PLEASE NOTE: “As an Amazon Associate, [Need Coffee] earns from qualifying purchases." You know we make money from Amazon links,
and I know you know this, but they make us say it anyway. More info, click here.

Headsup: The Aliens Are Here, The Kickass Carl Douglas Cover Is Not

An ongoing attempt to make sense of the onslaught of new swag that people want you to buy. Should you? I’ll try and help.

Daphne DVD Cover Art
Tribute to Evel Knievel DVD Cover Art
The Invaders Season One DVD Cover Art

Daphne is the story of Daphne du Maurier and her secret love life. Now, this automatically sounds like a voyeuristic job that should immediately be handed over to Scott, but not so fast. It’s a biopic hailing from the BBC and it looks at how her desire for first Ellen Doubleday (yes, the name from the publishing house) and then Gertrude Lawrence went on to form the basis for her writing. Geraldine Somerville, best known to most audiences at least for her role of Lily Potter in the Harry Potter films and for those that were able to stay awake, she was also in the legions of Gosford Park. Elizabeth McGovern is in the role of Ellen and Janet McTeer in the role of Gertrude. It’s well acted, as you might expect from this trio of leads, and is a no-brainer at-least-rental for any fan of the author. One bonus feature is Daphne Du Maurier’s Vanishing Cornwall, a special about her favorite part of England that was produced by her son. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

I’m no big fan of Jackass. I do enough stupid shit in my day to day life without seeing some people do even more ridiculous shit and be paid well for it. That being said, I at least have figured out why Mat Hoffman’s Tribute to Evel Knievel sits so well with me. Jackass is just stunts like Knievel, except with less training and probably less forethought. So pairing the two actually works for me. Go figure. But here it’s real non-Jackassers trying for real stunts with real prep. And I have a decent amount of respect for people who are absolutely mental. I think the main problem here is that the full running time is less than fifty minutes, and then there’s another hour of extra bits. And even at $14, it seems like a bit steep. Might be worth a rental to watch with some fellow extreme sports or Jackass enthusiasts, but beyond that, only worth owning for the hardcore. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

[ad#longpost]So what would you call a high suck factor? How about being in the right place at the wrong time, or the wrong place at the right time–either one–and witnessing an extraterrestrial landing. That’s right, they’re invading. They want the Earth’s ass in a sling and only one architect can stand between them and their goal. That’s right, you’re not even a guy with military training or an ex-spy or even a pilot or something–you’re a guy who can design buildings. And nobody believes you. Oh, and the aliens disintegrate after they die. Handy. A five-disc set with seventeen paranoia-laiden episodes from 1967 would be cool enough for the fan, but Paramount actually has bonus bits on here. Will wonders never cease? Anyway, there’s an extended version of the pilot episode, a new interview with lead actor Roy Thinnes (he also introduces episodes) and a commentary by creator Larry Cohen on the episode “The Innocent.” Again, fans will find this worth owning (it’s less than $3 an episode and I don’t think they’re airing it anywhere at the moment), but everyone else should at least give it a rental. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Panic in Level 4 by Richard Preston Audiobook Cover Art
Kung Fu Panda Soundtrack CD Cover Art

Panic in Level 4 is Richard Preston’s latest collection of essays in which he pokes around science, everything from what the title implies, i.e. working in areas where dropping a test tube can kill a continent, to two brothers trying to make sense of pi to people who cannibalize themselves. I gnaw on my fingers from time to time but goddamn. Part of the problem is that the title makes you think that Richard “Hot Zone” Preston is going along that road again and you’re going to have the bejeesus scared out of you about just how close we are to sneezing our brains clean out of our noses. Or something. But instead it’s different tales about different scientific bits. As previously stated, I dig audiobooks and especially the unabridged kind, which this one from Random House Audio is, read by James Lurie. If you enjoy just general books on science (the promised “Journeys to the Edge of Science”…well, the edge like that is in the eye of the beholder) then this is worth picking up and at $23 isn’t bad for an audiobook. There’s a sample there if you’d like to give a listen. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

The main draw of the Kung Fu Panda soundtrack is the collaboration between Jack Black and Cee-Lo. Because they’re covering “Kung Fu Fighting,” which I think by law they were required to do for the film. The most impressive thing is that Black is able to capably back-up Cee-Lo. Which is not a dig at Black–he’s a badass singer–but Cee-Lo is one of the best male vocalists working today. He is, in a Blackian word, redonkulous. Unfortunately, it’s all potential. The song itself is all of two minutes and thirty seconds long. And feels like it’s the intro to a longer, better song. I was almost startled when it just flat out ended. If you’re going to bring these two guys together, please give them some runway to commence with the kickass. Sadly, no kickass arrives. That being said, you do have as a consolation prize the excellently orchestrated score which takes up the other sixteen tracks. If you dug the film, though, the score is worth picking up. This is out from Interscope. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)