Favorite

The week's best releases from the pop-culture universe. 

MOVIE -- The Matador: Pierce Brosnan shakes and stirs his image in this dark comedy about an aging hitman coming to terms with his impending AARP membership. Months after drunkenly meeting Greg Kinnear in a Mexican bar one night, Brosnan's not-so-ruthless killer pays a mysterious visit to the suburban husband. Among other things, Brosnan tweaks his Bondish sexuality and manages to get a smile out of the usually dour Hope Davis (playing Kinnear's wife). Funny stuff -- no bull!

TV -- Celebrity Fit Club 3: There's nothing more hilarious than D-list chubbies putting themselves through carb-cutting hell in front of a television audience. On the third season of VH1's reality series (airing at 9 p.m. Sunday), a bunch of corpulent has-beens -- including The Cosby Show's Tempestt Bledsoe, Taxi's Jeff Conaway, and rapper Young MC -- compete to shed unwanted fat. Now, if they can only shake the stigma of being washed-up entertainers stuck on a reality show that focuses on their weight problems . . .

BOOK -- Cut! Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies: This fascinating hardback -- an update of sorts on the classic Hollywood Babylon -- takes a look at grisly killings and other spectacular deaths from Tinseltown. Several stories are now folklore, such as John Belushi's drugged-out demise and Jayne Mansfield losing her head in a car accident. Cut! is at its best, though, when it unearths relatively obscure tales -- like the fate of silent-movie actor Ormer Locklear, whose demise during an airplane stunt was caught and released on film. Sorta like the death of Ben Affleck's career!

BOOK -- Glorious Technicolor: The Movies' Magic Rainbow: This coffee-table book looks back on 90 years of color movies in the most fitting way: by showing lots of pictures. Martin Scorsese penned the forward, so it's infused with a movie-lover's passion. The volume spans the origins of the film process that revolutionized the industry all the way to The Incredibles.

DVD -- Plan 9 From Outer Space: It's been called the worst movie ever made, but Ed Wood's 1959 labor of love about fey space aliens, resurrected zombies, and the most incompetent police squad on the planet is really so much more. For starters, it's a campy cultural icon. This restored version includes home movies of Wood in drag, commentary by Mystery Science Theatre 3000's Mike Nelson, and the long-awaited revelation of Plans 1 through 8. As for those Worst Movie Ever Made awards? Obviously, they were handed out before the judges got a look at Fantastic Four.

CD -- Ricky Nelson: Greatest Hits: Think of Nelson as his generation's version of Kelly Osbourne: He became famous on his parents' TV program (headed by its own Ozzie). And he pretty much fizzled out, once the show went off the air. The only difference: Nelson didn't suck, as this 25-track career overview establishes. We doubt whether time will be as kind to Kelly Osbourne's bleating techno.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- In the Moment: Bo Bice: Kelly Clarkson proved that American Idols don't have to be total cheeseballs. So why does Bice -- subject of this lame profile airing on CMT at 10 p.m. Friday -- come off as such a smug jackass? We suspect it has something to do with the hair.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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