The best movies and series at the moment

New entertainment releases this week include an HBO documentary about Hurricane Katrina’s endless toll on New Orleans children and a movie starring Sylvester Stallone as an aging superhero. The whimsically-titled BritBox mini-series The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe is based on the true story of a former prison officer whose get-rich scheme goes far beyond what he promised his wife.

Here’s a roundup of the best of what’s coming to theaters, TV, and streaming services this week.

As an action star, Sylvester Stallone’s most iconic characters — Rocky Balboa, Rambo — have always relied on plain old muscle. (Okay, and a little human growth hormone.) But in “Samaritan,” Stallone, 76, stars as an aging superhero with superhuman strength who lives anonymously as a garbage collector. The film, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, was made by MGM, but its release was delayed numerous times over the past two years before it appeared exclusively on the streaming platform.

Me Time stars Kevin Hart as a stay-at-home dad whose wife (Regina Hall) and kids go away for the weekend, allowing him to reunite with an old friend (Mark Wahlberg). A wild weekend is upon us. Streams Friday on Netflix.

“Funny Pages,” which opens Friday in theaters and on video-on-demand, presents an even more winding road to release. Owen Kline (son of Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates) struggled to attract attention for his directorial debut. But after Uncut Gems directors Josh and Benny Safdie came on board as producers, A24 picked up the film and it premiered earlier this year in the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. And this film, a gritty coming-of-age story with a low-budget ’90s indie vibe, is one of the year’s standout debuts. Daniel Zalgardry stars as a teenage cartoonist who eschews his posh family life in Princeton, New Jersey to live alone in Trenton and try to make it as a R. Crumb-like artist.

The nickname Canoe Man sounds friendly. However, it was the Briton who was branded for faking his death by drowning in an insurance scam. The whimsically titled “The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe” miniseries is based on the true story of a former prison officer whose scheme went far beyond what he promised his wife. The couple, played by Eddie Marsan (Sherlock, Ray Donovan) and Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal), left their sons in the dark and grieving for their still-living father, which did not spark their love for the judge who ended up leading the case. The series debuts on the BritBox streaming service on Tuesday.

“Katrina’s Babies” recounts the endless loss of the hurricane in New Orleans. The HBO documentary was created by first-year filmmaker and New Orleans native Edward Buckles Jr., who was 13 when the deadly 2005 hurricane struck. For the past half dozen years, he has been collecting the memories of those who also experienced the tragedy in their youth. The film combines interviews, home movies, animation and archival footage to reveal the grief still held by survivors and explore the trauma of racism across generations. “Katrina’s Children” debuts Wednesday on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.

Looking for something to tide you over for The Crown’s return later this year? Check out PBS’ “Boleyny: The Scandalous Family,” a three-part docu-series debuting Sunday on PBS and PBS.org. Even casual royal followers may know that Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, was beheaded for the alleged crimes of adultery and treason. Anne’s fate is revealed to be based not only on her lofty ambitions, but also on those of her powerful family, as detailed in the series through rare original letters and documents from the 16th century, the point of view of Tudor scholars, and dramatic reenactments.

Compiled by AP writers Lynn Elber and Jake Coyle


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