This week’s entertainment releases include an Oprah Winfrey-produced documentary about iconic actor Sidney Poitier and a starry celebration from Norman Lear starring George Clooney, Rita Moreno, Anthony Anderson and Jennifer Aniston. Quantum Leap returns to television in a sequel to the 1989-93 science fiction series about a scientist trapped in the past by an experiment gone wrong. And the film On the Come Up is about a 16-year-old girl with rap aspirations, based on the best-selling 2019 young adult novel by Angie Thomas.
Here’s a collection of the best of what’s hitting theaters, TV and streaming services this week.
Less than a year after the death of Sidney Poitier, who died in January at the age of 94, Oprah Winfrey-produced documentary Sidney is released. It is a poignant portrait of the groundbreaking actor who paved the way for countless black actors in Hollywood and revolutionized how they were portrayed on screen. Filmed largely before Poitier’s death, ‘Sidney’ was directed by Reginald Hudlin and made in collaboration with the Poitiers estate (several of Poitier’s daughters appear in the film) and many luminaries. Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, George Nelson, Robert Redford and Halle Berry are all interviewed on “Sidney,” as is Winfrey.
In Athena, director Romain Gavras brings spectacular flares and long, sinewy shots to a panoramic thriller about a police siege at a fictional housing project in a Parisian suburb. The film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and debuted on Netflix on Friday, is a violent but balletic urban Greek tragedy filmed by the youngest son of Greek Oscar-winner Costa-Gavras. It is the French filmmaker’s third feature film (he has also made music videos for Kanye West, Jamie xx and others); He wrote with Elias Belkeddar and Ladj Ly, whose 2019 film Les Miserables covered similar territory.
Based on the best-selling 2019 young adult novel by Angie Thomas (“The Hate U Give”), “On the Come Up” follows a 16-year-old girl (Jamila Gray) whose rap ambitions are both urgent ( her family needs money) and hotness (her late father was a hip-hop legend who was killed by gang violence). The film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, will stream Friday on Paramount+ and also open in some theaters.
Quantum Leap returns to television in a sequel to the 1989-93 science fiction series about a scientist trapped in the past by an experiment gone wrong. Three decades later, physicist Ben Song (Raymond Lee) is part of a team trying to unravel the nature of the quantum leap accelerator when he meets a similar fate. But his peers (including co-stars Ernie Hudson and Caitlin Bassett) are determined to save him. Original series star Scott Bakula confirmed online that he’s not associated with NBC’s newcomer, but wishes him “good luck and happy jumping!” It debuts Monday.
Hulu’s “Reboot” is a clever take on the resurgence of a cheesy early 2000s family sitcom and its former stars whose careers weren’t exactly thriving. The ensemble cast is appealing — Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville, Judy Greer, Paul Reiser, Rachel Bloom, Calum Worthy, and Krista Marie Yu — but the marquee’s name is creator and executive producer Steven Levitan. Reboot marks a return to television for the award-winning Modern Family co-creator, and he’s happy to poke fun at Network TV’s penchant for reruns. The series starts on Tuesday with three episodes.
Norman Lear turned 100 last July, but it’s nitpicking to give the legendary TV producer and activist a belated party, especially one that pulls out all the stops. Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter, which airs Thursday on ABC, will celebrate Lear’s life and achievements, including the seminal sitcoms All in the Family and The Jeffersons. George Clooney, Rita Moreno, Anthony Anderson, Jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel and Octavia Spencer are among those set to star in the two-hour special, which promises comedy, performances and surprise reunions.
Compiled by AP writers Lynn Elber and Lindsey Bahr