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, in the US, the UK and Canada.

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

November 26, 2004

Book of the Week:

by Max Brooks. Having just checked out the remake of Dawn of the Dead, we realized the characters really could have used a copy of this book to save them a lot of problems. Brooks, the world's eminent expert on zombies and zombie outbreaks, gives you everything you need to know to stay alive when the undead fit hits the shan, and also gives a timeline of outbreaks to be used as case studies. Brilliant, twisted and informatively funny. (UK) (CAN)

Audiobook of the Week:

by James Patterson, read by Peter J. Fernandez & Denis O'Hare. Well, when you hear that a book has villains in it named the Wolf and the Weasel, you're not sure if you're reading Kenneth Grahame or Marvel Comics. However, this is the latest Alex Cross thriller (you know, he's played in the movies by Morgan Freeman), and it hits audiobook thanks to Time Warner. While it's not the most pleasing pageturner (or disc-turner, as the case may be) in the world, it's certainly harmful enough to listen to over a weekend. Fernandez and O'Hare, both Law & Order guest-star vets, provide a capable reading. (UK) (CAN)

Graphic Novel of the Week:

by Warren Ellis & John Cassaday. Our heroes begin to learn more about the machinations of the Four, and we see some backstory, such as Elijah's encounter with Sherlock Holmes, as well as running into his world's version of Tarzan. For those who have given up waiting for the individual issues to hit regularly, we humbly suggest grabbing the collections as they come out, because it's worth it just to see Ellis' take on Thor's hammer. Handled in the UK by Titan Books. (UK) (CAN)

TV DVD of the Week:

. We didn't even know about this British show, but Acorn Media has trotted it out in a four-disc set, containing the first two seasons. Roald Dahl was a master of children's fiction, twisted fiction and twisted children's fiction. You get some of the middle bit here, introduced by Dahl himself. This late-70s series features guest stars like Michael Gambon and Derek Jacobi, and the set itself comes with a bio, production notes and filmographies for the cast. (UK) (CAN)

DVD of the Week:

. Disney Platinum Editions are always choice, and this, one of the last great bits of Disney feature animation, is no exception. You don't need us to tell you that Robin Williams and the rest of the flick are choice, but you do need us to tell you that you get two commentary tracks, a new making-of docu, a deleted song, a featurette on Alan Menken, deleted scenes, art galleries, games, tours, and a pop-up trivia track. (UK) (CAN)

Docu DVD of the Week:

. The civil wars in the Sudan left twenty thousand-plus young men in refugee camps, without homes or families. This docu follows the plight of two of these teens after they come to the United States to try and live the American dream in the wake of such tragedy. This interesting Docurama release gets a decent treatment, with both an interview and a commentary with producer/directors Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk, deleted scenes, a "Where Are They Now?" segment, and more. (UK) (CAN)

Adverse Video of the Week:

. While it got smashed by critics, it did break a hundred million worldwide, but hey, popularity is no excuse not to skewer a bad movie. And, I'm sorry, the waxy alien life forms that the Wayans get transformed into need to be skewered. Because they can cause nightmares. This crazed comedy from the Brothers Wayans does sport a commentary with the boys, a featurette regarding how the makeup worked, a making-of featurette for Wayans Brothers comedies in general and a set visit. (UK) (CAN)

Anime DVD of the Week:

. For anybody wanting a quick, encapsulated anime fix for this weekend, Central Park Media has just the thing: with Munto, fifty minutes and you're done. The Magical Kingdom is getting its collective arse handed to it. Lord Munto is its ruler, and a schoolgirl with special mental abilities is the only thing that can save his land. This release comes with art, character and background galleries, a Japanese trailer and the Japanese TV warning as well. (UK) (CAN)

DVD Boxed Set of the Week:

. Ric Burns' massive documentary hits DVD from PBS and it's downright weighty, in literal heft as much as its subject matter. Seven discs are needed to hold the entirety of its sixteen hour running time, in which the history of the metropolis is outlined using narration by David Ogden Stiers. Bonus bits include a Charlie Rose interview with Burns, archival motion pictures, bonus interviews, deleted scenes and the original trailer. (UK) (CAN)

Family DVD of the Week:

. The movie has hit and gave an impressive bow, but I'm sure there are kids who still want more. For them, grab some DVDs--although rent it, since the third season will eventually hit and make this release obsolete. It contains eight episodes; no special features, but you can sit through episodes such as "The Krusty Krab Training Video," "New Student Starfish," and "Mid-Life Crustacean." (UK) (CAN)

Music DVD of the Week:

. A celebration of guitar hits DVD thanks to the folks at Warner Strategic Marketing, Duck and Reprise. Apparently, Clapton headlined a three-day guitar festival in Dallas with folks like Santana, James Taylor, Jimmie Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Joe Walsh and others showing up. This two-disc set will give you the highlights of the extended concert, plus multiple angle selection, a mini-docu, gallery and more. (CAN)

Music CD of the Week:

by Shawn Colvin. A great way to introduce yourself to Colvin's work--if for some reason all you know is her radio hit, "Sunny Came Home"--is with this career-spanning compilation from Sony. As good as that one chart appearance was, it's blown away by some of her other work, like her cover of the Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place," plus the most excellent "Shotgun Down the Avalanche," and "Steady On." Shame her Police cover's on here, but you can't have everything, can you? (UK) (CAN)