Crescendo DVD

Studio: Warner Archive

Jun 23, 2009 DVDs Web Exclusive

Generally, film studios have never accumulated a rabid fan base in the way actors or directors do, except perhaps for Hammer Films. This British company, primarily known for their gothic horror films produced from the late 1950s to the mid-70s, had a period of almost 35 years without a theatrical release, but they still have books and magazines being published about their output. Hammer also produced pirate films, comedies, actioners, and what they liked to call “mini-Hitchcocks.—essentially these were non-supernatural horror thrillers with twist endings in the vein of Psycho.

Crescendo, just recently released from the Warner Archive Collection, would fall into this latter category. More

Valkyrie Blu-ray/DVD

Studio: United Artists

Jun 23, 2009 DVDs Web Exclusive

After ruining the return of Superman in Superman Returns, Bryan Singer attempts to do the same with Tom Cruise’s career with Valkyrie. The (kinda) based-on-a-true-story tale focuses on German Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (played by Cruise sans German accent, thankfully), who masterminds a plot to kill Adolf Hitler with the aid of fellow officers played by a rogues’ gallery of cool character actors such as Terence Stamp, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, and Eddy Izzard. Too bad they’re sandwiched inside this inert and dramatically flat movie. More

Barney Hoskyns

Lowside of the Road

Published by Broadway

Jun 22, 2009 Books Issue #26 Spring 2009 - Bat For Lashes

In what may be one of the most thoughtfully written and insightful accounts on the life of Tom Waits, Lowside of the Road meticulously explores one of America's most phenomenal music icons. Throughout the book, we learn how Waits shaped and evolved his singular persona as well as what artistic influences and colorful personalities surrounded him in key moments of his incredibly prolific career. More

Flower PlayStation 3

SCEA/That Game Company

Jun 22, 2009 Video Games Issue #26 Spring 2009 - Bat For Lashes

What do most games have in common? I'd say about 90% of games feature violence or shooting and about 99% include bad dialogue. If you'd like something quite different,Flower will spread a little peace and love through your PS3. More

Jun 22, 2009 Music Issue #26 Spring 2009 - Bat For Lashes

Black Moth Super Rainbow's singular sounds invite all kinds of paradoxical "-isms:" techno-primitivism, retro-futurism. They make the sonic equivalent of a granny quilt sewn together with microchips-a creepy, musty sound that pairs junky old electronics with an acoustic but heavily effected rhythm section, somewhere in the realm of contemporaries Air or Octopus Project (with whom they did a fantastic collaboration a few years back). More

Jun 22, 2009 TV Web Exclusive

It makes total sense for Buena Vista to release the first two seasons of Lost to coincide with Father’s Day. Though the show begins with a plane crash on a tropical island with many mysteries, its themes often delve into the chaos, dysfunction, and sometimes horrible personal choices made as a result of daddy issues. From Jack to John Locke to Kate to Penny to Sun, few major characters are immune to this trope; Lost creator J.J. Abrams, who directed the excellent Lost pilot, brought similar themes over from Felicity and Alias and even into his feature version of Star Trek. More

Jun 18, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Pearl Jam’s debut, 1991’s Ten, stands today as one of the quintessential albums to define a generation and an era of music. Along with Nirvana’s Nevermind, it is one of the cornerstones of grunge and still packs as much pent-up energy and frustrated force as it did when it was first released. This new reissue comes in three different formats, each with different bonus features. More

Jun 18, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Kath Bloom is the daughter of the famous concert oboist Robert Bloom, and was raised in New Haven, Connecticut, where she trained as a cellist. The folk luminary's six self-released CD-Rs and various cassettes are highly-sought after collectibles but most people would draw blanks if her name was brought up in conversation. The reason behind her anonymous nature is simple. Though Bloom's been cutting records off and on since the late '70s, she took a long hiatus to raise her kids after her record with Loren Mazzacane Connors (1984's Moonlight). After leaving for much of the '90s, Bloom returned to the public eye, resulting in some releases and her latest album, Finally, released on Australia's Chapter Music in 2006. More

Batman: Mad Love and Other Stories

DC

Written by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and Glen Murakami, Art and cover by Bruce Timm, Various

Jun 17, 2009 Comic Books Web Exclusive

Devotees of Batman: The Animated Series will no doubt recognize writer Paul Dini and artist Bruce Timm's seminal Batman one-shot, Batman: Mad Love. Mad Love and Other Stories' centerpiece recounts Harley Quinn's dark origin. This tale of obsessed love was later adapted into an episode of the series and finds Quinn at her emotional nadir; trying to impress her "Puddin'" (The Joker) by offing ol' Bats. Once a psychologist for Mr. J, her insanity reveals some surprisingly adult-oriented sexuality. More