Weekly Recommendations...from Needcoffee.com

Each Thursday (or Friday, since some weeks we seem to be running behind on everything), Needcoffee.com's staff of whackos will wrack our brains to give you interesting and new things to do over the weekend. Books, movies, whatever. We'll throw them out, you do with them what you will. And hey...if you have something you want to recommend--whatever it is--drop us a line.

Incidentally, we've provided links where we can for you to buy the stuff or find out more if you're interested, courtesy of those Amazon types, both in the US, the UK and Canada.

Hey, come on, we can't be totally selfless in this, can we?

August 13, 2004

Book of the Week:

by Dick Wolf, photos by Jessica Burstein. We're addicts. We admit it. We can't get enough of this show. So for the five minutes each day that some version of the thing isn't running in syndication somewhere, we can break out this book. Filled with grisly pictures of the show's created carnage, it also brings us character info, thoughts and statements from the crew, and more. Fellow addicts, rejoice and buy your own. (UK) (CAN)

Audiobook of the Week:

by Roald Dahl, read by Eric Idle. The sequel to Chocolate Factory concerns what happened after Charlie, Wonka and the rest shot into the sky in the titular elevator. Well, they went into space, of course, and had a whacked out adventure like only Dahl can deliver. And really, with Eric Idle at the mic: what an inspired choice to read the thing. This Harper Audio release is perfect for someone wanting to revisit the tale or give a new spin on it for their children. (CAN)

Comic Book of the Week: Daisy Kutter: The Last Train #1 by Kazu Kibuishi. For those who want a nice genre smoothie (western mixed with a nice sprinkling of sci-fi), then grab Viper Comics' latest. Yes, the folks who brought you Dead@17 bring another winner: the story of Daisy, a former badass who's retired to live the simpler life, but circumstances beyond her control call her back to her badass ways. And there's robots, too. About the only thing better than Kibuishi's writing style is his art and composition. We dig it.

Graphic Novel of the Week: Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher. God bless the folks at Monkeysuit Press. I really needed a laugh and just in time, this collection of tales arrives. It's the adventures of the aforementioned Rex and his cohort Penny as they take on the evil Nazis Greta and Eval Schnitzler, who have terrible schemes to turn the tides of the war against the Allies. It's not only the stories that are good ("Operation: Mother's Day" is one of the funniest things I've read in years) but the "pin-ups" section is brilliant. Mike Foran's contribution alone is enough to warrant buying this thing. Click on the image to go to their site and buy, dammit.

TV DVD of the Week:

. A lot of folks say that this season was the pinnacle. Me, I still enjoy the more recent efforts, but it can't be denied that Season #4 is damn good. And of course, par for the course, Fox's boxed set is damn good as well, bringing you craploads of bonus: commentary on every freaking episode, deleted scenes, a featurette, a Groening intro, animatics and storyboards from a few episodes, and a tiny featurette about how the show pissed off the entire city of New Orleans. (UK) (CAN)

DVD of the Week:

. David Mamet is back in the scribe/director hybrid chair with this thriller in which Val Kilmer has to track down the President's daughter, who's been kidnapped. However, there may be more going on with this particular caper than Kilmer's character is aware of at first. All the requisite Mametian elements are here, such as plot twisties and kickass dialogue. As a bonus, you get a commentary with Kilmer. (UK) (CAN)

Anime DVD of the Week:

. The sports manga by Jyoji Morikawa gets adapted into animation and is brought stateside by Geneon. Our hero, Ippo, is getting smacked around by some bullies, and it looks like his treatment will continue...until he runs into a champion pugilist, who's going to teach Ippo how to finally defend himself. For bonus, you've got some outtakes and dubbing bloopers. (UK) (CAN)

Docu DVD of the Week:

. If you've ever picked up the Sunday edition of the New York Times, then you've encountered Hirschfeld, even if you never knew the man's name. He passed away last year, leaving behind countless drawings, though he's perhaps best known for his line drawing carciatures of celebrities. This 1996 docu from Home Vision gives you the complete backstory on the man and his seventy year career. Bonus features include an essay, drawing gallery, and Hirschfeld creating a caricature of Paul Newman. Nice. (UK) (CAN)

Comedy DVD of the Week:

. Fans of the classic comedy duo are going to be pleased with Universal, who has put out this third volume of feature film goodness starring Bud and Lou. Eight films are here on two discs, with a focus on the two guys meeting up with famous characters and folks like Frankenstein's Monster, Boris Karloff (The Killer), The Invisible Man and so forth. And they go to Mars, too. What a deal. (UK) (CAN)

Family DVD of the Week:

. For those of you with kids, you might want to give this Columbia-Tristar release a shot this weekend. From the late 90s, it's Henson's muppetized take on Dr. Seuss' characters; so you'll see three episodes filled with faces you'll recognize, like The Grinch, The Cat in the Hat, and Horton the elephant. It also comes with the parent-friendly "Quick Start," so it launches automatically without you having to fumble with the remote and a child both. (UK) (CAN)

Music CD of the Week:

by Joseph Vitarelli. The film concerns director Nathaniel Khan's desire to get to know his father, a famous architect who strayed from his marriage (creating Nathaniel, for one) and died in a Penn Station men's room when Nathaniel was merely a young kid. In an effort to know his father, Nathaniel travelled the world looking at what his father left behind: friends, family and buildings. Vitarelli provides a score that's reminiscent of other piano soundtracks such as American Beauty, so this Koch release is great for playing in the background while you're plugging along. (UK) (CAN)