The It List: Camila Cabello stars in reimagined ‘Cinderella,’ Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ changes superhero game, Billie Eilish loves L.A. and the best in pop culture the week of Aug. 30, 2021


The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. Here are our picks for Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 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: Camila Cabello transforms into Cinderella

Bibbidi bobbidi boo — just like that, there’s a new Cinderella. Like others before her, the Fifth Harmony alum, making her acting debut, attempts to modernize the iconic fairy-tale character in this movie musical. Cinderelly is now “Ella,” a dress designer in a diverse community with a genderless fairy godmother (portrayed by eternal showstopper Billy Porter) — and goals she’s seemingly not ready to give up for a man. Yes, there’s still royalty — Pierce Brosnan and Minnie Driver play the parents of Nicholas Galitzine’s Prince Robert — and a wicked (and Wicked!) stepmother played by Idina Menzel. But the titular character is a feminist and there’s a lot of humor, with Pitch Perfect screenwriter Kay Cannon directing her own script. The British-American film came from an idea by James Corden, who produces the project and appears in it as a footman — because what isn’t he in these days? The music includes originals from hitmakers Cabello and Menzel as well as covers, which you — or the young viewers in your life — may be humming forever ever after. — Suzy Byrne

Cinderella premieres Friday, Sept. 3 on Amazon Prime Video.

STREAM IT: Olivia Munn experiences a mother lode of trouble in crime thriller The Gateway

Set on the mean streets of St. Louis — the Gateway City itself — Michele Civetta’s sophomore feature stars Olivia Munn as Dahlia, a single mother caught between two troubled men seeking to exert control over her life. On the one hand there’s Parker (Shea Whigham), a social worker who has deeply invested himself in ensuring that she and her young daughter have a brighter future… a promise that’s uncomfortably bordering on an obsession. But she also has to contend with her husband, Mike (Zach Avery), recently out of prison and immediately caught up in another crime scheme despite his promise to recommit to their family. This exclusive clip from the film finds the increasingly unstable Parker confronting Dahlia at the casino where she works, and trying to persuade her to see things his way. “Go get your own f****** family,” the frustrated mom tells him in response. Take the hint, guy. — Ethan Alter

The Gateway premieres Friday, Sept. 3 in theaters and on most VOD services, including Apple TV.

WATCH IT: Spirit Untamed rides onto Blu-ray

Spirit Riding Free, the popular animated Netflix series, has never shortchanged its young fans, cranking out multiple seasons per year (three seasons in 2017, four seasons in 2018!), not to mention various specials, webisodes and music videos. But the franchise got a seriously star-studded upgrade with Universal’s big-screen adventure Spirit Untamed, casting Transformers breakout Isabela Merced as the horse-loving Lucky and surrounding her with voice talent like Jake Gyllenhaal (as Lucky’s dad Jim), Julianne Moore (as Lucky’s Aunt Cora) and Marsai Martin and Mckenna Grace (as Lucky’s friends Pru and Abigail). Check out an exclusive deleted scene from the film’s Blu-ray (above), which also features extended scenes, a slew of featurettes, sing-alongs and feature commentary with the filmmakers. — Kevin Polowy

Spirit Untamed will be available on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, Aug. 31 on Amazon.

STREAM IT: Alias star Merrin Dungey spends time with her inner psycho in The Madness Inside Me

Twenty years after J.J. Abrams’s spy caper Alias became knockout television, Merrin Dungey aka “Evil Francie” once again visits her dark side in this psychological thriller. Sydney Bristow’s former BFF plays Madison Taylor, a forensic psychologist who lends a kind and patient ear to prison inmates looking to explain their crimes. One night, her home becomes a crime scene when an intruder breaks in and kills her husband in the ensuing scuffle. Madison knows who the killer is — a drifter named Francis Tate (Devon Graye) — but she declines to identify him in court, instead allowing herself to get drawn into his way of life. This exclusive clip features a charged conversation between Madison and Francis, where it becomes clear that she’s willing to venture down an increasingly dark, disturbing path. — E.A.

The Madness Inside Me premieres Friday, Sept. 3 in theaters and on most VOD services, including Apple TV.

WATCH IT: The Sundance-approved thriller Wild Indian marks an impressive directorial debut

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.’s debut feature is a chilly, eerie thriller in the vein of David Fincher. In the early 1980s, two Native American boys are involved in the death of a classmate and cover up their crime. Twenty years later, their lives have gone in different directions: Sensitive Ted-O (Chaske Spencer) is an ex-con and troubled Makwa (Michael Greyeyes) has tried to remake himself as the perfect family man. But the past can’t stay buried forever, and their shared history soon threatens their present lives. Corbine’s already-rich story gets even richer when he connects the characters’ specific experience to the larger legacy of America’s exploitation of its indigenous population. This exclusive clip from the film finds Ted-O visiting the mother of the child they wronged so many years ago. — E.A.

Wild Indian premieres Friday, Sept. 3 in theaters and on most VOD services. Visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.

WATCH IT: Shang-Chi marks one of Marvel’s best standalone adventures

In crafting Marvel’s first Asian-lead superhero movie, it’s possible MCU architect Kevin Feige, director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) and his co-writers may have taken a couple notes from the playbook of another one of the studio’s game-changing cultural touchstones, 2018’s Oscar-nominated box office mega-hit Black Panther. There’s family drama, sibling power and a mystical secret homeland. But most importantly, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, like Black Panther, is a triumph — a fiercely entertaining standalone adventure that makes a star out of Simu Liu (an MCU mainstay in the works, for sure), thrills with its action sequences and offers a nice side helping of comic relief, courtesy of newbie sidekick Awkwafina. It’s one of Marvel’s best entries yet. — K.P.

Shang-Chi arrives in theaters Friday, Sept. 3. Tickets are available at Fandango.

STREAM IT: Cozy up to Sparking Joy With Marie Kondo

In her second series for Netflix, organizing guru Marie Kondo is once again helping people declutter. But this time, she’s focused on cleaning up lives rather than spaces. Kondo teaches her strategies to clients including an adult son who owns a gardening business with his father, a woman who spends her days — and most of her energy — serving up lattes and cappuccinos, only to find that she has very little juice left for her family at the end of them. “Learning more and more about myself,” one recipient of Kondo’s advice emotionally says in the trailer, “It’s a little bit overwhelming.” — Raechal Shewfelt

Sparking Joy With Marie Kondo premieres Tuesday, Aug. 31 on Netflix.

STREAM IT: Billie Eilish loves L.A.

Proud L.A. native Billie Eilish performs her sophomore album in full at one of her city’s most iconic venues, the Hollywood Bowl, for the “cinematic concert experience” Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles. Speaking about the film, which was co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Oscar winner Patrick Osborne, to Good Morning America, the singer-songwriter explained that Los Angeles “formed me, it made me who I am and gave me the opportunities that I got. I don’t think I’d have any of the same anything if it wasn’t for my hometown. … I owed Los Angeles some love.” Special guests include the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo and, of course, Eilish’s brother/collaborator, Finneas. — Lyndsey Parker

Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles premieres Friday, Sept. 3 on Disney+.

STREAM IT: Lucy Lawless is back for more cases — and a long-awaited Xena reunion — in a new season of My Life Is Murder

Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor reunite 20 years after the end of Xena: Warrior Princess. (Photo: Matt Klitscher/AcornTV)Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor reunite 20 years after the end of Xena: Warrior Princess. (Photo: Matt Klitscher/AcornTV)

Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor reunite 20 years after the end of Xena: Warrior Princess. (Photo: Matt Klitscher/AcornTV)

Xena fans have been waiting 20 years to see the Warrior Princess and her soulmate, Gabrielle, together again. Their patience will be rewarded in the sophomore season of Lucy Lawless’s hit Acorn TV series, My Life Is Murder, which culminates in a very special episode that reunites the New Zealand actress with her former comrade-in-arms Renee O’Connor. But there’s plenty of fun to be had before those emotional fireworks. The new season continues the adventures of Lawless’s hilarious new alter ego, Alexa Crowe — a retired detective who can’t resist cracking the oddball case or two… or three. This year’s crop of crimes include the mysterious deaths of a surfing champion, a drag queen and a museum curator. Then, look for the grand Xena finale to slay all of our hearts. — E.A.

My Life Is Murder premieres Monday, Aug. 30 on Acorn TV.

HEAR IT: Lauren Alaina is Pretty fantastic

The American Idol Season 10 teen finalist-turned-CMA/ACM/CMT award-winning country superstar continues to establish her voice on her third album, Sitting Pretty on Top of the World. Now 26, Alaina has co-writing credit on 14 of the 15 tracks on what she describes as her most personal record yet; her collaborators include award-winning songwriters Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Emily Weisband, David Garcia and Ben Johnson. — L.P.

Sitting Pretty on Top of the World by Lauren Alaina is available Friday, Sept. 3 to download/stream on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation gives us something to hold onto with Criterion release

There was a strange dichotomy to Beasts of No Nation, Cary Fukunaga’s 2015 drama about an African child forced into warfare by a merciless general (Idris Elba) and one of Netflix’s first major film acquisitions. It’s shocking, horrifying, haunting and traumatic, yet the way it’s shot (by Fukunaga himself, who wrote, directed and DP’ed), it all looks so stunningly beautiful. And yet, now the streaming gem somehow manages to look more beautiful with a physical copy via the Criterion Channel that features a new 2K digital upgrade, not to mention special features, including new audio commentary and interviews with Fukunaga and company. A fantastic beast of a release. — K.P.

Beasts of No Nation: The Criterion Collection is available on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, Aug. 31. Buy it on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Nicole Byer gets fast and furious on the latest season of her podcast, Newcomers

Nicole Byer and Jon Gabrus co-host the Fast & Furious-themed season of the Newcomers podcast. (Photo: Headgum) Nicole Byer and Jon Gabrus co-host the Fast & Furious-themed season of the Newcomers podcast. (Photo: Headgum)

Nicole Byer and Jon Gabrus co-host the Fast & Furious-themed season of the Newcomers podcast. (Photo: Headgum)

Previous seasons of Newcomers have introduced comic and Nailed It sensation Nicole Byer to such new-to-her fan favorite franchises as Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings and the Tyler Perry cinematic universe. But the podcast’s fourth edition is all about family, as Byer gets a crash course in the Fast & Furious franchise with the help of fellow comedian Jon Gabrus, who’s temporarily sitting in for her usual co-host (and new mom), Lauren Lapkus. The 10-episode series features hilarious discussions of all nine F&F movies, plus the Rock-led spinoff Hobbs & Shaw. (Here’s hoping they add a bonus installment covering the Netflix animated series Spy Racers.) Whether you’re new to the adventures of Dom Toretto and friends or know all the movies by heart, you’ll want to grab a Corona and take this podcast for a spin. — E.A.

Newcomers is currently available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple.

HEAR IT: Imagine Dragons burn bright again

The blockbuster rock band teams with legendary producer Rick Rubin for its confessional and powerful fifth album, Mercury – Act 1. The record contains some of the most personal and vulnerable lyrics from frontman and mental health activist Dan Reynolds: “Wrecked” is about the 2019 cancer death of his sister-in-law; “Follow You” is a love song for his wife, Aja Volkman, after they nearly divorced and then joyfully reconciled; and “Cutthroat” is an exploration of the themes of self-doubt, inner saboteurs and impostor syndrome. — L.P.

Mercury – Act 1 by Imagine Dragons is available Friday, Sept. 3 to download/stream on Apple Music.

READ IT: Christopher Reeve’s Man of Steel soars again in the pages of Superman ’78

Superman '78 continues the Man of Steel's adventures from Richard Donner's 1978 blockbuster. (Photo: DC Comics)Superman '78 continues the Man of Steel's adventures from Richard Donner's 1978 blockbuster. (Photo: DC Comics)

Superman ’78 continues the Man of Steel’s adventures from Richard Donner’s 1978 blockbuster. (Photo: DC Comics)

Weeks after Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight returned in the pages of Batman ’89, DC Comics is launching Superman ’78 a new comic series that continues the story that began in Richard Donner’s seminal 1978 blockbuster, Superman: The Movie, featuring Christopher Reeve as the Last Son of Krypton. Penned by Robert Venditti and drawn by Wilfredo Torres, using the style and likenesses of that beloved movie, the story finds Earth being visited by Superman’s best nemesis not named Lex Luthor: Brainiac. Donner himself, who died in July, gets a tribute in the inaugural issue, thanking him for helping the world believe that a superhero can fly from the pages of a comic book onto the big screen. — E.A.

Superman ’78 is currently available at comic book stores and on Comixology.

HEAR IT: Iron Maiden are still rock ‘n’ roll beasts

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-nominated British metal titans Iron Maiden come roaring back with their 17th studio album, Senjutsu, their first LP since 2015’s Book of Souls. After more than 40 years, the band has lost none of its ferocity, nor has frontman Bruce Dickinson, who was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2015, lost any of his beastly operatic vocal power. — L.P.

Senjutsu by Iron Maiden is available Friday, Sept. 3 to download/stream on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: From stage to screen to Blu-ray, In the Heights is magic

Good things really do come to those who wait. A movie adaptation of In the Heights — the Tony-winning Broadway musical that announced the arrival of greatest showman Lin-Manuel Miranda before Hamilton subsequently took over the world — has been in the works since 2008, and was originally scheduled to open a full 10 years ago. It was so long ago that Miranda aged out of the lead role of Usnavi, an uptown Manhattan bodega owner who dreams of restoring his Dominican family’s beachside bar. Even once In the Heights was completed — directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) and now starring Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, with Miranda in a supporting role — the movie, like so many others, was delayed a full year by the pandemic. It finally arrived in June, and though its box office numbers were disappointing, hopefully it finds new life on home entertainment this week. The critically acclaimed musical has an infectious energy, vibrant sets, an electric cast and, of course, toe-tapping, percussive Latin music numbers. Special features on the 4K UHD and Blu-ray release include a handful of featurettes and, naturally, a sing-along. — K.P.

In the Heights is available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Aug. 31. Buy it on Amazon.

— Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by Jimmie Rhee