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

January 2, 2004

Book of the Week:

by David Thomson. Weighing in at nearly a thousand pages and encompassing around thirteen-hundred entries regarding figures in the cinema, this has long been a must-have for the shelves of film lovers everywhere. The most recent edition is new and improved, however, and is both an amazing read and reference guide. This entry from Knopf might take more than a weekend to get through, but it's certainly worth jumping around in.

Comic-Related Book of the Week:

by Alisa Kwitney. Using artwork from the series, never before published artwork, interviews and other material, former Vertigo editor Kwitney examines the title through each of its ten "chapters" and beyond, including some artwork from the recent Endless Nights and also mentioning the many toys and so forth that have sprung from the well of Morpheus. This Chronicle book perhaps doesn't delve as deeply as a full-on set of annotations would, but it's not meant to. If you've meaning to go into that world again but either don't have the books (shame on your sorry ass) or don't have the time, this will slake your thirst, at least temporarily.

Graphic Novel of the Week:

by Alex Robinson. Robinson manages to do something I frightfully admire: create something that's somehow more than just "slice of life" stories and infuse them with interest. It's easy to relate to the bits in this companion edition to the previously released (and rather sizable) Box Office Poison collection, because these are people you know. Hell, if you're anything like me, you are at least one of them. Favorite: Jane gets to go back in time and speak to her high school age self. This Top Shelf release is a must-read.

Comic Book of the Week: Planetary #18 by Warren Ellis & John Cassaday. Something's coming back to Earth-- something that's been gone for a looong time. Snow uses this opportunity to draw out one of The Four, in order to begin to work at dismantling their stranglehold on the planet. And the backdrop for all of this is so goddamn cool, I shall say no more lest I spoil it. It's so good to have this book back on track, isn't it?

Docu of the Week:

. If you're looking for drama this weekend, take a page out of real life. You may not be aware, but thousands of Jewish children's lives were saved in the months leading up to World War II, by a British group dedicated to evacuating the kids before the worst could happen--which, as you no doubt are aware, finally did happen. This documentary from Docurama about the Kindertransports is a stunning tale of humanity that simply must be seen to be believed.

DVD Boxed Set of the Week:

. The second season is here from Rhino, and it's just as stacked as the first one was. First up, you get the cool turntable boxed set, just like last time. Then you get episode trivia, commentaries out the yin yang, and a television special with a commentary, interviews and a photo gallery. If you're a fan of the show, then your weekend prayers have been answered.

DVD of the Week:

. Oh, c'mon. It was cute and you know it. Surprisingly one of the most inoffensive remakes to come out of Disney in some time, it did have a pair of pretty solid performances from Curtis and Lohan, able to play each other in a suprisingly convincing manner. Comes complete with deleted scenes, alternate endings and bloopers. Music videos, too, but we'll just ignore those, shall we?

Anime DVD of the Week:

. A young girl from the country goes to Tokyo to learn the ways of magic, in this release from Pioneer. It's a world where all magicians must be given the stamp of approval by the government after completing their training. Well-paced and with good characterizations, this is an interesting first chapter in the story. Worth checking out for your weekend anime fix.

Adverse Video of the Week:

. Seagal is back! Back to direct-to-video, of course! And I know you're alarmed to see he's not trying to save baby seals or some pristine old hardwood forest somewhere, but instead he's a guy from the CIA whose daughter has been taken from him. And it's payback time! You know Seagal's getting old when the stunt doubles do everything. If only the writers had had stand-ins as well.

CD of the Week:

. You miss Steven Wright? Me, too. And although no new album is forthcoming from Mr. Wright, you might give Mr. Hedberg a try. Same kind of offbeat humor with a different delivery style, as though he had consumed some very special brownies. Amusing? Judge for yourself.