Theater: FARRAGUT NORTH
Beau Willimon's script is strictly West Wing lite, but Chris Pine (Star Trek's new Captain Kirk) commands with a solid stage presence. Girls (and hey, some guys) go for Pine's early underwear scene but stick around for his manic exploration of a sordid and soulless political machinator.
Direced by Duncan Jones
Sturdy little sci-fi movie starring Sam Rockwell. No explosions or ray guns or bug-eyed aliens, just a quiet study of human isolation in the vein of 70s films like Silent Running. In an age of increasingly desperate special effects and hyperkinetic editing, Moon is like a little breath of fresh air in an airless void.
by Dave Cullen
Do you remember Columbine? If you're like me, you think you do -- and you're deeply mistaken. Almost everything we were told about this school massacre was wrong. This is hands-down the most disturbing book I've read in years. It's a work of true crime that rises above the generally sordid genre to stand alongisde works of art as Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song.
Music: 25 O'CLOCK & PSONIC PSUNSPOT
The Dukes of Stratosphear
In the mid-1980s, members of Brit-pop band XTC found themselves between projects so they ducked into the studio and pretended to be the Dukes, a long-lost psychedelic-rock band from the 1960s. Aided by legendary producer John Leckie (Pink Floyd, Stone Roses), what began as a lark eventually produced some incredibly fun and authentic music. It's sometimes laden with irony and cynicism (this is XTC, after all) but underneath it all is a heartfelt enthusiasm for the trippier side of The Beatles, Beach Boys, Animals, and many other 60s musical legends. These two albums have been freshly remastered with extras such as demo tracks, extensive liner notes & video clips. I'll be blasting this catchy LSD-tinged goodness all summer long.
Movie: THE HURT LOCKER
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
A tense and well-crafted movie about a bomb squad in Iraq and the daily dangers they face, with stunning breakout performances from actors Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. Despite its Baghdad setting, I wouldn't call this a war film. Mark Boal has written a taut thriller showing us the dangerous if admirable soul of a man who is psychologically addicted to the risks that could one day kill him. Director Bigelow proves (once again) her fierce action chops.
You can watch the opening 8-minute sequence here on Hulu.