DVD -- The Departed: Prep yourself for Sunday's Oscars by checking out Martin Scor-sese's odds-on Best Picture favorite. Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson star in this mob hit about Boston cops. The two-disc Special Edition includes nine bonus scenes (with intros by Scorsese), a feature-length doc on the director, and looks at the real-life gangsters who inspired the knotty, violent, and brilliant film.
TV -- A Fistful of Leone: The Dollars Trilogy: Encore Westerns loads up on the world's best movie trilogy that doesn't feature Sith lords or ring-bearing Hobbits. Starting at noon on Saturday, the net screens Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The films made Clint Eastwood a star, and they showed that the genre didn't need cowboys and Indians -- or even a hero -- to bring the action.
CD -- Out of the Blue: Electric Light Orchestra's epic double album from 1977 was big, bombastic, and just short of essential. This reissue crams all 17 songs (including the hits "Turn to Stone," "Sweet Talkin' Woman," and "Mr. Blue Sky") plus three bonus tracks onto a single disc. Leader Jeff Lynne never came close to topping the cavalcade of sounds he rounded up here.
BOOK -- Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop: Jeff Chang -- who wrote the best book ever about hip-hop, Can't Stop, Won't Stop -- edited this sprawling look at rap culture. Nearly three dozen writers (including Harry Allen, Greg Tate, and DJ Spooky) explore the sex, roots, and politics behind the music. The big question for all of them: Is hip-hop dead? Not even the contributors have the answer in this engrossing read.
DVD -- The U.S. vs. John Lennon: This fascinating documentary looks at the government's crackdown on the former Beatle and his antiwar ways during the '70s. Carl Bernstein, Walter Cronkite, and G. Gordon Liddy all show up with opinions, but the archival clips of the outspoken Lennon resonate the most. The 50 minutes of bonus footage are celebratory, poignant, and, most of all, musical.
COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- The Soundtrack From Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Who told Cook he was funny? No, really. Because that's who's to blame for this painfully unfunny CD by the most painfully unfunny comedian working today. The bits are cribbed from the hit HBO series, which chronicled Cook and pals' stand-up tour. Breaking the monotony of Cook's fart and testicle "jokes" are boring songs by bands working overtime to prove why they're unsigned.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.