A documentary on Apple TV+ that chronicles the atypical path Stephen Curry took to becoming a basketball legend plus new tunes from the rock band Greta Van Fleet are among the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you.
Among the offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists are Laura McGann’s documentary “The Deepest Breath” which plunges into the world of free diving and Starz has given the workplace comedy “Minx” a new home and a berth for season two.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— Laura McGann’s documentary “The Deepest Breath” plunges into the world of free diving, a sometimes deadly sport in which divers descend into watery depths with only a nose plug to defend from fluctuations in air pressure. The film, which made a well-reviewed debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January, premieres Wednesday on Netflix. It’s an immersive descent into a silent underwater realm and the risk-takers compelled to sink themselves to the ocean floor. McGann’s film recounts the story, in particular, of two divers — Alessia Zecchini and Stephen Keenan — brought together in love and tragedy.
— Steph Curry is a four-time NBA champ, two-time MVP and nine-time all-star, so naming a documentary about the transformational shooting guard “Underrated” is, itself, a kind of provocation. But “Stephen Curry: Underrated,” which debuts Friday, July 21, on Apple TV+, chronicles the atypical path Curry took to becoming a basketball legend, with many doubters along the way. The film, directed by the well-respected Bay Area filmmaker Peter Nicks, is further proof of a modern NBA truism: No matter how much he wins, Steph Curry is easy to root for.
— A cinematic highpoint of the first half of the year, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’ “Tori and Lokita,” begins streaming Tuesday on the Criterion Channel. It’s a heart-wrenching immigrant drama about 11-year-old Tori (Pablo Schils) and 16-year-old Lokita (Joely Mbundu), two African immigrants living in an unnamed Belgian city. Only Tori has the necessary papers to stay, and immigration authorities are pressing Lokita, dubious of her claims that Tori is her brother. In my review of “Tori and Lokita,” I wrote that “their bond is something more profound than blood, a product of shared circumstance and mutual perseverance.”
— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— The Grammy-winning rock band Greta Van Fleet is back with a “Starcatcher,” a strong album that shows the quartet’s maturity and embraces a more prog rock and psychedelic flavor. The first single, the sprawling, Woodstock-y “Meeting the Master,” made the top 40 of Billboard’s Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. Producer Dave Cobb took the guys back to their roots as a live band. A few days after the release, Greta Van Fleet kick off a new tour in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena and will make stops at Madison Square Garden in New York and The Forum in Los Angeles and London’s OVO Arena Wembley. (Lava/Republic Records)
— Blur, who helped put the pop into Britpop, is releasing their first album in eight years, “The Ballad of Darren.” Among the 10 new tracks is the wistful, joyfully building “The Narcissist,” with the lyrics: “I’m going to shine a light in your eyes/You will probably shine it back on me. But I won’t fall this time,” and the sloppy rocker “St. Charles Square.” The band wasn’t planning on another album. “It really is most unexpected,” bass player Alex James told Rolling Stone magazine. “We didn’t know we were pregnant, and we gave birth in the supermarket car park. It’s like, ‘Oh, my God, it’s a beautiful boy!’” (Parlophone)
— AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— Eight years after the series finale of “Justified” on FX, Timothy Olyphant returns as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens in “Justified: City Primeval.” The limited series takes Givens to Detroit as the lawman hunts down a murderer played by Boyd Holbrooke. The story is based on the Elmore Leonard novel “City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit.” Olyphant’s daughter, Vivian, plays Givens’ daughter on the show. The cast also includes Aunjanue Ellis. At a gathering of TV critics earlier this year, Olyphant said he “really didn’t have any concerns” playing the character again. “I just thought that I’d love to be there for it.” The first two episodes of “Justified: City Primeval” premiere Tuesday on FX.
— It’s charter boat season for Captain Jason and Chief Stew Aesha as they set sail in Australia with a new crew of deckhands, stewards, and a chef in season two of “Below Deck: Down Under.” Besides the expected inter-personal drama from a Bravo show among the crew and demanding, occasionally unruly guests, the “Below Deck” cast must also contend with an aging yacht that has a lot of problems. “Below Deck: Down Under” debuts Monday, July 17.
— Despite favorable reviews, “Minx” was canceled late last year in a cost-cutting move by the streamer formerly known as HBO Max. The decision came as “Minx” was in production on its second season. Luckily, Starz swooped in to give the comedy a new home and season two returns Friday, July 21. Starring Jake Johnson and Ophelia Lovibond, “Minx” is set in the 1970s and follows Lovibond’s Joyce, a young feminist who teams up with a seedy publisher named Doug (Johnson) to create the first erotic magazine for women. Season two follows the team behind Minx magazine dealing with sudden success.
— Tyler Sheridan has another new TV series and this one is not a Western. “Special Ops: Lioness” stars Zoe Saldana, Nicole Kidman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Kelly and newcomer Laysla De Oliveira. Saldana plays Joe, a member of a secret team of spies with the CIA. They recruit a young woman – played by De Oliveira – to go undercover and become friendly with a wealthy woman whose family is believed to have ties to a terror organization. The first two episodes premiere Sunday, July 23 on Paramount+.
— Alicia Rancilio
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— Nintendo’s Pikmin may not deliver the star power of Mario, Zelda or Pokémon, but it does have a devoted cult audience who have been waiting 10 years for Pikmin 4. The setup hasn’t changed: You are an astronaut who has crash-landed on an alien planet, and you need help from the plant-like title critters to survive. Any one Pikmin by itself is too small to get much done, so you need to summon and corral dozens of them at once to explore your new home and battle the native wildlife. The major addition on this expedition is an eager “space dog” named Oatchi who’s happy to give your Pikmin a ride. It’s the kind of chill puzzle-adventure that may appeal to gamers who fell in love with Animal Crossing during the pandemic, and it arrives Friday, July 21, on the Switch.
— There’s nothing like playing a visual puzzle game — say, Portal or The Witness — when you want to settle into a kind of Zen groove. Aficionados of such brain-benders have been buzzing about Viewfinder, from Scotland’s Sad Owl Studios. Each level is a maze of sorts, but to get from one end to the other you need to tinker with reality. You have a magical camera that lets you take two-dimensional images, like paintings and photographs, and drop them into 3-D settings so they become part of the environment and fill in the gaps. The result is as trippy and elegant as an M.C. Escher drawing. Prepare to have your mind blown Tuesday on PlayStation 5 and PC.
— Lou Kesten
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/entertainment.