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?

December 3, 2004

Book of the Week:

by Pamela Logan. This book is reissued from Overlook Press. It's Logan's story of how she went into Tibet trying to find the folks in the province of Kham who were fighting against the Chinese. Logan provides a portrait of a culture under siege that's sure to be a good read for anyone who has an interest in Asian subjects. The book also comes with eighteen photographs and five maps. (UK) (CAN)

Audiobook of the Week:

by Gregory Maguire. Maguire has made a career out of warping classic stories to his own end. So far, it's gotten him some best-selling novels, a Broadway musical, a series of middle school-level books, and now he's going for more kids with this, smacking around eight fairy tales like "Cinderella" and "Little Red Riding Hood." He's recast everything with myriad animals in the key roles, and he's here to read it all for you, unabridged, in this Harper Audio release. (CAN)

Comic Book of Last Week: Frank Ironwine #1 by Warren Ellis & Carla Speed McNeil. The first of Warren's imaginary first-issues from his imaginary comic line...and it's so damn good, we're just sad it is a one-issue bit. We're dying for original stuff here. We'd urge Warren and Avatar to set up Apparat like Alan Moore's ABC line, and just let others take over the scripting duties...but alas, Warren's got plenty on his plate. Here we meet Detective Frank Ironwine and his new partner, as they try to unravel a new, odd case. And of course, Finder's Carla Speed McNeil is on the art detail, and we love her stuff. Buy lots.

Comic Book of the Week: Y: The Last Man #29 by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra. Vaughan is one of those writers who really knows how to leave you wanting more at the end of an issue. He's been doing it straight for the last twenty-eight, and this is no exception. As Agent 355, her enemies and Hero have a nice little tea party, the Doc tries to keep Yorick intact. This is the Vertigo flagship as far we're concerned.

Graphic Novel of the Week:

by Andy Runton. Is it cute? Yes. Is it that kind of saccharine cute that makes you want to claw your own face off? No. Wordless and fun, this Top Shelf release collects two Owly stories in one. The first story is where Owly and his friend, Wormy, meet and learn to trust each other. The second story finds them enjoying the company of some hummingbirds. It's simple but charming stuff, and we dig it. (UK) (CAN)

TV DVD of the Week:

. While we didn't agree with the changes to the story--and we think they missed a chance for a series--it's better than the David Soul original miniseries, that's for damn sure. This WB release features not only a decent turn by Rob Lowe, but Needcoffee fave Rutger Hauer as the big daddy vamp--so they get points for that, at least. No bonus bits to be found, but the show makes for a decent rental. Check out the official site. (UK) (CAN)

DVD of the Week:

. This film from the 50s addresses multiple personality disorder, yes, but do expect it all to be a bit dated, and do expect a masterful performance from Joanne Woodward. This Fox release is from the Studio Classics line, so they're doing their best to give it a good DVD sendoff: a commentary track is providing by historian Aubrey Solomon. There's also some Movietone News footage and a trailer. (UK) (CAN)

Docu DVD of the Week:

. From 1893 to the present day, this six-part PBS series covers the entirety of the American musical, hosted by Julie Andrews. In addition to the six hours of goodness spread across three discs, you also get three hours of bonus interviews with a horde of Broadway names, a featurette covering the recent musical, Wicked, and a virtual crapload of bonus performances--everything from Eddie Cantor to Stephen Sondheim. (UK) (CAN)

Adverse Video of the Week:

. Based on a forgotten comic book created by Clive Barker, this TV movie tries--and it's nice and nasty from a standpoint of gore and goo and such, but the plot holes are big enough to lose a monastery in, the coincidences are mind-blowingly...well, coincidental, and nobody acts like people usually do. Not to mention an utter lack of police procedure. Fun schlock for your weekend. (UK) (CAN)

Anime DVD of the Week:

. In a nutshell, the city of Lukuss is going apeshit. The title of this volume is "Suspicions," after all, and that's what's causing allies to tear themselves apart. It looks like something hardcore is about to go down that could wind destroying the city and everyone in it. This Geneon release comes with four episodes and a series of alternate outtakes as its only feature. (UK) (CAN)

DVD Boxed Set of the Week:

. It's Jason Voorhees' greatest hits, folks. Eight films spread across five discs--it's an all you can eat slasher buffet from Paramount. And you can watch a franchise devolve into self-parody--which is always fun. The bonus disc on this comes with an eight-part featurette covering the legacy of the franchise, stacked with plenty of interviews; a three-part featurette on the makeup; stories from the cast and crew about production; deleted scenes; trailers; and a look at props and collectibles. (UK) (CAN)

Family DVD of the Week:

. Before this hit, I didn't even realize this had been a series over on HBO. But here it is, on a two-disc set from Columbia-Tristar. Is it as good as the original? Nah, but if your kids enjoyed the first one, they won't be let down. Narrated by Sharon Stone, this set comes with a sixteen-page activity book, plus Quick Start, the feature that makes it easy for kids to grab it, slap it in the player and go. That makes parents smile. (UK) (CAN)

Sports DVD of the Week:

. The serious golf fan will have a great time this weekend sitting down with this three-disc set from Buena Vista, covering the life and times of Tiger Woods. It's divided into "His Life," "His Majors," and "His Legacy," and it's all narrated by Laurence Fishburne. As far as bonus bits go, look for a featurette, a "hole-by-hole analysis" of Tiger at the Majors, lessons, photo gallery and a "How Did He Do That?" featurette. (UK) (CAN)

Music DVD of the Week:

. Fishbone has to be one of my favorite bands, and like I've mentioned elsewhere on the site, they're mentioned a few times in my first novel--so there's much love. Back in 2001, the band's present incarnation went into a free community studio...and here you get some of the tracks they laid down, along with some background on the group. In addition to that goodness, this Music Video Distributors release gives you four alternate tracks, including two rare performances by Trulio Disgracias. (CAN)

TV Show of the Week: Ben Franklin. As you can see, much is being made of Ben Franklin. The guy was an inventor and statesman, yes, we've got that--but was he as big a party animal as many--including this ad--are making him out to be? Was he just Hugh Hefner plus the discovering electricity thing? Check out The History Channel this Sunday to see these and other questions addressed.

Music CD of the Week:

by Stevie Wonder. We know what it's like: you're so sick to damn death of all the Christmas standards, that when they come on you just want to snap and hurt people. You can't decide what's worth: the tired songs, or the remakes by popular modern artists that already tired. Thankfully, there are some albums of holiday songs that don't make you murderous. You know what we're talking about--this Motown release is one of them. Stevie's versions of "Silver Bells" and "The Little Drummer Boy" are choice, just like the original "What Christmas Means to Me." (UK) (CAN)