Editors' Picks: Our Favorite Things From the Week of August 12

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 1 month ago

IMDb Editors highlight their favorite things from the week.

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Yifei Liu in Mulan (2020)

First Look of the Week

This week, Disney shared a first look at Mulan, the live-action adaptation of its 1998 animated film. The image shows Yifei Liu, Chinese star of The Forbidden Kingdom, who was cast as Hua Mulan following a yearlong global search. As with the animated movie, the adventure centers on a fearless young woman in ancient China who masquerades as a man to fight attacking invaders. The only downside is that it's unlikely to feature all the songs we loved from the original ... and we have to wait until March 27, 2020, before it's released.

Discover more Disney classics getting live-action remakes | Read the full story here

2
Madonna in Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)

Unfathomable Milestone of the Week

It seems almost impossible, given that she's still known as the Material Girl, but on Aug. 16, Madonna turned 60! And while you could celebrate by dusting off your copy of her X-rated coffee table book, "Sex," here's a more age-appropriate way to mark the occasion: with a viewing of Madonna: Truth or Dare. The documentary captures the Queen of Pop at her provocative peak, 1990's globe-spanning Blonde Ambition Tour, and director Alek Keshishian creates a sumptuous, sorta-surreal world that brings you (almost uncomfortably) close to the singer herself ... and definitely makes you feel bad for then-beau Warren Beatty. As far as music docs go, it's iconic — kind of like the birthday girl.

More music documentaries that are required viewing

3
Jackie Cruz in Orange Is the New Black (2013)

Trending Inmate of the Week

"Orange Is the New Black" continues to be a hit with IMDb fans, who have made the Netflix prison drama the most popular TV title on site for the week. Two of the show's stars are among the Top 10 of IMDb's STARmeter: Amanda Fuller, whom we featured last week, and Jackie Cruz, who lands at No. 6 on the chart. The actress plays fan favorite Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales, who in Season 6 bides her time in Litchfield Max as a radio host. Nowhere to be seen alongside Flaca this season is Maritza Ramos (Diane Guerrero), who's been dispatched to another prison, much to the dismay of the show's many "Flaritza" fans. Beyond the popularity of her show, Cruz spiked fan interest for another reason: She celebrated a well-timed birthday on Aug. 8.

See what's streaming on Netflix this month

4
Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in Green Book (2018)

Trailer of the Week

The trailer that grabbed our attention this week was for Green Book, based on the true story of an Italian-American bouncer and a world-class African-American pianist driving through the Deep South of 1962. But it's not just the stellar casting of Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali that caught our eye. It's that the director is Peter Farrelly, one half of the filmmaking duo behind Dumb and Dumber among others. Based on this trailer and the Nov. 21 release date, this could be one we see during the upcoming awards season.

Watch the trailer here

5
Awkwafina in Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Scene-Stealing Bestie of the Week

It's somewhat crazy to us that it's taken 25 years for a major Hollywood studio to serve up its first all-Asian cast, but we're relieved, excited, and hopeful that Crazy Rich Asians is a sign of better things to come for a moviegoing public that is decidedly more diverse than it was in 1993. The film, lush and decadent in its design as the book in its description of the Asian elite, boasts a cast of heavyweights in delicious roles (Michelle Yeoh is particularly satisfying here) in addition to some notable newcomers (like Henry Golding in a Cary Grant-like debut). But the movie's standouts are its charming and winsome supporting players. Among these, the breakout is Awkwafina, who plays the quip-a-minute, socially self-aware Peik Lin Goh. Her scenes, especially those with on-screen dad Ken Jeong, are comedy gold. Would that we all had friends like Awkwafina to help us navigate unknown worlds and ridiculously indulgent parties.

Watch our interview with the stars of Crazy Rich Asians

6
Aretha Franklin and Denise Nicholas in Room 222 (1969)

First Credit of the Week

The sad news about Aretha Franklin this week had us thumbing through our old vinyl and wondering if we should rewatch her sass-serving cameo in 1980's The Blues Brothers for a 41st time. We were a little surprised, however, to learn that her first non-singing screen role came not alongside a repurposed Mount Prospect, Ill., police car but in a 1972 episode of the TV series "Room 222." Also notable about the race-related classroom drama/comedy, one of the first to feature a black lead: It's the first series created by James L. Brooks, before he co-created "Mary Tyler Moore," won a Best Director Oscar for Terms of Endearment, and developed "The Simpsons." As of this writing, Season 3 of "Room 222" is not available on DVD or to stream (VHS to the rescue?) Perhaps that's worth changing?

Gallery: Remembering Aretha Franklin

7
Prince in Purple Rain (1984)

Spiritual Reappearance of the Week

Recently bringing Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman to a close with a sparse and haunting end-credits piano ballad, the dearly departed Prince may return to movie screens in his mid-1980s glory. The project, currently called Queen for a Day, centers on a Midwestern metalhead who wins an MTV contest that serves up a date with the High Priest of Pop as its prize. Let's skip over the fact that the contest was a promotion for Under the Cherry Moon, one of his rare creative low points. Elizabeth Banks will portray the lucky winner (and produce). And while Prince isn't due to appear in any form (including hologram), it's been reported this "his presence will hover." As it should be.

See our Musicians Who Act gallery