Today's Entertainment

April 18, 2021

The Brainerd Dispatch - Today's Entertainment Magazine

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Brainerd Dispatch • April 18 - 24, 2021 •19 By Dana Simpson TV Media WHAT'S NEW ON NETFLIX "Shadow and Bone" Get on board for the journey of a lifetime when the new series "Shadow and Bone" premieres Friday, April 23, on Netflix. Based on the worldwide bestselling Grisha trilogy by American author Leigh Bardugo, "Shadow and Bone" blends the occult with Russian folklore to present the story of Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li, "All About Eve," 2019), a teenage orphan and map maker who lets loose a remarkable and unknown power while trying to save her friend, Malyen, aka Mal (Archie Renaux, "Gold Digger"), from a dark and terrible fate as they travel through an area known as the Shadow Fold and away from the militant, Russian-inspired kingdom of Ravka. Learning that she has used the powers of a sect of people called the Grisha — people who can summon elements to use as powers — and that she may be one of them, Alina is recruited by Gen. Kirigan (Ben Barnes, "The Punish - er") to use her newfound power to change the fate of war-torn Ravka forever. Co-produced by Thane Watkins ("Deadpool," 2016), Eric Heisserer ("Bird Box," 2018) and Rand Geiger ("Stranger Things"), the eight-part first season will in- clude episodes directed by Mairzee Almas ("Outlander"), Lee Toland Kreiger ("The Age of Adaline," 2015), Dan Liu ("Fear the Walking Dead") and Jeremy Webb ("The Umbrella Academy"). Freddy Carter ("Pennyworth"), Amita Suman ("The Outpost") and Kit Young ("A Midsummer Night's Dream," 2019) also star. WHAT'S NEW ON HULU "Sasquatch" Do you believe there are monsters wandering among us? Now is the time to take a closer look at one such "monster" whose existence (or not) has baffled scientists, conspiracy theorists, occultists and forest-venturers for centuries: Big Foot. "Sasquatch," a three-part in- vestigative series led by journalist David Holthouse ("Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer"), launches Tuesday, April 20, on Hulu and fans of the man (and the monster) are talking. Focusing on the triple homicide that took place on a marijuana farm in California's Emerald Triangle during the '90s, and which was subsequently blamed on Big Foot, Holthouse works hard to uncover the truth behind the myth and what really happened that day on the dope farm property. Executive produced by the Duplass brothers ("Room 104") and directed by Joshua Rofé ("Lorena," 2019), this miniseries is a testament to human beliefs and the power of mythology. WHAT'S NEW ON DISNEY+ "Secrets of the Whales" Hollywood filming meets the wide open ocean with "Secrets of the Whales," a new documentary miniseries coming to Disney+ on Thursday, April 22. Produced by big- time Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron — the mind and talent behind such modern film clas- sics as "Aliens" (1986), "Titanic" (1997) and "Avatar" (2009) — this four-part docuseries narrated by Sigourney Weaver ("Alien," 1979) follows various pods of whales as they migrate, hunt, breed and live their lives. Using footage captured over three years from more than 24 different locations, "Secrets of the Whales" bridges the gap between humankind and whales, showing that despite our many differences, we all have the same core needs, capacity for love and, more than anything, we all share the same planet. Disney teams up with Na- tional Geographic and world-class underwater explorer/photographer Brian Skerry ("Ocean Soul," 2011) to present this educational, family- friendly series directed by Brian Armstrong ("Raging Bull Shark," 2020) and Andy Mitchell ("Ameri- can Serengeti," 2010). "Liv and Maddie" Double the trouble is landing on Disney+ when "Liv and Mad- die" launches its full series on the streamer on Friday, April 23, follow- ing the ups and downs of the title twins (both played by Dove Cam- eron, "Descendants," 2015), who are polar opposites, looks aside. While Liv has been spending the past few years working as a child star on a television set, Maddie has been busting herself trying to get ahead in her high school. Now a fantastic basketball player and rising in popularity, Maddie is get- ting everything she worked so hard to achieve in Liv's absence … but how will all of this change when her more popular twin decides to return home? Often butting heads with each other, Liv and Maddie learn to work together to overcome their biggest issues — one of which being that both of their parents work at their high school and often cramp their style and freedom. With all four seasons coming to the streamer, "Liv and Maddie" boasts and impressive 80 episodes for families with kids of all ages to enjoy. Created by "According to Jim" producers John D. Beck and Ron Hart, the series also stars Joey Bragg ("Call Your Mother"), Tenz- ing Norgay Trainor ("Abominable," 2019), Kali Rocha ("Man with a Plan"), Emmy Mattingly ("Calling for Love," 2020) and Shelby Wulfert ("Playing with Fire," 2019). WHAT'S NEW ON PRIME "Venus and Serena" (2013) Some things really do run in the family, and for the Williams sisters, that thing just happens to be worth millions. Don't miss out on the amazing life story of America's ten- nis-pro sisters when the documen- tary "Venus and Serena" comes to Prime on Wednesday, April 21. Filmmakers Maiken Baird ("Icarus," 2017) and Michelle Major ("Good Morning America") cover the rise of Venus and Serena Williams, who were groomed by their father from a young age, through admiration and resentment, tournament wins and severe health crises — in 2011 Venus suffered the effects of an auto-immune disease while Serena battled against a potentially deadly pulmonary embolism. Us- ing home videos, past game and championship footage, interviews and more, Baird and Major paint a well-rounded picture of the athletic sisters and show how, regardless of any adversities they may face, they always pull their greatest strength from one another. Talking everything from tennis to feminism, sisterhood and fashion, "Venus and Serena" features foot- age from other respected tennis icons John McEnroe and Billy Jean King, former president Bill Clinton, Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee ("Malcolm X," 1992) and style queen Anna Wintour. "Muay Thai Giant" (2011) Join a friendly giant on an investi- gative adventure with the quirky Thai film "Muay Thai Giant," land- ing on Prime on Wednesday, April 21. When a 7-foot-tall Australian man named Barney Emerald (Na- than Jones, "Mad Max: Fury Road," 2015) finds himself in Thailand for the first time on holiday, he is soon drugged and robbed of his cash and identification. Befriending two Thai sisters — played by Sasisa Jindamanee ("Force of Five," 2009) and Nawarat Techarathanaprasert ("Pirate of the Lost Sea," 2008) — one an English speaker and the other a Muay Thai boxing cham- pion, the two vow to help Barney to recover his passport. When they take him for a somtum meal at their mother's restaurant, the girls notice Barney has a strange reac- tion to the food. Luckily, his reaction might just prove to be the answer to all their problems. Written and directed by Nontakorn Taweesuk ("Ong Bak 2," 2008), this cult film also stars "Born to Fight's" (2004) Dan Chupong. Jessie Mei Li stars in "Shadow and Bone" David Holthouse as seen in "Sasquatch" A scene from "Secrets of the Whales"

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