TOP PICK — Turok (Touchstone)
This zippy video game (for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) follows a Native American commando who takes on a bunch of super-soldiers on a faraway planet . . . which also happens to be home to some very hungry dinosaurs. The first-person shooter is loaded with an arsenal of cool weapons, but the most effective are the simplest — like the knife that comes in mighty handy when you get a little too close to a T. rex. Best of all, the online multiplayer mode not only pits player against player, but also keeps those pesky dinosaurs running around, picking off the competition one by one.
DVD — The Aristocats Special Edition (Walt Disney)
One of Disney's most charming animated movies from the dismal era that bridged its classic and comeback years gets the deluxe treatment on this terrific two-disc set. Lots of familiar sights here — a scrappy hero, kids without a dad, boozing buddies. Extras include a behind-the-scenes feature, games, and a deleted scene. Purr-fect!
CD — Thisisme Then: The Best of Common (Relativity/Legacy)
Before he hooked up with a major label and palled around with Kanye, Common was a socially conscious rapper who went by the more sanctimonious moniker of Common Sense. This 15-track compilation gathers cuts from the three albums he released back in the day. Common's booming voice and smart wordplay are already there, though it would take more seasoned beatmasters to catapult him to fame. This is where it all started.
DVD — The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (New Line)
This amusing documentary chronicles the battle between two old-school video-game nerds, duking it out, one coin at a time, for Donkey Kong's all-time high score. One guy is a science teacher, the other makes hot sauces; both are obsessed with racking up more than a million points on the classic arcade game. Bonus items include commentary, additional scenes, and an animated history of DK.
BOOK — Rap-Up: The Ultimate Guide to Hip-Hop and R&B (Grand Central)
Geeky white sibs Cameron and Devin Lazerine's Rap-Up magazine is written for hip-hop fans who really don't know a lot about hip-hop. The focus is as much on schooling folks on Chuck D as it is on pimping the latest T.I. CD. This book makes a handy primer, spanning from old-school pioneers to modern-day ringtone merchants. Best chapters: "Where's the Beef?," which lays out some of hip-hop's greatest feuds, and the helpful "Drop the Beat" section, which pairs producers with their hits.
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