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Fresh pop culture picks for your shelf

TOP PICK

Superman vs. the Elite

(Warner)

The latest entry in the cool DC Comics Premiere Movies animated home-video series is one of the best, a showdown between the Man of Steel and a group of new superheroes whose moral codes are a little less rigid than Supe's. The story is based on a terrific 2001 comic that plays around with themes explored in Watchmen about heroes, villains, and the thin line that separates them.

VIDEO

The Grapes of Wrath

(Twentieth Century Fox)

John Ford's excellent 1940 adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic Dust Bowl drama was nominated for a ton of Oscars and won a couple of them. It makes its Blu-ray debut with extras like a pair of historical commentaries and an old Movietone News feature. But it's the movie itself – a splendid feast for the eyes and mind – that still holds up after all these years. Occupy a copy.

VIDEO GAME

Lollipop Chainsaw

(Warner Bros. Interactive)

It's another zombie game, but this time you play as a young schoolgirl dressed in a short skirt and armed with a chainsaw. So that's different. And the game (available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) has a fun time dispensing with the undead, one severed limb at a time. Best of all are the cheerleader-like moves you use to cut your way through the pack of flesh-hungry zombies. Go team!

BOOK

A Perfect Haze: An Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival

(Santa Monica Press)

As you browse through the pages of this photo-heavy document of one of the first rock festivals, be warned: You may get a contact high. So many of the artists here – including Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and Janis Joplin – appear bleary-eyed and stoned. There's also enough paisley wardrobes on display to reignite another Summer of Love. So yeah, this 45th-anniversary celebration is far out.

MUSIC

Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

(Arista/Legacy)

Ice-T directed a documentary about hip-hop's formative years that will air sometime later this year. But the soundtrack is now available as a download, and it's stuffed with rap pioneers like Run-D.M.C., Eric B. & Rakim, and Public Enemy. This really isn't so much an old-school mixtape as it is a sketch of the rhymes and beats that fueled the '80s. A CD will be released with the movie.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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