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New this week: ‘The Starling,’ Diddy and Billy Bob Thornton

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ enter- tainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming serv- ices and music platforms this week.


— The best way to remem- ber Norm Macdonald, who died last week at age 61, is probably to surf YouTube for late-night and “Saturday Night Live” clips,sift through Twitter for anecdotes and read some of themany finetributes written about the comedian. But while movies were a smaller part of Macdonald’s output, his plainspoken, dead- pan comedy could be all the more distinct on the big screen. If his singular rhythm stood out on “SNL,” he was totally out of place in studio comedies. His first film was Adam Sandler’s “Billy Madison“ (available for digital purchase), the first of many with Sandler. Macdonald mostly sat by the pool playing a drunk; as Sandler told it, Macdonald fell asleep in their first scene together. “Dirty Work” (1999), currently streaming on HBO Max, was one of Macdonald’s few star- ring roles. The Bob Saget- directed film, released on the heels of Macdonald’s infamous “SNL” exit, suggests a movie path that never unfolded for

Macdonald. To some, it’s a cult classic.

— Writer-director Theodore Melfi and Melissa McCarthy came together in 2014’s “St. Vincent,” in which she played the single-mother neighbor to Bill Murray. It was an early hint at McCarthy’s talent as a dramatic actor, several years before her great performance in “Can You Forgive Me?” In Melfi’s “The Starling,“ which debuts Friday on Netflix, the two reunite with McCarthy starring as half of a couple, Lilly and Jack (Chris O’Dowd) ruined by grief after the death of their infant. Lilly becomes obsessed with battling an annoying starling that nests in her backyard, which becomes an unlikely mode of healing for her. Reviews out of the film’s Toronto International Film Festival have been suggested this Melfi-McCarthy collabora- tion isn’t as fruitful.

— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle MUSIC
— William Shatner keeps

going where no man has gone before, this time with his new spoken word album “Bill,” out Friday. Like the “Star Trek” star’s other albums, there’s that unmistakably choppy, emphasis-added words to music and lyrics that explore aging, fame and the very nature of existence. It veers right to the edge of camp and then beams away. Shatner has

brought some famous friends along, too: “Clouds of Guilt” features Joe Jonas, “Made in the Shade” features Joe Walsh and “So Far From the Moon” features Brad Paisley.

— Alt-rockers X Ambassadors will release their third studio album, “The Beautiful Liar,” on Friday. This time, brothers Sam Nelson Harris and Casey Harris creat- ed a concept album that pays homage to the radio dramas and books-on-tape they lis- tened to as kids. It tells the tale of a blind teenage girl dis- covering her long-dormant superpowers and punctuates a variety of music styles — from the unhinged and catchy “Adrenaline” to the ballad “Okay” — with a series of interludes.

— Diddy has new music dropping Friday, the album titled “Off the Grid Vol. 1.” It’s Diddy’s first release since his 2015 mixtape “MMM,” which featured artists including Travis Scott, Future, Lil’ Kim, Big Sean, Ty Dolla $ign and Wiz Khalifa. The rapper has not put out a full album since 2010’s “Last Train to Paris.” Diddy — whose name has morphed from Puffy to Puff Daddy to P. Diddy, to Diddy and then P. Diddy — changed his middle name to “Love” and announced the album with the slogan “Welcome to the Love Era!”

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