Pop Culture Happy Hour
About Pop Culture Happy Hour
Make your happy hour even happier with Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus! Your subscription supports the podcast and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/happyhour
It's been said that a dream is a wish your heart makes. But what happens when you entrust your dream to a charismatic but shady leader? That's the premise of Disney's latest animated movie <em>Wish</em>. It's a musical fantasy that stars Ariana DeBose as an idealist who goes head-to-head with Chris Pine's selfish King. There are catchy songs, cute talking animals, and a few heartfelt moments — in other words, the Disney blueprint.
Regional Mexican music has taken the music industry by storm. Earlier this year, Mexican artist Peso Pluma and band Eslabon Armado made history when their song "Ella Baila Sola" topped the Billboard Global 200 chart. But this musical trend didn't come out of nowhere. In this episode of NPR's <em>Alt. Latino</em>, hosts Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras head to Peso Pluma's performance in Nashville and try to understand the root of the phenomenon.
Martin Scorsese's <em>Killers of the Flower Moon</em> is everything an Oscar contender might be: long, epic, morally complicated and expensive. While many movie-goers left theaters moved, others called the film a problematic disaster. Today, we're bringing you an episode of NPR's <em>It's Been A Minute, </em>where host Brittany Luse and guests talk about what <em>Killers of the Flower Moon</em> got wrong and how it fits into a broader history of Native Americans on screen.
The delightful Netflix animated series <em>Scott Pilgrim Takes Off </em>starts off in the same way as the 2010 movie <em>Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World</em> and comic. Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a dim-bulb young Torontonian who falls in love and must fight to win the hand of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But in the animated series, the show's focus shifts to Ramona. The show reunites the entire cast of the film including Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman, and Aubrey Plaza.
In the new film <em>Napoleon</em>, director Ridley Scott tells the story of French leader Napoleon Bonaparte (Joaquin Phoenix). It's a lavish war epic that tracks Bonaparte's rise to power through epic military battles, and explores his tumultuous marriage to the love of his life Joséphine (Vanessa Kirby).
<em>Saltburn </em>is a provocative and fun thriller. Barry Keoghan plays Oliver, an outcast at Oxford University who befriends one of his popular and posh classmates, Felix (Jacob Elordi). When Felix invites Oliver to spend the summer at his family's lush estate, a twisty game of obsession and manipulation ensues. The film is written and directed by Emerald Fennell (<em>Promising Young Woman</em>), and it seems safe to say it will leave audiences in heated debate.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes is the latest adaptation in the beloved blockbuster franchise. The new prequel film follows the early life of Coriolanus (Tom Blyth), the man who would one day become the evil President Snow, and Lucy Gray Baird, (Rachel Zegler), the singer who becomes his mentee.
The underdog sports comedy Next Goal Wins is based on the true story of American Samoa's soccer team and its attempts to improve its status as a worldwide laughingstock. Directed by Taika Waititi, the film stars Michael Fassbender as the real-life coach tasked with helping the team compete in a World Cup qualifying match. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour
The new Netflix movie <em>The Killer</em> is a stylish new thriller starring Michael Fassbender as a stoic and ruthlessly efficient international hitman. When a hit goes wrong, his very detached and methodical life begins to fall apart. The film from director David Fincher and also features Tilda Swinton.
The sweeping new Showtime series <em>Fellow Travelers </em>chronicles a relationship between two gay men played by Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey. It spans the McCarthy Era of the 1950s through the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. One is perfectly content to stay in the closet and live a lie, and the other wants more out of their relationship. As the years pass the two men keep coming back together only to find the power dynamic between them shifting back and forth.
The new movie <em>The Marvels</em> is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's breezier outings, full of energy and jokes and zappy light powers. Brie Larson returns as Captain Marvel, and sees her teaming up with newer characters, Monica Rambeau (played by Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (played by Iman Vellani). They must team up when their powers become entangled and cause them to switch places whenever they try to use them.
In the trippy new A24 absurdist comedy <em>Dream Scenario</em>, Nicolas Cage plays a schlubby, unremarkable biology professor. Suddenly and inexplicably, he starts appearing in the dreams of people around the world. This phenomenon brings him a weird and difficult-to-manage kind of fame for a while–until the dreams turn into nightmares.
The movie Quiz Lady is a fun new take on the classic comedic trope of polar opposites: Awkwafina plays Anne, an uptight, lonely trivia nerd. Her sister Jenny, played by Sandra Oh, is the outgoing, perpetual screw up. Together, they must set aside their differences to try and win a TV game show and save Anne's kidnapped dog. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour
The Max series <em>Rap Sh!t</em> feels like a comedy for The Moment. Created by Issa Rae, the show focuses on Shawna and Mia (played by Aida Osman and KaMillion), two aspiring rappers from Miami, and documents the challenges they face as young women trying to break into the music industry. The show is about to return for a second season, so today we're revisiting our conversation about the series.
The new film <em>Priscilla</em> tells the story of Elvis Presley's wife, but it's not a by-the-book biopic. Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, the movie shows how Priscilla (Cailee Spaeny) and Elvis (Jacob Elordi) first meet, fall in love, get married, and eventually split in the early '70s. But it's also a moodier look at the way Priscilla is walled off, isolated from family, and kept at a distance from his life of superstardom.
<em>The Golden Bachelor </em>is the latest show in ABC's long-running <em>Bachelor </em>franchise, in which the bachelor is a 72-year-old widower named Gerry Turner. Gerry's potential matches are also significantly older than the usual crop, so the priorities are a little different. But the weird dates, the awkward conversations, and the fixations on who has kissed remain.
In the new movie <em>Five Nights At Freddy's,</em> Josh Hutcherson plays Mike, a down-on-his-luck security guard who winds up getting hired to keep an eye on a family-friendly theme restaurant that's gone out of business. It also happens to be haunted by murderous animatronic mascots. The film is based on the hugely successful video game series, and now it's a box-office sensation.
Britney Spears just released one of the most hotly anticipated celebrity memoirs of the year. <em>The Woman In Me</em> details her meteoric rise to fame, her family history, and her 13-year-long conservatorship. Today we're bringing you a special episode of <em>It's Been a Minute, </em>where host Brittany Luse and her guests discuss all the juicy, strange, and sad highlights from the new book.
In the funny, melancholic and weirdly moving new film, The Holdovers, Paul Giamatti plays a widely disliked teacher at a prestigious New England boarding school in 1970. He's forced to look after the boys who can't go home for the Christmas break, including one kid (Dominic Sessa) who's a particular pain in the butt. The film is directed by Alexander Payne, and also stars Da'Vine Joy Randolph as the school cook, who's spending the first Christmas without her son. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour
It's weird, it's funny, and it's very, very naked. The title of the dating show <em>Naked Attraction </em>tells you everything you need to know. A single person is presented with six entirely naked strangers and whittles them down to one person they want to go on a date with. The long-running U.K. dating show has recently found success in the U.S after streaming on Max. There's some controversy and consternation, but do a bunch of naked bodies really merit all this chatter?