|Master and Commander: The far side of the world
Australian director Peter Weir’s film sails briskly over the screen in rich nautical detail, as the friendship of the ship’s captain (Russell Crowe) and its physician (Paul Bettany) is tested, along with the mettle of their crew, in a bracing tale of comradeship, courage, leadership, loyalty, pitched battles, and onboard surgeries.
|Classic Monster Collection
Universal Studios has masterfully restored & remastered eight of the their most famous chillers in this bargain-priced collection. The entire set is preserved in the actual theatrical full-screen format (4:3 aspect), and each disc has extensive extra features on stars like Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Lon Chaney.
Another in the Fellini line of semi-autobiographical entertainments, episodic and variable in quality from episode to episode, this one set in the hometown of his youth. The familiar Fellini grotesqueries are mercifully toned down here, and the famous egotism is submerged beneath the director’s playful side.
Glorious, trashy, and over-the-top – a hyperactive kaleidoscope of all the best bits from just about every movie that Tarantino has ever seen. Violent, beautiful, dark, and sometimes hysterical, this is a movie geek’s wet dream, with music, great action, and more references to other films than you can shake a stick at.
|Prince – Musicology
The man formerly with no name drops the hokey mumbo-jumbo and wholehearted embraces the Spirit of the Boogie. Musicology is fast, melodic, funky, sweet, groovy, sensual, serious, funny and, most of all, unpredictable. Prince even throws in some impressive guitar riffs on his rocking cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl”.
|The Postal Service – Give Up
In a fascinating collision of aesthetics, Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, the man behind the abstract electronic pop of Dntel, mailed tapes back and forth between their homes in Seattle and Los Angeles, each adding new elements until they had a completed record. The result is uniquely captivating.
|David Byrne – Grown Backward
After years of experimenting with salsa and strings, David Byrne returns with a cohesive record that catches him at his incohesive best: stream-of-consciousness lyrics, sly rhythms, and unexpected bursts of melody. While some songs could easily fit alongside Talking Heads classics, Byrne’s duet with Rufus Wainwright points the way forward.
|Café Tecuba – Tiempo Transcurrido
Cafe Tecuba fire another amazing release straight out of Mexico City with a spicy blend of rock “en Espanol”, with Jamaican ska/reggae and African-American hip-hop sonic seasonings. The band’s ability to reinvent its sound from album to album has earned them a flattering description as “the Latin American Flaming Lips”.