Remy Ma’s ‘My True Crime Story,’ ‘Cooking with Paris’ debut

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. 2-8, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

WATCH IT: Remy Ma sings her redemption song

Rap icon and Love and Hip Hop star Remy Ma taps into her own troubled past with the law to host VH1’s My True Crime Story, which delves into the relatable redemption stories of reformed convicted criminals. The emcee, who was arrested on charges of attempted murder related to a 2007 New York shooting incident and eventually served a six-year prison sentence for intentional assault, has since rebuilt her career. Now she’s helping others tell their own comeback tales — an angle that sets My True Crime Story apart from the many other, more salacious TV shows and podcasts crowding the true crime market. — Lyndsey Parker

My True Crime Story premieres Monday, Aug. 2 on VH1.

STREAM IT: Paris Hilton whips up a new reality show

Think of Cooking with Paris from socialite/deejay/brand Paris Hilton as a mashup of her former reality show, The Simple Life, and her Instagram, which shows her ironing bacon and taste-testing breakfast cereals. In it, Hilton will be joined in the kitchen by celebrity friends, such as her former stylist Kim Kardashian West, plus Demi Lovato, Saweetie, Nikki Glaser and Lele Pons. Mom Kathy Hilton and sister Nicky Hilton make appearances, too. The trailer shows Kathy warning her eldest child that she’s getting the feathers on her dress “in everything.” There’s also Paris using her signature phrase — “That’s hot!” — quite appropriately. — Raechal Shewfelt

Cooking with Paris premieres Wednesday, Aug. 4 on Netflix.

WATCH IT: Blindspotting wraps up inaugural season of must-see TV

Blindspotting, the 2018 drama that paired best pals Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, was one of the year’s best surprises, a funny yet meaningful riff on friendship, race and gentrification. According to many critics, the film’s unlikely TV spin-off is even better, with the show currently boasting a 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The series, which shifts the focus to a supporting player in the film, Jasmine Cephas Jones’s Ashley, wraps up its inaugural season Sunday on Starz. Like the fellas in the film, Ashley has been put through the ringer in the first seven episodes, but hopefully will find some semblance of hope and happiness in the finale. Check out an exclusive clip from the season closer above. — Kevin Polowy

The season finale of Blindspotting premieres Sunday, Aug. 8 at 9 PM ET/PT on Starz.

WATCH IT: HBO docuseries Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union charts No. 44’s remarkable journey to the White House

Twenty-five years ago, a young community organizer-turned-politician named Barack Obama won election to the Illinois state senate. Within eight years, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and four years after that he entered the Oval Office as the first Black president in America’s history. That pioneering path to a history-making moment is chronicled in Peter Kunhardt’s expansive three-part documentary, which features new interviews with some of Obama’s closest political allies and personal friends — though notably not with the former POTUS himself, who comments on his journey via copious news footage and campaign speeches. The first installment covers President Obama’s early years and the beginning of his political career, with the next two episodes chronicling his 2008 campaign and his back-to-back terms in the White House, concluding with the 2016 election that brought Donald Trump to Washington, D.C. This exclusive clip from the series features author Ta-Nehisi Coates reflecting on Obama’s presidential tenure and what it means for future generations of political leaders from all racial backgrounds. — Ethan Alter

Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union premieres Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max.

WATCH IT: Cult movie legend Udo Kier scores a late-career star turn in Swan Song

You may not know his name, but you definitely know Udo Kier’s face. The German actor has appeared in over 200 movies during his five decades-and-counting career, including such cult favorites as Barb Wire and Brawl in Cell Block 99. Now, writer/director Todd Stephens has gone and bumped the consummate scene-stealer to leading man status with the moving drama Swan Song. Kier star as Pat Pitsenberger, a former hairdresser who skips out on his nursing home existence for one last job in the small town where he lived and worked for so many years. But when he returns to his former digs, he learns an age-old lesson firsthand: you really can’t go home again. This exclusive clip features Pat discovering how life has moved on without him… but that doesn’t mean he can’t learn some new tricks. — E.A.

Swan Song opens Friday, Aug. 6 in theaters and is available the following week on most VOD services, including FandangoNow.

WATCH IT: What We Left Unfinished offers a modern history of Afghanistan through the country’s cinema

With Afghanistan back in the headlines as the U.S. prepares to withdraw the remainder of its armed forces, the new documentary, What We Left Unfinished, provides a fascinating look at another critical juncture in the country’s history. Drawing on a treasure trove of footage from never-completed movies made by Afghani filmmakers between the 1970s and 1980s, as well as new interviews with the filmmakers and actors that made them, director Mariam Ghani reconstructs that tumultuous period that encompassed civil unrest, a destabilizing coup and the eventual invasion of Soviet forces. The films themselves reflect what was happening off-camera, even as censors tried to control the messaging. This exclusive clip details the story behind one abandoned movie, Downfall, which sought to comment on how Afghanistan’s flourishing drug trade helped set the stage for its troubled future. — E.A.

What We Left Unfinished premieres Friday, Aug. 6 in theaters and virtual cinemas; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.

WATCH IT: Get the Dirt on the real Luke Bryan

The 10-time Academy of Country Music Awards winner and 75 million-selling country superstar gets personal in Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary. Over the course of this five-part docuseries, Bryan opens up about various family tragedies (the shocking, sudden deaths of his brother, sister and brother-in-law), helping raise his late sister and brother-in-law’s three children, the strain that life in the spotlight and on the road has put on his marriage, and how music has always helped him heal. Get ready see a very different Luke from the jolly, joking judge sitting next to Katy Perry and Lionel Richie every week on American Idol. — L.P.

Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary premieres Friday, Aug. 6 on IMDb TV.

BUY IT: Pixar scores another near-perfect 10 with Luca, now on Blu-ray

"Luca" (Photo: Disney Home Entertainment)

“Luca” (Photo: Disney Home Entertainment)

Does Pixar ever get tired of all this winning? Even their less heralded titles more often than not turn out as gems, and Enrico Casarosa’s Luca – aka. Sea Monsters, Inc. — certainly falls into that camp. Centered around a young sea creature (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) who discovers he turns human when entering land (unfortunately that land happens to be a small Italian village with a thirst for hunting sea monsters), Luca is an absolute joy — funny, charming and touching from star to finish. So, in other words, it’s a Pixar movie. But the big surprise here is it may even be upper echelon. After a June release on Disney+, the film now hits DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD, with bonus features including multiple featurettes and deleted scenes. — K.P.

Luca is available on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD on Tuesday, Aug. 3 at Amazon.

WATCH IT: Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard face off on Family Game Fight

Married actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, both regular guests on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, are spinning off the segments they do there into this new game show. Remember when they tried to identify foods based on their blindfolded spouse’s description? And they’ll not only host, but play, joining separate families to compete in fun contests for cash. “It’s interesting for the viewer. It’s interesting for my husband,” Bell joked on Ellen when they announced the project last March. “As long as we leave this show, you know, still married, I think it’s gonna be great.” DeGeneres, Bell and Shepard all serve as producers. — R.S.

Family Game Fight premieres Sunday, Aug. 8 at 10:30 p.m. on NBC.

BUY IT: O.G. animated Transformers movie rolls out on 4K UHD

'Transformers: The Movie' (Photo: Shout! Factory)

‘Transformers: The Movie’ (Photo: Shout! Factory)

It’s not very often with any mega-franchise that the animated version trumps most of its live action. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, maybe? But beyond the 2018 spin-off Bumblebee, is there any Transformers movie better than the 1986 animated version, called simply Transformers: The Movie? At the very least it will always have the best cast (sorry, but Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox are no Leonard Nimoy and Orson Welles, even if we just get their voices). The nostalgia-soaked flick celebrates its 35th anniversary with a new 4K UHD transfer and limited edition steelbook courtesy of Shout! Factory, with extras including audio commentary with director Nelson Shin, new storyboards, featurettes and a documentary. — K.P.

Transformers: The Movie is available on 4K Ultra HD Tuesday, Aug. 3 on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Adam Driver sings the Sparks in the wild new musical Annette

Fresh off the success of starring in one of the year’s most acclaimed documentaries, sibling musicians Ron and Russell Mael — aka Sparks — are now two of the creative forces behind one of 2021’s wildest, weirdest movies. The duo wrote the music and lyrics for Annette, a lavish cinematic opera from French filmmaker Leos Carax, whose previous credits include such strange delights as Holy Motors and The Lovers on the Bridge. Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard star as unlikely celebrity lovers, whose high-profile romance takes a turn for the tragic. Meanwhile, their daughter, Annette, proves to be a prodigy in her own right. The movie provoked a divisive response when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last month, and not all moviegoers will be on its peculiar wavelength. But if your heart already dances to Sparks’s beats, you may just get swept away. — E.A.

Annette opens Friday, Aug. 6 in theaters; visit Fandango for showtimes and ticket information.

WATCH IT: Lin-Manuel Miranda gets animated (again) in Netflix’s musical adventure, Vivo

Before Hamilton — but after the stage version of In the Heights — Lin-Manuel Miranda dreamed up the idea for Vivo, the animated story of a music-loving kinkajou (voiced by the Tony-winning writer and performer) who embarks on a wild adventure to honor the last wishes of his best friend. Originally set up with DreamWorks in 2010, the film ended up at Sony Pictures Animation, which in turn licensed it to Netflix. Bowing on the streaming service on Aug. 6, the film features lushly animated recreations of Havana and Miami cityscapes, kid-friendly chase sequences and fun supporting vocal performances by Gloria Estefan, Nicole Byer and Bryan Tyree Henry. But the main attraction here are the 11 new songs from Miranda, including a breakout rap number for the movie’s young star, Ynairaly Simo, who makes a big impression in her first major role. — E.A.

Vivo premieres Friday, Aug. 6 on Netflix 

BUY IT: Mikey and the Goonies gang get the D&D treatment with Funko Games’ new tabletop adventure

Funko's

Funko’s “Goonies: Never Say Die” tabletop game (Photo: Funko Games)

It’s your time — to explore the caves beneath Astoria, Oregon with Funko’s latest licensed tabletop adventure, Goonies: Never Say Die. Based on the late Richard Donner’s beloved 1984 movie, Never Say Die takes a Dungeons & Dragons style approach to its gameplay, with one player acting as the “Goondocks Master” that puts Mikey and his adventure-seeking pals through their paces. It’s a chance to pursue One-Eyed Willie’s treasure, while also avoiding his multiple booby traps and the machinations of the Fratelli family. We may never get to see a Goonies sequel, but this game provides plenty of replay value. — E.A.

Goonies: Never Say Die is available now exclusively at Target.

— Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by Jimmie Rhee

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