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?

April 9, 2004

Book of the Week:

. Well, it is National Poetry Month, right? And what better way to spend your weekend than bending your head around the lineation of Cummings--who was one of my personal poetic saviors. I mean, who knew you could get away with all of that whacked out punctuation and yet still create some of the most amazing images? If you don't know the man--or even if you just need a refresher--grab this tome that features it all and just dig in.

Audiobook of the Week:

by Christopher Paolini, performed by Gerard Doyle. Don't you just hate overachievers? Well, not really, but Paolini is eighteen now and was fifteen when he started this thing. And what's worse? It's actually pretty damn good. When a farm boy finds what he thinks is a treasure but instead winds up with a dragon hatchling, it starts him on a grand adventure that will be spotted with loss, danger, magic and exile. Capably read by Doyle, and clocking in at fourteen discs, it's unabridged and excellent drive-time listening from Random House.

Graphic Collection of the Week: Van Helsing's Night Off by Nicolas Mahler. Hmmm...how to describe this new Top Shelf release to you? Well, it's kind of like...Gahan Wilson doing The Far Side, if you can even wrap your brain around that notion. Classic characters like Van Helsing, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, and others are all skewered (no pun intended) in these basically silent strips that play out quickly and evoke chuckles all the while. Truly sick stuff, it's almost guaranteed to be better than the upcoming movie. Sorry, Hugh.

TV DVD of the Week:

. Well, with the second installment of Kill Bill fast approaching, this is a no-brainer right here. Back before he was Bill, David Carradine was Caine, walking the Earth (or at least the Old West) in this 70s genre-smacking fun fest. Warner Brothers has given you the fifteen episodes that comprise the first season plus the pilot episode, all cropped for widescreen (which is...odd but not debilitating), along with two featurettes. All of this plays across three discs. Good for weekend cheesefest fun.

DVD of the Week:

. Have we mentioned how much we enjoy Fox's Studio Classics line? Well, shut up, because we're going to tell you again. Fox can't get enough points from us for trying to stack these classic flicks with just as much stuff as they can lay hands upon: other studios should take notes. Check out the movie that put the "opera" into "soap opera," complete with commentary, AMC Backstory episode and Movietone News bits. Get your camp on.

Anime DVD of the Week:

. Misaki moves to the big city: Tokyo. Once there, she discovers the game Angelic Layer, in which constructs called Angels are controlled via thought by the Deus, their operators. Now Misaki is in the game, her Angel, Hikaru, ready to compete in the semi-finals. Who's going to head to the National competition? ADV brings you this fourth volume in the series, complete with a voice actor commentary, clean opening and closings and more.

Adverse Video of the Week:

. Okay, when you've got Lou Diamond Phillips (last seen in these parts fighting off flying foxes in Bats), Kristy Swanson and Coolio all in the same film, that's a big warning light to begin with. Then you've got more of some weak criminals seeking treasure plot than you do of the damn shark on the cover. Hodge-podges sometimes work--this one doesn't--ah, but at least it can be amusing to connoisseurs of bad TV movies.

DVD Boxed Set of the Week:

. MGM's new six-disc set which covers five Clouseau films (and a bonus disc) is a great way to spend a weekend--although watch them in order so you can skip Trail if you're running short on time. Regardless, all have been remastered and appear better than ever in anamorphic widescreen, the first film featuring a commentary by Blake Edwards himself along with a pop-up trivia track. The bonus disc sports a documentary that covers both the series and the Panther cartoons as well. This is a fairly sweet boxed set, amigos.

Docu DVD of the Week:

. Carpenter, Craven, Cronenberg, Hooper, Landis, Romero, Savini--directors who have all turned out films considered to be the best of the horror genre. This docu from New Video theorizes about what could have spawned such mayhem--namely, that these beloved whackos are merely products of their time. True, on this site, a docu about the cultural importance of the horror genre is probably preaching to the choir--but still, it's a good flick to view.

Music CD of the Week:

by Diana Ross & the Supremes. Universal Music has this for you: the album that's exactly what it says it is. It features ten songs by Ross and the Supremes, eleven by Ross on her own and a remix of "You Keep Me Hangin' On." The entire thing is remastered, so fans of the group (and who can't be a fan of stuff like "Baby Love" and "Where Did Our Love Go?") will want to pick it up for their listening pleasure--the tracks have never sounded better.

Magazine of the Week: Alter Ego. TwoMorrows brings you the latest installment of Roy Thomas' comic fanzine. Here it's "Quality Time" as they cover titles, characters and artists from Quality Comics; a spotlight on Golden Age artist Reed Crandall; more on artist Harvey Kirtzman; and a whole lotta info on Blackhawk. Features the usual flip format with two covers. Rock.