Jacob Keohane) has tracked the sadistic Nazi Colonel who executed his bomber crew during WWII to a remote location in South America. But he is in for more than he bargained for when he uncovers a secret Nazi headquarters known as the Condor’s Nest.

The Smurfs: Season 1, Volume 3 is coming to DVD on January 31

The Smurf village continues to grow in the brand-new DVD The Smurfs: Season 1, Volume 3, featuring new Smurfs and your favorite classic Smurfs! Join the Smurfs as they play epic pranks on one another, celebrate Mother’s Day, make a new monkey friend, and more all the while trying to escape the evil wizard Gargamel

The Smurfs: Season 1, Volume 3 will be available on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment on January 31, 2023, for the suggested retail price of $10.99.

The Smurfs: Season 1, Volume 3 episodes:

  • The Smurfs Show 
  • Smurfboards / Monkey See, Monkey Do
  • Flying Ace / Lab Assistant
  • Order of Merit / Smurfy Mother’s Day!
  • Leaping Lizards / Cover Story
  • Papa Times Two / Fake News
  • You’re Fired! / Mirror, Mirror on the Armoire
  • Smurfing Places / Poet Slam

The Smurfs: Season 1, Volume 3 synopsis:
The Smurfs Season One adventures continue as Gargamel plants a crystal ball to spy on the Smurfs and they turn the tables on him! Vanity attempts to cure a zit and turns himself into a lizard instead. After being captured by Gargamel, Papa Smurf, Willow and Vanity offer to help him impress his mother, and so much more! This enchanted volume contains episodes 19-26 of Season One!

DISNEY+ ANNOUNCES FEB. 1 STREAMING DEBUT MARVEL STUDIOS’ “BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER”

Disney+ rang in the New Year with fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, announcing the Feb. 1 streaming debut of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Key art and a new TV spot are now available to download and share.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will join 16 other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies now streaming in IMAX Enhanced on Disney+, which gives subscribers more picture with an expanded aspect ratio for an immersive viewing experience at home (content availability varies by region). More information about IMAX Enhanced on Disney+ is available here

In anticipation of the film’s upcoming streaming debut, Proximity Media, in collaboration with Marvel Studios and Marvel Entertainment, released “Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast.” Audiences are invited to listen and learn about the exciting and emotional journey to make the film over the course of six episodes. The first episode is out now on the “Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast” feed, available on all major podcast platforms and at ProximityMedia.com. Five additional episodes will be available weekly beginning Jan. 18. You can preview the rest of the season with a brand-new trailer: https://megaphone.link/ESP3174748639.

In Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.Introducing Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, ruler of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, is now playing in theaters. 

80 FOR BRADY | “Friends Make Everything Better” Featurette – In Theaters February 3rd

80 for Brady

80 FOR BRADY is inspired by the true story of four best friends living life to the fullest when they take a wild trip to the 2017 Super Bowl LI to see their hero Tom Brady play. Starring Academy Award® nominee Lily Tomlin, Academy Award® winner Jane Fonda, Academy Award® winner Rita Moreno and Academy Award® winner Sally Field, with 7-time Super Bowl Champion and producer Tom Brady, 80 FOR BRADY is in-theatres February 3, 2023.

Hulu’s “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” Third and Final Season – Streaming February 15th

Off the release of their debut album and their continued rise to fame, we follow the Wu-Tang Clan over the course of their five-year plan as they face and overcome different challenges. While each of the members go on separate journeys to figure out where they fit in the music world, RZA struggles to stay on top of things in order to fulfill the promise he made to his Wu brothers. As money, fame, ego, and business threaten to tear the group apart, they must find a way to come together and cement their legacy.

RENFIELD Trailer now available – In Theaters April 14th

Evil doesn’t span eternity without a little help.  

In this modern monster tale of Dracula’s loyal servant, Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men franchise) stars as Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula (Oscar® winner Nicolas Cage). Renfield is forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding, no matter how debased. But now, after centuries of servitude, Renfield is ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness. If only he can figure out how to end his codependency. 

Renfield is directed by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War, The LEGO Batman Movie) from a screenplay by Ryan Ridley (Ghosted series, Rick & Morty series), based on an original idea by The Walking Dead and Invincible creator Robert Kirkman. 

The film co-stars Awkwafina (The Farewell, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings), Ben Schwartz (Sonic, The Afterparty) and Adrian Martinez (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Focus). 

Renfield is produced by Skybound Entertainment partners Robert Kirkman and David Alpert (The Walking Dead, Invincible), co-presidents Bryan Furst (Daybreakers) and Sean Furst (Daybreakers) and by Chris McKay. McKay’s producing partner Samantha Nisenboim (co-producer, The Tomorrow War) will executive produce.

EVIL DEAD RISE – In Theaters April 21st

New Line Cinema and Renaissance Pictures present a return to the iconic horror franchise, “Evil Dead Rise,” from writer/director Lee Cronin (“The Hole in the Ground”). The movie stars Lily Sullivan (“I Met a Girl,” “Barkskins”), Alyssa Sutherland (“The Mist,” “Vikings”), Morgan Davies (“Storm Boy,” “The End”), Gabrielle Echols (“Reminiscence”) and introducing Nell Fisher (“Northspur”).

Moving the action out of the woods and into the city, “Evil Dead Rise” tells a twisted tale of two estranged sisters, played by Sutherland and Sullivan, whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.

“Evil Dead Rise” is produced by Rob Tapert (“Ash vs Evil Dead,” “Don’t Breathe”) and executive produced by series creator and horror icon Sam Raimi and cult legend and “Ash” himself, Bruce Campbell, along with John Keville, Macdara Kelleher, Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Romel Adam and Victoria Palmieri.

Cronin is joined behind the camera by director of photography Dave Garbett (“Z for Zachariah,” “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”), production designer Nick Bassett (“Guns Akimbo,” “Sweet Tooth”), editor Bryan Shaw (“Ash vs Evil Dead,” “Spartacus”) and costume designer Sarah Voon (“Chasing Great,” “Inside”), with a score by Stephen McKeon (“The Hole in the Ground,” “Primeval”).

A New Line Cinema / Renaissance Pictures presentation of a Pacific Renaissance and Wild Atlantic Pictures production, “Evil Dead Rise” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and is set to open in theaters in North America on April 21, 2023 and internationally beginning 19 April 2023.

Hulu’s “History of the World, Part II” – First Look – Spring

After waiting over 40 years there is finally a sequel to the seminal Mel Brooks film, “History of the World, Part I,” with each episode featuring a variety of sketches that take us through different periods of human history.

NEXT GOAL WINS | In Theaters September 22nd

Directed by Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok), NEXT GOAL WINS follows the infamously terrible American Samoa soccer team, known for a brutal 2001 FIFA match they lost 31-0.

Activities and Recipes

Galaxy Cake Pops inspired by Star Trek: Prodigy: Season 1 Volume 1

Ready to rock your taste buds out of this world? Check out this scrumptious recipe for Galaxy Cake Pops inspired by Star Trek: Prodigy: Season 1 Volume 1, available now on DVD! Click the link to join the fun: 

Rubble’s Dump Truck inspired by PAW Patrol: Big Truck Pups

Check out this playful craft of Rubble’s Dump Truck inspired by PAW Patrol: Big Truck Pups, available now on DVD! Click the link to join the fun: 

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